"Ahh, Harry and Draco, my dear boys. Take a seat please. Lemon drop?" Both teens shook their head as they sat down next to one another with a quick glance at the other. "I have called you both down here as there are issues that have been brought to my attention by your heads of houses." Each boy began glaring at the other in suspicion. "As such, it has been decided that it would be safer for the two of you to not sleep in the house dormitories but we cannot let a student sleep alone in case there is an emergency. Therefore the solution we have come up with is to put you two in a shared dorm away from your houses. You will still be in your respective house for points and quidditch and the like but you will have your own 'common room' and a bedroom each."

"Do we have to sir?" Harry asked solemnly.

"Would you really rather return to your own dormitory Harry?" The teen looked down as he shook his head slowly but absolutely.

"Draco my boy, any objections?"

"No sir."

"Very well, that went better than any of us expected. I'll show you to your dorm now and how you will both get in. For the sake of your safety, only the two of you, and staff members, will be able to get into your rooms, anyone else will be rejected before they can get through the door. Understood?" Once again both boys nodded before all three stood and walked out of the office.

The walk through the corridor was somewhat awkward in its silence and the two teens were thankful for their arrival at a painting of a bookcase filled with old leather tomes. Dumbledore showed them the book they would have to stroke the spine of to get in and then left them to their devices, their things already having been brought from their old dorms.

"So, if we're going to live together at Hogwarts, should we start over?" The pale, blonde held out a hand towards the other, replicating the offer of a handshake from their first year. He noticed how the younger immediately pulled his hand back after and returned it to where it had previously been wrapped around his stomach. "You alright there Potter?" He nodded. "Vow of silence against me or something? Fine, whatever, I'm just going to go to bed then." Draco walked into one of the adjoining rooms before returning and entering the other. "Wrong room," he stated as he shut the second door leaving Harry alone.

The teen slunk over to the floor in front of the fireplace and sat on the rug, watching the flames with a completely blank face. After an hour or so Draco reappeared and thought Harry had gone until he rounded the sofa and spotted him hidden behind it on the floor. He made the quick decision to join him and sat next to the enraptured teen.

"Why are you not safe with the lions then?" Harry shook his head while holding his stomach tighter causing Draco to sigh quietly. "I refused to take the Dark Mark, some of the other snake's parents are trying to get their children to attack me until I change my mind. Most don't listen to their parents but some do. Been one too many trips to Sev to be healed I guess." Draco thought that if he opened up it might prompt Harry to do the same and he was right.

"I'm gay," he whispered shamefully.


"What do you mean, 'and'!?"

"Who cares? So what if you like men?"

"The Gryffindor's seem to care. Other than 'Mione and Neville but even they won't stick up for me against everyone else." Harry flicked his eyes towards Draco as if analysing him and trying to determine if he needed to protect himself, which Draco immediately noticed.

"You're safe. Be a bit hypocritical if I attack you for being gay."

"You mean- you-"

"I'm gay Potter, don't come much queerer according to the other Snake's. Back when they still liked me anyway."

"The Slytherins don't mind?"

"Why would they?"

"I don't know, I used to think that of my house." Once again Harry squeezed his stomach gently and Draco was fully intrigued now, determined to find out what was wrong.

"What's happened to your stomach?" Harry looked down at his arms and quickly put his arms to the side, sitting on his hands as if that suddenly fixed the problem. "You can tell me. Are you injured?" Harry shook his head quickly but soon changed his mind and began nodding slowly as he shut his eyes. "Lions?"

"Yes and No. Uncle Vernon caused it, lions made it worse with their attacks."

"Has it been seen to?"

"Didn't want to tell anyone. The others sure as hell won't have drawn attention to my well-being. It'll be fine, it's just taking longer to heal this time round."

"Let me see." Draco left no room for argument so Harry stood, the blonde prompted to do the same, and took a couple of steps away before taking hold of the hem of his t-shirt. He began lifting it slowly as he took a deep shuddering breath. He flinched when Draco stepped towards him but didn't run when he saw the upturned hands to show that Draco wasn't going to harm him. Fingers began tracing the 3 deeply carved letters on Harry's stomach before running gently across the various black and blue bruises that littered his torso. "That's gotta hurt."

"I barely notice it anymore. I kinda like the pain anyway, it's something that I understand."

