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Elven Desires

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Chapter One – The Change

In ten minutes Harry James Potter would be turning eighteen years old, though after everything he had been through he felt a lot older than his years and it frustrated him no end that he was still being treated like a child. Since his defeat of Voldemort on the 2nd May where they had all suffered great emotional turmoil resulting from the death of so many loved ones it had been decided by his so called guardians and those that cared about him, without his consent that Harry remain at the Burrow at least until his birthday.

It was still surrounded by protective enchantments, wards and although it was not as overflowing with people as it usually would have been with the vast numbers of the Wesley family it was still brimming with people who loved and cared for him, wanting nothing more than to protect him and he couldn’t exactly deny them that.

Harry had of course disagreed with the decision. He had wanted to move straight into Grimmauld Place, which was legally his along with a few other properties that Sirius had owned and start on with the rest of his life. The others however had had other ideas for him. They had claimed he needed time to adjust after the battle and to the fact that he no longer had part of Tom Riddle’s soul leaching off him. They had also told him that he needed to be around people that cared for him and not stuck in the Black family residence alone as he came to terms with everything that had happened during the war.

Harry could have accepted all of these reasons if he hadn’t had a gut instinct telling him that there was something else to it. After the previous year he had learnt to trust his gut and despite his efforts to get them to tell him they had said nothing more on the subject. He could of course have walked out whenever he wanted, as a wizard he was already of age but he knew that doing so would hurt his adoptive family more than he would ever wish to hurt them after everything they had been through, so he stayed. However he had hardly spoken to any of them in the three months that they had been here. He had needed the time to think.

Instead Harry had spent his time in the garden, relishing the feel of the sun on his face, warming his skin as he had read through as many school texts as he could. Seeing as he had missed his seventh and final year at Hogwarts and therefore hadn’t taken his N.E.W.T’s, he at least wanted to learn the material, even if he didn’t have the grades to show for it.

Five minutes. He was going to be eighteen in just five minutes time. He had survived and now he was free to live his life as he wanted to. His guardians had only decreed that he needed to stay with them until his birthday, which meant they wouldn’t be upset if he chose to leave. Harry wasn’t about to storm out, bags packed the minute the clock struck midnight but perhaps the day after, when the planned celebrations were over he would be making his excuses and leaving. He needed some time and also some space away from everyone. He loved the Weasley’s and Hermione dearly but he craved solitude. He needed time to grieve for everything he had lost. Even for the fraction of Voldemort’s soul as it had been a part of him for so long and now it was gone.

Harry needed to scream, to cry, to let out all of his bottled up emotions and he couldn’t do that here, not even behind the silencing charms he erected every night before he went to sleep so they wouldn’t hear his nightmares. He couldn’t break down in front of the protective, watchful eyes of Molly Weasley who hadn’t stopped watching him the entire summer. It was almost as if she were waiting for something to happen and he didn’t know what it was.

The bedroom suddenly seemed stiflingly hot to Harry, a sensation that came over him unexpectedly. He had been staying in the twin’s old room. George hadn’t been able to set foot in here since the death of Fred and had been sleeping at his joke shop in Diagon alley. Harry had been reluctant at first to stay here but he had quickly come to terms with it when he had realised that it meant he didn’t have to share with Ron anymore. It also meant he didn’t have to answer any prying questions when he just didn’t feel like it in regards to his nightmares, which he didn’t feel like talking about to anyone.

The heat of the summer months was already sweltering but Harry felt as if he couldn’t breathe the heat was getting to him so much, as if it had suddenly kicked up a notch, it was as if it were radiating from his skin rather than the air around him. He needed to escape the confines of the house, he needed to be outside and to breathe in the fresh air. That was the only thought that was racing through his mind, the need to be outside in the open, to be able to see the sky, to drink in the cool night air.

He descended down the stairs as quickly and as quietly as possible so not to wake the other occupants of the house. He wrenched open the back door and hadn’t gone more than four metres from the building before collapsing on soft green grass, gasping for breath. His fists clenched in the grass beneath him, nails digging into the soft earth as he struggled to catch his breath.
It felt as if his throat was constricting as he attempted to draw breath, as if his lungs were refusing the oxygen freely given to them. His skin felt as if it were on fire and burning, the cool night air doing very little to lessen the inferno his body had become. He wanted it to stop, there was too much pain. He didn’t know what was happening to him but if this was how he was going to die then so be it, he would welcome it even.

Harry unexpectedly found himself to be grateful that he was wearing boxer shorts as he felt concerned eyes watching him silently as he gasped at the air around him, trying to force oxygen into his body. He had been so tempted to sleep starker’s this evening in the blistering heat but out of respect for the Weasley family he had reframed something he couldn’t have been happier about now.

Despite the curious and worried eyes watching his every more no one said anything nor did they attempt to approach him or to help. He was glad of this because he felt that if anyone had tried to touch him then he would have screamed. He felt his stomach twist and turn violently inside of him, his organs all felt as if they were shifting in ways they weren’t supposed to. Something was wrong, this feeling was inhuman and Harry couldn’t understand why no one was helping him, why they all stood back and doing nothing. They were supposed to be his friends, his family.

His ears felt as if they were being pulled away from his head, his skin giving off the sensation that insects were crawling all over him. His eyes were burning in his sockets and his hair felt as if it were being torn violently from his head. The agony too much to hold in any longer and he tried to scream but no sound came out, his throat feeling as if it had been engulfed by flame.

“What’s happening to him mum?” Ginny asked her mother quietly as she clutched desperately to her as a piercing scream finally tore from Harry’s throat.

“It’s his creature inheritance,” Molly told her daughter sadly. “No one knew if it would actually happen to the poor child. We all doubted that he would have the active gene required for the change to happen. He’s been through so much already.”

“Change?” Hermione questioned feeling a little panicked as she watched her best friend in excruciating pain, unable to do anything to help him. “Change into what exactly?”

“Creature inheritance triggers at eighteen,” Ron said sounding a little stunned at what was happening, he’d of course been told of its possibilities before now. “If there is any creature blood in your family and you carry the active gene then it makes itself known when you turn eighteen, it’s the reason you come of age as a wizard at seventeen and not eighteen.”

Most pure blood families and some half-blood ones too held some form of creature blood in their family tree somewhere but it was rare to find the active gene to trigger any changes and it became rarer the further down the generations it spread. Ron had been told all about it because many generations ago there had been some dragon blood injected into the Weasley family but that had been over a century ago and so far no one had discovered any inheritance. The only notion of a love of dragons in their family from Charlie who absolutely worshipped them but even he hadn’t come into the inheritance at eighteen. The only Wesley child yet to turn eighteen was Ginny and Molly was hoping that it skipped over her daughter as it had skipped over all of her sons. She didn’t think she would be able to cope seeing her youngest child in the throes of agony the way Harry was now.

“But I thought that his mother was muggle-born, that his entire family were muggles?” Ginny asked, confused. She knew the drill, she, like Ron, had been told of the possibility of it happening. All the right ingredients had to be there, the active gene, the powerful magic and the strong magical bloodline.

“But his father, the Potter line, they’re old purebloods, just like the Weasley’s,” Hermione said knowingly. “The name might have changed but the strong magic is still there. I think I can trace Harry’s paternal line all the way back to the Peverell brothers because of the invisibility cloak and not to mention he is a direct descendent of Godric Gryffindor too.”

“What’s be turning into?” Ginny asked as Harry’s arms and legs collapsed out from underneath him and he fell with a thump to the grass, still writhing in agony as the change took over his entire body. It hurt her to see him like that, the man she loved even though they weren’t together and hadn’t been since the war. It didn’t change how she felt about him though.

“With his parents dead and their friends all gone as well no one knew. It’s why we had to keep him here until his birthday, so if this happened he wouldn’t have to go through it alone. He wouldn’t have known anything about it or that it was even a possibility,” Arthur said, he sounded sad and dejected that Harry, who he thought of as a son, had to go through yet more upheaval in his life. The poor child had already been through too much at such a young age, it wasn’t fair to ask any more of him.

“He’s in so much pain,” Ginny said, heartbroken. “Isn’t there anything we can do for him?” She asked the group desperately. The five of them just looked at each other helplessly, not knowing what they could do to help Harry as he whimpered, twitching on the ground, his eyes squeezed tightly closed. He looked as if someone was casting the cruciatus curse upon him, his body tensed up and silently screaming with tears leaking from his eyes.

“No,” Molly said, becoming just as upset as her only daughter over the suffering Harry was currently going through, her love for the teenager maternal whereas Ginny’s love for the saviour was so much more. “We just have to let the change take effect.”

“He’s in so much pain!” Hermione said, clearly in distress as Ron wound his arms around her in an attempt to sooth the sobbing witch.

“There is nothing we can do for him,” Arthur said, “You lot go back to bed and get some sleep. I’ll stay with him. Once the change is complete I’ll make sure to put him back into bed,” He said assuredly, trying to remain calm for the sake of everyone else who was clearly distraught at what was happening to Harry.

“But …” Ginny said, wanting to protest, she didn’t want to leave Harry but her father gave her a stern glare. It was late and he was in no mood to argue.

“It’s his party tomorrow, you won’t be in any fit state to celebrate with him if you don’t sleep tonight,” Molly said kindly, putting an arm around her daughter and began to guide her inside, Ron ushering Hermione in the same direction after them. Arthur meanwhile watched his family retreat indoors before conjuring up an armchair and settled himself into it to watch over Harry until he was stable enough to move back into the house.

He owed this young man his life. Harry was his eighth child in every way but blood and had become an irreplaceable part of the family. He hated not knowing the full extent of what was happening to the poor child, especially after everything that had already happened to him. He sighed, knowing that the papers would have a field day with this news if they ever got their hands on it. That was something Harry really didn’t need, not after only just having defeated the Dark Lord at the beginning of May. The poor child had been through enough, he deserved a rest bite from it all but that seemed as if it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.

 

HPDM

 

Harry blinked, the sunlight streaming through his windows was glaringly bright and giving him a headache. He automatically reached for his glasses without thinking, trying to figure out why he felt so disorientated. His body was aching all over as if he had played a week long Quidditch match in a blizzard without taking a break to rest.

He became even more discombobulated when, upon pushing his glasses on to his nose, he discovered that he no longer seemed to need them. He then spent the next ten minutes taking his glasses on and off, trying to figure out what the hell had happened and why his eye sight had spontaneously righted itself.

Looking down at his glasses in his hands, he noticed that his eyesight must be really fucked up now because his skin looked different too but only slightly. He couldn’t quite explain it, it was the same lightly tanned golden brown it always was over the summer months when he spent the majority of his time outdoors. However it now seemed to glow, almost shimmering with a golden sheen in the sunlight. It had never done that before he was certain and he had seen a great deal many astounding things. This was something else entirely.

“What the fuck…” Harry asked himself quietly, unable to take his eyes away from the lightly shimmering skin. As he dropped his glasses back on the nightstand and stood up he realised that his entire body felt different to him. Looking down at himself he saw that overnight somehow he seemed to have bulked up ever so slightly. His muscles were more defined than they had been the previous day. He had always been a little too skinny for his age but the muscle he had suddenly gained seemed to have taken care of that.

It took him several moments to comprehend this and then he caught his reflection in the mirror and he back tracked to square one again. His hair had become thicker and a little longer, now brushing against the top of his shoulders and completely covering his ears, though he grimaced at the fact that it still looked as wind swept as it ever had.

His eyes, if it were possible, were an even brighter shade of emerald green than he had thought, though that could have been because he had never seen them clearly without the round wire rimmed glasses before. His eyelashes were fuller and thicker and his facial features having a more feminine edge to them, his skin flawless and practically glowing.

The only thing that hadn’t changed at all was the ugly red lightening scar that screamed out his identity but it was at least now partially hidden by the growth of his hair. If it hadn’t have been there then Harry would have questioned if it was really him he was seeing in the mirror. He had seriously considered for a moment if he had woken up in someone else’s body.

Glaring at his changed reflection in the mirror he fought to remember the night before. He could clearly and easily recall lying in bed, watching the minutes tick down to midnight and his eighteenth birthday. He could even remember going downstairs to get some fresh air but nothing else after he had stepped foot outside and taken his first breath of the cool air. Frustrated with himself he ran his hand through his messy raven hair and startled with he saw that his ears had changed as well.

Drawing back his hair to get a closer look he saw that they seemed to have stretched so that rather than being rounded like a normal ear should have been they had become pointed as if someone had taken hold of them and pulled until his skin had broken under the strain and allowed itself to be moulded into points. He dropped his hair back down in disgust, now he really was a freak. Flattening his hair around over his ears he looked longingly out of the window, wanting an escape.

He had a sudden overwhelming urge to be outside. He wanted to fly, to feel the crisp morning air in his hair as he flew on his firebolt. He needed to be outside, he yearned for it as if nothing else mattered more. The only stumbling block was Molly Weasley, who would never let him go out flying without eating breakfast first. He considered this thoughtfully as he pulled on too big jeans and one of Dudley’s old t-shirts, deciding that now the war was over he would have to buy himself some decent clothes, something that actually fit him.

It was still early, just before seven he was sure. For some reason he could identify that Molly was the only one currently awake. He knew this without even leaving his room to check, yet another thing he couldn’t explain to add to the list this morning. He also knew that she was worrying about something but he couldn’t decipher what.

Pulling on his trainers he looked once again out of the window and grinned as an idea came into his head. Grabbing his firebolt from the corner of the room he flung open the window and took a deep breath, filling his lungs with the morning breeze as it floated into the room. A rush of adrenaline surging through him as gripped his broom tightly in one hand as he climbed up onto the window sill and jumped. Catching the wooden shaft of his firebolt between his legs and urging it forward he was off.

His senses went into overload, his eyes picking up colours he could never even have imagined existed. The scent of the air too had changed. He could smell the pine scent of the trees and the freshness of the water in the stream at the bottom of the Weasley’s garden. He felt exhilarated as if somehow everything out here was connected to him, driving him, fuelling his beating heart. He would never get enough of this feeling.

He had missed flying. He hadn’t realised exactly how much this was true until this moment. This was the first time he had been able to go out on his broom since the war had ended and it felt freeing. He was free. There was no longer a crazy madman hell bent on killing him, he had no horcruxes to destroy, he no longer had to worry about the people he loved dying, all the weight had been lifted off his shoulders and if felt amazing.

 

HPDM

 

Ginny stumbled into the kitchen first, still half asleep, dumping herself into a chair at the kitchen table with a yawn as she poured herself a large mug of coffee. Molly frowned at her only daughter as she proceeded to add cream and sugar.

“I hope you intend on eating something as well as drinking that?” She asked somewhat disapprovingly.

“Yes Mum,” Ginny replied as she also tipped some cereal into a bowl to appease her mother. “Have you seen Harry this morning yet?” She asked, desperate to see him, especially after the previous night and the change he had undertaken. She wanted to know what creature blood had been in his family, she wanted to see what he had become. She was curious as to whether he had wings or fangs or a tail.

“He jumped out of his bedroom window this morning and went flying,” She said, her tone still highly disapproving. She didn’t like any of her children, biological or adopted, jumping out of windows. She would be having stern words with Harry when he finally came inside, birthday or not.

“Sounds like Harry,” Ginny said fondly as she started to eat.

“What sounds like Harry?” Hermione asked as she and Ron came into the kitchen hand in hand, depositing themselves at the table as well.

“He jumped out of the window on his broom to go flying this morning,” Ginny said sipping at her coffee.

“That does sound like Harry,” Hermione agreed as she too helped herself to coffee much to the exasperation of Molly who highly disapproved of the teenagers dependency on coffee in the morning. Ron only grunted his response, mornings were not his favourite time of the day with or without coffee.

“What sounds like me?” Harry asked as he strolled through the kitchen door, broom in hand after having painstakingly ensured that his hair was flattened around his ears as best as possible so to hide them from view. His cheeks were slightly flushed from the flying and despite his best efforts his hair still looked wind swept. His brilliantly green eyes had an exhilarated look to them as the four occupants of the room all turned to look at him.

Both Hermione and Ginny couldn’t help but stare at him wide eyes, mouths agape. Harry Potter was no longer a scrawny, awkward teenager, overnight he had become a man and a fine hunk of one at that. Having bulked out slightly more, even beneath his too large clothes, they could tell that he had gained muscle mass. He still looked like himself but so much hotter. It was all the younger women could do not to drool over him he looked that good. Even Ron had to sit up and take note when he realise his girlfriend was ogling someone other than him. His baby sister also joining her in appreciating his best friend with their wandering eyes.

“Harry … you look …” Hermione began, trying to find the words but failing miserably as she didn’t want to upset Ron.

“Gorgeous,” Ginny finished for her. Harry just looked at the two of them as if they had lost their marbles. He knew that he looked slightly different but he hadn’t been expecting this kind of reaction. He hadn’t thought that any of the changes he’d noticed this morning, apart from perhaps his ears, were that huge and especially not big enough to cause this much fuss.

“Harry dear, you aren’t wearing your glasses,” Molly said casting a warning glance towards the two girls, “Did you break them again?”

“Umm … no, not exactly,” Harry responded, feeling overly scrutinised all of a sudden. “I woke up this morning and I didn’t seem to need them anymore,” He explained a little shyly.

“Harry dear,” Molly said patiently, taking his broom from him and putting it to one side, while motioning for him to take a seat. “What do you remember about last night?” She asked him once Harry was sat at the table, the others all staring at him. He tried not to focus on their obvious gawking which made him feel extremely uncomfortable.

“Not a lot,” Harry admitted, “Only waking up feeling very hot, coming downstairs because I wanted to get some fresh air to cool down. I can remember going outside but nothing after that.”

Molly sighed, realising that this was going to be a difficult conversation. She wanted to send the other three out of the room but she didn’t know what use it would do, they’d all seen what had happened the night before. They all needed to know so that they could help Harry go through this. Harry was likely to tell them everything later on anyway so she didn’t even bother trying to send them upstairs. “What do you know about creature inheritance Harry?” She asked him kindly, not wanting to scare the young man before she could properly explain things to him. She knew that usually they would learn about such things in their final year at Hogwarts but then Harry hadn’t exactly had a conventional year last year and now it was too late and left up to her.

“Nothing,” Harry said shaking his head in confusion, “What is it?”

“Your parents should have been the ones … I mean to say they should have told someone but I suppose they didn’t have the time … oh dear, this is going to be very difficult,” Molly said feeling a little flustered, wishing that her husband hadn’t been called into work so early this morning. He could have helped to explain everything a little better.

“I don’t understand,” Harry said feeling very muddled as Molly practically tripped over her words as she tried to get them out.

“Last night, when you turned eighteen you came into, what wizards call your creature inheritance. This means that if you have the blood of a magical creature somewhere in your blood line and you carry the active gene then you become half wizard, half whatever creature is in your family,” Molly explained, fearing that she probably wasn’t doing the best job at explaining all this to the clueless Harry.

“What am I?” Harry asked rather calmly as it sank in.

“Excuse me?” Molly asked, a little confused by the question.

“If I’m some kind of half wizard, half creature, what am I?” He clarified. Every part of him was buzzing as he thought about all the changes he had gone through overnight. Another thing about his life that he hadn’t known about until the last minute, his parents should have told him but they had died leaving him alone and clueless about who he was. It wasn’t exactly shaping up to be his best birthday to date, though thinking about it bitterly, it certainly wasn’t the worst by far.

“We don’t know yet,” Hermione perked up, “Not many magical creatures cross breed with humans, I’m looking into for you though. I know how much you need answers,” She told him.

“What are my options here?” Harry asked her, feeling a little overwhelmed. The only thing he could remember about the night before was feeling as if he were going to die. He had embraced that feeling, accepting it. However he wasn’t about to tell any of those gathered before him now about that. They didn’t know that he would have welcomed death if it had come for him and done so gratefully.

“Well …” She began, “Werewolf and Vampire obviously though it can’t be either of them because otherwise we would have seen the characteristics earlier, there would have been signs. That leaves Veela, Dragon and Elven. Those at least are the most common and even then the numbers are tiny from the information I’ve managed to gather. There is maybe a handful in every generation combined. Though they say that high stress situations can trigger the active gene when it was dormant which means there might be a few more witches and wizards coming into their inheritance this year than is normal.” No one needed it to be clarified that it was because of the war.

“How long have you known about this?” Harry asked her, glaring distrustfully at his friend. She seemed to know far too much for his liking, as if she had known way in advance of this happening to him.

“No one did, not until last night,” Molly said coming to Hermione’s defence. “That was why we wanted to keep you here until your birthday, just in case. No one thought it was possible, that it was even a possibility but we had to be sure.”

“So you’ve only known since last night?” Harry asked to clarify and they all nodded, “Did you sleep at all last night Mione or did you just read?” Harry asked her directly and got her answer from her flushed cheeks.

“And she kept me awake with all her excited muttering too,” Ron said in a huff.

“Are you okay with this?” Ginny asked, amazed at how calm he was being. If it had been her she wouldn’t have been able to deal half as well and she had advanced warning that it might happen. Then again Harry Potter wasn’t exactly normal, he had a higher level of tolerance for this kind of thing happening to him.

“It’s not like I have a choice,” Harry said with a shrug, “It’s happened and I can’t change that now. I’d like to know what I am but I’m sure Hermione will find out, she’s too curious not to. I can’t change who I am if this is what was meant to happen.” Then as an afterthought he added “But I would like to go shopping today.”

Ron groaned audibly over Hermione and Ginny’s excited smiles, they did so love to go shopping. “Good thing you won’t be going then Ronald,” Molly said as she got up to start cooking some bacon for them to eat so the youngest members of her family weren’t solely running on caffeine for the morning. “You’re going to stay here and help set up for the party later.”

“You sure you don’t want us to stay and help too?” Harry asked, offering just to be polite as it was his party after all, he felt a little bad swanning off to go shopping with the girls when everyone else would be working hard to get the party organised for this evening.

“No, no, it’s your birthday dear and you’ve had a bit of a shock. You and the girls go and enjoy yourselves, just make sure you’re back before five,” Molly said kindly.

“Yes Molly,” Harry and Hermione said fondly, they would always pretend that her coddling irritated them but they wouldn’t change it for anything. It always felt nice to have someone fuss over you and mother you.

“Yes Mum,” Ginny said before turning to Hermione and Harry excitedly to discuss what they were going to buy.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two – Shopping, parties and letters.

Hermione, Ginny and Harry used the floo network to get to Diagon Alley. As it was the summer holidays it was always going to be busy and because of his defeat of Voldemort in May people were always going to gawp at him and of course the more people that stared and started to gossip the more likely it was that the press would get wind of the fact that he was here, something he wanted to avoid if at all possible.

This would be his first public appearance since the Great Battle of Hogwarts. Harry had expected to have a lot of attention on him but it was frustrating none the less. He didn’t exactly appreciate the crowds of witches and wizards, all clamouring to get a glimpse of him, some asking for autographs and others taking pictures. It made him feel more like a freak than ever before. He had to ensure that his hair was still covering his ears several times. He hadn’t even got up the courage to show them to his friends yet let alone the entire world.

Hermione was clearly flustered by the crowds gathering around them and soon excused herself to go to Flourish and Blotts so that she could pick up a few books on creature inheritance as she had become truly fascinated by the subject overnight and had been desperate for more information. This left Harry and Ginny alone but neither of them minded this. Ginny may have been absolutely besotted by Harry but she concealed it well and Harry thought of Ginny as a sister.

“So where do you want to go first?” She asked as she took Harry’s hand in her own. It was a familiar gesture for the both of them and meant nothing like what it should have meant even with Ginny’s feelings.

“I need clothes, an entirely new wardrobe. I’m sick of wearing Dudley’s old stuff. I want clothes that actually fit me.” Harry honestly didn’t mind the hand holding, they were friends but that was it. Whatever he had felt for her before the war was gone now, he had no romantic feelings for her at all. He did still hold her in high regard as a true and loyal friend but nothing more.

“This is going to be fun!” She said with an excited grin on her face as she dragged him towards a wizards clothing store that announced proudly that they specialised in muggle apparel, something which Harry found highly amusing.

By lunch time Harry was thrilled that Ron hadn’t joined them on their shopping spree. He had tried on so many clothes he felt like an overgrown Barbie doll. Not that he minded too much because he had found that he actually really enjoyed trying on half of it and seeing that now he wasn’t hiding beneath baggy jumpers and oversized jeans he actually didn’t look half bad. During his time at school he’d always worn his school robes and during the war he hadn’t really thought about what he looked like. This was something entirely new and different for him and he found that he liked it.

With the added bonus of his new body thanks to his mystery inheritance he could concede that the girls were right, he didn’t look too terrible. Though it had taken him a couple hours to admit defeat on this issue as he had been adamant that half of what Ginny had picked out for him to wear was never going to look right on him. However it had surprised him how wrong he had been, the youngest Weasley had an excellent sense of fashion and put him in items that he never would have even dreamed of trying.

Ginny had been practically drooling over him when Hermione re-joined them with two new books under her arm. She had paused in the doorway as she entered, having to do a double take when she saw Harry in snug grey denim trousers and a well fitted ice blue t-shirt. She had never seen him looking so amazing.

Her hesitation in the threshold of the shop had an adverse consequence that none of them had really been expecting. A sneaky photographer forcefully barged himself inside and snapped a single picture before trying to make a quick getaway out the way he came. Hermione very quickly came to her senses, withdrawing her wand and stunning him in the back before he could even leave the premises. Quickly she closed the shop door so that no one else would be able to barge in on them before the three of them looked at each other indecisively, unsure of what to do with the troublesome and most unwelcome journalist.

“Sorry Harry,” Hermione mumbled sheepishly.

“Shall we destroy the camera?” Ginny asked.

“No, take the stunning spell off, I have a better idea,” Harry said with a wicked grin. He was sick and tired of people following him around all the time, taking pictures and asking stupid and sometimes even utterly ridiculous questions. Now he was legally an adult and more well-known than ever he knew it would only get worse unless he did something about it. He was hot news, something that wasn’t going to change any time soon, however he had a choice. He could just grin and bear it or he could use it to his advantage.

Hermione was looking at him as if he had gone completely barmy but did as she had been instructed, trusting him not to do anything hugely foolish. After all they had survived the war together and a huge part of that had been based on Harry’s judgement and instinct. She couldn’t start doubting it now. She waved her wand and released the snap happy photographer from the stunning spell she had cast. Though they weren’t stupid, Ginny had her wand trained on him as well as Hermione now, Harry on the other hand was keen to play the good guy and offered him a hand up from the floor.

“Sorry about that,” He said, taking a good look at the middle aged wizard with his dark hair that was prematurely flecked with grey. “Who do you work for?” He asked kindly, not wanting to scare or intimidate the wizard when he wanted something from him but feeling better that Ginny and Hermione had not lowered their wands.

“Umm … Which Wizard,” The wizard said and as Harry focused on the middle aged man he could sense how nervous and how scared he was feeling. Harry had all the power here and he knew it, it was a thrilling feeling to have.

“I’m guessing you already know who I am, what’s your name?” Harry asked politely as the journalist eyed the two young witches with weariness. Their tale had been told many a time already, they were all war heroes, he had every reason to be fearful.

“Thomas,” He muttered as he clutched his camera tightly to his chest defensively.

“Okay Thomas, I have a proposition for you,” Harry said and this got the reporters attention. “I’m not giving anything away anything for free anymore,” He said decisively, “I have my lawyer drawing up paperwork to declare that any photographs printed of me or my friends will see those included in the publication paid for the hassle it causes. Until the paper work is drawn up however I think we can make a deal.” Of course Harry was lying about the whole lawyer thing, though he made a mental note that it was something that he should look into. He would no doubt be the richest wizard in Britain with the papers going crazy every time he stepped out the door.

“I’m listening,” Thomas said with a peeked interest.

Harry grinned with his triumph, “I want to offer you two exclusive photographs not including the one you’ve already taken and you can have a short interview with a few quotes to go with them. Everything I’ve mentioned is more than anyone else will get today and all you have to do is pay for my purchases in this store. I’ll even throw in a look at what I’m buying if that interests you.”

The reporter looked as if he was considering this for a moment but Harry could sense his excitement pulsing from him and he knew that he had him. “If one of the pictures is a shot of you topless then you’ve got yourself a deal.” Harry smirked, he didn’t have to sweeten the deal at all but it wouldn’t do any harm to make Thomas believe that he had the upper hand in the deal, after all everything that they had picked out was going to cost more than Harry could fathom, it wouldn’t hurt to give him his money’s worth.

He nodded his head, “Alright, deal,” Harry said and offered his hand out for the reporter to shake, which he did, eagerly.

It took a further two hours to get out of the clothing store. Thomas having firstly paid for the entire wardrobe of new clothes before taking the pictures he wanted and getting the short interview and quotes that he had been promised. Seeing as the total for the clothes had run over four hundred galleons Harry permitted the interview to run a little over the agreed time and also permitted a few questions that in any other situation he would have deemed too personal to be released to the press. Questions in regards to his relationship status and the two young women accompanying him on his shopping trip. He had curtly told the reporter that he wasn’t dating and had no currently plans to do so and that the two beautiful and amazing witches that were with him today were his friends, nothing more and nothing less.

Thomas had looked a little put out that he hadn’t managed to get anything juicer but he was already thinking about playing the wizarding world’s most eligible bachelor card. It was just a shame he didn’t have the balls to ask about Potter’s sexual orientation. After a peak into his shopping bags he could have gone either way on the issue. The reporter however was a rather eagle eyed chap and spotted something to make up for the lack of a juicy love life. It didn’t take much to put two and two together when he spotted the books on creature inheritance one of the witches was carrying combined with the miraculous changes in the famous boy wizard. Thomas was smirking smugly to himself as he left the store with much more than just his money’s worth.

“I can’t believe you let that guy photograph you with your shirt off!” Hermione said with heavy disapproval in her tone after Thomas had left.

“Oh it was worth it,” Harry said as they headed up towards the ice cream parlour the many bags of clothing shrunk down and in their pockets as they pointedly ignored all the staring. “I am going to need to get a wizarding lawyer though,” Harry mused too lost in his own thoughts to really notice where he was going and running right into someone, their shoulders bumping into each other rather forcefully. “Oh sorry,” Harry said as a thick, warming chestnut scent suddenly overwhelmed him, his senses in overdrive and his brain completely captivated by it.

Harry turned quickly to find the source of the delectable aroma, his eyes first landing on the shock of blonde hair, the owner of which had also turned and in that moment metallic silver eyes connected with intense emerald green. All Harry could see were those stunning mercury orbs, nothing else mattered. It took all of his self-control not to throw himself at the gorgeous Slytherin and begin ravishing him right there in the street. There was something about that rich, warm scent that overpowered him, triggering a reaction in his brain that made him want nothing more than to shove his tongue down Draco Malfoy’s throat. The scent itself made him feel safe and all his instincts were telling him to let himself drown in that wondrous smell, to cover himself in it until there was no doubt who he belonged to. It was a thought that had caught Harry completely off guard as he had never thought about Draco Malfoy in that way before.

“Harry, what are you doing?” Ginny asked, looking between Harry and Draco with trepidation, fearing that they were about to draw their wands and start duelling in the middle of a crowded street at any minute. Narcissa Malfoy was desperately trying to drag her son away from the intense gaze he had aimed on Harry.

“Nothing,” Harry responded as Hermione and Ginny both began pulling him away from Draco. As they were parted Harry couldn’t help but cast a glance back over his shoulder at the two Malfoy’s and he saw that neither of them had moved and were exchanging a rather rushed and somewhat heated conversation between them. Narcissa looked suddenly startled, looking over at Harry in shock and the Gryffindor would have given anything to know what had been said to cause the witch to look at him in such a way.

Unable to watch them any longer he turned to focus on where his friends were taking him. He rather quickly realised that he was being forced into a seat just outside of the ice cream parlour where Ginny went to order their favourites. Hermione was looking at Harry as if he was completely off his rocker and he couldn’t blame her after what had just happened.

“I thought you two had cleared the air?” Hermione asked disapprovingly as Ginny returned with their ice creams. “I saw the two of you shake hands after the battle and you returned his wand. How is it possible that the two of you are fighting again, you haven’t seen each other since the beginning of May let alone spoken to one another?”

“I wasn’t going to fight him Mione,” Harry said feeling a little embarrassed over what he had actually been experiencing in that moment when his and Draco’s eyes had met. The feeling of safety, security, warmth and adoration had embraced him with that smell. “He smelt nice.”

“Excuse me?” Ginny asked in shock, “Did you just say that he smelt nice?”

“Are you trying to tell us that you’re attracted to him?” Hermione asked carefully, ensuring to keep her voice low so that they would not be overheard by any passers-by.

“No, I don’t know, I don’t think so … it was just the scent he gave off, it seemed to … I don’t know, trigger something in me I guess. You don’t think that he could be like me do you?” Harry asked, the memory of that scent lingered in his mind, completely obsessing him.

“The odds of that are astronomical Harry, so few witches and wizards have the active gene let alone the creature blood in their family line. It usually just lays dormant in the family from what I’ve read so far. Even if he had the creature blood then whatever happened to him during the war had to be stressful enough to activate the gene to cause the inheritance. It’s highly unlikely.”

“We don’t know what happened to him Mione, he had Voldemort and Bellatrix living in his house with him for Merlin knows how long. I think it’s entirely possible that he had enough stress last year to activate the gene,” Harry said, wondering why he was so keen to jump to Draco’s defence all of a sudden. “Every one of us went through so much pain, all the death and the fear. We all came close to dying. Who knows what effect that had on all of us?”

“I suppose it’s possible but we can’t know for certain. I know this might seem like a really personal question but what did he smell like to you? I just want to know so that I can try and narrow down what you are,” Hermione said quietly. This was partly true but also she was curious as she hadn’t smelt anything extraordinary.

“Chestnuts, he smelt like chestnuts, they were warm and rich and it was almost comforting to me, it was weird … like it was drawing me to him,” Harry said, a dreamy look coming across his face as he recalled it to his two friends. Both the girls looked at each other sceptically, knowing that Harry wasn’t fooling anyone when he said he hadn’t been attracted to him. “Why are you looking at me like that?” He asked them, feeling a mixture of embarrassment and annoyance.

“Whatever creature you are it recognized something in Malfoy, as in a good partner,” Ginny said trying to keep the bitterness out of her voice. Why couldn’t it have been her that Harry recognized as a potential partner? Why did it have to be Malfoy of all people? After all they had been through and how much she loved him it just wasn’t fair.

“Partner? What do you mean by that exactly?” Harry asked, hoping that it didn’t mean what he thought it might mean but fearing that he wasn’t going to relish hearing the answer.

“A partner as in being together, it must have recognized a strong level of compatibility in Malfoy,” Hermione said as she finished off her ice cream. “All creatures have the urge to find a mate, it’s what unites them as magical creatures.”

“A mate?” Harry asked feeling completely confused by it all. The thought of mating with anyone, being together with anyone had been the furthest thing from his mind. He was young, he wanted to enjoy life now that he didn’t have a raving lunatic trying to kill him all the time. Being a couple with anyone was not what Harry had had in mind.

“Yes, a partner, a lover, someone to be with, whatever you are Harry it recognized Malfoy as being compatible to you and I suppose that for him to have reacted the way he did to you as well must mean that he’s the same creature as you I guess. The look the two of you were giving each other was intense,” The intelligent witch said.

“Mione, please find out what I am as soon as you can, I need to know. I can’t deal with Draco again and feeling like that if I don’t know what the hell I am or what’s going on.” Harry said and neither of the two witches missed the fact that he had called him Draco rather than Malfoy.

Back at the Burrow Harry went straight up to his room, dumping his shrunken bags out of his pocket and out unceremoniously on to the bed before collapsing there himself with exhaustion, his mind still obsessing over the rich chestnut aroma. A knock at his bedroom door brought him swiftly back to reality, no matter how much he would have liked to stay in his dream world where all he thought of was that handsome, blonde haired Slytherin, he couldn’t ignore the world and especially not when it was his birthday party this evening.

“Come in,” He called, sitting up and kicking off his shoes. They had been gone for almost the entire day and it was now just after four. They still had to eat dinner before the guests for the party arrived in just under two hours.

Molly bustled into his room, a letter in hand. “This came for you while you were out dear,” She said handing it over. The letter clearly had the Hogwarts seal to the rear and his heart leapt at news of his beloved castle.

“Thank you,” Harry said, curious to see what Headmistress McGonagall could want from him but reframing from opening it while Molly still hovered over him, looking a little concerned.

“How are you feeling dear?” She asked him unwelcomingly trying to assess his mental and emotional state by sweeping her eyes over him as if she would be able to crack his calm façade with a simple look.

“Fine,” Harry lied smoothly, he wasn’t fine, not really, he was confused and he couldn’t stop thinking about that damned smell and running his fingers through white blonde hair. He was the furthest thing from fine that he could possibly be but how did he put that into words that his surrogate mother would understand?

“Well, dinner is at five and then you get ready for your party,” She said, her concern that had been washing over him now turning into awkwardness and Harry couldn’t help but sigh in defeat.

“Thank you Molly, for everything,” He said gratefully to her, meaning every word. She smiled at him fondly, giving him a kiss to the temple before leaving him alone. Curiosity overwhelming him Harry took the letter and opened it eagerly, scanning the contents in excitement.

Dear Mr Potter
Due to the circumstances surrounding your seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry you and the rest of the students who were unable to take their N.E.W.T’s due to these extraordinary circumstances are being invited to return as honorary eighth year students so that you may sit your exams. Please find attached the list of school supplies you will need should you take up the offer. I await your owl no later than the 15th August to accept or decline your place.
Sincerely, Headmistress McGonagall

Harry had to read and then re-read the letter over and over in his head several times before it sunk in. He was being invited back to Hogwarts to sit his N.E.W.T’s. He found that he actually wanted to go too. He had already finished reading all of the required texts. He would also enjoy having a quiet, non-eventful school year, something which hadn’t happened to date. If no one tried to kill him this year he might actually get fairly decent grades too.

The added bonus was that he knew that Hermione would want to go back to school to take her exams as well. She would probably be just as if not more excited than Harry at the prospect of it. He also knew that because he and Hermione were going Ron would come as well even if he didn’t want to, not wanting to be left behind. Now that Hermione was finally his girlfriend he would follow her anywhere, even back to Hogwarts.

Receiving the letter had relieved the heavy feeling in his heart, one of uncertainty and dread. He had had no idea of what he had wanted to do next year, no clue where he would be. He hadn’t actually believed that he would survive the war and that had been okay with him but now he had he was feeling a little lost. In all his bravado in youth he had wanted to be an Auror but he wasn’t so sure anymore. He had had enough of battling Dark Wizards to last a life time but it was certainly one of the options to consider. He was just glad he didn’t have to consider them just yet. Going back to Hogwarts and sitting his N.E.W.T’s seemed like the best thing for him to do while he was deciding what path he wanted his life to take now he had no destiny and no ultimate purpose.

 

HPDM

 

“I could smell it on him mother, when he knocked into me, he had a sweet floral scent, with undertones of vanilla, it was like being in Honeydukes. It’s all I could do not to claim him there and then. If you hadn’t had hold of me and his friends hadn’t dragged him away then I probably would have done,” Draco said to his mother who was sat in a high backed brown leather armchair, gazing into the fire thoughtfully while her only child paced before her restlessly.

After Lucius had been sent to Azkaban they had closed off most of Malfoy manor, using only one sitting room, their bedrooms and other rooms of necessity such as the kitchen and bathrooms. It was a ridiculously huge house for just the two of them. A lot of the rooms held such bad memories that Narcissa doubted she would remain here once Draco returned to Hogwarts. She was thrilled when he had received his invitation to return. She was considering visiting France, it had been so long since she had seen the family vineyards and she could do with a holiday.

“Draco Abraxus Malfoy, you cannot seriously be considering this,” Narcissa said sternly, “He is Harry Potter after all, a half-blood, your father would never approve of the two of you together and for that matter I am not sure that I do either.”

“You know as well as I that his magic is strong. He is a decedent of Godric Gryffindor, he would not have received his inheritance at all if he wasn’t worthy of it. Just think about everything that he’s done and he’s only eighteen,” Draco said, still pacing, unable to keep still. “Besides, father is in Azkaban, he can disapprove all he likes from in there. I just can’t get my head around the fact that Harry bloody Potter is a submissive elven!”

“Language Draco!” Narcissa snapped, appalled that her child would stoop to using profanities, a practise that she considered highly undignified. “I will not have you speaking in such a way when you are in my presence and if you know what’s good for you then you would reframe when not in my company as well.”

“Sorry mother, I just wasn’t expecting this. Every fibre of my being is screaming at me to find him, claim him as my own before someone else does.”

“Then go my dear little dragon, claim him but be sure before you do that you know what you are doing. Submissive or not Harry Potter will not be easy to tame. He defeated the Dark Lord, instincts like that will make him a feisty mate, one not easily dominated,” Narcissa warned, “When did he come into his inheritance, do you know when his birthday was?”

Draco thought about this for a moment. It pained him that he didn’t just instantly know the answer. He should have known. Racking his brain he tried to remember seeing Harry with gifts at school but could never recall him having any. The he remembered an article he had read months ago and realisation dawned on him. “I think that his birthday is today,” He said in disbelief, “He would have come into his inheritance last night.”

“My, my,” Narcissa said impressed, “He is strong if he was in Diagon Alley today, to be up and about so quickly after coming into creature inheritance is astounding. It took you two days just to get out of bed.” Draco scowled at his mother in distaste and she shot him a scathing look but said nothing of it.

“He will be a worthy mate mother, I am certain of that. Will you give me your blessing? I would not make advances on him with the aim of him becoming my mate until you give me your approval,” Draco said, looking at his mother imploringly. He knew that she would not deny him this as she could not truly deny him anything.

“Very well dear one, you have my blessing to seek out Potter as your mate if it is him that you desire,” She said with a fond and indulgent smile to her only child. Draco smiled at her and did something that rarely happened in the Malfoy household, he hugged her. For a fraction of a second she was shocked but quickly relaxed, smiling at the embrace, returning it, holding her son in her arms, thankful that he had survived the war and that he was still here with her when her husband had been locked up in Azkaban.

Even though she knew that he would be going back to Hogwarts come September and that was the right place for him to be she was happy that he was here now. Narcissa had always been so proud of her boy from the moment he had been born. She had held him in her arms and knew that he was perfection. It made her heart swell with pride that he would suffer going back to that school after everything that had happened just to earn his qualifications. Nothing could alter her opinion of her perfect son, even if he did want to take Harry Potter as his mate.

 

HPDM

 

The party to celebrate Harry Potter’s eighteenth birthday was in full swing. The adults that had been invited having long since departed or gone to bed to allow the younger generation to just have fun, which was something they deserved. However that had been when the Vodka and the Fire Whiskey had appeared thanks to of Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas.

Molly had erected the marque in their back garden and encompassed it in a silencing bubble so that the teenagers could celebrate as loud and as rowdily as they liked without disturbing anyone else. The music was blaring and the alcohol flowed a little too freely. There was no one who wasn’t having fun this evening. Even Harry had got into the swing of things after a couple of shots of the rather potent fire whiskey and a rather overzealous competition between the Gryffindor boys about who could down the most mead in one go without falling over. As a result of this game poor Neville had passed out under one of the tables and was snoring softly.

Seamus however had not passed out, instead he had reached the level of slightly delusional and intensely hyper drunk where he was paranoid that everybody was after his lucky charms. Every time he said it Harry and Ron would break down into hysterical giggles. Hermione, Luna and Ginny were all whispering and giggling at the boys antics loving how drunk and silly they were getting. Dean Thomas had turned into a rather flirtatious beast and had been trying to get Ginny’s attention all evening however she had wisely paid him no mind, content to simply watch with others and laugh at them.

It was perhaps a little foolish of the adults to have abandoned their children, allowing them to indulge in their antics but they had trusted them not to go overboard and figured that they all deserved a little fun after everything they had been through. This was possibly not the wisest of moves when at three o’clock that morning the seven that remained standing all sat in a circle in the centre of the marque, an empty bottle laying on its side between them.

No one knew whose idea it had been but Harry, Ron, Seamus, Dean, Luna, Hermione and Ginny were all about to embark on a game of truth, dare or snog. Even though the origin of the idea was seemingly untraceable no one seemed to be complaining, all of them too drunk to think too seriously about anything. They didn’t even seem to care that even with Neville still snoring under the table the number of boys outweighed that of the girls.

If they had stopped to think then they might not have played at all. With Dean crushing on Ginny, Ron dating Hermione, Ginny completely besotted with Harry who was sexually confused and couldn’t stop thinking about a certain blonde wizard. Seamus was openly bisexual and would shag anything human and alive. Luna was as usual completely clueless and her boyfriend, who would usually have clued her into what was going on was currently unconscious under a table after drinking his own weight in mead.

“Let’s just start,” Seamus said after the rules, or lack thereof had been explained to everyone. His accent was coming through thick and heavy with his level of intoxication.

“Me first!” Ginny declared, reaching forward and spinning the bottle. It landed on Ron who groaned. “Truth or dare Ron because there is no way I’m snogging my own brother!” She said as everyone laughed.

“Dare,” Ron declared bravely, though a lot of it was false bravado.

Ginny grinned at her brother evilly, “I dare you to go outside and run around pretending that you’re Tarzan for five minutes.”

The entire group of them ran out after Ron as he went to complete his dare, careful even drunk not to set foot outside of the silencing charms. Even intoxicated he was fearful of the wrath of his mother. Everyone was in fits of hysterical laughter as Ron ran around like a maniac escaped from an asylum, screaming at the top of his lungs and banging his fists against his chest.

Once they were all settled back in their circle again it was Ron’s turn to spin the bottle. This time it landed on Harry. “Truth, dare or snog?” He asked his best friend, his eyes glittering dangerously.

“Truth,” Harry declared not liking the look of malicious intent in Ron’s eyes.

“Amongst all the people in this room, including sleeping beauty under the table, who would you most like to date?” He asked and Harry groaned at the question, looking between all of his friends, even casting an apprehensive glance over to the snoring Neville.

“I think it has to be a toss-up between Seamus and Ginny,” He said with a saucy wink to each of them. Those that hadn’t been chosen all gave off mock indignation making Harry laugh, Ginny blushed scarlet and Seamus simply returned the suggestive wink, waggling his eyebrows seductively. Still laughing, Harry leaned forward and span the bottle, which landed on Seamus. “Truth, dare or snog?” Harry asked licking his lips alluringly at the Irish wizard, something that made the three girls giggle hysterically.

“Oh after your truth I’d have to say definitely snog!” The Irishman declared, coming forward into his hands and knees towards Harry, who did the same. They met in the centre of the circle, lips first and then tongues as the others all let out a series of cheers and cat calls.

The two of them parted both with silly grins on their faces as Seamus took his turn to spin the bottle, which landed on Luna. “Truth, dare or snog?” He asked her, his mind still spinning with the kiss, Harry had one hell of a talented tongue.

Tentatively Luna cast a wary eye over her shoulder to her sleeping boyfriend before shrugging, deciding that what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, “Truth please,” She said.

Seamus considered this for a moment, “Is Neville any good in bed?” He asked and instantly Luna had a bright red blush covering her pale cheeks.

“I don’t know, we’re never done it,” She replied sheepishly. The others laughed and clapped, encouraging Luna to take her turn. The bottle landed on Dean. “Truth, dare or snog?” She asked dreamily, hoping that her admission wouldn’t embarrass Neville too much come the following day.

“I’m going to have to go with dare,” Dean said confidently, truly believing that he had nothing to fear from Luna, rubbing his hands together, preparing for whatever she could throw at him.

“I dare you to …” Luna began as Ginny leant over to her and whispered in her ear, Dean paled considerably, he hadn’t expected for the youngest Weasley to have an influence in this but he couldn’t back out now. Whatever had been said between the two females had initiated wicked smirks from both of them. “Give us all a strip tease, down to your underwear,” Luna said and everybody roared with laughter.

Inspired Hermione waved her wand at the stereo system as Dean stood up without batting an eyelash. Only Harry, Seamus and Hermione really got the joke as the full monty theme began to play as Dean began putting on a show for them, removing every article of clothing he had except his boxer shorts with slow, deliberate movements, though he was far too drunk to do it eloquently.

Once clad in nothing but his tight blue cotton boxer shorts he took his seat in the circle completely unabashed by his lack of clothing he span the bottle which landed on Ginny. “Truth, dare or snog?” He asked her, praying that she chose snog, his eyes glinting with arousal.

The game continued in this manor until each and every one of them had made a complete fool of themselves with some ridiculous dare, nearly all of them had stripped off at least half of their clothing and had divulged too many truths for them to remember all the juicy information they’d learnt about their friends over the course of the night. A lot of kissing had also gone on between them too which seemed to completely wash over them.

Molly and Arthur were horrified when they came down at seven the next morning to find them all still in the marquee outside in the garden rather than in their beds. The teenagers had all been in varying states of undress and most of them still drunk to boot. She had not been impressed with the mess they had left behind, nor the several empty bottles of vodka and fire whiskey that she uncovered as she sent them all up to their beds to sleep it off.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three – What you are.

The following morning after Harry’s birthday celebrations no one felt much like socialising and most of them didn’t even reappear until after lunch. Molly had point blank refused to administer any hangover reliever potions, claiming that they all needed to learn the lesson the hard way that this was the price for drinking too heavily. If she had known about the copious amounts of alcohol that they had smuggled in without her knowing then she would have put a stop to it. She sent Luna, Neville, Seamus and Dean home after a stern word promising to write to their parents about what they had been up to. The four of them had been too hung over to care.

Harry didn’t emerge from his room until gone three in the afternoon and was one of the last up, apart from Ron who was still out for the count. Harry had needed the sleep. Every inch of him felt strange, his skin practically buzzing. His head felt worse, as if a heard of ferret hungry hippogriffs had trampled over it at some point during the night.

When he finally found the energy to traipse down the stairs he found Hermione in the sitting room, awake but still in her pyjamas. She was curled up on the sofa, a blanket covering her legs, book on her lap and a cup of tea in one hand. “How are you feeling?” She asked him as he flopped down beside her with a groan. He could hear Molly humming along to the wireless radio in the kitchen, Arthur apparently at work.

“Like I drank my weight in fire whiskey,” Harry said rubbing at his head which felt as if it was splitting open.

“Which you probably did,” Hermione said with a small laugh before sipping at her tea. Her own headache had died down a little but then she hadn’t drunk as much as the boys had.

“What are you reading?” Harry asked curiously, trying to peer over her shoulder to take a look.

“One of the books I bought in Diagon Alley yesterday about creature inheritance,” She replied as she went back to staring at the tiny print on the pages in front of her.

“Oh,” Harry responded, feeling a little guilty for hiding his ears from her when she was trying so desperately to help him. He was suddenly a lot more interested in what she was reading. He had put it off the day before so that he could fully enjoy his birthday and spending time with his friends but now he was just plain curious. “Did you find anything yet?” He asked eagerly.

“Actually I think I just have,” She said proudly. “There was a few possibilities, for a while I thought that you might have had dragon blood like the Weasley’s but then I realised if you had then you would have sprouted wings, which you haven’t. It was your skin that gave it away in the end.”

“My skin?” Harry questioned sceptically.

“Yes, the way it glows and shimmers gold in the sunlight. You have elven blood somewhere in your family.” Hermione was obviously hugely proud of herself but Harry just sat in shock.

He was unsure of what to say until he rather unwisely blurted out, “Well that explains the ears,” Which caused Hermione to glare at him and demand that he show her, which he did, though rather reluctantly. She scolded him for the next ten minutes that it would have made her research so much easier if he had just shown her in the first place. After apologising profusely and promising not to conceal anything that could help her research in the future they were finally able to move on.

“I think I’d like to get a few books on Elven kind if possible so we can find out a little more. We could then get a better idea of what it means for you,” Hermione said as she finished her tea and placed her cup down on the coffee table in front of her.

“Okay,” Harry said decisively. “Let’s go and get dressed and then we can go and get them.”

“Now?” Hermione asked, startled at Harry’s insistence and the sudden burst of energy he was having. Just watching him made her feel as if she were ready to go back to bed.

“Yeah, why not, I want to know what’s going on with me and with Draco for that matter, if he has anything to do with it and I’m sure that he does,” He replied as he got to his feet, pulling Hermione up as well. She groaned, her body clearly still healing after the alcohol abuse the previous evening. “If you’re up for it that is,” Harry added with concern.

“I’ll be fine,” Hermione said, brushing off the worry, she swore to herself that she was never drinking again her head was throbbing that badly.

Hermione and Harry once dressed and ready to go, the latter teen in one of his brand new outfits, informed Molly of where they were going and that they would be back before dinner. They would use the floo network to get to Flourish and Blotts and wouldn’t be deviating from there so they shouldn’t be too long. Though it wasn’t until after they had arrived at the wizarding book store that Hermione had bashfully admitted to wanting to get a few other books while she was here as well. Harry had known that she had agreed to come along far too readily, especially considering the hangovers they were currently supporting. Hermione urged Harry to go and get a head start looking for the appropriate Elven books that he wanted and she would catch him up when she was done. Begrudgingly Harry sulked off to the section of the store he needed alone.

HPDM

Draco Malfoy hadn’t known where to even begin looking for Harry Potter. He had no known fixed place of residence and had been left several properties over the country which were all heavily warded that he had no hope of even getting close to them. They had all belonged to the Black family estate and had been left them by Sirius Black. Draco was also aware that Potter had muggle family, where he had been brought up before coming to Hogwarts and then there were his many friends, he could have been staying with any one of them. There were just too many possibilities to go sniffing around, something which would only bring unwelcome questions.

This was why he had decided that the only thing he could do was to return to Diagon Alley in the vague hope he would run into him again. He had made the decision that he would come back every day if he had to just so he could smell that sweet vanilla scent again, a aroma that had reminded him so greatly of Honeydukes sweet shop in Hogsmead, a place that held such fond memories for him. It was that smell that had intoxicated him, still driving him wild even though it had been hours since he had come into contact with Potter. If he hadn’t have been a Malfoy, which required a certain level of placid indifference and decorum then he wouldn’t have been so calm and dignified on his exterior. His insides writhed and screamed with instinct and desire, urging him to claim his submissive mate.

He couldn’t risk another dominant elven creature finding Harry, the submissive of their species were already few and far between from what he had come to understand after he had attended the first of two annual Elven gatherings the month before. To find a male submissive was all but unheard of apart from in whispered rumour. For Draco to have found one and for him to be Harry Potter of all people was such a prize to behold. If he could claim him then he would be such a source of pride for generations to come. Draco was therefore determined to make Harry his mate, no matter what it took.

He had arrived in Diagon Alley early, scanning the crowds as groups of people arrived, most of them students and their families preparing for the new school year in exactly a month. He watched for the mass of wind swept raven hair and kept his nose sharp for any hint of the intoxicatingly sweet scent that Harry emitted.

It was almost half four in the afternoon before he caught it. He had almost given up all hope of seeing him today and gone home. He had been stood in exactly the same spot waiting patiently since nine that morning. Thrilled that he had persevered with his waiting he began to struggle through the crowd, following the scent. Draco hadn’t thought that Harry would appear at all today, it was a stroke of pure luck that he had even caught the scent on the breeze as all as it had been so faint.

Pushing through the mass of people Draco finally laid eyes upon the man that he craved beyond anything else. Harry James Potter. The elven inheritance suited him. Draco had been taken aback by how good the Gryffindor suddenly looked. He was no longer the slight, unkempt boy who had always been far too small for his age, always wearing clothes that seemed to be miles too big for him. The awful round wire rimmed glasses were also gone, revealing the intense emerald green eyes that seemed to shine now they weren’t hidden away. They were so vivid in colour that Draco couldn’t believe that he had never taken the time to appreciate or even notice them before. In his new more fitted wardrobe that Potter had acquired, it was clear to see the definition of muscle beneath the fabric of the thin red t-shirt, solid legs currently clad in denim, defined after years of Quidditch practice and matches.

There was very little Draco wouldn’t have done in that moment to be given the opportunity to run his hand over that pert arse, to caress it as he ravished him with kisses, claiming Harry as his own as he made it known to the world that Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world and every teenage girls wet dream was his and his alone.

In that moment of admiration where Draco seemingly lost his mind for a fraction of a second he almost lost control of his human side completely. His elven nature had reached the forefront of his mind and had very nearly taken over as he had moved forward to stake his claim on the younger boy, his prize, his mate. However he stopped when he saw that Harry wasn’t alone, he had Granger with him today. He glared at the bushy haired witch as she dragged Harry into Flourish and Blotts.

Determined not to lose sight of Potter now, Draco followed them inside the bookstore. If he could not claim him yet then he could at least observe him, ensure that no one else realised who or rather what he was. He didn’t want the world to know about Harry Potter being a submissive elven just yet, he was far too precious for that. He would claim him before that happened because only then would he be able to protect him to the fullest extent.

HPDM

Harry sighed in exasperation. There were so many books on magical creatures, including a rather large section of Elven kind. He was rather tempted to just but a copy of each book the store had in stock but he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. Picking up one off the shelf he began to casually flick through it, grateful that the magical creatures section of the store was too the rear, hidden and mainly in the shadows so that no one could see him or what he was reading as he nervously flattened his hair around his ears.

He involuntarily shuddered with delight as the warm, rich aroma of chestnuts encompassed him. Harry inhaled deeply, allowing the delicious and comforting scent to completely take over and overwhelm him. He closed his eyes, focusing entirely on that heavenly scent and the feeling of wellbeing and safety that it triggered in his mind.

The warm body that pressed against his back did not alarm him, his instincts taking over and telling him that this person was the source of the chestnut aroma and meant him no harm. It encompassed him now entirely as he felt a hand come to rest upon his hip while another reached around him and removed the book from his grasp.

