|Catch Me In Midair
Author: Acherona PM
Instincts were the bane of all sane men's existence, Draco knew that better than anyone. Just look at the mess his had gotten him into. Harry/Draco. Creature fic.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Harry P. & Draco M. - Chapters: 34 - Words: 206,537 - Reviews: 759 - Favs: 619 - Follows: 610 - Updated: 02-16-13 - Published: 04-29-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8069358
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer:We have no claim on Harry Potter nor any characters or locations thereof. We gain only amusement from writing this.
WARNING:Drama, a bit of violence, off screen torture. Creature fic.
AN: So here we are with a new story, this is Harry/Draco with a plethora of other pairings and characters. It's a long story but I will do my best to at least update it once a week. This is a collab between Trulywicked and myself, she is the most wonderful writing partner and living muse that anyone could ask for. Be sure to read her work if you haven't done so already.
For now though, please enjoy.
Catch Me In Midair
It was cold. Technically he knew that. He knew that the temperature was cold, sweater and coat weather for most people, but he didn't feel it anymore. He hadn't really felt the cold for months, not since the death of Professor Burbage and the events that followed. He laid one pale hand against the glass of the window and watched the space around it turn opaque with condensation. His eyes caught on the delicate points that shifted out from underneath his fingernails and scratched along the glass. Claws, he had translucent white claws that rested under his fingernails now. It had taken him a week to learn how to retract them and thrice that long to learn how to fold his wings into his back. He wasn't human anymore; a potion he'd been forced to drink in order to protect his family had stolen his humanity from him. He'd raged and shrieked for a long time afterwards but now he'd come to accept it.
He was lucky that he'd not been changed into the super hybrid the Dark Lord had originally wished for, a beast to be used as a tool or worse some sort of kept pet. He owed that to Severus for delicately manipulating the potion to awaken latent creature genes rather than give him new, mix-matched ones. Instead of a beast with a yoke around his neck he was free, in a way. Should he choose to he could simply walk away, the Dark Mark and its leash burned away by his transformation made him impossible to be controlled by the Dark Lord's magic. He could walk away if he chose to leave his parents to the non-existent mercy of the Dark Lord. Of course he couldn't do that. His parents loved him and had always tried to protect and shelter him, spoiling him terribly but he was their only child. He couldn't leave them behind simply because he wanted out of this dreary situation.
Especially not since they'd both done all they could to conceal the depth of his changed nature from his unstable aunt while accommodating the changes for him. It was amusing to see his aunt's disgust at the large amount of sugary foods he ate these days. His mother had altered his shirts by hand to have open backs to allow his wings to come out but you'd never be able to tell if you were to look at him wearing a jacket over the modified shirts. His father had spent hours combing the library for information and then reworking wards to allow him privacy to practice flying, something he was still fumbling with curse it all. No he couldn't abandon his parents.
Draco Malfoy might have been turned into a veela but he was still a Malfoy and family came before all else.
It was too bad that creed was about to run a collision course with veela instincts.
It actually took and embarrassingly long time for Harry to realize that the grand manor the snatchers had taken them to was in fact Malfoy Manor. He blamed it on worry for his friends and the fact that his face ached as if every bone was in the wrong place and every muscle torn. He didn't know what kind of spell Hermione had used to make him look less like himself but he really hoped that he wouldn't have to be subjected to it again after this.
He could hear Ron curse and struggle in his snatcher's hold but Hermione was surprisingly quiet and that made Harry worried. Harry glared up at Bellatrix Lestrange as he was forced on his knees on the gleaming marble floor. Well he glared up at the blurry form that was Bella, he didn't know where his glasses were and one of his eyes was swollen completely shut. He could see that there were other people in the room but he couldn't make out who they were from this distance.