"Come here," Draco said as he sat back down in front of the fire, throwing a bit of his personal floo powder into the flames and fire-calling Severus' office for the man who appeared almost instantly.

"Ahh, Draco, settling in?" The teen nodded and looked to his right which was then that he noticed Harry sat in front of the fire also but refusing to look at him. "What can I do for you boys so soon?"

"Can I have some Dittany, bruise paste and a couple of potions, pain reliever and a dreamless sleep?" Snape was about to ask why until he noticed the pointed look towards Harry and figured that the younger teen had been hiding an injury.

"Certainly, step back and I'll bring it through." Draco stood and pulled Harry back, moving him back a few steps by his shoulders as it was clear that the teen was focused on his thoughts. "Who needs treating?" Fear entered Harry's eyes but he held firm until Snape took a step towards them and he spun from Draco's grasp with a whimper while ensuring that there was a chair as a barrier between he and the older man.

"I-I'm fine sir."

"Good, then you won't mind me casting a diagnostic spell on you both." He quickly performed the spell on Draco, unsurprised by what came up but when he pointed his wand at Harry he found the boy disappearing through the nearest bedroom door, shutting it between them in protection.

Harry could hear a muffled argument going on in the main room and felt guilty but that all faded away to panic when he heard a knock on the door.

"I sent Sev away, it's just me here now, I promise. Come out? Or at least open the door?" The lock clicking undone was the only sound made so Draco pushed open the door to reveal an empty room. He finally found Harry in the bottom of the wardrobe, curled up on the floor as he watched Draco with wide blown eyes. "I told him he shouldn't have come through he should've just sent the items but he likes knowing what it is being treated. He's left everything with me so I can help you but he wants to talk to you some when about why it's needed."

"I'm sorry I made you two fight."

"Don't worry about it, it mainly consisted of him shouting that he wants to help and me shouting that he would be helping if he left. So, up on the bed and I'll get to healing your wounds." Harry seemed to pale at these words but walked towards the bed as though resigned to his fate. Draco left to get the potions from the table in the main room and when he returned he found Harry lifting his shirt before laying down, silent tears running down his cheeks. "What's wrong Potter?"

Harry shook his head causing more tears to fall from his eyes. Draco sighed slightly but pulled out the bottle of Essence of Dittany after giving Harry the pain potion, dripping it sparingly across the word on Harry's stomach and watching as the edges of the wound knitted themselves together without even leaving a scar, however allowing the bruises to be more pronounced without the redness of the wound. Next he took the bruise paste in hand and began rubbing it slowly into the boy's torso with his whole hands which made Harry tense but he stayed where he was. When he realised that the bruises seemed to wrap below the band of his trousers like hands gripped the younger's hips to hold him, and hard, he froze, his hands still splayed across the bruises so Harry began crying heavier, no longer keeping silent as he begged and pleaded with Malfoy to get off, thinking it was one of the lions rather than the snake he was now in a dorm with. Draco stayed in his own thoughts until he felt hands pushing him away as legs thrashed to try and get him off. As soon as he released Harry the boy was scrambling back towards the headboard and curling protectively around himself, watching Draco intently.

"Don't." Harry pleaded when Draco shifted nearer.

"Where are you Harry?"

"In the tower."

"No. Who am I?"


"First name."

"Draco Malfoy."

"Where are we?"


"No, who am I?"

"Draco Malfoy."

"Good, so, where are we?"

"In our dorm?"

"Good." Draco moved nearer to the boy now that he wasn't caught in his mind and pulled the balled up teen into his lap. Hands instantly began rubbing circles on the other's back while he whispered reassurances in his ear and Harry fisted his hands into Draco's robes. "You're safe Potter. You did well."

"Sorry Malfoy. For freaking out on you."

"No worries. Gryffs are homophobes then?"

"It would seem so. Is it bad that in a way I'm thankful for the Slytherins for attacking you?"

"I'll try and not take offense at that, shall I?"

"Precisely. I mean it though. If they hadn't attacked you, I wouldn't have been able to leave the tower."

"I guess not. In that case, you're welcome. Saviour of The Saviour. I think I can accept that title. Although I'm shocked to find you taking refuge in my bedroom." Harry looked round and realised that he was indeed sat on Draco's bed, a blush rapidly forming on his cheeks.

