A young man was crouched in a tree watching a boy below. He had pale blonde hair that fell just past his ears and startling grey eyes that stood out against his pale skin. He appeared to be in his early twenties. He stayed perfectly still as he watched the boy below him. The boy appeared to be 15 or 16 and was quite small for his age, which wasn’t helped by the fact he was wearing clothes much too large for his small frame. He sat reading a book beneath the tree, quite oblivious to the fact he was being watched. Soft black hair fell to his shoulders. Bright green eyes contrasted against his tan skin.
The blonde boy breathed for the first time since he had begun to watch the smaller boy. As the overwhelming smell of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon once again assaulted his nose, he knew that he was not mistaken. The beautiful boy below him was definitely his lifemate. He was careful not to breathe again as he continued to watch the raven-haired boy below him. He wasn’t sure that he would be able to control himself he inhaled much more of his lifemate’s scent. He had been waiting for so long. Silently, he pondered how best to explain things to his little naïve little lifemate.
Harry Potter sat quietly reading a book beneath a tree in the forest a few miles from hi uncle’s manor. He sighed, knowing he would have to return soon, before his relatives noticed his disappearance. The speed at which he had tended the manor’s gardens had bought him a little bit of time to himself, but he still had to mop the ballroom of the manor for the ball his relatives were hosting tonight, as well as make sure everything was presentable and help in the kitchens. He was thankful that his relatives were embarrassed by him, so that he didn’t have to serve at the ball tonight. The guests were sure to be rich and snobbish, much like his relatives.
He slowly got up, brushing off his pants before heading back to the manor. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched, but also could not locate the source of that feeling. He crept into the manor, trying to avoid running into anyone. He placed the book in the small room under the grand stairway where he slept. If his relatives caught him with one of their books, he would be punished for sure, despite the fact that they never read them. They probably didn’t even know that the cook had taught him how to read when he was younger.
Draco Malfoy continued to stalk his lifemate with inhuman stealth. He was surprised as the raven-haired boy approached the large manor at the edge of the woods. Apparently his lifemate was from a wealthy family. What did surprise him though was how the boy seemed to sneak into the manor. Why would he have to sneak into his own house? Perhaps his lifemate was a thief? No, that didn’t make sense either. He wasn’t carrying a bag or anything to put stolen goods into, and what thief would bring a book along? No, he definitely lived there. Finding a large oak tree in one of the large gardens, Draco climbed up into it to wait and observe. Perhaps he could learn more about the strange raven-haired boy whose scent attracted him so.
Harry entered the vast ballroom with his mop and pail and set to work. His uncle’s guests were set to arrive in four hours, so he figured that he had plenty of time to mop and for the floor to dry. He still had to polish the statues in the entrance hall and ballroom when he finished, and then help out in the kitchens. He was about half way done when his uncle stormed in.
“Boy!” His whale of an uncle shouted, spittle flying across the freshly mopped floor. “Why aren’t you done? The guests are set to arrive in a few hours and you haven’t even finished mopping! We feed you and clothe you and you can’t even finish a few simple chores! You worthless piece of scum!” At this point, his uncle Vernon backhanded him across the face, sending him sprawling backwards, still clutching the mop. His uncle continued to rant, kicking Harry in the stomach before kicking over the pail of water as well. “Clean this up and hurry up!” With this he stormed out.
Harry carefully picked himself up off of the floor, wincing slightly. Yep, his ribs were definitely going to bruise. At least nothing seemed to be broken. He sighed as he cleaned up the water and went to fetch more to finish mopping the floor. He snorted softly. Clothed and fed him? All of his clothes were hand-me-downs from his cousin or the other servants and they were all far too big for him. The Dursleys also only let him eat scraps and continually starved him as punishment, if he did something wrong. If the cook didn’t sneak him food, he would have starved long ago.
He finished mopping and polished all the statues in the ballroom until they shone. He had just started on the ones in the entranceway when his aunt came in. “Boy! Hurry up! The guests will be arriving soon and you still have to polish the grand staircase!” With that she rushed out, muttering about flower arrangements. The grand staircase! They hadn’t even mentioned that today. He would have to hurry. To polish the massive wooden staircase properly would take hours. Hours he didn’t have. However, if he didn’t listen to his aunt and his uncle found out – Harry shivered. He didn’t even want to imagine what would happen. He would be beaten – bad. Possibly locked in his cupboard for a week without food.
In the end he polished the railings and mopped the stairs. Hopefully his aunt wouldn’t notice that the stairs weren’t polished. He ran off to the kitchen to help the cook as the guests would be arriving any minute.
Draco’s curiosity was piqued as he watched a number of elegant horse drawn carriages begin to arrive at the manor. The dress of the guests suggested that some kind of banquet was going on. It was the perfect cover to slip inside and learn more about his lifemate.