Draco watched his aunt pull Potter's head up and back by the hair and beckon him over, feeling a growl try to rumble in his chest at the rough treatment of Harry. He felt odd, his skin prickling like he'd walked through an electric field and his heart hammering in his chest as he looked into Harry's swollen features and met the single visible eye. How could they not recognize this as Harry? There was no one else with eyes like his, no one else in the world who's eyes were so beautiful and striking a green. Only Harry had that insanely messy hair, that rangy, seeker's body that sometimes bordered on starved thin, that unique smell of shadows and wind. Something clicked into place in him as he stared and then he was frozen in shock at the realization that was now tickling the corners of his mind. He jolted when a soft tap brushed his shoulder and looked up at his mother in confusion before moving back from Potter.
He slunk to the side of the room, trying to reconcile what his veela instincts were screaming at him with a lifetime of teaching and preconceptions. He barely noticed his aunt starting to scream and screech as she grabbed Granger and hexed the snatchers but he did notice when Harry was lead away towards the Manor's dungeon. Every last one of his senses were attuned to Harry's presence and he started to sneak down after Pettigrew, hiding in the shadows of the hallway as the rat left. He could easily pick out Harry standing behind the bars next to Weasley, his ears picking up the wispy tone of Lovegood's voice as she greeted them and he grimaced just a bit at the sudden flare of light as Weasley fiddled with some kind of device. He cast a disillusionment on himself so he could watch without being picked out.
It wasn't long until screams came from upstairs and Draco could smell the anger and distress it put Harry in and his claws slid out, digging into his palms as he clenched his fists. He wanted to fling open that door and take Harry into his arms and reassure him, his instincts struggled for him to do it, to do whatever was necessary to ease his mate's distress. And that was the problem. Harry bleeding Potter was his mate. The boy he'd practically hated and spent six, nigh seven years doing his damnedest to make his life hell was his fucking mate. He clenched his teeth and wanted to fling a fireball at the wall. A growl did escape him as Pettigrew returned and brandished his wand at Harry as he grabbed the goblin and dragged him upstairs.
He didn't know what to do. Veelas only had one shot at a mate and once the mate had been found no other would suffice as a partner. Without his mate he'd slowly lose his magical strength until he was essentially a feathered squib and worse, if Harry died, he'd follow soon after no matter that he didn't feel anything beyond the mating pull now, it would turn him mad and suicidal if his mate died. And Harry would die here if he didn't do something. Already the swelling was going down and soon he'd be recognizable and the Dark Lord would be called and then Harry would die. He could feel the feathers on the top of his head he usually concealed with his hair raising up like a crest in outrage at that thought. No. He couldn't let Harry die, his veela instincts refused to countenance it and so did his self-preservation instinct. There was only one thing for it; he'd have to get Harry out of here. He shucked his jacket, standing in the black, long-sleeved, backless turtleneck and drawing his wand as he dropped his disillusionment charm.
"What the fuck!" Ron stumbled backwards at the sight of the black clad blond. "Where did the ferret come from?" Ron's eyes narrowed and he looked at Draco more intently. "And what's wrong with his hair?"
Harry had pulled Luna behind himself as he too looked at Draco. He had no idea what Draco was doing there, if he had decided to come and gloat. He didn't know why Draco hadn't told Bellatrix who he was, Harry knew that Draco had recognized him but maybe he had something else planned. The screams from upstairs had stopped and Harry didn't know if that was a good or a bad sign. He needed to get out of the dungeons and he needed to get out now. He tilted his head and wondered if there was a way he could get at Malfoy's wand.
Draco sneered at Ron, "I live here you cretin, put the matter between your ears to use for once." He recognized the light of battle in Harry's eyes and made a disgusted groan, "You and your bloody hero complex Potter. I'll get you out, for a price." He might be veela but he was a Slytherin first and if he had to betray his parents for the prat who lived then he'd make bloody damn sure that prat would hear him out.
Ah, finally Malfoy said something normal. Strangely Harry could feel himself relaxing at that. A sneaky, bargaining Malfoy he could deal with. Harry looked up at Malfoy, damn had the git grown taller? He blocked out Ron's indignant stuttering and concentrated solely on Malfoy. "What sort of price are we talking about?"