“This isn’t the one you want,” A soft drawling voice said quietly into his ear, the breath ghosting over his skin sending shivers of delight down his spine. “It’s full of lies and misdirection about our kind.”

“Our kind?” Harry repeated his voice a whisper as he struggled to pull himself together enough to form a coherent sentence. It was almost as if the tantalizing scent prevented him from functioning to his fullest ability. All he wanted was to remain enveloped in its warmth and never stray from it or the safety and comfrot that it provided.

“Yes Harry,” His former rivals name rolling off Draco’s tongue without a second thought, “Our kind. You knew when you saw me yesterday that we were the same.” Harry felt tingles across every inch of his skin as the other man spoke, the sound of his voice sending chills of pleasure through his entire body.

“Draco?” Harry questioned without a hint of fear, uncertainty or trepidation in his voice.

“Clever boy,” The blonde said without any mocking or even the sound of a taunt entering his voice. He reached forward, replacing the book Harry had had back on the shelf and removing another. This action had Harry’s breath catching in his throat as he felt Draco groin rub up against his arse. Of course the Slytherin noticed and smirked in triumph at the effect that he was having on the younger teen. “If you want to know more about our kind then I highly recommend this,” He said, slipping a thinner tome into Harry’s hands.

“You’re helping me,” Harry said in astonishment. He was desperate to turn around and face Draco, to look at him but with one hand still resting firmly on his hip and the other around his waist, he was kept pinned against the Slytherin’s body, which Harry was discovering was not a bad place to be, “Why?”

Draco gave off a soft laugh, “You’ll see soon enough, just remember my scent and you’ll figure it out soon enough,” He said as the hand that had curled around his body glided gently across Harry’s abdomen, feeling the definition of muscle beneath the fabric. Draco inhaled deeply, his nose buried in the longer than usual raven hair that felt so soft as it brushed against his alabaster skin.

“What are you doing?” Harry asked breathlessly, his senses on overload at what Draco was doing. He clutched desperately to the book he had been given, the only thing that he could hold on to. He found himself to be slightly alarmed and a little turned on when the blonde let out a growl of infuriation, the sound rumbling low in his throat, reverberating across Harry’s neck.

“You’ve kissed another recently, two others if my senses are correct,” Draco said a hint of anger leaking into his tone and Harry felt him tense up behind him, the grip on his hip tightening to almost painful levels.

“Yes,” Harry stammered nervously, trying to get the words out. “At my party last night, we were playing a game,” He said, trying desperately to explain and not sure why he felt as if he had to justify himself or why Draco was even acting this jealous in the first place.

“What game?” Draco hissed venomously, still tense at the thought of anyone else touching what he already considered to be his mate. It would not do to have Potter think that he would tolerate any mate, potential or otherwise to behave in such a manor.

“It was called truth, dare or snog,” Harry replied truthfully, an edge of apprehension in his tone, not wanting to upset the Slytherin any further but not wanting to lie to him either.

“And who was it that you kissed?” Draco asked, definite hints of danger in his tone now.

“Seamus and Ginny,” Harry told him, his voice barely above the volume of a whisper now as the grip that Draco had on his hip tightened further, the other arm holding Harry firmly to his chest, almost possessively so.

“You won’t kiss them again Harry,” Draco said softly. Harry wanted to protest, to argue that Draco had no right to demand this from him but something in the back of his mind prevented him from lodging any form of complaint. “Your kisses are mine from now on,” The blonde continued after a moment’s pause, “You are mine from this moment forth.”

Harry was already struggling to breath as those words were spoken and understood that Draco meant everything that he said, there was no room for interpretation or jokes here, he was deadly serious and Harry didn’t dare question it, it actually was starting to seriously turn him on. Draco then loosened his hold on the younger man, turning him around so that they were now face to face. He tilted Harry’s head up and leant forward, capturing his lips in a kiss. It was tentative at first but the Draco took control, his tongue seeking entrance to the others mouth. Harry parted his lips with an element of hesitation and pushed out his tongue to meet Draco’s.

If the Gryffindor had thought that the chestnut aroma was intense before then this was nothing in comparison. The Slytherin snaked his arm around Harry’s waist, pulling him closer, holding him pressed firmly against his body. Responding in the only way that his brain could think of Harry brought his arms up to curl around the blondes neck and deepening the kiss while still holding on to the book he had been given.

The sound of a throat being cleared made the two teenage boys jump apart in shock, Draco letting out a low growl of annoyance at being so rudely interrupted. Harry flushed a deep scarlet when he saw that it was Hermione who’d stumbled across them and was currently giving them a rather amused look, her eyebrows raised in surprise and her arms full of books.

“Read the book,” Draco said as he turned his attention back to Harry, appreciating the blush on his cheeks, musing that it actual rather became the Gryffindor. “When you’re done and you understand send me an owl at Malfoy Manor.” Grabbing Harry around the waist he placed a brief kiss to kiss lips before pulling away and adding, “Oh and Harry, don’t take too long, I’m not an overly patient person … and happy birthday.”

Wordlessly Harry nodded, watching as Draco sauntered casually toward the exit as if nothing unusual had happened at all, leaving Harry slightly stunned, clutching the book Draco had given him tightly to his chest as he tried desperately to regain his breath and his senses.

“What was all that about?” Hermione asked, her mouth agape in shock, unable to comprehend what she had just seen, looking to harry for an explanation as to what had just transpired between him and the Slytherin.

Harry brought his fingertips to his lips where he could still feel Draco, the warming scent of chestnuts still lingering in the air. “He’s like me,” Harry murmured, confirming to the intelligent witch what he had thought was the case. He was still struggling to think straight, his eyes on the door that Draco had departed from, “An elven.”

“So the two of you yesterday, that really was you recognizing something in each other,” Harry nodded, his brain still not functioning on its proper level. He could still feel Draco kissing him and it was taking all of his self-control not to run after the blonde and demand another.

“He told me to read this,” Harry managed to say, which was a miracle considering how incoherent his thoughts were. Hermione took the book from his grip, glancing at it briefly.

“It’s certainly the one that I would have chosen, it looks very factual and to cover most, if not everything you’ll need to know for at least the time being,” She said approvingly, “He’s helping you.”

“I guess so,” Harry said, still in a state of shock as Hermione added the book to her pile, hoping to conceal it amongst her other purchases as they couldn’t be too careful what with all the reporters hanging around trying to get a juicy scoop on Harry to publicise.

“And the kissing?” Hermione asked with an amused grin on her face, “How did that help exactly?”

“It was nice,” He admitted, his cheeks, which had calmed down, reverted back to beetroot read in embarrassment at this admittance.

“It looked it, come on lets pay for these and then we can figure out what the hell is going on here,” Hermione said, putting her arm around harry and leading him to the counter to pay.

HPDM

Back at the Burrow that evening Harry could do very little other than think about Draco and the kiss they had shared, his mind wandering to the book upstairs in his bedroom, desperate to read it. He didn’t want to take too long like what Draco had said, the sooner he had read the book and come to understand what ever Draco wanted him to understand then the sooner he would be able to see him again, the sooner he would be kissing him again with any luck.

Hermione had kept Harry’s secret, at least for the moment. She hadn’t divulged to anyone what she had caught Harry doing or with whom. It wasn’t her business to tell anyone and she certainly wasn’t much of a gossip. She felt that it was entirely up to Harry who found out about his tryst in the bookstore. Poor Ron had no idea that Draco Malfoy was even a factor in their lives again, Ginny only knew about the longing glances they had given each other the day before. Harry however had decided that until he knew what was going on he didn’t want anyone else to know. He was already confused enough without the others adding their two knuts worth on the subject.

After politely excusing himself from dinner after barely eating a thing, feigning exhaustion, which was quite believable after the night he had had Harry shut himself in his room, curling up under his duvet on the bed, the book on Elven inheritance open on the first page as he began to read.

It took him just over four hours of solid, non-stop reading to finish the entire book cover to cover, Hermione would have been proud of his reading speed, though only briefly as she would no doubt have asked why he couldn’t apply it for his school text books as well as for subjects that interested him.

Upon completing the book he had sat for several moments in shock trying to digest everything that he had read. There was a lot of it that didn’t sit right with him, some of it had just horrified him and other parts he had half way expected but it was still a lot to take in. Most of it he thought must have been some ridiculous joke but then that kiss had been very real, there was no denying that.

He also couldn’t contest the changes to his appearance or the fact that his skin seemed to shimmer gold in the sunlight. His pointed Elven ears were also a huge factor of course, he couldn’t explain them away as joke. Over the course of four hours he had overloaded his brain with information which he was starting to realise might have been slightly unwise given the importance of the information he was reading.

Draco had been right though, this had been the book he had needed. All the others had been thick, full of nonsense no doubt and speculation, this one had been thinner but everything within its pages factual and to the point. The blonde had saved him a lot of monotonous reading.

Through the book Harry had discovered a great deal of interesting things about the inheritance he had never known he had. Elven kind were apparently creatures of nature and liked to be near forests, lakes or in fact anywhere that they could see the sky. Of course he had already known about his shimmering skin and of course the book went into great detail about the magical properties of Elven ears and how they were greatly sought after for potion making. They were one of the rarest ingredients known to the wizarding world and to remove them forcibly would kill the elven in question. At this Harry had flattened his hair over his ears, feeling suddenly very protective of them.

He just thanked Merlin that his hair was long enough to cover them, though now he thought about it, Draco’s hair seemed longer too, however that might have been simply because he no longer slicked it back in that rather unattractive way he used to when he was younger. Though Harry hadn’t yet seen Draco’s Elven ears he knew for certainty that they were there. The complete shift in his appearance made a lot of sense when he had read that the Elven kind as a species prided themselves as being more beautiful than men, even half elves like him were of astounding beauty.

It also made sense about his magical ability when he had read that those with Elven blood made extremely powerful witches and wizards whom were almost invincible in battle. After Harry’s defeat of Voldemort that made perfect sense and made Harry wonder whether he would have succeeded in beating the Dark Lord if he hadn’t been part Elven in origin. The thought made him shudder, it wasn’t something he wanted to think about as if would only add to his nightmares. He couldn’t argue that it was a coincidence, after all he had been a lot younger than Tom Riddle with a lot less experience magically and yet he had still thwarted him time and time again.

The passage that led on from this was all about scents and mating, including the bonding ritual. It was another subject that Harry found difficult to digest. The sticking point for him had been when he had read about the three bonding stages for mates. Within the Elven race there were two types of elf. The dominant elven which were usually men and the submissive which were usually female, though there was known to be a handful of exceptions to this, though it was an extremely rare occurrence. The dominant would give off a homely, nutty or earthly scent to draw in a mate, the submissive, if interested would let off a much sweeter, floral or sugary aroma. Each Elven had their own unique scent so that they could always be identified by their mate.

Harry found that he didn’t want to think too closely on the whole dominant and submissive issue considering how intoxicating the chestnut aroma had been to him. There was no doubt in his mind that Draco was a dominant Elven. This only screamed one thing to Harry and that was the fact that he had to be a submissive, especially if Draco’s possessive nature over him was anything to go by.

He was rare, a submissive male, something that didn’t usually happen. It made sense because not even when he became even more of a freak than he already was he couldn’t do it normally, he had to be so bloody special. However only now did Draco’s words in the bookstore sink in, “you are mine from this moment forth,” he had said. After reading this he knew exactly how serious he had been when saying those words.

The three stages of bonding had been the most interesting part so far. The first stage was the dominant giving off his scent in front of a compatible submissive mate to show that he was interested and the submissive doing the same in return, something which the two of them had already done. This was just to confirm that there was a strong attraction and interest in the relationship however, it was the second stage that kicked things up a notch. It was a promise between the dominant and the submissive, where an intimate kiss was shared. This was to signify a promise made by both parties that they had accepted one another and were essentially betrothed to one another, though this was not set in stone and could be backed out of without offence being caused.

It had truly shocked Harry to realise that he and Draco were already on stage two of the Elven bonding ritual and without him even realising it. The only stage remaining for them was the third and final one, which was to seal the bond and mate them for life which seemed to be on the same level as being married to one another. This part was set in stone as once two Elven creatures were bonded together in this way there was no backing out, it was literally till death do us part.

Once the bond was solidified they would be stuck with each other for life. Harry, in a slight panic, had scanned down to see what it was the solidified the bond so he knew what to avoid after stumbling so blindly through the first two stages and discovered that even though it was tradition to have a lengthy ceremony with family and friends the act that bonded them together was sex. Crap. It had been the only thought on Harry’s mind, he was eighteen, his hormones were all over the place and he was as horny as hell, the kiss in Flourish and Blotts not helping the situation, especially considering he was virgin. He could tell that this was not going to end well.

It was the next part that had shocked and astounded Harry the most however as he had struggled to take everything in. Elven creatures were apparently blessed with longer than average fertility and were the only race known to wizarding kind to have the natural ability for males to conceive and carry a child along with the females of the species. Though the book did note that this particular genetic code was linked to the submissive gene and therefore male Elven pregnancies were just as rare as the male submissive to the Elven community. There were very few documented cases due to the fact that Elves as a race didn’t appreciate their business broadcasted across the world, however in the handful that there were it had been noted that both parents had to share a lot of physical contact in the first six months to stabilise the pregnancy and support the growth of the child.

It had been the simple fact that men could get pregnant which had completely flabbergasted Harry to a point that he had had to re-read the same passage of text several times before understanding it, though not entirely coming to terms with it. Because he had already figured out that he was a submissive Elven that could only mean one thing, he was able to get pregnant, a thought that rattled him to the very core. Not even Lord Voldemort himself could have scared him as much as this.

Elven kind in general were very possessive creatures, especially the dominants who would protect their submissive mate with their lives both before and after the bonding but the possessive nature and jealousy only got worse afterwards. It certainly explained why Draco had acted the way he had when Harry had told him about how he had kissed Seamus and Ginny. The Slytherin definitely had a well-defined jealous streak though whether that was the Elven in him or the wizard Harry couldn’t be sure but it seemed that he didn’t appreciate people touching what he thought was his.

One thing that concerned Harry a fair amount was the part he had read about dominants sometimes finding it necessary to punish their submissive if their behaviour displeased them. Harry made a mental note to ask Draco to expand on this when they next spoke as the book offered very little in the way of explanation as to what this mean. The thought of Draco punishing him made his insides writhe and he wasn’t sure if it was with apprehension, dread, hormones or a combination of all three.

Though probably the most interesting part of his marathon read was that he had the ability to sense people and the moods that they were in. This was why he had been able to tell that Molly was in the kitchen on the morning of his birthday and had been worrying. He wasn’t sure how to turn it on and off yet and couldn’t do it on command but he was determined to learn how. Linked to this of course was that Elven kind were more susceptible to sensing the moods of their bonded mates, no matter the distance between them.

Even though he knew that they weren’t bonded yet, though they were certainly heading in that direction, Harry lay down on his bed, closed his eyes and thought about Draco, attempting to sense his mood, however the only thing that Harry was successful in doing was falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Chapter Four – Which Wizard

“You kissed him,” Narcissa stated flatly over breakfast the next morning. Draco had not been in the mood for sharing the previous evening and had gone to his room upon returning to Malfoy Manor without bothering with supper. His mind had been too preoccupied with what had transpired between him and Harry to concern himself with eating and as a result he was positively ravishing this morning.

He now sat at the twelve person dining table sipping at his coffee and eating scrambled egg on toast that the house elves had prepared for him. Draco had felt an odd sense of kinship with the enslaved creatures upon first coming into his inheritance but Narcissa had swiftly squashed this notion with facts and at least four magical tomes to back up her claim which proved that house elves and human elven were not even distantly related, no matter the similarities between them. She had not wanted her only son to feel as if he owed their servants anything.

“Yes mother, I kissed him,” Draco said with a sigh, “And before you ask I’m well aware of what that means.”

“Do you Draco, really? Should I put up an engagement notification in the Daily Prophet then because if you know what it means then you know this is the proper etiquette?”

“Mother,” Draco snarled with warning, “I kissed him so to make it clear my intentions. With no one to guide him in this I fear that Harry will have been very poorly informed regarding what is happening to him. I only sought out to help him. I could not resist kissing him, staking my claim on him but we should not rush into anything, he isn’t ready.”

“You gave him the book he needed to become informed?” She asked and Draco gave a slight nod of his head.

“Of course. I told him to owl me once he understood and I also instructed him not to take too long,” Draco drawled as he ate his meal delicately in a way befitting a Malfoy, despite the rumbling in his stomach.

“I am still not entirely convinced that Harry Potter is an appropriate partner for my son or mother for my future grandchildren. I heard he was raised by muggles, he may be our saviour Draco but are you sure he is a suitable husband for you?”

“Aside from his mother who was a muggle-born witch, the Potter line is perfectly respectable,” Draco said trying to keep his temper, he didn’t like anyone speaking badly of Harry, not even his mother. It was a strange feeling to have, he had never felt in the least bit resentful or angry towards Narcissa before. “After our first encounter in Diagon Alley I searched his lineage and discovered that he is the direct decedent of Godric Gryffindor, who could be more respectable or suitable for me than that?”

Narcissa considered this for a moment, she supposed that a decedent of a famous founder of Hogwarts she could cope with. She also couldn’t deny the great accomplishments that the boy had to his name at the young age of eighteen. She supposed that it wouldn’t be all that bad if she spun it that way to her friends. She just had to pray that they were polite enough to overlook the fact that he was a half-blood wizard.

“I suppose that is acceptable. Do let me know when you receive his owl, I would so very much like to meet him, perhaps we can invite him here for dinner,” Narcissa said as she took her tea up in hand, sipping at his delicately. Draco knew that this casual suggestion was no such thing, it was what she expected to happen.

“Mother,” Draco said in warning, “You’ve met him already and you’ve even saved his life. Why on earth you would you want to invite him here?”

“I have met him as Harry Potter, saviour of the wizarding world my dear dragon, I have not however met him as your intended mate and future husband. It is the proper thing to do Draco, you will invite him for dinner if only to appease your mother.”

Draco sighed in defeat, “Alright, as soon as I receive an owl from him I will request that he join us one evening for dinner.” He knew when to fight his mother and when to avoid the battles. This was one occasion where it was not worth the fight. After all it was only a dinner invitation, one he hadn’t even sent yet and might never have to if Harry never owled him, which was a certain possibility. He knew what was in that book, he’d read it cover to cover himself when he had first come into his inheritance and it made him glad that he was a dominant elven.

Harry could have potentially had a complete freak out at the information the book held and not contact him at all. There was a lot of information that he wouldn’t like to read in there after all, though all of it was invaluable of course. It was all fact rather than fiction so whether he liked it or not he would be well informed. It had been the right decision to give him the book and even the right decision to kiss him, making his intentions known.

Draco very much doubted that Harry would freak out at what information the book had to offer. It wasn’t even his astounding kissing abilities that gave him this confidence either. It was the sweet aroma that Harry had and how strong it had been after he had made the first move when he had felt himself drawn to Potter and excreted his own scent, something done subconsciously around their own kind. Attraction like that combined with their kiss could not be entirely one sided. He was confident that Harry would be in contact and it would be sooner rather than later.

HPDM

When Harry awoke the next day he discovered that he had managed to sleep through breakfast entirely. His brain, too overloaded with new information had demanded rest to allow itself time to recover. He had gone through so many changes that his mind was struggling to keep up with everything going on. It was a break that he had needed but as he regained consciousness he came to the realisation that the Elven book he’d been reading throughout the night was missing. He suspected Hermione rather than Nargles to be behind the theft and as soon as he was dressed he went in search of her.

He found her sitting in the garden, in Ron’s lap beneath a beech tree, Ginny lying on her stomach beside them. Both girls were reading, the Elven book indeed in Hermione’s procession. Harry flumped down beside his friends with deathly glare sent in the direction of the intelligent witch.

“Morning sleeping beauty,” Hermione teased upon seeing the withering glare she was currently receiving from her friend, “Get out of bed on the wrong side this morning?” She asked innocently.

“Yeah,” He said somewhat testily, “And my book was missing.” His tone slightly irritable, Ginny giggle beside him, she had always found Harry’s grumpiness to be extremely sweet. Harry Potter didn’t have a mean bone in his body when it came to his nearest and dearest, he was all heart and they knew it. Of course he had a bit of a temper on occasion but most of the time his cantankerous moods just came off as cute, his death glares unable to scare a kitten let alone eighteen year old witches who had been through a wizarding war.

“You’re so cute when you’re grumpy,” The red headed female said making Harry switch his withering glare to her instead which only seemed to make her laugh harder.

“He is rather,” Hermione said joining in with the mocking and the giggling. Harry looked to Ron pleadingly, needing his support but found him to be distractedly playing with Hermione’s hair, seemingly braiding it rather badly. His best friend just shrugged at him, without looking in his direction. He was so smitten with Hermione that he didn’t even notice the exasperation his best friend was expressing about being ganged up on by the two witches.

“I need to send a letter,” Harry declared even grumpier than ever, sick of his friends mocking him with their playful teasing. Though he knew he would have done the same thing to them if the position had been reversed. He could never truly be mad at them, he loved them all too much for that but sometimes they didn’t half irritate him.

“Give Malfoy our love,” Hermione called after him making Harry scowl and leaving his friends laughing at him as he left them to it. Even though he could admit that he would have done the same thing in their position he still didn’t appreciate them mocking him, however playful and innocent the intent.

Without grabbing any food beforehand he headed back up to his room, wanting privacy and solitude to compose this letter. He wasn’t sure how much or how little he should say. Sat with quill posed over parchment he wanted to pour out everything he was feeling, to tell Draco absolutely everything but he refrained from doing so, thinking that it would be far too much. Instead he kept it very simple, scratching two words on to the parchment as neatly as he could manage. I understand.

Other than an outpouring of every emotion he was feeling into what would have no doubt ended up as being far too heavy for an owl to carry, he couldn’t think of anything else to say. Harry wasn’t even sure if Draco would understand the weight of those two words he had written. To Harry they not only meant that he understood but also that he accepted and wanted it to happen. After almost half an hour of indecisiveness Harry finally added, ‘When can I see you’ before putting the parchment into an envelope to be sent off before he changed his mind.

He’d thought about saying that they needed to talk but that sounded too ominous for his liking, this was better. He didn’t want to make Draco or himself anymore apprehensive about their next meeting than necessary. He had used very few words but he had chosen each with care and attention to make sure that it said exactly what he wanted and couldn’t be deciphered any differently than intended. He didn’t want to mess this up. He could still remember how soft Draco’s lips had felt against his own and he wanted to be able to live the memory again and not just fantasise about it.

Using the new owl Hagrid had bought him for his birthday, a pure black creature with onyx eyes that had reminded Harry so much of Sirius in his animagus form that he’d called his new pet Padfoot. He attached the letter to his foot and instructed the majestic bird where to take it. Harry stood and watched as the magnificent animal took flight and disappeared off into the distance. He had no second thoughts or regrets in regards to the letter, in fact quite the opposite. He was keen to receive a reply, eager for word from Draco, to hear anything from him at all.

Though he would freely admit to feeling a little apprehensive about what it all meant. The elven blood in him had clearly chosen Draco as a compatible mate for him, he didn’t mind that or the idea that they would have to have sex to solidify the bond, even though he had never done it before. What did concern him was how people were going to react to this. He was after all the saviour of the wizarding world and Draco, well he was well known for being branded as a deatheater, despite being cleared of all charges. His father, Lucius was currently in Azkaban serving a ten year sentence for the crimes he had committed, a fact that had been well broadcast at the time of the trial. Normally Harry wouldn’t have cared in the least but he would have preferred not to encourage the sending of hate mail or howlers to him or to Draco.

It was bound to hit the headlines, there was very little he could do to avoid it. It wouldn’t matter how much paperwork he had to protect himself or those he cared about or how powerful a magical lawyer he employed information about his private life would always be sought after. He just hoped that over time the public’s unhealthy fascination with him would die down enough for him to live a normal life at some point in the near future. At least this year he would be at Hogwarts where he would be relatively sheltered from it all. It reinforced his decision that going back to Hogwarts was the right thing for him to do.

“Harry!” He heard Ron call from downstairs, sounding urgent. “You need to see this!” Startled by the tone in his voice he headed for the door to see what all the fuss was about, knowing that whatever had happened wasn’t going to be good news.

HPDM

Draco was not happy, in fact he would have gone as far to say he was in an utterly foul mood. He was flicking through this week’s edition of Which Wizard and scowling as he found an exclusive interview with none other than Harry Potter and to make matters worse there were photographs as well. The first of them he didn’t mind too much, the one of Harry, Hermione and Ginny together, all of them smiling, clearly just friends, it was actually rather sweet. It was the second shot that made him want to draw blood from the person who had taken it. The knowledge that it was out for the world to see made his blood boil. In the picture Harry was half naked, showing of his gorgeous torso, which was a solid slab of tanned muscle.

It was certainly a delectable and gorgeous sight to behold but it was now plastered across one of the most popular publications in the wizarding world. Every witch and wizard alive would be able to see Harry Potter half naked and looking good enough to shag with his ruffled hair and intensely green eyes that almost had a come hither look to them. That was what had riled Draco’s temper to such an extent that the house elves were now avoiding him for fear of encouraging his wrath. This sight was supposed to be for him and him alone, no one else and certainly not for the entire world to gawp at, admire and masturbate over, which he was sure would be the case in some instances because the photo was certainly worthy of it. When he had finally calmed himself down enough to actually read the article that went with the photographs he found that he was about ready to put his fist through a wall.

At the very end of the generally pleasant, non-committal interview Harry had clearly given to the reporter willingly, making sure that he didn’t give too much away, the journalist in question had added something that made Draco feel positively sick to the stomach. His eyes scanned over the words in a mix of disgust and horror.

‘And although it has not yet been confirmed by the famous boy wizard or those closet to him it is thought that the remarkable changes in his appearance could be down to some form of creature inheritance. Harry Potter celebrated his eighteenth birthday on the 31st July and would be right on cue for any such inheritance to make itself known. What type of creature the Potter’s have in their blood line could hold for much speculation and debate in the weeks to come as the wizarding world embraces their saviour as the man he has become since the down fall of he-who-must-not-be-named.’

Draco didn’t understand how Harry could be so stupid as to even hint at his creature inheritance to the press, there were poachers that would have quite happily hunted him down and killed him to sell his ears on the black market. His mother had stressed to him the perils of this when he had received his inheritance. Elven ears were known to go for over 100,000 galleons each they were so rare, triple that for a matching pair. Unconfirmed although it may be the fact was still there in black and white for the entire world to see and to speculate over.

Draco could only hope that Harry wasn’t yet aware of the dangers they faced as elven creatures. He had read stories of their kind being hunted and killed for their ears, which held all sorts of magical properties, especially in the brewing of potions. To remove the ears of an Elven creature was to kill them, slowly and painfully. He could only hope that no poacher would be stupid enough to target someone as high profile as Harry Potter. The fact remained however that now Draco had one more thing to worry about to add to the long list and he hadn’t even had any word from Harry yet as to whether he understood the implications of what they were embarking on to together.

He was going to have to have strong words with Harry about this article at some point. It was just fortunate that he wasn’t here with him now as Draco would have felt the strong urge to punish the submissive elf for his misgivings over the reporter and the article. Bonded or not Draco was already starting to feel more than a little possessive and protective of his potential mate. He wasn’t about to see anything happen to him and it was causing him all kinds of worry that he could do nothing to protect or care for him when they weren’t together. One thing however was painfully clear in his mind, with the article in Which Wizard he was going to have to make a rather public display that would show the wizarding world that Harry was off the market dating wise. He would need to stake his claim somewhere that the world would know about it.

Draco’s foul mood lifted ever so slightly when he saw a gorgeous black owl, unlike any he had seen before, sweeping gracefully towards him, a letter addressed to him clutched tightly in its talons. The magnificent creature dropped the envelope on to Draco’s lap, right on top of the Which Wizard article. The blonde immediately spied the untidy scrawl that belonged to Harry and he smiled despite his sombre mood. Even he, a self-processed man with limited patience, had not expected for Harry to be in contact so quickly.

HPDM

“I can’t believe this!” Harry said in outrage. He had just finished reading the article and was fuming. Most of it he hadn’t thought anything of, even the topless picture, although a little more sexual than he had wanted it to be, wasn’t too bad as he had known what he was getting himself into with it. The part he was angry over was what the reporter had written about the possible creature inheritance he had received upon turning eighteen. That was not what he had had in mind at all.

“He must have seen my books, I’m so sorry Harry,” Hermione said feeling rather guilty that it had been her fault that he had practically been publically announced as a half breed creature.

“Don’t blame yourself,” Harry said running a frustrated hand through already messy hair. “Those vultures would have found out one way or another, they always do.” Rita Skeeter had been bad of course but this was just pushing it to the limit. He had tried to be cooperative to see how that worked out for him but it had majorly backfired. He had thought that if he had given them what they wanted on his terms then they might have backed off a bit, respected his privacy a little but no such luck. Apparently despite saving the entire wizarding world from a raving madman he was still very naive.

“What are you going to do about it?” Ron asked as Ginny scanned the article, her gaze more focused on the topless picture of the eighteen year old wizard than the words attached to it. She could see this photo being on practically every witch’s bedroom wall and a few wizards as well.

“Can I keep this?” She asked before Harry could answer her brother.

“Ginny!” Ron and Harry exclaimed in unison, surprised and a little disgusted at her request.

“If she hadn’t asked then I would have” Hermione said much to the displeasure of Ron, who glared at her.

“What?” Ginny asked defensively, “It’s hot, this picture is going to be the cause of a lot of wet knickers and a few boxers too no doubt.” Harry groaned at the thought as Ron chastised his sister for being so crude. Hermione looked at her in support showing that she whole heartedly agreed with what she’d said. Ron was as straight as a man could be and didn’t understand these things, Hermione and Ginny however could fully admire how attractive Harry had become, even if he himself didn’t see it.

“So what are you going to do?” Hermione asked in an attempt to change the subject as Harry took a seat on Ron’s bed, head in his hands as he considered his options. They had gathered in Ron’s bedroom towards the top of the house for the privacy, not wanting to be overheard by Molly or Arthur, who didn’t need to hear any of this. They were bound to see the article eventually and lecture him over it but the longer he could avoid that the better.

“I’m going to get a wizarding lawyer so he can control all of this rubbish that they keep printing about me. I don’t want anything being published without my consent anymore,” Harry said decisively. He had been toying with the idea for a while, it would be handy to have someone to watch over his vastly accumulating assets and control what was said about him in the papers and magazines.

“I’ll look into it for you Harry, “Hermione offered, “I’ll find the best person for the job.” She was still feeling guilty about having the books so easily on display in the clothing store that they had been spotted. This was the only way she thought she might be able to make it up to him. She really hated the thought that she had made his life any more difficult than it already was.

“Thank you,” Harry said gratefully. He truly wouldn’t have known where to start in his quest for a wizarding lawyer. “I need to get this sorted as quickly as possible. If I’m even going to consider starting a relationship with Draco then I don’t want it all over the papers for the world to see!”

“WHAT?!” Ron and Ginny exclaimed together having not been informed of the kiss in the bookstore. Ron had been told of their rather intense staring session of course but Hermione had kept her mouth shout about the exchange in Flourish and Blotts so neither of the two youngest Weasley’s had suddenly been expected for Harry to declare that he wanted to start something up with Draco Malfoy.

“Oh right, you weren’t there yesterday,” Harry said with a grimace as Ron and Ginny demanded all of the details from him. So Harry launched into a full blown explanation as to what had happened, catching them up on what they had missed when he and Hermione had ventured into Diagon Alley just the two of them the previous day. He gave them a blow by blow description of the kiss itself and then caught them up on all the information he and Hermione had learnt from the book that Draco had recommended he read. When he was finished Ron and Ginny looked at him with their mouths agape, completely in shock.

What had surprised them the most was how Harry had become a submissive Elven rather than a dominant considering everything that he’d done. He had always come across as a natural leader and when Ron brought this up Harry could give no further explanation than a shrug of his shoulders. “All of that was when I was still a horcrux. I had part of Tom Riddle inside of me, that alone would have altered my personality a bit. I honestly don’t mind the whole submissive thing that much, it’s the whole getting pregnant thing that bothers me,” Harry admitted to his friends.

“Did you owl him?” Hermione asked curiously and Harry nodded his head, wondering vaguely if Padfoot had delivered the letter yet and if a response was currently winging its way to him.

“So let me get this straight,” Ron said trying to wrap his head around everything. “Are you and Malfoy dating now?” He asked, feeling a little nauseous about the idea.

Harry shrugged, “Beats me, we snogged, once. He told me that I belonged to him but in elven terms that one kiss symbolised so much more, so I couldn’t tell you what we are to each other. I really need to talk to him again really.”

“Doesn’t’ Malfoy telling you that you belong to him bother you?” Ginny asked with a frown, “I mean you aren’t a possession Harry,” She stated and Ron nodded his head in agreement with his only sister.

“I know that and I know it should bother me at least a little bit but it doesn’t, not really. When he said that, Merlin, in made me want him more. The possessiveness he had over me was such a turn on,” Harry said looking a little bashful at this admittance.

“That would be the elf in you,” Hermione explained, “Looking for a strong mate to not only protect and care for you but also any future children you may have together.”

“Whoa, hold up, who said anything about future children, just because I can get pregnant doesn’t mean I will,” Harry said frantically in a bit of a panic. Ever since he had discovered his lust for the male gender rather than the female form he had pushed the idea of having a family out of the window, believing that it was his destiny to be forever family-less. He hadn’t come to terms with the fact that that dream was once again within reach but to get there he would be the one to carry the children.

“Don’t you want a family Harry?” Ginny asked curiously.

Harry thought about this for a moment, “I guess but before, whenever I thought about having kids I never pictured that I’d be the one actually pregnant. Then when I figured out I was gay I just gave up on the idea. I’m not sure I want to be huge and pregnant.”

“I’m sure Draco will talk it over with you. There are contraceptive spells you can use. You don’t have to worry about it too much right now, we are still young after all,” Hermione said comfortingly and Harry greatly appreciated the sentiment that she offered. It was too soon. Harry only just had his life back from Voldemort and the war, he wasn’t ready to sacrifice it all for a baby just yet.

“This is all too weird,” Ron declared suddenly.

“I think it’s sweet,” Ginny said with a dreamy look on her face, still clutching at the magazine which held the topless picture of Harry, there was no way she was going to give it up easily. “You two will make such a hot couple!”

HPDM

It wasn’t until much later in the evening, after they’d all eaten dinner that Padfoot returned with a letter clutched in his talons. Harry’s heart soared at the sight of it, the prospect of a response from Draco making him want to charge up the stairs to his room and open it right away, however he had to refrain from doing this, not wanting to worry his friends with his increasing isolation. Feeding the owl a well-deserved treat he stuffed the letter in his pocket so that he could read it in the privacy of his own room later.

Harry then suffered through two games of exploding snap and one gruelling defeat at wizards chess to appease his friends before he feigned exhaustion and excused himself to go to bed, the letter weighing heavily on his mind as he trudged up the stairs, eager for the solitude he wanted to read what Draco had said.

Once shut up in his bedroom, door closed and a locking charm in place so he wouldn’t be disturbed, he took the letter from his pocket and practically tore the envelope in half to get to the contents. His eyes scanning over the neat scrawl that practically screamed Malfoy. It suited the blonde perfectly, it was something of pure beauty.

Harry,
I am greatly impressed by the haste of your response and your understanding. I agree that we should see each other again soon. I propose that tomorrow we go to lunch. I will be in Diagon Alley to buy my school supplies as I am to return to Hogwarts in September to sit my N.E.W.T’s. I hope that lunch is agreeable to you. We can discuss the extent of your understanding then. One o’clock outside Flourish and Blotts. See you there.
Draco

Harry read the letter over several times, his mind in a spin. It sounded like Draco had asked him on a date, their first date. After this thought had had a chance to settle in his subconscious the doubts began to creep slowly in. What if he was being presumptuous, what if it wasn’t a date at all and he just wanted to talk about the potential of them dating, after all that kiss had been intensely amazing. Then the doubtful thoughts became increasingly worse and Harry considered the possibility that Draco had changed his mind. The kiss didn’t set anything in stone, it was just a sign of intent and could be backed out of. The mantra that the Dursley’s used to cruelly tell him came to the forefront of his mind. Who would ever want anything to do with him?

Even in the wizarding world he wasn’t normal. He was Harry Potter, unique unto himself, a complete freak. He wondered why his friends even still wanted to be around him, it wasn’t like he had anything going for him anymore. He had fulfilled his purpose now, destroying the Dark Lord. He had survived the war and now look at him, he was a sodding half breed submissive Elven creature with pointed ears and shimmering skin.

By the time Harry went to bed that evening he had managed to convince himself that when he saw Draco the following day for their lunch … appointment, because he couldn’t call it a date, the blonde, who’d captivated him so powerfully, would put a stop to any romantic notions between them before they could really begin and claim that it was a hormone fuelled mistake and that there was no way that Draco Malfoy would ever want to be with him.

Despite the negative thoughts that plagued him, Harry could not help but hold the letter Draco had written close to his chest, remembering their encounter in the bookstore in vivid detail. How the warm chestnut scent had embraced him, how his soft lips had been and how possessive his touch had felt against his skin. If Harry couldn’t have that experience again then he would recover, of course he would but it would take him time. He wasn’t sure why or how he had managed to get so worked up over a single kiss but he had. He was almost ashamed of how much he thought about it, how much he wanted it to happen again.

Of course Harry fully blamed his new inheritance for this. His Elven counterpart had recognized something in Draco and deeply desired him for it. It was his wizard half that had the doubts that anyone would want to be with him in that way. Harry wasn’t concerned about his elven side being a problem, if anything it was their human instincts that would cause the issue. The Gryffindor was convinced that too much had happened, too much had passed between them. It would be his name and his status in the wizarding world as the boy-who-lived-twice that would drive a wedge between him and Draco. There wasn’t even anything he could do to prevent it.

HPDM

Draco couldn’t sleep. It was the curse of the dominant elf that even after one single kiss he could sense when his potential mate was in distress. He could feel the negativity radiating from Harry, his fear and uncertainty. He wanted nothing more than to go to him and hold him close, tell him that it would all be okay. He wanted to reassure the young elven that his fears and doubts were unfounded but he couldn’t. He still had no clue where Harry was staying. He had no choice but to try and get some sleep and wait until tomorrow to see him and talk to him about it then.

As he climbed into bed, sleep evading him, he prayed to Merlin that Harry actually made an appearance and all the fears and doubts he was experiencing didn’t get the better of him. Draco finally knew when Harry had fallen asleep as all the anxiety eased away. He could sense even in sleep that something disturbed him but the feeling was less and it ensured that Draco was finally able to rest his eyes and doze off, his thoughts never straying far from Harry, even in sleep.

Chapter Text

Chapter Five – The First date

Over breakfast next morning Harry informed Ron, Hermione and Ginny that he needed to be in Diagon Alley that day at one o’clock and the reason why. He was so uneasy that he felt as if his nerves were frayed with the feeling, as if he had been tortured by the cruciatus curse for hours on end. He couldn’t even stomach the sausages Molly had cooked them all for breakfast. Subtly he moved his food to Ron’s plate who ate the extra portion without fuss or complaint. It was something that he was doing a lot of lately, finding that he just didn’t have the appetite. The hunger pains didn’t even bother him, not after the starvation he had received growing up in the Dursley’s household.

“Molly,” Hermione piped up suddenly, smiling knowingly at Harry. “Would you mind terribly if we went to get our school things today? I’m desperate to get started on all the reading we’ll have to do in preparation for our exams. I really can’t wait.” The others quickly clued in to what she was doing and agreeing wholeheartedly to what she was suggesting. Harry couldn’t quite believe the cunning that his three friends were displaying in aid of him going to meet Draco Malfoy for what could potentially be their first date. It was so very Slytherin of them and Harry loved it.

Molly was looking between the four of them as if they had all gone mental but with a sigh and a nod it was agreed, they were going to Diagon Alley for the day. She knew better than to argue with the children that were seemingly so keen to get their school books, she wouldn’t doubt them when they were showing such a keen interest in academics. She was just pleased that they had asked her rather than swanning off to do it anyway. They were all of age now, even Ginny and she didn’t like the feeling of not being in control anymore. Her babies were all grown up. She couldn’t deny them this when they had asked so nicely and wanted her to go with them.

Of course the agreement by Molly had sent the two girls into giggles of delight as they dragged Harry forcefully up the stairs, determined to help him get ready whether Harry wanted their help or not. They were just lucky he did want it otherwise he would have been entirely unhappy for the next hour as they debated over outfit choice and dressed him up like a doll in an attempt to make him look as gorgeous as possible.

After reading the letter Draco had sent several times each both Hermione and Ginny were certain, despite Harry’s doubts, that it was indeed a date. The uncertainty however still ensnared his mind as if it were devils snare making it almost impossible for Harry to see why on earth Draco would ever want to legitimately date him. The only comforting thought that Harry could allow himself was that if Draco did think it was a mistake then after today it would be over. The Slytherin would have ended it and Harry could go back to his pathetic existence as a washed up, unwanted hero with only the memory of their one kiss to comfort him.

“You look … wow,” Hermione said as she stood back to admire her handiwork. Ginny simply wolf-whistled at him completely lost for words at the sight before her eyes. She had always found Harry attractive, eve n before the Elven inheritance had kicked in when he’d turned eighteen but now he was mouth-watering. He could have been on the cover for Which Wizard every week and no one would ever complain he looked that good.

The two girls had picked, after what felt like hours of deliberation, a short sleeved forest green t-shirt as it brought out the colour of his eyes beautifully. Next they had forced him into snugly fitting stone washed denim jeans that made Harry feel as if he had been shrink wrapped from the waist down.

“Can we go now?” Harry pleaded with them, “I do actually want to get my school things while we’re there as well you know.”

“Don’t worry about that, you’re taking all the same classes as Ron, we’ll get what you need and you can pay us back later,” Hermione said with a dismissive wave of her hand as if buying their school books simply wasn’t as important as Harry’s date with Draco. He decided that he liked this decidedly more carefree attitude, though he knew it wouldn’t last past the 1st of September when exam fever would no doubt set in. Hermione seemed so much more relaxed when she wasn’t worrying over her studies or hunting horcruxes with him.

Molly, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Harry decided to use the floo network to reach their destination. There had been debate about the knight bus but Harry had queried this as he didn’t really want to be seen by too many people after the Which Wizard article had made its débuted and the purple, triple decker bus was liable to be crowded this time of day. Besides floo was the fastest and most convenient way to travel and if they didn’t hurry then he was going to be late.

Harry couldn’t help but be tense. It was half twelve by the time they started throwing floo powder into the grate. Ron went first followed by Ginny, Molly, Hermione and then finally Harry brought up the rear as he had previously agreed with the two girls, who were to distract Molly and give him the opportunity to sneak away from the group. He had to give the two witches credit, they were doing an excellent job so far. As soon as he stepped out of the fireplace in Diagon Alley Ginny purposefully knocked into a witch who was carrying far too many books in her arms, toppling them over. Taking the opportunity when it was presented to him, Harry slipped into the crowd unseen. He’d brought his invisibility cloak with him of course, just in case but he hoped that he wouldn’t need it, though if Draco did plan on humiliating him then it would certainly come in useful.

His heart was beating so fast by the time he reached Flourish and Blotts that he thought he might have been having a heart attack. He was struggling to even breathe as his nerves got the better of him. He was about to turn tail and run when the warming, comforting scent of chestnuts encompassed him with a feeling of security. Strong, solid arms wrapped around his waist and Harry felt himself relax into the embrace as if it were a habit and overly familiar to the both of them, which of course it was not. Despite it being the first time Draco had held him in this manor it felt as if he were meant to be here.

“I thought you were going to run,” Draco breathed softly into Harry’s ear, making him shudder with pleasure at the sensation of his breath ghosting across his skin.

“I almost did,” Harry admitted as he felt Draco inhale his scent, burying his nose into the nape of his neck where his hair stopped, entirely uncaring about who saw them.

“At least you haven’t been kissing anyone since the last time I saw you,” Draco said with satisfaction. “Let me take you to lunch and we can talk some more, privately.”

“Draco …” Harry said as the blonde spun him delicately around and finally the Gryffindor was able to take a good look at the Slytherin who had obsessed him so completely since the first time he had smelt his unique chestnut scent.

He had worn simple black dress trousers and a plain, navy blue button down shirt with short sleeves that remained un-tucked from his trousers. It was an entirely more casual look than anything Harry had previously seen him in during their time at school. His blonde hair was only slightly shorter than Harry’s and had been left to fall naturally straight and neat around his soft features. His eyes were a stunning molten silver that seemed to churn beautifully in the sunlight. The alabaster skin was shimmering slightly gold before his eyes. Harry couldn’t see the pointed Elven ears beneath the white blonde hair but he knew that they were there and just like his own. “This is … it’s too much.” He finished lamely, feeling overwhelmed by it all.

Draco looked down at the shorter teenager with a worried look in his mercury eyes, scanning the feminine features belonging to Harry with concern and worry. “Too much?” Draco asked, he kept a firm grip around the Gryffindor’s waist, fearful that he might try to run, holding him close despite the odd looks that they were receiving.

“I thought …” Harry had to take a deep breath to calm himself and collect his thoughts however all this seemed to achieve was a lung full of intensely enticing chestnut pheromones that swirled through his mind making him want nothing more than to kiss the dominant Elven that held him so close. “I thought that you would have changed your mind about me … about us,” He said, his head all in a spin. If Draco hadn’t have had hold of him then he might have toppled over. The blonde let out a growl of annoyance and Harry had the decency to look embarrassed.

“Is that what you were fretting about so much last night, the reason for all of your anxiety today?” Draco asked bluntly, looking at Harry imploringly, asking for the truth from the slightly younger teen.

“How did you … yes.” Harry had crumbled under the penetrating silver gaze. He could hardly bring himself to meet the stern gaze as it bore into him, trying to decipher something.

“Look around you Harry,” Draco requested softly, Harry of course did as he was instructed, seeing the curious shoppers milling around them, the occasional lingering stare as he was recognized by the ugly red scar on his forehead. “All these people, it doesn’t matter to me, I’m here with you, no one else, you’re all that matters to me. Do you understand that?” Harry nodded his head, “Speak to me,” Draco implored.

“Yes,” Harry said somewhat shakily, “I understand.”

“I’m going to kiss you,” Draco said quietly so that only Harry would have been able to hear him, “To show you how much I haven’t changed my mind about you or about us and I don’t care who sees us.”

Nervously Harry nodded his head as Draco leant down to capture the shorter boy’s lips in a passionate kiss, pulling him closer as Harry wound his arms around the Slytherin’s neck to deepen the kiss, moaning into it. Neither of them seemed to care that they were stood in a very public street, completely enthralled with one another, tongues intertwining, stroking and dipping as they tasted one another, familiarising themselves with the flavours of the other. Harry tasted as sweet as he smelt, chocolate, Draco was sure he could taste chocolate on his tongue.

“Wow,” Harry breathed as their lips parted, their bodies remaining pressed desperately close together as if by clinging to each other would prolong the moment they were sharing.

“Let me take you to lunch and we can talk properly,” Draco said, it wasn’t much of a request more of a demand but in that moment Harry just didn’t care. They were drawing a lot of attention to themselves and the Gryffindor would have agreed to just about anything to get them off the street. Harry was more aware than ever of the beady eyes of the press and how fervently they watched him. He nodded his head eagerly in agreement and Draco smiled in triumph. He had thought that Harry would have put up much more of a fight, however what the Slytherin hadn’t considered was just how much Harry wanted to be accepted and loved.

The Slytherin had no idea how deeply Harry’s insecurities ran, how confused and broken he felt nor what had caused him to feel this way. Draco had no idea just how much Harry needed what he had to offer to him. Of course he could sense the insecurities, the doubt, the fear but he just thought that that was about their relationship and how new it was and the inheritance. He had no idea that it was so much more than that.

Releasing their hold on one another slowly, Draco slipped his hand into Harry’s and smiled at him. He looked over the slightly younger teenager, appreciating the slightly flushed appearance, proud of the fact that he had been the one to cause it. His lips were slightly pinker than normal from their heated kiss making him look even more kissable than ever before. Draco decided that Harry’s shyness became him as he led the way down the cobbled path of Diagon Alley. He knew exactly where he wanted to take his potential mate, it would allow them the privacy to discuss matters without the worry of being overheard. They had a lot to talk about between the two of them.

“Harry!” An accented voice called out behind them and Draco grimaced as Harry stopped and turned to see who had called out to him. The Slytherin did not release his grip on Harry’s hand as they turned to face the sandy haired Irish wizard who looked a little startled to see the company Harry was currently keeping.

All Draco could think of however that this was one of the people who had kissed his mate on his birthday. With this thought he began feeling extremely territorial, not wanting the other wizard to come anywhere near what he already considered to be his, with or without the solidified bond. Whether it was a drunken party game or not they had shared a kissed and that was something the Elven part of Draco could not come to terms with.

“Hi Seamus,” Harry said with a genuinely warm smile at the sight of his friend, “How are you?” Despite Harry’s happiness at seeing his fellow lion Draco couldn’t relax, his Elven instincts viewing Seamus Finnegan as a threat and that immediately put him on edge when the Irishman came a little too close to them.

“Doing well, took me a whole day to recover from your party though, that was some night huh?” Seamus said with a smile and a suggestive wink that made Draco clench his teeth together to suppress a growl from escaping his throat, the grip he had on Harry’s hand tightening with the effort of controlling his temper.

“Yeah, some night,” Harry responded a little less enthusiastically, shifting uncomfortably with the overwhelming and overbearing presence of a domineering and slightly hostile Draco Malfoy to his side.

“I’ve just seen Ron and the others heading for the ice cream parlour, you coming?” Seamus had failed to acknowledge Draco’s presence, choosing to completely ignore him, which only made the Slytherin more on edge and unhappy. He knew that his reception wouldn’t be a welcome one into the Gryffindor world but to be ignored completely wasn’t something he had expected.

“Excuse me Finnegan but Harry and I were about to go for lunch when you so rudely accosted him,” Draco snarled testily as the Irish wizard turned to look at the Slytherin, seemingly noticing him and their joined hands for the first time and not looking very impressed by it.

“Why would Harry want to do that with you?” Seamus demanded, his accent becoming thicker and more pronounced with his annoyance.

“Draco,” Harry warned as the blonde had been about to have a full blown confrontation with his fellow lion. “Please don’t do this,” He pleaded with him before he turned back to the Irish wizard. “It’s okay Seam, go and talk to Ron, Hermione and Ginny, they’ll explain what they can to you and I’ll talk to you later,” Harry said, feeling very uncomfortable and wanting to defuse the tension between the other two wizards.

“”You sure you’re okay Harry?” Seamus asked sceptically as he eyed the Slytherin with a mix of distrust and distaste.

“I’m fine,” Harry said truthfully, trying to sound strong and confident but being a little unsure of if he had succeeded or not.

Before he realised what was happening Harry had been drawn into a rather awkward hug by Seamus, the embrace made difficult by the fact that Draco had refused to release his firm grip upon Harry’s hand, something which only tightened as the Slytherin glowered at the man embracing his future mate.

Still untrusting Seamus finally let Harry go, glaring hatefully at the Slytherin, “If you hurt him …” The Irish wizard began to threaten but Draco very swiftly cut him off before he could finish delivering the warning.

“Relax Finnegan,” Draco interrupted in a bored drawl, “I’m not the Dark Lord and to be honest I have more interest in shagging him senseless than killing him. Now if you’ll excuse us we have a lunch date to keep,” Draco sneered as he began to gently pull Harry away. This was going to be much more trying that the blonde had originally thought. Between Potter’s bothersome Gryffindor friends, his fame and adoring public Draco was going to have his work cut out for him when it came to keeping his mate to himself. Not to mention the teenagers lack of self-esteem which he hadn’t been expecting. The war seemed to have completely destroyed the very fibre of him.

“Draco,” Harry said when they were far enough away from Seamus that he wouldn’t hear them and also a fair distance from other shoppers too.

“Yes Harry?” Draco asked calmly, there was no sign anywhere of the possessive, cocky bastard who had inhabited the Slytherin’s body only moments before when they had been talking to Seamus. Instead he was calm, placid even and dare Harry even think it, but he was being nice.

“This isn’t going to work if you aren’t nice to my friends or at least learn to tolerate each other civilly,” Harry said and it took all of his courage to do so, he didn’t want to lose the possibility of Draco’s love and affection because of his insistence on this matter but he felt as if it needed to be said as he wouldn’t abandon his friends.

“It isn’t your friends that I have a problem with,” Draco said to Harry patiently, his voice calm as he spoke.

“But Seamus …”

“Kissed you,” Draco said through clenched teeth as he fought desperately to remain calm as he thought about it. Despite his efforts however his tone still came out sounding a little heated. It really bothered him to think of Harry with anyone other than himself, the Elven nature already having claimed him. The only thing left was to solidify the bond, something Draco was desperate for but it couldn’t happen right away, not with Harry having not known about the inheritance. They needed to give it time, however that was not a concept his Elven nature was used to, only his human side.

“But I told you that was just a game, we were drunk, it didn’t mean anything,” Harry said, shocked that the incident was still occupying space in Draco’s mind and bothering him to such a degree that he would act in such a hostile manor towards his friends.

“It doesn’t matter, he kissed you. My Elven nature perceives him as a threat,” Draco explained, he knew that Harry had very limited knowledge on the ways and customs of their kind. He had been lucky, his mother had known a lot as her grandmother had been Elven too. Narcissa had passed on her knowledge to him when he had come into his inheritance.

“Will you act like that around Ginny as well?” Harry asked, wondering if he had bitten off more than he could chew with him and Draco becoming an item.

“Knowing that she kissed you recently, yes, but it’ll only last for as long as I perceive her to be a threat to our relationship and that goes for Seamus too.” Draco explained as they walked, their hands still joined. Harry loved the way it felt to stroll so casually through such a populated street hand in hand with such a handsome man who had just referred to them as having a relationship.

“So it won’t be like that all the time?” Harry asked finding himself having a flare of hope that Draco might come to accept being around his friends, that they could all get along at least civilly in each other’s company, which would certainly make his life so much easier. He didn’t want to have to split his time between his friends and his boyfriend – if that was what Draco was. After all he would have happily spent time with the other Slytherin’s if Draco had asked it of him.

The blonde sighed, “You need to realise Harry that Elven are not like other magical creatures. No book will tell you this as it isn’t well publicised and our kind like to keep it that way. When we are bonded I will be extremely protective of you, even more so when you fall pregnant with our baby. Elven are wildly protective of their own kind as our numbers are dwindling. I will proudly present you as my mate to my family, my friends and eventually to the Elven Council at the twice annual meetings. I expect a lot from you as my mate Harry, there are high expectations but I will not ask anything of you that I do not think you can handle. I will ask for your trust and eventually your love as well and will give it back to you in return. I need you to know all of this before we take this any further because if you have any hesitations or doubts then we need them in the open now.”

They had reached a small restaurant, which was a good thing because Harry needed a moment to digest everything that had been said. Draco had such an intense atmosphere around him, everything was life or death. The server who came to greet them as they entered instantly recognized Draco and rushed to accommodate the two of them. The Gryffindor was only just starting to realise just how intense their relationship would be if they pursued it. The problem Harry had was that he wasn’t sure he would be able to stay away if he decided that it was all too much. Draco had already consumed his mind, the scent of him drawing him in, the memory of those kisses making him want to stay no matter what.

The two of them were seated in a private room to the rear of the building. Draco hadn’t been kidding when he said that they were going to be able to talk properly. Harry remained silent, allowing his mind to soak up everything that he had been told. Only once the both of them were seated and had been handed menus did the server bow to them both and leave them alone, closing the door as he left.

“Tell me what you are thinking, mon amour,” Draco asked him kindly.

Harry considered this for a moment, ignoring the French for the moment, concentrating on un-jumbling the tangle of thoughts running through his mind. “Kissing you,” Harry told him honestly because that had been at the forefront of his mind when Draco had asked.

The Slytherin looked mildly amused at the response that he was given. “I’m not averse to you thinking about that,” He said with amusement, “I take it as a compliment in fact. What else are you thinking about?”

Harry took another minute to consider his answer before responding. “I’m concerned about the whole pregnancy thing. I’m eighteen, I don’t want that right now. To be honest the idea of it scares me a little,” Harry admitted, wanting to get as much out in the open before they went any further in their relationship. Draco looked as if he was considering Harry’s concern with great thought before answering him.

“I’m assuming you weren’t aware that it was possible,” Draco said and Harry shook his head in the negative. “Are you averse to having children eventually?” Draco asked. He knew that this wasn’t an option, if they were together and he wanted them to be then they would be having not just one child but many. He would need to at least produce an heir to the Malfoy name but he wanted to know where Harry stood on the matter.

“I’ve always wanted a traditional family to be part of. Two parents, children, everything. I love the Weasley’s and I know they consider me as much part of the family as any of their blood relatives but it isn’t the same. I’ve never had that kind of family so yeah, I guess I want children at some point in my life, just not right now,” Harry told him honestly, aware of his rambling. Draco however didn’t seem to mind in the least and actually found himself rather enjoying listening to Harry talk.

“Understandable, we both have school and our exams to think about. It is very sensible to put off starting a family when we are so young,” Draco said appraisingly. He spoke calmly and precisely, his gaze locked on Harry making the young Gryffindor shift somewhat uncomfortably in his seat.

“Do you always treat everything like it’s a bloody business transaction?” Harry asked, causing Draco to raise an amused eyebrow at the profanity but deciding to let it slide this time.

“What do you mean?” Draco enquired, wanting to clarify before he answered.

