A/N: Ginny Weasley's true name is Ginevra, NOT Virginia. You all can go and check this from JK Rowling's official homepage, if you won't believe my word. Virginia is just a fandom-created nickname.

A/NII: Also, those who have been curious about Hermione, and why she hadn't figured it all out yet: well maybe she has. You'll just have to wait and see...




12. Charms

Harry woke up to the strange feeling of being crushed by someone. He cracked his eyes slowly open, realising that he actually could not see anything due to the fact that it was pitch dark inside his four-poster bed. Very carefully, he tried to turn around. Yes, someone was indeed sleeping in the same bed with him, squashing his left arm. Harry reached out a tentative hand, and it came in contact with something soft and silky.

"Mhhh... Don't mess up my hair..." A sleepy voice mumbled in Harry's ear.

"Malfoy?" Harry gasped.

A warm nose nuzzled against his neck. That particular sensation went straight down to the Gryffindor's groin, making Harry flush deep scarlet.

"What?" Draco asked, with a whiny voice that indicated he'd still been asleep, and didn't like the fact that Harry had awoken him.

Harry's throat was still hoarse after the sleep, but yet he managed to get some sharp edge to his question. "Malfoy, what the hell are you doing in my bed?"

Harry certainly did not remember the blonde boy crawling next to him the previous night. No, that was something he surely would have remembered. And also declined him from doing, had he been aware of the Veela's intentions. If anything, Harry wanted to keep Draco safe, and recalling yesterday's events, he had started to suspect that the Veela's charms were starting to affect him, too. If Harry could not get his own fleeting feelings back in check, Draco would not be safe in his company any longer. Especially if the blonde kept pushing his hips against his groin the way he involuntarily seemed to be doing right now.

Harry screwed his eye shut, and tried to remember how in the name of Hades did he ended up in this situation. But nothing special had happened after the Weasley episode in the library.

After they had exited the library the previous afternoon, they had spent the rest of the daylight hours in the Slytherin common room, Draco doing his homework and Harry copying it. Blaise had been there with them, keeping the other Slytherins at a good distance from the beautiful Veela boy that had become the obsession of nearly everyone, and Harry had been glaring at Blaise for reasons unknown to everyone but Merlin.

Also Snape had emerged at one point to see how Draco was doing, and to glare at Harry's general direction. The Professor had shared a few mumbled words with Draco, and Draco had started to cast weird glances at Harry ever since. Harry decided he didn't even want to know what Snape had said to the blonde boy, but obviously it had been something about him. And if it was, it couldn't have been anything good.

A couple of hours after Snape's visit, Harry and Blaise had escorted Draco into the bathroom, where they had brushed their teeth and prepared for the upcoming night. Draco had changed into his silken pajama pants and a black, plain T-shirt, and Harry had pushed him inside his four-poster with a dull wish for a good-night. After that, he had cast the usual protective charms, as well as a couple of extras just to be sure, and retreated to his own, inviting bed.

No. Draco had not crawled into the same bed with him last night. Harry was more than sure of that. Harry had no recollection as to why or how the blonde had ended up in his arms. The Veela must have done it while Harry was already fallen asleep.

"Malfoy," Harry started again. "I asked you a question."

"Did you really?" Draco answered with his laziest drawl. "Well that's nothing new. If you keep doing just that, you might miraculously surprise us all and even pass the NEWTs."

Harry inhaled deeply, not wanting to get into a row so early in the morning. He succeeded scarily well, when the subtle scent of apples from Malfoy's fine hair filled his nostrils and made him want to bury his nose into those silvery locks. Harry restrained himself.

"Malfoy, you know it isn't exactly normal to wake up with your sworn enemy cuddling against your neck," Harry patiently tried to get some answers out of the Veela. "Therefore, I would be ever grateful if you would explain."

"I got scared," Draco whispered, his feathery breath tickling Harry's sensitive skin.

Harry shivered. "Malfoy, you would have been perfectly safe in your own bed. Only Hermione can break my charms, and even she can't do it but occasionally."

"Nightmares," Draco muttered, and moved closer to Harry.

Harry coughed, trying to move away from the snuggling Veela. "Yea, well, nightmares can't get you killed, or raped. They're just dreams."

"But Harry," Draco wailed. "I dreamed about Longbottom and Lovegood. They were trying to do inexplicably horrible things to me and my virtue."

Harry wanted to scream. "So what? It was still only a dream."

"But Lovegood was wearing leather, and Longbottom did some nasty gestures with his mouth and a thick banana."

"Eww!" Harry stuck his tongue out, although it was too dark for Draco to see it. "Don't be disgusting."

Draco yawned deeply and stretched out his limbs. "What time is it?"

Harry rolled his eyes in the darkness and pushed the curtains a little aside, glancing at the clock on his nightstand. He was surprised to notice that he didn't need his glasses anymore. Malfoy's spell from the previous afternoon was obviously still working. Besides, he still did not know what had happened with his spectacles; they had completely disappeared in the library.

"It's half past six."

"So it's too early to get up. Breakfast won't start until half past seven." Draco rolled on his side and wrapped his arms around Harry again, nestling his head in the crook between the Gryffindor's shoulder and chest. "Nighty night."

Harry felt hot under the collar, especially now that he realised Malfoy had discarded his shirt at some point of the night. "Malfoy, if you don't mind..." Harry spoke very slowly. "Why don't you go back to your own bed and sleep there?"