"Sorry. I'll go." Draco dramatically flung himself out on the bed with a huff before pulling Harry down as well and forcing him to stretch out.

"I don't mind Potter. It's odd having a room to myself while here. Besides, it's not late, we can chat for a while." Draco rolled on his side so that he faced Harry while the other did the same in response.

"What are you going to do after school?"

"I don't know. I considered going and doing my mastery in potions, or becoming a healer. Something that my father would hate preferably but they all seem to be jobs I hate the idea of as well. What about you?"

"I don't know."

"Live off your fame? Auror?"

"I hate my fame, I hate crowds, I hate people watching my every move. If I fulfil my destiny I don't think I'm ever going to want to see another dark wizard again so Auror is out. I don't really know of anything else."

"I guess I understand that. What do you know best?"

"I'm guessing pain doesn't count," Harry whispered with a sad smile. Draco took one of Harry's hands in his own and began playing with his fingers, distracting himself from looking away from the teen in any way.

"Perhaps not. What else?"

"Being raped," he said quietly while looking down at their connected hands, expecting the other to pull away in disgust but other than a slight pause he continued to mess with Harry's fingers.

"Doesn't count either Potter." Harry smiled at the boy's response, both knowing that he didn't want pity. "Want to talk about it?" Harry shrugged his shoulders but lifted his gaze to look at Draco's eyes for the first time since he'd led down. The two simply looked at one another for a few seconds before Draco linked their hands properly and pulled Harry in closer, his other arm wrapping around the younger teen. As soon as Harry was pulled into the hug he began crying silently into Draco's shoulder, the only signals that he was doing so was the slight shaking and the wet patch growing on Malfoy's shirt.

"Why do you care Malfoy?" he eventually asked tearily.

"Because you shook my hand Potter. That meant friends, did it not?"


"So I care. No one should have to go through that Potter. One of many reasons that I refused to take the Dark Mark was the initiation. Granted I wasn't a fan of the psycho's vision and opinions or ideals but to get an initiate, the male ones anyway, to rape a muggleborn- I wouldn't. I couldn't."

"How do your parents feel about your choice?"

"Mother doesn't care, she still writes to me all the time. Father is furious, if I wasn't the only Malfoy heir he certainly would have disowned me at best. He is very much interested in the survival of the bloodline so he wouldn't sabotage that. I'm not welcome back home though."

"It's good that you still have her then. He's delusional for wanting to disown you for having your own opinion. Isn't there a flaw in his plan though if you're gay?"

"Why does that make a difference?"

"Well, you won't have a wife or girlfriend or anything to produce an heir?"

"I could use a surrogate mother if that was what I wanted to do. Alternatively I'm a wizard so I don't need to."

"Why not?"

"Because wizards can get pregnant." Harry's eyes grew wide in fear. "Did you not know that Potter?" He shook his head rapidly.

"But that means- what if- I might- you're lying. Please tell me you're lying Malfoy."

"Sorry, no lies there... Harry."

"So I could be?"

"Let Sev check, for me?" Harry nodded slowly. "Now?" At the second nod Draco stood from the bed and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Wait there, I'll be right back." Harry curled around himself in trepidation and waited for Draco to return with the potions master.

Malfoy threw another hand of floo powder into the flames and fire-called the man for the second time that evening.

"To what do I owe the pleasure now Dragon?"

"Need your help again."

"I thought my help wasn't needed anymore."

"Please? I can't perform the spell nor do I have the potion version."

"What do you need Dragon?"

"Pregnancy test."


"No, Harry. Don't judge him, or belittle him either, he was raped, I don't know how many times or by how many people but he's scared Sev. He only just found out that a wizard can be pregnant and he's freaking out about it. I wouldn't have asked you if this was something that I could check without you. Please?" Severus nodded so Draco moved away from the fire to enable the man to come through once more.

"Why did he not tell anyone Dragon?"

"I don't know, but he's scared so don't shout at him or lecture him or anything. Please?"

"This was not something that he chose."

"Thank you," Draco said as he accepted the words for what they were, an agreement. "He's in here." Draco pointed at the door to his room.

"Should I wait for you to prepare him or bring him out or should I come in now?"