“The way you talk,” Harry said, feeling a little bashful about bringing it up, “It’s so formal, like we’re organizing a business deal rather than a relationship. It’s not very romantic.” Harry had muttered the last part, not wanting to come across as a pouting child.

Draco grinned in amusement, leaning forward across the table, motioning for Harry to do the same, which of course he did. “I talk more freely in front of you than anyone else mon amour,” The blonde said softly, “I must remain calm and in control with you always Harry. It is taking every ounce of my control not to ravish you until you beg for me to take you, plead with me to fill you and I would because I would deny you nothing.” Harry swallowed hard at Draco’s words as the Slytherin closed the slight gap between them and placed a soft kiss to his lips. “Do you understand?”

“Yes,” Harry said, his heart racing, cock slightly turgid and wanting nothing more than to kiss Draco again and this time not stop, the rich chestnut aroma filling the room, increasing the intensity surrounding them.

“Have you decided?” Draco asked, sitting back in his chair a little, motioning at the menu. Harry relaxed a bit more too, shaking his head in response.

“I’m not really hungry,” He said, glancing down, his eyes canning the list of beautiful sounding food from all over the world.

Draco frowned at him with concern. “You don’t eat enough,” He scolded lightly, “How about we keep things simple and just order desert?” At this suggestion Harry’s eyes lit up causing Draco to smile despite himself. The Gryffindor couldn’t help but love that smile, it was soft and carefree, not to mention down right gorgeous. He couldn’t understand why it was the Slytherin didn’t smile more often. Harry nodded his agreement to the plan as he turned over the menu to look at the list of puddings available. “Treacle tart still your favourite?” Draco asked.

Harry could only nod his head in amazement, utterly astounded by the fact that Draco knew that. “How did you know?” He asked.

“Because it’s the only desert I’ve ever seen you have more than a couple of bites of, it’s also the only thing I’ve seen you have second helpings of ever in all of our time at Hogwarts. As I said, you really don’t eat enough.”

“Oh,” Harry said, trying to think of an occasion at school where he could prove Draco wrong but failed miserably.

“Oh indeed mon amour,” Draco said as he wrote down their orders on a piece of parchment and dropped them in the small simmering cauldron at the very centre of the table that Harry had thought was just atmospheric. Instead of just being for decoration however it seemed to be a rather ingenious ordering system which allowed them an even higher degree of privacy.

Within minutes individual portions of treacle tart appeared before them, heaped with generous portions of thick clotted cream. Just looking at it made Harry’s mouth water, he could smell that it was freshly baked. He inhaled the scent that rose from it, which made his head giddy. He really did love this desert.

“My mother would like to meet you soon, she has invited you to dinner at Malfoy Manor,” Draco said into the silence as they tucked into their deserts. Harry’s spoon froze half way between his plate and his mouth as he looked at Draco as if he had suddenly grown an extra head.

“But I’ve already met your mother,” Harry said incredulously. Narcissa Malfoy had saved his life in the forbidden forest only as few months previously and in return Harry had her issued a pardon from the Ministry of Magic so that she didn’t end up in Azkaban like her husband. Harry had assumed after he had given testimony at her trial that he would never see the formidable witch again.

“That was my argument, however she wishes to meet you, not as the hero of the wizarding world whom everybody believes they know but have no clue about, she wants to meet you simply as Harry Potter, her son’s future mate.” Draco explained, watching Harry’s endearingly puzzled expression which was mixed dread at the prospect.

“I don’t really have a choice in this do I?” Harry asked before continuing to eat.

“Of course you have a choice, you’re my mate, I’m not about to force you into anything you don’t want to do,” Draco said as he watched the younger Elven carefully, feeling a little uneasy when he saw the spark of an idea ignite in the intensely emerald eyes that were no longer hidden behind awful circular wire frames allowing Draco to fully appreciate how stunning they were.

“If I agree to have dinner with Narcissa and you at Malfoy Manor then I would like you to come and have dinner with my family as well at the Burrow, it only seems fair,” Harry said with a smug grin. He was finding it easier to talk to Draco than he had originally thought, it was nice how easily the conversation flowed between the two of them and how relaxed he felt here with him. Harry thought that it might have had something to do with the chestnut mating pheromones floating around the room but he couldn’t be sure, all he knew for certain was how safe and comforted he felt being here with Draco.

Draco looked at Harry, he couldn’t help but be impressed at his bargaining which was so very Slytherin. He pondered the offer for a moment, knowing how much this dinner meant to his mother and also fully aware that it would mean an awful lot to his potential mate if he were to sit down with the Weasley’s for a meal as well seeing as they were the closest thing to a family he had as they had taken him in with open arms as one of their own. It seemed that he was the one who didn’t really have a choice in the matter.

“Alright, I can agree to that,” Draco said and found himself to be delighted when Harry grinned at him happily.

“Can I ask you a favour?” Harry asked and Draco nodded, motioning for him to continue, “Can we not call each other mates, it doesn’t sound human.”

Draco looked at Harry slightly amused at his request. “We’re not human mon amour, at least not entirely.”

“I know that,” Harry admitted feeling a little awkward that he had brought it up at all.

“What would you propose calling us then?” The blonde asked gently. At this question however Harry went a brilliant shade of beetroot red and became suddenly incapable of looking at Draco directly, instead focusing on his food in front of him, playing nervously with the clotted cream using his spoon.

“Can we say that we’re boyfriends?” The Gryffindor muttered the question with embarrassment.

“We can call ourselves whatever you want as long as you’re mine.” Draco replied, “I’m warning you Harry, I have a jealous nature even without my instincts as an Elven regarding my submissive. I won’t react favourably to you snogging your friends or anyone else for that matter, drunk or not.”

Harry was captivated by the passion in Draco’s tone as he warned him so fervently how he would be in their relationship. Everything about him drew Harry in. His longer than usual blonde hair that concealed his pointed Elven ears, the swirling mercury colour of his eyes, the extra inches in height and his slightly bulker frame, though all of it muscle. There was nothing about Draco Malfoy that was out of place, he was desirable, an Adonis and it all made Harry find it difficult to believe that the image of perfection was sitting here with him at all.

“Draco…” Harry began somewhat hesitantly, “Why me? I mean you could have anyone you wanted, you’re gorgeous.” Draco looked to Harry in confusion but did not get the chance to respond as the Gryffindor continued, “The book you gave me said that Elven can be with humans, they don’t have to be with their own kind. It isn’t a necessity to mate with their own kind. You could have anyone you wanted so why me?”

Please with the compliment but not with the context that it was being delivered to him Draco frowned, apparently Harry Potter was more damaged than he had initially realised, a thought that made him want the boy even more, if only to rebuild the broken heart that lingered in his chest. The urge to take him in his arms and just hold him was overwhelming at his words.

“The book is right, Elven kind don’t require another Elven as a mate, human or wizarding partners will suffice but one of our own kind is preferred because then there is a higher chance that the children produced will also be Elven.”

“Oh,” Harry replied, his gaze focused on his now half eaten desert. Now he understood, Draco was with him because he wanted Elven babies. He was simply convenient. This realisation stung as he prodded at the treacle tart suddenly losing all appetite for it.

“But you should know that even if there were another submissive Elven presented to me I wouldn’t want them, I always wanted you even before we discovered out mutual inheritance.” Draco said when he heard how disheartened and worthless Harry had sounded in the single syllable that had escaped from his lips.

“You did?” Harry questioned in almost disbelief as he looked up to look at the blonde as he nodded his head.

“Of course, I’d never wanted anyone as much as you, first as a friend when we were younger and then as much more as we grew. When you first refused my hand in friendship I was hurt and humiliated but I still wanted you even then. I watched you as often as I could without drawing suspicion. You were all I could think about. When I bumped into you the other day and I caught your scent I truly believed that I was the luckiest person alive. I don’t care if I could have anyone I want, there is only one person I desire and I’m looking at him.”

“You have such a way with words,” Harry said, knowing that he would never get enough of listening to him speak. Despite the conviction in his words however and the tone of certainty he used when he spoke Harry couldn’t fully believe in them. Draco Malfoy was a pure Adonis of a man, a thing of beauty. He was just Harry, a worthless freak who had had one purpose in life, which was now fulfilled. He was nothing more than a washed up hero. He was waiting for the day that everyone realised that he had out lived his purpose and abandoned him.

“Do you have any other questions for me?” Draco asked, he was concerned for Harry who was filled with so much self-doubt and fear that no other emotion could be sensed through it all. He didn’t want his mate to feel that way but he wasn’t sure what he could do to change how he was feeling.

“Probably loads of them,” Harry said as he took another bite of treacle tart and clotted cream. “But I can’t think of them right now.” He was so overwhelmed with everything that was being said that all the mental notes he had made to ask Draco about had drifted out of his head.

Draco smiled at him indulgently, “Well, considering that we are, as you say, boyfriends, I can answer any question you have day or night, you need only to ask and of course we can simply learn as we go along.” Harry had almost choked on his food as Draco had called them boyfriends, having not expected it. “Are you alright?” Draco asked as he poured out a glass of pumpkin juice which the Gryffindor accepted gratefully, downing it all in one go.

“Fine, sorry, I’ve just never been called … sorry,” Harry mumbled and Draco raised an amused eyebrow at him.

“You’ve never been called someone’s boyfriend?” Draco questioned and watched in amusement as Harry’s attention was once again taken up entirely by his desert, a cute red blush covering his cheeks. Oh how he loved to see that flushed look on his face. He would make it his mission to get Harry Potter to blush more often.

“Don’t rub it in Draco,” He heard Harry mutter unhappily. Draco however was beside himself with glee, not only had he found himself a submissive Elven in the form of Harry Potter, a young man whom he had appreciated for a long while now but he was also completely pure, virginal. When they finally bonded it would be his first time and that excited the blonde more than he would care to admit to anyone, his cock twitching with interest in his trousers. The thought that he was completely untouched and innocent made Draco want him all the more. It took every ounce of self-control he had not to pounce upon the unsuspecting Gryffindor and claim him then and there.

“Mon amour …” Draco began to say but Harry, fearing humiliation and mocking, feeling entirely too vulnerable for his liking went on the defensive, snapping his head up, glaring at his lunch time companion.

“Don’t take the piss, it’s not as if I’ve had ample amounts of free time to think about things like that the last few years. I’ve had other things to deal with. Not everyone can be as promiscuous as you, the Slytherin sex God or so the rumours go,” Harry hissed venomously, standing up in his anger. “I’m going,” He announced, thinking that it had been a bad idea to come here no matter how many kisses he got.

Before Harry had even reached the door strong arms wrapped around his waist, pulling him into a warming embrace, his back against Draco’s chest as he was encompassed in the thick chestnut scent that seemed to instantly calm him, the blonde whispering soothing French dialog into his ear.

“Hush love,” Draco said suddenly switching back into English as he knew that Harry would not be able to understand him otherwise. His mother had taught him the language of her country and he had loved to learn it and loved even more to speak it. He was fluent in French and Spanish but much preferred the former. “I was not taking the piss as you so eloquently put it. Though I would love to hear about those rumours you mentioned, Slytherin sex God, really?”

“Sod off Malfoy,” Harry said as he tried to fight off the effect of the beautiful aroma clouding his mind, struggling to free himself from the strong arms still wrapped tightly around his waist in a possessive embrace. “I’m not here to inflate your ego or to give you a verbal punching bag, now let me go!” Harry demanded, still squirming.

“No mon amour, not until you are calm and you realise that I am in no way trying to hurt you or inflate my ego. I told you, I want you. I was merely shocked at your confession, which I find endearing and highly attractive in a mate.” Draco explained, remaining very calm even as the struggling teenager began to relax slightly in his arms.

“You do?” Harry asked in shock. Taking one of the Gryffindor’s hands within his own, Draco rubbed it gently against his crotch which the younger teen could clearly feel was semi-erect beneath his touch.

“Oh yes mon amour,” Draco whispered seductively in Harry’s ear, sending a shiver down the younger teens spine at the sound of his lust filled voice, “Very much so.”

When the two of them finally left the restaurant they were holding hands again and had come to the mutual decision that they were an exclusive couple. They intended to conceal their Elven heritage as best as they could and also keep their relationship as discrete as possible, especially while at school. Draco was happy because the longer he could conceal what type of creature Harry was and the fact that he was a submissive one at that the easier his life would be. Until they were fully bonded together the Slytherin wanted to take no chances of losing his mate. It was clear that Harry was not ready to take their relationship that far just yet. He was too pure, too innocent and Draco wanted to protect that. They were together at least which Draco could live with, at least for the moment.

They had arranged that in a few days’ time Harry would come to dinner at Malfoy Manor, though Draco would send him a formal invitation with all the information he needed on it. However until then they would share letters with one another to try and get to know each other a little better seeing as it would be difficult to spend huge amounts of time together seeing as they both had other commitments over the last remaining weeks of the summer holidays before returning to school.

Harry found himself being walked back to the ice cream parlour in the centre of Diagon Alley where Hermione and Ginny were still sitting, basking in the afternoon sun, their pockets bulging with the shrunken purchases for their new school year. However upon seeing the two attractive young men approaching and holding hands they began to nudge one another, giggling with joy at the sight of them together and smiling.

“Now that you are in safe hands,” Draco said eyeing the two giggling witches sceptically, still uneasy at the sight of Ginny, “I’ll leave you to your shopping.”

“Thank you for lunch,” Harry said as Draco turned them to face one another, never letting go of his hand.

“You are most welcome mon amour,” Draco replied as he pulled Harry close to him, his arms going possessively around the Gryffindor’s waist. “Just remember that you’re mine now Harry, no more kissing anyone else,” He said as he leaned closer to Harry who nodded. Then their lips met and he became lost in the sensation of Draco kissing him.

“One question,” Harry said breathlessly as Draco broke their rather heated kiss, fearing how far he might try and take it despite being in the middle of a very public place where a lot of people were currently staring at them, a few taking pictures. “What does mon amour mean?”

Draco smiled at Harry, “It means ‘my love’, its French.” Harry couldn’t help but smile, biting his lip nervously as Draco claimed another kiss.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six – Love Letters

“Come on Harry,” Ginny said when it was just her, Hermione, Harry and Ron sitting in the living room later that evening once everyone else had gone to bed. All three of them had been dying to get all of the details from Harry all day, ever since Draco had delivered him back to the ice cream parlour after their lunch date. However they had been smart enough not to mention anything in front of Molly, who despite knowing about the heritance and the fact that he was an Elven creature was blissfully unaware of anything else that had transpired. She didn’t need to know the inner most workings of her children’s love lives, it would have horrified her if she did.

“We want all of the details,” Hermione insisted eagerly. Even Ron was looking at him imploringly, keen to know what had happened between his best friend and former school boy rival. Harry sighed in defeat, knowing that he wasn’t going to be able to get to bed before they knew everything that had happened during their first date.

“Alright, fine, I’ll tell you,” He said with exaggerated exasperation, giving his best friends a loving look. “He took me to a restaurant and we talked, he let me only order desert as well so he gets a lot of bonus points for that. We mainly just talked about the Elven stuff and everything I’d read in that book he gave me. He really wanted to know if any of it was bothering me so that we could talk through it.”

“So are you together now?” Ginny asked curiously. She wasn’t sure she really wanted to know the answer, the thought of them together, however hot them making out in her mind looked, it still gave a stab of jealousy in her heart. She had wanted Harry so much when they had first met when he was eleven and she ten. However she could admit that if she couldn’t have him all to herself then she would be content to settle for close friendship and see him happy. Plus she would be sure to make Draco rue the day he ever hurt Harry if that ever happened.

“They’re already on stage two of bonding if that kiss is any indication,” Hermione said knowledgably before Harry could answer. Ron and Ginny both looked highly confused by this however, not having read the book. Before Hermione could launch into a long and complicated explanation however Harry got there first.

“It means that we’re a couple, yes. We want to keep it low key though and no one is to find out about the inheritance, especially the press. We have to be extra careful after that damn Which Wizard article.”

“I knew you were asking for trouble with that,” Hermione tutted at him disapprovingly, “Though I did get you the information you wanted on the wizarding lawyer. He’s the best at what he does, specialising in press relations and family law.”

Harry nodded his thanks to the intelligent witch as Ginny asked; “Do you think Malfoy’s seen that article yet?”

Harry shrugged, “If he did then he didn’t mention it, why?”

“It’s just that Elven creatures are supposedly fiercely jealous creatures, I can’t imagine that he would have been thrilled with you being half naked in the most popular wizarding magazine in the world. I’m surprised he didn’t at lease mention it to you.”

Again Harry shrugged his shoulders, having no explanation to give her. “Ron, you’ve not said a word about any of this, which isn’t like you at all. Are you okay with this?” Harry asked with concern. Everything was new territory for him, he wanted his best friend to be on his side and helping him rather than against him. It would have hurt so much if Ron had decided that he couldn’t handle the thought of him and Draco being together.

Ron looked pensive for a moment before sighing, “I’m just not so sure about this. It is Malfoy after all, the same slimy git that tormented us throughout school. Seamus told us how he reacted when he bumped into you two today. I mean do you really want to put up with that all the time? I get the whole Elven scent thing is drawing you to him and you can’t fight that but there must be other Elven creatures that you can bond with that aren’t Malfoy.”

“Probably,” Harry admitted, “I don’t know but he does something to me and I can’t really explain it. It feels like I need him to breathe. I know how that sounds but it’s the only way to explain it to you,” Harry said, watching Ron with keen eyes. He knew that his best friend had never liked the Malfoy family and with good reason too. Harry really didn’t want this to cause a rift between the two of them, the war was over, Narcissa and Draco had been acquitted by the Ministry of Magic and Lucius had been imprisoned in Azkaban. He loved Ron too much to lose him over a guy no matter how gorgeous and kissable said guy was.

“Honestly Harry, I don’t like the bloke, he’s an arrogant arse in my opinion but you like him. For that reason and that reason only and because after everything we’ve been through I trust your judgement, I’m willing to give him a chance. If he so much as upsets you once though, I’ll kill him,” Ron said with a distracted look on his face as if he was imagining doing just that.

Harry grinned appreciatively at Ron, “I’ll be sure to let him know,” He said with a smile.

“I think that its safe to say that that warning can be issued from all of us here,” Hermione added and Ginny nodded enthusiastically. Harry couldn’t help but smile, he loved his friends more than words could describe and the best thing was he felt the exact same way about each of them.

HPDM

“How did it go today dear one?” Narcissa asked conversationally over dinner that evening. As usual it was just the two of them sat at the twelve seat dinning suite. The cavernous room always felt so cold and empty, even with the fire roaring in the grate, crackling into the silence merrily.

“It went well,” Draco responded vaguely as he cut a small portion of chicken and placed it delicately in his mouth. One look from his mother told him that he was not going to get away with such a non-committal answer to her question. “We talked, we have decided to become a couple and take things slowly. Until he turned eighteen he had no clue that creature inheritance was even a possibility and he has no relationship experience whatsoever so I do not begrudge him wanting to take our relationship slowly, in fact I would be more concerned if he wanted to rush into it given his innocence.”

“It will be a challenge to protect him from others you realise. A submissive Elven male is rare enough but if he is as pure as you suggest then there will be other dominants and they will be keen to take him from you. If you do not bond with him then others will have every right to try and claim him first,” Narcissa said, she was deeply concerned for her son, not wishing to see him hurt over this. She was of the strong belief that Harry Potter was not worth the hassle that he was likely to cause, however she wasn’t about to voice this opinion aloud to her son.

“Once we are at school he will be protected enough to make my life easier and until then he is staying with the Weasley’s. No one will be able to touch him there.”

“Hogwarts may not be as safe for Potter as you think my Dragon,” She said with mounting concern. There was no one more important than her son to her, she had put her own life on the line during the great battle of Hogwarts to ensure that he was safe. Lying to the Dark Lord had put everything she held dear at risk but she had done it to save her son. There was nothing she wouldn’t do to protect him.

“Why, what do you know mother?” Draco asked with worry, he had been counting on the school being safe so that he could concentrate on his studies and revision for his exams without occupying his thoughts with whether Harry was safe.

“I received a letter from Tilly this morning,” She said.

“Blaise’s mother?” Draco questioned.

“Yes, she was practically gushing about her eighth husband but she did mention in passing that Blaise has come into his own inheritance. Elven blood apparently from his father’s side of the family. She was so very proud of it.”

“Blaise Zabini is Elven?” Draco asked in disbelief, “How is that possible, I thought all of this creature inheritance stuff was meant to be rare!”

“Dragon dear, do use your common sense, normally having the right circumstances for creature inheritance after it being absent from the family lines for so long is indeed rare, however given the fact that there are extenuating circumstances, for example a war where many people lost their lives, the fear and the heartache might well have triggered the dormant creature genes to activate. That is when a rarity becomes slightly more commonplace.”

Draco pondered this for a moment, tensing at the thought of another dominant Elven being at Hogwarts with them while he and Harry remained un-bonded. It wasn’t something he had foreseen happening but then he had never been very good at Divination. “Do you know how many others there will be?” He asked his mother fearfully.

“Sorry dear one, Tilly and I are old friends as you know, which is why she felt comfortable telling me about Blaise. No one else would so easily divulge such information without due cause. It is after all a rather personal family matter if it happens or not.”

Draco sighed in defeat, putting his cutlery down, decidedly no longer hungry. Apparently this situation with Harry wasn’t going to be as simple or as easy as he had first thought. Going back to Hogwarts had at first been a wondrous thought but not it was tainted with dread of what he would find there. The thought of several other Elven having recently come into their inheritance and all of them vying for Harry’s attentions in varying degrees was not something he was going to be able to cope with well, not when he wanted Harry all to himself.

HPDM

The next morning Harry was awoken by a sharp tapping of a beak to glass as an owl knocked against his window somewhat impatiently, waiting to gain access. Squinting at the sunlight streaming into his room he recognized a handsome black eagle owl that belonged to the Malfoy family. Not once in his life had he got out of bed so quickly, not even when his Aunt had began hammering on his cupboard door, demanding that he cook breakfast and quickly or he be punished for his disobediance.

Opening the window the majestic bird swept inside gracefully, dropping the letter it had been carrying on to the bed without landing before gliding out side again without waiting for any sort of acknowledgement that it had done its job or wanting a treat for the trouble. Even their pets oozed with Malfoy elegance and grace it seemed.

With his heart in his throat he took the letter in his shaking hands, his nerves getting the better of him. The envelope was sealed with the grand Malfoy coat of arms in green wax, all looking very important and official. Trembling, Harry removed the parchment from its envelope, carefully unfolding it to discover a rather cordial invite for dinner on August 5th. Just two days from now. Tucked within it however was a much more personal note from Draco, it was written in his beautifully italic scrawl that caused Harry’s heart to give a little flutter.

Harry,
I did so enjoy our lunch yesterday. I hope I did not overload you with information. In the spirit of getting to know one another I propose that we tell each other something, however insignificant it might be, in every letter we write to each other. I will go first. Everyone believes that my favourite colour is green but is in actual fact silver. I look forward to your response and even more seeing you in two days time.
Draco

Harry smiled as he read the letter for the third time. He loved the idea of sharing small scraps of information about each other so that they could get to know one another better. The only problem was he had no idea what secret or scrap of information he could give in return. He could have always followed suit and respond with his own favourite colour but he wanted to shared something else to show willing. Finally he grabbed his quill and some parchment and began to write.

Draco,
Lunch yesterday was amazing, even with all the new information. I can’t wait to see you for dinner. What should I wear? Also in the spirit of getting to know each other, which I think is a brilliant idea by the way, I’m going to tell you something that not even Ron and Hermione know about me. When I was eleven the sorting hat tried to put me in Slytherin but I begged it to put me in any other house because at such a young age I believed what I had been told and that all Slytherin’s were evil. It finally chose Gryffindor (obviously).
Harry

He felt a little ashamed that he had no fancy wax seal to close the envelope with. Maybe one day he would be able to legitimately use the Malfoy seal. He had to shake himself out of that ridiculous day dream very quickly. They had only been on the one date. Harry blamed his run away thoughts fully on his Elven nature, he was getting way too ahead of himself if he was already thinking of marrying Draco and taking his last name too.

Holding out the envelope to Padfoot who had nestled on the top of the wardrobe after a night out hunting, Harry told him where to go and then watched as the gorgeous animal flew gracefully out of the window to deliver its letter.

 

HPDM

After lunch Harry offered to help Molly with the clear up as he was desperate to talk to her. Ron and Ginny were eager to go and play Quidditch and Harry urged them on, promising to catch them up when he was done. Hermione followed the two youngest Weasley children out the back door as they headed for the clearing in the woodland behind the house that was used for flying. Ron and Ginny were both carrying their broomsticks whereas Hermione was laden down with several books on varying subjects for their coming year at Hogwarts which made Harry smile.

“Molly,” Harry said tentatively as they cleared the plates from the table, “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course Harry dear, what is it?” She asked kindly as she waved her wand towards the sink where the dishes began to do themselves before turning to her adopted son to give him her undivided attention. Though under her gaze Harry became increasingly more nervous until Molly had to force him to sit down, take a deep breath and tell her what was bothering him.

“I have a boyfriend,” Harry blurted out suddenly taking Molly by surprise, regardless she smiled at him.

“That’s wonderful Harry dear, why were you so worried about telling me that? Does he know about your inheritance?” She asked, still smiling tenderly at him.

“Yes,” Harry said truthfully, “He’s actually Elven, like me, he came into his inheritance this summer too, just over a month before me.”

“Oh that’s wonderful news, I’ll have to meet this young man of course,” She declared happily which had been exactly what Harry had been hoping she would say.

“Well he’s invited me to go to dinner in a couple of days with his family. I was hoping to invite him here for dinner the week after, before we go back to school. You guys are all the family I have and it’s important to me that he comes here. I hope that’s okay,” Harry said in a rush.

“Of course it’s alright, don’t be so silly. You’re like a son to me, you may as well be family with everything you’ve done for us over the years. Of course he can come here for dinner, I want to make sure he’s going to treat you right,” She said ruffling his already messy hair fondly, but carefully avoiding his over sensitive Elven ears.

“Thank you so much,” Harry said hugging her, “This means everything to me,” Molly was always happy to hold her children, she loved Harry dearly, she knew how much pain and heartache the poor child had gone through growing up and was always amazed at how kind he was despite it all, the boy had once of the biggest hearts she had ever known and it worried her that it might get damaged or broken. If she had had her way then she would have kept them all locked away, safe from harm but it was too late for that. They were all war heroes now and were publically recognized as such. She could only hope to protect them from anymore heartache because none of them deserved anymore.

“So come on, tell me, who is the lucky young man who has stolen your affections?” Molly asked, beaming at him as they separated from their hug.

“It’s Draco Malfoy,” He told her and wasn’t at all surprised to see her look a little shocked at this revelation. However she kept her composure remarkably well, he was very impressed considering the bad blood between the two families.

“Well, it isn’t who I was expecting but nonetheless I look forward to meeting him. Just let me know when you want him to come over,” She said to him, still smiling but the pride and happiness behind it was absent. He knew it would take a while to get used to the idea and Harry didn’t begrudge her this at all.

HPDM

With Hermione watching them from the shade of an old oak tree, her feet firmly on the ground and staying that way, Harry, Ron and Ginny played a mini version of Quidditch with just the Quaffle and the snitch.

It felt exhilarating to fly, the wind in his hair, the sun making his skin shimmer gold as he ducked and weaved, searching out the little golden ball. His new eye sight making it a lot easier to catch glimpses of gold as the snitch flittered around the pitch in an attempt to evade capture but it was no match for him now. Harry would never get tired of this. He simply loved being outside, whatever the weather but summer was his favourite time of year without question.

With his new, improved, Elven eyes he could see so much clearer, the scents of the summer filling his nostrils as he took deep, greedy lungful’s of fresh air. He found that without his glasses to hinder him everything seemed so vibrant and alive. Harry could have remained up here all day if he hadn’t caught sight of the familiar eagle owl winging its way toward him, a letter clutched in its talons.

The envelope was dropped in his out stretched hands, his heart rate picking up as he clutched it between shaking fingers, anxious to read what Draco had written. He had not expected another response so soon, he’d thought that he wouldn’t hear from Draco again until the following day. His adrenaline spiked as he removed the letter, still hovering high up in the air on his firebolt, way above Ron and Ginny who were still playing on, having not noticed that Harry had stopped. He remained balancing rather precariously as he unfolded the parchment and began to scan the contents.

Harry
Don’t worry over dinner, dress smart but casual, no dress robes required. I cannot believe you were almost a Slytherin, though I must say that it does explain a lot. My newest confession to you it that I have a slight obsession with muggle sweets, specifically skittles. I will never admit this to anyone else and if you tell anyone I will adamantly deny all knowledge of your delusional ramblings. What have you been doing today? I have been helping mother organise fathers study, very dull work.
Draco

Harry had laughed so hard at the part about Draco being obsessed with skittles that he had almost fallen off his broom. He vowed that before they went back to school Harry would buy him some. He found it adorable that Draco would have a inkling towards muggle sweets when his own father had been so against anything remotely muggle related. His laughing fit however had drawn the attention of Ron and Ginny who now noticed that he was far too engrossed in his letter to be playing Quidditch with them. They were now both giving him very strange looks as they flew closer to him.

“Whose that from?” Ron asked as he and his sister flew up towards Harry, concerned about how close he had come to toppling off his broom.

“I didn’t recognize the owl, “Ginny mused, “I don’t think it was one from Hogwarts, I bet it’s from Malfoy,” She said and the two siblings watched triumphantly as a rosy blush covered Harry’s cheeks. “It is from him isn’t it,” She jeered in celebration.

“So what if it is,” Harry said a little defensively as he folded the letter up and put it in his pocket. It felt far too personal to share, he didn’t want to break the trust Draco had in him by showing this letter to his friends, it was for him and him alone and he was going to make sure it stayed that way.

“You’re getting love notes from him already?” Ron asked incredulously as he rolled his eyes towards his sister who sniggered in amusement. They did so like to tease Harry, seeing him so loved up and embarrassed was beyond cute. It was hard to believe that this was the world famous teenager that had destroyed the Dark Lord and now he was blushing over a guy and a love letter.

“Aw, I think that’s so cute,” Ginny said, barely able to control her laughter now. Harry, having had enough of his friends teasing, though knowing it was all in good fun, took off towards the ground, dismounting gracefully beside Hermione, a move that had taken a lot of practice considering he was naturally clumsy.

The witch who had had her nose buried deep within a book looked up in surprise at seeing Harry back on the ground. “The game finished?” She asked. She had hoped that she would have been able to get some more reading done, these games usually lasted for hours longer seeing as Harry, Ron and Ginny were all obsessed with the sport.

“Harry got a love letter from Malfoy,” Ginny said as she landed beside the two of them, Ron not far behind.

“Aw,” Hermione said much like Ginny had and much to the annoyance of Harry who had been hoping for at least one of his friends to show some maturity. Apparently this was not going to happen. “Can we see it?” She asked.

“No,” Harry snapped at them, “It’s personal and so what if we’re writing to each other, it’s nice. We’re trying to get to know each other.” He knew that he sounded defensive and he felt that he had every right to be. He knew that they weren’t going to quit teasing him over this but he couldn’t help his reaction to it. He was partly just glad that they were teasing and not hating him for it. It was probably the only reason why he was putting up with it, he knew their reactions could have been a lot worse.

“It’s so sweet,” Ginny said dreamily, Ron just snorted.

“Leave him be,” Hermione scolded the two siblings, “It’s good that he’s happy,” She added with a smile.

“Thank you Mione,” Harry said leaning down to give her a quick peck to the cheek. He appreciated her support, especially when facing the two red heads, who, when they teamed up together, could be quite a force to be reckoned with.

“So are you going to write back?” Hermione asked him eagerly.

Harry nodded in response, “I think I might go and do that now,” He said as he took off towards the Burrow, letter in his pocket and broom still clutched in one hand.

HPDM

Draco
I’ve been playing Quidditch with Ron and Ginny today, nothing exciting, just making the most of the sunshine while its out. I never realised how much I love being outside until recently. I can’t say that I envy your day, though it would have been nice to see you, even if it was only to do the cleaning. As for your confession to me, I swear not to tell a soul but I do think it’s very cute. I’ve never tried skittles myself, you’ll have to introduce me to them. I’ve thought long and hard about what to share with you and I came up with this: I had no idea that there was any such thing as magic, wizards or even Hogwarts until Hagrid broke down the door on my eleventh birthday and handed me my letter. I met you for the first time later that day. It is not a day I have ever forgotten.
Harry

Draco read the almost illegible scrawl several times over. He too remembered the first time they had met in Madame Malkins robes for all occasions. The memory itself made him cringe in horror and regret, he had been snobbish and cruel when he was eleven years old, it was no wonder that Harry had refused to be his friend when they had met again on the Hogwarts express on September first.

He regretted that day more than any other, except perhaps the day his father had forced him to accept the Dark Mark. He had so many regrets about the things he had done in the past, he’d spent many hours hating himself for them too, wondering how he could have done things differently that wouldn’t have put his mother or his own life in danger. When he had come into his inheritance on the 5th June he had sworn that this would be a new start for him. His father was in Azkaban and couldn’t force him to do anything anymore and good riddance to him, Draco had been glad to see him sent to that place, he only wished the Dementors had remained as guards, it would have served him right for everything that he had done.

He had no one to order him around or tell him what to do, who to hate or who to follow or even how to live his life. It gave Draco a great thrill to think that Lucius’ reaction would be to his only son and heir becoming a half breed Elven creature and then choosing Harry Potter as his mate. It would be bad enough for his father to know that he was gay, which he strongly disapproved of, however he was also dating the boy-who-lived-twice which would only add fuel to the fire. To know that they were both Elven would be priceless. Draco was aware that he would never get his father’s approval but he found that he didn’t care, he would be with Harry either way.

He was trying not to think too hard about the whole Blaise situation, preferring not to try and predict the trouble he could cause, reading the future was not one of his talents and it only seemed to cause unnecessary worrying. He would deal with that when he had to and in any way he deemed necessary to keep Harry safe. It mattered very little to Draco that he had been friends with Blaise since they were babies in swaddling blankets, Harry was more important.

Crossing his bedroom to his desk Draco sat down in his plush green chair, quill in hand as he began to compose his reply to Harry. He was to glad that he had suggested that they tell each other things like this, he did so enjoy Harry’s little confessions and didn’t mind divulging his own in return either. The rather timid Gryffindor had been tentative and unsure of himself over lunch so Draco was hesitant to suggest another date like that, especially when they had two family dinners forthcoming in the next two weeks. No, this was a much easier way of talking without their nerves or uncertainties getting in the way. At least until they got to know each other a little better and became more comfortable in one another’s company this was perfect.

Harry
Being outside is the most natural thing for our kind, full Elven creatures spend all of their time outdoors. When we get back to Hogwarts we will have to go flying together, I do so love to watch you fly, I never once missed one of your Quidditch matches in school. As for your comment about me being cute, I am adamant that such a phrase could never be associated with a Malfoy. I could never be cute, though I will let you get away with it just this once.
Coming on to your confession, I knew that you had been raised by muggles but I had no idea that you had never known about your wizarding parentage. I feel awful about that day in Diagon Alley. Perhaps we can talk about our childhoods together face to face as I fear it would be too much to put into writing for the both of us. I have never forgotten our first encounter or our second, in fact I remember them all and regret most. I wish things could have been different, that I hadn’t listened to my father and bent so easily to his will.
Now, what to tell you? I could keep it simple and tell you how much I despise broccoli or even how much I adore chocolate milk but I doubt that that would thrill you. So how about this, and I can tell you that no one else knows this about me as I keep it a well-guarded secret. I love to draw and I’m not too terrible at it either. One day I might just have to show you.
Draco

Draco folded up the parchment, putting it carefully into an envelope and sealing it with a flick of his wand. They had been corresponding all day and it felt so natural, it was easy. Harry was perfect and Draco knew it. He padded over to the dresser where the family owl was perched, waiting silently and patiently for her orders.

He allowed the creature to take the letter into its talons before petting her fondly, whispered who to go to and where he would be. He then watched as she took flight, wanting nothing more than to be able to go with her and to see Harry again. There was a dull ache in his chest that reminded him constantly of how much he missed his Gryffindor. It wouldn’t be too much longer now though and they would see each other again.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven – Our friends

Harry awoke the next morning to another letter from Draco, which of course made him deliriously happy but then a sudden feeling of his stomach turning to lead reminded him that tomorrow evening he was going to be having dinner at Malfoy Manor with Narcissa and Draco.

Dread washed over him, he hadn’t been to Malfoy Manor since the war. He had been held captive there, Hermione had been tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange in that horrid place. Harry remembered it to be dark, depressing and the air being stagnant with dark magic and bloodshed. How could he step foot into that building and face those particular demons so soon?

His nightly nightmares would on occasion remind him of that place and it made him shudder with remembered pain. He could hear Hermione’s screams echoing in his ears on some nights as the disgusting slur against her muggle parentage was carved into her flesh. He would go, of course he would, because it meant a lot to Draco that he have dinner with his mother but that didn’t mean Harry was going to like being there or that it was going to be easy for him. He wouldn’t tell his boyfriend any of this however, he would grin and bear it all, bottling up the emotions, which would no doubt only make the nightmares worse afterwards but it was something that he would suffer through for Draco.

Opening the letter Harry couldn’t help but smile, he loved that they were sharing such small but personal details of their lives with one another and in writing too. It all seemed terribly romantic to Harry and he loved it. Dragging himself from bed, a soppy grin plastered all over his face he dropped down in the solid wooden chair at the desk in the too small room that had far too much furniture squeezed into it. He sat posed, quill in hand so that he could form a response but found that it was an extremely difficult letter to write when all of the others had been so blissfully easy. This one however saw mention of their childhoods, a subject that Harry found difficult to even think about let alone discuss with anyone and he desperately wanted to avoid all mention of it.

Harry had discovered through the letter writing that putting things down on parchment was a lot easier than discussing them face to face. It was the reason he had felt so free to divulge so much to Draco when he struggled to even mention it front of his best friends. He couldn’t even bring himself to feel guilty about that, he was at least talking to someone openly. Ron, Hermione and Ginny were all dealing with their own emotional trauma, the Weasley’s had lost Fred and that grief was still raw, no matter how well they pretended otherwise Harry could see the pain and the heartache they faced day to day.

Harry wasn’t ready to share the first ten years of his life just yet in writing or talking about it, so full of poison and hate as it was. Draco didn’t need to be subjected to those horrors at the moment, not when they had only just started to really get to know each other. Hopefully, if Harry was smart enough then he could avoid having that particular discussion for the foreseeable future. He prided himself on avoiding the difficult subjects, preferring to keep them to himself, not wanting to be a burden to anyone else.

He still felt the overwhelming urge to break down, to scream and to cry. Those particular emotions from the night of his eighteenth birthday before the change had taken over him were still there. He still wanted to move into Grimmauld Place and grieve in his own way for everything that had been lost. However he knew that the Burrow was the best place for him to be right now. While he figured out his Elven nature and inheritance he needed to have his friends and his family around him. To survive he had pushed those feelings deeper than ever down inside of him and that was where they remained.

No doubt he would continue to face his nightmares until he found the courage to face them, which wouldn’t be anytime soon. He needed time and solitude to deal with everything that had built up upon him over the last year. He didn’t want to cry in front of his friends, he didn’t want them to know just how much pain he was in. Draco at least made him forget about it for however a brief amount of time. Clutching the letter from his boyfriend in his hand he turned his attention to forming a response.

Draco
I would love to see your drawings one day, I am sure they are wonderful. I’m really looking forward to it. Your love of chocolate milk does fascinate me and is just as adorable and cute as your obsession with skittles. I don’t care what you say, you can be as adamant as you like, it’s what I think. You shouldn’t have regrets, we’ve all made mistakes in our pasts, if we hadn’t have made them then we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Now because you told me such a personal confession and I called you cute, twice here are some things about me. My favourite colour is not red like everyone thinks, it’s actually green because of my eyes. I have a huge sweet tooth, I would eat desert for every meal if I could, especially treacle tart. I have never been to a beach and one of the many things I would love to do is to walk barefoot in the sand and swim in the ocean, though I would have to learn to swim first. Finally, my last confession to you is that I honestly can’t stop thinking about you.
Harry

He felt a little guilty that he had skirted around the issue of his childhood without so much as mentioning it but he just wasn’t ready. He doubted that he ever would be. That was too personal a confession to make at this stage of their growing relationship. The horrors and abuse from his child hood were experiences that he wanted to keep locked away in a box in his mind, never to be opened again if he could help it. Not even Severus Snape with his mind numbingly excellent skill at Occlumency could have dragged the thoughts out of him they were buried so deep.

Harry sent the letter off with Padfoot before retreating back to the warmth and comfort of his bed, pulling the duvet over his head and snuggling into the depths of its warmness. He was resigning himself to the fact that he was going to need Hermione and Ginny’s help to get ready for the festivities at Malfoy Manor tomorrow, which would mean hours of tediously being made into a dress up doll again but he wouldn’t be able to make any decisions no matter how big or small, especially not about his clothing. Until the dinner was over and done with he wasn’t going to be able to think about anything else.

He didn’t drag himself out of his bed until around lunch time at which point Ron, Hermione and Ginny accosted him at the foot of the stairs, dragging him away from the kitchen and the food that Molly had made for them. Harry put up very little in the form of a protest as he was manhandled into the sitting room and a copy of the Daily Prophet shoved in front of him. Plastered across the front page was a magically animated picture of him and Draco in a passionate lip lock in the middle of Diagon Alley. Harry groaned at the sight of it, the title of the article making his gut clench. The Boy-who-lived-in-love? It read.

“This is a nightmare!” Harry said with a growl of frustration, though finding himself unable to take his eyes off the photograph, mesmerized by it, watching with intense interest as the two of them kissed.

“Well you did snog him in the middle of Diagon Alley,” Hermione scolded and Harry glared at her. “Whether you like it or not you’re famous Harry, you’re hot news and everyone wants a piece of you, especially after the Which Wizard article you did. You have to start living your life more carefully or otherwise this is going to continue to happen. I know it isn’t fair but you have to accept it.”

“This is infuriating!” Harry said with anger in his voice, “I’m not a piece of meat that they can salivate over, putting all these stories in the papers! That lawyer you found me better hurry up and sort this out because this has got to stop!”

“I’m sure he’s working on it but I don’t think that should mean you shouldn’t be more careful, especially with things like this. You’re making it far too easy for them Harry,” She said sternly as she watched him scan over the article with rage glinting in his eyes. It was all speculation and there was a lot about his sexual preference towards men delighting wizarding folk but disappointing witches everywhere. As usual it was all drivel worthy of Rita Skeeter, whose name was not attached to the article. If it had been then there would have been hell to pay.

The fire in front of them blazed into life with brilliantly green flame announcing that someone was coming through the floo network to join them. They weren’t afraid, they had had no need to be. No one could get through due to the wards and the password required to access the Weasley fireplace.

Seamus staggered out of the fireplace moments later, followed in quick succession by Dean, Neville and Luna. It was quickly explained that the four of them had been hanging around in Diagon Alley when they had seen the Daily Prophet article, which apparently everyone had been talking about. Shortly after that they had been recognized as Harry Potter’s friends and classmates and been accosted by reporters trying to get whatever information they could from them, which was why they had come here.

They needed an explanation as to what was going on. Of course Seamus had already been told about the inheritance after he had run into Harry and Draco the other day as it had been the only way to calm him down and stop him raving about a Deatheater kidnapping Harry.

The other three however were clueless as they started asking questions regarding the article, wanting to know what was going on and if any of it was true. Seamus hadn’t told them anything, declaring that it was not his business to gossip, they were going to have to talk to Harry if they wanted answers. Harry felt shamefull about the thought of lying to them about this when they had been dragged into the mess with him so despite agreeing with Draco that their Elven natures were to be kept on a need to know basis he deemed this as need to know. They had all been through so much together and he would need support from all of them to get through the school year in one piece.

“I’ll explain everything, but not here, we’ll go out to the Quidditch clearing. We can talk there,” Harry said with a sigh, running a hand through his hair in frustration without realising what he was doing and the consequences of it until it was too late. The intakes of breath as those who hadn’t known about his inheritance spotted his newly acquired pointed Elven ears and he realised his mistake.

“Wow,” Luna said, breaking the silence and the tension, “No wonder you’re so beautiful all of a sudden, you’re Elven.”

“Yeah,” Harry said, “Come on, let’s go outside and I’ll explain everything and maybe Hermione can help me so I don’t miss anything,” Harry said nervously, patting his hair back into place over his ears self-consciously. He was going to have to be more careful, especially when at school. He could cope with his friends knowing, in fact he wanted them to know but not the entire school. If the entire of Hogwarts knew it would only make Draco irritable as he had wanted to keep it a secret.

HPDM

“Draco darling,” His mother said in a sickly sweet voice, “Have you seen the Daily Prophet this morning?” He had gone out flying first thing this morning and as a consequence was running a little late for breakfast. Normally Narcissa would have lectured him for near enough half an hour on proper time keeping but she seemed far too preoccupied in the daily paper to be bothered too much about his tardiness.

“No mother, I have not,” Draco replied as he took a seat opposite her. Today on the menu was poached eggs and salmon, not his favourite. He reached instead for the coffee, pouring an extra-large cup for himself.

Folding up the paper she slid it across the table to him. “I would have a look sweet one, the front page is particularly interesting,” She said as she began to take sips of her tea, never looking away from her son.

Draco unfolded the paper to see what she was making all the fuss over. He stared for a long while at the front page, watching as the photograph of him and Harry kissed in Diagon Alley. The headline of, ‘The Boy-Who-Lived in Love?’In large letters above it. Draco only smiled, “I see nothing wrong with this,” He said, “I think it’s rather tastefully done.”

“Dragon dear, I thought you wanted to keep your relationship with the Potter boy low key? A front page article in the Daily Prophet is hardly low key,” Narcissa stated to him coolly with bewilderment.

“I do want to keep it low key but I did not realise that this was being taken at the time and I’m not upset that it happened either. After all there is no better way to inform the world that Harry Potter is off the market. With that damned Which Wizard article I think that something like this was much needed.”

Narcissa had scowled at her son as he had uttered the curse word in her presence but said nothing of it on this occasion, too preoccupied with how impressed she found herself being at how Draco had staked his claim on his potential mate so publicly. He’d never admit to anyone that he had done it all on purpose of course but she knew her son well enough to know that such a blatant display of territorial behaviour could be no accident.

“Is there anything I should know before the dinner tomorrow?” Narcissa asked, changing the subject as a black owl swooped into the room carrying a letter addressed to Draco. “It would be rather inconvenient if Harry Potter dropped dead at the dinner table because of a food allergy, though I dare say I could see the irony in killing him in such a way accidentally when so many have failed at the task when they purposefully wanted to kill him.”

“I don’t believe he has any food allergies mother, however I shall ask him just to be sure. Though his favourite desert is treacle tart, perhaps you could request that the house elves make that for dessert tomorrow night,” Draco queried, keen to retreat back to the sanctuary of his bedroom and read Harry’s letter.

“I am sure that the house elves can manage that,” She said agreeably, “Is that letter from him?”

“Yes mother, it is,” Draco said as he tucked it into his pocket.

“Are you going to read it?” She asked, finding herself to be slightly amused by the behaviour her son was exhibiting over a letter. She found it rather endearing when normally he was so cool and aloof. Perhaps Harry was going to bring out the affectionate side of her son that was rarely ever seen. She hoped that this would be the case, he acted far too much like his father with his icy exterior. However he had her heart beating in his chest, one that was capable of great love and warmth.

“Later,” Draco responded coolly. With the personal titbits of information they had been sharing with one another it seemed wrong somehow to open and read the letter at the breakfast table in front of anyone, even if it was just his mother.

“Oh, Tilly mentioned that Blaise would be calling round to see you today. He hasn’t seen you since … well since last term at Hogwarts. He hasn’t been coping very well with young Gregory’s death. I think he just needs his friends around him,” Narcissa said, looking at her son imploringly. Draco had tensed at the sound of his friend’s name, unsure if he wanted him around now that he too had come into his Elven heritage.

“Fine,” Draco said finally through gritted teeth, “Though perhaps we should invite Pansy and Daphne over as well, I would like to know if we are all to be going back to Hogwarts together this year.” Draco suggested as he thought that having all three of his friends around him might defuse the tension a little more than if it was just Blaise and him alone.

Narcissa nodded in agreement, “I shall send word to their mothers and invite them over as well,” She said as Draco raised himself from his chair, eager to retire to somewhere more private where he could read his letter. He had no further desire to continue any conversation with his mother who was intent to force company upon him today. He did not believe for a second that Blaise was coping badly with Goyle’s death at all. He hadn’t even liked the boy that much. “Draco, you have hardly touched your breakfast,” She scowled as he headed for the door.

“Not hungry,” She heard him call as left the dinning room and headed for the stairs. Narcissa just shook her head in disbelief, muttering under her breath about the curse of young love. Having his friends round for the afternoon had been supposed to serve as a distraction from Harry Potter for a little while. However it would seem that her precious son was already too far down the road of besotted bliss to be distracted.

HPDM

Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Seamus and Dean were all gathered together in the clearing where Quidditch would normally be played, however the wizarding sport was the last thing on everyone’s minds as they became mesmerized by the golden shimmer of Harry’s skin as he sat upon the grass, soaking up the strong afternoon sun that blazed down upon them.

They had all chosen to lounge on the grass, all of them relaxed, carefree and they had every right to be. They were young and had little to worry about now that the war was over and Voldemort gone, finally defeated. The biggest stress they had to face was passing their N.E.W.T’s and with the school year not starting for another few weeks they were giddy on the amount of freedom they had.

“So you’re an elf,” Neville began, he was sat holding Luna’s hand, looking completely at ease with the new development. It seemed that nothing could phase this group after everything they had seen and experienced.

“I’m Elven,” Harry corrected him, “Well, Half Elven, since my birthday. I realise that I should have told you all sooner but I’m still figuring it all out myself. It’s all a bit weird really.” Harry told them, he found himself subconsciously biting his lip through nerves.

“And what has Malfoy got to do with this?” Seamus asked, Harry looked to Hermione giving her a look that told her to say nothing. He wanted to make sure he didn’t tell them too much when it came to Draco, only the basics. He was at libaty to share his secret with whomever he wanted, however he didn’t have the same freedom when it came to his boyfriend. “The Prophet published a picture of the two of you snogging.”

“Well, Draco saw me in Flourish and Blotts looking at books about Elven inheritance. We had already cleared the air before we left Hogwarts after the battle was over and we just got to talking. He helped me get the right book and then he asked me out for lunch. That was the day you saw us Seam, he didn’t mean to be rude, he just gets a little jealous sometimes.” Harry explained carefully. He had to choose his words with caution and embellish the truth a little but he wasn’t flat out lying which he thought made it okay.

“Why would he be jealous over me?” Seamus asked with confusion. His question made a few of the group snigger. Ron snorted in amusement and Harry just rolled his eyes. The Irish wizard’s memory was abysmal after copious amounts of alcohol and it was a common occurrence that he would get so riddled on whatever booze was going that he wouldn’t remember a thing when he woke up the next morning. Apparently this was the case with the night of Harry’s birthday celebrations.

“You snogged Harry at his birthday party Seam,” Dean supplied helpfully with an exasperated sigh at his best friend. Seamus made a small ‘oh’ sound as he struggled to remember that night. He would very much like to have remembered kissing Harry Potter.

“So are the two of you dating now?” Luna asked in her usual dreamy tones.

“I guess we are,” Harry admitted, “We’re at least seeing if it’ll work. He’s going back to Hogwarts this year too so we’ll at least be in the same vicinity as each other but it’ll be hard to do anything other than study with our N.E.W.T’s.”

“Are we all going back to Hogwarts?” Hermione asked the group curiously and was pleased to see that they were all nodding. “That’s fantastic!” She exclaimed with approval, grinning like a Cheshire cat. She was thrilled that they would all get to spend one last year together just being teenagers. It was something that had been sorely lacking in their lives thanks to Lord Voldemort and his followers. They deserved to have a nice normal year before they graduated. No Philosophers stones to retrieve, no heir of Slytherin to defeat, no escaped convicts to rescue, no triwizard tournaments to compete in, no prophecies to collect, no death, no destruction and most importantly no war.

“Oh here we go,” Ron said with a comical groan as he spotted the Malfoy family owl winging its way towards them. Hermione and Ginny shared a look and started giggling when they realised what Ron had seen. The others looked at them as if they had all gone barmy.

“What is it?” Dean asked with confusion as the owl dropped its letter into Harry’s lap, who was grinning broadly. It had been so long since any of them had seen him smile like that. It made them happy to know that he was still able to smile in that way after everything that he had been through.

The first two months of the summer where Harry had seemed to go into a rather depressive solitary state and not talk to anyone and not socialise or even spend time outside of his bedroom, it had concerned each and every one of them to see him coping so badly with the after effects of the war. To see him happy like this however gave them all hope that he was going to be okay.

“Malfoy and Harry have been sending each other love notes,” Ginny explained to the group.

“It’s adorable” Hermione added as Luna ‘awed’ at them. The boys all looked a little sickened by this but Harry paid no attention to any of them, too focused on the letter clutched in his hand. He wanted to desperately to open it but he wasn’t sure he should when he was in front of his friends. He knew that Draco had told him things that he wouldn’t want them all to know. It seemed far too personal so with heavy regret he stowed away the unopened letter in his pocket. He would read it later when he was alone.

“So are you guys okay with this, me being Elven and dating Draco? I’m going to need your help if I’m going to survive this school year. I may not have Voldemort trying to kill me anymore but with the press continuously hounding me and being half Elven has to be kept a secret too, I’m going to need every one of you by my side,” Harry said, looking to his friends pleadingly. He hoped that they would understand. He looked at them in shock, astounded when they all nodded their agreement with very little questioning or comments.

“We’re with you Harry,” Neville said with a smile, Luna nodding along with her boyfriend.

“All the way,” Dean agreed.

“As long as Malfoy doesn’t hurt you then I’m on board, if he fucks up then I’ll make him regret ever being born,” Seamus warned looking a little miffed about something and no one knew what. He had never told anyone how much he lusted after Harry. He wasn’t into relationships, he enjoyed being single and able to sleep around too much for them and he didn’t want a relationship with Harry either but he would have liked to fuck him at least once. He had woken up many a morning with tented pyjama bottoms after erotic dreams about the famous boy wizard and how he would look writhing beneath him with pleasure.

“My sentiments exactly,” Ron said in agreement with Seamus, entirely unaware of what the sandy haired wizard had been thinking about as he had said that.

Within the hour they were all on their brooms and playing Quidditch, all apart from Hermione, Luna and Harry. The two girls were reading and discussing something from one of their text books, having quite the meeting of minds. Harry on the other hand had taken the opportunity as it had been presented to him and snuck away into a denser part of the forest where the trees grew a little closer together, much to the amusement of his friends who had watched him go. He sat down at the base of a large tree once he was out of sight of them all and removed the letter from his pocket.

Harry
Even though I am still adamant that I am neither cute nor adorable it may be worth being called such degrading things just to find out so much about you. I had no idea that green is your favourite colour, how very Slytherin of you. I already knew of your passion for anything sugary and sweet, though I readily admit to not know that full extent of it. I cannot wait to see you tomorrow evening, my mother would like me to ask you if you have any food allergies so she can avoid inadvertently killing you. I cannot stop thinking about you either. Though don’t assume that you can so easily avoid the difficult subjects with me, no matter your feelings on the matter we will have to discuss our childhoods eventually. My confession to you this time is that I already care for you a great deal Harry and I want to know everything about you, the good and the bad.
Draco

Of course that made Harry extremely nervous. Draco was persistent and clearly wasn’t about to let the issue of their childhoods drop. Putting the letter back into his pocket he made his way back to his friends where his firebolt was waiting for him. Mounting his broomstick he kicked off from the ground to join his friends in the air. He needed a bit of time before he could respond as he needed to consider what he would write carefully. He needed something that would delay the questions for the time being and not arouse suspicion either.

As he soared into the air, climbing ever higher, it felt as if he had left his worries on the ground below. Up here he was free to just be himself and enjoy the sensation of the wind through his hair, inhale the glorious scents of the summer and think about nothing but the weightless freedom of flying. He joined Ginny high above the rest of the game, searching out the golden snitch while the others passed the Quaffle to one another trying to score through the haphazard goal hoops that were well in need of repair.

HPDM

Pansy Parkinson was the first to arrive at Malfoy Manor later that afternoon, followed shortly by Blaise Zabini and then lastly by Daphne Greengrass. Not once in all their years of friendship had the four of them ventured into one another’s bedrooms. The Slytherin’s in them saying that it was too personal a space to share, even with friends, so they sat in the main sitting room of the Manor, a house elf having brought them all a cup of tea, except Draco who couldn’t stand the stuff and was instead enjoying his fourth mug of coffee for the day.

“You boys look stunning,” Pansy said once they had been left alone. She had grown into her looks in recent years. Even though she still looked remarkably pug like she was prettier for it. Her dark hair glossy and thick, falling to her shoulders and her eyes a glittering blue.

“Creature inheritance,” Blaise said proudly, puffing out his chest with arrogance, “I’m Elven, beauty is part of the package.”

“Indeed,” Draco said, unimpressed with Blaise’s show of egotistical dominance. He didn’t need to catch the oak scent to know that he was no submissive. However Draco had known that this would be the case the moment that he had found out that Zabini had come into his own Elven inheritance. He had always been on the larger side compared to the blonde, taller and bulker with muscle, this hadn’t changed much at all.