"Too tired to make the effort," the Slytherin grunted. Then he abruptly raised his head and looked down at Harry worriedly, examining the black-haired man's face in the wan light that seeped through the crack in the curtains. "But, of course, I will go if you don't want me here. Do you order me to go away?"

Harry, despite trying to convince himself otherwise, actually enjoyed the warmth of the other boy's body next to him. He focused his green eyes on the scared grey orbs of the Veela boy, and managed to smile a little. Maybe Malfoy was not in his full senses right now, in his sleepy daze, but Harry kind of liked this cuddly Malfoy better than the irritable, angry and whiny one. Besides, Harry had the odd feeling that if he now sent the blonde away, he would have to bear the consequences later that day. Malfoy was bent on being panicky and paranoid even as it was, and if Harry would give the Veela reason to believe that even he wasn't to be trusted...

The strange word called 'subterfuge' suddenly flashed in his mind's eye, with a ridiculously big 'S', but Harry decided to ignore it.

"Well, I guess it's all right," Harry heard himself saying. "Anything's fine, as long as you're not acting like a cat on a hot tin roof."

"I do not act like that," Draco protested. "Given the circumstances, I'm acting very calmly and reasonably."

Harry couldn't hold back a snort. "Malfoy, you are the worst drama queen I have ever known."

Draco, who was still sitting on the bed and glaring down at Harry, suddenly leapt on top of the Gryffindor and pinned him down. "Take that back or I'll tickle you!"

Harry laughed. "See what I mean? You want to tickle me! How evil is that? Only a week before, if you would have been in the position to hold me down like this, you would have tried to feed me my own wand!"

"Well that can be arranged!" Draco fumed.

Harry only laughed heartily. "Stop being funny and go back to sleep, Princess Aurora. And just so you know, I don't mind if you sleep a little longer than the usual one hundred years. You're surprisingly sophisticated company when you're in the Dreamland."

Draco muttered some chosen obscenities under his breath, but obeyed Harry like a good Veela should obey his mate. He went back to sleep, hogging Harry's pillow and eventually curling around it, inhaling Harry's scent from the cushion cover.

Harry watched Draco for a few minutes in silent fascination. The boy looked much the same than the morning before; peaceful and innocent and pure. However, the black bags under his eyes were now more prominent than ever, and Harry really felt sorry for the git. He suspected Draco had been sleeping worse than what he'd actually let on.

Tentatively, Harry wrapped his arm around Draco's small body. "Don't hex me in the morning then. After all, this wasn't my idea," he spoke softly in the Veela's ear. "You can't accuse me of molesting you, when you voluntarily climb into my bed."

He got no response, and decided that he might try to get some sleep, as well.

When Harry woke up the next time, he noticed that Vincent and Gregory were already bustling about, trying to get dressed. Blaise was trying to put off his alarm, swatting it wildly with a haphazard hand, and Theodore was already ready to leave. Harry rolled out of the bed, leaving the still sleepy Draco behind.

"Hey guys," he tentatively greeted. "Good morning."

"Morning," they all chorused, not looking at Harry, but not sounding hostile, either.

"So... What's our first class?" Harry ventured.

"You and Draco have Wizard Fashion Designing with me and Theodore," Blaise grinned, and rubbed his sleepy eyes. "It's a really interesting class, but I doubt you'll manage through it without embarrassing yourself. You have no fashion sense whatsoever, Potter."

"I'll have you know, Zabini, I have more fashion sense than all you Slytherins put together!" Harry fumed, pulling on a pair of trousers.

A gibing laughter echoed from the depths of his four-poster.

"Shut it, Malfoy!" Harry yelled, annoyed.

Four pairs of eyes turned immediately at Harry.

"Did you sleep with him?" Blaise asked. His eyes were wide with disbelief and anger. "You bastard!"

"It's not what it looks like," Harry huffed. "I didn't touch him, if that's what you mean. I'm not like you people."

Theodore glared. He knew he'd blown up his own chances with Draco, certainly, but that didn't make him any less jealous of Harry and his position as Draco's keeper. "Then what the devil is he doing in your bed?"

"Sleeping?" Harry suggested, rolling his eyes sarcastically.

"Oh, as if we would believe that!" Gregory howled.

"Then look for yourselves! He's still in one piece, and still as virginal as ever. If we would have had sex last night, I highly doubt he would be glowing so outrageously anymore. Now if you don't mind, I'd like to get dressed in peace."

Harry moved to gather his robes from the nearby chair. He watched as Vincent and Blaise crept closer to his bed in order to check out Draco. The two Slytherins leaned over the bed and stared at Draco wistfully, mesmerized, nearly salivating over the sheets. Harry shook his head in annoyance, and pushed a comb through his rebellious hair.

"You done watching him?" Harry surprised himself with a little burst of jealousy and protectiveness. "He's not an exhibit, you know."

"We know," Blaise furrowed his brows and forced himself and Vincent away from the bed. "But you should really wake him up. He's gonna be royally pissed if he has to hurry."

"Oh, don't I know that," Harry sighed. He looked pained as he straightened his tie; soon the day's calm would be broken, again, when the paranoid Malfoy heir would be awoken. However, Harry forced his legs to move and rapidly marched around the bed to Draco's side, pulled the curtains aside and shook the half-Veela from the shoulder. "Wake up, sleepy-head. School starts in thirty minutes."