"He knows I was going off to ask you so you can come in." Draco knocked on the door before walking in, wanting to give the other some warning for them coming into the room. The two stepped in and looked towards the bed which was now empty once more. Snape's brows furrowed in confusion and panic at the missing, vulnerable student while Draco seemed to maintain his calm as he walked towards the open closet and pulled Harry out from the bottom of it again. This action only caused the man's curiousity to increase as he tried to come up with a reason in his head as to why the teen would be sat there.

"Come on Potter, let's sit down on the bed and Sev will do what he needs to do." Draco steered the shorter boy over to the foot of the bed before pushing him down and sitting next to him, Harry's hand automatically gripping Draco's for comfort.

"Right, there are two options Mr Potter. The first is a spell that will glow different colours depending on the results. The second is that I can give you a potion and you will have to tell me if you feel something, it will tingle or warm you up or a variety of other things or you'll feel nothing at all. Which do you prefer the idea of?" Harry shrugged while looking away from the man. "No, this is a choice that I need you to make, no one else can choose for you. Either way, you and I will have to have a discussion soon about certain things, or I can tell the headmaster and he will sort out a person of your choice to talk to instead."

"S-spell please then sir."

"Very well, this can take a while so you may want to lie back, get comfortable." Harry shook his head vehemently and gripped the hand tighter so Draco squeezed back. "Very well. Since there is such a wide range of outcomes from this spell I will explain the colours that appear only as they do so. Agreed?"

"Yes sir. Thank you." The room slipped into silence other than Snape muttering the spell under his breath so Draco decided to continue their conversation from before.

"You could be a healer?"

"Can you imagine me as a healer? I'd end up with people coming in and telling me that they are sick with infatuation or some sort of rubbish like that."

"Yeah, just think of all those poor witches whose heart you will have to break. It's horrifying just thinking about it."

"You could work at the twins shop. I doubt your father would approve of you working for Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. You could do all the brewing and coming up with new potion pranks or something."

"I doubt THEY'D approve of me working for them."

"They're the only Weasley's that still talk to ME. Besides, you aren't who we thought you were and I'd vouch for you to them. Then there is the added point of me being the one who gave them all the money to start up the shop."

"That would be fun, I could use my godfather as a test subject. You'd like that wouldn't you Sevvy?" Draco taunted knowing that the man couldn't respond without ruining the spell but the boys both grinned at the glare he received.


"Yes, unfortunately. For me or for him I'm not sure."

"Would you do that then?"

"Yeah, I mean I wouldn't want you to pull strings, if they didn't want me to work there I wouldn't want you to make them. It would be cool though. Teacher?"

"What would I teach?"

"Defense. You did well teaching students last year, I hear. Secret club and all but rumour still goes around."

"They're my friends though, were my friends. People I trusted. It wasn't exactly hard what I was teaching them."

"Didn't you get every single one of them to cast a full patronus, including Longbottom, at least once?" Harry looked at him with brows raised in shock. "I told you that rumour goes around."

"That's still not that hard to do."

"We haven't been taught it in class yet, and you managed to teach a substantial amount of students to do it before they should've been able to. That's impressive. Who knows, maybe you'll be the one to break 'The Curse'." Harry smiled at the teen but before he could respond a sphere of light began to grow in front of Harry's stomach and the words were lost as all three looked towards it. Slowly it changed from pure white into a swirls of blue and pink, curling around each other like smoke.

"Does that mean it's positive Sir?"

"That is the first thing it shows. The colours show the gender."

"But it's two, does that mean it's a hermaphrodite or something?"

"No, they are swirling around each other but not merging, that means boy, and girl."

"So, hermaphrodite?"

"No. So, twins. One boy and one girl."


"Language Potter. Although perhaps, on this occasion, that was a justified response, if calm. How long?"


"How long has it been? When did this happen?"

"Depends on the father I guess. Between four months and yesterday. Although I'm figuring we can rule out those two extremes."

"Yes, it will likely be somewhere in the middle giving how small you are still and how conclusive the results were. You weren't at school 4 months ago, it isn't just at Hogwarts this happens, is it?" Harry shook his head as tears welled up in his eyes.

"What do I do?" Severus looked at the two boys in front of him and placed himself on Harry's other side, wrapping an arm gently around the teen.

"What do you want to do?"

