Disclaimer: I don't own them…I just play with them.

A/N: *Tears* THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER! Waaa….I cried like a little bitch when this was done. This has been so great, I've loved writing this story, and THANK YOU ALL for sticking with me this far! If I could kiss each of you, I would. I've decided to nix the epilogue…this was supposed to end differently than it did, then the epilogue…but I like this better. So this is it, my lovelies, this is all she wrote (literally).

Again…I cannot thank you enough, all of you, for reading and reviewing my story. I would put up individual thanks, but there would be so many that this would take another week to post…and I don't think you want that. So thank you, *all* of you.

My deepest and greatest thanks to Jasmine, for betaing this and just generally being my other half.

Thanks to Liz, the sun in my sky, for all her support and lovin'.

Please read and review…and thanks again.

Chapter 16………..A Happy New Year.


New Years Eve – all along the streets of London, Draco could hear the chattering of voices floating through to him, carried on the wind. He walked along, hands deep in his coat pockets, strands of platinum hair occasionally whipping into his face and obscuring his vision. His scarf flapped along behind him and his steps developed a rhythm in time with the click of his shoes against the pavement.

He wasn't particularly excited about the evening, having to attend a party and pretend to be something he most definitely was not. He was, however, eager to begin a new year. He was now officially Malfoy Senior (if one could be considered as such with no 'junior' to speak of) and although his Father's recent passing still invaded his dreams on occasion, he felt that the coming months had big things in store for him. He would face them all with the competence and grace bequeathed to him by Lucius himself.

It was perhaps this very path of absent thinking that aided in Draco's colliding with another person on the street. He shook his head to clear his straying thoughts and when he looked over to the unfortunate soul he had crashed into, he was surprised…to say the least.

"Harry…what are you doing out here?"

Harry Potter rubbed his sore bum and was but a breath away from inventing new swear words for whomever had so carelessly knocked him over when he heard a familiar voice. When he managed to get his glasses back up his nose his suspicions were confirmed…it was indeed Draco Malfoy bending down to help pick up his things.

"Are you the one who knocked me down?"

Draco looked away. "Err…no?"

With a mock scowl that quickly morphed into a grin, Harry lifted himself up. "Nice try you clumsy idiot. Why don't you watch where you're going? I could sue you, you know!"

Catching on, Draco feigned an outraged face. "Do your worst…my lawyer will eat you alive!"

The two could only hold straight faces for a few seconds before they both dissolved into laughter. Harry braced himself by placing his hand on Draco's shoulder, yet still could not get his snickers under control.

"Your lawyer will eat me? Draco, that's horrid. You're famous for crushing someone's spirit with one sentence…I'm disappointed in you."

Draco brushed Harry's hand away. "Well I wasn't expecting that I'd have any soul crushing before lunch today. Besides…I heard it in a film…"

"You're watching films now?"

"No…there weren't any infomercials…"

Harry mimicked Draco's usual gesture and quirked a brow. "You're a strange one alright…but that's what I lo–" Harry stopped mid-sentence and quickly changed the subject.

"Speaking of lunch…have you eaten?"

Draco ran a hand through his hair, clearing his eyes of the now windblown locks that were threatening to blind him. "Actually no, I was just going to pick up something on the way back to the flat…but we could sit down somewhere if you want to."

Harry nodded and the two headed into a café not far from where they had collided on the street. Once inside both men removed their coats and Harry chuckled at Draco's fussing over his disheveled hair. Draco noticed his tittering and narrowed his eyes.

"I'll have you know its days like this I strongly consider gelling it back again, Potter."

Harry pulled a face and shook his head. "Please no…if you never listen to me again, do *not* do that."

The two were shown their seats and after they each had placed an order, Draco withdrew a cigarette and promptly lit it, inhaling deeply and expelling the smoke away from Harry.

"I thought you quit that…*again*…" Harry scowled.

Draco seemed unaffected by the reprimand. "It's been a stressful holiday."

"I'll give you that." Harry relented and silence fell over them briefly before Draco leaned forward and looked Harry in the eye.

"So tell me, Harry, what plans do you have for the New Year?"

"That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about." Harry began. "I'm leaving tomorrow for Ireland."

Draco quirked a brow. "Oh? Sounds nice…for how long?"