"Mfff. Not going."

"Oh, for fuck's sake, Malfoy!" Harry pulled the covers off Draco, making the blonde boy wince with sudden cold. Then the Gryffindor hauled the drowsy boy out of the bed like a rag doll, lifting him in a standing position, supporting him from the armpits. "I'm not putting up with your mood swings today. So get your whiny arse moving and put some clothes on!"

Despite his harsh words, Harry very much liked to linger his gaze on the shirtless form of Draco Malfoy this morning, and did not even bother to hide it. Something had changed. Had Draco's powers truly started to affect him, at last? The memory of himself sleeping right next to this beautiful creature conquered his thoughts, and he could feel something stir within him. Reluctantly, he let go of the dozy Veela, leaned against the pillar of his bed and concentrated on the show.

"I know I must be dazzling in the mornings, but really!" Draco sniffed his nose to the spectators, as he went to crash through his wardrobe.

"You better put your shirt on," Theodore carefully suggested. "You know, er, yeah."

"I'm bloody working on it," Draco crankily snapped. "I just can't decide which one I should wear."

"Try that deep grey one," Blaise suggested. "It's really hot."

Draco glared at him. "Do you think I want to wear anything hot when I'm already the shag-target of hundreds of lust-crazed ugly teenager witches and wizards?"

Blaise just shrugged and grinned.

"Blaise's right, you know," Harry smirked. "That shirt really is rather hot. Now put it on, you bloody ponce, and hurry. Nobody will see it from under your robes anyway, you should be quite safe."

"You think my grey shirt is hot, Potter?" Draco raised a brow.

"Maybe it is, maybe not. Who cares? As I said, nobody will see it, anyway. Just hurry!"

Draco quickly grabbed the said grey shirt, flung it on and buttoned it up. "You will see it," he grinned, and proceeded to put his robes on.

Harry had the grace to blush. "Malfoy, honestly! Behave yourself. You're hardly going to help your own tricky situation if you throw suggestions like that around."

"I do not just 'throw them around', Harry," Draco murmured, but so silently that nobody quite caught his words.

"Alright, I think it's breakfast time," Theodore cleared his throat, and opened the door. "Vince, Greg, coming?"

Harry watched the three Slytherins drag themselves out of the room. Then he turned on his heel and his eyes unexpectedly landed on Draco's trunk. A mad idea came rushing to him, as he remembered the little doxy that dwelled in this large, wooden box. With quick steps, Harry went to the trunk and opened the heavy, beautifully decorated lid. He located the black fairy with ease, and swiftly picked it up from one of the darkest corners.

"Well, well, well. Trick or treat, Ickle Riddlekins?"

The little doxy named Riddle had been very soundly sleeping in Draco Malfoy's expensive trunk when a sudden, unexpected light disturbed his peace. Very much annoyed, the creature opened his eyes to see the reason for this sudden disturbance --and his eyes flew wide open, when he realised that he was trapped in the corner by a very familiar-looking, dark haired young man. The said young man picked Riddle up and out of the trunk, a crazy smirk hovering on his face. Riddle panicked, and let out a strangled whimper. He tried to open his wings and fly away, but miserably failed tin his attempts to escape.

The person who was holding him only laughed.

"You're not going anywhere, you sneaky little imp! No... I think you're coming right with me to the toilet."

"Stop harassing my doxy, Potter, it has done nothing to you," Draco complained.

Harry smiled evilly at the blonde. "I'm not harassing it... I'm just teaching it a lesson. It has been a bad, bad little doxy."

With these words, Harry exited the room, laughing like a cracked maniac. Draco and Blaise exchanged a quick, anxious look and hurried after him, worrying for the fate of the little black creature.

"Potter!" Draco yelled. "Stop right there and give Riddle back to me!"

"Not until I've given it a cold shower," Harry quipped back, continuing his way towards the Ugly Snape portrait, the password of which he now remembered.

"It hasn't done anything to you!" Draco shouted. "Let it go!"

"Stay out of this, Malfoy," Harry's voice was commanding. "This is between Riddle and me. Whahahaha!"

"But it's just a baby, Harry," Draco whined, stopping in his tracks. "God, I don't know what is happening here. Blaise, you go and make sure Potter won't kill it."

Blaise raised his brows. "Uh, Draco... Why did you stop? Why don't you come along? You should hardly be left alone in the middle of the main aisle."

"Believe me, Blaise, when I say that I will kill you in a very slow and torturous way if you just don't go and save Riddle from that raving madman!"

Blaise believed, and hurried off.

Draco buried his face in his hands and leaned against the wall. He could not go after Harry; his mate had forbidden that quite clearly. Stay out of this, Malfoy...

"Damn you to hell and back, Potter. Why, oh why it is you that I must love?"

"Muwhahahahhahaha! You irritable excuse of a fairy, this will teach you to mess with other people's heads!"

Harry hovered above the sink with a menacing poise, opened the water tap and pushed the little struggling doxy under the ice-cold waterfall.

"This is for making fun of me, and making fun of Draco's severe situation! I don't know what you had in your mind when you tricked us into kissing, but I will damn well make sure you won't do that kind of joke on us again! What if Draco would've woken up and realised what he was doing? He would've freaked out, for fuck's sake, and he's already crazy enough! And I would have been expelled!"