“What about you Draco?” Daphne asked curiously eyeing up Malfoy with interest. Blaise had tied his lengthy black hair back in a ponytail, proudly displaying his pointed Elven ears. His dark skin practically glowing, the golden eyes a stunning contrast. He too had bulked out and gained height since the inheritance so that he now towered over all of them at 6ft 2. Draco was only 5ft 9 in comparison to his friend.

“Though I do not wish to publicise myself as much as Blaise is I can tell you that I too am Elven,” Draco drawled coldly to them before taking a sip of his coffee.

“You’re keen enough to publicise your relationship with Potter though,” Blaise snapped at him irritably, he had heard the intended insult in Draco’s words and did not appreciated them in the slightest. The slighter of the two witches was already eyeing the two wizards warily as she played with a strand of her long blonde hair, fully prepared to grab for her wand at a moment’s notice.

“I wanted to ask you about that myself,” Pansy said, “It was all over the Daily Prophet today that the two of you are together now, in love with each other apparently.”

“Is it true that he loves you?” Daphne asked curiously, Draco only sighed at the intrusion of his love life, wondering why they were all so curious all of a sudden. They had never been concerned about his exploits between the sheets before now. He was beginning to wonder if this was how Harry felt under the constant bombardment of questions about things that were too personal to be discussing with anyone. He placed his coffee down to free up his hands just in case he might need his wand. The trust was never fully there between the four of them, they were always on edge, waiting for one of them to attack.

“Harry and I are dating,” He confirmed, “It is a relatively recent development between the two of us so I highly doubt that he is in love with me as the Daily Prophet claims. I do expect you to be civil to him and to his friends this year however. There is no need for further hostility now that the war is over,” Draco said smoothly, hoping that he would be able to get his friends on board with this. However he didn’t hold out much hope for this happening. They were very much stuck in the old ways but he would be foolish if he didn’t at least try for civility between the two houses.

“Well you are one lucky man Draco, I saw that article in Which Wizard, I don’t know what happened but that boy is certainly tempting, at least he would be if he was a pureblood,” Daphne said, a dreamy look in her eye that told them all that she was censoring her thoughts for their benefit. What she was really thinking about had no place in civilised conversation. She would never admit to it though, she wouldn’t stoop so low to admitting she had a crush on a half-blood traitor.

“Daphne, I would appreciate it greatly if you wouldn’t even be tempted over my boyfriend,” He said in a way that told her he knew exactly what she was thinking.

“Yes, I saw that article myself. They were speculating about whether or not Potter had come into his own creature inheritance,” Blaise mused thoughtfully, his golden eyes glittering dangerously.

“Do you believe everything you read in the papers Blaise, I thought you had more brains than that,” Draco drawled back, trying to keep his temper in check, he didn’t want any of them knowing about Harry but especially not Blaise. He wanted to keep Harry’s secret and protect him from the lustful advances of Zabini, whose brain cells seemed only to operate the lower half of his body. It made Draco’s blood boil to think of Blaise Zabini being the one to touch Harry, to claim his innocence without thought or care. If it was within his power then he would never let it happen.

“I don’t think you’d be getting this angry if it wasn’t true Draco,” Blaise said in triumph, “I can sense your emotions now remember, you can’t hide behind that impenetrable Malfoy mask with me anymore.”

The two young women were watching the exchange with interest and caution, ready to react if things became more heated but not wanting to miss the face-off between the two dominant Elven males either. If the two of them started fighting or duelling then it would certainly be an entertaining battle that neither Pansy nor Daphne wanted to miss. Though they knew they would do their duty as friends and separate them before too much damage was done to them or the furniture.

“I am angry Blaise because of the way you are talking about my boyfriend. All of you ought to leave well enough alone. He has been through enough already,” Draco said placidly, not wanting to rise to anything that Blaise said as he desperately tried to calm himself down. However it was unfortunate for him that at that moment his mother decided to walk into the sitting room that the four of them were occupying and starting up a conversation as if they didn’t have guests at all.

“Draco, dear one, has Harry written back to you yet? I really need to finalise the dinner plan for tomorrow evening,” Narcissa said after sweeping majestically into the room with quill and parchment in hand as she scribbled out her notes.

“No mother, he has not,” Draco said, tensing as he felt Blaise become awash with self-satisfaction. Draco knew his friend far too well to be naive enough to believe he didn’t have a plan. He waited patiently until his mother had left the room before grabbing Zabini by the scruff of the neck and slamming him up against the nearest wall with a growl. Blaise only sneered at him with amusement and elation. “You’ll stay away from him Blaise,” Draco snarled at him.

“He is like us, isn’t he but I net, judging by your reaction he’s a submissive,” Blaise cackled with victory, “A true prize, a male submissive is a rare treat.”

“Harry’s mine,” Draco said through gritted teeth, hatred coursing through him, “You’ll leave him alone.”

“Not a chance,” Blaise jeered, “Just because you’re all high and mighty Malfoy doesn’t mean you get everything you want. I know our laws, I have every right to chase him as you do.”

“I’ve kissed him already, only one step away from full bonding, he’s mine,” Draco snarled dangerously. He was not averse to ripping Blaise’s head off at that moment but he feared what his mother would think and even with magical aid blood was a hard stain to scrub from the walls and carpet. It was perhaps only Narcissa’s sanity that made him refrain from killing his fellow Slytherin in that moment.

“But that was before he had options,” Zabini retorted, “After everything you’ve done to him and his pathetic Gryffindor friends, everything your father did, why would he ever want you?” Blaise sneered hatefully, “I can see him already, kneeling down before me, begging to please me and I’ll let him too before fucking him into oblivion. Maybe when I’m done with him you can have a turn, for a price of course.”

Enraged by Blaise’s words he drew back his fist and punched him squarely in the jaw before Pansy jumped up, wand in hand, shouting the spell to separate the two wizards before they could do anymore damage to one another or the room they were in, it wouldn’t do to damage or break the antique furniture, most of it was several hundred years old after all.

“Get out,” Draco hissed, “All of you, get out of this house!”

Blaise only laughed at him as he wiped the blood from the split lip on to his sleeve. “Guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow Draco,” He said as he headed for the fireplace, happy to use the floo network to take his leave for now. Pansy and Daphne gave Draco concerned looks but said nothing before following in Zabini’s wake deciding that it was better to take their leave rather than risking the blondes temper any more.

HPDM

Harry sat down to write his response to Draco just before dinner that night, realising that he was a little late but it had taken him this long to work out what he was going to say. Plus the others had only just left, their game of Quidditch having carried on for hours after the snitch had decided to become more elusive than usual, even to Harry’s enhanced Elven eyes.

Draco
Please tell your mother that I have no food allergies to speak of and won’t accidentally kill me. As for the avoidance, I’m sorry. My childhood is not something I like to relive. Not even Ron and Hermione know the full extent of what it was like for me growing up and I don’t think that I am ready to share that yet. Again all I can say is that I’m sorry. My confession to you is that I have never felt more nervous or scared about anything more than this dinner tomorrow – including fighting Voldemort. The only thing easing this feeling is that I get to see you again.
Harry

Sending Padfoot off into the twilight sky he decided that he should head down for dinner despite not feeling particularly hungry. His stomach was twisting in knots at the prospect of the following evening and it had taken away his appetite. He had already asked for Hermione and Ginny to help him get ready the next day which would be one less thing on his mind at least. He just wanted to see Draco again, to smell his intense chestnut scent, to hold him close and never let go.

HPDM

Harry’s reply reached Draco just as he was climbing into bed. His mood had not improved since he had kicked Blaise, Daphne and Pansy out. Zabini’s threat of coming back the next day still ringing in his ears. Draco didn’t like to think that Blaise would be at Malfoy Manor when Harry was here, the very idea of it fuelling his anger. He didn’t want that sex hungry Elven anywhere near his Harry.

Blaise’s words had been harsh but they rung true, Draco had seen him treat many a witch and wizard in that appalling manor without batting an eyelid. Zabini was gorgeous and he knew it, using people to get what he wanted and then cruelly discarding them when he had no further use for them. Draco wasn’t about to stand by and let that happen to Harry as well.

The blonde scanned over the contents of the letter, his mood lightening at the hastily scribbled words upon the parchment. The very core of his being was crying out to protect the young man who had clearly suffered so greatly in his life already. If he could have held the boy in his arms at that moment then he would have done, he would have travelled any distance necessary to be able to but he knew that for tonight at least his yearning would go unsatisfied. He climbed into his large empty bed and attempted to find comfort in sleep but the raging emotions he could sense from Harry prevented it.

Instead he lay awake, staring at the ceiling as he tried to come to terms with the gut wrenching nerves and anxiety Harry was experiencing while also battling with his own thoughts and emotions regarding his so called friends. He had never sought out to be friends with them, it had been thrust upon him by his mother who, at the time he was born, believed that he needed only socialise with those of the right blood status and social standing. Instantly the four of them had been thrust together purely because they had been the same age.

Pansy was now more of a simpering puppy, following him around because it was all she knew, all the while her sapphire blue eyes on the lookout for a wealthy husband to make claim to, of course he would have to be pure blood to satisfy her family but that wouldn’t be too difficult. Daphne of course acting as docile as a deer but Draco had seen her bite, he knew she was one to look out for, especially when pissed off. The two females were the prime example of keeping friends close and enemies closer. Neither of them however would have any interest in Harry beyond appreciative glances because of his blood status.

Blaise on the other hand was dangerous and Draco knew this. He would chase after Harry with relentless enthusiasm if only because Draco wanted him. Blaise Zabini may not ever have known his father but he was more like him than even his mother, Tilly was willing to admit. He had passed on his spiteful cruelty to his son and his eager determination too. He was not someone to be trifled with.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eight - The Malfoy dinner

The morning of Harry’s dreaded dinner at Malfoy Manor he awoke from a nightmare as he had every morning since the war had ended but the difference was on this particular morning was the cold sweat he was drenched in. He had been dreaming about being back in Malfoy Manor, being held captive again in their cellar turned dungeon, at least it had looked like their dungeon in the dream. Voldemort had been alive in his nightmare, back and stronger than ever and wanting revenge.

He had been strung up from the ceiling in chains powerless, wandless and forced to watch as every single person he cared about, everyone he had ever felt love for, was brutally and mercilessly slaughtered in front of his eyes. All of the Weasley’s, his school friends and finally, when he believed that he was numb to the agony of it all, Draco had been dragged in. He was the last and despite the hollow emptiness in his chest he had struggled desperately against the cuffs that held him up, fighting to reach him. He had pleaded for Draco to be spared through dry cracked lips, his voice hoarse from screaming and crying, the blood of his friends and family already coating the walls around him. Harry’s pleading words becoming nothing more than a source of amusement to his relentless tormentor.

Voldemort had only laughed, a cruel and mocking cackle that chilled Harry to the very core. He watched on helplessly, looking into Draco’s beautiful mercury eyes that spoke volumes without a sound ever leaving his lips. They didn’t need words, they just knew. They wouldn’t give Voldemort the satisfaction of knowing what they shared. Draco’s hands were already bound behind his back, Tom Riddle holding him up on his knees by a fistful of beautiful white blonde hair, exposing the beautiful pointed Elven ears in all their glory. It was all Harry could do to keep from screaming as Voldemort took his wand to Draco’s temple and used a severing charm to remove each of those precious ears from his body.

Harry knew that the removal of an Elven creatures ears was just as much of a death sentence as the killing curse was to any witch or wizard. But Draco hadn’t made a sound as the damage had been done, he had simply looked at Harry with love and adoration in his eyes. When the Dark Lord released his grip upon the white blonde hair, Draco fell forward, collapsing on to his stomach with nothing to break his fall, writhing in agony as he gasped for pained breathes. Only then did Harry scream in anguish, pulling violently against the chains that held him up, the pain shooting down his wrists like lightning bolts as he struggled to free himself. He wanted to reach Draco, to hold him even as he died but he was denied this and could only watch as the man he loved died right before his eyes.

Spent and exhausted with no more tears left to cry, his throat raw from screaming he just gave up. Everyone he loved was dead, his heart was broken and so was he, Draco was dead and there was nothing that he could do to bring him back. His chin fell to his chest and that was when he saw it. His stomach rounded heavily with child, a baby created out of love and affection and now its father was dead, its mother damaged beyond repair, all before it was even born.

Harry sat bolt upright in bed, his wand grasped tightly in his right hand, the memory of his dream vividly in his mind, his chest heaving with the effort of catching his breath. It took him a long while to bring his mind back to the present and out of the nightmare. He had to remind himself that Voldemort was dead and gone, he had killed him, delivering a final death that couldn’t be undone. His left hand had instinctively come to rest upon his abdomen which was still flat and muscular and not rounded with child. He was not pregnant and Draco was alive and well, probably still fast asleep in his bed.

Though he could remember how the metal cuffs had felt against the skin of his wrist, his muscles ached from remembered pain in his arms from struggling against the chains that bound him. The pain in his chest from the loss of everyone he loved felt real enough. He hated these nightmares, the ones that felt as if they were prophecies, an insight into the future they were so vivid. That shook him to the core and he couldn’t shake the memory of them.

Taking a few deep steadying breaths he lowered his wand but not feeling comfortable enough to let it go just yet. Fear still bubbled dangerously close to the surface as he attempted to calm himself. He was grateful for the silencing spells he’d cast before falling asleep, something which was becoming a habit for him to do. His throat was sore and he knew that he’d really been screaming. If he hadn’t erected the silencing charms then he would have woken the entire household with his nightmare.

Throwing off his duvet he decided he needed a shower. He felt sticky, a sheen of sweat covering his body. Looking out of the window Harry could see that dawn was only just breaking and he could tell that no one else was awake yet, not even Molly who was usually the first to rise. For this reason he made sure he kept quite as he crept to the bathroom across the hall from his room where he cast more silencing and locking charms before allowing himself to collapse under the warm spray of the shower and cry. It wasn’t often that he let his emotions out but after that nightmare he just couldn’t contain them any longer.

The pain that he had felt in his dream had been so real, he really thought that he’d lost everyone he cared about, that somehow Voldemort had come back to seek revenge on him. It was a fear that he lived with on a daily basis even though he knew that it would be impossible. Tom Riddle was gone for good, every last fragment of his soul destroyed but Harry still couldn’t escape the feeling that one day his worst fear would one day be realised and Voldemort would return. Curling into a ball in the bathtub beneath the downpour of the shower which rained down upon him, he allowed the pain to wash over him, consuming him. The silencing charms he had put up were like a safety blanket for him. He didn’t want anyone to know how weak and frail he was.

 

HPDM

 

Draco had woken up at the break of dawn for seemingly no apparent reason and he couldn’t understand why. He hoped that he might be able to get back to sleep and get a few more hours rest. He would need all the rest he could get in preparation for this evening as he had a feeling in his gut that something was going to go horribly wrong. However before he could even close his eyes again a heart wrenching pain tore through his chest and all he could think about was Harry.

He felt as if he needed to go to him, to be with him and to hold him close but he didn’t know where he was or how to get to him so he just lay immobile, struggling to draw breath. The agony was too much to bear, it was like no pain he had ever felt before and he had been at the receiving end of a fair few of Voldemort’s cruciatus curses. Harry was slowly and agonisingly torturing himself with these emotions and Draco could feel every one of them. There seemed to be no rest bite from it, the suffering never ending. Tears slipped down his cheeks as he gripped fiercely at his chest, willing the pain to stop.

Over an hour later, after the sun had risen up into the sky, the pain ebbed away. A new day had broken, one that found Draco huddled in a ball, recovering from the onslaught of Harry’s emotions. Usually he would have had to seek out Harry, actively using his Elven abilities to pick up the Gryffindor’s emotions but as he had been asleep and dreaming about him they had subconsciously become connected. Once the emotions had latched on to him, Draco had been powerless to stop them. His only option had been to ride it out.

 

HPDM

 

“No” Harry said defiantly, giving his best friend a scathing look, “I’m not wearing that,” He told Ron who was holding up a maroon Weasley jumper, mocking him as he stressed over what to wear for the Malfoy dinner that was less than an hour away. Hermione and Ginny however were genuinely trying to help him, rummaging through his new clothes and debating between the two of them about what look to go for. Harry was stood, completely unabashed, in only his boxers, which were a bright Gryffindor red. Harry was certain that Draco wouldn’t be seeing them this evening. If that had been in any doubt then he would have changed them for something a little less brightly coloured.

An hour previously the Malfoy family owl had arrived with a short and simple note from Draco addressed to Harry that had given him instructions on how to get into the manor via the floo network. Surprisingly it also contained a request to have him meet an hour earlier than originally planned, which had done nothing to ease Harry’s nerves or the feeling of foreboding that had suddenly crept over him just after breakfast, which he had hardly touched at all.

“Okay,” Ginny said, “How about this?” She suggested. She was holding up a pair of plain black dress trousers and Hermione held up a long sleeved grey shirt. Earlier that afternoon when they had been discussing outfit choices for the evening Harry had divulged to his friends that Draco’s favourite colour was silver, hence the grey shirt the two girls were trying to convince him to wear.

“Pass them here,” Harry said, nervously casting a glance to the clock on the nightstand which told him he would be meeting Draco in just half an hour. He pulled on the clothes that had been selected for him, tucking his shirt into his trousers before doing them up. “What do you think?” He asked, turning in a full circle for them to inspect him. He really wanted to make a good impression, he was meeting his boyfriends mother after all. It didn’t seem to matter that they had already met, the circumstances had been very different. When Narcissa had saved his life in the forbidden forest Harry hadn’t been dating her one and only son.

“Perfect,” Hermione said smiling. The initial shock of Harry’s transformation from regular wizard to stunning ethereal half Elven creature had worn off a little. Although she could still admire how attractive he was she didn’t feel anything for him. Ron was her man and she loved him greatly. When she looked at Harry all she saw was the brother she had never had growing up. She loved him but as a sister would love her brother and that’s all it would ever be between them.

“Gorgeous,” Ginny answered, fully appreciating the fine hunk of man standing before her, asking for her opinion. She was well aware just how many witches would have killed to be in the position she was in at that very moment. Ogling the famous wizard without judgement or fuelling his temper, to be his friend and to be valued by him was priceless to the youngest Weasley child. It was a good place to be regardless of the fact her love for him would never be reciprocated. Ron remained very quiet on the subject of how his friend was looking, not feeling entirely comfortable commenting on how attractive his best friend was and not liking the fact that his girlfriend was spending more time appreciating Harry Potter than him.

“Really?” Harry asked dubiously as he turned to look at himself in the full length mirror. He didn’t exactly like what he saw there but that had nothing to do with the clothes he was wearing, which looked good enough. Though even if they had looked ghastly he wouldn’t have had the time to change without being late.

“See,” Ginny said appreciatively, “Stunning.”

“Thanks guys,” Harry said as he forced on his shoes and socks. His heart was racing uncontrollably by the time he began descending the stairs, heading for the fireplace where he would use the floo network to reach Malfoy Manor. Several times just on the staircase he almost turned around to run back up to his room and hide under his duvet but he kept his Gryffindor courage intact and at exactly five minutes to five he stepped into the fireplace and was off.

 

HPDM

 

Draco stood in the sitting room waiting rather impatiently for his boyfriend to arrive, he had been waiting since quarter to five, just in case Harry arrived a little early. Though he should have known well enough by now that Harry was rarely on time, let alone early for anything. He had sent a note asking for an extra hour of his time this evening because he felt they needed to talk, especially after what had happened that morning. It had bothered him all day, he had been unable to think of anything else. He couldn’t imagine bottling up that level of pain and pretending that he was okay and that there was nothing wrong with him.

He had dressed in grey dress trousers and a dark, forest green shirt with long sleeves as he had wanted to wear Harry’s favourite colour for him. His hair fanned out, protecting his pointed ears from view. He had been dressed and ready since half past three, nervous and preoccupied with thoughts about Harry. He had gone over ways that he could prevent Blaise from coming to dinner but he hadn’t had time to alter the wards or to go through ministry channels to bar him from using the floo network to arrive. His mother couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

Narcissa highly approved of his friends getting to know his boyfriend. Tilly and Blaise Zabini were practically family after all, they had certainly know each other for long enough. It was a running joke between the two women that their children should have been betrothed to be married. Little did they know that the two boys had discovered and experimented with their sexuality together from the age of fourteen. This was something that had been very easy to do when they shared a dormitory at Hogwarts. They hadn’t got past a few nervous kisses and tentative hand jobs but the fact remained they still knew each other intimately. It was only now as he faced the prospect of protecting his boyfriend from Blaise’s advances that he regretted those experimentations with his friend.

At exactly five on the dot, as the clock on the mantel began to chime the fire roared into a bright emerald green flames and Harry Potter literally tumbled out of the fireplace and into his arms. Draco grinned at him from the awkward position they were in, loving how embarrassed and apologetic Harry looked for his clumsiness.

“Falling for me already, mon amour?” The blonde asked, delighted to see that his words caused Harry’s cheeks to flame a brilliant red that, unbeknownst to Draco, matched the colour of his boxer shorts. Harry struggled to his feet, attempting to right himself and brush himself down but Draco, however, kept their bodies close, not wanting to lose the contact between them. Harry was in a place he had never wanted to come back to but being within such a close proximity to Draco made him forget all of that, the thick chestnut scent immediately working into his lungs, embracing him with comfort and warmth.

“You’re gorgeous,” Harry said quietly, he couldn’t help but stare openly into the swirling mass of silver that looked down at him with affection. Draco leaned forward, capturing the other teens lips between his own, delighted when Harry made the first move to deepen their kiss. Arms entwined around one another. Tongues met, exploring each other’s mouths eagerly, devouring one another with intensity. It almost made Draco forget the reason why he had asked Harry to come here early in the first place. Almost but not quite.

“Walk with me,” Draco requested when the kiss broke, leaving them both a little breathless and emotionally charged. Harry could only nod his response as Draco linked their arms and set off towards the front door, moving so fast that Harry didn’t have a chance to take in his surroundings.

They remained holding hands with their arms linked together as they took a walk around the grounds of Malfoy Manor, which were expansive to say the least, at least four acres of land, not including the woodland to the rear of the property. They hadn’t managed to get far from the house before Draco began to speak. If he didn’t get it out now then he would lose his nerve about asking and he needed to know. It would bother him too much if he didn’t.

“What happened to you this morning, mon amour, and please don’t lie to me,” He said softly. He spoke calmly and with consideration. Anyone who could feel that level of emotion and bottle it up needed to be treated with care and tenderness, as if any sharp or sudden movements would cause him to react negatively.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked, suddenly fearful. He knew all too well what had happened this morning. He swallowed painfully as he vividly recalled the nightmare that had tormented him before he had awoken, the cold sweat that had coated his body and the resulting hour he had spent in the shower, sobbing as he attempted to rip the feeling of losing everyone he loved out from under his skin. But Draco couldn’t know that, it was impossible for him to know that, surely.

“I can feel your emotions, Harry, we’re connected even without solidifying the bond. Please tell me what happened.” Again Draco kept his voice steady and even. He didn’t want to scare Harry, he wanted for him to feel comfortable enough to talk to him about things like this. He wanted to know the truth and he want Harry to tell him willingly, without any pressure.

“How can you do that, why would you?” Harry demanded with a mixture of surprise and confusion. Those emotions were personal, he didn’t want anyone to know how he felt let alone experience them with him, he was meant to be strong, he didn’t want anyone to know how weak he actually was. People looked up to him, hero worshipped him. He wasn’t ready to share that with anyone not even Draco, not yet and it made him angry that the blonde had pried there when he hadn’t been welcome.

Harry took a deep breath trying to calm his building anger, knowing that it would be difficult to explain and he wasn’t sure that he wanted to talk about it but if Draco really had felt what he had experienced this morning then he knew that there was no escaping it. Ready or not he had to tell him something. “It was a nightmare,” He said quietly, “The war, the things that happened, what I did, who I lost … it never leaves me.”

Despite his annoyance at the invasion of his privacy it was the most open he had been with anyone since the end of the war and it made him feel more vulnerable than ever as he said this. Harry didn’t like the feeling at all. He felt he was baring his soul when he mentioned his post war nightmares. He went to great lengths to conceal the fact he was having them from his family so they were usually bottled up and kept very personal. Divulging this to Draco left Harry feeling emotionally raw.

“What I felt from you this morning, it crippled me, literally. I hate the idea of you suffering through that. Do your friends even know how you’re feeling?” Harry shook his head and Draco sighed. “If you cannot talk to them will you at least try and talk to me?”

“I can’t make any promises I find it hard to talk about these things, but seeing as you’re suffering along with me now, whether I want you to or not I guess I can try,” Harry said with a long, tired sigh. He couldn’t stay angry, no matter how annoyed he was at his privacy being invaded in such a way. Harry knew that he had been foolish to think that he could manage to keep it hidden forever.

Draco stopped them in their progress and pulled Harry towards him, holding him there in a firm embrace that was reciprocated equally. They were stood in a small courtyard surrounded by ivy and white roses, a small stone fountain making the sounds of flowing water surrounding them. They were only minutes from the back door of the Manor but being outside made Harry feel a lot more relaxed than being inside. When he had arrived they had gone outside so quickly that he hadn’t had a chance to think about where he was. He found himself to be dreading the moment that he had to step foot inside again.

The hand not holding on to Harry’s reached up to brush a stray raven hair from his eyes, fingertips brushing against the sensitive tips of the pointed Elven ears as Draco attempted, in vain to tuck the stray hair behind his ear, the slight touch causing a shiver of pleasure to pass through Harry’s body.

“For you to try is all I ask,” Draco said as he gazed intently into the brilliantly green eyes of his boyfriend. A horrid thought growing in the back of his mind, they would have to solidify their bond sooner rather than later if Draco was to any chance of protecting Harry from Blaise’s persistent advances. He knew that Harry wasn’t ready for such a big step and it bothered him that they might have to rush things for the sake of his protection.

A sharp crack announced the arrival of a rather nervous looking house elf who bowed to Draco and Harry, dipping so low his nose touched the ground. “Master Draco, your mother would like to inform you that diner is ready Sir and that a Mr Blaise Zabini has also arrived.” The terrified house elf said in a rush, Draco noticeably tensed, even Harry felt it and he looked to the blonde curiously. He hadn’t thought that it would be anyone other than just the three of them. He certainly hadn’t expected for Blaise Zabini, a boy whose name he vaguely recognized from school but couldn’t put a face to, to be here. What with Draco’s reaction he could only assume that it wasn’t a positive thing that he had shown up.

“Thank you, Pety,” Draco acknowledged, his tone stiff and cold, so unlike how he had been talking to Harry only moments before. The house elf gave another little bow and vanished with a sharp crack, leaving them alone once more, still holding each other.

“I thought it was just us and your mother for dinner?” Harry asked nervously.

“It was supposed to be,” Draco hissed with annoyance but the grimaced when he realised the tone he had taken with Harry who seemed a little taken aback by it. “I am sorry, mon amour, I didn’t mean to speak to you like that.” As Draco apologized he drew Harry closer to his body, nuzzling into his neck and inhaling the sweet scent that he was emitting, finding that it was calming to him.

“Why is Blaise Zabini here then?” Harry asked, confused by Draco’s behaviour and struggling to concentrate as he felt the blondes lips ghosting across his neck. He had been affronted by the fact that Draco could be so sweet and affectionate one minute and be so cold and detached the next like seemingly flicking a switch. It made the Gryffindor extremely nervous as to what he had got himself into. However as Draco nibbled upon the exposed skin at his shirt collar all Harry could think about was how good it felt to have him so close, the chestnut scent intoxicating him worse than any drug could.

Draco took a deep calming breath, allowing the sugary scent from Harry wash over him. He didn’t want to take his anger over Blaise making an unwelcome appearance out on his boyfriend, it wasn’t fair. He would have to keep his anger in check around the younger Elven because otherwise he was going to risk frightening him away. If Harry became afraid of him then there was no way Draco would be able to protect him, something that was imperative.

“Blaise is like me,” He said, his entire body tense as he explained things truthfully, “A dominant Elven.” There was no point in lying about the situation when it would be so obvious. Zabini wasn’t the wisest young man and wasn’t bothering to conceal his new inheritance. Of course it was nothing to be ashamed of, the Ministry wouldn’t even mind as even full Elven were not deemed to be dangerous creatures. It was the poachers that they had to watch out for. Though it wouldn’t be any loss for Blaise to be captured and killed by poachers for his ears, it would be the his just desserts for the fact that he didn’t even bother to hide them from plain sight.

“Oh,” Harry said as this new piece of information sunk in, “He’s here for me isn’t he?” He asked anxiously and Draco tightened his hold around the Gryffindor possessively. He could feel the insecurities radiating off the younger teen, the uncertainty and the fear.

“You have to understand how rare you are, mon amour. Male submissive Elven such as you are almost unheard of, add to that your fame, status and innocence, I stand almost no chance of holding on to you until we are bonded,” Draco said, believing wisely that honesty was the best policy where Harry was concerned. He hoped that his Gryffindor would appreciate that.

“Is that why you want me?” Harry asked, feeling as if no one would ever want him for him. His fame and status was going to haunt him for the rest of his life. Now with the added curse of being the rarest type of Elven creature known to their kind, he doubted that he would ever get over his insecurities. He had told Draco so many personal things already but maybe that had been foolishly stupid and naive of him. Could Draco truly want him for him or was it because of his unique rarity, which to Harry only certified the fact that he was a freak, an abnormality even to the wizarding world and he hated it.

“If I only wanted you for those reasons then I wouldn’t have bothered to even attempt to get to know you beyond what everyone else can see, let alone share what I have with you, most of which my mother and friends don’t even know. Just remember that, Harry. Elven mating law dictates that I cannot speak poorly of any competition to your affections and I am sure that there will be much in the way of competition. In the end you may not chose me but whoever you decide to take as your mate know that I care for you and will always be there for you as a friend, whenever you need to talk,” Draco said a little stiffly. He hated even the notion that Harry might not chose him when the time came for a decision to be made. The idea just didn’t sit well with him, but if it happened then he would have to deal with it. He would have to come to terms with the loss of something so pure and so perfect that he would never find anything quite so perfect again.

“Always?” Harry asked, his tone almost inaudible. The word held a great deal of weight with him and reminded him of the never ending love that Severus Snape had had for his mother, despite her loving and marrying another man. He dreamed that someone would one day love him with that much affection, he yearned for it but he was broken and he was damaged, he doubted he would ever find anything quite so perfect.

“Always,” Draco confirmed as he began to lead Harry back towards the house. If he could have taken him anywhere else or even just stayed outside in the little courtyard, just the two of them alone, then he would have done. However he could not, in good conscience, do that to his mother who had so desperately wanted this dinner and to meet Harry officially. So together they walked to their fate.

Draco did not miss the faltering step Harry took as they entered Malfoy Manor hand in hand. It was only when they stopped and he sent a questioning look to his potential mate that he realised what had happened the last time Harry had been here. He had been foolish not to realise sooner the implications of bringing Harry to this place. He looked apologetically to him, not knowing what else to do. Squeezing his hand gently as a sign of support they hesitated, giving Harry time to adjust to his surroundings.

The Gryffindor could see that the Manor was much changed from his last visit which had been decidedly more unpleasant than this one. It no longer felt dark and depressing as he remembered it to have been before, the air was free from the stagnant aroma of dark magic and bloodshed. It was almost as if it had been transformed since Voldemort had been defeated. The formally grand Manor house slowly returning to its former glory, from before the residents steeped it with evil and foreboding. Harry would never be comfortable here, never be happy but to make Draco and his mother happy he would be able to tolerate it. As long as he didn’t think too hard about what had happened here or what lurked beneath his feet below the ground.

When Harry first laid eyes upon Blaise Zabini he had very little recollection of him, unable to recall any memory of him from when they had been at school together. All he could remember was that he had been a bit of a poser even in his younger years and had been friends with Draco, in fact the only time he had ever seen the boy was when he had been spending time with the blonde. He was a Slytherin, obviously and from a proud pure-blooded family line. His dark skin glowed beautifully, his dark hair falling in luscious waves past his shoulders. This evening he had tied it back, which greatly surprised Harry as it displayed his Elven ears. He wouldn’t have thought that any Elven would have wanted their ears on show so blatantly, he certainly didn’t.

Harry’s own Elven nature seemed to take over a little upon the sight of the other teenager. He took note that he was taller than Draco and more strongly built too. It was his Elven side that suddenly became very interested in this muscular looking man. His creature wanted the most powerful and dominant Elven mate to protect and care not only for him but also any future children they could have together. Blaise certainly fit that criteria. It was Harry’s human side that was more wary of him. There was something about Blaise Zabini that he just didn’t trust. Though he was certainly a very handsome man, his Elven blood and inheritance became him. Before his eighteenth birthday he had always faded into the background, paling in comparison to the likes of Draco. Now they were no longer simply wizards however they were equal in their good looks. One young man was light, fair and ethereal, the other dark, brooding and seemingly extremely dangerous if the vibes harry got from him were anything to go by.

The Elven side of him screamed relentlessly that Blaise would make the better mate, stronger and more powerful than Draco, he would be a better protector. Harry however could not shake off the feeling of distrust. He was unsure of how he’d managed it when he couldn’t sense anything from Draco but he could feel Blaise’s emotions radiating from him powerfully. There was lust, desire and a hungry determination. It bothered Harry that he had never been able to pick anything up from the blonde when Draco could so clearly sense what he was feeling. He would have loved to have known why that was but the book he had read on the subject hadn’t gone into great detail about it and he had no one other than Draco to ask.

“Harry, so good to see you again,” Narcissa said, sweeping in between him and Blaise, breaking their eye contact. Draco’s arm was still wrapped possessively around Harry’s waist. With the other Slytherin eyeing Harry like he was a piece of meat that he was ready to devour Draco didn’t want to let him go.

“It’s nice to see you again too, Mrs Malfoy,” Harry said politely, nervously glancing around the foreboding room, that despite having no remnants of who had resided here only months beforehand still held terrible memories for him, ones that he couldn’t shake no matter how hard he tried, especially after his nightmare last night. The last time he had been in this room they had duelled. Shortly afterwards as a result Dobby had died.

“Please dear, call me Narcissa,” She said eyeing the couple before her with appreciation as they stood in the cavernous entrance hall. “What an attractive couple the two of you make,” She cooed at them, “Don’t you think, Blaise dear?”

“Oh yes,” He agreed though not sounding convinced of this fact, “But I think Harry and myself would look even more attractive together,” Blaise said moving toward the uncomfortable Gryffindor, hoisting him rather forcefully from Draco’s grip and pulling him into his body, one arm draping casually over Harry’s shoulders. A heavy oak scent hit Harry as Blaise did this, though he didn’t find it quite as enthralling, captivating or even comforting as the chestnut scent belonging to Draco. The oak scent that Blaise emitted to tell Harry that he was interested in him didn’t seem to be as intoxicating. He didn’t feel even half way as incapacitated by Blaise as he did when he was around Draco.

“Attractive, yes, but I think that Harry flatters my Draco more than he does you, Master Zabini” Narcissa said eyeing Blaise reproachfully, now rethinking how much of a good idea it was to have the extra guest for dinner this evening, “Though it seems my Dragon has competition for your affection Harry dear,” She said, easing Harry away from Blaise. “Come dear one, dinner is served.” Narcissa then lead Harry from the entrance hall and through to the dining room, leaving Draco and Blaise to bring up the rear. Neither of the dominant Elven said a word to one another, Draco didn’t trust himself not to lose his temper and say something that he would regret.

Harry was feeling entirely overwhelmed by the attentions of three people solely on him. He really didn’t like being the centre of attention, it made him extremely uncomfortable. Combined with the discomfort and unease he was experiencing about being back in Malfoy Manor after his last visit here he was struggling to cope with everything he was feeling.

“Do you intend on returning to Hogwarts in September?” Narcissa asked him conversationally as she showed Harry to his seat. Narcissa sat opposite him, Blaise and Draco taking a chair on either side of him like they were his own personal guards. The older witch was smiling indulgently at her three young dining companions, though keeping a cautionary eye on Blaise now that she was aware he wasn’t here purely for the pleasure of their company.

“Yes, I’m looking forward to going back to school. It’ll be nice to have a quite year there before we go out into the real world,” Harry said politely, fidgeting in his seat a little, overly aware of the two young men either side of him.

“What aspirations do you have for yourself after you finish your education?” Narcissa asked to keep the conversation going seeing as neither Draco nor Blaise seemed willing to contribute. The goblets before them all magically filling with red wine.

“Well everyone expects me to become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic and up until last year that was the career path I was studying towards but I’m not so sure if that’s what I want to do anymore,” Harry told her honestly.

“Well you certainly have a knack for dealing with dark wizards,” She said approvingly, after all being an Auror was a very respectable job to have. Draco had tensed a little at the mention of Harry becoming an Auror, which in his mind was an extremely dangerous profession to have no matter how respectable. It would not feel right to have Harry running around after dark wizards for a living, putting himself in danger but he kept his mouth firmly shut on the matter. Now was not the time to discuss it. Blaise however was not that smart.

“No mate of mine is going to be doing something as recklessly dangerous as that,” Blaise said with a scowl, glaring at Harry as if his word was the final one on the matter.

“Good thing I’m not your mate then.” Harry bit back, his temper flaring. Draco smirked into his goblet at his boyfriend’s response as he took a small sip of the wine within.

“Yet,” Blaise returned, a dangerous glint in his gorgeous golden eyes.

“Ever,” Harry responded, scooting his chair a little closer to Draco and leaning his head upon the blonde's shoulder. Blaise glared at the two of them hatefully. He was not giving up, it just made the chase all the more exciting. Blaise actually found that he liked the Gryffindor’s sass.

“Now, now boys,” Narcissa warned, the tension in the room intensifying. The house elves must have sensed that something wasn’t quite right because the starters suddenly appeared before them to serve as a welcome distraction. It was some kind of delicate cheese and filo pastry dish that smelt heavenly.

“This looks wonderful, Mrs Malfoy,” Harry said as he sat up to eat. He was being on his best behaviour this evening, wanting to make a good impression.

“Please, call me Narcissa,” She reminded him with light exasperation at the boys insistence of being so formal before thanking him for the praise, though they both knew it was the house elves that deserved the compliment seeing as they had been the ones to prepare all the food. Narcissa Malfoy didn’t even know how to cook beans on toast, not that she would ever degrade herself to eating something so plebeian even if she could prepare it herself. “It’s so nice to have company for dinner, the manor has been so quiet of late.”

Harry winced, up until May Malfoy Manor had been occupied by Voldemort, Bellatrix and the rest of the deatheaters, not to mention their prisoners. It made him very quickly lose his appetite as the images of the time he had been one of those prisoners came to the forefront of his mind again and he could distinctly hear Hermione screaming. Though, not wanting to be rude he suppressed the rising panic and forced himself to keep eating and keep smiling.

His main focus however became his goblet of wine which spread the familiar warmth of alcohol in his belly, which provided some comfort to him. Before the Great Battle of Hogwarts he’d never had any form of alcohol before but now he had discovered it he found that it was a convenient way to forget for a few hours. He was thrilled when he realised that his goblet magically refilled itself whenever it got too empty, which certainly made the evening more bearable.

The four of them somehow managed to exchange polite conversation throughout their starter and their main course without too much awkward discomfort, though an uneasy silence would descend upon them whenever they strayed too close to an uncomfortable topic, which were many for such a small group. Harry remained sat a little closer to Draco than to Blaise throughout the dinner, enjoying the close proximity and the occasional hand holding with his boyfriend that this allowed. However with Blaise a heavy presence to his other side of him Harry found that he was overly keen to escape the formal dinner and go back to the Burrow, vaguely wishing that he could take Draco with him. The atmosphere around the three young half Elven became tenser with each passing minute that ticked slowly by no matter how polite and neutral the conversation they were having was.

“Narcissa, I’ve never known you to serve treacle tart!” Blaise exclaimed in shock when desert appeared magically before them.

“For you,” Draco whispered to Harry so that only he could hear and the Gryffindor couldn’t help but smile at the thoughtfulness. To show how much he appreciated it he leaned over and placed a chaste kiss to Draco’s lips, an act that made Blaise scowl at them.

“Do you like treacle tart, Blaise?” Narcissa asked, sensing the displeasure from Zabini was feeling towards the young couple and trying to defuse the tension a little with her question. She was beginning to think that perhaps it would have been in the best interests of all involved to have gone against etiquette and not invited Blaise to stay for dinner when he turned up unannounced this evening.

Narcissa wasn’t keen on the way he was reacting to Harry and Draco together. She was however willing to rectify her mistake by playing a little dirty, after all she was a Black. She knew how much Harry liked this particular dessert and she was also aware that it was more commonly a childish treat given to children only on Halloween rather than a pudding befitting the Malfoy dinner table. Blaise on the other hand was only aware of one of these facts as he was far too egotistical to find out anything about the young man he was trying to woo away from Draco.

“I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, I find that I am sweet enough as it is already,” Was Blaise’s sickly reply as he gave Harry a not so subtle wink, which the Gryffindor was oblivious too as he tucked into his tart with vigour, not caring what Blaise thought of his favourite dessert.

Draco watched on happily as Harry ate, pleased with himself that he had asked his mother to serve it. It was certainly not a dessert that would normally be served at or anywhere near Malfoy Manor. If it hadn’t have been for Harry then this particular dish would never have been seen anywhere even close to the kitchens let alone the dining table. Lucius would have had a fit if he had been presented with treacle tart. It was not a dish usually deemed fit for consumption unless by very young children.

Of course Draco would never tell Harry any of this, he found it rather endearing that the hero of the wizarding world who had died twice and defeated the Dark Lord just as many times had such a passion for sugary treats. He found himself feeling rather indulgent of the younger teen who despite his great achievements and accomplishments in his young life was still only eighteen years old and had the naivety to match his age. Although many people saw him as a man he still had so many childish tendencies that made him the wonderful person he was, the person Draco just couldn’t stop thinking about. It was also the reason that things got rather out of hand when Blaise reached forward to run his fingers through soft, thick raven hair.

Blaise had been infuriated by the besotted, loving look on Draco’s face as he had watched Harry eat, he knew that he was losing the battle in making the submissive Elven he wanted so badly even notice him and that was not something he could allow to happen. He was much better looking than Malfoy and he deserved to have claim on the rarity that was Harry Potter. He would make his millions by whoring out the boy to have as many Elven children as possible with as many dominant Elven males desperate enough to pay through the nose to have a turn with a submissive so to carry on their blood line with an Elven child. First however he needed to bond with him, claim him as his own and continue his own blood line.

Reaching forward Blaise ran his fingers through the luscious strands of messy raven hair, loving the silky feel of it beneath the tips of his fingers. Casually he brushed against the sensitive tips of Harry’s pointed ears and rather than giving him a rush of pleasure as it had when Draco had touched them it initiated a rather violent growl to rip from the Gryffindor’s throat as he slapped the offending hand rather forcefully away from the side of his head.

“Don’t touch me!” Harry had snarled. He was extremely protective of his ears and he didn’t want anyone who wasn’t Draco to touch them.

What happened next happened so quickly that Narcissa barely had time to comprehend what was going on before her very eyes. Blaise had stood up from the table, enraged at Harry’s reaction to his kind gesture. Draco however had snorted in amusement at what Harry had done, elated to the point of light headed giddiness that Blaise was being rejected but that had only made the other Slytherin see red.

In blind anger he grabbed a rough fistful of Harry’s hair, dragging him from the table and onto his knees on the floor in front of him. Blaise stood towering over him, a livid glare upon his face. He had all of the control as he clenched the raven hair tightly in his fist. Harry had let out a cry of pain at the initial attack but now cowered silently, tears welling in his eyes as he tried to remain as motionless as possible, feeling that any movement and he would have nothing other than a bald patch at the top of his head to show for it.

“You will submit to me,” Zabini growled violently and Harry let out a small whimper of discomfort as Blaise forced his head backwards so that his neck was exposed and golden eyes that glinted with malicious intent could look into intense emerald that swam with unshed tears. His scalp was practically on fire and he could do nothing to fight off his attacker.

Draco had been out of his seat in a heartbeat the moment he had seen Blaise making a violent grab for Harry, wanting to protect him with every fibre of his being. His Elven dominance took over, his wand forgotten as he felt the urge to physically lash out at the other dominant male, to attack him, the urge to rip him apart limb by limb for daring to lay a hurtful finger on his Harry. However with Blaise’s grip only tightening upon the lusciously thick raven hair Draco knew any such actions would serve to only hurt Harry more. Which was something he wouldn’t allow.

“Let him go,” Draco growled through gritted teeth, his fists clenched in anger. He was posed, ready to pounce at the first given opportunity. Narcissa had got to her feet the moment Harry had been attacked, shocked at the display before her eyes. She drew her wand and pointed it directly at Blaise but knowing that like her son she could do nothing without hurting Harry too.

“No, he will submit to me, I will have him,” Blaise snarled in response, “He needs to learn his place!”

“His place is not to be treated like dirt by the likes of you,” Draco snapped, Harry now had tears streaming down his cheeks. The blonde wasn’t sure how long he would be able to stand and watch idly as Blaise hurt his mate in such a barbaric way.

“Blaise Zabini, you are a guest in my house, I will not have you act in such a disrespectful manner!” Narcissa said forcefully as she came round the other side of the table, wand still drawn and aimed at Blaise. She faced the three Elven creatures completely unafraid of them. She may have played the role of docile housewife and mother but she had Black blood coursing through her veins making her just as powerful and feisty as either one of her sisters. It was the strong Black family blood that had given Andromeda the courage to break tradition and take a muggle man as a husband as she had wanted and also given Bellatrix the guts and power to become the favourite deatheater to Lord Voldemort. Narcissa was not a witch to be messed with. “Release him this instant!” Narcissa demanded, her voice and gaze stern and unwavering.

Reluctantly, glowering at the witch, he loosened his grip and Harry fell forward, landing on his hands, sobbing. Draco was torn by his instincts in that fraction of a second, wanting to cradle Harry close to him, making sure he was okay, compared to the overwhelming urge to pummel Blaise into unconsciousness for daring to lay a hand on his mate. Dropping to his knees however he allowed the anger to be quashed, not wanting to risk hurting Harry more by fighting. Draco picked Harry up, holding him as he rubbed soothing circles upon his back as the young submissive cried.

Blaise meanwhile looked down at them in disgust and revulsion, sneering at them hatefully. The Gryffindor in floods of tears and Draco too weak or simply not strong enough to fight his corner and defend the submissive that he already seemed to have claimed. Zabini could see that Draco Malfoy would not be strong enough to protect Harry if others came to claim him. If he had wanted to Blaise could have forcefully bonded with him here and now but he wouldn’t risk Narcissa’s anger, not with her wand trained directly at him.

Draco’s rage was peaking to an almost unstoppable force as shaking arms were wrapped around his neck, returning the embrace offered to him. He could feel his boyfriends smaller body trembling beneath him as they sat huddled together on the hard, wooden floor, Harry still silently crying into him as he went into a state of shock over what had happened. He may have been the saviour of the wizarding world but he was still human and the attack from Blaise had come out of nowhere, he hadn’t been expecting it. The only thing that was stopping Draco from killing his former school friend was the calming sugary scent coming from Harry, which seemed to do a wonderful job of sating his temper.

“I think perhaps you should leave, Mr Zabini,” Narcissa said tightly, glaring at Blaise, he was the son of one of her closest friends and she didn’t want to cause a rift there but his behaviour had been out of hand and she would not tolerate that kind of display in her home and especially not to her formally invited guests. “Your mother will not be impressed by your behaviour this evening,” She warned.

Picking Harry up so that they were both on their feet, the Gryffindor still cuddled into Draco’s chest, with a protective arm around his waist as he calmed himself with deep breaths of the rich chestnut scent. There was no way that Draco was ever going to let Harry go, not now, not ever. He would rather die first than let another man bond with him. His protective Elven urges were screaming at him to eliminate the threat, to kill Blaise where he stood for what he had done but he suppressed the impulse. It may have been the Elven way of doing things but he was still half-human after all, he had to keep a certain level of decorum. It wouldn’t do to start brawling like a muggle and especially not in front of his mother and his mate.

If Blaise had had any sense in him then he would have left then and not said anything further as tempers and patience were all on the verge of breaking point. Then again he had never known when to keep his mouth shut and bow out of an argument gracefully. That just wasn’t the Zabini way. “Like I would want such a feeble submissive bonded to me anyway, he’s so puny that he’d only be good for one fuck, doubt anyone would have paid to have him, not when half the school already has for free. You’re a weak dominant, Draco, and you have a pathetic whore for a submissive! The two of you deserve each other.”

Draco lost it. Handing Harry gently over to his mother so that he wouldn’t be injured in anyway and then he lunged at the offending Slytherin. Draco’s hand going around Blaise’s throat as he forced him up against the nearest wall with enough strength behind the attack that the crystal chandelier above them shook. The blonde was growling dangerously as his grip tightened around the other boy’s throat, cutting off his oxygen supply.

“Draco, no,” Harry pleaded as he tore himself from Narcissa, not feeling comfortable enough with her to allow her to touch him. Harry had already seen enough people die because of him. He didn’t want to see anymore death, not even when it was Blaise Zabini, a man who had just attacked him. He had had enough of senseless violence to last him a lifetime, he didn’t want to bear witness to anymore. “Don’t kill him.”

“He hurt you,” Draco snarled dangerously, enough venom in his tone that Harry found himself wounded that it had been directed at him. Hearing that tone of voice coming from Draco’s lips made Harry remember their days at Hogwarts where the blonde had been a spoilt and arrogant brat. He hated to think of him in that way when so much had changed, when they had changed. Neither of them were the same now as they were then.

“I don’t care,” Harry returned, feeling and sounding a little hurt, “Let him go,” He said quietly, “Please.”

Unable to deny his mate or the pleading tone he used, Draco’s grip slackened, releasing Blaise reluctantly. Zabini gasped to regain his breath after being released, though still managing to glare at the blonde as Draco moved back over to Harry, wrapping his arms around the submissive protectively. Draco knew that their issues with Blaise were not over. His Elven wanted the other dominant dead but he couldn’t upset Harry in that way. However by allowing him to live would only cause them more problems but he couldn’t explain that now, it would take far too long. It was a conversation they would have to have at a later time when they weren’t so emotionally charged.

They had less than a month before school was due to start again and then they would be back in close confines with Blaise once more, Draco sharing a dormitory with him if they returned to their houses. Any thoughts of an easy year were dashed with this prospect. If he and Harry weren’t bonded by the time they boarded the Hogwarts express on September 1st then he would be going mad with worry every time Harry was out of his sight, fretting that he had been accosted by the other dominant Elven.

It enraged him that Harry was still trembling as he held him close. As Narcissa ushered Blaise out of the room and to the fireplace where he could floo home, Draco took his mate outside to the court yard they had been in before dinner. He needed to make sure that Harry was okay, that Blaise hadn’t seriously hurt him, emotionally or physically.

The blonde sat his mate down on a stone bench and began inspecting him, finally, after assuring that there was no blood spilt and no lasting damage done Draco knelt down in front of him, cupping each side of Harry’s face with his hands, using his thumbs to wipe away the tracks that the tears had left down his cheeks while staring into the wondrously green eyes that captivated him so intensely.

“I’m sorry this happened, mon amour,” Draco said into the silence around them. “I should have protected you better.”

Harry threw his arms around Draco’s neck and held him, hating how much the blonde was blaming himself for what had happened when he had no one to blame but himself. “Don’t be sorry,” Harry mumbled into Draco’s neck, “It wasn’t your fault, you couldn’t have stopped him. I shouldn’t have pushed him away like I did when he touched me, I provoked him.”

Draco pulled himself away from his mate, looking at him incredulously, forcing emerald orbs to focus entirely on him. “Don’t you dare blame yourself Harry, I’m meant to be the one to protect you. You did nothing wrong tonight. Blaise overstepped his boundaries, which he had no right to do. You are too special, mon amour, he didn’t care about me, he wanted you and that was all that mattered to him.”

Leaning forward he pressed his lips against Harry’s, running his tongue across them, asking for permission to enter which was granted without hesitation. Draco would never be able to get enough of kissing Harry. He could taste treacle tart upon the Gryffindor’s tongue, the sweet taste melding with the even sweeter aroma. Both of them battled for dominance momentarily before Harry submitted willingly.

“I don’t mean to interrupt but I thought you should know that Blaise is gone,” Narcissa said from behind them. She was smiling happily at the sight before her, glad that the Zabini boy hadn’t done too much damage to the blossoming relationship between her son and Potter. She could see herself becoming rather fond of the famous wizard, especially with the loved up look he was currently wearing as their kiss broke apart.

“Thank you, mother,” Draco said testily, hating that they had been interrupted. Giving a curt nod that neither of them saw she left them to it, smiling happily to herself.

“I should go,” Harry said a little sheepishly, looking down at his lap and biting his lip subconsciously.

“Not yet,” Draco pleaded, “Please stay.”

“I need to go, I need to get my head around things,” He told the blonde honestly. His scalp was still throbbing, though he wouldn’t admit that to his boyfriend, too worried that he might go after Blaise and finish what he started. He was tired and shaken, above all else he needed to get some sleep. He had a lot to come to terms with. “But I’ll see you in a few days, you’ll be coming to the Burrow for dinner.”

“Of course, nothing could keep me away,” Draco told him truthfully. “You just tell me when I need to be there, mon amour,” The blonde said placing a chaste kiss to Harry’s lips, lingering there as long as he dared without deepening the kiss. He was desperate to keep his mate with him but he knew that he had to allow Harry time to process everything. Neither of them had expected for Blaise to act the way he did, it had shocked them both. It had brought out Draco’s protective nature and Harry’s instinct to hide away so he didn’t have to deal with it.

Draco walked Harry over to the fireplace in the entrance hall where he could use the floo network to travel back to the Burrow. Neither wanted to be parted from the other, they held hands until the very last moment, their grips impossibly tight on one another. They shared a final, parting kiss that left them both breathless before Harry stepped into the fireplace, floo powder in hand and Draco watched with a heavy heart as Harry left for the Burrow.

Harry fell out of the fireplace and into an empty living room. He was glad that the others had gone to bed. He didn’t want to answer their endless curious questions about how the evening had gone. He didn’t want to have to rehash the events or give them all the gory details. He had to think first, process everything and then perhaps he would tell them what had happened.

Wearily he climbed the stairs to bed, only pausing when he heard harsh words being hissed back and forth from a passing bedroom. He easily identified Ron and Hermione’s voices as they argued, trying to keep the volume low and too riled up with one another to remember to cast silencing charms to stop themselves from being overheard. Harry hesitated, wanting to know what had caused them to argue when they had seemed to happy earlier.

“How many times, I don’t fancy him!” Hermione hissed, her voice frustrated as if she had said the same thing several times over. She probably had knowing Ron, he never really allowed things to absorb the first few times you told him something.

“I’ve seen how you look at him, calling him hot, bet you’ve kept that damned picture from the Which Wizard article!” Ron snapped and at his words Harry’s heart sank. They were arguing about him. Ron was clearly jealous despite Hermione’s denial that quickly followed.

 

Feeling even worse than he had done before returning to the Burrow, Harry resumed his ascension of the stairs as quietly as he could manage to get to his bedroom where he collapsed upon the bed feeling awful. He had expected things to be bad but the evening was beyond anything he could have predicted. Now with the added horror that he was coming between his two best friends and their new romance that had been seven years in the making all he wanted to do was crawl into bed, curl up in a ball and sleep for several days.

Chapter Text

Elven Desire

Chapter Nine - Uncertainty

Minerva McGonagall had gladly taken up the position of Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry but she now found herself fighting off a throbbing headache as she tried to figure out what to do with the extra students. Her honouree eighth year students who she and Kingsley Shacklebolt, the new Minister for Magic, believed deserved another chance at their final year if they wanted it.

Unfortunately there wouldn’t be enough space for them all to reside in their original house dormitories. It wouldn’t be safe for them either with the likelihood of a number having come into their creature inheritance. Tillantha Zabini had already written regarding her son’s Elven inheritance and the ministry had also kept her diligently informed as well.

She scanned the list of students that had accepted the offer to return, so to sit their N.E.W.T’s appreciatively. In all honesty she hadn’t expected for there to be so many of them but it pleased her that they were willing and happy to return to the castle after the horrors of the previous year.

Neville Longbottom
Seamus Finnegan
Hermione Granger
Harry Potter
Dean Thomas
Ronald Weasley
Parvati Patil
Terry Boot
Michael Corner
Padma Patil
Lisa Turpin
Zacharias Smith
Laura Madley
Millicent Bullstrode
Daphne Greengrass
Draco Malfoy
Theodore Nott
Pansy Parkinson
Blaise Zabini

There were going to be nineteen extra students; seven Gryffindor’s, four Ravenclaw’s, two Hufflepuff’s and six Slytherin’s. She was thrilled to see that Harry had accepted the invitation but she hadn’t expected for so many others to as well. She sighed, resigning herself to the fact that she would have to give them their own dormitory to share. Minerva just had to hope that the war had knocked the old rivalries out of their systems. Staring at the list of names she tried desperately to try and figure out the sleeping arrangements. Her headache only increasing into a rather painful migraine the longer she thought about it, especially with the portrait of Albus Dumbledore behind her making some apparently helpful suggestions. She found herself grateful that Horace Slughorn would be returning from his holidays tomorrow and she would be able to get a headache reliever potion brewed.

HPDM

Theodore Nott grimaced as he drank the vile potion. He had been taking it ever since he had found out that his Great Uncle had been a Vampire and that he had been the lucky Nott family member to inherit that particular cursed genetic. It had skipped over several other family members and manifested unwelcomingly in him. He had not greeted the changes with open arms and as such he had been taking the potion to suppress his natural inclination for blood.