Sighing, Harry looked away. "I'm not sure, really. I have a one way ticket…I'm guessing I'll stay there until my season starts again…that is…if I still have a job…"

Draco stubbed his cigarette out as the waiter returned with their drinks. Both Harry and Draco chose to ignore their server's blatant staring at the green eyed boy and continued their conversation.

"Okay Harry, one thing at a time. First, why might you not have a job?"

"Oh…that…" Harry blushed. "Well…I kind of…yelled at my boss."

"What in Merlin's name possessed you to do that?"

"He wanted me to be 'openly gay' or some such bullocks…for publicity…"

Draco grimaced, remembering his own troubles. "How odd…I'm currently in the middle of a deal with a woman who is horribly homophobic."

Harry drew back a bit and gaped at the other young man. "And you're still doing business with this person? Damn Draco…what happened to you? Granted, I'm glad you're not horribly vicious anymore…but the Draco *I* know would have made such a woman want to kill herself when he was through with her…"

With a groan, Draco leaned back roughly against his seat. "I know…I just…haven't had to deal with this yet. Even my Father didn't particularly care that I was gay…he just…" he tapered off without finishing his sentence, looking lost for a moment before forcing himself to brighten. "And I'm offended! I'm *quite* horribly vicious…I'm just…laying low for a bit. Being an evil overlord takes a lot out of me…"

Harry smiled at his companion's success in shaking off his sadness. Draco was getting better at fighting away his demons, and Harry was grateful for it. Going back to their previous topic, Harry tilted his head a bit and gave Draco a concerned look.

"So what are you going to do then? About the woman?"

The blonde shrugged. "To be honest, I think I'm going to go to her silly party this evening and just pray that no one causes a scene."

Harry shook his head. "Well I for one would think you'd had enough of hiding out in the closet…but it's your life, I suppose."

Draco took his cue to change the subject. "What are you doing tonight then?"

"Oh, I'm going to spend some time at the Weasleys'…they always have fantastic parties. I suppose I won't be there late though, as I have to pack."

"Ah yes…" Draco began "…the trip. So, what brought this move of yours on?"

Harry smiled, although it didn't quite reach his eyes. "My season ended and I have a lot of free time. Ron and Hermione are going to be too busy to spend much time with me…and well…you've been through a lot, so I wanted to give you…space."

Draco returned the lacking smile. "*I* don't need space, or time, Harry. If this miserable excuse for a holiday season has taught me anything it's that we don't really *have* time in this life. I've achieved the goals I wanted to…or at least started out in the right direction to do so. I've only really cared about two people in my life…and I buried one of them four days ago."

"Draco, I–"

"Listen Harry…I've come a long way in a short while, but I wouldn't trade what I have learned for anything in this world. I left my Father's house scared and terribly unsure; but since then, and even before that…I think, you've been a major factor in helping me determine what I want, who I am…and what my name *really* means. I want you to have the same thing. If you need to run, then run…if you don't know what you need, then run. I'll be here when you figure it out."

Draco stood and gathered his coat, leaving enough money to cover the bill on the table. Harry scrambled in his mind for something, anything to say, but couldn't force the words from his lips.


Before Harry could finish a word he was cut off by the familiar feel of soft pale lips brushing against his own. Draco tasted of cigarette smoke, and faintly of honey. Harry wondered briefly if he smoked flavored cigarettes. The kiss was over soon, though, and before Harry could even form a coherent thought…Draco was gone.


Evening had finally come and Draco Malfoy was nervous. Of course, he would have rather admitted to having the bubonic plague than to let anyone know that something as simple as a party could unsettle him. Michael, however, was not fooled.

"Really Draco, *must* I hold your hand through everything?"

Draco slapped his hand away. "You're the one that wanted to do this in the first place, so quiet yourself before I bludgeon you and find another 'date'."

Michael smirked at batted his eyelashes at his blonde boss. "Does this mean I'm your girlfriend?"

"Well I suppose if anyone has to be the woman, it's definitely you."

Michael frowned at Draco's retort. "I resent that."

Before Draco could deal another blow to his colleague's ego, they had arrived at their destination. After knocking on the door, they were received by a man in a black tuxedo who took their coats. They were escorted into the party room where, not long after arriving, Mrs. Huntington noticed Draco and floated her way through her guests to greet him.

"Mister Malfoy, I am so glad you could make it!" Her face darkened a bit when she noticed Michael's presence at Draco's side.