Riddle looked like a cat thrown into a lake, the black hair of its fur going thoroughly wet and flat. Its teeth rattled together with the cold, and it made a tiny, suffering sound in its throat.

"DO YOU HEAR ME?" Harry roared. "Never do that kind of tricks again!"

"Potter, what the hell?"

Blaise Zabini rushed into the room, snatching Harry's hand away from under the cold water, rescuing the little black fairy. He pried Harry's fingers apart and tugged the shuddering creature into his chest pocket, with a menacing glare at the Gryffindor.

"Just what the devil do you think you're doing?" the Slytherin hissed. "Be glad if Draco won't report this to Snape! Attacking and torturing innocent little helpless creatures such as doxies! You must be out of your mind, Potter!"

Harry looked annoyed. "Don't exaggerate things so flamboyantly, Zabini. I wasn't torturing it, I was just teaching Riddle here a lesson."

"Well excuse me, Scarhead, but Draco Malfoy is the only one to give this doxy any lessons," Blaise barked. "After all, it is his doxy, and not yours!"

Harry suddenly seemed to perk up. "Where is Draco, by the way?"

"Well, I left him in the hallway," Blaise shrugged.

"What, did you leave him all alone?" Harry nearly screamed at Blaise's face.

"He insisted upon it, wasn't my fault!" Blaise screamed back.

"Insisted my ass, he doesn't fucking know what's best for him! Why the hell did you listen to him?"

"Because he threatened to hex me if I didn't go, you fuckwit!"

"Shit," Harry panted. "Let's go. We must find him."

"Aye," Blaise agreed, and they both dashed out of the toilet.

They ran the long corridors in a hurry, hoping against hope that nothing had happened to their friend. Well, Blaise's friend. And Harry's... acquaintance with some very weird benefits.

"Where is he?" Blaise groaned, when they reached the spot where he and Draco had split. "I left him right here!"

"Well he isn't here anymore." Harry breathed heavily after all the running. "Where do you suggest we start looking for him?"

"I..." Blaise started. But before he could finish his thought, he was interrupted by a blast of icy cold air that exploded into his face from the direction of the girl's lavatory. "The girls' room! Come! Quick!"

Blaise grabbed Harry's forearm, and they both ran as fast as they could. Harry kicked the door to the lavatory open, and it slammed noisily against the wall tiles. Blaise plunged in, and nearly slipped on the floor tiles when trying to take the turn towards the cubicles too fast.

"Draco! Where are you?" he shouted, taking support from the wooden wall of the first cubicle.

"Mmmffff!" a muffled sound drifted to Harry and Blaise's ears from the box furthest from the entrance. "Mff rrr!"

"Draco!" Harry yelled and, together with Blaise, he went to pry the locked door of the booth open.

As they were working, they noticed that the air around them was as chilly as it was usually in the mid winter, and harsh blows of wind were tearing down the towels from the racks and making the toilet paper rolls fly across the room. This meant that Draco was very, very pissed off, and also very much in trouble.

"Alohomora!" Blaise cast the spell on the lock. "Alohomora!"

"It won't work," Harry muttered in rage. "Wait, I've got an idea!"

Blaise watched in fascination and worry how Harry conjured up a huge axe. The weapon was actually more heavy-looking than its conjurer; a fact which made Blaise decide that he'd rather stay away from Potter's way when he intended to use it.

"Potter, are you sure...?"

"Yes, I am, Zabini," Harry told the Slytherin with a cold voice, and lifted the weapon over his head. "The Muggle ways are sometimes the best."

The first strike was directed at the door's hinges. The uppermost one broke in two halves immediately, the metallic pieces clinking against the stony floor as they fell. Harry grimaced with the effort of swaying the heavy hatchet, but lifted it once again in the air. He targeted his next blow at the second hinge, which was as easily broken as the first one, and the door wailed.

"Draco, hang on in there," Blaise tried to support his friend. "Potter's coming through!"

The last blow of the axe didn't quite hit the final hinge, but instead it injured the wooden frame next to it, miraculously causing a chain reaction of some sorts, making the whole door splinter. But despite the small victory, Harry and Blaise could not cheer: the sight that greeted them was not exactly the most beautiful one of them all.

Luna Lovegood, with her robes discarded and replaced with leather underwear, was kneeling between Draco's thighs. She was obviously working on something Harry did not even want to think about.

"Raistlin Majere kill us all," Blaise cursed.

Draco's mouth was tied with a Muggle-style red bandana, and he seemed to be under some sort of weak Imperius spell. He was crying, and didn't even bother to hide it from Harry and Blaise. Luna, instead, didn't even seem to have noticed the newcomers; she was obviously too entranced by Draco's charms.

Blaise leapt forwards and grabbed the loony girl from the hair, hauling her away from his friend. Only now Luna shrieked with surprise and pain, and started to struggle against Blaise's harsh grip. Harry nodded at Blaise, and the Slytherin boy nodded back. With a wordless agreement, they decided that Harry would take care of the hysterical Draco while Blaise would see to Luna's proper punishment.

Harry untied the bandana, and lifted the curse off the shaking Veela. It didn't take two seconds from Draco to throw himself at Harry, sobbing miserably and heart-wrenchingly into his neck.

"I-- I told you!" Draco sniffled. "I told you I had nightmares about that horrid freak of a girl!"

"Hush, now." Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's shivering body. "It's all right now. Everything's all right. I won't let it happen again."