He had never thought about Vampires being born, he hadn’t thought that it was possible and yet it was. Like most wizards he had thought that the blood drinking creatures were only bitten and turned by other blood suckers; oh how wrong he had been. His Great Uncle, whom he had been named after, had been born and then upon reaching his eighteenth birthday had come into the inheritance. Just like he had now done.

His parents had instantly disowned him, just like his Great Uncle's parents had done. They were ashamed to have these particular genetics in the family. Vampires were not held in the highest regard. He was surprised that the new Headmistress of Hogwarts had even considered him worthy of attending the school now he was what he was. He had of course informed her of his condition but Minerva McGonagall had been more than gracious about his circumstances.

Theodore Nott had expected for everyone to react the same way that the rest of his family had and turned their backs on him, rejecting him for the monster that he had become. He hadn’t been expecting for Hogwarts, of all places, to be the one place that he could turn to when he had no place else to go; especially after the war that had raged there. The Headmistress however had been gracious enough to happily allow him to return, as long as he continued to take his potion to suppress the urge to drink blood. It gave him a regular human appetite. This was particularly fortunate given he didn’t want the entire student population to know his secret.

He just counted himself lucky that he didn’t have an aversion to sunlight, something that would have been much more difficult to conceal. He would, of course, have to avoid everything and anything with even the faintest trace of garlic in it but that was doable, especially with Headmistress McGonagall giving the house elves strict instructions not to serve it anywhere near him. It had surprised him the kindness that he had been shown, considering that witches and wizards were supposedly very fearful of Vampires. He was just glad that he got to keep his magic; some turned Vampires didn’t or so he had read. He had been doing a lot of reading as of late.

It had been a long and difficult decision to make, in regards to whether he should return to Hogwarts or not. He had originally felt as though he didn’t really belong there, that he didn’t really belong anywhere. He had wanted to go in search of his Great Uncle, who was supposedly living in Romania now. However something niggling in the back of his mind had made him decide not to travel in search of the only family that would have accepted him. Something about that school called him back and he didn’t quite know what it was.

It was almost as if he knew that there was something there waiting for him, someone. It was an odd feeling, a pull of sorts. He just knew that he had to be there come the 1st of September. His Great Uncle could wait for another year while he finished his magical education. In the meantime, while he waited for the start of term he would keep reading every book about vampires that he could get his hands on so that he could discover what this pull towards the castle could mean for him.

HPDM

Three days after the rather eventful dinner at Malfoy Manor, and the overheard argument between Ron and Hermione, Harry and Draco hadn’t been in contact with one another. It wasn’t through lack of want or desire from either party but rather that Harry had needed some time and space to digest. What Blaise had done terrified him, he worried that one day Draco too would find the need to punish him, as the book said that dominants would occasionally do if the behaviour of the submissive was not desirable. Deep down Harry knew that he should talk to Draco about his fears rather than worrying over them alone but every time he had put quill to parchment he had stalled, lost for words.

He had been distant with his friends too and not only because of the argument that he had overheard, though that was part of it. They had all been keen to know what had happened but he just wasn’t ready to talk about it. Even Ron, who Harry had suspected might give him the cold shoulder, seemed eager to know all of the details. When he hadn’t started ignoring him, Harry realised that Ron’s issues were with Hermione and not him. However this realisation didn’t make him feel much better about the whole situation. Harry refused to mention the argument or to get involved with it at all; they were still together, at least for the moment, and they seemed to be trying to work through their issues. Harry didn’t think that Hermione could seriously have a crush on him, they were like siblings. He felt awful that he had come between them, however unintentionally.

They all wanted to know what had happened at Malfoy Manor to make Harry withdraw from them so much. They could all guess that it hadn’t gone well; especially when he had locked his bedroom door, with several locking charms, so that he wouldn’t be disturbed throughout the three days that he had been back and refused to talk to them. They had all noticed the absence of the Malfoy family owl delivering letters as well which made them assume the worst. They worried that Draco or Narcissa had done something to hurt him, whether emotionally or physically, and this made them bay for blood. However it was Hermione’s logical voice that had calmed them, saying that they should get all the facts before they went and did something stupid and reckless. They needed to talk to Harry, at the very least, and hear what had happened. Then if it was what they feared then they would be able to plot a suitable revenge, which she would more than happily help with. They would be able to come up with a punishment to suit the crime.

Ron was at breaking point at the end of the third day, ready to go off and kick down the front door of Malfoy Manor and demand an explanation, no matter what his girlfriend said or how logical her words were. Therefore it was perhaps more than a little fortunate that Harry reappeared that evening for dinner before Ron had the chance to escape the keen eye of his mother and go off to the manor like a vigilante seeking justice.

After the meal, where Harry had only been able to stomach less than a quarter of it, his three friends accosted him rather forcefully, dragging him into the sitting room and forcing him to sit down on the sofa before he could disappear upstairs again. They weren’t going to let him get away with hiding in his room any longer. Harry had spent months brooding in solitude and silence at the beginning of the summer, they had only just got their friend back, they were not about to lose him again now. They were not about to let him go down the path of depression and brooding angst again if they could help it. The battle had taken its toll on all of them and they were all grieving but at some point they had to move on with their lives. They had to keep living, they would never forget those that had given their lives so that they could enjoy their freedom but they would have to move on and continue living because if they didn’t then they would have died for nothing.

Harry looked between his three friends tirelessly, he’d been skipping most of his meals, sneaking down in the dead of night to nibble at leftovers, a trick he had learnt while living at the Dursley’s, and all of it done to avoid confrontations like this one. However he had been too hungry to do that this evening, his body craving the sustenance that only a full meal would give him and this was the price he had to pay for that. He was nowhere near ready to divulge all the details, he had been working hard to forget about what had happened that horrible evening, he had been trying desperately to remember all the good things about being with Draco rather than focusing on the bad. Everything had happened so quickly and he was still struggling to catch up.

“What did he do?” Ron asked at once, his tone demanding answers and as usual he had jumped to conclusions. Really he was just looking for any good reason to break the truce with the Slytherin’s and pummel Malfoy into next week. He had a lot of pent up frustrations over his failing relationship with Hermione, whom he loved dearly, and he was more than willing to take it all out on the blonde ferret.

“Draco didn’t do anything,” Harry said quickly with a sigh, realising that he had no choice now, he would have to tell them what happened. He could see that perhaps keeping his friends in the dark about that night had not been the right thing to do. He knew the prejudice that they all held against the Malfoy family, it hadn’t crossed his mind that they might jump to the wrong conclusions when he had come home confused and upset. However much he wasn’t ready to tell them about what Blaise had done, he really didn’t want them thinking badly of Draco either, not when he had done nothing but protect him, even though his methods were not exactly savoury or ones that Harry could approve of. “He was actually the perfect gentleman, he even protected me and defended me.” Harry explained to them and watched as his three friends visibly relaxed a little.

“Protect and defend you from what exactly?” Ginny asked, “From the way you’ve been moping around it’s like he broke your heart.” She had been just as enraged as her brother when Harry had returned from Malfoy Manor, miserable and troubled. Harry was family, no one could deny it and no one messed with their family without paying a high price.

Looking between his friends he tried to think of any reason, no matter how pathetic, so that he wouldn’t have to tell them everything, he wondered if he would even get away with leaving some of it out. However, from their keen gazes, he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to escape from them without an uphill struggle that he just didn’t have the energy for. He would relinquish the information as quickly as he could to get it over with, like ripping off a plaster, fast and extremely painful but only for a few seconds before the pain ebbed.

“Blaise Zabini turned up for dinner as well,” Harry began after taking in a deep steadying breath where he ran his hands through his thick raven hair, his friends too used to the pointed ears to be surprised when they caught sight of them under the dark locks.

“He’s in our year, a Slytherin,” Hermione stated flatly and Harry nodded to confirm that she was thinking of the right person. She had wisely kept quiet until then. Things between her and Ron were still a little tense and she didn’t want to push it with being overly friendly with Harry, however much it pained her to ease off a little. She had no romantic feelings for Harry, for that she was sure, Ron was jealous over nothing and being ridiculous about it too but she didn’t want to lose him over something so stupid. It would just take some time to convince her red-headed boyfriend exactly how ridiculous he was being.

“He’s apparently a dominant Elven too,” Harry explained to them, “Seemingly very proud of it too. He doesn’t even bother to try and hide his ears.” He was fidgeting and avoiding looking directly at any of them. He resented the fact that he had to go through it all again, relive the night where he had been humiliated; pushed into remembering that despite the bravado of his reputation and status in the wizarding world he wasn’t unbeatable. Not even with his new inheritance, which if anything made him weaker. He hated the fact that he hadn’t been able to defend himself against Blaise Zabini, who was no where near as powerful as Voldemort. However Harry had to often bitterly remind himself that the defeat of the Dark Lord had not been achieved through his greatness or even his power, it had been luck. Nothing more and nothing less than pure dumb luck. He wasn’t great or amazing, he was just a freak of nature and that became more profound and more noticeable with every year that he remained alive.

“So what exactly happened?” Ginny asked, desperate to know if she needed to hunt down and kill the Zabini boy for hurting the Gryffindor golden boy. She would have willingly done it for him too, after all she loved him; she’d do almost anything for Harry, which included threatening, maiming and killing pompous Slytherin bastards who thought they could get away with hurting him. She stood staring at Harry, imploring him to continue, her arms folded across her chest, accentuating her breasts.

“I’m guessing they started fighting over him,” Hermione said when Harry wasn’t forthcoming with information. The Weasley’s had tensed, both on edge. The other witch however wasn’t as wound up as the other two, waiting patiently for Harry to explain and encouraging him to do so rather than plotting any revenge she might like to have taken on anyone that might like to hurt her friend.

Harry nodded at her, showing that she was indeed, once again, correct and that they had fought over him but tentatively he added, “That happened afterwards,” to show them that that was not the whole story. He grimaced with the remembered pain of Blaise’s fist clenching around his hair, pulling at his scalp which still ached. The morning after he had had such a bad headache that he hadn’t wanted to move from his bed at all. Even now, three days on his scalp was a little sore from what had happened. He wasn’t about to tell his friends this yet, that particular piece of information he would gladly keep to himself.

“After what?” Ron encouraged, his arms too coming up to be folded across his chest. There was an unfriendly look in his eyes but Harry knew that it was not directed at him, though it still made him feel rather uncomfortable nonetheless. Harry was feeling rather agitated under their expectant looks; he hadn’t wanted to go into this at all. He was beginning to feel a little defensive as they urged him to continue. He had to quickly suppress the feeling, not wanting to snap at them when it wasn’t their fault. He couldn’t really blame them for their concern when they had every right to feel that way.

“Well, Blaise went to touch me, his fingers brushed against my ears which are actually really sensitive right now. I told him not to touch me and pushed his hand away. He didn’t take that too well so he grabbed a fist full of my hair and forced me to the ground on my knees,” Harry said feeling utterly humiliated as he recounted the events of that evening. He was the saviour of the wizarding world, he’d defeated Voldemort and he couldn’t even save himself from the likes of Blaise Zabini. It hurt his pride and his ego to admit to them that he had needed his boyfriend to protect him from a mere student. He should have been stronger, he should have been able to take care of himself by now.

His friends however all listened to him eagerly, not judging him in the slightest and none of them believing him to be weaker for making this admittance. They never would, they would always support him no matter what but Harry just didn’t have that confidence himself anymore. Horrified looks had passed between Ron, Ginny and Hermione as they heard what Blaise had done to him.

“He was trying to make me submit to him,” Harry finished quietly, his gaze focused on his knees, which he had brought up into himself, curling himself into a ball on the sofa, wanting to feel as small and unnoticeable as he possibly could.

“Malfoy did nothing to stop this?” Ron asked, furious and still looking for an excuse to punch Draco in the face, something he had always wanted to do, ever since Hermione had slapped him when they were in their third year. Harry gave his friend a pointed look that clearly told him to calm down. He was in no frame of mind for Ron or his mood swings right now. Harry didn’t want anyone blaming Draco for anything, especially when it wasn’t his fault.

“There was nothing he could do until Blaise let go of me, he tried, he wanted to protect me. He defended me when Blaise demanded I learn my place as a submissive. When he did finally let me go Draco just held me, it was wonderful. It felt so safe in his arms until …”

“Until …” Ginny coaxed, knowing it was coming and hating it. Her fists were clenched at the thought of Harry being subjected to something like that. If she could have wrapped her hands around Blaise’s neck and chocked the life from him then she would have done. Ginny had no idea how close to doing this Draco had actually come.

“Blaise called Draco a weak dominant and me a pathetic whore of a submissive. I guess Draco saw red and just lost it. He went for Blaise and I knew he meant to kill him for what he’d done to me and what he said.” Harry once again became unable to look at any of them as he told them what his boyfriend had done. They were all aware of his distaste of violence and death. He had been through enough of that kind of thing and now the war was over he didn’t want to have to suffer through anymore. He would have happily travelled blissfully through the rest of his life without having to see anyone else die.

“Did he succeed?” Hermione asked in shock, wondering if this had been the reason for why Harry was so upset. She could understand why something like that would have scared him. She too hated the idea of anymore fighting, no matter how trivial the battle might have been. The slur of mudblood still ached where it had been brutally carved upon her arm. Whatever magic Bellatrix had used while torturing her wasn’t about to let itself be forgotten, not even with the foul witches body now cold and rotting in a magically sealed tomb of an undisclosed location along with the remains of Voldemort and their more vile deatheaters whom no one had claimed, which was most of them.

Harry however shook his head in the negative, “I stopped him but killing him was Draco’s intent. If I hadn’t asked him to stop then he wouldn’t have.” Harry explained to them, he hated knowing that Draco was capable of killing for him. He knew that dominants were very protective of their submissive but this was already too much. Draco was already prepared to take another life in order to protect him and they hadn’t even come close to solidifying their bond, something that Harry was nowhere near ready to do. The fact that the blonde was already happy to have blood upon his hands showed the Gryffindor just how intense and passionate the relationship could potentially become if allowed to run its cause. Something that Harry was fretting over seeing as it had been three days since they had spoken, or written, a single word to one another.

Once their bond was solidified and the two of them were for all intents and purposes, married then the urge Draco had to protect him would only intensify. Merlin forbid if they ever decided to start a family and he actually fell pregnant. To Harry it just didn’t bare thinking about; plus there was also no point worry about something like that when it was so far into the future that he couldn’t even begin to comprehend it. He was already on overload from everything, he wasn’t sure he could cope with anything else. Though he did have to admit that it hurt him a little that Draco hadn’t tried to make contact with him at all in the past three days. He missed their letters, their confessions to one another and he wanted it back.

“Have you heard from him at all since this happened?” Hermione asked him kindly, coming to sit beside him on the sofa. Harry shook his head, receding into himself even more as he rested his forehead upon his knees, hating that there were tears welling up in his eyes and not wanting for his friends to see this burst of weakness. “Have you tried to contact him?” Again Harry shook his head without looking up.

“I miss him,” Harry muttered, knowing how pathetic he sounded. It was his Elven side that missed Draco, craving the love and protection of the dominant, at least that was what Harry was telling himself. Being apart from him for such a long period of time bothered him more than he would have liked. It was his human side that was bloody terrified. “It’s all going so fast and it scares me. He almost killed a man for touching me, for calling me names. How are we going to manage at school? With the publicity and the other students, no one is going to leave me alone. How is Draco going to cope without killing off half the school?”

“Do you want to be with Draco?” Ginny asked him, looking at Harry imploringly as she came to sit down on his other side. The two girls encompassed him, attempting to console him in the only way they knew how. They both knew the anguish of a broken heart.

Harry considered this question for a moment, searching for the answer in his heart where it felt that the two sides of himself were at war. His wizard side and his Elven side however didn’t seem to be that different to one another. It was more a battle for dominance than anything else. Harry however found that he didn’t really need to search very hard to know the answer to this question because he already knew the answer if he was truly honest with himself. It didn’t matter if he was more wizard or Elven, he knew how he felt where Draco was concerned.

“Yes,” He said with certainty. Hermione and Ginny smiled at him. Ron however did not, he still wanted to murder Blaise Zabini or at least maim him for doing what he did to Harry. Though part of the anger that Ron felt, though it was only a fraction of it, was because of Hermione being so close to Harry. He believed strongly that Hermione preferred Harry to him, though she had proved time and time again that this wasn’t the case. They shared a bed night after night, they murmured that they loved one another.

Of course they bickered but then they always had. It just lacked the passion and the warmth that they had once had, before they had become a couple. He loved her and he always would, hell he would fight for her with his last breath but he couldn’t help being jealous over her and his best friend who was so much more than him. Ron knew that it was illogical seeing as Harry was very clearly gay but that didn’t matter at all to the red head. His jealousy was irrational and he knew it but that didn’t stop him from feeling it.

HPDM

“Fuck,” Blaise growled as he thrust himself roughly into Daphne who writhed beneath him in pleasure, pushing herself into him with each deliberately rough movement. Zabini didn’t care who he fucked, men and women were no different as long as he was able to dominate them and he had been doing just that with Daphne Greengrass for a little over two months now.

He spilt his seed into her, his fingers grasping her slender hips in a bruising grip as he filled her. She gasped, throwing her head back as she reached her own completion. She had only come here to talk to Blaise, try and make him see reason when it came to the damned hero, Harry Potter. She hadn’t been expecting this but she didn’t resent it either. She rather enjoyed Blaise’s company even if sex was all she was to him. She wasn’t a naive Hufflepuff, she could handle no strings attached sex.

He collapsed breathless and sweaty beside her as they regained their composure in silence. She knew the drill, they would remain like this until he decided that it was time to talk and not before. She had learnt that lesson the hard way and wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, especially not when the glamour to hide the bruising had taken so much effort to maintain.

“I’m going to destroy that bastard whore of a submissive for refusing me,” Blaise growled somewhat violently. Daphne sighed, hoping that they could have at least waited until they were fully clothed to discuss Harry bloody Potter and not languishing naked on a sofa. “Malfoy too, he is far too high and mighty, he needs to be taken down a peg or two.”

“I agree with you when it comes to Potter,” She said cautiously, all too aware of Blaise’s temper and the damage that he could do when riled up, “But why not leave Draco, maybe I’ll be able to talk some sense into him.”

“You can try but you didn’t see the way he protected Potter, fucking almost killed me,” Blaise spat as he rolled off the sofa and got to his feet. He grabbed for his trousers and pulled them on. Daphne taking her cue started to grope for her own clothing. She wasn’t modest at all, she knew how good she looked with and without clothes but she had no intention of staying vulnerable and exposed to him when he was in this kind of mood.

“Let me go and talk to him,” She said as she too stood up, encircling her arms around his waist, kissing the nape of his neck, trying to calm him. “He has been our friend for too many years, I am sure he wouldn’t choose Potter over us.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Blaise said bitterly as he shrugged her off and pulled on his t-shirt. “I’m going to make them both suffer. Draco won’t be able to keep his precious submissive once the council find out about him. I’ll tell the whole fucking world about how special their little hero is. He won’t be able to move for all the people trying to get a piece of him.”

“If that is what you feel is best,” She said with a sigh realising that she wouldn’t be able to convince Blaise of anything with the mood he was in. Dressing quickly she added, “I’ll go and talk to Draco tomorrow, see if I can’t make him see sense. You do what you feel is for the best.”

HPDM

Three days had passed and Draco was fretting. He hadn’t heard from Harry at all. Logically he knew that he had to be at the Burrow with the Weasley’s and therefore in no danger but not having heard from heard from him at all meant that he was worrying regardless and struggling to sleep because of it. He respected that Harry needed to gain a little distance after what had happened so to digest it but it had been three sodding days and Draco’s patience was wearing thin. He had even found himself snapping at his mother when she tried to reassure him.

Now Narcissa avoided him, spending her time in the library just as she had when Lucius had been in one of his towering tempers. Draco didn’t hold a candle to the foul moods his father used to get himself into but she had enough experiencing dealing with them to know that it was for the best to just leave her son be until he had calmed down.

Daphne Greengrass however had not been forewarned about Draco’s insidious mood, though she had predicted the state she might find him in after talking to Blaise the previous day. Personally she couldn’t see why the two of them were bothering with Potter so much, sure she could admit that he was attractive but far too much hassle than he was worth. According to rumour he was far too easy to get into bed, desperate to be loved according to a few. She would not lower herself to fancying him that was for sure and she personally thought that Blaise and Draco were just acting like spoilt children who both wanted the same toy. This was why she needed to talk to Draco.

She needed to understand what was going on with him. After all he and Blaise had always been the best of friends, she wouldn’t let one attractive, pain in the arse, Gryffindor come between them. No matter how famous he was.

A house elf summoned Draco from his bedroom after dinner that evening, informing him that a guest awaited is arrival in the sitting room. Seeing as the timid creature had failed to inform him who his guest was, hope had flared in him that it might be Harry. Disappointment settled in his stomach when he saw Daphne, resenting her for getting his hopes up. He needed to see Harry, no one else was going to be able to relax him.

“Oh it’s you,” Draco greeted her coldly, unimpressed with the sight of his friend. His arms had immediately folded defensively across his chest and he had then glared at her unwelcomingly. He wanted her under no misconceptions regarding the mood that he was in and what he thought of her showing up unannounced when he had been content to wallow in self-pity in his room thinking only of Harry.

“It’s nice to see you too,” Daphne said with heavy sarcasm. “Are you expecting company this evening or just hoping that Potter might turn up?” She asked with a callous Slytherin sneer that caused Draco to glower at her with distaste, his mood only worsening with her spiteful words.

“What is it you want Daphne?” Draco asked, already tiring of her presence; he was in no mood for company. He wanted to go back to his bedroom where he could freely brood over Harry without interruption or judgement. His mother understood this, why couldn’t Daphne?

“I want you and Blaise to forget about this Potter nonsense. The two of you have been friends for too long to let a man come between you, especially not boy wonder,” She said, the distaste rolling off her tongue as she spoke Harry’s surname that made Draco tense. He didn’t like the tone she had used, his protective instincts fuelling the need to defend his mate even though he wasn’t here.

“It would be advisable for you not to speak badly of Harry in front of me,” Draco warned her, he was in no mood to be told what to do and especially not but the likes of her. She was really beginning to try his limited patience.

Daphne just sighed, “Look, I’ve read the books, I know about Elven kind, you aren’t like Veela or Vampires, you don’t have one true mate that you are drawn to and are forced to spend the rest of your life with. It isn’t going to kill you not to be with Potter. Move on, find someone else who doesn’t cause you so much aggravation. I’m warning you Draco, if you continue on this path then you won’t have any friends left. None of us want to see you with him.”

“Do you think it bothers me what you think? Do you believe that I’m unaware of anything you’ve just told me because I assure you I’m more than aware,” Draco snapped at her hatefully. It was taking all of his self-control not to completely lose his grip on his temper. She was pushing him too far and he wouldn’t be held responsible for his actions if she inadvertently said the wrong thing. His dominant Elven did not appreciate her speaking poorly of his mate.

“Do you care at all then?” She asked him sternly, “You can do so much better than Potter. I don’t care how rare a male submissive is to Elven kind, you can still do better than him. You don’t want to end up with that Gryffindor forever. The novelty of him will wear off, you’ll grow bored and then you’ll have nothing. Stuck with a mate who you don’t love, with no friends and if you get him pregnant you’ll be stuck resenting the children as well. Is that what you want?” She asked him, determined to make him see reason. Daphne didn’t want to lose Draco as a friend but she would stand by Blaise and whatever decision he made because he was her lover. She liked Draco, they were friends and had been for a long time but she knew where her loyalties lay. She would not be seen as being in league with those Gryffindor’s with their hero-complex and need to save the day at every given opportunity. The very thought of it made her shudder with revulsion.

“You assume that like Blaise I’m after Harry for his fame, his status and his rarity. Have you even stopped to consider that perhaps those are none of the reasons I desire him?” Draco questioned her heatedly, ready to lash out at her for her harsh words. “Maybe I want him for more … Gryffindor reasons than Slytherin?”

“This isn’t going to end well,” Daphne warned him, “Blaise is baying for blood after what you did to him. He told me that you almost killed him! When I left him yesterday he was talking about writing to the Elven council and exposing Harry’s existence to the press. He wants revenge for what you did.” She disregarded Malfoy’s comment, she didn’t believe that Blaise liked Potter at all. He wanted him only so that he may further himself, gain advantage and standing. There was no lust, no feelings, those were reserved for her and her alone. Love was for muggles and the weak minded, she would never catch herself falling in something as incapacitating as love.

Draco growled, “Let him try.” Daphne could so nothing but shake her head in disbelief at the way her friend was behaving, The two of them were going to tear each other apart before the school year was over and all because of Harry bloody Potter. It only made her hatred of the saviour intensify. If Draco couldn’t see reason then she was going to help Blaise bring about Harry Potter’s downfall. Then, when Draco came crawling back to them, they would see how high and mighty he really was.

An owl arrived for Draco a few hours later after Daphne had left. His heart had soared at the sight of Harry’s pure black owl as it swept gracefully into his bedroom window, dropping a letter on to his lap, landing on the back of the chair majestically and began primping its feathers. Draco had been tucked up in bed reading one of his new school books in a vain attempt at keeping his frantic mind otherwise occupied. He needed a distraction, something, anything that wasn’t related to Harry Potter. Though it hadn’t exactly worked as he had been reading the same sentence for the past ten minutes and still hadn’t taken anything in.

He grabbed at the letter as if he was dying of starvation and it was the only sustenance he had seen in weeks. His mother would have been appalled at his lack of self-control and decorum, she would have been it as a plebeian display, not befitting the Malfoy name. It was a good thing she wasn’t present to bear witness to her son’s hysterical clawing as he ripped open the envelope, scanning the contents of the letter greedily.

Draco
Please come to dinner at the Burrow tomorrow night for 6pm, if you come via floo the password is Phoenix. I still want to try if you do.
Harry

It was short and to the point but it held hope. Harry still wanted to try and that alone made Draco feel lighter and more at ease about the situation than he had in the last three days. They still had so much to talk about and work through but they both wanted to try and that was the important thing. Draco cared very little what his friends thought. They’d all known each other since they were babes in arms thanks to their mothers. Purebloods liked to keep things pure after all and would snobbishly only allow their children, even new-borns, to socialise with other respectable pure-blooded children.

Draco very much doubted that he would have been friends with anyone of them if it hadn’t been forced upon him by his mother. He really didn’t care if they all turned their backs on him because of his inclination to date half-blood, saviour of the wizarding world Harry Potter. He was too unique, too special to pass up. He was also an amazing person without any of that. He had given up the ridiculous notion of blood status when he had watched his Aunt Bellatrix torture Hermione Granger, carving the slur mudblood on to her skin. It was in that moment that he had realised that the old ways of thinking needed to die out. He could have easily married into the Parkinson or Greengrass family, and kept the blood lines pure, but he didn’t want that. He wanted Harry. It was a yearning desire that he couldn’t escape and didn’t want to either.

He very much looked forward to the day that he would finally be able to claim Harry James Potter as his own, solidifying the bond and ensuring that no other would ever come near him in that way again. Once he had claimed him as his bonded mate he would proudly show him off to the world, love him and treasure him until the end of their days. He would give him everything he wanted, a home, a family, love and respect. He would treasure the young man, loving him with every fibre of his being. He would prove his so called friends wrong. Harry Potter wasn’t a novelty to Draco, he was a gift, sent from Merlin to save him.

As Draco drifted off to sleep that night, content in the knowledge that he hadn’t lost his boyfriend after his and Blaise’s face off as dominants, he couldn’t help but imagine Harry’s blissed out face beneath him as he pleasured his mate. He thought fondly of how stunning Harry would look, his belly rounded with child, his child. Oh how he desired to see that, how he would treasure his little mate and the children that he bore. His mind swirled deliciously with the thoughts of doting upon them all, spoiling them with love and affection. He would leave no room for doubt or uncertainty, especially not where his love for them was concerned. He would give them everything, if they asked for the world then that would be given without question. There was nothing that Draco Malfoy wouldn’t do for his boyfriend and the future they would have together.

HPDM

Hermione couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. She was lying in her bed in Ginny’s room, not sure if she wanted to go to Ron tonight. She always slept in his room with him and she liked it. Feeling him as he encased his arms around her made her feel safe and warm, a feeling that she could not take for granted since the war. However she couldn’t explain the emptiness in her chest when she spent time with him, it was as if something was missing, though she couldn’t explain what.

It felt almost as if Ron wasn’t enough, which was a ridiculous thought. She had after all loved the awkward gangly boy for seven years now, she had dreamed about him falling in love with her too, about them getting married, having children and being together until they were old and grey. They had fought a war side by side and sure it was the extreme circumstances of this that had thrown them together but surely they were supposed to be a couple regardless of how they had come to be that way.

Ron had become jealous over the fact that she could suddenly appreciate how attractive Harry was, but that didn’t mean that she felt that way about him. They were friends, they were more than that, they were family. However she knew that her boyfriend had always had a few jealousy, and probably a few inadequacy, issues as well, when it came to Harry Potter. It wasn’t Harry that he had to worry about though, it was the hollow feeling in her chest that should have concerned him. It probably would have done as well if she had confided in him about it.

Something was missing in their relationship. Hermione couldn’t even tell what it was but she knew that something was absent. It wasn’t even Ron that was the problem, it was something else entirely. She knew it wasn’t a muggle feeling either, this was magical. There was something pulling her away from him, telling her that he wasn’t right for her. It was her stubbornness that kept her with Ron. Hermione had loved the great oaf of a man for seven years, she wasn’t going to give up on him now just because of a stupid unexplained feeling. Not when she didn’t even know what it meant. It could mean absolutely nothing so she was determined to keep it to herself and fight tooth and nail to keep her relationship with Ron strong and happy.

HPDM

It had taken three entire days to figure out the headache that was the eighth years students and their sleeping arrangements. Minerva however had finally done it; with, of course, the help of several headache reliever potions from Horace Slughorn and the inane chattering of one rather eccentric former Headmaster. If the old rivalries couldn’t be set aside then there would be trouble but as long as the eighteen year olds didn’t kill each other then she was sure it would be fine. She had discussed it at length with the portrait of Albus Dumbledore and he had thought it a marvellous idea to put them all together, even giving his own suggestions on who should share a room with whom, but then he had always had a wicked streak and rather enjoyed his meddling ways.

With four students to a bedroom, aside from one room which only had three, Minerva had managed to organise everyone in a way she hoped would keep disagreements to a minimum, apart from one room, which Dumbledore had adamantly insisted stay the way it was, believing it would be a fantastic idea to have Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy in the same room. She had a sneaking suspicion that Albus Dumbledore knew something that he wasn’t sharing. This of course irritated her greatly, Minerva McGonagall however knew to trust the scheming elderly wizard despite her misgivings even when he was only in portrait form.

Scanning over the list that had been so painstakingly made she was finally satisfied. Only three weeks until school resumed and she was already fretting over it. Her only comfort being that it couldn’t be as bad as last year.

Bedroom One
Hermione Granger – Gryffindor (no inheritance reported)
Daphne Greengrass – Slytherin (no inheritance reported)
Lisa Turpin – Ravenclaw (Veela)
Parvati Patil – Gryffindor (No inheritance reported)

Bedroom Two
Padma Patil – Ravenclaw (No inheritance reported)
Pansy Parkinson – Slytherin (No inheritance reported)
Laura Madley – Hufflepuff (no inheritance reported)
Millicent Bullstrode – Slytherin (Elven)

Bedroom Three
Seamus Finnegan – Gryffindor (no inheritance reported)
Dean Thomas – Gryffindor (no inheritance reported)
Zacharias Smith – Hufflepuff (werewolf – Wolfsbane potion being taken)
Blaise Zabini – Slytherin (Elven)

Bedroom Four
Neville Longbottom – Gryffindor (no inheritance reported)
Michael Corner – Ravenclaw (no inheritance reported)
Theodore Nott – Slytherin (Vampire – suppressant potion being taken)

Bedroom Five
Harry Potter – Gryffindor (Elven)
Draco Malfoy – Slytherin (Elven)
Terry Boot – Ravenclaw (Elven)
Ron Weasley – Gryffindor (no inheritance reported)

Minerva groaned, so far to her knowledge she had five Elven creatures, one Vampire, one Werewolf and a Veela to contend with. She had known that the war would have put a lot of stress on the young students, enough to activate the dormant creature genes but she hadn’t expected for so many of them to return to Hogwarts.

Poor Zacharias Smith had been bitten during the final battle of Hogwarts by Fenrir Greyback and turned into a Werewolf and Minerva had already ensured that the safety measures that Remus Lupin had had were put into place for Smith to return without putting anyone in danger. She couldn’t very well not allow him to return when it was not his fault that he had been infected. Theodore Nott too deserved a chance to complete his magical education and it was not for her to judge them. Minerva had no prejudice in regards to half-breeds or the mixing of the blood with magical creatures. If anything she encouraged it and having so many of them returning proudly to the schools he hoped that it might encourage a higher level of tolerance.

After everything Potter had been through it hadn’t surprised the headmistress in the slightest that he too had found himself coming into the creature inheritance . She found herself feeling sorry for the poor child more than any other returning student, even Smith and Nott. Harry already had so much to contend with. Though with so many of her students including Harry become Elven she would have to refresh her memory on the subject as what she knew was a little outdated.

She would have to inform the rest of the school about some students having coming to creature inheritance but she wouldn’t be specific as it wasn’t her business to be divulging that information to everyone. Most creatures had the urge to find a mate and once found the creatures were very protective of them and could potentially be dangerous if antagonized, which she knew could be easily done. This year might not have been as violent or as dangerous as the one before but it wasn’t going to be straight forward either.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten – The Test

The Burrow was a flurry of activity the next morning in preparation for the arrival of their guest that evening. Ron was not best pleased at the prospect of having Draco Malfoy over to his house for dinner. He had accepted the fact that his best friend was in lust toward their former rival but inviting him over for dinner was another matter entirely. Hermione and Ginny on the other hand were hugely excited. The two of them spent the whole breakfast discussing what they were going to wear before rounding on Harry and declaring with enthusiasm that they would both be helping him to get ready.

Harry was already nervous enough without the girls making this declaration to him; he had been picking at his cereal, completely uninterested in the soggy mass, his mind too preoccupied with thoughts about Draco to concentrate on trivial things such as eating. Hermione just needed a distraction from the hollow feeling in her chest that she had been struggling to get rid of and it was starting to make her uncomfortable. She hadn’t been able to bring herself to go to Ron since they’d fought over her apparent and non-existent crush on Harry. Of course Ron had taken this rather badly and had been a little funny with her. However you would never have guessed it by looking at them, they were keeping their failing relationship a well-guarded secret.

Molly was too busy going overboard, as Harry had feared that she would, to notice anything wrong with her youngest biological son, she was too excited about the prospect of having a guest over for dinner. Judging by the activity in the kitchen it seemed that she was preparing at least twelve courses, a true feast for the five hundred. In her mind she was doing it because she had wanted to ensure that there was enough food. Molly had invited a few extra people to join them, including Charlie, Bill, Fleur, Percy, George, Seamus, Dean, Neville and Luna. The fact that almost everyone he cared about was coming to this dinner to officially meet Draco as his boyfriend did nothing to quell Harry’s mounting nervousness.

Seeing as there would be sixteen of them dinning together and they wouldn’t all fit in the kitchen around the usual dining table, the marquee was being erected in the garden once again. A table long enough and wide enough to seat them all comfortably, as well as accommodate all the food that Molly was preparing, had already been set up by Arthur, Charlie and Bill.

When Harry had asked Molly why she was going to so much trouble for him the Weasley matriarch had only smiled at him before replying, “Because we’re all a family Harry, if you care about Draco enough to bring him here to officially met us all, the least we can do is be here to welcome him into the family as one of us. I may not fully approve of him as your boyfriend but you are a good boy with a good head on your shoulders and a bigger heart than you realise. Draco will know that you are loved and cared for here with us and that we won’t tolerate anyone hurting you.”

Harry couldn’t help but smile at her as she had said this. In a long winded way she had essentially just delivered the same warning Ron had in regards to Draco hurting him and that thought made him grin from ear to ear. He loved her all the more for her protective, mothering nature and had hugged her tightly when she’d said this. She really was like the mother he had never had and loved her as such. He knew that he would be lost without her and it made him so happy to know that Draco would get the chance to meet her.

He’d had a lot of opportunity to think about Draco in the three days that they’d been apart. He had considered their relationship too and the dominant/submissive element of it, which he had fully come to terms with, at least the part about him being a submissive. He was sure that he could handle that, after all it might be nice not to be in charge once in a while, he had always been expected to take the lead and with Draco he wouldn’t have to. This made him feel a lot more at ease, which is possibly why he had so readily accepted his role as a submissive. He didn’t even mind that it was Draco was going to be his dominant, what he didn’t like was the Slytherin’s need to defend him with violence. There had been enough of that in his life already. He wanted it all to stop.

If they were really going to do this then Harry was going to have to put his foot down on that matter, submissive or not he was still a person with feelings and he was going to make damn sure that Draco was aware of this. He wouldn’t be walked all over just because he wasn’t the dominant person in their relationship. He was more than happy to give that role to Draco but it wouldn’t mean that he was going to lie down and take everything the blonde thought was right, especially when he disagreed.

Once he was over the worst of the nerves about everyone he loved turning up for the family dinner with Draco, Harry found that he was oddly excited about the upcoming evening’s festivities. Not only would he get to see Draco, which was long overdue after three days apart, but he would have all of his adoptive family and closest friends around him as well. Of course it was also an added bonus that Blaise Zabini would be nowhere in sight. He had utterly ruined the dinner with Narcissa but Harry had no plans to attempt it again. Malfoy Manor had too many bad memories for him; he never wanted to go back to that place again.

He hoped that if it was ever suggested he would be able to come up with some form of excuse or an alternative venue because he wouldn’t be able to set foot there again. If it came to it he would of course explain to Draco why and although it was a conversation they would have to have eventually, Harry would put it off for as long as possible. He didn’t want to have to explain to Draco why he hated his ancestral family home and why it was that he never wanted to set foot there again. There was a lot that Harry was going to put off explaining for as long as he possibly could, things that were very painful to think about let alone talk about.

Harry was however feeling a little concerned in regards to how Draco would act around Ginny this evening, not to mention Seamus after the last time they had had an encounter. He wanted his boyfriend to feel at ease around those that he considered to be his family rather than tense and on the verge of going into a jealous rage at any moment. He hoped that he would be able to show Draco that neither Seamus nor Ginny were a threat to their relationship. He didn’t want either of them in that way.

Harry was all too aware of Seamus’ little crush on him but that was all physical. He had shared a dormitory with the boy since they were eleven. It had been pretty obvious that he was bisexual and cared very little about how many people he shared a bed with. He’d never once been in a relationship. As for Ginny, their brief kisses had done nothing for him, she was too much like a sister to him. It was just too weird to think of taking it any further. Draco had nothing to worry about in regards to either of them.

By the time lunch rolled around at the Burrow, Harry found himself levitating fairy lights up into the pitched roof of the marquee. They twinkled delicately above the dining table, imitating a night sky. The table itself was set with mismatched crockery and cutlery, candles decorated the table at strategic points and none of them matched in colour. It was so very Weasley and made Harry smile to himself. To him this was perfection. The Weasley’s were the definition of family; they were haphazard, disorganized and absolutely wonderfully charming.

This was what Harry wanted with Draco, a large family to love, care for and dote over. Just not yet. Harry caught himself as he smiled wistfully, placing a hand over his abdomen, imagining a small life growing inside of him, a perfect combination of him and Draco. Maybe a little girl with dark hair and silver eyes or a little boy with blond hair and emerald eyes. They could be a proper family, just like the Weasley’s. He imagined the perfection of having their children around them. He would want at least four, a large family was something he had always wanted and had always been denied until the Weasley’s. He could have that properly with Draco and the thought made him grin like a fool.

Breaking himself from his musings he continued to decorate the marquee. Molly had prepared sandwiches for them all but Harry wanted to save himself for the remarkable dinner this evening and just carried on with his chores. His mood was one of contentment as the thought of his and Draco’s baby floated casually through his mind.

HPDM

Even though Draco had no idea what Harry was thinking about he could sense his contentment and was glad. He had been nothing but a bundle of nerves before the dinner with his mother. It was good that he was feeling so at ease with even a flare of excitement added in, which made Draco feel exactly the same way. He had no apprehension about the coming evening at all but then he had no clue about how many people were going to be there. He might have felt a little on the anxious side if he had known that he would be one of sixteen diners.

Narcissa was apprehensive about letting her precious son go walking into the Lion’s den so to speak but then Draco had reminded her that Harry had walked into the a figurative snake pit by coming to the Manor and she had very quickly internalized her concerns. She had been monitoring her little dragon with a watchful eye the past few days and had seen just how miserable and how unhappy he had been being apart from the Potter boy. She may not have been overly fond of the idea that Harry would be becoming part of the family but after seeing Draco’s reaction to their short separation she had conceded that she would rather see her only child happy than not and if that meant having the boy-who-lived-twice as a son-in-law then that was the price she would have to pay.

Narcissa had of course written to Tilly about Blaise’s behaviour the night of the fateful dinner but had not yet received a reply, which was not like her best friend at all. Narcissa was concerned about Tilly’s reaction to her son’s behaviour. She didn’t want the issue to spiral into a family feud; she loved Tilly too much for that. However it certainly had the potential to do just that if she took the news about what her son had done badly.

Sat in the sitting room alone with her latest muggle romance novel in hand and a pot of steaming tea she was able to contemplate things a little easier. She had already planned her first six months in France, not intending on returning to England even for Christmas. She knew that Draco would not want to come home for the holidays when he could make use of the empty library to study for his forthcoming exams. She would enjoy Paris over Christmas; after all it was such a beautifully magical city. She sighed, hating the silence that surrounded her. She knew that Draco would be in his room fretting over what to wear and she didn’t wish to disturb him despite her loneliness.

It was a feeling that she would have to get used to with her husband was in prison and rightly so. He would be there for at least ten years if not twelve if he served his full sentence. Her son was now a grown man, a half-Elven creature and was now looking to settle down and start his own family. Her job as a mother done; her role as a dutiful and doting wife to a loving husband demolished upon his arrest, guilty verdict and imprisonment. It really brought home to her how empty her life was now and it depressed her.

Though she had never been the type of person to wallow in her misery, instead of being unsatisfied with her lot in life she made the decision that she would change it. Perhaps getting a job once she reached France, not that she needed the money; it was more to occupy her time than anything else. At least it would keep her busy until her first grandchild came along. Oh how she would love to see the manor filled with children, she had always wanted more of her own, perhaps a daughter but Lucius had never been a very paternal man. One heir was all he had required from her, one perfect boy and that was what they had had.

HPDM

“Harry,” Hermione called. “He’ll be here any minute, hurry up and get down here!” Harry had been fussing in front of the mirror, not entirely comfortable in the too tight black jeans and a turtle neck sweater in deep navy blue that seemed to hug every curve of his body in such a way Harry was convinced that magic was involved. Ginny had been the one to pick out his clothes for the evening, exclaiming that he looked particularly edible which had caused him to blush. He wasn’t in the habit of thinking of himself in such a way and he especially didn’t feel comfortable hearing it from Ginny.

He didn’t think that he would be divulging to Draco that Hermione and Ginny had taken to dressing him up like an oversized doll. He didn’t think that that information would go down too well with the protectively possessive blond. He also wouldn’t be telling him that the two witches had seen him in his underwear on numerous occasions, though so had Ron now that he thought about it. Harry just didn’t think any of it would help with his boyfriends jealousy issues.

“Come on Harry!” Hermione shouted again from the bottom of the stairs, “Neville and Luna are already here.”

“I’m coming,” Harry responded and despite feeling very self-conscious he headed downstairs, tugging uncomfortably at the hem of his jumper to no avail.

The furniture in the living room had been cleared to make space for people to gather and greet one another as they arrived via the floo network. Hermione and Ginny were in charge of the procession of people as they made their entrance. Ron was in the kitchen helping Molly with the preparation along with Percy and Fleur. Meanwhile Arthur, Charlie and Bill were organising the drinks in the garden, pointedly keeping the more potent elixirs away from the younger generation after their last display on Harry’s birthday celebrations. Molly wasn’t keen on seeing a repeat of that evening, especially not in front of Draco, who was their special guest. She wanted to leave a good impression on him and that meant no drunken debauchery this time.

Harry lingered nervously in the sitting room, shifting from foot to foot. Luna was off with the two girls and Neville was attempting to make small talk with Harry without much success. Neville seemed to be rabbiting on about some form of advanced Herbology course that Professor Sprout was letting him take this year. The other Gryffindor just nodded at the appropriate moments somewhat distractedly, staring at the fireplace, waiting.

When it suddenly burst to life with emerald green flames Harry waited with bated breath hoping that it would be Draco that was coming through the floo until he saw Seamus and Dean step out from the hearth. He felt his shoulders sag, slightly taken aback by the level of disappointment that he felt over it not being his boyfriend

“I take it lover boy hasn’t arrived yet then,” Seamus said in his Irish drawl, his eyes sweeping over Harry taking in his luscious appearance but also his disappointment and downtrodden expression. Harry shook his head, not sure of what he would do if Draco just didn’t turn up. The Slytherin had never sent a reply to say if he would or wouldn’t be coming this evening. It made Harry’s blood run cold to think of him just not turning up.

“Look on the bright side Harry,” Dean said with a grin, “If he doesn’t show up we’ll break his legs for you,” The tall black boy said, flinging a casual arm around Harry’s shoulders, “And if that doesn’t cheer you up then I’m sure Seamus is dying to show you a good time,” he finished with a suggestive wink and waggle of his eyebrows that made Harry feel a little awkward.

“The only one showing Harry a good time is me,” a cold drawling voice said from the fireplace. Harry whipped around, a huge smile on his face as he took in the handsome blond. He was wearing stone washed denim trousers and a short sleeved dark purple button up shirt.

“Draco, you came!” Harry exclaimed in excitement as he shrugged off Dean’s arm from his shoulder and rushed over to his boyfriend, his arms going around the blond’s neck, hugging him. Draco slipped his arms around Harry’s waist, returning the embrace, his nose going into the raven hair and inhaling the sweet scent.

“Of course I came, you invited me, mon amour,” Draco returned quietly as Harry nuzzled against him, seeking a kiss, “We have an audience,” The blond reminded him quietly so that only the two of them could hear.

Harry only shrugged, “I don’t care, just kiss me, please.”

Unable to resist, Draco’s grip tightened, drawing Harry in closer to him, pressing their lips together. The older of the two ran his tongue across the others lips seeking entrance that was willingly given. There was no hesitation in their embrace, only familiarity. The sound of wolf whistles broke them apart, the girls all awed at how cute a couple the two of them made.

Seamus on the other hand took it one step too far as always, it was in his nature, he couldn’t help it, and he just didn’t know when to stop. “Just looking at them is turning me on,” he said in his thick Irish accent. There was no mistaking the sound of his voice.

“Don’t look then.” Draco said with a lowly growl, which caused Harry to tense in his arms.

“Play nice, Dray,” Harry murmured into his ear so that no one else could hear the warning in his tone. He was going to ensure that Draco knew that he wasn’t going to be walked all over just because he was a submissive and that started right now. Seamus was his friend and despite his inappropriate comments he was harmless. Instantly the blond made a visible effort to calm himself, taking a deep breath of his mates calming scent all the while still glaring at the offending sandy haired wizard.

“I apologize for my reaction Finnegan but I do not appreciate other people making eyes at my boyfriend,” Draco said formally, not sounding at all apologetic. Harry only rolled his eyes in exasperation at his boyfriend’s tone, however he could appreciate the fact that the apology had been there even if it wasn’t exactly sincere.

“Come on, I want you to meet everyone,” Harry said happily as he wiggled out of Draco’s grip, taking his hand instead and heading for the kitchen much to the amusement of Dean, Seamus, Neville, Luna, Hermione and Ginny who were all thrilled to see Harry so happy for a change. The happiness radiated from him, he was practically beaming as he had taken Draco into the kitchen.

Dean moved a little closer to Ginny with the aim of talking to her, a move that went unnoticed by the others as they watched Harry and Draco leave, all of them too preoccupied with how happy their friend was after his months of depression. It was a long overdue happiness.

“Draco, I’d like you to formally meet Molly, who is basically my mum,” Harry said upon bounding into the large kitchen with Draco in tow. “Molly, this is my boyfriend, Draco Malfoy.” The Weasley matriarch had become a little flushed with joy as she heard her adoptive son call her his mum. She wiped her hands on her apron before coming forward and hugging the startled blond, who wasn’t used to such shows of affection from parental figures. His own mother would never had been so openly affectionate.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mrs Weasley,” Draco said politely as Harry grinned at him his exuberant mood shining through.

“Call me Molly,” she said, her gaze sweeping over him sceptically. “Well, he’s certainly handsome, Harry,” she commented to him before looking at Draco warningly, “You make sure you take care of our boy.”

“Don’t worry,” Draco responded reassuringly to her, squeezing Harry’s hand gently in his own, “I intend to.”

“Oh, this is Fleur, you probably remember her from the tri-wizard tournament in our fourth year. She’s married to Bill now. I’m not sure if you’d remember Percy but you of course know Ron,” Harry said introducing him to everyone in the kitchen who all greeted him politely and with smiles, kisses on the cheek and welcoming handshakes, all apart from Ron who gave a grunt and a curt nod instead. Harry couldn’t stop smiling though.

“The others are outside,” Harry said as they headed out of the back door. Draco then saw the marquee and the table set to seat sixteen people and just gawped at it in shock, trying to take in the sheer size of it.

“We’re eating in that?” He asked, a little startled at the number of seats to start with but also because he had never before eaten outside and never once in a tent.

“Well, yeah, we wouldn’t all fit in the house, there are too many of us.” Harry explained a little sheepishly, worried that it was all too much and the amount of people that Molly had invited would overwhelm the Slytherin. They headed over towards Arthur who stood with his two eldest sons, talking amongst themselves but smiling welcomingly as they saw Harry approaching with Draco beside him.

“How many are coming to this dinner exactly?” Draco asked sceptically.

“Umm … well if George comes then there will be sixteen of us.” Harry said, none of them were sure if George was going to actually turn up. He had been sleeping in Diagon Alley above Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, which hadn’t opened since Fred had died. He had been struggling with the death of his twin brother, not coping very well with no longer having his partner in crime by his side. Everyone was concerned about him. He was distancing himself from the family and everyone could see how much that hurt Molly, who never in her deepest nightmares had ever imagined them being separated, not even her boggart had shown them separated. “We don’t do things by halves here,” Harry said with a little smile.

“Clearly,” Draco said, he was happy just because Harry was happy. The blond himself wasn’t keen on large family gatherings but that was perhaps because half of his family were raving lunatics. He was glad that at the least his Aunt Bellatrix was dead. She had scared the living daylights out of him on her good days and she hadn’t had many of them.

“Draco, this is Arthur, Bill and Charlie,” Harry introduced and Draco had to release his mate’s hand so that he could shake hands with the three other wizards. Of course he knew the oldest of the three of them but not his eldest two sons. When they were done with pleasantries, rather than linking his and Harry’s fingers again he wrapped his arm around his boyfriends waist, resting a hand on the opposite hip. The Gryffindor leaned into the embrace, resting his head upon the blonds shoulder, feeling completely at ease.

Arthur couldn’t help but smile at the two of them together. He was a level headed man, his grudge was not against the Malfoy’s in general or even against Draco himself, his grudge lay with Lucius who was safely locked up in Azkaban. He could clearly see the adoration in his adoptive son’s face and how happy he was. Harry deserved that feeling; he wouldn’t be the one to take it away from him because of old grudges. He could learn to like Draco as long as he didn’t do anything to hurt Harry.

HPDM

“Ginny, can I talk to you?” Dean whispered to the red haired young witch. He had taken the opportunity while everyone else had been distracted by Harry and Draco, neither of whom he was particularly fond of right now. “In private,” He stated dryly.

Ginny looked at him dubiously but nodded regardless, she saw no harm in talking to him. The two of them had dated for a while before the war, though it had been a rocky and somewhat unpleasant relationship for the majority of it. However they had ended amicably enough and they were still friends. She was more than aware of the fact that he wanted more than just a simple friendship but she was careful not to provoke him or lead him on. Ginny was more than happy to be single for the moment. Considering she was completely in love with Harry, who could never return her affections, she figured she needed to take a step back from dating and give herself some time.

“Sure,” She replied to Dean, looking around for somewhere they could go. In the art of not leading him on or giving him false hope she wouldn’t take him to her bedroom even though that was the only place that they were guaranteed privacy. “Come with me,” She said motioning that he should follow her.

The two of them trailed out of the house, though avoiding the rear of the garden where the marquee had been set up and everyone was congregating who didn’t want to be roped in to help Molly in the kitchen. They walked as far as they dared, not wanting to step outside of the safety of the wards. The war may have been over but that didn’t mean that they were entirely safe just yet. There were still a few deatheaters and Voldemort supporters roaming around.

“So what did you want to talk about?” Ginny asked, her arms folding across her chest defensively. She could see no need for the secrecy, she wasn’t sure what Dean would want to say to her that required them to be alone and away from the rest of the group.

“Us,” Dean said honestly as he drew closer to the younger witch, ignoring her defensive body language, just wanting to touch her. He brought his hand up to brush a strand of fiery hair out of her eyes.

“There is no us, Dean,” she returned gently, she had told him this before. He had made several attempts to reconcile their relationship since they had broken up in her fifth year. After all the arguments and the tears she had shed she just wasn’t interested in having anything romantic with him. The best he could hope for was friendship and he was walking a fragile line on that too.

“There could be,” he responded as his hands went to grab her waist as she went to back away from him. She glared at him, putting her hands on his chest to try and push him away as he made an attempt at kissing her. Dean had grown a lot since they had last been in this position. He was taller, bulkier and seemingly stronger. She hadn’t grown at all, her waist small and she was at least a head shorter than him. However that didn’t mean she was defenceless. It wasn’t by pure luck that she had survived the war.

She drew back, arching her back and turning her head so that when his lips came into contact with her body they pressed against the skin of her neck. He groaned, fingers digging in to her hips making her gasp in with the unexpected pain of it as he forced himself to grind against her.

“Get off me Dean,” Ginny hissed dangerously, trying to push him away but he was considerably stronger than her and she couldn’t reach her wand.

“Not until you listen to me,” he growled in return, he loosened his grip with one hand so that he could grip the back of her head. Ginny however took her chance and pulled away from him, raising her hand and slapping him across the cheek.

“Stay away from me,” she said as he staggered back from the force of the blow, releasing his grip on her entirely. Ginny took off towards the house, trying not to break into a run. She didn’t want anyone to know what had just happened. She would be happy just to forget the horrible incident, she certainly didn’t want to over think the whole thing.

HPDM

“So, Draco, are you returning to Hogwarts this year?” Charlie asked conversationally. All sixteen of them, George included, sat around the table under the marquee with their mismatched crockery and twinkling fairy lights overhead setting the relaxed mood. It was rather like the welcoming feast at the beginning of term at Hogwarts, especially since the table was almost bowing under the weight of so much food. Draco was sure that magic was involved in keeping the table in one piece.

“Yes and I’m very much looking forward to it as well,” Draco responded, he wasn’t sure that he liked the way Charlie Weasley was leering at him, Harry hadn’t noticed, too involved with his own conversation with his friends. Draco then turned to Molly, “This food is delicious,” He complimented her, “Did you make it all yourself?”

“Fleur helped of course but yes I made it all, there are no house elves here,” She said smiling proudly at this statement. Draco was really starting to like Molly, she was warm and welcoming, even if it wasn’t what he was used to; and this home was so unlike his at Malfoy Manor. He hadn’t known what had been missing from his childhood home until he came here. It lacked warmth and even though his parents had loved him in their own way it was nothing compared to the abundance of the emotion here. He could now see why Harry had felt so uncomfortable during the dinner at Malfoy Manor when in comparison he was so at ease and relaxed here. Even Draco felt more relaxed though it was perhaps through their connection that this was the case.

Harry, who was sat beside his boyfriend, was in the middle of a rather animated conversation with Dean, Seamus, Ron and Neville about Quidditch, they rarely talked about anything else when the five of them got together. The debate this time had started when it had vaguely been questioned by Harry if they would be allowed to play on the house teams once school restarted. They were really too old to play but they were really too old to be going back to Hogwarts as well but they were still students. This one off handed comment had blown up into a full scale debate about who was better, the Falmouth Falcons or the Chudley Cannons.

Ron was going red in the face defending his beloved Cannons whereas Dean was just as adamant that the Falcons were by far superior and would therefore win the Quidditch world cup this year whereas the Cannons just wouldn’t get a look in. There was also some speculation from Neville about if Harry would get an offer from the Falcons to play as their seeker. This was perhaps the only thing the five of them had agreed upon.

“What subjects are you planning on taking this year Draco?” Charlie asked him, they were sitting opposite one another and could easily converse despite the loud argument going on beside them.

“Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, Defence against the dark arts, Herbology and medical magic,” he responded politely, listing his chosen subjects from memory, though he really wasn’t overly keen on being friends with this man. However he was willing to be civil for Harry.

“Wow that is quite the work load,” Charlie said impressed, “What are you studying towards?”

“I’m considering doing my potions mastery, specialising in medical potions, though it was always taken for granted that I would follow my father into the Ministry for a life of politics however that kind of work never appealed to me.”

“A mastery is fairly intense stuff, I did my care of magical creatures mastery when I got out of Hogwarts so that I could become a dragon trainer. Toughest five years of my life I have to say.”

“You did it in five years?” Draco asked, it was now his turn to be impressed and despite being cautiously wary of this older wizard he couldn’t help but be drawn into such an intellectual conversation. “Don’t masteries take a minimum of seven years to complete?”