"I'm NOT killing them. I'm 16, I don't know how I'd take care of them. I will NOT let them grow up like I did." Harry seemed to stop to think but it was soon clear that he was caught in a memory so Draco intervened before Snape could.

"Where are you?" he whispered.

"Privet Drive."

"No, who am I?"

"Dra-Draco Malfoy."

"So where are we?"

"In our dorm... with Professor Snape."

"Good. You alright?"

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't take them back home with me, I won't let them be hurt like that, be starved and beaten and locked away and raped. I won't do that."

"No one is saying you have to Mr Potter."

"Where do I leave them when I'm gone then, who's going to look after them?"

"Who's saying you're going back to them either? I sure as hell won't let you." Draco seemed sure of himself and his words as he squeezed the younger's hand once more.

"Mr Malfoy is correct, I also will not allow you to go back. Which is why I'll need you to tell me everything so I can make sure you don't have to."

"He calls you Sev but you call him Mr Malfoy, why?"

"He doesn't normally, only in public."

"That makes more sense."

"He's my Sevvykins and I'm his dragon, isn't that right Sev?" A playful growl emanated from the man making Harry pull away and into Draco as he mistook it for genuine anger.

"I told you not to call me that, I'm not a pet or a child." Snape looked at the cowering teen and stood from the bed to kneel in front of him. "I'm sorry for scaring you. Now, it's late so both of you should get some sleep, Mr Potter can I see you tomorrow? Think tonight about what you want to do and we'll figure it out." The teen looked at Draco with panic in his eyes.

"You don't want to be alone with him, do you?" Draco whispered in his ear as he drew closer to the teen, ensuring that Snape wasn't listening in with a wordlessly erected silencing charm much to the man's annoyance but he let them talk nonetheless.

"No. What if- what if he-"

"He won't try anything."

"But what if he does?"

"He won't."

"But he might."

"He won't but if you are that worried make sure you have your wand accessible and hex him."

"So you think he will try something as well then!"


"You told me what to do if he does, that means that he might." Draco raised a hand to Harry's cheek while holding his other hand tighter.

"HE WON'T. I promise. I was just trying to point out that you are able to defend yourself."

"Like I did against the others?"

"I'm not talking about them, I'm talking about Sev. I know him better than anyone else, he won't try anything."

"I don't want to Malfoy," tears began forming in the bottle green eyes but were wiped away by the blonde as they began falling.

"What if you didn't have to be alone with him?" Harry looked up at him with hope filled eyes. "I take it that would be alright?"


"You'll have to ask if he's alright with another person being there. Not because he'll want to try anything but because these sort of discussions he usually likes to have with the individual and no one else so they aren't biased." Harry nodded and wiped his eyes while Draco took down the ward and he turned back towards the man.

"Can Malfoy come?"

"I'd prefer if he didn't."

"If he doesn't nor will I." Draco rolled his eyes subtly as the teen worked to get his own way.

"Mr Potter, these conversations tend to be rather personal in nature and I have found before that children won't always tell the full extent of their abuse if they have a companion present."

"He knows the worst of it already."

"Mr Potter-"

"Me and Malfoy, or neither of us. Choose!"

"Fine, you will both be reporting to my office after breakfast tomorrow and we will talk for the entire weekend if we have to. If I think that you are hiding things because Draco is there, I will send him away. Understood?"

"That will be the end of the talk then. You send him away and I will go too." Snape huffed and walked out of the room, away from the stubborn teenage, he knew that the boy obviously had a reason but he couldn't figure out what it was.

"I'm just going to see Sev out. I'll be right back." Draco followed the man, shutting the door between Harry and the two of them.

"Why Dragon?"

"Why what?"

"Is he so stubborn?"

"He's not. He's scared. You forget, he's just found out he's having twins as a result of rape and we don't know who by because he doesn't know which one of many got him pregnant. First his uncle, then his dorm mates. He doesn't think he'll be safe with you, he thinks you'll be just another name on the list of his attackers."

"I would never-"

"I know, but he doesn't and he is the one who actually matters at the moment. Wouldn't you say?" Snape nodded. "Goodnight then Sev, we'll see you tomorrow." When Draco walked back in the room he saw Harry stood in front of the mirror with his shirt raised to show off his stomach.

"How Malfoy?"

"Well, the birds and the bees."

"Very funny. You saw the state of my stomach before, not necessarily the cuts as that could have been beforehand but the injuries and bruises, how did they survive that?"