"You listening to me with an open mind once we're in a safe place and letting me stay around you. Simple enough." A blond brow lifted, "So do we have a deal?"
"Harry don't listen to him, we can't bring Malfoy along on our search and you know it. We can't trust him." Ron pleaded with his best friend, eyeing Malfoy suspiciously.
Harry nibbled on his bottom lip as the thought. Simple enough indeed...It sounded too simple. Still it wasn't as if he had a lot of choices right now and they had to get out of there before Voldemort was called. Sighing deeply and hoping that he wouldn't regret it he held out his hand towards Malfoy. "We have a deal yes."
Draco grasped the offered hand, inhaling sharply at the frisson of sensation it sent through him, and shook briefly before unlocking the door and holding it open. "Hurry, I doubt my aunt will let Granger live much longer and I know you won't be leaving her."
"You got that right." Harry's mouth was a straight, grim line and a muscle in his jaw twitched. "I should have killed that bitch when I had the chance, after she almost got Sirius." He mumbled more to himself than any other. He made sure Ron, Luna and Ollivander were out as well before they followed the slim blond.
Draco led them silently up the stairs, crouching at the top for a moment as Bellatrix snarled at and questioned the goblin. He darted a look over at his parents then looked at the sprawled form of Granger, feeling a small surge of pity for her. As insufferable a know it all as she was, no one should have to face his aunt's 'talents' in torture. He cursed softly when his aunt took the first step towards Granger, knife in hand, and Weasley lunged out to send a curse at her.
Harry called out after Ron who was now crouching over Hermione to protect her. Neither of them had a wand but he had still managed to throw a curse at Bellatrix, Harry was impressed but it was still such a stupid move. It was like something Harry could have done. Harry rushed forward to tackle Pettigrew and wrestle his wand from him, he felt some satisfaction hearing Wormtail's nose break under his fist.
Lucius stood like in shock, seeing his son coming up from the dungeons with their prisoners. "Draco, what are you doing?"
Draco cast a summoning charm for the Golden Trio's wands before he met the cool gray eyes just like his with apology and shook his head, "I'm sorry Father, I-" he whipped around with a feral growl leaping to block the curse his aunt had tried to cast on Harry. It bounced off the wing he extended to shield his mate. A bright blue fireball formed in his hand and he threw it at Bellatrix, following it up with an expelliarmus that had her wand flying towards him. He caught it with a snarl and flew at his shocked aunt, a clawed hand slashing over her face and claiming the knife she held before he moved back to Harry's side.
Hermione, still trembling from the lingering pain that arched through her body forced herself to rise, clinging to Ron for support. She took in Draco's appearance in surprise but nodded in understanding. "Ron get the sword."
Ron nodded and cupped Hermione's pale cheek quickly before rushing across the floor to grab the sword. He shouted at Harry who stood watching Malfoy like he'd been hit with a confundus. This was not the time or place to get awed by feathers and claws. "We need to get out of here!" Ron hurried back to Hermione's side, the sword of Gryffindor gripped tightly in his hand. "I know where we can go but we need a way to bypass the wards."
Harry managed to snap out of it and he nodded. "Can you get us out Malfoy?" Harry's eyes were still drawn to those bright white, shimmering wings and he had to struggle to look away.
Draco nodded, wrapping a wing instinctively around Harry before looking at the others briefly, "Grab hold of me. Weasley whisper the location." He raised a shield against a spell shot their way by his mother and met her eyes, seeing understanding along with grim acceptance.
Hermione placed a gentle hand on Draco's other wing, leaning heavily against Ron. She looked over at Luna and Ollivander who both were touching Draco's back at the wing joints and gave them a shaky smile.
Luna smiled back before the pop of disapparation sounded and when they opened their eyes next they were met with the sound of the ocean and their feet were buried in fine sand.
Ron wrapped his arms around Hermione, kissing her brow and whispering apologies that he hadn't been with her and that he hadn't managed to get to her sooner.