Charlie grinned, winking suggestively at the blond, “They do, unless you have a particular aptitude for the subject. I’m particularly skilled at training dragons.” Draco couldn’t help but hear the flirtatious undertone to his voice and found himself relieved that Harry was too wrapped up in his Quidditch debate to hear his so called brother flirting so audaciously with his boyfriend. Draco wasn’t convinced that he wanted to test out Harry’s jealousy limits just yet not when they were currently contending with his own jealousy issues.

“You are aware that I’m dating Harry?” Draco asked pointedly, though he knew that there could be no doubt in Charlie’s mind about this. The blond made sure that he spoke quietly, not wanting to be overheard.

“And I’m not asking you to leave him,” Charlie said with a wry smile, “I’m only here tonight and tomorrow before I go back to Romania.” Draco was very glad that the Quidditch debate was still loud and brash enough between the five young men that it covered the rather uncomfortable conversation between him and Charlie.

“So what are you suggesting exactly?” Draco asked, trying to keep his voice calm, if not a little interested in the suggestion when really anger was bubbling away beneath his skin at what was being so brazenly being suggested.

“Mind blowing, no strings attached sex,” Charlie said lustily, “Harry is just a boy, he won’t satisfy you, you need a man like me.”

Draco narrowed his eyes to glare at the red head hatefully. No one spoke about his Harry like that; however he had sworn to himself that he would keep his temper in check for Harry’s sake and he intended to keep that promise. “Oh, I’ll show you exactly how much I need you to satisfy me,” Draco returned dangerously, glaring pointedly at the older wizard.

Gently, so not to hurt him, Draco took hold of Harry’s neck and turned his head to face him before proceeding to snog his Gryffindor absolutely senseless. It took Harry less than half a second to instinctively respond to the probing tongue and forgetting where they were and who was watching. Hands began wandering, seeking skin to skin contact. Fingers sought out the hemlines to their tops to caress the smooth, muscled flesh beneath. Fingertips came into contact with warm flesh making them both moan at the contact as they deepened their kiss.

“What is going on down there?” the shrill voice of Molly demanded, she had gained enough volume that it was enough to break up the two hormonal snogging teenagers. Harry flushed, looking embarrassed at their display but Draco, stubbornly, just gave Charlie a rather pointed look as they both straightened themselves out.

“It’s alright, Mum,” Charlie said with a chuckle, “I was just testing Draco here to make sure he would stay faithful to Harry. I had to make sure he was good enough for my honorary little brother and he passed with flying colours.”

Molly looked at her second eldest son with disapproval however this only made the young man laugh harder. He had had many more years of practice at shrugging off the harsh glances of his mother. They didn’t bother him half as much as they used to when he was younger.

“Test? What test?” Harry asked with adorable confusion, looking between Charlie and Draco questioningly as he tried to understand what had just happened as his mind swirled with the memory of that rather intense kiss.

“I was flirting with blondie here, trying to see if he’d take the bait,” Charlie returned through tears of laughter.

“What! Why would you do something like that?” Harry asked in outrage, hurt that Charlie, whom he considered to be a big brother, would do anything of the sort. At his words however the other Gryffindor boys had caught on to the joke and all started to join in with the hysterical giggling. Even Hermione, Ginny and Luna were sharing looks of amusement between the three of them.

“Just making sure young Draco is good enough for you, Harry, don’t worry, I’ve got no desire to take your man away from you.” Charlie reassured him with a smile which made Harry relax a little. The only one not laughing who really ought to have been was George, who really wasn’t seeing the funny side of things at the moment. He had come because he knew he ought to spend time with his family but all he wanted was to return to his shop and wallow in his misery.

Draco could logically understand that the odd little family were only trying to look out for Harry and protect him in their own uniquely special way, which Draco could respect but he still felt a little tense as, with a wave of her wand, Molly made the main course, or at least what was left of it, vanish back into the kitchen. Then with a second wave and a muttered incantation piles of various puddings appeared before them. Everything and anything they could have desired was here for the taking. Draco couldn’t help but grin when he noticed a large treacle tart had appeared right next to Harry.

Everyone settled down after Charlie’s so called test of Draco’s intentions as they all helped themselves to desert. The blond took a small portion of fruit trifle and avoiding the stickier chocolate coated dishes as he had never been a fan. Half way through desert, Draco watched suspiciously as Ron leaned over to Harry and whispered something into his ear. Draco didn’t like the intimacy of this act nor did he like the smile on Harry’s lips as he nodded his agreement to whatever the red head had said.

Looking sceptically at Harry he tried to figure out what was going on but his mate just grinned at him cheekily before going back to his second serving of treacle tart without saying a word leaving Draco wondering what his innocent little Gryffindor had planned for the remainder of the evening.

Chapter Text

Chapter eleven – Tip Toe

“Mum, we’re going to play Quidditch for a while,” Ginny said to her mother, who’d been enjoying a glass or two of red wine with her dinner and was now a little red in the face as she and Fleur shared a private joke at poor Bill’s expense. She did so love having her family around her, as incomplete as it was after the death of Fred.

She was far too busy enjoying having all those that she loved around her to notice that it was growing steadily darker and Quidditch would be near enough impossible at this point in the evening, instead waving off the younger generation. They headed off towards the Quidditch clearing, suspiciously without their brooms. All of them were wearing self-satisfied smirks, all apart from Draco who was just very confused.

“Come on,” Harry said to Draco, smiling with excitement as he pulled his boyfriend up from the table and taking him by the hand, dragging him along with enthusiasm.

“Where are we going?” Draco asked with suspicion as he allowed himself to be tugged away from the dining table and the gathering of adults, not that he wasn’t glad to get away from Charlie Weasley who was teasing him with saucy winks and laughing mirthlessly. Draco gripped tighter at their linked fingers as they followed the rest of the group towards the tree line.

“Quidditch,” Harry replied. His emerald eyes were glinting with mischief. Draco didn’t really feel up to playing Quidditch, his stomach full to bursting after all the wondrous food that had been prepared by Molly. It had been so much better than anything the house elves had ever cooked for him at home or at Hogwarts and he had gorged himself to bloating point. If this became a regular thing he could see himself gaining weight, which wouldn’t do. He would have to be very careful when it came to Molly Weasley’s cooking.

Harry and Draco were the last of the group to reach the sizeable Quidditch clearing. Seamus, Dean, Ginny, Neville, Luna, Ron and Hermione already there and getting things ready and to Draco it didn’t look much like they were preparing for a game of Quidditch. For one thing there was not a Quaffle or a snitch in sight and secondly none of them had brooms. Whatever they were going to be doing here it wasn’t likely to be playing Quidditch.

Hermione was erecting a rather large silencing bubble around them, Ginny was using her wand to start some music going while Seamus, Dean and Neville unloaded their pockets on to the grass, removing the shrinking charms to reveal that they had been carrying around numerous cans and bottles of beer, a couple bottles of vodka and one of fire whiskey. Ron had been in charge of grabbing the mead, which was why he had been designated to volunteer for kitchen duty, not that Molly had been wise to this plan.

Draco couldn’t help but be highly amused at how sneaky this group of Gryffindor’s and one slightly loopy Ravenclaw had been. Harry dragged him over to where his friends had started gathering and began to conjure armchairs for them all, the blonde even helped. He conjured a larger than usual comfy chair intended for him and Harry to share, making it big enough to seat them both comfortably. He accepted a single bottle of beer from Seamus who was handing them out before taking his seat, pulling his mate down to sit on his lap. A possessive arm going round Harry’s waist hand resting on the younger man’s hip while the other held his drink.

“You two are so cute!” Ginny exclaimed initiating a glare from Draco that made Harry chuckle. She took the fire whiskey bottle, ignoring Draco’s seething look, taking a sip from it before passing it long to Seamus who did the same, the single bottle making its way around the group.

“We are not cute,” Draco stated flatly, passing on his turn with the fire whiskey, having a strong dislike for the vile liquor but watching in disdain as Harry took a rather large gulp of the stuff, chasing it with a grimace and several mouthfuls of beer before passing the fire whiskey along. “Handsome, yes, fuckable, definitely, but not cute,” Draco finished pointedly.

“I’d agree with fuckable,” Seamus said as he opened one of the two vodka bottles too and started that going around the group too. “Room for a third?” He asked cheekily giving Harry and Draco a little wink.

“And a fourth,” Ginny chimed in as she got a second go on the fire whiskey. As magical liquor it always worked a lot faster than anything the muggles could come up with. The effects of it were already beginning to show on the group of teenagers.

Draco growled, his arms twisting around Harry possessively. “Mine,” he said, holding his mate close to him, unwilling to even entertain the idea of sharing him with anyone.

“Now that is adorable,” Hermione said as she settled herself on Ron’s lap. Harry was glad to see that the two of them were working things out, though judging by the look on Ron’s face at the level of intimacy they were displaying right now didn’t make him entirely comfortable.

“Can I see your ears Draco?” Luna asked in her usual dreamy voice. She had of course seen Harry’s but she was wondering about Draco’s too. The whole thing fascinated her, especially with the possibility that within a year she might come into her own inheritance. “I find Elven kind so very interesting, did you know my mother was one?” She told the group.

Everyone looked amazed; it wasn’t something they had known about the strange Ravenclaw girl. “Will you be like us when you turn eighteen then?” Harry asked her conversationally as Draco scooped back his long blonde hair so that the group could see his beautifully pointed Elven ears beneath. It was the first time that Harry had seen them too and as he studied them he had an overwhelming urge to run his tongue across the tips. He became so involved in his fantasy of doing just that that he almost missed Luna’s response.

“Fifty, fifty chance. My Dad is just a wizard so we have to wait and see. I’d like to be though, Elven kind are so ethereal. Have you two received your council letters yet?” She asked and Harry looked confused at the question, not knowing what she meant by council letters.

“What council letter?” Harry asked as Draco gave him a quick kiss to the temple, nuzzling his nose into the thick raven hair and inhaling the sweet scent, bracing himself for the explanation he would have to give.

“When new Elven come into their inheritance their parents or guardians must write to the council and inform them. They keep track of our numbers you see, who is bonded with who and such, the numbers of dominant and submissive Elven. They also keep an eye on the black market and the poachers who like to hunt us for our ears,” Draco explained. “No one would have known to write to them about you coming into your inheritance which is why you wouldn’t have received a letter; they wouldn’t have known to send you one.”

“Isn’t it Elven law that all new Elven be declared to the council though?” Luna asked as she admired the beautiful ears that Draco had kept on display for her. Once she was done he allowed his hair to fall back in place, covering them from view.

“It is but I have no desire to inform them yet. Harry is too precious to have the council involved right now. They would have all the dominants of our kind that are so far remaining un-bonded fawning over him and bidding for his attention.”

“Because of who he is?” Dean asked, not really understanding the full extent of things but pondering what he was hearing, taking it in as he took another sip of his beer. He referred of course to Harry’s status in the wizarding world, his defeat of the Dark Lord and his fame.

Draco however shook his head, “No, though that would be a small part of it. It adds to his appeal certainly but that wouldn’t be what they were primarily interested in,” Draco said, “He’s a male submissive.”

“Only thirty per cent of Elven kind are submissive,” Hermione informed them all knowledgably. She had been doing a lot of reading on the subject. “Only five per cent of them are male. A male submissive is extremely rare and highly coveted. While Harry remains un-bonded he will be inundated with offers to court and woo him; though that’s the nicer Elven that will do that, they won’t all be nice, not if they really want him.”

Draco’s grip had tightened as Hermione spoke. Harry had been listening to her intently along with everyone else and her words had had a profound effect on the group judging by their looks of horror and Neville who moved a little closer to Luna.

“Though even after you’re bonded the other Elven will still want you, I imagine that whoever you’re bonded with will get offered a lot of money to share you so that you could carry the children of dominants other than your bonded mate.” Hermione then added after a brief pause, “your magical ability is already legendary after all, any children that you might have would have that legacy too.”

“Looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you, Malfoy,” Ron stated flatly, not liking the newest dangers that his best friend was facing.

“Hence why I don’t want the council knowing about him yet,” Draco said unhappily as he nuzzled into Harry’s neck, loving the response he was getting as Harry snuggled into him.

“But what about Blaise?” Harry asked uncertainly, knowing that the other Slytherin knew what he was and wouldn’t be so keen to protect his secret. At the mention of Zabini, Draco scowled, he hadn’t forgotten about him. Blaise and his threats were never far from his thoughts.

“Besides killing him, which I’m not averse to doing, we can do nothing about him. He might not go to the council if he thinks they already know about you,” Draco said as Harry manoeuvred his head so that he could place tender kisses upon the blonde’s neck, distracting him from his less than savoury thoughts as the pleasurable sensations began to take over. Harry relished how comforted and protected he felt being in Draco’s embrace, there was nowhere else he would have rather been.

“Let’s back track a second,” Seamus said, “If this bonding thing will at least help matters, why don’t you just do that then?”

Even though his head was buried in Draco’s neck the blonde felt the heat that radiated from Harry’s cheeks as he flushed at the suggestion of bonding on a pur of the moment decision. Draco just absent-mindedly began stroking the raven hair, loving how comfortable Harry was with him.

“Bonding is a very serious step to take Finnegan,” Draco said, still running his fingers through the silky black locks, “It usually happens after months of courtship and wooing.”

“Isn’t bonding essentially just sex though?” Hermione asked completely unabashed, she and Ron had been doing it since the night they got together.

“If all you have to do is fuck why not just get it over with?” Dean asked rather crudely. Draco glared at him as Harry buried his head deeper into the nape of the blonde’s neck in embarrassment that his friends were all rather calmly discussing when and why he should have sex with his boyfriend. Of course none of them knew for certain just how inexperienced he was.

“Elven are very traditional creatures, a bond is for a life time; it cannot be broken or undone like a marriage. It is literally until death parts a couple. Even though solidifying a bond is essentially just sex, as Granger so kindly put it, it is like a marriage to Elven kind. There is usually a ceremony beforehand, though there doesn’t have to be, it is much like a wedding for family, friends and council members to attend,” Draco informed the listening group who were completely enthralled but none more so than Hermione and Luna, both of whom lapped up this knowledge with apt enthusiasm, though both for entirely different reasons.

The bottle of fire whiskey had been continuously circling the group as they had been talking and now was almost empty, the only one in the group not drinking from it had been Draco. When it came to Harry again the raven haired teen drained the last of the dregs from the bottom of the bottle, seemingly to gain a little bit of courage for what he wanted to do next.

“Blaise was talking about it like he could just discard me afterwards,” Harry said sounding hurt, “If sex would have bonded us for life how could he have done that?”

Draco sighed, hating the fact that he was having this conversation at all, let alone in front of a group of Gryffindor’s plus one extra Ravenclaw thrown in for good measure. However he knew that he couldn’t tip toe around the issue. Harry needed to know these things so that he could understand Draco’s fierce protectiveness and come to tolerate it more readily and didn’t become so exasperated by it.

“Because a submissive of our kind is so rare that one dominant would claim the submissive and then have other dominants pay to have the submissive bare their children. There are no laws against such practises since our numbers are so few. More family lines are continued in this manor so it isn’t exactly discouraged. No dominant is ever punished for treating his submissive in this way. Though I do hasten to add that not every dominant Elven would act in this way towards their bonded mate. Others that would pay the money are just so desperate to produce an Elven child with the active gene that they would do anything, including forking out extortionate amounts of money for the privilege. The submissive would have to carry the child, give birth and all to give up their baby at the end of it.”

“That’s awful,” Neville said in disgust, he was starting to feel a little ill, though he wasn’t sure if that was from what he had just been told or due to the amount of fire whiskey he had just drunk. That stuff just didn’t sit right with him. Either way he clutched Luna closely to him. If she came into her Elven inheritance next year then he swore that he would protect her at all costs.

“I always thought that Elven kind were so respectable and civilized. I had no idea it was acceptable to be that barbaric,” Ginny said in shock.

“A lot of information in books is generalized by wizards who have no idea what they’re talking about. Some is accurate but very outdated. The best source of information outside of the council is the book I gave to Harry. Everything else is kept a closely guarded secret, something else the council members are in charge of. They don’t like wizarding folk getting involved in Elven business,” Draco said sourly.

“You won’t let that happen to me, will you, Dray?” Harry asked, his fingers running through soft blonde hair, careful not to brush against the sensitive ears, despite his urges to touch them. Draco found that he actually rather liked the shortening of his name. At school he had forbidden anyone from butchering his name in such a manor but it sounded nice coming from Harry, though if any of the others present attempted to call him that he was liable to ensure they never spoke again.

“They’d have to kill me first,” Draco said with a snarl. He found that he really didn’t mind being in the company of so many Gryffindor’s, it was nicer, more relaxed than socialising with any of the Slytherin’s. Draco was beginning to realise that his fellow snakes had not truly been his friends at all. They were simply people he had been forced to socialise with in his free time. He had never known it to be any different until tonight.

The nine of them sat completely at ease with one another, talking and sharing things that Draco would never dream of discussing with Pansy, Blaise or Daphne. The three Slytherin’s were more concerned with status, wealth and power than anything else and Draco knew that he offered a healthy combination of all three. None of that mattered to the group around him; their loyalty to one another ran deep. Draco could see very clearly that now they were all aware of the danger that Harry faced this year that none of them would let anything happen to him. He would not be alone in protecting his mate this year and that fact made his heart swell.

“What are you thinking about?” Harry asked quietly as other, happier topics began to be discussed. Hermione and Luna talking eagerly about their imminent return to school, Ginny and Neville talking about something related to Herbology and the others once again were talking about Quidditch, as if it was the only thing in the world that mattered.

“Your friends,” Draco told him honestly, he would never lie to Harry if he could help it. He would always strive to be as honest as he could be. He had no desire to wound him with false words.

“What about them?” Harry asked, looking around them fondly, a smile gracing his lips. He loved them all so much and they accepted him no matter what, as the freak that he was, regardless of how different he was to all of them.

“I’ve never known friends like them. You all sought each other out through your free will and mutual likes and dislikes. They are loyal to you just as you are to them. They followed you into battle willingly and by the looks of it they’d do it all over again without question and would still protect you with their lives. I have never known friends to be like that. Blaise, Pansy and Daphne were selected as my play mates when we were first born and we were all each other knew until Hogwarts.”

“That’s horrible,” Harry said with a frown, “I can’t believe you’ve never had real friends!”

“It’s the pureblood way, my parents only wanted to ensure that I wasn’t exposed to any bad influences. They did what they thought was best for me.” As the blonde spoke he ran his hands up and down every inch of Harry’s body that he could reach, fingertips ghosting against tanned skin which sent shivers of delight through the Gryffindor’s body.

“Still, it isn’t right. You have all of us now to make up for it though Dray, you’re one of us, an honorary Gryffindor,” Harry said, “Though until you’ve had a lecture from Molly or done something she’s disapproved of you aren’t really part of the family but that will come in time.” Harry added with a smirk. Draco simply rolled his eyes, placing a soft kiss to his mate’s lips. “Dray, can you promise me something?” Harry asked.

“I’m listening,” Draco said in a non-committed way, just in case it was something that he couldn’t give to his mate. He wouldn’t make promises that he couldn’t keep, especially not to Harry.

“I just want you to promise that when we have a baby we won’t pre-select its friends or force it into pureblood ways. I don’t think I’d be happy if we did that.”

Draco smiled; he’d noted that Harry had said when and not if they had a baby, which meant it had been on his mind. Cuddling him closer Draco nodded his head, “I promise mon amour,” he said softly.

“Hey Harry, will you still be seeker if they allow you to play on the house team?” Seamus asked; which broke up the intimate couple so Harry could turn to the Irish wizard and reply to his question.

Harry just shrugged, “I hadn’t thought about it, I suppose so,” he replied. Draco just groaned and the Quidditch obsessed teenagers looked to the blond questioningly.

“Baring a dementor attack, Harry’s never lost a match. Slytherin have no chance for the house cup with you as the Gryffindor seeker,” Draco explained and they all laughed but it was a good natured chuckle as they agreed with him. The Slytherin was being accepted by them all and as Draco acknowledged this fact he felt himself visibly relax. They were friends.

“Are you planning on still playing seeker then?” Dean asked Draco curiously, the blonde simply shook his head.

“Not with all the N.E.W.T courses I’m taking. I won’t have time to practice for the matches and fit in my studying;” Draco told them, Hermione was looking at him, nodding approvingly. “Mother expects all my subjects to be outstanding at the end of the year.”

“Geez, that’s a bit harsh,” Ginny said with a frown, “I’m guessing failure isn’t an option in your family.”

Draco shook his head, “Most of the subjects I’m taking I have no interest in but I’ll take them anyway, it can’t hurt. I don’t mind dropping Quidditch because unlike some,” and here he gave Harry a pointed stare, “I couldn’t play professionally.”

“Have you received offers yet?” Seamus asked excitedly, Harry shook his head though. “Imagine if you got signed by the Falcons, I could put your poster up next to the picture from Which Wizard,” Seamus said with even more jubilation.

Draco growled at him, narrowing his eyes at the Irish wizard, “You had better not have that picture up anywhere near where I can see it!” He threatened venomously, he really didn’t like the idea that a picture of his mate in a state of undress had been so widely distributed.

“I doubt you’ll see it Draco,” Dean said with amusement. “It’s in his bedroom, in a draw labelled wanking material.”

“It had better not be,” Draco snarled, glaring at Seamus.

“Of course it’s not,” Ginny said grinning, “Seamus doesn’t label anything.” And with that everyone but Draco burst into side splitting laughter, even Harry and Seamus could see the funny side.

“Oh let them have their fun,” Harry said, still smiling but rolling his eyes at the antics of his friends. They were all a little tipsy, apart from Draco, who had only had about half of his beer. The others were all well on their way to being drunk.

“I told you, mon amour, I don’t like to share,” Draco murmured to Harry as they nuzzled close to one another.

“And you don’t have to,” Harry returned as he bumped his nose against Draco’s gently, “I’m all yours.” Their lips met and suddenly they were all that mattered. It was only to good natured jeers of, ‘get a room’ and ‘that is seriously hot’ that they finally broke apart, Harry blushing furiously, biting his lip nervously. Draco however remained completely un-phased, refusing to feel embarrassment for kissing his mate.

Taking their bottles of beer and placing them on the ground, Harry stood up before holding out a hand to Draco to pull him to his feet as well. “Come with me,” Harry said with a nervous smile.

Curious, Draco accepted the hand that was offered and allowed himself to be led away from the group who didn’t bat an eyelash as the two of them disappeared towards the tree-line where the undergrowth stood thick and dense. The Slytherin had no idea where he was being taken or why but he trusted Harry; though he was also glad that he’d only drunk half his beer and avoided the fire whiskey completely now that he was heading into a dark bit of woodland. It was probably the middle of the night already and this was completely uncharted territory which all combined made him a little nervous about what Harry had planned.

The Gryffindor stopped suddenly, turning towards Draco, a sloppy grin on his face. Fuelled with drunken bravado Harry pressed his body against Draco’s, wrapping his arms around the Slytherin’s neck and placing soft kisses upon his lips.

“What are you doing?” Draco asked as he placed steadying hands on each of Harry’s hips, fearful that the slightly drunk younger teen would fall over and hurt himself if he didn’t have hold of him.

“I want you to make love to me,” Harry said shyly as he tried to claim another kiss but the blond took a step back, resisting his mate and looking extremely confused. Harry’s arms fell from round his boyfriend’s neck, though Draco ensured that he kept a hold of his submissive as Harry was swaying on the spot, the fire whiskey clearly having gone straight to his head.

“Harry … mon amour … we can’t,” Draco replied softly, he didn’t want to hurt Harry or his already fragile confidence but he had to, he knew the rejection would hurt him regardless of how tactfully it was handled but it still had to be done. Still, he would have to choose his words with care.

“But why … I’ll be yours, all yours, no one will be able to take me away from you. It’ll solve our problems,” Harry said in a confused and upset drunken babble, Draco could hear the pain in his soft tone and it almost broke his heart to hear his mate like that. “Don’t you want me?” Harry asked softly, close to tears.

“Oh, mon amour,” Draco said as he wrapped Harry up in his arms, “Of course I want you, more than anything else.”

“Then why?” Harry asked, fighting back his tears but failing miserably.

“Because it is too soon, you are not ready and something like this shouldn’t be done to solve a problem. Your first time won’t be a drunken romp up against a tree or on a filthy forest floor. I won’t give you a quick fumble that is both forgettable and full of regret. We will do it properly, with the ceremony and our friends and family, then I will take you to our bed and it will last for hours. I will stay with you afterwards and hold you in my arms so that we can wake up together the next morning. I won’t treat you like a dirty little secret or something to be ashamed of. I am proud to be with you Harry.”

Silently crying Harry nodded his head in understanding, holding Draco close. He never would have believed it to be possible but Harry felt himself start to fall in love in that moment. He couldn’t believe it, of course he loved his rather odd adoptive family but this kind of love was different, powerful and he had thought that his heart had been too broken to feel anything of the sort.

Harry had to stop. He just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t allow himself to fall in love because the people that he loved always seemed to end up dead or leaving him. He couldn’t fall in love, he wouldn’t let himself. He had to protect Draco, if Harry fell in love with him then he would forever be a target and Harry didn’t want that. There were still people out there that wanted to hurt him, the kind of people who would use his loved ones as leverage to hurt him. He couldn’t let that be Draco’s fate, he wouldn’t fall in love and that was his final decision. Though he had the strange notion that it might not be that easy.

HPDM

Molly had been thrilled at the success of the dinner, though less than happy at the fact that once again the younger generation were seemingly half drunk, though this evening she wasn’t one to talk. She had had a few too many glasses of wine but a good time had been had by all. She sent off all those that weren’t staying the night through the floo and found beds for the rest.

Ginny had been glad to see the back of Dean. The thought of their argument had been plaguing her mind all evening and it had been difficult to ignore the violent feelings towards him and pretend that there was nothing wrong. He had been persistent, letting his intentions be known since the final battle was over and it was clear that she wasn’t going to get back together with Harry.

She just didn’t feel that way about him, not anymore. All she remembered of their relationship was a lot of snogging and even more arguing. She had cried so many tears over that boy and she didn’t intend on crying anymore. Dean however just wasn’t getting the hint and today had been a step too far. She worried that he would take it too far one day and that scared her.

“Hey, you okay?” Hermione asked as the two of them got into their beds, ready to go to sleep. Ginny loved Hermione dearly but she would have loved to have her room back if for no other reason than the privacy and space to think without interruption. Ginny had appreciated it when Hermione had been sneaking off to Ron’s room for the night but the two of them were still at odds with one another so she knew that wouldn’t be happening tonight.

“Yeah,” Ginny responded with a false smile, “You?” She asked in return as the girls clambered into their respective beds.

“Yeah,” Hermione said with the same false bravado. Neither of them were in their right minds but for entirely different reasons, however neither girl was ready to go into it with the other just yet. They both needed to take time and think about things logically.

“Nox,” Ginny said with a wave of her wand, extinguishing the bedroom lights and cloaking them in darkness. Silence descended between them until Ginny got up the courage to ask, “Is everything okay between you and Ron?” She asked.

“Yeah, I guess,” Hermione returned vaguely, “He’s a little jealous of the attention I’ve been giving Harry. We’ll be okay.”

“I’m glad. He really loves you.”

“I love him too,” Hermione said as she rubbed her chest where the longing ache still resided telling her that there was something missing. Of course she had done her reading and couldn’t find anything that resembled this feeling in any of her books but then again she didn’t know what she was looking for or where to start. She did love Ron and nothing was going to change that, he was her man. Whatever this meant she would be with Ron regardless.

Ginny rolled away from the other girl so that she was facing the wall. She was satisfied that Hermione loved her brother. Ginny didn’t want Ron to get hurt but she could see that things had been strained between the young couple. After everything that had happened she couldn’t exactly say she was surprised.

In the darkness of the room, knowing that no one would be able to see her, Ginny allowed herself to cry. Silent tears streaming down her cheeks. The shock of what Dean had done finally sinking in. He had been too forceful and she had had to hit him. The whole incident kept running through her mind and what would have happened if Dean hadn’t slipped up and given her the chance to escape. The grip Dean had had on her hips left purpling bruises upon her pale skin, bruises that she wouldn’t be able to treat without raising suspicion.

With all of her emotions stacking up she was feeling entirely overwhelmed and more vulnerable than she was used to. Ginny had always prided herself on being a strong woman, she’d restarted Dumbledore’s Army in Harry’s absence and continued to fight, there was no one who could call her weak. Dean however made her feel like a small, defenceless child who had no power at all. She didn’t like that, not in the least.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twelve – Ripples

More letters arrived from Hogwarts the next day. It was the tenth of August and they had twenty-one days remaining of the holidays until they returned to Hogwarts . Harry’s letter informed him that he had been made Quidditch captain, which answered the question that had caused endless debates amongst the boys about whether or not they would be allowed to play this year.

Hermione had, of course, received her head girl badge, Ron was a prefect along with Ginny. Molly couldn’t have been prouder of them all, though she had given them a firm telling off regardless. She might have let it slide the night before but she hadn’t been impressed that the teenagers had managed to sneak more highly intoxicating liquor past her again. She could understand the need to blow off steam, especially after everything they had been through, however she didn’t think that becoming inebriated as one of the best ways to do it.

Despite his new position on the Gryffindor Quidditch team to occupy his mind, Harry couldn’t stop thinking about the previous evening. He had practically thrown himself at Draco after a little too much fire whiskey, which was highly embarrassing as it was but the blonde had refused him which made the whole situation worse.

Though, Harry could admit that Draco’s reasons behind why he had refused him had been so sweet and heartfelt that it had been difficult to say goodbye to him when it had come time for him to go home. He had wanted Draco to stay so that he could hold him while they slept but he had had to return to Malfoy Manor.

When the suggestion had been made that Draco might stay the night, Molly had paled considerably, her rosy red cheeks fading at the thought. She was not ready for the idea that her precious babies were sharing their beds with potential lovers. Molly so far remained blissfully unaware that Hermione had been sneaking into Ron’s room at night since the beginning of the summer. The two of them had become rather practised at casting silencing charms and keeping their secret from everyone apart from Harry and Ginny. Molly would have been horrified if she had known what her youngest son was up to with his girlfriend at night.

Harry picked at his breakfast, lost in thought about what Draco had said to him the night before. His first time would be special and it would last for hours. It wouldn’t be just a quick fumble and they would wake up together the next morning. Harry had to suppress the flutter in his heart as he thought about what their first time together would be like. The image of the two of them together in that way was playing over in his mind on an endless loop, distracting him from his breakfast.

He had to hastily remind himself that he couldn’t fall in love, if he did then Draco would either die or leave and Harry would end up hurting again. He couldn’t handle anymore hurt or heartache, Harry doubted that he’d be able to survive it. He needed to protect himself from that and in the process protect Draco too.

“You alright mate?” Ron asked with concern, looking at his best friend with worry in his eyes. His mother was bustling around them cooking more food than they could ever hope to get through. She was enjoying it though, it wouldn’t be long before they were all going back to Hogwarts and her house would be empty again.

“Yeah,” Harry said, snapping out of his pleasant and somewhat erotic thoughts. “I was thinking about-”

“Draco?” Hermione interrupted, casting a knowing smile to Ginny who returned it. They had all taken it in their stride that the youngest Weasley looked tired this morning. No one thought to question it though as none of them were free from nightmares after the war, they all had their demons and no one like to talk about them.

Harry glared at the two girls who were close to sniggering in delight at catching him daydreaming about his boyfriend. “Actually, I was thinking about going to Grimmauld place today, just to make sure everything is in order and that Kreacher is alright. I plan on moving there once I graduate and I’d rather not have loads to do while I’m looking for work too.”

“I’m not sure I like the idea of you living in that awful place on your own,” Molly said as she put another portion of scrambled egg on Harry’s plate. She might not have known how to approach the boy about his lack of food intake but that didn’t mean she hadn’t noticed how little he had been eating. She was determined to make him eat a little more. Harry only grimaced, he really wasn’t hungry. Molly could have put a whole treacle tart in front of him and he wouldn’t have taken more than a couple bites.

The moment that Molly’s back was turned he pushed the extra portion of eggs on to Ron’s plate, which the red head accepted without question or comment. It did not escape Hermione’s keen eye however, she had also picked up on how little he had been consuming and how frequently he had been skipping meals. Even at the feast the previous evening he’d eaten very little and what he had eaten mainly consisted of treacle tart.

“Well, I was actually thinking of asking Ron and Hermione to move in with me. There is plenty of room there after all and we’ll be all working most of the time,” Harry said, “Ginny too, if she hasn’t found a handsome young man to settle with,” he added with a grin to the seventeen year old witch.

Ginny only made a face at him in response which made Harry laugh. Molly felt abandoned but tried to hide it as best she could, however the idea that by this time next year her nest would be empty left her feeling heart broken. Her children, both biological and adopted, were all grown up now and they were making their own way in the world. It wouldn’t be long before she would be a grandmother, she was sure and that thought terrified her.

Bill and Fleur were already trying to conceive their first, she should have been thrilled by this but as she looked at her last four children under her care she couldn’t help but be saddened. The war had cost her a lot and the teenagers at her kitchen table had all suffered more than they should have done. They had grown up far too quickly, maturing beyond what was necessary for ones so young. She had to constantly remind herself that the previous year Harry, Ron and Hermione had been on the run, they had avoided Deatheaters and Snatchers, successfully taking care of themselves for a full year. They weren’t exactly children anymore.

“That would be great,” Hermione said, smiling. Ron was also nodding in agreement. “We can make it really homey,” she added, thinking of all the dark colours and gloom and how depressing they were. She’d soon be able to change that.

“Why don’t you come with me today, I could always use the help.” Harry suggested. He would have much preferred to have some company while sorting out the Black family residence, preferably company that wasn’t a grumpy and slightly cantankerous house elf that had the tendency to spew out foul profanities at any given moment.

“I’d love to but Ron and I are going to go and try and find my parents today,” she said with a little disappointment. “I wanted to find them and spend some time with them before school started.” Harry could understand Hermione’s need to see her family. She had fought very hard to protect them while the war had raged and she deserved to be reunited with them now.

Harry found himself glad that the two of them would be going together. After the argument that he had overheard he had been concerned about the two of them but he was happy that they were doing this as a couple.

It would give them a chance to just be the two of them and to figure out what that meant. It had always been the three of them, the golden trio of Gryffindor. Even after the war had ended they had all just moved into the Burrow and carried on as if nothing had changed. However something had changed, they were girlfriend and boyfriend now and they needed to establish that with one another without Harry acting as a third wheel.

“That’s okay, Gin, what about you, willing to help with a bit of cleaning today?” Harry asked hopefully giving her a winning smile which made her laugh.

“Don’t even think about it young lady,” Molly said firmly before Ginny could say anything, “you’re going to be helping me clear up here.”

Ginny’s shoulders slumped as she let out a groan, “Sorry Harry,” she said with a grimace, “maybe you could ask Draco to help you.” With this suggestion she gave Harry a wicked grin and a sly wink.

“What a brilliant idea,” Hermione said happily, her eyes twinkling with mischief as she agreed with her friend.

Ron rolled his eyes. “Oh yeah,” he said with heavy scepticism, “I can see a lot of cleaning getting done in that scenario. Just the two of them, alone, in a big, empty house.”

“Ronald!” Molly scolded her youngest son as Hermione and Ginny collapsed in a fit of giggles. “Harry is much too mature for antics like that, unlike the three of you,” she said disapprovingly which only made the two girls laugh harder as Ron grimaced at the scolding from his mother.

Harry beamed at her, “thank you, Molly,” he said happily and she ruffled his hair affectionately, careful not to accidentally touch his still sensitive ears. However he had to admit that Ron wasn’t too far off the mark judging by the avenue that Harry’s thoughts had been taking this morning. He had already made himself orgasm in the shower thinking of Draco. Harry was sure that Mrs Weasley thought far too highly of him. He didn’t want to disillusion her though, Harry was quite happy to have her think that way about him.

HPDM

“Tilly, we have been friends for years, why would I turn on Blaise in such a way?” Narcissa asked. She had not been expecting her best friend to visit her this morning. Since Blaise’s unsavoury display at her dinner party for Harry, Narcissa had received no correspondence from Tillantha Zabini until she had shown up unannounced. This was not the done thing in their world of high society, in fact it was highly frowned upon.

This had ruffled Narcissa’s feathers as she had expected a written apology, at the very least after Blaise’s unacceptable behaviour and hadn’t expected for his enraged mother to appear out of her fireplace. Judging by the discontented witch before her Narcissa knew that apologising was the very last thing on Tilly’s mind. Though, come to think about it, Narcissa didn’t think that she had ever seen Tilly look apologetic in her life, let alone say the actual words.

“Your son viciously attacked my Blaise! He could have killed him,” Tillantha said pointedly, attempting to keep her dignity intact but her fingers were itching to step forward and slap the beautiful face of her once best friend. She was not happy, Blaise had told her everything, at least his version of everything, and she wouldn’t stand for her child to be treated in such a manner.

“Draco was protecting his boyfriend, who was attacked rather violently by your son who seemed set on making sexual advances on the poor boy. I have never witnessed such a poor display of behaviour,” Narcissa returned with a sneer. Clearly things were not going to be settled between them with any ease or simplicity and it didn’t appear that the disagreement would be settled within the next few hours either.

“My Blaise wouldn’t touch that filthy half-blood, Potter,” Tilly said indignity, refusing to believe it. “You sully the name of Malfoy by allowing Draco to continue publicly fraternizing with him. Lucius would have a fit if he knew you were allowing his blood line to be polluted in such a way.” She surveyed Narcissa in disgust, the once formidable woman, so proud of her status, had sunk so very low. The Potter boy’s mother was a mudblood, his father may have been a pureblood but he had married beneath him and the resulting spawn was not fit to be seen in pureblood circles.

“My husband is in Azkaban for his crimes, all due to the pompous belief in keeping the blood lines pure.” Narcissa said coolly, sneering at the woman before her, “At least I have managed to hold on to the husband that gave me my child though, whether he is in Azkaban or not.”

Tilly narrowed her eyes in hatred and loathing for the other woman who dared bring marriages into the argument. “Only because you lack the imagination to get rid of him and he is locked up in Azkaban, which inconveniently doesn’t allow their convicts divorce lawyers.”

“Well, you’d know all about divorce lawyers, Tilly, I bet they’re great fans of you with the money you throw at them.” Narcissa purred vindictively. “Have you made an appointment with them to talk about your most recent catch yet or will you wait a few more weeks before you do that? If this one survives at all.”

“At least I am not under the delusion that marriage is about love. It is about power and status, nothing more and nothing less. Love is a trivial thing in comparison. Blaise and Pansy will be married, ensuring the purity of the blood line and powerful children to carry on our great families.” Tilly returned, she had no idea that Narcissa Malfoy, formally a Black could be so delusional to think that love mattered at all.

“If Draco loves Harry Potter and wants to be with him I have no problem with that. In fact I wouldn’t have no problem with it even if he were a muggleborn because he is more powerful than your son and his future wife combined.” Narcissa returned with smug satisfaction that she knew her words to be true.

“Power is nothing when it comes from one who refuses to use it, frittering it away on vanquishing the one man who could have raised our world to greatness.”

“This nonsense about the purity of blood has to stop; The Dark Lord had no intention of raising our world to greatness. He was content to fill it with fear and pain. I am proud of the role I took in his downfall!” Narcissa said with pride, staring down Tilly, refusing to let this pathetic excuse for a witch have any hold over her.

“I never thought I would live to see the day that you became a blood-traitor, being so proud of the destruction of our Lord!” Tilly sneered, glaring at her, unable to believe that she was such a lost cause, such a shame too because she knew far too much.

“Look, whatever your views and whether or not you wish to acknowledge it, your son wanted Harry as his own. Blaise wanted him so much that he attacked the boy after he was rejected. That is not Draco’s fault. If you cannot accept this and move on then our friendship is over.” Narcissa spoke coolly and calmly, glaring at the woman she had known since their sons were new born babies.

She couldn’t believe how attached Tilly was to the old ways of thinking. The war had changed all of that or it was supposed to have changed it all. Voldemort was gone, there was no need to be so vile about it but clearly there were some that couldn’t let go.

Harry Potter had taken down the darkest wizard known to wizard kind, to think that Tilly would shun him for being only a half-blood seemed ludicrous. The Potter’s had been pureblood after all, descended from Godric Gryffindor.

“Then our friendship is over, Cissy,” Tilly said with little emotion in her voice. “I doubt any of the others will welcome you as a friend either once I tell them about your son and how easily you accepted his affair with Potter.” Her voice was shrill and her gaze hardening with every word that she spoke, the word affair rolling off her tongue in distaste. “I never thought I would see the day when the proud Malfoy family would fall from grace,” she said coldly giving Narcissa a look of disgust.

The blonde returned the frosty look, never wavering in her stand against Tillantha Zabini who was a formidable woman. Compared to the meek framed Narcissa she was rather on the large side but that did not faze Narcissa in the slightest.

“My son means more to me than you will ever know. If he has fallen in love with Harry Potter then so be it. At least he will be happy. I would much prefer that than for him to be stuck in an arranged marriage, loathing his bride. You know Blaise will never be happy with Pansy Parkinson as his wife but you are too blinded by tradition and blood status to see it,” Narcissa said heatedly before summoning a house elf to her. Her patience having run thin on the matter already.

“How may Pety be of service to you this morning Lady Malfoy?” the creature asked as he bowed his head so low that his nose touched the ground.

“Please escort Mrs Zabini to the floo network and ensure that she leaves, she is no longer welcome here,” Narcissa said, her voice dripping with icicles as she glared at her former friend.

“This isn’t over between us,” Tilly warned as the house elf attempted to usher her from the room.

“I am sure that it is not,” Narcissa responded, watching in satisfaction as Tilly was escorted from the room rather roughly by the little elf. “If you desire a feud then by all means start one, I am not afraid of you.”

“We shall see,” Tilly said with a smile that held a hidden secret. Narcissa watched carefully as the other woman was forced to leave Malfoy Manor by a rather irate house elf, a sight that brought Narcissa great joy.

Tilly had heard that Narcissa had gone against the Dark Lord, lied to him to save the Potter boy. The way she was acting now just confirmed that she was no longer loyal to the dark side. She had become weak and now was of no use them. However she knew too much and that wouldn’t do.

Draco had been sat on the landing, just out of sight, listening to the two women arguing. The ripples from his and Harry’s relationship were already starting to spread uncontrollably. Now with the talk of feuds it could get dangerous. There hadn’t been a feud in years, they were violent, messy and no family member was safe from them no matter how old or young. It was just another headache to worry about. Draco hated that it was his choice of partner that was causing the upset but it made him happy to know that his mother had defended him and Harry, no matter what the consequences would be for her.

If the Malfoy’s and the Zabini’s were really going to feud then there was potential for blood to be spilt and some feud’s had been known to result in many deaths. Being at Hogwarts and therefore within close proximity to Blaise would be tiring and time consuming. This was especially the case seeing as Harry could be used as a weapon to get to him. It enraged him to think that Blaise might stoop low enough to drag Harry into their family dispute but he wouldn’t have put anything past the other Slytherin’s.

Draco wasn’t even sure that with everything else that was going on and what he had to think about that it was even worth going back to school to take his N.E.W.T’s. It wasn’t likely that he would be able to dedicate enough attention to his forthcoming exams.

Failure wasn’t usually an option in the Malfoy household but he knew that he would go regardless of if he passed his exams at the end of the year, he’d go because he had to protect Harry from Blaise. Besides, he wouldn’t get another opportunity like this one in regards to his N.E.W.T’s. However it wasn’t likely to be easy, the whole situation was already giving him a headache.

Even with the help of the Gryffindor’s protecting Harry from everything was going to be the most challenging. The teenager tended to attract trouble, even with Voldemort dead he couldn’t seem to keep out of the centre of the brewing storm.

HPDM

Dean Thomas paced the length of his bedroom. He was not in the best of moods, though that was perhaps putting it lightly. He didn’t understand why Ginny was acting this way. He was in love with her, irreversibly, passionately and uncontrollably. They spent time together socially as friends, they got on really well. It was beyond him why she was resisting him.

He sighed, looking at the photograph he had of the two of them together. It had been taken in his sixth and her fifth year, before the war and Harry Potter had ruined everything. Her brilliant red hair was cascading down her back as she laughed and hugged him. Her beautiful milky white skin scattered with light brown freckles. Oh how he longed to touch her, to tell her how much he loved her as he buried himself within her warmth. He was desperate to have her as his own. It was her obsession with Harry that had broken them apart. Now Potter was Elven and dating Malfoy and she had no chance with him. That had made Dean angry, he had lost his girlfriend to a damned gay elf!

After everything the hero had done he did reserve an ounce of respect, however all Dean felt was an undeniable spark of hatred. It was Harry’s fault that he had lost Ginny and he would forever hold that against him.

This school year he was going to win back his girl, he didn’t care what it took, he would have her one way or another, willingly or not and Harry Potter was not going to stand in his way again. If he did then Dean would deal with him.

HPDM

Twelve men, all of varying ages, looks and temperaments were gathered around a large circular table made of solid oak. They were all muttering about a most interesting letter that they had received from one Blaise Zabini. The cavernous room where all Elven council meetings were held was crackling with interest and excitement at the news they had just received.

All twelve council members had been aware of the wizarding war that had raged the previous year, though it had not been their business to get involved. Elven kind after all did not involve themselves in the business of other races. However they had kept a keen eye on the youngsters who had participated, knowing full well that the stress of fighting such a battle could very well see a spike of eighteen year olds coming into creature inheritance, which interested them greatly.

So far the council were aware of four Hogwarts students that had become Elven. Half breed or not they were still considered kin. It also seemed that they were about to add a fifth name to that list. It was a name attached to much in the way of power and prestige. One of their new younglings had informed them of a new submissive coming into his inheritance. This new submissive was none other than the hero of the war himself, Harry James Potter.

The boy had no parents and strictly speaking no guardians either, he hadn’t known that creature inheritance was even a possibility until he had turned eighteen on the 31st of July. The fact that he had no one to guide him concerned the Elven council greatly, especially so considering he was a submissive. It excited them to have a male submissive in their numbers again, it had been their hopes that the spike in young witches and wizards coming into their inheritance would increase the numbers of submissive Elven, male or otherwise.

“We must make a decision,” An older council member said, he was tall, dark haired with olive skin and dark brown eyes. A serious look graced his elderly yet still handsome face. “The boy will need protection.”

“Perhaps you should be the one to go Belen, you after all are already mated, you would not pose a threat,” a woman said, she too was dark haired but her skin was milky white and eyes a cornflower blue.

“I would happily volunteer my services,” the man, Belen said, though he did not relish being away from his mate for any length of time. He would miss his little ones too but council duties took precedent over family obligations. It would be an honour to protect and guide the famous Harry Potter as he discovered his inheritance, not only for himself but for his family as well.

“That settles it,” the oldest of all the council members said to a murmur of agreement, “Belen will go and ensure that Mr Potter is well informed and protected. We need to ensure that he becomes mated with one of our strongest dominants; the children they will produce will be extremely powerful. I hope you realise the gravity of this task Belen.”

“Of course, perhaps I will seek out a teaching position at the school. I’ll be close to him then and won’t raise the suspicion of the other students,” Belen said, again this was met with a murmur of agreement. The plan was set.

HPDM

Harry used the floo network to get to number twelve Grimmauld place, going alone just before lunch. He had sent Padfoot with a message to Draco shortly after breakfast to tell him where he was if he had the inclination to join him. For all Harry knew, Draco was busy today or simply wouldn’t want to see him after the previous evening’s festivities. He didn’t hold out much hope of having his boyfriend as company today.

He stumbled from the kitchen fireplace, falling to his knees and bracing himself on his palms as his hands connected with the slabs of solid stone that made up the kitchen floor. Harry despised travelling by floo, with his natural clumsiness it was an accident waiting to happen. Standing up, he brushed himself down with a sigh.

Looking around the kitchen he could see that Kreacher had at least been doing his job as the place was spotless. Not a trace of dust or dirt remained anywhere. Calling out for the cantankerous house elf, Harry moved to the door, starting to climb the stairs to the ground floor hallway, which was as dark and gloomy as always. Kreacher popped into view a few moments later and bowed deeply to his master.

“How can Kreacher be of service Mr Harry Potter, Sir?” the elf asked, rising from his bow.

“I’m going to be making the house a bit more habitable today, Kreacher, I plan on moving here permanently once I’ve graduated from Hogwarts. You’ve been doing a great job keeping this place clean and tidy and I’m really impressed,” Harry said happily to the house elf who, despite still remaining as a grumpy little thing, had warmed to Harry ever so slightly. Harry reminded the elf of his precious Regulus. Kreacher smiled at his master at being praised.

“Thank you, Mr Harry Potter, Sir,” Kreacher responded with another bow.

“What do you think about adding two more house elves to help you? You would be in charge of them and delegating their duties as you know the house so well. What do you think?” Harry was going to buy another couple of house elves regardless of what Kreacher thought but he was prepared to treat the grumpy creature like he was extremely important and vital if only to assure a greater loyalty to him.

“Master is asking Kreacher?” the tiny creature asked in disbelief.

“I am,” Harry confirmed.

“Kreacher would greatly appreciate more help to take care of the Black House, Sir.”

“Brilliant, could you take care of finding the two new elves for me, I trust you will have only the highest of standards,” Harry asked of the elf who gave an excited nod, bowed low and popped out of sight, presumably to do as he had been told.

Now Harry just had one more job to do before he could start his work on the house. He strolled confidently to the covered portrait of Mrs Black, Sirius’ mother. Bracing himself for the scream, he withdrew his wand and opened the curtain.

As expected the blood curdling scream tore through the house but Harry stood firm, putting his wand to the canvas. “Enough!” he roared and Mrs Black stopped.

“Filthy half-blood!” Walburga Black screeched at him.

“Yes, yes,” Harry responded tirelessly. “I have things to say to you, are you willing to listen?” The elegant woman in the portrait narrowed her eyes at Harry in suspicion but nodded. “Good, now you are no doubt aware that both of your two sons are dead and this house now belongs to me, as does the Black family fortune,” Harry said and Walburga’s response was to sneer at him. “I intend to made this house my home and I don’t expect you to like it but neither of us is going anywhere, not with your permanent sticking charm. Though it may interest you to know that I’m involved with your great nephew, who is the only heir to the Malfoy name. I’m also sure that you are aware that your Aunt Dorea married a Potter and that however distantly, we are related. So here is the deal, you learn to tolerate me and my friends, I’ll be respectful of the house, restoring it to its former glory. You’ll remain uncovered and eventually there will be children to carry on the name of Black. How does that sound?”

Walburga Black seemed to consider this for a moment, musing over what Harry had said before giving a curt nod and a muttered, “fine”, which Harry knew was going to be the best he would get from her. He was proud of himself that he had even managed to get the portrait to listen to him, let alone to agree. However at least he now didn’t have to deal with her screaming anymore. This was something that he was very grateful for. If he was going to live here permanently he couldn’t very well have her screaming the place down on a daily basis.

He had been really surprised when he’d found a Potter on the Black family tree and traced it to be his family ancestor. Harry had found it to be a comfort to know that he was related to Sirius however distantly. However he was also greatly relieved to know that he wasn’t closely related to Draco. He wouldn’t have wanted to marry his own cousin, first, second or whatever. It would have been far too weird. It did however mean that he was finally starting to find an identity. He also felt less guilty about accepting all the property and wealth associated with the noble and ancient house of Black because he now knew that he belonged to the family.

The amount of money had been so overwhelming that it had flabbergasted Harry. He had opened a Gringotts account for his Godson, Teddy Lupin, and deposited half of it in there for him, the only other known descendant of the Black line aside from Draco, who already had his own fortune. When Teddy turned eleven it would more than cover the expense of going to Hogwarts, which wouldn’t be cheap, and then buy him several homes as well. Harry had sworn that he would do anything and everything possible to take care of his Godson and look out for him. After all they were both orphans of war.

Harry was glad that Teddy at least had his grandparents as he wasn’t ready to take charge of a young baby when he was only eighteen. The little boy would be well taken care of and loved, he wouldn’t have the horrific childhood that Harry had suffered at the Dursley’s. It had been painfully clear at Privet Drive that he had been neither wanted nor loved; hell, he’d barely been tolerated there at all. He still had nightmares about that damned cupboard.

Shaking himself from his sombre train of thought, he set himself to work. There was a lot to do after all. Things that had to be thrown out, wall paper to take down and redecorating to do. He wouldn’t get it all done today, not single handed at least, even with magic but he could at least make a start. As he had set to work, wand out, he hoped that Draco would show up to help him and to keep him company.

Chapter Text

Draco did not show up that day and as a result Harry had been left alone in Grimmauld place to work. However, Harry’s rather downtrodden mood when it became apparent that he wouldn’t have the company he desired for the day, lifted when he returned to the Burrow that evening to find that the Slytherin had responded with a heartfelt apology that he couldn’t make it and promised that he would be there the next time. Harry replied quickly that he would see him tomorrow then. Now that he had started his crusade against the Black family home and built up steam on the project he wasn’t going to stop. He wanted it all done and finished by the time he started school.

Ron and Hermione were absent from the Burrow for seven days after they left to find the Grangers, sending regular correspondence to assure family and friends that they were doing well. They arrived back on the seventeenth of August looking bone tired from their expedition but otherwise in good spirits. In the time that they had been gone they had managed to locate Hermione’s parents, where they were living in Melbourne, Australia, and then spent some quality time with them, after Hermione had managed to reverse the spells she’d put on them to protect them.

Harry in the meantime had spent the majority of his time at Grimmauld place, occupying himself with general cleaning and redecorating. Occasionally with the assistance from Ginny, Draco or Molly; the latter not approving of how much time he was spending alone in the place.

Thankfully Draco had calmed down in regards to Ginny. He knew that she was in love with his mate but he could also see that Harry had no interest in her, at least not in that way, so he had made his peace with her on the matter. Also, she, unlike Seamus, did not shamelessly flirt with Harry at every opportunity. His mate and the youngest Weasley child were friends, nothing more and it was clear that it was going to stay that way.

Everyone was also adjusting to having Draco around frequently. Over the week while Ron and Hermione had been in Australia, he’d joined the Weasley family for dinner on three occasions. All of those times had been on invitation of Molly herself, who was more than happy to welcome Malfoy junior into her home and at her dinner table. It warmed Harry’s heart to see that everyone had openly accepted Draco into the family and treated him no different to anyone else. Molly would even scold the blond when he attempted to help her with the clean-up.

Overall it had been a very normal, run of the mill seven days where very little had happened for the group. Harry, as pessimistic as ever, knew that it wouldn’t last and he was waiting anxiously for the moment that everything would go wrong and his happiness would come crashing down around him.

Even when Hermione and Ron tumbled out of the fireplace that evening, the two weary travellers took it in their stride that Draco Malfoy was sat at the dinner table holding Harry’s hand and they both sat down to dinner with casual greetings all around. Although Hermione had noticed that Ginny was suspiciously quite, seemingly lost in her own world, deep in thought.

“How was Australia?” Harry asked his two friends, as Molly put a large, homemade shepherd’s pie down upon the table. She frowned, checking the family clock which indicated that her husband was still at work. It worried her a little to see this as he hadn’t had to work this late since before the war and he had known that Ron and Hermione were expected home this evening. He wouldn’t have been late without a very good reason. It was already nearing eight in the evening and she couldn’t understand what it was that could be keeping him.

The others all started to help themselves to food on her insistence that they shouldn’t wait if Arthur wasn’t even on his way. She would keep some aside for him under a heating charm, something she had done too many times for her liking and had hoped not to have to do anymore now they were in a time of peace. Harry took only a small portion, much to the dismay of Draco who quickly corrected this when it came to his turn to serve himself, adding another spoonful on to Harry’s plate first. Neither of them said a word but the Slytherin gave his mate a pointed stare that told him not to argue.

“Wonderful,” Hermione replied as she too helped herself, “It’s a beautiful country, Mum and Dad are really happy out there.”

“So, they’re not coming back to England then?” Harry asked as he began to pick at his meal half-heartedly. He was giving his large pile a look that would have rivalled a killing curse from Lord Voldemort himself.

“No, not yet at least, I don’t mind so much; I’m just glad they’re safe and happy,” she said with a smile, “I have my life here, I wouldn’t ask them to come back just for me. Ron wasn’t a fan of Australia though, he couldn’t wait to come home.”

“Why?” Harry asked curiously, highly amused by the grimace that his best friend gave as he glared at his girlfriend.

“Too many spiders,” he said with a shudder that made the other teenagers laugh, even Ginny who hadn’t really been paying attention to what was going on around her. “They’re all poisonous too, there is no way I would EVER live over there!” he said grumpily, his arms folded across his chest as his sister sniggered.

“Awww, poor ickle Ronikins,” his sister said reaching over to ruffle his hair; Ron batted her hands away good naturedly, glaring at her as she sat back down, all of them laughing, even Molly.

“What part of Australia were you in?” Draco asked casually. He had been on holiday over there once when he was thirteen, over the Christmas holidays. It had been for one of Lucius’ suspicious business trips and his Father had been preoccupied most of the time. However it had allowed Draco and Narcissa plenty of time to wander around the shops and enjoy the sights that the country had to offer. Though it had been a bit surreal to have seasonal music playing in the blistering heat.

“Melbourne,” Hermione said, happy that Draco was comfortable enough to join in their conversation, even if he would only sit back and watch in amusement when it came to teasing Ron; though perhaps that was for the best, as the red-head might not take it quite as lightly coming from Draco . “Do you know it?”

“No, I’ve been to Sydney though, it’s a lovely country,” Draco said, “I’d love to go back once I’ve graduated, the culture and history is fascinating.” That comment alone was enough to set Hermione off as she and Draco began to discuss the history and culture of Australia in great, animated detail.