"You always say that, and yet it always happens again!" Draco wailed.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," Harry found himself sobbing, too. "I will try better from now on. I won't leave you alone, anymore. Not for one moment, unless you especially tell me to. Okay?"

"Kay," Draco mumbled against Harry's collars.

Harry smoothed Draco's hair and then gently lifted the boy into a standing position. "Do you want to, ah, put your trousers and robes back on? Do you need any help with them?"

"N-- No, I think I can manage to dress myself just fine," Draco stammered.

Harry turned to look away. "You need to see Pomfrey?" he asked, after a little while.

"No!" Draco's voice hitched with unshed tears. "She'd only make it ten times worse."

"Do you want to go back to the dorms, then?" Harry suggested. "We could always skip the first classes, if you need to calm down."

"No, no," Draco shook his head, and shrugged the robes over his shoulders. "I want to go to class. I don't want anyone to think that something happened."

"Are you sure?" Harry asked. "I mean, I think this might have been a little bit too traumatizing for you."

"I'm sure, Potter, get off it. I'm a strong person, despite everything you must think of me. If I dwell on this matter, it will depress me even more than it already does. Just... Let's just go to breakfast, alright?"

"Alright," Harry sighed. He glanced at Draco's dishevelled outlook, and out of pure feeling, threw a couple of cleaning and repairing charms on Draco's clothes. "Presentable again. Good."

Draco managed a small smile. "Thanks, Potter. For everything, and all."

"You're quite welcome. Now, let's get going. I want to know what Blaise did to Lovegood."

The breakfast ended up being a rather short occasion for Harry, Blaise and Draco, for obvious reasons that were solely related to Miss Luna Lovegood. Blaise had taken the girl straight to Professor Snape, who had been more than a little pissed off and nearly cursed the poor girl, until he had remembered that, as a teacher, he wasn't allowed use violence on his students. And, by all means, he remembered that this episode wasn't entirely Luna's fault, after all. Still, Luna had been presented with a month full of detentions with either Filch or Snape, and her house lost altogether two hundred points. The main reason for Snape's frantic anger was heard to be the 'outrageous usage of Muggle kidnapping methods on a wizard student'.

Draco had not wanted to see the girl anymore. He'd had quite enough of her, for the rest of his life. But Harry and Blaise, instead, had spent a good fifteen minutes each yelling harsh words at the poor Ravenclaw. And now, when it was finally the time to eat something, they had to do it with a hurry. The classes would start strictly at nine, and not even molested Veela students were allowed to dodge the rules. And hence, all the boys were now sitting at the Slytherin house table, eating with passion.

Draco was in a very bad mood, embarrassed and angry because of the morning's happenings. Blaise wisely avoided Draco's wrath at all costs, but Harry was unfazed; after all, an angry and fiery Malfoy was exactly what he'd gotten used to, during all his years at Hogwarts.

They were nearly finished with eating, when Harry saw Ron and Ginny leave the Gryffindor table. The events of yesterday came rushing back into his mind. The fight with Ron, and the fact that he had been slightly injured. And, of course, the weird encounter with Malfoy in his full Veela form.

"By the way, what was all that shit that happened yesterday, Malfoy?" Harry asked, while munching the final bites of his chicken and ham sandwich. "I mean, uhh... the healing thing. I forgot to ask you about it yesterday, but well, you were talking to Snape the entire evening."

"Not now, Potter."

"I think I deserve to know," Harry cast a smouldering glare at the Veela. "After all, I was the victim of that demonstration."

There was an audible, suffering sigh, and Draco turned to Harry. "Fine. Do you remember anything Snape told you? When he introduced you to the Veela subject?"

"Er... Some of it?"

"You're impossible, Potter," Draco shook his head. "Anyway, he told you about these healing powers that most Veela and half-Veela have. However, this area of my expertise was left mostly uncovered since you started mocking me, and we got distracted."

"Oh, now I remember." Harry was a little ashamed.

"Alright, to make it short and understandable for your puny brains, I really truly have healing powers. It's my saliva that re-generates the cells in the injured area, recognizing the genetic inheritance of the person I'm healing from the person's blood."

"Oh." Harry felt stupid. He knew they learned about these things in Muggle schools, but since he wasn't going into one, he had no actual knowledge on the matter. "That's... nice."

"You really don't know much about me, do you, Potter?" Draco sounded slightly worried. "You haven't been reading any books about the Veela, have you?"

"Um," Harry was even more ashamed than before. "Well. I guess I should finally make the effort. I mean, you're right. There are many things about you that I don't know. And how should I be able to protect you, if I don't know anything about what you are."

"Good thinking, Potter," Draco admitted. "But maybe it would still be wiser if you stayed away from the literature. You know, you will learn while you watch, and all that. Also, that way, you won't come across any information you might possibly find, ah, intimidating."

Harry raised his thick, black brow. "Intimidating?"

Draco looked elsewhere. "I don't really fancy you knowing about my sexual streaks, or other things like that."

"And here I thought you had no sexual streaks, seeing as..."

"Don't you dare finish that sentence, Potter, or I'll poke your eye out with this fork!"

"Are you two finished already?" Blaise asked, with great amount of annoyance, and stood up from his chair. "Because, you know, it's three minutes to nine."

Wizard Fashion Designing was indeed an interesting class, although the group was rather small. Only two Gryffindors were present, not counting Harry. They were Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown, both wearing a dirty amount of make-up that made Harry want to gag. At the sight of Harry, the two girls came straight away to talk to him.