Harry felt warm, safe and comfortable and it was rather difficult to step away from Malfoy and the thick, fluffy wing that was wrapped around him. He couldn't stay snuggled to Malfoy's side though. "Um...Thank you Malfoy, for getting us out. You kept your word."
"I assure you it was entirely self-serving," Draco concentrated and drew his wings back in as well as his claws and folded his arms across his chest and gave Harry a once over to make sure he wasn't injured anywhere.
Hermione slumped heavily against Ron, her legs not really having the strength to support her any longer, and turned her face into his shoulder, "It's not your fault, you came when it mattered most."
"I will always come for you Mione, as long as I still breathe." Ron placed his arm under her knees and picked her up and cradled her against his chest. "I'm still sorry it happened at all." He looked over his shoulder at the others, most of them looking somewhat worse for the wear. "The cottage is just behind those dunes. We can rest up there, it should be safe."
Harry followed Ron over the sand. He and Luna helped Ollivander walk, Harry was very aware that Malfoy was just behind him; he could almost still feel the heat from the other's body.
Once they had made their way over the dunes they saw a small cottage decorated with seashells and when Harry looked closer he saw Bill and Fleur Weasley standing in the small garden.
Draco reached up to smooth his hair down, making a frustrated sound as his head feathers tried to resist before finally laying flat, and repeated it when he noticed that his gaze was focused firmly on Harry's ass but the startled noise that came from the garden had his head lifting.
Fleur stared at Draco in surprise as the group made their way up, "Mere de dieu," she clamped a hand on her husband's arm when he growled and would have attacked the young Malfoy, "Non Bill!"
Bill didn't stop the deep growl rising from his throat but he couldn't go against his wife, his mate so he stayed in place but made no effort to hide his displeasure over Draco's presence.
"Bill, Hermione needs to lie down." Ron walked over to his oldest brother, Hermione still in his arms. "Do you have any healing potions here? She's in pain."
Sending one more glare at Malfoy Bill nodded shortly and showed Ron inside the cottage where he could make Hermione comfortable.
Harry scratched his head sheepishly and waved at Fleur. "Hullo Fleur, sorry to come barging in like this. We hit a snag on our trip and was captured...Malfoy here helped us get away."
She nodded and looked briefly over at Luna, Ollivander and the goblin, "Mademoiselle Lovegood eef you would take Monsieur Ollivander and Monsieur Griphook in and get zem settled in ze two guest rooms at ze top of ze stairs?"
"Of course Mrs. Weasley." Luna gave Fleur a dreamy smile and nodded before she hearded the goblin and the old wandmaker gently inside the cottage to get them settled in.
"Are you okay Fleur? You and Bill? How are the rest of the Weasleys?" Harry walked a little closer to her. "Haven't really been in a position to hear any unfiltered news lately."
Draco made a sound between a growl and a whine and reached out to grab Harry's wrist, his instincts recognizing Fleur's creature heritage and seeking to keep his unbonded mate away from the female veela-blood.
Fleur lifted an amused brow, "Be very glad Bill was not 'ere to growl back neophyte and zat I understand."
Harry did not understand at all. He looked down at Malfoy's grip on his wrist with bafflement in his green eyes before he pulled loose. Malfoy's hand was too hot some way, Harry's whole arm was tingling from where Malfoy had touched him, no Harry didn't understand and it made him uncomfortable. "What's wrong Malfoy?"
Draco shifted uncomfortably and looked away, glaring at Fleur when she chuckled, "I zink 'Arry zat you and Monsieur Malfoy should speak wiz each ozzer right now. I will go 'elp Bill take care of 'Ermione. Monsieur Malfoy I will speak wiz you later." She went inside, leaving the garden to Harry and Draco.
The blond met emerald green eyes, "Time for that open-minded listening now Potter."
"I did promise to hear you out." Harry nodded, still feeling a little wary. He looked around the garden until his eyes settled on an old, creaky two person swing. He walked over and sat down on it, waiting for Malfoy to do the same. "When did you...You know...Grow wings?"
