CHAPTER SIXTEEN


A/N: It's been a minute - haha. Thank you so much for the 200 reviews, 300 follows, and 200 favorites! Happy belated holidays to everyyybodyy! Oh, and this is for you ad-i! Since you asked so nicely for an update. Hehe. Sorry it's so short! Next one should be a more normal length. Onwards...


Harry stared up at the ceiling, an empty laugh bubbling from his lips, traveling from somewhere deep in his chest.

Bloodshot eyes traced the contours of the ceiling.

"Fuck," he swore, swinging his arm out toward his firewhiskey bottle and sending it spinning across the kitchen floor, droplets of red alcohol flying in every direction.

What time is it?

Harry slowly lifted his head, swallowing down the vomit that crawled its way up with the action, rubbing his throat as he licked dry lips.

His eyes scanted the edge of the room anxiously as one of the corners twitched - only to remain perfectly still when he focused his blurry gaze on it. He gripped at his pocket where his wand sat - hidden and shuddering anxiously every moment in response to the magic radiating from his unstable body.

A laugh shaking his chest silently, Harry pulled his legs in toward his chest, settling his forehead against his kneecaps, rocking back and forth.

He choked on the next breath he took in for a laugh, squeezing his eyes closed as the shadows in the room continued to move, increasing his nausea.

"Harry Potter, sir?"

Harry yanked himself out of his curled-up position, falling backwards and thunking his head noisily against the marble floor - his ears began to ring unpleasantly into the silence.

"Dobby?" Harry croaked after letting the piercing ringing fade to a buzz.

The wizard stared blankly up at the ceiling, not needing to look at the elf to confirm the identity. Idly, he acknowledged that the odd scent - reminiscent in nature to that of a wine cellar and newly-opened packaging - that had been taunting him for the past hour was the unique smell of a house elf.

"Yes! It is Dobby. Mister Harry Potter is needing to be going to bed now. Mister Harry Potter is unwell," the house elf insisted, clearly ill at ease with the inebriated wizard.

Harry blew out a slow breath, his cheeks puffing up like a puffer fish. He reached up a hand to his forehead, laying the back of it across his closed eyes as he remained unmoving.

"Okay," he croaked, allowing his hand to continue to shield his eyes as he peeked them open, peering blearily over to the house elf in the dark.

Dobby seemed to quiver with relief, the socks on his ears trembling as he sidled closer to the drunken werewolf.

The elf reached forward, tucking a silver coin into the half-open hand at Harry's side.

Harry closed his fingers around the cool object, and there was a horrible rushing sensation, followed by a whoosing in his ears, and he suddenly found himself lying in a vaguely familiar bed, far from the Gryffindor common room.

Harry grimaced, clutching his stomach as it turned unhappily from the sudden upheaval. He turned his head to the left, and when he was met with a wall decorated with non-moving paintings, it dawned upon him that he had to be in the Room of Requirement.

He also had to have been given a light sobering charm, because the buzz of silence in his mind was gradually evaporating. Or maybe that was just one of the numerous downsides to lycanthropy.

He let his tired eyes slip closed, reaching out to the side and hoping for a nightstand, where he sloppily dropped his glasses and the portkey-like coin.

Harry let out a partially-repressed yawn, his eyes suddenly aching as exhaustion began to pull him under rather suddenly.

Dobby must have drugged him, nothing else was quite this powerful.

Images danced behind his eyelids. A wolf. His wolf. Then Remus's. Then the image of Grimmauld Place and its haunting halls, the cobwebs spun by the enchanted paintings. His bedroom at the old place - and the way it smelled like home, chocolate, safety.

Draco would be there.

An odd sensation rose in Harry's chest at that thought, one he couldn't pin down with any label, so he rolled stiffly on to his side, pulling the blankets up closer to his chest without opening his eyes.

As the thought of Draco in his bedroom continued to swirl about unbidden in his mind, he felt the heat of the blanket become uncomfortable, pushing it back down slightly and giving a dry swallow as he adjusted his position.

Idly wondering what was wrong with himself, Harry's thoughts gradually began to lose structure as sleep took him - dogs became giraffes, Dobby's ears had Christmas baubles attached to them like earrings, and Draco had the most stunning grey eyes.

Then, blissful darkness.


"How are you feeling?"

"Not feeling, just tired."

"Not been getting enough sleep?"

"I sleep all the time."

"And you're still tired?"

"Yeah."

Madam Pompfrey straightened up slightly in her seat, reaching up a hand to adjust her mediwitch bonnet and sending wafts of lavender perfume in Harry's direction.

The young werewolf cut off airflow throw his nostrils, exhaling sharply through his mouth and scooting impatiently toward the edge of the hospital bed.

"Is that all?" Harry asked breezily.

"Not quite," the mediwitch said, pulling herself to her feet and walking across the room, her small heels clicking slightly with every step. She paused at the far end of the hospital room by a small mirror, pulling at its side and revealing that it doubled as a medicine cabinet.

She reached inside, carefully retracting a blown-glass vial with gold in rune patterns spread across it.

The witch intricately waved her wand overtop the vial, murmuring a series of numbers as she did, before giving her wand a flick to end the incantation.

"What's that?" Harry asked as she turned around, closing the mirror behind her and approaching him with the vial outstretched in offering.

"Sleep potion. Keep yourself up until at least ten o'clock every night and then drink it, this will adjust your sleep, and wake you at seven-thirty, every morning. Regularity will help you."

"I don't need help," Harry said sharply, looking up at the witch now and glaring into her sympathetic brown eyes.

"Take the whole vial," she continued, "it is set to naturally refill itself every day."

"I'm sleeping fine," Harry said bluntly, standing up to hover over the mediwitch.