"Oi, Harry! How come you're here? We didn't know you were taking this class," Lavender simpered, eyeing Draco rather predatorily.

"You know perfectly well that I'm here because of Malfoy." Harry tried to remain calm. "Otherwise I would be having Divination."

"Oh, well, that's a pity! I mean, that you have to be here if you don't want to." Parvati adopted an artificially sad expression.

"Actually, I think I'll like this fashion designing thing ten times more than Trelawney's class." Harry smiled angelically, but simultaneously, a sharp edge emerged into his green eyes. "Besides, I think you're just sorry that I'm here, standing between you and Malfoy."

Parvati glanced quickly at the Veela boy, who was now sitting with Blaise on the other side of the room. Blaise was currently trying to help Draco to get rid of Hannah Abbot, who was perfectly convinced that she was the Veela's right mate.

"Maybe," Parvati finally confessed, smiling craftily. "So, when is my turn? I got the number thirteen, you know, on that list."

Harry went pale. He had completely forgotten all about that silly list. The previous evening, as well as this morning, had been so confusing, after all. And now... People were expecting him to act upon it. What would Malfoy say if he found about that list? He would kill Harry in a flash of a lightning.

"Er," Harry coughed, unconsciously patting the piece of parchment that lay in his chest pocket. He decided it would be best to get rid of Parvati as soon as possible, and he knew just what to say to make this happen. "Oh, your turn will be soon. I promise."

"That's wonderful! I know I'm the right one, you'll just wait and see." Parvati threw Harry a bright grin, as well as a warm hug, and hastened to take a seat in the front row.

"Harry?" Lavender grabbed his forearm and batted her eyelashes. "My number was nine. I suspect there are still a few ahead of me?"

"Umh, yeah." Harry chewed his lips. "A couple of names before yours are still left."

"Can't wait my turn!" Lavender squealed, and went to take the next available seat closest to Malfoy, swaying her hips in a womanly way as she went.

Harry was appalled, and quickly walked to his own seat that was next to Theodore, and right behind Draco. Two minutes later, to Harry's mild surprise, Professor McGonagall sailed into the classroom. The Deputy Headmistress looked disapproving, just like she always did, but smiled a little when she caught the sight of Draco. The Veela boy instinctively leaned back in his chair, and Harry put a soothing hand on his shoulder.

"Don't worry," he whispered to Draco. "I'll make sure she won't attempt anything."

"You better," Draco hissed back, and looked foreboding.

"Attention, class!" McGonagall's voice sounded shrill. "Today, we will start working on the sketches you have made. Please take them forth."

Harry, of course, didn't have anything ready for the class, so he just settled with watching Theodore's designs. The boy had painted a full set of robes, deep burgundy in their colour, silvery embroidery falling neatly down from the collars and continuing all the way down to the hems. He had written the word 'velvet' on top of an arrow that pointed to the red colour.

"That looks nice," Harry commented. "But do you think you can do it? It looks rather difficult, especially the decorations."

Theodore looked superior. "Of course I can do it. I am very good at tailoring charms. Besides, this is not at all too difficult compared to Draco's sketches."

Harry felt himself intrigued, and jabbed the blonde in the back. "Hey Malfoy, can I see your designs?"

Draco turned his head around, and smirked. "No."

"Why not?" Harry scowled.

"Because I don't want to show you."

"Why not?" Harry repeated.

"Because you wouldn't understand any of it, even if I did."

"Try me."

"Was that an invitation?" Draco winked.

"Malfoy!" Harry groaned. "Stop that! And let me see that drawing of yours."

Draco submissively gave his designs to Harry, and sulked. "Fine."

Harry took the sketch in his hand, and eyed it with utter fascination. This outfit, just as Theodore had said, was not anywhere near as easy to make as a set of plain burgundy robes. In fact...

"Malfoy, these are Muggle clothes," he grinned.

"I said you wouldn't understand," Draco raised his chin defiantly.

"These clothes I can certainly understand," Harry hoverer his fingers across the exquisite, snug-looking shirt and tight trousers. "It's just weird to see you designing anything remotely Muggle."

"Why so? After all, you mudblood-loving fools went and won the war. I might as well try and get used to the fact that more and more muggleborns will be roaming around the wizarding community in the future." Draco crossed his arms. His silvery eyes were looking Harry up and down rather greedily. "And, by the way, I just got the best idea in the world."

Harry shivered under that insatiable stare. "And what is that?"

"You will be my model," the Slytherin grinned. "I will get to dress you like a Barbie-doll."

"No way in hell," Harry looked aghast. "And how do you know what a Barbie-doll is?"

"Daphne had one of those in our first year. She used to comb her hair and dress her. She even named her, it was something like... Hey, Blaise, what was the name of that stupid doll of Daphy's again?"

"Mary Joanna Gonzales."

"She called hear toy Marijuana?" Harry gaped.

"No, you dork, I said Mary Joanna," Blaise rolled his eyes. "Spanish people spell the names differently, you know. And Daphne's grandmother was Spanish, hence the witty name."

"Still sounds Marijuana to me," Harry shrugged.

"Whatever, who cares," Draco waved his hand. "Now... Will you model for me, Potter?"

"No!" Harry protested, annoyed. "I will most certainly not."