"Strength, like the man carrying them." Draco went and led on the bed, Harry soon coming to join him as they faced each other once more. "What are you going to do then?"

"I don't know. I won't kill them, and I won't let them return with me. I don't know what other options there are."

"You could give them up for adoption, or you could keep them and raise them yourself. They are the only options really, Sev's already pointed out that you aren't going back so you can stop thinking about that idea."

"Where else am I meant to go Malfoy?"

"Where am I meant to go Potter? I can't return to my father, you can't return to your uncle. We're in the same boat in that aspect. So, keep them or give them up?"

"I grew up not knowing my parents, I don't want them to grow up not knowing me, but I'm 16. What the fuck do I know about being a parent?"

"About the same amount as most people who are having their first child, or first two in your case." Harry chuckled slightly at this comment but it wasn't full of glee or genuine laughter. "You'll figure it out. You've never let anything stop you before and the little I know you means that you won't start now."

"I'm still only 16."

"Then you ask for help from others if you need it, if you decide to keep them."

"I want to but I wouldn't be a good father."

"Doubtful that would be the case. If it was what you wanted, you'd manage." Harry led there thinking over Draco's words as the blonde remained silent to allow him to draw his own conclusions.

"Do you mind being there tomorrow?" Draco was shocked at the sudden change of topic but didn't let it faze him.

"No. If he does send me away at some point though I think you should continue the conversation with him. You'd be perfectly safe Potter, he wouldn't try anything."

"No. I- if anything I'd be more likely to tell you than I am to tell him or any other adult."


"They never help. Not really, they always say that they will but they never do. I don't expect you to help so you won't disappoint me when you don't. Adults have always meant pain to me, only lately have people my age been added into that category, and only some of them anyway."

"He would help if you would tell him. Just as I would help if I could."

"I- this Summer was bad Malfoy, worse than usual for me. I'm not being alone with he or any of the professors if I can help it."

"Why was it worse than usual?"

"You'll find out tomorrow."

"Yes, but if you're more likely to tell me than you are Sev, tell me now. Then if there is anything you don't tell him I'll know and can remind you to or you can get me to tell him if you don't want to say it yourself."

"You- you saw what he carved into my stomach. He found out that I am gay at the start of the holidays. It-it wasn't the first time that he did things to me like that but he decided that meant I liked what he did to me. For-for the first time it was like he would... sell me. He would show my picture to friends and colleagues and if they wanted a go, they would pay him to- to have some private time with me. He would turn a blind eye to anything they did and ignore me mostly. If someone was dissatisfied or I didn't finish my chores then he would punish me.

"I- I was locked back in my old cupboard unless I had a 'visitor' when I would be made to use the bedroom they gave me in second year. I guess I got more food than usual this year, he would feed me at least every other day, as some 'clients' complained I was too skinny, I didn't make for a good fuck.

"I came back to Hogwarts and the guys in the dorm saw the word 'FAG' on my stomach so they demanded to know the truth. I told them that I was gay and that night they beat me, well Neville didn't but he refused to participate so they locked him out of the dorm while they did what they wanted." Tears began to fall as Harry sobbed against Draco, hiding his face as he forced himself to continue.

"They got worse day by day as the news spread through the whole house and after the first fortnight of beatings Se-Seamus got frustrated at the lack of sex so he decided to use me. He spread it that I was good for 'stress relief' so I began getting an increasing number of Gryffindor's visiting my bed in the night no matter what I tried."

Draco pressed a kiss to the crown of Harry's head as he continued crying into their embrace. Slowly the crying subsided and Malfoy loosened his grip as Harry pulled away and wiped at his eyes forcefully.

"Sorry Malfoy."

"Don't be. You don't have to apologise. You're allowed to cry."

"Oh, well then, thanks."

"My pleasure."

"I- it's late. I'm going to go to bed, long day tomorrow. Goodnight Malfoy."

"Night Potter, see you in the morning." Draco watched the younger teen walked out of the room and shut the door behind him before hearing his own door being shut and the obvious click of a lock being done. Both boys got into their pyjamas before falling asleep, Draco silently wishing for a roommate as he drifted off while Harry wrapped his arms around his stomach, protecting his babies from the world rather than protecting himself from pain as he was earlier.