Draco transfigured a decorative rock into a simple chair so he could face Harry rather than sit beside him. He wanted to be able to see Harry's face and read the emotions there during this conversation. "This summer. I was fed a potion that...activated long dormant genes."
Green eyes widened. "What? Why?" He grew silent and searched Malfoy's face for something. "No, I think I know why...It's because of what happened at the Astronomy tower isn't it? Why though, why would Voldemort want to make you into a creature?"
He gave Harry an incredulous look and held out a hand, creating another fireball in the palm of it, "You have to ask that? He'd planned to have me become an amalgam of several different creatures but Severus created a potion that would instead bring my dormant veela genetics out." He closed his hand, putting the fireball out, "Magical creatures, most especially ones that can pass as human, are twice as powerful as your average witch or wizard Potter. Had his original intent succeeded he'd have had a tool powerful enough to take out an entire Auror Corps on my own."
Harry's face darkened at the mentioning of Snape but he kept his mouth shut...With some effort. "I'm glad that Voldemort's plan failed then, for all of our sakes. Still, no one should have power to decide something like that, to decide to remove someone's humanity or to make them into something else. It's so bloody wrong on so many levels. It's why he needs to be stopped." Harry kept his eyes on Malfoy. "I'm sorry this had to happen to you. I know your feelings on creatures after Lupin was our professor, it can't have been easy for you."
"Oh for bloody-" Draco ran his hand through his hair, "my opinion about Lupin was because he's a werewolf. He's dangerous to the general populace without Wolfsbane potion and if you tell me he's never forgotten a dose I will call you a liar. Was I pissed about my humanity being taken away? Yes of course, I spent years tottering about quite content without any extra appendages or urges and then I'm hit in the face with several so no I was not pleased but I am not telling you this because I'm having an attack of 'poor me' or because I hate being a magical creature."
"Then why are you telling me this Malfoy? I don't understand. You don't want pity or vengeance but what do you want then? Why are you here with me?" Harry fiddled with the cuff of his jacket; his wrist was still warm from where Malfoy had gripped him. "Oh and by the way...I don't see a difference between you and Remus. He's lived his whole life being more human as a werewolf than you were as a pureblood. I won't stand for you badmouthing my family, deal or no deal."
Draco ran a hand over his face, "I swear fate has the worst bloody sense of humor," he looked at Harry again, eyes sparking with irritation, "I was not bloody badmouthing Lupin, I was speaking no less and no more than the truth. He is dangerous on the full moon without the potion and he has forgotten it at least once, the year he was teaching. Twenty-eight days out of the month he's a perfectly fine wizard that I've no problem with."
"Fine, fine, my apologies then." Harry rubbed his hand over his eyes. He was so bloody tired; it felt as if he hadn't slept a whole night in months...Probably because he hadn't. Hermione was hurt and in reality Harry didn't have time to sit here and talk with Malfoy, he needed to be out there and find the rest of the Horcruxes. All he wanted to do though was sleep. "You still haven't answered my other questions. Why are you here? Why me? I don't understand what you want me to do for you Malfoy."
"Veela are blessed, or cursed depending on your point of view," his tone hinted that he was edging towards the latter option, "to know their lifemates as soon as they encounter them. One look and it's like walking through lightning charged air and from that moment the veela's instincts are focused on keeping their mate safe and happy." He waited to see if Potter would connect the dots.
Harry really wasn't as slow as Malfoy thought. He could almost feel the blood drain out of his head, leaving him feeling dizzy and almost nauseous. "No...No, no, no. There must be a mistake, you're just confused by your new...Additions. Malfoy, you hate me."
"Yes, apparently that means nothing to my veela instincts. If you don't believe me you could try and ask the quarter-veela currently watching us from the kitchen." He folded his arms and scowled, "Do you honestly think I'd have betrayed my parents, left them behind to face the Dark Lord's wrath if I thought there was a mistake? I'm not exactly pleased about this either but I'm stuck. If I'm separated from you for very long I'll start losing my magic until I'm nothing more than a feathered squib."