"Please?" Draco tried his puppy eyes again. "Pretty please. Haaaarrryyyy..."

"You're crazy."

"You make me crazy, so it's your fault," Draco retorted.

Harry did not realise this sentence could be interpreted in two ways, and therefore was saved from a bout of vigorous blushing. "We've been through this before," he said to the blonde git, furrowing his brows. "And I have already said I'm sorry about everything that happened. Now will you finally get over it?"

"Only if you model for me."

"Will not."

"Will do. Otherwise I will never forgive you, and I will hex you oh so real bad when I get normal, again."

"You will hex me anyway so I don't see your point," Harry remarked. "Besides, I'm nobody's puppet."

"Haaarryyyy..." Draco pleaded again. "It's not like you'd be embarrassed. I know these clothes would look tremendously good on you."

"Anything would look better on him than that atrocious red pullover," Blaise commented from his seat, earning a hateful glare from Harry.

"Just do it, Potter," sighed Theodore. "It's nothing bad. Besides, this class will get really boring for you if you don't have anything to do."

To this statement, Harry had to agree. He looked again at the picture in his hand, and sighed. It really was not that atrocious. The shirt was dark green, almost black, and the collars and the cuffs looked really stylish. And as to the trousers, they seemed to be made of something very soft and clingy. The man in the sketch turned, and revealed his backside to Harry. Harry gaped a little; he had rarely seen such a good-looking ass. Well, except for Malfoy's, but that line of thought was absolutely out of question. Harry shook his head, and looked at the trousers again. Their waistline rode rather slow, but Harry thought it was rather intriguing. Would these garments look just as good on him, as well?

"Alright, Malfoy, you win," he shook his head. "Just... Don't make me strip in front of the whole class, alright?"

"I would never do anything so plebeian," Draco said, adopting his most fake-innocent expression.

"Oh, of course not," Harry mocked.

"Enough of this futile argument," Draco grinned, and promptly jumped out of his seat. "Stand up, Potter, so that I can measure you."

Harry glared, but did just as Draco told him to do.

The class of Wizard Fashion Designing had just ended, and Harry was walking towards the Sexual Behaviour of Magical Creatures with his new Slytherin companions. He was very fidgety; his skin was tickling all over. He could still feel Malfoy's fingers all over him, the Veela's spells lingering on his skin. The closeness of the beautiful blonde boy was starting to affect him in the weirdest of ways. No, he did not feel the uncontrollable urge to ravish the boy, like the rest of the school. Oh, no... He just felt like... like a fool. He felt light-headed and giggly and unreal and ready to conjure up a bunch of beautiful silvery butterflies, whenever he looked at Malfoy.

And he knew that this could not be a good sign.

"Potter, you seem oddly out of it today," Draco raised Harry an elegant brow.

"Well, excuse me of being a little embarrassed," Harry coughed. "You had me in my underwear, for heaven's sake!"

"Yeah, I did, didn't I?" Draco beamed, and raised his face towards the sun that peeked from behind the curtain of clouds. Life couldn't get any better.

"Sadistic bastard," Harry muttered.

"In case you didn't notice, we were in a broom closet. Nobody else saw you but me," Draco smiled against the glare of the warm sun, and inhaled the autumn air. It was left unmentioned that, if anyone else somehow would have seen Harry in this state of undress, Draco would have had to kill them all.

"You're not helping," Harry brooded. "It's almost worse than anything that you were the one to see my scars. Now you're going to ridicule me till the end of my days because of them."

"There's nothing to ridicule about," Draco said, quietly. "Voldemort was not exactly a funny man."

Harry involuntarily ran his hand across his lower back, where a series of sharp whiplash scars were marring his skin. He had been careful not to show them to anyone, because he didn't like to be questioned about them. Ron knew, of course, as did the rest of the Gryffindor seventh year boys; but nobody else had seen them. Even Hermione had only heard of them. And now Malfoy had as much as touched them, only a few moments ago, which made Harry feel slightly uncomfortable.

"And here I thought you were his supporter," he looked at Malfoy calculatingly. "You were your father's son, in every aspect of the word."

"I... I don't know what I was," Draco admitted, looking at his feet. "And I'm still learning."

Harry was silent for a moment. Then he looked up in the sky, and smiled. "This is an oddly civilized conversation between us, you know. Who knows, maybe we can become friends."

"Heaven forbid," Draco looked aghast. "Friends with you, Potter? Sorry, but I don't have a death wish."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Harry pouted.

"You're a trouble magnet, Potter. Everywhere you go, you end up in dangerous situations. Endangering your friends in the process, as well, I might add."

"That was before Voldemort was dead," Harry pointed out. "Since then, I haven't been anywhere near trouble."

"Well you're near me right now," Draco looked smug. "Don't you call that trouble anymore?"

Harry groaned. He knew he would never win a witty argument with Malfoy. "Let's just go to class, shall we? The others have already gathered."

The care of Magical Creatures continued with the Medusa women. When Draco and Harry arrived at the wooden shed, Blaise came over to them immediately, giving nasty glares at Harry.

"Where have you been?" he grunted at Draco. "I was worried that something might have happened to you."

Draco was feeling a little thoughtful, after his conversation with Harry, and didn't quite hear the other boy. Did Harry really want to be friends with him? That was called progress, wasn't it? Yet progress was exactly what Draco tried to avoid, for the sake of his sanity when he would get his medicines back.