Madam Pompfrey frowned sharply. "If you want me to be able to help you, Mr. Potter, then as your healer I require that you take this potion. Too much sleep does as much damage as too little," she said scoldingly. "It is not to be taken with alcohol-"

"-I'm too young to drink," Harry pointed out boredly.

The healer gave him a stern look.

"Fine, I'll take it," Harry lied in a numb voice, taking the potion carefully from the witch's fingers and tucking it into the back of his jean pocket.

"If you lose the vial, it will return to you. It is nearly indestructible."

"Okay," Harry said dismissively as he strode past her. "When do we leave?" he asked, turning slightly to face her when he reached the middle of the room.

"As soon as you would like. I assumed you were waiting for Mr. Malfoy," the witch said politely, tucking a stray curl into her bonnet.

"No."


A stray hand swept back to smooth blond hair.

Exhalation.

Grey eyes flicked open, eyelashes stiff.

He could feel his own breath rushing in and out. Lips dropped open, letting the air come as tiny gasps.

His lips were dry.

Thoughts coming and going in quick sections of third person speech, the Malfoy heir tilted his head to one side on his neck, staring into the mirror and startling at the person looking back at him.

What is - where am - wrong with me? he wondered, the thought in his mind trailing off into third person again as a pen began scrawling across a piece of parchment in his mind, showing his every thought in blotted ink.

The intensity of his emotions overwhelming, the animagus shook his head, jumping slightly as his own movement startled him, and took to staring pointedly to the ground as he felt himself shifting from reality, losing face.

Observing his emotions silently in his mind, he whisked them away piece by jumbled piece, messily into the otherwise neatly-stacked files that his mind ran on. He couldn't identify the feelings - or maybe he wouldn't, but couldn't seemed more appropriate in his haste - and struggled to suffocate and tuck away all of them that he could.

He was not used to being so mentally disorganized. He was a tidy person in his head, and to be so lost was as frightening as it was uncommon.

"Draco, Madam Pompfrey is asking for you," Pansy's voice broke into the suddenly uneasy silence.

Draco bolted upright, on to his feet, spinning to face the girl with a slightly bewildered look. He blinked several times as his mind struggled to regroup, assessing his surroundings as rapidly as he could and trying to make sense of a very simple situation.

The common room, he was on the common room, and had been staring into a mirror - and then the ground. He was late, he had to be going to help Potter with his transformation.

Pansy had just addressed him, it would be best for him to respond.

"Oh."

Pansy gave him a look that bordered on concern, taking a hesitant side-step forward and frowning sympathetically. "Have you been feeling all right?" the girl asked quietly.

"Yes."

Draco quickly brushed past her, leaving any of his belongings that he may have wanted on his desk in the commons. He couldn't handle any more interactions when he wasn't himself; it was dangerous and unsettling. He let his feet mechanically carry him toward the Healer, still his mind fumbling with the feelings that had left him disconnected and shaken.

He didn't like feeling out of control of himself. Especially not his mind. It was his only sanctuary - the only place he could hide from everyone else and be alone in. That much he had learned.

Taking a deep breath, the wizard slowly began to ground himself. He observed familiar surroundings as he walked through the hallway, noting familiar cracks in the paint that had been there since his first year, and letting the small familiarities draw him back from the distance he had created in his mind.

Ease falling over him quietly, Draco pushed the emotions aside for the time as he opened the door to the hospital wing.

He would analyze and organize them later; he had work to do for now.

"Mr. Malfoy, your portkey is just over there," the mediwitch said kindly without looking up from her notes, gesturing to the corner where a lone flower pot stood, rather out of place in the exceptionally-always-the-same hospital wing.

Draco didn't reply, stepping over toward the pot and resting his hand on it with a sharp exhalation.

The mediwitch looked up with slightly furrowed eyebrows as the wizard vanished, lines of concern drawing her forehead.


Draco landed unsteadily on to his feet when the nauseating sensation of the portkey began to end. He observed the black hardwood floors beneath him as he landed, blinking several times as he looked up into the surprisingly quiet room.

The place was empty, a single bed standing almost innocently in the middle of the dark room. Its comforter was white, with a Gryffindor quilt folded over the bottom, and a few burgundy pillows lining the top. There was a lone fireplace set off to one side, a nightstand just by the bed with a still cup of water that still had ice-cubes on it.

"Hello?" Draco said quietly.

There was a short tussle of noise downstairs, and then the thumping of footfalls up steps. Draco tensed up, feeling a sudden flash of fear and unease, and his hand fell to his wand in his jacket pocket, body tensing as he held his breath.

Harry Potter burst through the door, black hair wild as ever and green eyes wide and alarmed - filled with something that looked disturbingly like relief.

Stomach swooping slightly, Draco's hand fell slack from his wand and a breath puffed unwillingly from his lips in almost a sigh of relaxation.

"I had your portkey bring you here instead because I thought it might be less difficult," Harry said all in one breath, shutting the door behind him before he spoke and leaning back against it in an almost shy manner, which looked rather sillily cute.

"Difficult?" Draco quirked an eyebrow.

Harry let out a breath that sounded like a shadow of a laugh, mimicked the quirked brow slightly and then let a smile flit across one side of his mouth as his lifted brow fell. He scratched at the bottom of his chin with one hand. "Yeah."

He explained no further.

Draco ignored it, doing his best to avoid reading into the werewolf's oddities too deeply. "Where will I be staying?"

Harry paused, rocking from one foot to the other and then reaching up a hand almost subconsciously to rub his shoulder.

"In here, I decided to tell them you weren't coming," Harry finally blurted out unapologetically. "You have to stay hidden until the full moon and then, uh, then you can go."


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