Harry breathed deeply, trying his best to get air into his lungs and to not faint in front of Malfoy of all people. "So you have to be with me, stay close. How close? What do I have to do?" His friends were probably right; he did have a complex with saving people. Harry already knew he would do what he could for Malfoy too but he couldn't be intimate with him. He had no idea if he was even gay. Harry had used the war as an excuse to break up with Ginny, it had never felt comfortable or right between them but that didn't mean he was ready to just submit to a life as Draco Malfoy's...whatever he would be.
"You can wipe the panic off your face Potter," Draco ignored the flutter of hurt at the clear sign of dislike on Potter's face, writing it off as the veela instincts being disappointed, "I just have to be around you regularly in order to remain in complete working order. As far as I know anyway. I'm still learning about this. I'll try to keep a lid on the instincts as well as I'm able and I will...apologize," he sneered the word as if it had a foul taste, "in advance for any slips I might make in controlling acts of possessiveness or anything along those lines. If you're in danger, ill, or injured however all bets are off. I am uncontrollably compelled to make sure you are safe and well and that instinct is impossible to stifle."
"Okay...Okay, we can do this then. Figure something out." Harry rubbed at his eyes again. "A few rules though. No sneering at Hermione or Ron and no mudblood talk. If I have to choose I will choose them every time. What we've been doing and how we live, I doubt that's up to your standard but you'll have to deal. I will try too, so will Ron if he knows what's good for him. None of us chose this but we can make it work somehow, don't you think?" He gave Malfoy a shaky smile.
Draco inclined his head, "I will play...nice with Weasley and Granger to the best of my ability."
"That's all I can ask for." Harry pressed out another smile. He had to remember that no matter how difficult this was to him, it had to be ten times more difficult for Malfoy.
"You are such a Gryffindor." Draco stood up and transfigured the chair back into a rock, "Go tell your compatriot, let him get the explosion over with while I speak to Madame Weasley."
Harry nodded. "Yeah, I think that's a good idea. Ron can be somewhat...Set in his ways." Harry got off the swing, stumbling a bit as he started to walk. Maybe Bill and Fleur had some kind of potion for headache and dizziness. "Thank you again for getting us out. I'm sorry you had to attack your Aunt."
Draco paused in his own step, "Bugger. I did attack her didn't I?" He ran his hand through his hair again, "Hell." He just stood stock still and tried to assimilate that. He'd been running on instinct when he'd done it, making it a blur amongst the other information of the fight, but he'd attacked Bellatrix. He'd actually slashed his claws down the insane bitch's face. He'd always been afraid of her on some primal level, the same level that had told him to run like hell from Greyback when he'd been human, and never had he thought he'd ever be able to even speak up in disagreement against her yet he'd actually physically attacked her. He didn't know whether to cheer for himself or go hide under a bed.
"Hey you okay?" Harry furrowed his brows and stepped closer to Malfoy, placing a hand on the other's shoulder. He should go and let Ron and Hermione know what was going on but he couldn't leave Malfoy if he was upset. Despite being an arse Malfoy had always been pretty. Now though he was beautiful, his skin glowed and his hair seemed softer than silk. Harry caught himself staring and took a quick step back.
Malfoy straightened a little further, "Perfectly fine Potter. I'm not likely to feel guilt over attacking Bellatrix." Bone-chilling fear over the fact that she'd be hunting him down now certainly but not guilt.
"Good then, see you later." Harry cursed himself as he walked to the cottage, of course Malfoy wouldn't appreciate his concern or the fact that Harry had touched him. He might be here but it was only because of necessity, not because he wanted to be. They weren't friends. Harry needed to remember that. He nodded to Fleur and asked Bill where Hermione and Ron were before he hurried to join them. He needed to speak with the two people who really were his friends.
To be continued...
AN: There you have the first chapter, thank you so much for reading and we would love to hear your thoughts. See you all next chapter.