"Draco, do you hear me?" Blaise was irritated. "I asked you if everything was alright."

"Everything's just fine," Draco grinned. "I was just having my wicked way with Potter in the broom closet, nothing more."

"Malfoy!" Harry nudged the Veela in the ribs, feeling very mortified. "That sounded... wrong."

Blaise looked at them both with calculating eyes. "Draco, you sure Potter's immune to your charms? I mean, you two seem to be awfully comfortable hanging around with each other these days. There's almost no trace of your former rivalry left. You even call each other by your first names, occasionally, when you don't realise it."

"Blame it all to these damned Veela hormones, Blaise," Draco sighed. "And yes, I'm quite sure Potter's still immune."

"How can you be so sure?" Blaise looked suspicious.

"Come on, let's go inside the shed, first." Draco grabbed both Harry and Blaise from the shoulders, and pushed them forwards. "The lesson's starting. I'll tell you all about it when Hagrid's booming his nonsense to the rest of the class."

"It's not nonsense," Harry protested, but Draco silenced him with a sharp look.

They settled down on the mossy ground, in the darkest corner of the shed. Draco self-righteously un-fastened Harry's school cloak and spread it down, sitting on the black canvas. He did not want to dirty his own, expensive clothes at any costs. Besides, he would buy Harry a new cloak soon, anyway, because he was sick and tired of being seen with such a shabbily dressed protector. The next Hogsmeade weekend... He imagined the scene in his mind's eye: dragging the kicking and screaming Harry into the Gladrags Wizardwear, forcing the Gryffindor to burn all his old clothes and buy dozens of new outfits, chosen by Draco himself.

A sharp nudge in his ribs awoke him from his pleasant musings.

"Draco, what was it you were going to tell us about Potter's immunity?" Blaise hissed.

Draco blinked a couple of times, before he realised he was sitting very close to Blaise and Harry, his shoulders tightly squeezed between the two bodies. Blaise was leaning awfully close to him, and Harry was nearly embracing him with his authoritative poise, his delightfully well-built body looming over Draco's lithe form, trying to make Blaise retreat.

Draco could not help himself leaning just a little bit more into Harry's warmth.

"Well, as you know, Snape came to see me yesterday," he whispered. "He told me he'd been doing some research on Potter's background, in order to find out why Harry's been so totally unaffected by me."

"I find the idea of Snape digging out information about my heritage rather gross," Harry snarled.

"Well, you can only blame yourself," Draco sneered. "Why do you have to be always so special?"

"It's not my fault!" Harry bristled.

"Whatever," Blaise was impatient. "Go on, Draco, what did Snape say?"

"He said he couldn't find anything. And when he didn't, he finally went to see Dumbledore," Draco frowned. Suddenly, his expression turned rather disgusted. "And it turns out that Dumbledore has been casting some kind of spells on Harry, without anyone knowing about it. One of them was a Veela Repellent Charm of some sorts, and Dumbledore used it on Harry before the Second War began. He wanted to make sure Voldemort couldn't get to Harry by using his Bulgarian Army that consisted of Veela women, among other things."

Harry looked stricken, and Blaise looked even more irate than what he'd already been.

"I guess Dumbledore really knew what he was doing, from the very moment he appointed Harry to be my protector," Draco drawled on. "He knew Harry wouldn't fall for me, because he couldn't, because of that spell."

After several moments of silence, Blaise started to curse under his breath, and Harry broke into complaints.

"I can't believe this!" Harry was spitting fire. "I am going to kill him! I fucking well would have deserved to know if some spell were cast on me! Who does he think he is, the imbecile old coot! Who is he to decide about my destiny? I want to have that charm removed immediately! I want all those stupid charms removed! The War is over now, and I want to have my own life back!"

"Surely you won't attempt to kill him?" Draco wondered out loud, turning his face to Harry just so that his nose touched Harry's cheek, just below the earlobe. He found it utterly hard to resist the Gryffindor when he was so angry. "It wouldn't look good in your CV."

"How come not?" Harry growled, sneering in an evil way that made Draco's stomach flutter. "I think it would look rather impressive, myself, having killed the most powerful wizard in the world."

"You already killed Voldemort, I think that is enough," Draco smiled. "Besides, if you kill Dumbledore, then who can lift the charms off you?"

"Well." Harry thought about this fact for a moment. "I'm going to kill him after he's removed the charms."

"Calm down, Potter," Blaise put in. "Dumbledore was thinking only of your best at that time. I think killing him is a fairly improper way to reward him for his kindliness."

"Kindliness my ass," Harry muttered heatedly, and Draco found himself giggling suddenly.

The laughter was contagious, and soon Blaise was guffawing next to him, trying to hold the noisiest outbursts in check. Harry could watch the two silly Slytherins only a few seconds with a straight face, before collapsing into hysterics, as well. The rest of the class turned to look at their direction with not-so-little confusion, but the small group ignored them all. Everything felt so ridiculous, so crazy, all of a sudden.

The laughter released something in the atmosphere around the three boys, and soon they were all relaxed and feeling wonderful, again. Draco was feeling exited about the prospect that Harry might want to get the spell removed, and his mood was improving by every passing second because of that thought. Blaise was relieved because he now knew Potter was genuinely faultless for his position as Draco's keeper, and most likely wouldn't try anything funny with any of the Slytherins. And Harry...

Harry was just happy to see Draco laughing, again.