Harry and Ron rolled their eyes, letting their partners just get on with it, both of them as bad as each other. The two of them were going to be a nightmare when it came to studying for their N.E.W.T’s at the end of the year. The two boys, uninterested in such an intellectual conversation, engaged Ginny in a conversation about Quidditch, all three of them being on the Gryffindor team. They were eager to win the house cup this year and go out in a blaze of glory, the three of them happy to go into great detail as they discussed tactics and new moves.

The Weasley family kitchen was full of warmth and love, everyone happy and content. Molly looked at them all with happiness in her heart. Arthur was the only person missing from the scene of family bliss. However it was the arrival of her husband that shattered the calm and brought the mood crashing down around them.

He exited the floo network looking pale and weary. Immediately Molly whisked her tired looking husband into his rightful chair at the head of the table, without a word she fetched him a tumbler of fire whiskey which he swallowed in a single mouthful. Everyone had stilled, having gone silent upon his rather dramatic arrival home. Curious eyes asked silent questions as they waited for answers.

“No one is to panic,” he began, these five words ensuring that suddenly the tension in the room was thick as everyone froze, listening intently to the bad news that was inevitably coming. They all thought the worst, they had all been through the horror of war, it didn’t take much for them to start to panic. They all waited with baited breath for Arthur to speak. “There has been an outbreak from Azkaban, several families have been attacked since it happened. It looks like the work of deatheaters still loyal to … Voldemort.” Draco had paled considerably at this news, clutching tighter at Harry’s hand. “It looks like someone else is organizing them now, these attacks are planned, precise and brutal. We all need to be careful.”

“Who was attacked?” Molly asked as the others all remained quite, digesting this news, their minds racing. The news that there were deatheaters on the run and looking to cause trouble, rather than just disappear, wasn’t going to help the survivors of the war sleep any easier. The question on everyone’s lips however was who could possibly be leading them? Harry’s hand ached with the strength in Draco’s grasp of it, he could see the panic in the blondes beautiful silver eyes. He didn’t want his father out of prison.

“The Bones’ family,” Arthur replied gravely.

“Are they …” Ginny asked, unable to finish her question but there was no doubt in anyone’s mind what she meant.

“Yes,” Arthur said, the news sinking in to the five horrified people that were looking to him for more information. Susan Bones had been their age, she had fought alongside them in the war and lived to tell the tale, she had been a fellow Hogwarts student and now she was dead.

“Do you know if my father …” Draco asked, almost fearful of the answer. Everyone could hear the panic in his voice, the terror of what it would mean if the answer was yes, Lucius Malfoy had been one of the deatheaters to escape. They could all see how tightly he clasped at Harry’s hand, his knuckles white, his face drained of all colour.

“He was amongst those that escaped,” Arthur said regretfully, hating that he was the one to confirm the young blonde’s fears.

“I have to go,” Draco said suddenly, abandoning his meal and clambering to his feet in a panic.

“Go?” Harry asked, now panicking himself, “Go where exactly?” he too rose from the table trying to prevent his boyfriend from leaving.

“Home, my mother, she won’t know, she needs to be warned. She renounced the old ways for me, for us! They’ll kill her!” Draco said, practically hyperventilating as thoughts of what they would do to her.

“Then I’m coming with you,” Harry stated simply without hesitation.

“You will do no such thing!” Molly snapped, “Neither of you will be going anywhere! This is a job for trained Aurors not school children. We will send Kingsley and he will sort it out but none of you will be going, that includes you Draco.” Molly’s voice was stern, her glare on both Harry and Draco as she spoke, daring them to challenge her.

“She’s my mother!” Draco said, hurt and angry, “She’d be safe if it wasn’t for me!” Draco argued, he was the only one that dared but then he was the only one who hadn’t been a witness to Molly and her stubborn protectiveness. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all exchanged knowing looks as Draco argued, they knew what to do. “I can’t just leave her, they’ll kill her!”

“Draco Malfoy, if you believe for one minute that I’m going to let you go running off into a dangerous situation with only your self-righteous anger then you can think again. The war is over, Voldemort is dead. You have to leave the last of his followers to those trained and paid to catch them,” she said harshly, glaring down at the blond making sure he knew that she wasn’t joking.

Draco had been about to argue again when Harry gave a small tug on his arm. When the blond turned to look at his boyfriend the Gryffindor gave a slight shake of his head telling him not to say anything more. “Trust me,” he whispered for only him to hear. Reluctantly nodding, Draco allowed for himself to be pulled from the room after Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. The five of them made a show of arguing about the indignity of it all, after everything they had done the previous year as they stormed up the stairs and piled into Fred and George's old bedroom.

If Draco had been in his right mind then he would have had the forethought to be a little nosey and to take note of his boyfriend's personal space. However his mind was frantic with worry for his mother and he wasn’t paying attention to anything until, with a flick of his wand, the chest of drawers flew across the room, barricading the bedroom door closed and sealing them inside. In the wall, behind where the chest of drawers had been sitting was a shrunken fireplace, clearly a haphazard installation done by the twins by the look of it.

“Engorgeo,” Harry said and instantly the fireplace enlarge wide enough to fit all five of them inside at once, taking over the entire wall. It seemed that without Molly’s knowledge the twins had installed an extra fireplace, plus connected it to the floo network with the help from their connections at the Ministry, mainly their brother Percy.

Stepping into the fireplace Harry hoked out a concealed bag of floo powder. “Anyone coming to Malfoy Manor step in now,” Harry said and instantly Draco was by his side, a possessive arm around his waist. Draco hated the idea of Harry walking into danger with him, his dominant Elven protesting fiercely, screaming at him to protect his submissive. However the blond had known the Gryffindor long enough to know that nothing would stop him from coming. The teen had a hero complex, he needed to save people.

Draco wasn’t about to deal with those issues now, they didn’t have the time. With a little more hesitation and grim faced with determination, Ginny joined them in the grate of the fireplace, followed closely with Ron and Hermione. Their wands drawn, ready for whatever they would find on the other side, Harry threw down the floo powder and Draco shouted out, “Malfoy Manor.”

HPDM

Narcissa screamed in agony as her husband hit her with the torture curse for the third time, taking a malicious pleasure from her screams. He had a vindictive sneer on his ruggedly handsome face as he looked down at his beautiful blood-traitor of a wife in disgust and loathing. Azkaban prison had not favoured the older Malfoy. His long blonde hair now lank and unkempt, his face gaunt and hallow. The wizard prison had hardened the already cool, aloof man, his hatred and loathing taking over his heart so that there was no love or passion left remaining.

When he looked upon Narcissa’s kind, beautiful face he felt nothing for her. In his eyes she was nothing more than a blood-traitor. She would die for her tolerance of those that ought not to have been allowed to live. She would die and then so would Draco for his unsavoury associations. Lucius would start again, produce another heir for his family name and fortune.

Saint Potter would be left to die last, but only after the pathetic excuse for a hero had watched everyone he loved die. First his lover, slowly and painfully, then everyone else that the boy held close to his heart before the eldest Malfoy took great pleasure in taking Potter’s life too. He wouldn’t use the killing curse on any of them, that was too easy, too quick. He wanted them all to suffer, just like he had suffered in Azkaban. Lucius wanted them all feel their deaths, to know that it was coming for hours and hours, to torture them within an inch of their sanity, ensuring they knew that there was nothing they could do other than suffer through the pain and wait for death to claim them.

The great Lord Voldemort may have gone but they had a new master now. He was someone that they could be proud to follow. Killing his family wasn’t something Lucius had been ordered to do, it was something he had to do for himself. Quelling the weak as it were. Killing Potter would be an added bonus and would certainly please his new master, however the boy-who-lived-twice was of no concern to them or their plans. Unlike the Dark Lord, his new master had very little interest in the boy except as a trophy once he was dead. Lucius was more than happy to kill, stuff and mount the little brat to appease his master.

Lifting the cruciatus curse from his wife, the scream fading from her lips, her body relaxing as the pain ebbed away. A single tear escaped the corner of her eye, trailing down her cheek. After-shocks of remembered pain shot like jolts of electricity through her limbs, causing them to twitch as she sobbed out harsh breaths, her throat painfully raw from her screams.

“I’m going to kill you, Cissy,” Lucius hummed as he crouched down, leaning over her crippled body, smiling from the pleasure it gave him to see her so weak and defenceless against him. He should have done this years ago, stamped out her free will and stubbornness, showing her that she would not bend him to her will. Perhaps if he had put her in her place sooner than he would have a stronger son but alas he did not and now they both had to die. It was done now and he could not change the past, he could only shape the future by fixing his mistakes.

“I’m going to kill Draco too,” he jeered at her, his voice soft and silky as he taunted her with the knowledge of what he would do to the child she held so dear. He did so enjoy torturing her with this information.

“No,” she said, her voice raspy, the last of her strength waning. She would use the last of her remaining energy before she died to ensure Draco did not fall foul to this man. Narcissa had known that Lucius had come here to kill her and she couldn’t bring herself to care, she would have welcomed death at this point, her body trembling in agony. With her last breath upon this earth she would protect her child, whatever it took.

“Yes, Cissy darling,” Lucius mocked, “he is weak, just like his mother, a blood-traitor and no son of mine. Polluting our proud, pure-blood line with his affair with that Potter boy!”

Lucius pressed his wand to the exposed skin of her chest, taunting her as he muttered an incantation that he had learnt while in Azkaban. Her skin sliced open in the wake of his wand as he dragged the tip over her skin. The wound was not deep enough to fatally injure her, only to inflict pain and spill a little of her blood. The spell would also ensure that the wounds would not heal on their own and if he kept going she would slowly bleed to death. It would be an agonizingly painful way to die and nothing short of what she deserved. The thought of her dying in such a way gave Lucius great pleasure, he very much looked forward to watching the light of life leave her eyes.

He continued to trace lines across her exposed skin, cutting her open and causing a slight whimper of pain to escape her raw throat. Her body too weak from the cruciatus curse to have any hope of resisting him. She was more than ready to embrace death. If this was how she was supposed to die then so be it. Her son was happy, settled and protected by the strongest wizard that she could ever have hoped for. She was proud to have her baby boy with Harry Potter because she knew that the saviour of the wizarding world would never allow anything to happen to anyone he loved, not without a fight. She had every faith in Draco's new found friends and that they would take care of him when she was gone.

In the moment when she began to beg for death to come swiftly to her, the fireplace across the room burst into life with brilliantly bright emerald flame and five teenagers fell into the room, wands drawn and ready to attack. Inwardly she cursed, she didn’t want to be saved and certainly not at the expense of putting ones so young in danger.

Lucius Malfoy roared in outrage of the sudden appearance of his traitor of a son and four other blood-traitors, including none other than the boy-who-lived. The dishonour of having a mudblood in his grand family home enraged the eldest Malfoy and he fired the killing curse in their direction, wanting to kill them all. Oh he wanted them to suffer but it was just him and him alone here, he was out numbered and would begrudgingly settle for killing them quickly as long as they died.

Harry had to push Ginny to the ground so that she wasn’t hit by the jet of green light. Draco only had eyes for his mother who lay upon the ground motionless, pale and bleeding behind his father who fired killing curses and other unforgivables, as well as curses that should have made the list as such, at them. His relentless fury, at being confronted in his own home by those that he blamed for his incarceration, not allowing for any rest bite.

“Get down,” Harry shouted as he dove for his boyfriend, pulling him to the floor as a jet of green light narrowly avoided hitting him.

“She’s dying!” Draco said with fear induced panic.

“You’re no good to her dead,” Harry hissed as Ron and Hermione fired several stunning spells towards Malfoy senior. Ginny had ducked down behind a sofa under the onslaught of curses and jinxes being fired at them.

“We have to neutralize him,” Draco said as he fired a stunning spell of his own directly at his father and watched as it was deflected with ease. Harry nodded his agreement as Lucius laughed mockingly at their efforts to disable him. They knew that the couldn’t kill the evil man, he wasn’t Lord Voldemort and they weren’t Aurors. All they could hope for was to stun him, retrieve Narcissa and leave quickly before any of them were hurt. However even achieving that was proving rather difficult.

Draco however was not going to leave without his mother. Frustrated, the young blonde got to his feet and fired a jet of red light towards his father. Lucius, taking the opportunity given to him, aimed for his son and fired a killing curse at him. Not sure what he was doing or if he was even thinking at all Harry too jumped to his feet, eager to protect his boyfriend. Everything happened in a split second that it was difficult to comprehend what was happening at all. The killing curse that had been meant for Draco hit Harry squarely in the chest.

The force of the unforgivable curse took the Gryffindor’s breath away as he staggered backwards, feeling himself fall before he hit the floor. He heard his name being screamed faintly around him. Harry simply felt as if he had been hit in the chest with a brick, though he couldn’t move.

Draco shouted a stunning spell, desperate to reach his mate who now lay upon the ground unmoving. Lucius, in his jubilation at seemingly killing Harry Potter neither dodged nor deflected the spell in time and was hit in the chest by the body-bind curse. Ginny aiming a stunning spell over the sofa almost simultaneously, this also hit the older Malfoy sending him to the ground with a loud crash.
“No, no, no,” Draco said in a panic as he ran to his mate, crouching over him, tears streaming down his cheeks, Hermione and Ginny rushing over to Narcissa as Ron looked on in horror at the sight of his best friend, unmoving on the ground. “Harry, please don’t be dead, please just don’t be dead!”

He could have cried out in relief as Harry drew a gasping breath and opened his eyes. “What happened?” he asked with a groan as he tried to sit up but found himself encased in strong male arms, almost being smothered as soft kisses peppered his face in relief. His head was fuzzy and he felt disorientated, unsure of what had happened or why he was on the ground.

“You idiot!” Draco raged, “You took a killing curse for me! You fucking idiot!” the blonde snarled as his relief that Harry wasn’t in fact dead was replaced with indignation and anger at his boyfriend's utter stupidity. “How can you be so recklessly idiotic?”

“I’m a Gryffindor, remember,” Harry said as he began to recall what had happened, “Recklessly idiotic is kind of what we do for those we love.” No one said anything about Harry’s mention of the L word in relation to Draco, all of them too puzzled as to how he had survived this hit with a killing curse.

“You’re such an idiot,” Draco said practically sobbing in relief as he held Harry in his arms.

“I couldn’t exactly let you die, Dray,” Harry told him, “I didn’t even think before I stepped in front of you and took the curse.”

“Draco, we have to get your mother out of her,” Hermione said as she checked over the now unconscious Narcissa Malfoy. The two witches just glad that she was alive, however she wouldn’t be for much longer unless they got her help. Her chest rose and fell with shallow breathes as she struggled to hold on to the threads of her life. “She’s in bad shape.”

“Go,” Harry urged, “Help Hermione and Ginny with your mum, I’ll be okay,” Harry insisted.

“It’s okay, I’ve got him, mate,” Ron said with Draco hesitated, torn between his mother and his boyfriend. However at Ron’s confirmation that he would help Harry, Draco hurried off to aid the others with Narcissa. Hermione and Ginny were struggling with how best to move the injured witch to the fireplace so that they could all floo back to the Burrow.

“Come on mate,” Ron said as he offered his hand out to Harry, who accepted it and allowed himself to be pulled to his feet still feeling a little dizzy and disorientated from being hit with the killing curse for a third time in his life.

“Did I just survive another killing curse?” Harry asked his best friend as they moved carefully to the fireplace, Harry using Ron for support. The six of them preparing to leave for the Burrow, Draco and Hermione supporting a still unconscious and heavily bleeding Narcissa Malfoy between the two of them.

They could see Lucius beginning to stir as he fought against the spells that bound him and they knew that they didn’t have much time left. They had all been very lucky this evening. It was only just starting to dawn on the group just how fortunate and even how foolish they had been in coming here.

“Yeah, I think you did,” Ron responded grimly as the two of them joined the others as they piled into the fireplace.

“Wonderful,” Harry muttered sarcastically as Draco threw down the floo powder and shouted out their destination.

HPDM

Kingsley Shacklebolt didn’t quite know what to make of the scene he stumbled into only moments after the group of Gryffindor’s had taken their leave of Malfoy Manor. He was startled to see that the man they wanted, a recent escapee from Azkaban, was fighting a body bind curse on the floor when he and the rest of the Aurors arrived.

With the clear signs that there had been a serious duel, with evidence of the dark arts being used, he could safely draw the correct conclusions as to what had happened; especially considering there was no sign of Narcissa Malfoy, who they had come here to retrieve, warn or rescue depending on what the situation warranted.

He was going to be having strong words with Harry Potter about this and not turning into a damn vigilante. If the boy wanted to continue hunting dark and dangerous wizards then Kingsley wouldn’t stop him, however he’d get the proper training and do it as a Ministry of Magic Auror and not as school boy Harry Potter. However, for the moment, one of the escaped convicts was back under arrest and no real harm had been done as far as he was aware.

Kingsley had no idea what had really transpired there or the significance of it. From the saviour of the wizarding world surviving a third hit with a killing curse to his declaration of love to his boyfriend, however unintentionally it had been done. If he had known any of this then serious questions would have had to been asked.

Though at the moment, Aurors were putting Lucius Malfoy under arrest and Harry Potter was making his way back to the Burrow, where he would ensure an oath of secrecy was made between the five teenagers to make sure that none of them would say a word about him surviving for the third time. No one needed to know exactly how much of a freak he was and that he seemingly couldn’t be killed with that particular curse.

It scared them all but it was not something that needed to be public knowledge. The five of them could worry enough for the moment. The oath of secrecy wasn’t needed, not really because Harry trusted each and everyone of them. However it meant that his secret was now magically guarded and, until he said so, the secret wouldn’t even accidentally slip from their mouths.

Chapter Text

Chapter Fourteen

 

The moment the six of them got back to the Burrow, Narcissa was whisked away to be treated for her injuries. It took Molly and Arthur an hour to finally seal the cursed wounds that Lucius had inflicted on the poor woman and they had had to put her into an enchanted sleep so that she could recover from the shock. No one was in any doubt that she would have died if she had been left much longer in the state she had been in when she had arrived. That did not however, in Molly and Arthur’s opinions, excuse the actions of the five teenagers.

 

The moment they knew that Narcissa would survive the night, Molly rounded on the five of them; they at least had the decency to look ashamed as she berated them for being so recklessly stupid. She had never thought that they would be so idiotic as to go running off into danger, not now the war was over. Despite their track record with doing such things she had foolishly hoped that the Great Battle of Hogwarts had at least taught them some self-preservation but apparently not.

 

None of them said a word; even Draco, who hadn’t had any previous experience with Mrs Weasley’s angry tirades, knew better than interrupt Molly when she was shouting at them. He didn’t have a death wish, though that wasn’t the opinion of Mrs Weasley at that moment. She had never been so angry at them, not even when Ron had stolen that damned flying car of Arthur’s. The thing that angered her the most was not that they had defied her word, that was secondary; what bothered her most was that she could have lost them tonight. She had thought that those fears were behind her now; she had already lost so much to war, both in the first one and the second one. Her nerves couldn’t stand it if those worries carried on now.

 

About halfway through their telling off Kingsley Shacklebolt, head Auror and soon to be Minster for Magic arrived looking sombre, though he rarely looked anything else. Despite looking less than pleased,  he waited patiently for his turn; standing back and allowing Mrs Weasley all the time she needed to vent her frustration and anger out on the teenagers. When Molly finally ran out of steam he stood up and began his own lecture. His was far more sever and held a lot more warning to it than the mothering telling off they had already received.

 

“If the five of you want to chase after dark wizards and rescue people then I suggest you finish your education and then train to become Aurors,” he said, pointedly looking at Harry as he spoke. “I can guarantee that each and every one of you will be accepted on to the training program once you have graduated, if that is where you want to be, because of the parts you played in defeating Voldemort and ending the war. However, if you insist on continuing to recklessly run off like a group of vigilantes, putting yourselves in danger and duelling when you haven’t had the proper training, then I will have no choice but to see to it that, you face disciplinary action.”

 

Harry, Draco, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all exchanged looks of worry between them as they muttered their apologies for what felt like the hundredth time that evening. However, even though they were sorry for the worry and the upset they had caused, none of them could bring themselves to regret the action they had taken. In making the choice to go to Malfoy Manor they had saved Narcissa’s life. There was no guarantee the Aurors would have reached her in time.

 

Throughout the lecturing Harry’s mind was focused on only one thing. He had survived another killing curse, the third one in his life time to date. He had saved Draco’s life, and that made it worth it, but he couldn’t figure out how. The first time his mother had died to save him, the second time it had been because he’d had a part of Voldemort inside of him and he and Tom Riddle were connected. Surely that meant that he should no longer be immune to the killing curse. Or perhaps his body had adjusted; he had technically died during the final battle. He’d learnt to throw of the Imperius curse in fourth year. The cruciatus curse had had no effect on him when Voldemort had cast it on him in the clearing when he had come back from the dead.

 

Such a freak. That single thought rang through his mind. He couldn’t just be normal; he couldn’t have just died a hero’s death, saving his boyfriend from being killed. Oh no, it couldn’t be that simple, nothing ever was for the sodding boy-who-lived. Harry felt Draco take his hand as Molly dismissed them all up to bed. It was late, they were all tired and it had been one hell of an evening. All five teenagers were happy to retire to their rooms.

 

In the confusion and stress of everything it completely slipped Molly’s mind that Narcissa had been placed in the only guest bedroom they had, which left Draco with nowhere that would be, in her mind, acceptable to sleep. Harry was rather glad that she hadn’t thought about it because it meant that Draco would be sleeping in his room. There were two beds in there, not that Harry thought they’d use them both; he had no intention of letting his boyfriend go this evening, not when he had come so close to losing him completely.

 

They began to climb the stairs in silence, none of them saying a word. It was Ron who got up the courage to speak first, with a smile on his face he slapped Draco on the back; “Welcome to the family mate,” he said.

 

“Excuse me?” Draco asked, a little perplexed as to where that had come from.

 

“You aren’t really part of the family until Mum has caught you doing something she disapproves of and given you a proper telling off,” Ron explained.

 

“You’ll know when she considers you as her own son when you get a howler in the mail,” Ginny said with a grin. “Harry’s the only one of us that has escaped that privilege, though he’s had more than his fair share of disapproval to make up for it.”

 

“Well I’m … honoured,” Draco said not really knowing what to say. The Weasley family were so unlike anything he had ever known a family to be. The Malfoy’s looked after their own, blood was everything, they would never take in strays like Molly and Arthur did. Though Draco couldn’t have been more grateful for their kind hearts than he was on this night. He wasn’t sure what he would have done if they had turned him and his dying mother away.

 

“With that aside, I want to know how Harry survived,” Hermione said, her brain, as always, in overdrive as the hundreds of thoughts and ideas went through it, trying to explain what should have been impossible.

 

“Mione, I don’t want to think about it right now,” Harry said, “I don’t know how or why and for the moment I don’t care. I just don’t want anyone to know.” Hermione nodded in understanding. She could only imagine the up roar there would be if the world found out that he had survived yet another killing curse. To survive it once was meant to be impossible but to do it three times, now that was truly remarkable.

 

Ginny retired to her bedroom alone, Ron and Hermione heading off together for Ron’s room while Harry and Draco making their way to the twin’s old bedroom. Their hands remained joined and they walked in silence. The door had been thrown open in their absence, the chest of drawers put back where they belonged. Harry had a sneaking suspicion that the fireplace that had once been concealed behind it was no longer there. Molly would have wanted to make sure that no more disappearing acts took place under her nose.

 

“So …” Harry began, “This is where I sleep,” he said, staring at the floor, biting his lip nervously. Draco took the opportunity to look around the room, something that in his earlier panic he had failed to do. He was surprised to see that the only thing that belonged to Harry was the Hogwarts trunk, flung open with its contents spilling over the top. He had failed to personalise the space in any other way. Aside from the rather messy trunk the only other sign that the room was being used was the unmade bed, there were two in the room and the second looked as if it hadn’t been touched in months. “It used to be the twins room …” Harry mumbled, suddenly overwhelmed with nerves. He was about to sleep in the same room, if not the same bed, as his boyfriend.

 

Draco however had other plans; he closed the bedroom door with a light kick with his foot before pulling Harry into him, pressing their lips together in a chaste kiss. “You saved my life,” the blonde said, his voice barely a whisper as they wrapped their arms around each other, holding one another close.

 

Harry gave an awkward shrug from the position he now found himself in, stood chest to chest with his dominant, “It’s kinda what I do,” he said sheepishly, looking up into swirling molten eyes, losing himself in their intensity. Draco glared at him but remained holding him close regardless. No matter how angry he was at his boyfriend for what he had done, he wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to hold him like this and to share their warmth and enjoy his sweet scent.

 

“You don’t understand, you’re my submissive, I’m meant to protect you, not the other way around…” Draco said, angry at himself for allowing it to happen and angry at Harry too. The two of them were already in enough trouble, Draco knew the Elven law well enough by now to know that if the council found out about this then it was more than likely that he wouldn’t be considered a strong enough dominant to look after and protect Harry.

 

If Draco had been thinking clearly the moment he found out that his mother was in danger then he wouldn’t have allowed Harry to come with him when he ran off to Malfoy Manor, he wouldn’t have allowed any of them to go to for the sake of saving his mother. It was something he should have done on his own. He would have kept his submissive safe if he had gone alone but instead he had put Harry in the position where he had had to protect him, which wasn’t right.

 

When he had seen the killing curse hit Harry squarely in the chest, Draco had thought that his life was over, both of their lives. In that moment when the young and recklessly brave Gryffindor had fallen to the floor the blonde hadn’t cared about anything but Harry. His mother had been slowly bleeding to death not more than a few meters away and he just hadn’t cared. The only thing on his mind was Harry. It was startling just how important one person could become in such a short amount of time. Draco wanted to cling to him and never let go, never let anything or anyone hurt him again.

 

“Dray …” Harry began, sounding utterly hopeless as the reality of what had happened truly began to sink into him, “I might be new to all of this but I’m still me, I’m still going to do whatever it takes to protect those that I … care about.”

 

Harry hadn’t given it any thought when he had realised what Lucius had been about to do. The thought of watching Draco’s life be struck out as if it meant nothing and by his own father too, he had hated it. He was beginning to realise that no matter what he told himself about falling in love, it wasn’t as easy as just deciding not to do it. Draco had slithered into his heart somehow and now Harry couldn’t imagine living without him. He wasn’t ready to say it, that was a step too far, but he couldn’t deny that he was feeling it, whether he wanted it or not.

 

“Even be a reckless idiot?” Draco queried and Harry gave him a soft smile and a nod.

 

“I’m a Gryffindor remember, it comes as part of the package,” Harry said with a slight smirk as he looked up at Draco, studying his concerned eyes. They had a lot to work on between them. Harry’s hero complex and insecurities were not going to go away overnight. Draco’s possessive protectiveness was also something they would have to work on, however, while they had each other both teenagers were sure that they would somehow survive whatever obstacles were thrown in front of them.

 

“Well stop because I’m not worth you losing your life for,” Draco said defiantly, still glaring at his mate, “There are hundreds of dominants who could take my place as your mate, there is only one you. You’re rare, beautifully so. The council would skin me alive if they knew what had happened tonight.”

 

“Draco, you’re more than worth it and I don’t regret what I did, and don’t worry about the damned council, they aren’t going to find out and I’ll kill them too if they tried to hurt you,” Harry said with sincerity. The blond just sighed, looking at his mate and wondering if he really was the best option for Harry. The Slytherin could never let the precious submissive end up in the hands of any dominant like Blaise but he was seriously questioning if he would be strong enough or able to protect Harry the way he should.

 

“Maybe you should regret what you did, you could have died. Did you know that that curse wouldn’t actually kill you?” he asked, looking to Harry imploringly and was horrified when the submissive Elven shook his head, looking a little sheepish as he admitted this.

 

“I didn’t know that I’d survive. I saw your father, I knew what he was going to do and all I could think about was making sure you didn’t die.”

 

Draco let out an exasperated breath, closing his eyes, an undeniable pain in his chest at the words the Gryffindor spoke. He had hoped that Harry might have known that the killing curse wouldn’t affect him anymore, it had been a vague hope but one he had clung to regardless. However his hope had now been dashed as it came to light that Harry really had meant to die in his place.

 

Harry took his opportunity and leaned up, placing his lips to Draco’s, winding his arms around the blonde’s neck, deepening their kiss. Taken by surprise the Slytherin parted his lips and allowed his Gryffindor to distract him with kisses.

 

“Can we not talk about it anymore,” he pleaded. “It happened and we can’t change that. I just want to sleep with you next to me.” Draco smiled and nodded.

 

“Alright mon amour, do you have spare pyjamas?” he asked and watched, intrigued as Harry flushed scarlet.

 

“I… umm … I don’t …” Harry mumbled in embarrassment, struggling to find the words.

 

“You sleep naked?” Draco asked raising an amused eyebrow.

 

“In my boxers,” Harry admitted and Draco smirked, butting the tip of his nose against Harry’s and placing a soft kiss to his lips.

 

“I think that will be fine,” he returned as he reached down for the hem of Harry’s t-shirt, lifting it up so that his fingertips grazed against the bare skin of Harry’s back causing an involuntary gasp to escape the Gryffindor’s lips.

 

“Draco … I …” Harry began to say but Draco cut him off with a kiss. Lacking the bravado that a stomach full of fire whiskey gave him he was nervous and he wasn’t entirely sure that he was ready for this.

 

“Not tonight,” the blond reassured and Harry nodded grateful for the reassurance that tonight would not be the night that they bonded officially. Draco brought Harry’s t-shirt up and over his head, discarding it toward the over flowing trunk at the foot of the bed.

 

Taking his time, Draco started by kissing the Gryffindor, their tongues leisurely intertwining, before he began moving down Harry’s jaw, to the nape of his neck where he sucked and nibbled, causing groans of pleasure to be issued from the submissive. The blond was only satisfied and happy to move on when he was sure that there would be a mark there for all to see. There would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Harry had been being intimate with someone.

 

Moving down, Draco kissed his way down Harry’s magnificent chest, feeling a pang of jealousy that the entire wizarding world had seen it, had a photograph to admire, however in the wake of this feeling he also felt overwhelming smugness that he was the only person that got to touch it, to run his tongue over the taut, muscled stomach and hear the groans that were emitted as a result.

 

Falling to his knees, Draco popped open the button on Harry’s jeans, the Gryffindor gasped as the Slytherin tucked his thump into the waistband of his trousers, slowly lowering them to the floor, taking the time to gently caress his thighs along the way.

 

“Dray…” Harry gasped out as the blond brushed lightly against his hardening cock. Draco smiled as he paid particular attention to kissing and marking Harry’s hips, gripping the small of his mates back as he worked his tongue over tensed abdominal muscles that had been honed through years of Quidditch training.

 

“Lie down on the bed,” Draco said, his voice soft once he had worked his way up Harry’s chest with gentle caresses with his lips and tongue, making Harry squirm with pleasure. The Gryffindor nodded mutely, doing as he was told without question; scooting on to his unmade bed, he watched Draco remove his clothing. Harry’s emerald green eyes sweeping over every deliberate movement that the Slytherin made as the blond stripped himself down to his underwear, leaving them in similar states of undress.

 

Draco discarded his shirt and jeans into a pile along with Harry’s dirty clothes and he then made his way to join his submissive mate on the bed. He could feel the Gryffindor’s frantically beating heart against his chest as they lay together, Draco pulling the single duvet over them both.

 

The single bed was a little too narrow and the two of them had to lie on their sides, pressed tightly together to fit. Neither of them minded this too much as their obvious erections strained against the cotton fabric of their boxers, rubbing together and causing a delicious friction. Fingertips began to roam over exposed skin, familiarising themselves with the feel of each other’s bodies. Lips meeting in feverish kisses.

 

The blond took control, pushing Harry on to his back, settling himself on top of the raven haired teen, between his legs to maximise the contact between their erections. Grinding into his submissive mate Draco continued to ravish Harry with his mouth, taking great pleasure with the Gryffindor’s enthusiastic response.

 

“Oh … Merlin…” Harry gasped out as they ground together, he could feel his climax building, feeling the familiar tightness in his balls as his orgasm built. He gasped out his boyfriends name as he spilled his load into his boxers, Draco coming only moments later, biting down upon his mates shoulder to keep himself from crying out.

 

Rolling off of Harry, Draco pulled his boyfriend close to him so that his submissive mate’s back was against his chest, their hearts beating frantically, breathing ragged. The blonde curled his arms around the younger teenager, burying his head into the soft raven locks. The sweet scent was mixed with his own and that of sex. It was enough to make his cock twitch with renewed interest but there wouldn’t be any more fooling around this evening as they were both beyond exhausted. Without further words they both fell into a contented sleep, curled up in each other’s arms.

 

HPDM

 

In the early hours of the morning Draco stirred as Harry began tossing and turning in his sleep, groaning and grimacing, screwing his face up as if he were in immense amount of pain, and emotionally Draco could feel that he was. It made him think back because this was not the first time that their connection had found the blond feeling this broken and raw via Harry and it concerned him.

 

“Mon Amour,” Draco whispered softly, his arms tightening around a clearly distressed Harry. It took several attempts before cloudy emerald eyes blinked open to stare at the Slytherin with confusion. “You were having a nightmare,” Draco whispered soft and Harry nodded, he knew, he remembered, though he didn’t want to.

 

Harry turned so that the two of them were face to face, before snuggling into the embrace of his dominant, “I can’t lose you,” he murmured sleepily as his eyes drifted close once more, “Don’t leave me,” the Gryffindor’s voice drawn out as if his words were spoken in sleep.

 

“I’m not going anywhere,” Draco reassured but Harry was already fast asleep and for the rest of the night he remained that way, the Slytherin staying awake with the line to Harry’s emotions remaining open just in case the nightmares came back but they did not. As dawn broke the blond was able to drift off into a light sleep, still alert in case his mate needed him.

 

HPDM

 

Draco had the good sense to muss up the extra bed in Harry’s room the next morning to make it appear that they hadn’t slept in the same bed all night. He highly doubted that Molly would be very approving if she knew. He let Harry sleep on, knowing that he probably needed it. Draco had watched the raven haired teen for several minutes, admiring the smooth and handsome face that was unmarred with worry lines, he looked as if he were a carefree young man without a care in the world, instead of the haunted one that Draco knew him to be.

 

The blond felt a little awkward as he left the bedroom to go in search of the bathroom, needed to relieve himself. It became even more uncomfortable when he bumped into Hermione coming down the stairs. She was fully dressed thankfully but Draco on the other hand had pulled on a pair of Harry’s jeans and nothing more. The intelligent witch however seemed completely un-phased by the fact that Draco Malfoy was stood half naked in front of her as she asked to speak to him.

 

“Umm… sure,” Draco said looking a little awkward.

 

“It’s about Harry,” she began seriously and at once this caught Draco’s attentions.

 

“What about Harry, is he okay?” Draco asked in a slight panic, thinking that there was maybe something wrong. He had certainly seemed alright to him but maybe there was something else that he didn’t know. While he waited for Hermione to speak endless awful thoughts crossed his mind about unseen problems that could be ailing his mate.

 

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, you probably have but I wanted to mention it anyway” Hermione said, spilling her concerns in regards to her best friend in somewhat of a rush, “he hasn’t been eating very much, he skips more meals than he eats and when he does sit down to eat with the rest of us, he barely touches his food. He hasn’t been coping very well; before he came into his inheritance he barely spoke a word to anyone. I just wanted to make sure you knew so you could keep an eye on him.”

 

“I had noticed,” Draco mused, realising how bad it must be if Hermione had noticed and thought that she ought to mention it to him. “Don’t worry, I’m going to take care of him.”

 

“I’m not sure what it meant yesterday for him to survive that killing curse again but I’m worried about him. I don’t think he’s coping very well since the war ended and he won’t talk about it, none of us do. Last year was difficult for all of us, we barely ate, couldn’t sleep, everything has changed and yet we just seemed to have gone back to our old lives as if nothing happened,” Hermione told him.

 

It took Draco by surprise to hear her talking so openly about the goings on of the previous year. Of course she kept things vague and if he had thought about it he probably could have come to the logical conclusion about most of it by himself. He hadn’t thought that they were swanning off having a whale of a time while everyone else suffered. That wasn’t the style of these particular Gryffindor’s. However, to hear the pain in her voice, that was something else.

 

“He won’t have to go through that ever again, I’m going to make sure of it,” Draco said, trying to reassure her but there was a dubious look in her eye that said she couldn’t quite have faith in his words.

 

“I’m not saying that you won’t try but you can’t do it alone,” she said, “these arrived for him this morning, early. One of them is from …”

 

“The Elven council,” Draco said as he accepted the two letters addressed to Harry. Draco recognised the seal from when he had received his own letter.

 

“Exactly,” she said, “Now they know about him … I’ve read all the books Draco, I know what they’re going to try and force him to do.”

 

“I’m not going to let that happen!” Draco said with a snarl in his tone, he hated the thought of Harry being bonded to any one that wasn’t him, having children with another man, being used as a common whore to further the Elven race. Draco was going to do everything in his power to stop that from happening.

 

“No you’re not and you’re going to need our help,” Hermione said and to her surprise Draco nodded.

 

HPDM

 

The moment after he had showered Draco had looked in on his mother who still slept soundly. Her injuries were healing well and eventually she would return to perfect physical health but Molly had insisted on keeping her in a magically induced sleep for a couple more days to allow her to heal. Draco hadn’t pushed the matter, knowing that Molly would never do anything to hurt Narcissa, despite the bad blood between the families. Knowing that his mother was in safe, capable hands he had headed downstairs for breakfast and to find the others.

 

Draco had watched with a frown as Harry pushed his breakfast aside, having barely touched any of it as he walked into the kitchen and sat down beside his boyfriend, giving him a soft kiss to the temple as he did so. Harry was far more interested in the two letters that had arrived for him before he’d even woken up than the meal in front of him or the boyfriend to his side. The first letter he hadn’t really wanted to read but Draco told him that it was important. That was why he had opened the letter from the Elven Council first.

 

Dear Mr Harry Potter,

Congratulations on coming into your Elven inheritance this past summer. It has come to our attention that you lack proper guidance seeing as both your parents are no longer with you. For this reason we will be sending a council member to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. He will keep a close eye on you and answer any questions you may have.

The Elven Council

Harry had known that once they found out that they might do something like this. He had handed the letter to Draco who had frowned. Hermione had peered over his shoulder to read and even she had her two sickles to say on the matter, however Harry just drained them out. He was far too happy to burst that bubble with worry.

 

Last night he had experienced his first shared orgasm, he had shared his bed with his gorgeous boyfriend and the nightmares that were usually the cause of a rather raw throat in the morning seemed to have been starved off by the presence of Draco curled around him. He didn’t care much for the Elven council sending someone to watch over him, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it; what would happen, would happen regardless of stressing and worrying about it. Instead he turned his attention to the second letter that he’d received.

 

Dear Mr Potter,

The Tutshill Tornados have heard of your wonderful skills as a Seeker from our current Keeper, Oliver Wood and it has been suggested that we come to watch one of your matches this year now that you’ve been made Quidditch captain for your house team. If your skills are as renowned as we have been told it would give us great pleasure in offering you the position of team Seeker. If you are interested in the position we will arrange for a scout to be at one of your matches.

Sincerely, club manager

                Tucket Jones

 

Harry was grinning from ear to ear. Abandoning his breakfast completely he gave Ron a sharp prod in the stomach, shoving the letter in front of his eyes. Draco giving his boyfriend an odd look as Ron’s eyes went wide. Ginny, curious, looked over to see what the two of them were so speechless over. Upon scanning the contents of the letter her mouth went wide in amazement.

 

“What’s going on?” Hermione asked, looking at the two Weasley’s and Harry.

 

“Harry’s been offered a place as the Seeker for the Tutshill tornados,” Ginny said as the other two were still unable to process anything from the excitement. The two of them were acting like thirteen year old fan-girls with unintelligible noises floating between them. One offer of a place on a professional Quidditch team and the hero of the wizarding world was reduced to a jibbering, overwhelmed idiot.

 

“I don’t understand, is that good?” Hermione asked in confusion and Draco just smiled at her, more than a little proud of his mate. 

 

“It’s more than good, it’s bloody brilliant!” Ron said as he read over the letter for the fifth time.

 

“The tornados are top of the league, normally to play for such a high calibre team you have to be playing for years, starting at the bottom, working your way up. It seems Harry gets to skip all of that and go straight to the top.” Draco took great pleasure in explaining this to Hermione, not because there was very little that she ever needed explained to her but because he was overwhelmingly proud of his boyfriend for the achievement. The fact that Harry had been offered a place on such a prestigious Quidditch team when he was only eighteen years old was astounding

 

The entire mood within the Burrow had shifted. The anger at their actions the previous evening were gone and replaced with contentment. Molly and Arthur had been so proud when Harry had told them about the offer of being a professional Quidditch player. Molly thought that that was a much better profession for her adopted son than being a dark wizard catcher and Draco was inclined to agree with her. Neither of them much liked the idea that Harry would carry on with the very thing that had haunted him his entire life.

 

When Draco pictured his future with Harry he saw them together, surrounded by their children happy and smiling. He didn’t want his mate putting his life in danger on a daily basis. Draco may not have agreed with Blaise’s reaction nor his actions but the sentiment behind them was true. No dominant would ever want their submissive in such a position. However Draco wasn’t about to mention anything of the sort, he valued his relationship with Harry far too much for that. He knew that the Gryffindor wouldn’t take kindly to being told what to do with his life, it was something that had happened since he got to Hogwarts at age eleven. He deserved the freedom to make his own choices now that he didn’t have a destiny to fulfil. 

Chapter Text

Chapter Fifteen

It took Narcissa a little over a week to be back on her feet. She was more than grateful for the care and devotion to her wellbeing that the Weasley’s had given so willingly. She also made it clear that she was eternally grateful to them for looking after her son. She did however ensure that she lectured Draco for putting himself in danger just for the sake of rescuing her.

Shortly after regaining consciousness Narcissa reverted back to using her maiden name, Black. She would have forced Lucius to divorce her, however the Ministry had simply chucked him unceremoniously back in Azkaban. Harry couldn’t understand how they could still have faith in that place and he had been proven right, that they shouldn’t have done when Lucius had promptly vanished from his cell again, presumably back to his new master.

Narcissa hadn’t remembered much from the attack on her but she had remembered the small fact of a supposed new Dark Lord rallying the minions of the last. She wasn’t exactly trusting of the ministry, after they let had Lucius slip through their fingers again, and she hadn’t known who to tell so she had, probably unwisely, confided this information to Harry. Molly, Arthur and Draco had all been in the room at the time but primarily she had told Harry who had taken a deep breath and sighed. There was another Dark Lord, was his life ever going to be simple?

Harry had to keep in mind that Kingsley Shacklebolt was right. He wasn’t some vigilante and it wasn’t his problem. Whoever this new Dark Lord was, he wasn’t Tom Riddle. He wasn’t the man who had killed his parents; they shared no connection. Even if he had adopted the same followers that Tom had left behind, Harry had no connection to him whatsoever. Though, just by the way that Narcissa addressed him when thinking of someone to tell, Harry knew that the rest of the wizarding world would no doubt want him to take the roll of hero once again and try to save the day. All Harry wanted though was to have a quiet, non-eventful year at Hogwarts, take his N.E.W.T’s and live his life with his boyfriend.

For her own safety, the ministry had suggested that Narcissa go into hiding, the witch had been all too happy to agree to this. She now had no connection to the Malfoy’s nor their money or vast amount of property. Her cousin Sirius had inherited all of the Black fortune and then when he had died it had all been left to Harry. Even though Harry had offered, freely and willingly, to allow Narcissa to take what was hers, she had politely declined; she had money and the want to travel. A few days after being declared well enough, she had kissed her son goodbye, thanked every again for the millionth time and left for France, promising Draco that she would be in touch.

Draco had watched his mother leave and, even though knowing that she would be safe and that Lucius would never be able to touch her again, he would still miss her terribly. It had been suggested by the Ministry that Draco go with his mother but he had point blank refused. He had no desire to run and hide, though he agreed that it was the right thing for Narcissa. The youngest Malfoy fully intended to go back to school with his boyfriend and complete his magical education. He didn’t care how much danger it put him in.

The moment that Narcissa had left for France, Molly had insisted that Draco move out of Harry’s room and into the spare room. She had been under the impression that they were sleeping in separate beds, which of course they weren’t, though she still felt a lot more comfortable having them in separate bedrooms. Harry had been rather upset by this though he had tried not to show it. He had rather liked the feeling of falling asleep in his boyfriend’s arms, they’d done nothing more than kissing, touching and rubbing up against one another to produce their orgasms but it had felt wonderful to the rather inexperienced Harry.

Draco had served one other purpose for Harry however, one that didn’t involve multiple orgasms. Draco also was able, thanks to the emotional connection he seemed to have, to sense when Harry’s nightmares were plaguing him and wake him up, then soothing him back to sleep and to more peaceful dreams. It miffed Harry a little that he still couldn’t sense what Draco was feeling. Often enough he could do it by accident with others like Molly and Hermione. He’d even sensed some worry and anxiety from Ginny as it came closer to the time that they were to go back to school. He hadn’t had the chance to ask her about it though and, it truth, he wasn’t entirely sure how he would phrase the question either.

HPDM

On the first of September even Harry was nervous. The Ministry of Magic had provided cars for them all to be transported in so that that they would reach Kings Cross Station in one piece. Apparently being the saviour of the wizarding world had a few perks. Several Aurors that Harry didn’t recognize were also assigned to them. Their presence made Harry entirely uncomfortable, he shrunk himself down as much as possible beside Draco, not wanting to leave his side. The blond, of course, put a protective arm around his mate knowing that today was going to be trying for the both of them.

Draco had become rather accustomed to having Harry primarily to himself. Of course the rest of the Weasley family were around, and Hermione of course, but they had found a natural rhythm in the Burrow and the youngest Malfoy wasn’t in the least bit threatened by them. He was even beginning to relax a little around Seamus when he made an appearance. He even found that he got on rather well with Neville, who had a keen interest in Elven ways now that there was a possibility that his girlfriend might come into her inheritance on her next birthday.

Today however they were going to be surrounded by people they didn’t know, and also people they did know and knew to be a threat. Add into that the possibility of Harry being mobbed by rabid fans, especially after the Which Wizard article, and that was exactly why the Aurors had been sent to escort them on to the Hogwarts Express. They couldn’t very well have the hero of the wizarding world trampled by his own fans as he tried to go back to school.

The Ministry were being overly cautious, after the attack on Narcissa Black and the information that she had been able to provide regarding the new dark wizard, which had been relayed to them through Harry. It was not something they could take lightly seeing as the last wizarding war had only just come to a close a few months previously. It was already giving Kingsley a headache to think that there might be another Dark Lord so soon after the Great Battle of Hogwarts. He was keen to keep the information under wraps for the moment, not wanting to cause a nationwide panic.

Shacklebolt had had to have more words with Harry after he had explained to him what Narcissa had said about the deatheaters having a new master. This time Kingsley had chosen to have those words in private. He had been concerned that Potter would have felt it his duty to stand up and fight again. However the young Gryffindor had assured the Auror turned Minister for Magic candidate, that he had no intention of battling anymore Dark Witches or Wizards. On this matter he was more than happy to simply go to school and allow the Ministry to do its job without getting involved. This had been something that Kingsley had been thrilled to hear.

Molly and Arthur were, as usual, in a panic as they prepared everyone to leave for school. Trunks were all over the place, robes weren’t packed, books were being forgotten and even the Aurors, who had originally been keen to wait patiently outside of the Burrow for the chaos to die down, were now offering to help to speed things along a bit just so they wouldn’t miss the train.

Half an hour behind schedule, they piled into the cars, Harry and Draco sharing one with two Aurors. The others only had a single Auror to a vehicle. It was a sign of how seriously they were taking his protection. Harry was dreading arriving at the station and was actually rather glad that they were running a little late. It would mean that they wouldn’t have the time to stop and chat to anyone, they could just get on the train and be done with it.

Little did Harry know that awaiting his arrival, crowding the barrier between platforms nine and ten were a mass of magical reporters and more witches and wizards than he could think possible. The Aurors were aware of this fact and that was why they were here. It wasn’t just for Harry’s protection either, it was for Draco’s too. There were more than a few people who didn’t like their saviour being in a relationship with a former deatheater, renounced or not.

After the attack on Narcissa, the Ministry were being very careful and were intercepting all mail addressed to either Harry or Draco. There had been howlers and jinxes, a few port-keys too. All of them had had to be destroyed and Kingsley was quite happy not to tell Harry or Draco about the amount of them they received on a day to day basis. The protection surrounding Harry Potter was still at the highest level possible, it was clear that there was still a very serious threat against him, even with Voldemort gone.

Of course the Ministry had no clue about anything to do with his Elven inheritance. Molly and Arthur had been wise enough not to spread that fact around. That was for Harry and Draco to share with whomever they deemed it was necessary. They had no idea the trouble that the two teenagers were about to experience in returning to Hogwarts this year.

The Aurors were on high alert as the cars pulled up outside Kings Cross station. Despite all the muggles, their wands were drawn and their stances around Harry were alert and protective. They were drawing a few curious eyes, muggles thinking that they were protecting someone of high importance and getting confused when they saw two eighteen year olds.

Harry just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about as he and Draco unloaded their trunks onto trolleys, watching Ron, Hermione and Ginny doing the same thing with the help of Molly and Arthur. The Aurors kept casting nervous glances all around them as if they were expecting an attack at any moment. It was their behaviour that made Harry nervous more than anything else.

“Holy shit,” Ron said as he spied the hoard of witches and wizards standing around in the muggle section of the station between platforms nine and ten. He got a clip round the ear for his language from Molly but even she had to admit that she was a little concerned when she saw what had caused the profanity.

At Ron’s rather rude exclamation Harry turned to see what he had sworn at and, upon seeing the large group of people with reporters and their cameras, he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him. Draco growled, pulling his mate into him tighter, wanting to protect him from their unwelcome presence. He had to take several deep steadying breaths to keep himself calm, he had to remind himself several times that there were Aurors present and they would be legally obliged to report it if he decided to kill anyone for touching his mate.

“Fuck,” Draco growled, though too low for Molly to hear. He was rather worried that as an honouree member of their rather odd little family that he too would get a clip round the ear just like Ron. “Don’t leave my side,” Draco said firmly and Harry nodded. Dealing with deatheaters and Dark Lords was one thing but crazed fans were something entirely different. Harry would have taken on Voldemort all over again rather than deal with these manic fans that all seemed to want a piece of him.

The Aurors tightened their ranks around the golden boy and his unconventional boyfriend as they drew nearer the group of avid fans who had all started screaming and shouting as they saw him start to approach. Harry was horrified to see that some of them had signs. A couple asking him to marry them, others declaring their love and the one that really freaked Harry out declared, “I’d take the dark mark for you”. It was this one in particular that made Draco really angry. The Slytherin found himself rather disturbed when he realised that a few of the fans that had gathered had drawn lightning bolt scars on their foreheads, it was all too much to take in as the admirers began to rush forward, towards them, all wanting to get close to the saviour.

The others saw this coming and joined the Aurors in surrounding Harry, using their luggage laden trolleys to cut a path through the crowds and protect Harry from the determined fans at the same time, aiming directly for the barrier. They only had ten minutes to board the train before it departed.

As they pushed their way through, there were cameras flashing and people yelling, trying to get Harry’s attention, one of the members of the unruly crowd decided they didn’t like how close Draco was to Harry. Grabbing the first thing that came to hand it was thrown toward the blonde who was already irate, especially considering how much fear and frustration he could sense coming from his mate. When the glass bottle smashed as it made contact with his temple he was about ready to murder whoever had thrown it. He could feel blood trickling slowly down the side of his face but they didn’t stop pushing forward and finally made it through the barrier on to the much calmer platform where the familiar sight of the bright red Hogwarts express was waiting for them.

“You’re bleeding!” Harry exclaimed, horrified as he looked at his boyfriend. He had felt the glass shards fall on him when the bottle had smashed but he had just kept his head down and kept going, now the the guilt at seeing the injury inflicted upon his dominant mate was eating at him.

Draco was just glad it had hit him and not Harry, if it had hit his submissive then he would have killed whoever had thrown it without hesitation. He wouldn’t have cared about the Aurors, no one was going to hurt his mate. At Harry’s loud exclamation an Auror was instantly with them, checking them both over and tending to the cut on Draco’s head.

“Stop it,” the Slytherin said sternly to Harry as he allowed himself to be healed. “I can feel what you feel,” he hissed quietly, “Stop it!”

“Sorry,” Harry mumbled.

“Don’t be sorry, you’ve nothing to be sorry for.” Draco snapped as he felt his injury heal.

“How come I can’t feel what you’re feeling it isn’t fair,” Harry said in a grump.

“I don’t know,” Draco admitted as the Auror tending to them left to find them a compartment on the train, or more likely to vacate a compartment for them to use. “Perhaps you can ask the Elven they’re sending to watch over you.”

“You know it doesn’t matter what he says; I don’t want anyone else, I want you,” Harry said as Draco took him in his arms as a way of acceptance for what he had said. Arriving at the station to the mob that they had, had been unnerving for both of them. Even the parents and students on the platform were staring and pointing at them as the Aurors ushered them onto the train. Whether the compartment had been vacated especially for them or whether it had just been empty they’d never know but either way an Auror would be standing guard outside the compartment door for the duration of the journey.

Hermione, Ron, Draco and Ginny all had to go to the meeting for prefects at the start of their journey however, by the time they had to leave, their compartment had found new occupants in the form of Seamus, Dean, Neville and Luna. None of the prefects would have been willing to leave Harry alone no matter how capable of looking after himself the Gryffindor might have been, even with the Auror still standing watch over him. Having the other four there to stay with Harry meant that Draco felt a lot more at ease about leaving him, though he didn’t really want to leave his mate at all even if he was in the capable hands of his friends who would do anything for him. However seeing as he had been made head boy there wasn’t any way he could escape going.

Harry settled down into an easy conversation with Dean, Seamus, Neville and Luna, talking about the new school year and trying to ignore the Auror who was moving people along who wanted to come and gawp at the boy-who-lived-twice. Some were attempting to take pictures and others clearly wanted the Which Wizard article signed. None of them were allowed to get through and Harry was grateful. He was in no mood to fake a smile and pretend to be the celebrated hero they all wanted him to be.

Halfway down the train the prefects gathered for their usual meeting and to organise patrols of the train, however the tensions in their compartment were rife. Blaise and Daphne had also been made prefects this year. Everyone else was avoiding them, like they had some form of infectious disease, and it took all of Draco’s self-control not to lunge at Blaise and pummel him.

No one dared speak, as if one word would be the spark to ignite the flame and cause an explosion. Hermione, as Head Girl, took charge, asking for the prefects to be vigilant, to help keep order and keep an eye on the first years who were bound to be nervous. The meeting could have ended there, of course, they could have all gone on their way without incident but then Blaise wouldn’t have been Blaise if he could keep his mouth shut.

“Where’s your whore, Malfoy?” Zabini sneered, glaring at the Head Boy with distaste. Hermione saw Draco’s fists clench as he tried to keep his temper from flaring. He wouldn’t take anyone insulting his mate well and Hermione, being the brightest witch of her age, knew this all too well having read all the books that she could get her hands on, on the subject. She could spot the warning signs a mile away having resided at the Burrow with the youngest Malfoy for a while now.

“Don’t do it, Draco, he isn’t worth it,” Hermione said to him gently. No one would blame Draco for lashing out, everyone had heard what Blaise had said and no one was happy with the vicious Slytherin, especially since there were a lot of Harry Potter fans currently in the compartment with them.

“Listening to mudbloods now too? Your father would be so ashamed!” Blaise hissed and this time it was Ron who made a lunge for Zabini who was clearly spoiling for a fight. Draco and Ginny had to hold the youngest Weasley boy back as he tried to defend his girlfriend.

“If I were you,” Draco sneered, his well-practiced Malfoy mask slipping into place as he surveyed his fellow Slytherin with disgust, “I’d keep my mouth shut.” The blond made sure that he kept one hand on Ron’s shoulder, ensuring that he didn’t get himself into trouble by punching the other teen who was quite clearly goading them.

“And what are you going to do if I don’t?” Blaise asked, clearly pleased with himself that he was getting a reaction from them all. Daphne, the other eighth year Slytherin prefect was standing behind him not saying a word, however it was very clear where her loyalties lay.

“Just leave it,” Hermione hissed at her friends. “Let’s just go.”

“I’ll have him one way or another, Draco, you’ll see.” Despite the youngest Malfoy’s cool exterior his rage bubbled just beneath the surface and that single comment that fell from Blaise’s lips was enough to make him erupt like a volcano.

No one else could have predicted what happened next. No one would have believed that the composed, calm exterior of the only Malfoy heir could have so well hidden the anger as his fist was drawn back and, with every ounce of strength he had, slammed it into Zabini’s nose.

A fraction of a second later and the compartment was in uproar, blood spurting everywhere, Blaise screaming in agony and everyone else trying to get out of the way so they weren’t covered in his blood. The prefects dispersed quickly enough and Hermione, Ron and Ginny dragged Draco away in all of the commotion so that no further damage could be done.

“That felt good,” Draco said with a wry smile to his three friends as he flexed his fingers, his knuckles aching a little from where they had come into contract with the bone in Blaise’s nose.

“That was bloody brilliant,” Ron said, grinning from ear to ear.

“As Head Girl I can’t condone it,” Hermione said with disapproval, “however, as your friend, if you hadn’t done it then I would have done.” Draco grinned at her, knowing that was the best he was going to get from the bushy haired witch. At least she wasn’t telling him off or reminding him that as Head Boy he ought to be setting a better example for the other students.

“Blaise isn’t going to forget that in a hurry,” Ginny said with a smile, “what did he think he was doing, goading you like that? It was like he was asking for it.”

“Blaise has never been very good at keeping his mouth shut,” Draco told them as they started to make their way back to their Auror guarded compartment. Along the way they were stopped several times as people asked them if they could get Harry to sign the topless picture from the magazine article, some wanting photos of Draco, Ron and Hermione. The blond scowled at each and every person that dared approach him or try and talk to him.

Neither Hermione nor Ron were best pleased either. It was widely known that they were best friends with the famous Harry Potter, after their roles with him in the Great Battle of Hogwarts they had sky rocketed to stardom as well. Draco was just as well known as the golden trio though perhaps not for the right reasons. No one believe that he was worthy to date the saviour of the wizarding world, branded by the late Dark Lord and a renowned user of the dark arts, his family history steeped in it. However, despite this, people still wanted to get near him, still wanted photographs because the four of them combined were hot news.

As they rushed back, none of them really paying much attention, just trying to keep their heads down and not look anyone in the eye, Hermione collided with a large cold body that made her stagger backwards. If whomever she’d just bumped into hadn’t put his arms around her waist to steady her then she would have fallen to the floor. Ron, Ginny and Draco all turned to see Theodore Nott practically hugging a red faced Hermione, who was apologizing profusely.

“No need, no harm done,” Theo said as he retracted his arms but was still unable to take his eyes off the muggle-born witch.

“Theo,” Draco greeted coolly, trying to gage where his fellow Slytherin stood, whether it be with him or with Blaise, Pansy and Daphne.

“Draco,” Nott returned with a curt nod of his head. “It looks like you could use a hand getting through the train,” He said, “Can I be of assistance?”

Draco surveyed Theodore with interest, “Perhaps,” he mused. “Why would you be able to help us or have the inclination to do so?”

Hermione’s heart was hammering in her chest as Draco and Theo exchanged these forced pleasantries, both of them on edge. The hole that had resided in her chest felt suddenly filled and warm as she surveyed Theodore Nott. Whatever was missing in her relationship with Ron seemed to be filled in by this Slytherin. It wasn’t a feeling she wanted.

“I guess you missed the memo,” Theodore said with a grin, displaying his distinct vampire fangs that would have been hard to conceal from even the most dim witted of muggles. “No one will come near me.”

Draco surveyed his fellow Slytherin with interest, Hermione just gasped, whereas Ron and Ginny took it in their stride that they were now sharing a conversation with a vampire who seemed very happy not to conceal what he was to the rest of the world.

“Why would you want to help us?” Draco asked, uncertain of whether or not he would be able to trust the vampire anywhere near his mate.

“No one much likes Vampires and rumour has it I’m not the only one to have come into some rather unusual inheritance this summer or am I mistaken on that?”

“Oh, you aren’t mistaken, Theo, however I refuse to go around displaying what I am and you shouldn’t do so either. It isn’t wise to make your differences known.”

“Normally I don’t,” Theodore said, his eyes locked firmly on Hermione. He needed to know her, he needed to be with her, be close to her. He could clearly see that she was involved with Ron, their hands clasped tightly together but he didn’t care. He would do anything, including settling for friendship if that was what it took. There was one thing he was very clear on and that was that Hermione Granger was his mate. “I wanted to show you what I am so that you could know that you can trust me. I have no desire to be friends with Blaise, Daphne or Pansy, nor play any role in the vendetta they seem to have against you and your… boyfriend, not that they would want to know me now but as always, my allegiance is to you.”

“Did you fight in the war?” Ginny asked suddenly, she had taken a rather back seat in everything, her mind preoccupied with other things but the appearance of the vampire intrigued her. She had never met one before today, though she had heard a lot about them as a species.

“I was pulled out of school by my mother last year, she didn’t want me at the school or involved with the war. She was killed for trying to flee the Dark Lord by my father who is also now dead. So to answer your question, no I did not fight in the war, I only wish that I could have played a part in the downfall of Voldemort, however I did not.”

“Fine,” Draco said decisively, “But know this, vampire or not, if you hurt my mate or my friends then I’ll find a way to kill you, do you understand?”

“Perfectly,” Theodore said with a grateful smile. He then fell into sync with the other four, carefully surveying Hermione who didn’t look happy in the least that Nott had wormed his way into the friendship group so easily. She couldn’t explain it but she was drawn to him, everything about him made her want him. However she wasn’t going to just accept it, she loved Ron, she’d never hurt him, not intentionally, so she pushed the thoughts about Theodore Nott to the back of her mind, hopefully to be forgotten.

Harry frowned as he saw his boyfriend and friends returning, plus one other. It wasn’t the presence of another student that made him frown but rather that he could see the spattering of some blood on Draco’s shirt.

“Have you been fighting again?” Harry asked as Draco flopped down in the seat next to him, pulling his submissive mate into his arms and on to his lap to have a cuddle.

“Yeah, he punched Blaise in the face,” Ron said as he too took a seat. Draco glared at the red head, he hadn’t wanted Harry to know about that.

“He what?” Harry asked as he turned his head to look to his boyfriend questioningly, not wanting to believe that he had done something so reckless.

“He deserved it,” Ginny said, “Things he was saying, Ron almost decked him too.”

“Don’t be mad at Draco,” Hermione said, “even I can’t condone what Blaise did.”

At his friends comforting words Harry relaxed a little, snuggling into Draco, who kept his arms firmly around his submissive. “No one is going to hurt you,” Harry heard Draco say however his voice was too low for anyone else to hear.

Theo sat down closest to the door in silence, he was eyeing all the Gryffindor’s and the one Ravenclaw with interest, though his attention never fully left Hermione. No one seemed ready to jump in with an introduction or even as explanation as to who he was or why he was here. It was Seamus who queried his presence first.

“Theodore Nott,” the vampire said, “Friend to Draco.”

“That remains to be proven,” Draco said coolly. He wasn’t entirely trusting of his fellow Slytherin just yet, however he was willing to give him the chance to prove himself at least. They would need as many allies as they could possibly get this year. Having a vampire on side would at least give them some extra muscle and a scare tactic too. No one liked vampires, just like werewolves they were feared throughout the wizarding community.

“So he’s a friend,” Harry said and Draco nodded, though doing so somewhat hesitantly. “Then he can come and sit with the rest of us, he looks ready to bolt sitting that close to the door.”

Somewhat reluctantly Theo moved to sit amongst the rest of the group and a slow, almost uneasy conversation started up. It took a little while but by the time they were half way to Hogwarts it was as if both Theo and Draco had always been part of the group. With the Auror standing guard outside their compartment door the only person who bothered them was the witch who came round with the sweet trolley. Of course they loaded up on pumpkin pasties, cauldron cakes and Bertie Botts every flavour beans, generally laughing and joking with one another.

It was a warming sight to see, Harry had never been happier, even though things were so uncertain, and Draco wouldn’t let him off his lap. It felt nice to be in his boyfriend’s arms, to feel him holding him. Whatever this year at Hogwarts had in store for them Harry felt empowered enough to deal with it. He even surprised his boyfriend along the way by producing a packet of skittles for them to share secretly. Draco had been thrilled with them, unable to believe that Harry had remembered and had the forethought to get him some of his favourite muggle sweet.

The blond had been so happy, in fact, that the rest of the train ride was spent with the two of them sharing rather intimate kisses as they attempted to guess the flavour of each skittle. The rest of their friends whistling at the intimacy and laughing together as they made fun of their friends; even Theo found it easy to interact with the others while Draco was otherwise occupied. No one noticed how Ginny shied away from Dean, ensuring there was always one, if not two people between them and no one passed comment on how Theo only had eyes for Hermione. The mood was a happy one and no one was willing to shatter that.

Chapter Text

Chapter Sixteen – sleeping arrangements

 

               

The Auror, who had helped them on to the train didn’t leave them until Harry and Draco had arrived at Hogwarts, going so far as to insist that he would ride in the carriages up to the school with them. As it was their friendship group was growing steadily in numbers and it was clear that they would never all fit in the one Thestral drawn carriage now anyway. It was a heart breaking moment for Harry when he had to explain what was pulling the carriages to several people, being one of only a few who had already been able to see the thestrals; but now everyone who had been present for the Great Battle of Hogwarts could see what was pulling the carriages. Only Draco’s supportive hand on his back got him through it tear free.

 

 After they got over the shock of seeing them for the first time most of them tried to block them out, preferring to ignore them out of fear of opening the old wounds and causing pain that didn’t need to be felt, not when spirits were running so high; no one knowing quite what to say, they boarded the carriages. Ron and Hermione accompanied Harry and Draco with the Auror while the other six, including Theo, followed in a second carriage just behind them.

 

Theo had quickly become one of the group, his charm and laid back nature melding well with the others. Though he looked dubious as Seamus and Dean began plotting some ‘welcome back to Hogwarts’ drinks and celebrating for that evening. He didn’t think it wise to be staying up late and drinking when they had classes the next morning but then that was just him.

 

All of the eighth year students had received correspondence shortly before returning to the school, which had informed them that they would all be sharing a dormitory. They were not yet aware of the sleeping arrangements but it had put Draco and Harry on edge to know that Blaise would be sharing their common room. After what had happened on the train getting to the school none of them could see that ending well. They would have to be on high alert, even in their own common room now. They would at least have their friends and each other, and they would have to hope that they weren’t sharing a bedroom with him they would cope, somehow, at least that was how it was in Harry’s mind.

 

Draco however was fully prepared to kick up a fuss if they had to share a bedroom with him too. That was something that the blond wasn’t going to put up with. He was determined that no matter what, he was going to keep Harry well away from Blaise, who clearly wasn’t going to give up. What McGonagall was thinking putting so many of them in a dormitory together, with so many of them having come into their creature inheritance, he didn’t know. She must have been mad to think that it wouldn’t cause trouble.

 

The Auror that had been trailing Harry around since they had departed Kings Cross station finally bid Harry farewell as they reached the Entrance Hall to Hogwarts. Harry wasn’t exactly unhappy to see the back of him either. The man had been so determined to fulfil his role of protector and bodyguard, ensuring that nothing happened to the saviour, that he had gone so far as follow him to the toilet, checking all the cubicles before Harry was even allowed to use one. The Gryffindor wasn’t going to miss such treatment, not when all he wanted was to be normal and live his life as if he hadn’t destroyed Voldemort.

 

Harry had thought that once in the Great Hall that Draco might gravitate off to sit at the Slytherin table with Theodore Nott as he normally would have done but was pleasantly surprised when the blonde took hold of the vampire by the scruff of the neck and both of the Slytherins accompanied the rest of them to the Gryffindor table. Even Luna, at Neville’s insistence, joined them. All of his friends seemed to surround him on all sides, protecting him from the curious glances of the other students; Draco of course sat next to Harry, Ron on his other side. Everyone seemed content to surround him, shielding him from the other students; it wasn’t something that went unnoticed by Harry.

 

The sorting of the new first year students went according to plan; there was nothing out of the ordinary to report. The war had not stopped parents sending their children to the school, in fact there seemed to be more of them than usual. Everyone cheered, welcoming the new members of their houses as they sat down. The mood was one of elation in the Great Hall. The sorrow and heart ache of the previous year of war was ebbing, happiness and excitement finally taking its place. Hogwarts really was starting to feel like home again.

 

Minerva of course stood to welcome them all to the school and, remembering the letter from the Elven Council, Harry and Draco eyes were instantly drawn to the teacher’s table, where the headmistress was introducing a new member of staff to the school, a man who would be taking up the post of defence against the dark arts. He seemed to practically glow; a lot of the other students were gawking at him, whispering and a few of the girls were giggling. Even Harry had to admit that Professor Torqueze was a handsome man. He had dark brown hair and smouldering dark eyes that very quickly located the green-eyed Gryffindor, fixating on him. The new teacher gave a soft, hardly noticeable incline of his head, which Harry returned with a shy smile.

 

Draco noticed this, growling, throwing his arm possessively around Harry’s shoulders and pulling him closer, glaring at the Dark Arts professor, who frowned at them in response. Draco cared very little however; he wanted to make it very clear that it was him that Harry belonged to and no one was going to mess with that. Harry didn’t even seem to realise why Draco was doing it and turned his head so that they could share a brief kiss that didn’t escape the attention of anyone in the Great Hall.

 

Minerva gave them a pointed look before resuming what she had been saying, unable to believe that she had just seen Harry Potter kissing Draco Malfoy. Suddenly the meddling ways of Albus Dumbledore made a little more sense to her. What was done was done however and she wasn’t about to revisit the sleeping arrangements, she had to trust that they were mature enough not to do anything reckless. Besides it had given her enough of a headache the first time around.

 

“As an extra warning to you all,” she began as she drew her welcoming speech to a close, “there are several students that have come to us this year with creature inheritance. Some of you may be aware of what this means while others will not. Please be vigilant; every measure has been taken to ensure the safety of all students and staff at the school but that does not mean you should be reckless. Those of creature inheritance can be volatile, especially in concern for their chosen mates. It would be wise not to antagonize or goad those of creature inheritance if you hold any value in your own personal safety.”

 

Whispers and murmurs spread throughout the Great Hall, everyone curious as to who and what. Harry shied into Draco’s side as his name was mentioned in several whispers across the Great Hall. The blond let out a low, protective growl, not wanting any of them to discover their secret, though he knew it wasn’t likely to remain a secret for long. The Which Wizard article had already assured that Harry was suspected of creature inheritance, it wouldn’t take long for the school to figure it out with certainty.

 

However the thought of him having creature inheritance didn’t seem to deter anyone from their love of the famous Harry Potter as several times during the feast Harry was approached by students from all houses and all years. Each one had been clutching the Which Wizard article close to their chests as they had stammered and stuttered, asking for Harry to sign the picture that accompanied the article. Draco had gritted his teeth and said nothing as reluctantly Harry did actually sign the photographs. The Slytherin wasn’t exactly happy about it but Harry didn’t seem to have it in him to be rude and tell them all to sod off like Draco would have done. The Gryffindor had conceded that it was quicker to just sign whatever it was they wanted signing and then they would leave faster.

 

That didn’t stop Draco glaring at every single person who dared to come up to them and disturb their dinner; they seemed to be giving Harry the perfect excuse not to really eat anything. When Draco queried this with a soft whisper in his ear Harry just shrugged, looking at the mountains of delicious food in front of him with distaste, declaring that he wasn’t really hungry, only tired. The blond really wasn’t happy with the response but when Harry took a couple of mouthfuls he decided to let it go this once.

 

All of them were anxious and a little bit impatient to get up the stairs and find out who they’d be sharing bedrooms with. It was the hot topic of discussion throughout the course of the feast and speculation was rife. The assumed that it was likely they would still be split into boys and girls, but there was a spilt in opinion over whether or not they would remain separated by house as well. Ron didn’t seem to care as long as he didn’t get stuck with any Slytherins. Hermione didn’t care as long as she had quite roommates, after all it was NEWT year.

 

Harry however was a little preoccupied with wondering what Seamus and Dean were up to, he knew that his friends were up to something suspicious when Seamus had vanished just before the desert plates did. He had subtly got up from the table a full half an hour before Minerva dismissed them to go to bed. Harry had watched him go with narrowed eyes, wondering what he might be up to, though Harry had a pretty good idea what it could be. When it came to Seamus Finnegan, he tended to have a one track mind. The Irish wizard liked to have fun and at the age of eighteen there was only one way to do that in his mind, which was, of course with copious amounts of alcohol.

 

Ginny and Luna were the only two in their friendship group that wouldn’t be sharing the dormitory with the rest of them and after leaving the Great Hall they headed off to their respective dormitory’s. Neville shared a rather passionate kiss with Luna and Dean looked longingly after Ginny, knowing that he couldn’t go after her, though wishing that he could. She hadn’t even looked in his direction all day and it was starting to piss him off, especially when she had been so keen to engage Harry in conversation throughout the feast.

 

Draco curled an arm around Harry’s waist as they headed up the stairs, mainly to deter the students still milling around, all of them clutching copies of Which Wizard. He was in no mood to be bothered by his boyfriend’s determined admirers. All he wanted was to curl up in bed with his boyfriend next to him. He found that he didn’t even care too much about what the sleeping arrangements were, he would be sharing with Harry no matter what it took to make it happen. He whispered this to his mate as they ascended the marble staircase, their friends either following behind them or just a little ahead, like an armed guard though a little more relaxed.

 

Harry simply gave him a sad smile, shaking his head, “I don’t think that going to bed straight away is going to be much of an option Dray,” Harry told him.

 

“And why not?” Draco asked with a raised eyebrow; during the feast Harry had informed him that he was tired and his instincts were telling him to provide whatever his mate needed.

 

“I think Seamus has something planned for the night,” Harry informed him as they walked, enjoying the possessive arm around his waist and the protective presence of the blond at his side.

 

“So…what has that got to do with us?” Draco asked again, not really following.

 

“Party,” Ron said from beside them, a wild grin on his face that made Draco groan and Harry laugh.

 

“Not another one,” Hermione said with a sigh. “We have class in the morning!”

 

“Come on Mione,” Dean said with excitement, “It’ll be fun. You’re up for it, aren’t you, Neville?”

 

“I don’t know…” he began to say but was swiftly glared at by not only Dean but Ron too. “I suppose it could be fun,” he concluded under their heavy gazes.

 

“You behead a giant snake, which also happens to be a horcrux, and you still can’t stand up to your friends,” Harry teased him.

 

Reaching their dormitory they all took a deep breath and entered; they were the first group to reach their shared dormitory, the others still lagging behind somewhere, however, as they stepped inside, they saw that it wasn’t all that different from what the Gryffindor common room had looked like. Except instead of just red and gold there were accents from all the houses and of course there were party decorations thanks to Seamus who was the only one in the room when they entered.

 

How he had managed it they didn’t know but there were several bottles of fire whiskey on the coffee table in front of the roaring fire. It looked as if he had cleaned out the Hogshead of their supplies of the potent drink. Dean instantly went in for a high five with his friend as the others, without much fuss, settled on the sofas.

 

Hermione, Theo and Draco were the only ones that hesitated, the three of them wanting to find their dormitory and actually go to sleep seeing as they all had class in the morning. Though it was seemed that they were the only three that cared for the N.E.W.T classes they would start the next day. The others were of the opinion that they were young and finally, after many, many years, carefree. They deserved a bit of fun.

 

“Don’t you want to know who you’re sharing with?” Hermione asked, eyeing the staircases warily. She had been dreading it; if she was sharing with anyone who didn’t share her love of studying then she would be spending all her time in the library this year.

 

“I’m with Dean, Zach; that Hufflepuff dude,” Seamus clarified, “and Blaise,” he added, the last name ringing with distaste, however, at the mention of his fellow Slytherin Draco relaxed a little because it meant that neither he nor Harry would be sharing with him, even if they still had to share a common room.

 

“I’m going to check to see who they stuck me with,” Ron declared loudly, charging up the stairs, Draco quickly taking his vacated seat besides Harry. Theo following in his wake to see where it was he would be sleeping. Hermione exited the common room to go and check as well, nervous about the sleeping arrangements for the eight girls that had returned.

 

“Don’t you want to know?” Harry asked as he was pulled onto Draco’s lap and his neck began to be nuzzled softly much to the distaste and eye rolling of Seamus, Dean and Neville who had decided to allow the others to discover their fate when it came to bedroom assignments.

 

“Doesn’t matter mon amour,” Draco replied with a whisper as he nibbled at Harry’s earlobe, “I’m sleeping with you wherever they put me.”

 

“Un-fucking-believable,” Ron grumbled as he stomped down the stairs back into the common room looking grumpy.

 

“What’s wrong?” Harry asked as his best friend flopped down on the sofa in the small space between the cuddling couple and Seamus on the red sofa.

 

“I swear to Merlin if you two keep me up all night shagging I’m going to murder you just to get a decent night’s sleep!” Ron huffed in annoyance.

 

“We’re in the same room?” Draco asked in surprise.

 

“Yeah, the three of us and Terry Boot,” Ron said as Theo reappeared not looking too unhappy.

 

“You’re with me Neville,” Theo said, “And some guy called Michael.”

 

“Screw this,” Seamus said rather loudly, “let’s drink.” The Irish wizard grabbed some cups and began to pour everyone shots of fire whiskey, ready to celebrate their return to the wizarding school. Hermione came back looking a little disgruntled but said nothing about whom she’d been stuck with, she did manage to give Seamus and Dean rather disparaging looks however as they began to hand out the plastic cups, but she wasn’t about to turn hers down.

 

Before they could take their first drinks, though, the portrait hole opened and the last three faces any of them wanted to see walked in. Blaise Zabini, flanked by Pansy Parkinson and Daphne Greengrass, none of the three of them looking at all happy, in fact Blaise looked positively murderous after what had happened on the train.

 

Clearly Zabini had been to the hospital wing as his nose had no signs of ever being punched, though he was glowering at Draco, wanting to get revenge. Draco didn’t regret his actions in the least, he was happy to have punched the foul mouthed, pureblood git and couldn’t bring himself to regret something that had felt so good. But it looked like the other Slytherin was looking to get his own back. The atmosphere had shifted and everyone was on edge; Draco’s hold around Harry tightened protectively, and everyone was itching to go for their wands. One wrong move and things were going to end very badly for everyone.

 

“Look,” Hermione said, “We all have to live here, we need to learn to get along or at least be civilised to one another and if we can’t do that then for goodness sake just avoid each other,” she said rather forcefully, looking between the three Slytherins, who had just entered and Harry and Draco.

 

“I meant what I said, Malfoy,” Blaise hissed venomously, referring to his earlier threat on the train. He might have agreed with the stupid mudblood to some degree that they had to live here and should learn to avoid each other but that didn’t mean he was going to be giving up on Harry.

 

However, as he went to leave the common room the last of the honorary eighth year students arrived. Terry, Zach, Lisa, Parvati, Padma, Laura and Michael all stumbled in through the portrait hole and stalled upon sensing the atmosphere. As the last of the students arrived in the common room both Blaise and Draco immediately realised something. Harry Potter was not the only male submissive Elven at Hogwarts this year.

 

“Can’t claim them both, Malfoy,” Blaise said with a smug sneer before storming from the common room, heading for the dormitories. Daphne and Pansy who had been flanking him, glowering at Harry and Draco, not saying a word as they too headed up to bed.

 

“What did he mean?” Harry asked, turning to look at his boyfriend. Draco had gone stiff, not paying any attention to his mate as he scanned the crowd that was now settling down and being handed out their own cups of fire whiskey so that they could join the party. “Dray?” Harry asked again.

 

“I don’t think you’re the only one,” Draco said finally and in a quiet voice that no one else could overhear, after several more prompts from Harry as all the others around them began to drink. Padma and Parvati starting some music going for them and the celebration about being back in school in full swing, not that they needed an excuse to celebrate and drink far too much. The fact that they had survived was reason enough.

 

“The only what?” Harry asked confused as he sipped at his drink, the fire whiskey giving him a welcoming burn as it slid easily down his throat, settling in his belly and fuelling a spreading warmth. Draco once again had avoided any of the alcohol and was carefully keeping an eye on just how much his submissive was drinking.

 

“Male submissive Elven,” Draco explained as his hand wandered up to absentmindedly stroke at the unruly raven hair.

 

“I thought we were meant to be rare?” Harry asked in confusion. From what he had been lead to believe through being told, what he had read and seen in the behaviour of Blaise and Draco being a submissive male elven wasn’t supposed to be commonplace at all. Not that he minded not being the only one, if anything if felt such a relief that he wasn’t.

 

“Witches and Wizards coming into their creature inheritance was supposed to rare as well,” Draco said with a shrug. “Apparently the war changed some of the rules.”

 

“Does it change anything?” Harry asked nervously, suddenly realising that Draco might not want to be with him anymore now that he had other options. It made his heart sink to think that Draco might pass him over for someone else.

 

“What do you mean, mon amour?” Draco asked as he nuzzled against his mate, inhaling the sweet floral scent with its undertones of vanilla, he loved how Harry smelt to him, he could never get enough of the intoxicating scent.

 

“Between us… does it change anything?” Draco leant back a little so he could look at Harry, he heard the uncertainty in his voice and could feel it coming off him in waves.

 

Without thinking Draco leaned forward and claimed Harry’s lips in a searing kiss, wanting to make it perfectly clear exactly how he felt. He didn’t want Harry having any doubt in their relationship. He wasn’t going to give up Harry without a fight.

 

HPDM

 

Belen Torqueze wasn’t entirely happy. He had located the submissive Elven that he had been sent to Hogwarts to watch over but what was worrying him was the fact that there was at least two other submissive Elven that he had not been informed of, one another male and the other a female. That was along with the two dominant males. He had a feeling he was in way over his head here.

 

He also hadn’t been counting on Harry Potter, the Elven he had been sent here to look after and guide, already being in a relationship with a rather possessive dominant Elven, if the start of term feast had been anything to go by. He would have to do his homework, of course, and find out who the boy was before making assumptions but Harry Potter was going to need a powerful dominant to keep him grounded and he didn’t think that a teenager was going to be best suited to his needs at all.

 

Apparently this wasn’t going to be as easy as he had first thought. He was going to have to find out who was who and get the names of all of the Elven because clearly they hadn’t all been declared to the council, which probably meant they didn’t have relatives to do so for them. It seemed that they would all need help, rather than just Harry Potter, and he was beginning to feel if he had taken on more than he could handle with these youngsters.

 

He would have to make contact with the council, and soon. He had been intending to do so anyway as soon as he had successfully made contact with Harry Potter, but it was looking like they had a lot more to discuss and plan for now. He was also keen to know the extent of the relationship that Harry Potter had with the blond dominant elven, he just hoped that they hadn’t bonded because it was looking like Harry would probably need a full Elven creature to be his mate rather than a half-blood, though he would have to meet him to be sure.

 

HPDM

 

Over the course of the evening, as it had become later into the night the party in the eighth year dormitories had gotten rather out of control. Thankfully none of the three unwelcome Slytherins had appeared again but the others were all having a riotous good time, which included some rather dodgy table dancing that Draco wished he could have recorded for blackmail purposes later. Though he had to remind himself to curb his more Slytherin tendencies, especially considering that these people were supposed to be his friends now.

 

Harry had gone off with Ron and Seamus to partake in some of this rather interesting dancing as they had all had far too much to drink. It was nice to see his mate smiling and having fun without a care in the world. Even Hermione had had a drink too many, despite school starting in a few hours and was seemingly enjoying herself, giggling in the corner with Lisa and Laura as the boys made complete fools of themselves.

 

Theodore had been sat watching the antics unfold, a single beer in hand that he occasionally took slow sips of but he had had the same bottle all night and his gaze hadn’t wavered far from a certain young Gryffindor lady. Theo was one of those people that tended to keep himself to himself and faded into the background a little. No one else had noticed him at all but Draco had and he had seen where his gaze lingered.

 

Shaking his head he sighed, he knew a little about Vampires, there had been a few books on the subject at Malfoy Manor, he knew that Vampires had one true mate. It was there mate that made their lives bearable. To find their human mate meant to be able to live a mortal life with them and die with them so that the Vampire would never have to live without their soul mate. If the looks Theo was giving Hermione were anything to go by then he had found his and she was already spoken for.

 

He had been about to go and talk to him, thinking that he needed to ensure that Theo knew what he was doing but as Draco decided this Harry lost his footing where he had been standing on the coffee table and fell. Draco’s heart was in his chest and he had never been so glad that his reflexes were up to par because, as it was, Harry fell right into the out stretched arms of his boyfriend, giggling like a schoolgirl.

 

“I think I just fell for you,” Harry said with a smile as he gazed into swirling molten silver eyes, biting at his lower lip as his arms wrapped around Draco’s neck.

 

“Come on mon amour,” Draco said with a sigh and a smile, “I think it’s time for bed.”

 

Harry wiggled a little, looking to be put down but Draco’s hold on him tightened, determined to carry his mate up to bed. Neither of them said anything as they climbed upstairs to their room. Ron remained downstairs; when they’d left he had been snogging Hermione, which had driven Theo up to his own room just ahead of them.

 

Terry Boot, their fourth roommate had already come up to bed; his curtains were drawn around him but there was a distinct scent lingering in the room that was enough to drive the blond to distraction. Laying a sleepy Harry down on the single bed he set about undressing his boyfriend down to his underwear, determined to keep himself focused on the task in hand. However it was painfully clear that he had discovered who the other male submissive elven was.

 

Draco was glad that at least poor Terry wasn't stuck in a room with Blaise, he didn't particularly know or care for the boy, but he was a submissive like Harry and even the idea of anyone taking advantage of one of them was like a knife to the heart. He was sure that Blaise was going to make a move on the boy at some point anyway, but at least it wasn't made any easier for him by the sleeping arrangements

 

On the other hand, however, he was cursing his luck that he had to have Terry in his room; Harry’s scent was bad enough but combining it with Terry’s too was going to be torture. He could already feel his resolve to take it slow and not bond with Harry slipping. Using his wand, Draco pushed his and Harry’s beds together to form a comfortable double. When he looked down at his now sleeping Gryffindor he couldn’t help but smile as he pulled the blankets around him. All he could do was hope this year wasn’t going to be as difficult as he suspected it might be, as he crawled into bed and pulled his mate into his arms, closing the curtains around them. 

Chapter Text

Chapter Seventeen

 

The term hangover would have been putting it lightly the next morning. That one word just didn’t express the pain and the suffering that those eighth year students, who had been drinking the night before, were experiencing. Harry groaned in agony as he stirred from sleep, his head throbbing. The only thing that eased his pain was the warm body wrapped around him and the lips lovingly caressing his neck.

 

“Morning, mon amour,” Draco purred in his ear, one hand resting upon Harry’s hip, stroking gently against the bare skin, “how are you feeling?”

 

Harry groaned his response making Draco chuckle as he rolled the submissive teenager over onto his back. He moved to straddle his boyfriend, one knee on either side of Harry’s hips. He leant down so that he was leaning over his boyfriend, kissing the exposed neck and chest as he ran his hands over the smooth hairless torso.

 

“Time is it…?” Harry asked, holding back a delicious moan as he blinked his eyes open, staring up at the blond head as it trailed kisses across his upper body, losing himself in the sensation.

 

“Just before six,” Draco said softly before taking a pert pink nipple into his mouth and sucking; Harry moaned, bucking his hips up causing their erections to rub together through the fabric of their underwear.

 

“Early,” Harry complained before letting out another happy moan as Draco continued to play with the nipple with his tongue as he tweaked the other between thumb and forefinger, driving his submissive mate wild.

 

Draco chuckled, “I could stop…” he said as he removed his lips from Harry’s nipple, licking a line up the centre of his chest until they were once again level with one another. Their eyes met and it didn’t escape Harry’s notice that Draco had a rather amused look on his face.

 

“No,” Harry protested before the blond claimed his mate’s lips in a kiss. The raven-haired teen thrust his hips upwards so that their straining erections rubbed together through their boxers and they both moaned into the kiss.

 

“Then perhaps…” Draco said as he kissed his way back down Harry’s jaw, down his chest to the waistband of his boxers. “We can do something about this.”

 

“Merlin… yes,” Harry gasped out somewhat breathlessly as Draco scrapped his teeth over defined hipbones, his tongue tasting the skin as his fingers teased down the elastic of the Gryffindor’s underwear, slowly freeing the erection.

 

Draco grinned as he pulled the unwanted boxers down over muscled thighs, before discarding them off to one side, forgotten. He kept his mate’s legs apart, hooking them over his shoulders as he drew level with his boyfriend’s erection that was already hard and weeping.

 

“Oh fuck,” Harry yelled as Draco took his boyfriend fully in his mouth. The submissive arched his back and thrust upwards into his boyfriend’s mouth; a stream of incoherent profanities were pouring from his between his lips as the blond bobbed his head up and down on his boyfriend’s cock, using teeth and tongue to drive him to the edge.

 

Harry barely had a chance to warn Draco as he felt his orgasm approaching, it kind of side swept him a little as the blond hummed around the throbbing cock in his mouth, this was the final sensation that Harry could take and it had the Gryffindor going into overload, spilling his load into his boyfriend’s willing mouth so that he could swallow it down.

 

“How do you feel now, mon amour?” Draco asked, licking his lips as he settled himself over his boyfriend, supporting his weight above him while still nestled between his thighs. The blonde’s cock pressing against his boyfriend’s entrance, though still clad in cotton Draco felt desperate to push forward and to bond with his boyfriend but he knew that he couldn’t, it wasn’t time; Harry wasn’t ready.

 

“Like blow jobs can cure hangovers,” Harry said, still struggling a little to catch his breath as he brought his arms up to wrap around Draco’s neck, fingers playing with the strands of blond hair at the nape of his boyfriends neck. “That was amazing.”

 

Draco chuckled, leaning down and kissing his mate, pulling him into a deeply passionate kiss. When he finally broke the kiss the Slytherin flopped down on the bed beside his boyfriend, erection still straining against the cotton of his boxers. However, if he had remained where he was the temptation to claim his submissive was going to get too much. Knowing that there was only a thin layer of fabric standing in the way of their bonding was just too much for a hormonal eighteen year old.

 

“We should get dressed,” Draco said, wanting to tear himself away from the temptation of the beautiful naked Elven lying beside him. Also, he knew that breakfast would be starting soon and he wanted to make sure that Harry ate something; he was beginning to worry about the lack of food that Harry was consuming; his submissive didn’t seem to be eating very much at all.

 

“But what about…?” Harry questioned, motioning down to the obvious erection, straining against the cotton of the Slytherin’s underwear and Draco smiled at him and kissed his temple lovingly.

 

“That’s nothing a cold shower won’t sort,” the blond said as he moved to swing his legs out of bed but Harry took hold of his wrist to stop him. He didn’t like the thought of letting his boyfriend go without at least returning the favour. He didn’t want to be a selfish lover that took all of the pleasure but gave nothing back.

 

“Let me,” he said, looking at his boyfriend with wide green eyes. Lust flared within the pit of Draco’s stomach as he launched himself forward, claiming his mate’s lips in a fierce kiss as he felt Harry’s hands delve into the fabric encasing Draco’s erection.

 

The Slytherin felt his boyfriends hand encircle his cock and begin to pump him as they kissed. Their tongues battled for dominance, a fight that Draco easily won as Harry submitted to him; the blond groaning into the kiss as he felt his orgasm fast approaching, his very core now coiled tightly like a spring ready for release. His balls tightened as Harry sped up his thrusts, his grip tightening around him and then it was over, Draco spilling his load in his boxers and over Harry’s hand.

 

Draco groaned as he watched Harry bring his hand up and lick the come from it while never taking his eyes from the blond. Draco wanted to take his boyfriend right then and there at the sight of the Gryffindor’s pink tongue lapping up the seed that had been spilt on his hand; however it was a painful truth to know that they just didn’t have time. He could hear the other boys starting to stir from sleep and it probably didn’t help that they’d been quite vocal with their exploits. Draco giggled a little as he realised that Ron probably wasn’t going to be too pleased with them this morning.

 

“What’s so funny?” Harry asked curiously, looking at his dominant boyfriend as if he had lost his marbles.

 

“We forgot the silencing spell,” Draco whispered and the Gryffindor grimaced, realising that his morning was going to be a rather uncomfortable one. Ron had been vocal in his objections to them keeping him up by shagging all the time; though, in their defence that wasn’t exactly what they had been doing even if the result was the same.

 

HPDM

 

As the four boys had washed and dressed, preparing themselves to head down for breakfast, Terry had been unable to make eye contact with either Draco or Harry, his cheeks flushing red every time he caught their eye accidentally. Ron had no trouble looking at them, though looking wasn’t really an accurate portrayal of what he was doing, glaring venomously would have been a far more accurate description. Neither Harry nor Draco were willing to attempt to engage him in conversation right now, not until they could gage just how foul a mood he was in.

 

They got their answer when he stormed off ahead of them to go and find Hermione, who would probably have to put up with his bitching and complaining all the way down to the Great Hall, which would inevitably put her in a bad mood too. Terry was the complete opposite of Ron; rather than storming off in a righteous anger he lingered behind. As Harry and Draco went to leave their room, the blond found himself hesitating, realising that this was his chance to talk to Terry alone.

 

“Dray, you okay?” Harry asked, stopping and looking around to see where Draco was when he realised that his boyfriend wasn’t following him anymore.

 

“Of course, you go ahead, I’ll be down in a minute,” Draco assured, giving Harry a quick kiss to the lips and motioning for him to go down and find the others. He gave Harry a moment to leave before turning back to Terry who was sat on the edge of his bed looking determinedly at the floor as if it were the most fascinating thing in the world.

 

“You know, don’t you,” Terry said the moment he knew that they were alone. Draco had pushed the door closed some of the way, leaving it slightly ajar, not wanting for Terry to panic, thinking that he was trapped. Draco wanted him to feel as if he had a way out and that he wasn’t forcing this conversation upon the other submissive elven.

 

Draco looked at the other teenager in confusion, the moment of silence causing Terry to look up and meet the dominant elven’s eyes, a moment where the realisation of what Terry was talking about hit him. “I think that I do,” Draco said, ensuring to keep his voice calm and even, not wanting to scare the other teen.

 

“I haven’t told anyone, I mean I told the Headmistress I was Elven but not about being submissive…” he trailed off sounding tired and pathetic. It was clear that the Ravenclaw boy had been struggling and it made Draco wonder who had been there to help him. He couldn’t remember if the boy was half-blood or pureblood but either way it didn’t seem as if he had had anyone to talk to or help him as he had come into his inheritance.

 

Draco had had his mother, not to mention the many books in Malfoy manor. He had always known that it was a possibility, though before the war had happened it had been significantly less likely; however, when it had happened it had been a relatively easy transition to make. He had known what was happening to him and he had been able to accept it. Terry, just like Harry had been, was completely clueless as to what was going on and clearly the Ravenclaw had not taken it in his stride as easily as the Gryffindor. Though Harry wasn’t exactly the prime example of a regular teenager, nothing about him could be used as a comparison for others; he was always the exception to the rule, something that Draco was steadily starting to fall in love with.

 

“No one else needs to know about that,” Draco said, he didn’t want Terry to worry that his secret would be divulged to everyone, he wanted for the Ravenclaw to trust him. He approached the other teenager, coming to sit beside him on the bed. “Though others of our kind will just know from your scent.”

 

“I didn’t even think I was gay,” Terry said pathetically, resuming his staring at the floor. Draco couldn’t even imagine what Terry was going through right now and even though he wanted to be there to help him and support him he wasn’t entirely sure he felt comfortable comforting him like this. However, he didn’t want to leave him in distress either, it would only leave him vulnerable to Blaise, who would never be so calm and patient.

 

Blaise would just take what he wanted and he would use force if necessary to get it. Draco knew that he needed to give the Ravenclaw teenager some assurance and even some confidence too if he could manage it. As much as he would have loved to protect him from Blaise he knew that he couldn’t; Harry was his mate and his priority. He felt sorry for Terry but it was not his job to look after him; Terry needed to go to the Professor from the Elven council and be given guidance. If Draco was lucky then Terry would distract the council member from Harry too.

 

Draco sighed, still not feeling entirely comfortable with this but knowing that this was the quickest way to inspire some courage in the other teenager. “If I went to kiss you right now, how would you feel?” he asked. At the question Terry’s head snapped up to look at the blond wizard in shock, completely at a loss of what to say.

 

“I… I’m not… I … don’t know…” Terry spluttered, completely panicked by the suddenness of the question and no knowing how to respond. However it had flared something inside of him and this had been exactly what Draco had wanted, emotion in whatever form it took.

 

“I’m not going to,” Draco reassured, he would never cheat on Harry, not ever, though he had to admit to himself that the temptation was there. Terry smelt just as sweet and as beautiful as Harry did and it was a struggle not to just close the distance between them and claim a kiss. He knew that he couldn’t though; it would destroy everything he had with Harry and Draco knew that he couldn’t lose his Gryffindor, not ever.

 

He quickly had to stop himself. He knew that Terry was letting off his scent in search of a mate, it was natural for submissive elven to do this when in proximity to dominants of their kind that they were attracted to, even subconsciously without really knowing that they were doing it. Emitting scent wasn’t something that could be controlled and it killed him to know that Harry still smelt this way to Blaise. However Draco knew that there was nothing he could do about that.

 

He gathered his inner strength, knowing that he couldn’t kiss Terry, if he did then it would mean he was now promising himself to Terry instead of Harry and he couldn’t do that, not to Harry, he loved him. That feeling was undeniable now and it wasn’t just because Harry had saved his life or his status in the wizarding world. Everything about the Gryffindor drew Draco to Harry; aside from the intoxicating scent there was nothing about Terry that attracted him. Elven kind might not have had one true mate but there were some that they were drawn to more than others and that was how Draco felt about Harry.

 

“You smell nice,” Terry said, his voice a whisper as he looked at Draco still, staring into the gorgeous swirling silver eyes, “Chestnuts,” he finished, inhaling the scent and allowing it to overcome him. His heart was hammering in his chest, somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that he shouldn’t be doing this and that Draco was spoken for but in that moment he just didn’t care. His elven nature was screaming at him to claim Draco as his own.

 

“You know I’m with Harry,” Draco said firmly. He wanted to make this point very clear, it didn’t matter how good Terry smelt to him he couldn’t betray his boyfriend like that. However, it didn’t help matters that they were snuggled quite close on a bed and they were looking rather intently into one another’s eyes.

 

“But if you weren’t interested I wouldn’t be able to smell your scent; we only emit them when we meet someone we’re interested in,” Terry pointed out. Draco sighed, apparently Terry had been reading up on the subject.

 

“Terry, of course I’m interested, I’m eighteen and I haven’t bonded with my boyfriend yet. I don’t want to be with you though, I want to be with Harry,” Draco told him; he was going to have to put some distance between them very soon because otherwise it was going to be too much to resist, especially with Terry practically throwing himself at him like this.

 

“Can’t I just try… to see if… you know, I like it?” Terry asked shyly. His heart was pounding fiercely in his chest, his nerves getting the better of him. Terry had never thought that he would ever be in this position with a man, especially not Draco Malfoy of all people and yet here he was, never being able to remember when he had ever been as tempted as this before. Terry was more than aware that Draco was with Harry and that they were happy, judging by what he had heard this morning, but the gorgeous chestnut scent and the handsome man sitting beside him that was emitting it was just too much to resist. Terry wanted him, more than anything else, he wanted him.

 

“WHAT THE HELL!” A voice yelled from the doorway as the door swung open with a crash, making Draco and Terry leap apart, the blond hastily getting to his feet, turning to see a enraged Harry Potter glaring at them. “Terry, were you seriously hitting on my boyfriend?”

 

“I’m sorry… I… didn’t… sorry,” Terry said as he grabbed his cloak and ran from the room, unable to look Harry in the eye as he scampered off. Harry however was still fuming mad, turning to glare at his boyfriend, his emerald eyes narrowed in rage.

 

“Harry…” Draco began to say but he quickly shut his mouth when Harry, glaring at him, shook his head, warning him not to dig himself any deeper than he already had. Hurt radiated from his chest and he knew that Draco would be able to sense it. If the Slytherin knew what was good for him he would keep his mouth firmly shut.

 

“I heard you, you said you wanted to be with me and not him,” Harry said and Draco nodded eagerly, he could feel the hurt that Harry was experiencing and he wanted nothing more than to go to him and hold him but he knew that that wouldn’t be very well received currently. However, he was glad that Harry had heard what had been said towards the end, the rest of the conversation might have been a little hard to explain but he had told Terry outright that he wanted to be with Harry and they hadn’t done anything. They had come close but Draco hadn’t done anything wrong and he wouldn’t have done either; he cared for Harry too much to hurt him.

 

“I want to be with you more than anything, Harry,” Draco said, to reinforce what he had said to Terry; his tone was filled with sincerity as he looked into Harry’s eyes without flinching at the pain and the hurt he saw there, instead, meeting it head on knowing that he deserved this. He should never had allowed Terry to get so close, this was his fault and he would pay the price.

 

As these words left his mouth, he became confused that the hurt and the pain he could feel from his boyfriend seemed to mould and change to a point where suddenly all he could feel was anger and betrayal coming from Harry. Draco had never wanted them to argue but he could see now that maybe this was something that needed to be addressed before they could move forward as a couple.

 

“But you also said you were interested in him,” Harry pointed out and Draco grimaced, he had hoped that Harry hadn’t heard that part of the conversation. “Is that why you won’t bond with me, because you’re keeping your options open?”

 

The blond hesitated, he had been wrong; the hurt and the pain hadn’t been replaced, they were still there, it was just that the anger and betrayal overwhelmed everything else; but there was no doubt that he could hear and feel the hurt showing through the anger now. Harry was in pain, thinking that he just might not be enough for Draco and that maybe the Slytherin was waiting for someone better to come along.

 

“You are my only option,” Draco said, looking Harry directly in the eye as he said this, he wanted there to be no doubt that he had meant every word. “I wouldn’t survive without you, mon amour.”

 

“Because I saved your life…” Harry said sadly, he didn’t regret this but he couldn’t believe that Draco was staying with him for any other reason. “You don’t owe me anything; you don’t have to stay with me because of that.” Harry said adamantly, it was his biggest fear come to fruition, that Draco would feel obligated to stay with him because he had saved him from the killing curse.

 

After everything he had been through, everything that he had fought for, Harry didn’t want a relationship like that, it would crush him. He had battled against Voldemort with a heart full of love and life, it had been the reason that he had been able to best the Dark Wizard and now he would never know if the love that others had for him was because of his actions or who he was. A deep sorrow washed over him as he realised this, hating how much truth there was in it.

 

“No,” Draco said at once, “that isn’t the reason. I want to be with you because of who you are, not what you did or can do, not even for how powerful you are; none of that matters to me, I want you, Harry!”

 

“Prove it, Dray… I’ve been wanting to bond with you for weeks now, I want to… please…” Harry said, looking to his boyfriend pleadingly. The sadness in his tone as he begged to be bonded, to take their relationship further, to be damned with the traditional ceremony and just be claimed right then and there, made Draco’s heart ache. He desperately longed to give his boyfriend exactly what he wanted but he knew that he couldn’t do it.

 

“No, Harry, not like this,” Draco said with sadness and regret. There was nothing he wanted more than to bond with his mate, with or without the traditional ceremony but this wasn’t the way he wanted to do it. He wanted their bonding to be something special and not done as a solution to a problem because that was all this was. They were fighting, their first proper argument in fact, but sleeping together and bonding to one another for life was not the solution to that. Draco only wished that Harry could see that.

 

“Not like what exactly?” Harry demanded; though when Draco wasn’t exactly forthcoming with an answer, he ploughed on. “Bonding will keep me safe from Blaise, it’ll get the Elven Council off our backs, it’ll bond us together forever…” At that Harry hesitated, realisation dawning on him, “or is that the problem, do you not want to be with me for that long?”

 

“Of course I do,” Draco said, not knowing what else he could do or say to make Harry understand. “But you’re forgetting the one reason that matters most, mon amour and until you realise what that reason is, I can’t bond with you yet.”

 

Harry looked at his boyfriend with confusion, not understanding what he meant. “What reason?” he asked but Draco just looked pained at this question. The blond closed the gap between them and Harry allowed it, even when Draco cupped his cheek with his hand, stroking gently with the pad of his thumb.

 

“When you figure it out, you’ll be ready,” Draco said softly, leaning forward and placing a soft kiss upon Harry’s lips. He then dropped his hand and walked away, heading for the door leaving Harry standing in their deserted dormitory looking and feeling a little stunned, not knowing what his boyfriend had meant.

 

HPDM

 

Harry had skipped breakfast that morning, not really feeling like he could stomach it. The term had started on a Wednesday, which unfortunately meant that the entire morning was taken up with Transfiguration, which he had with Draco, Hermione and Ron. His best friend still wasn’t talking to him, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to talk to Draco after their first full on argument in the dormitory, so he stuck pretty close to Hermione who instantly knew that something wasn’t right with him.

 

“You weren’t at breakfast this morning,” she said as she fell into step beside him. He had been trailing behind the others, hands in his pockets and head down, deep in thought and allowing his unhappiness to encompass him. Draco had been just ahead of him talking to Theo, while Ron was laughing with Dean and Seamus at the front of the group. Neville and Luna had vanished sometime after breakfast and Ginny seemed to be elsewhere this morning.

 

“Wasn’t hungry,” Harry mumbled and she rolled her eyes, taking hold of his wrist and stopping their progress towards their first class of the day.

 

“Talk to me,” she said, looking at him imploringly. She hated to see him hurting like this and she was determined to get to the bottom of it. “Is it about Ron hearing you and Draco this morning? Because…”

 

“Merlin, no, it isn’t about that,” Harry said quickly, making it perfectly clear with his tone that that was not something that he wanted to discuss, not with her or with anyone, it was embarrassing enough that it had happened at all without rehashing it over and over.

 

Knowing that Ron and Terry had been exposed to their foreplay this morning was humiliating enough without having to talk about it constantly, he just wanted to forget about it. When he thought about what they had done together it ignited a passionate fire in his belly, one of desire, and, the way he felt currently, he didn’t want to feel anything like that way about Draco.

 

“Then what is it?” she asked. “We’re not going anywhere until you talk to me and if you make me late for our first class there will be hell to pay.”

 

Harry sighed; there was no way he was going to risk incurring the wrath of Hermione Granger, especially when it involved being late to the first class of the new school year while they were also all suffering a little from the after effects of a hard night of drinking. “We had a fight,” he admitted to her. She nodded, having figured out already that something like that had happened, however, she was willing to allow Harry to explain in his own time as long as it didn’t make her late of course.

 

“You and Draco?” Hermione asked to clarify and Harry nodded. “What about?”

 

“I want to bond with him but he won’t do it,” Harry said shyly, finding it hard to admit this because she knew what it meant to bond. “I don’t think that I’m enough for him.”

 

“Don’t be so silly, why on earth would you think that?” She chastised. “What exactly did he say to you?”

 

“He said that I was missing the most important reason for wanting to bond with him and that when I figured out what that was then I’d be ready,” Harry said with a frown, he had spent the time that he had supposed to have been at breakfast thinking about what it could be and he still had no idea.

 

“What were your reasons?” Hermione asked. She liked Draco, their friendship group that they now had was more than anyone could have hoped for after the war had ended and she didn’t want it to fracture because of a silly little fight; besides, she thought that Harry and Draco were sweet together and she wanted to fix them.

 

“I’d be protected from Blaise and we’d have the council off our backs,” Harry told her, “I thought they were pretty good reasons to go through with it.”

 

“Oh Harry, you’re such an idiot,” Hermione said fondly, smiling at him. Sometimes with everything he had been through, it was easy to forget exactly how naive and clueless he could be.

 

“What, why?” Harry asked her with confusion.

 

“What is the one thing that Dumbledore always told you was the most important thing?” she asked him, tell him outright but wanting to give him a nudge to help him figure it out for himself.

 

“Love,” Harry said without thinking. It had been love that had made his mother sacrifice herself for him, it had been love that had kept him going through the war, it had been love that had made him jump in front of Draco and protect him from that killing curse… then it hit him; “Oh…”

 

“Yeah, oh,” Hermione said, she loved the adorably clueless teenager in front of her but sometimes he was just too naive for his own good. “Bonding is as good as being married to someone, Harry; it’s no wonder Draco won’t go through with it when your reasons are all to solve problems and not because you actually love him.”

 

“I saved his life, shouldn’t he know how I feel…” Harry asked, though he quickly stopped at the look that she was giving him.

 

“You saved the entire wizarding world Harry; if you love all of them and want to basically marry them all them too then I’m siding with Draco and saying that you probably shouldn’t bond with him,” she told him giving him a rather pointed look as she tried to make him understand.

 

“But he can sense how I feel about him… surely…”

 

“Surely what, Harry?” Hermione interrupted somewhat impatiently, she knew that they didn’t have long left before class was due to start, she was just glad that they were in sight of the classroom. The others had already gone inside, which was probably a good thing considering the nature of the conversation they were having.

 

“Shouldn’t he know how I feel already?” He asked, completely baffled and Hermione rolled her eyes in exasperation. Very clearly he needed some sense knocked into him if he thought that relationships were that easy. She already knew that they weren’t; her and Ron were constantly at loggerheads and it wasn’t helping that she was finding herself attracted to Theodore. It also hadn’t escaped her notice that the Slytherin could hardly keep his eyes off her.

 

“Maybe he just wants you to tell him,” Hermione suggested. “Or perhaps even just an acknowledgement that you are bonding for the right reasons. Now come on because otherwise we really will be late!”

 

Harry nodded as her words sunk in and allowed himself to be pulled along to the classroom so that they could take their seats as Headmistress McGonagall began to teach. Hermione slid into the vacant seat next to Ron and Harry took the seat behind them beside Neville who seemed to be a little flushed. There were no prizes for guessing what he had been up to, especially considering that Luna and Ginny were sat together behind Draco and Theo, giggling. Harry did feel a little put out that Draco had sat beside Theo rather than wanting to sit beside him but he squished that feeling down, knowing that he needed to focus on class rather than his relationship.

 

Class dragged and by lunchtime Harry’s head was still spinning with everything; with so much to think on he decided that he wouldn’t be going to the Great Hall with the others. Harry had instead decided that a walk by the lake would be the best thing for him to clear his head.

 

He didn’t think that he would be missed, after all Ron was still pissed at him, Neville was far too preoccupied with Luna and Dean and Seamus, despite all the hangovers, were planning the next big celebration. As for Draco, he just didn’t feel ready to talk to him yet, at least not until he figured things out in his head. Besides, the blond hadn’t so much as spoken to him all morning which was filling his head with all sorts of doubts and questions.

 

As he headed across the castle grounds, and approached the lake, it became clear that he wasn’t the only one who thought that a walk would be a good idea. Ginny was sat on a rock, curled up into herself as she stared out over the glassy surface of the water looking utterly miserable.

 

“You too?” Harry asked as he stood next to the rock. She said nothing and just nodded. “Mind if I join you?” he asked her, not wanting to intrude on her thoughts if she wanted to be left alone.

 

“Be my guest,” Ginny said without moving from her spot; it worried Harry to see her in such a way.

 

Harry settled himself down beside her, mimicking the posture she had taken up. “Want to talk about it?” Harry offered as he let his gaze wander over the large body of water in front of him; it certainly looked a lot more peaceful than his mind felt. He knew he wasn’t ready to talk, but that didn’t mean Ginny wasn’t, and he wanted to help her if he could.

 

“Not really,” she said, not even knowing where to start with the things that were bothering her. It sounded so stupid in her head as it was, she was sure that voicing it aloud would only make it sound ridiculously childish. Why should anyone complain about getting attention from a guy after all, even if the attention was a little over the top and verging on stalker-ish? “What about you, want to talk about it?” she asked.

 

Harry grinned at her. “Not really, but thanks,” he returned and she couldn’t help but smile as she turned to him for a moment before looking back to the lake."Potions and Care of Magical Creatures this afternoon," he said conversationally.

 

"I've got Herbology with Neville," she said with a groan, "Least he'll be distracted from snogging Luna for a while," Ginny said with amusement.

 

“Gin… I’m here if you need me, you know that right,” Harry said, offering his hand out to her, which she took, surprising herself in the process. They linked their fingers together, finding comfort in the gesture.

 

“I know and ditto,” she said, squeezing his hand.

 

They sat in a fairly comfortable silence for a while, enjoying the peacefulness of the grounds given that the majority of the student body was inside eating. It wasn’t exactly awkward as they sat together holding hands but not entirely comfortable either, but there didn’t seem to be anything more to say to each other.

 

“We should get to potions,” Ginny suggested.

 

“Do we have to?” Harry asked with a grimace. The thought of sitting through another class where Draco was ignoring him and talking to Theo was just too painful to consider. If he could have gone back to their dormitory and just wallowed without being missed then that is exactly what he would have done.

 

“I think we’d both be missed if we tried to skip it,” Ginny said, looking at Harry with worry. It wasn’t like him to want to skip classes; though, it wasn’t exactly uncommon that he wanted to avoid people and she wondered exactly who he was having issues with now; she had noticed that he had been sitting away from Draco in Transfiguration and wondered if this was related.

 

Harry had said he didn’t want to talk about it though, and particularly given that she didn’t want to talk about what was bothering her, she would let it slide for now. She wasn’t, however, about to let him run away from whatever it was. Ginny stood up and Harry quickly followed suit knowing that it was inevitable, however they didn’t release the grip that they had on one another both finding that they needed the comfort it allowed, at least for the moment.

 

“I don’t know,” Harry said, “I don’t think Draco would notice if I didn’t show right now.” He sounded utterly miserable as they started to head for the castle.

 

Ginny didn’t know what to say to that, she didn’t believe that for a minute though but obviously something had given Harry that impression. She had just opened her mouth to suggest that he talk to Draco when the castle doors opened and Draco stepped through to come outside, looking for them.

 

For a second Harry’s heart lifted to see the blond standing there, but then Draco spotted their joined hands. Draco schooled his face blank, turning on his heel and walking away without saying a word.

 

“Draco!” Harry called out to him, releasing his hold on Ginny’s hand and going after him, but he was too slow and the Slytherin was surprisingly fast; by the time he was through the doors to the castle, Draco was nowhere in sight.

 

Harry wanted to go and find him, search for him, turn the castle upside down looking for him if he had to, but he had to get to class; he held out a small hope that his boyfriend would show up there but there was no sign of him in potions; and their final class of the day was separated, Draco should have been in Herbology but Harry had no way of knowing if he was there or not. Harry was worried, his heart ached and his insides squirmed, and just prayed that Draco would at least give him a chance to explain.