After a greeting that both felt and sounded obligatory to the tall, dark haired wizard, the prejudiced sophisticate glanced around the room again.

"Where's your date Mr. Malfoy?"


Harry stepped into The Burrow and immediately he was flooded with the sense of warmth he had always associated with the Weasley family – the only real family he had ever known. Molly instantly enveloped him in a hug.

"Harry dear, it's so good to see you; you've been gone from this house for far too long. Arthur and the boys are in the kitchen."

Harry smiled warmly at the closest thing to a mother he'd ever had and made his way to the kitchen where it appeared the Weasley men and a few others were already well on their way to inebriation.

As soon as Harry's presence became noticed by the others, he was greeted with a chorus of hellos. Arthur motioned for him to sit with the rest of them, and for a moment he forgot his troubles in the company of his friends.


Draco just stared lamely at Mrs. Huntington for a moment, unsure of what to tell her and berating himself for not preparing an answer in advance. Thinking quickly, he invoked his Slytherin trait of misleading.

"My better half had an important event to attend to this evening."

Michael sighed in relief, and Draco was just about to do the same when he felt a pat on his back. When he turned around the face he met was not unfamiliar, nor specific. Draco was sure he'd seen the man before, he just wasn't sure where.

"Draco Malfoy, I wasn't sure I'd ever see you again. You do know, Emma, that this is Lucius Malfoy's boy, right?"

The woman seemed annoyed with her other guest's presence. "I had made the connection, yes."

Too drunk, or too dull-witted to take his host's curt tone as a hint, the man continued with his rambling.

"I was so sorry to hear about your father's passing; I hope you two reconciled before all of this…"

Before Draco could answer, Mrs. Huntington interrupted. "Were you estranged from your father, Mr. Malfoy?"

At Draco's nod, she continued. "Whatever for?"

Again before Draco had the chance to speak for himself, the irritating mystery man (who knew far too much about him for Draco's liking) answered for him.

"Draco here broke the Malfoy line – walked right out on his father and moved in with Harry Potter."

Immediately both Michael and Draco winced while Mrs. Huntington's expression became one of outrage.

"Better half, Mr. Malfoy? I take it you meant Mr. Potter then?"

Something in Draco snapped – whether his instincts told him go on the defensive, or he just tired of the woman's voice he couldn't tell; but at that moment he simply quirked one eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest.

"Actually, I didn't mean *anyone* specific at the moment – but if you *must* know, 'Mr. Potter' was at one time my lover."

The woman's jaw dropped and both Michael and Draco were just about to turn and leave when again she opened her mouth.

"I'm sure your father was ecstatic to get rid of you then. Imagine, Lucius Malfoy's son a liar and a deviant!"

Draco whirled around and snarled, the look in his eyes wild and dangerous. Before he could react, Michael had grabbed his arm and bent down to whisper in his ear.

"You are in a room full of muggles. This woman *will* have you arrested, Draco."

His friend's words calming him a bit, Draco resisted the urge to body slam the woman. He took a deep breath and advanced on her evenly – but the look in his eyes remained. He reached out his hand and harshly poked the woman in the shoulder as he spoke – his words sharp.

"*You* know absolutely nothing about my Father, or me. Because if you did, you would know better than to insult the sole heir of a *very* long line of dark wizards. *I* am the Malfoy heir, and that means that I don't need your company, or your approval. And if I were you, I would refrain from any more ventures into the wizarding world. We may be in a room full of muggles now, but the world of magic is *my* home and if you taint it with your intolerable presence again, I *will* kill you."

When Draco stormed out, Michael could only shrug and wink at the stunned and frightened woman before calling out a mockingly cheerful "Ta!"

Once the two were safely outside, Draco remained silently angry for a short moment before bursting into laughter. Michael soon followed.

"That felt bloody fantastic! I want to go back in and do it again!"

Michael threw up his hands. "I wouldn't go that far. What do you want to do now?"

Draco thought on it a moment and shrugged. "To be honest…I think I'm just going to go back to the flat. I'll have a glass of wine; maybe turn on the telly and countdown the New Year. You're welcome to join me."

Michael's face became a little more serious. "I don't think that's such a great idea. Seeing as its New Years, I intend to be highly inebriated and I don't think you want me to kiss you when midnight strikes."

Draco chuckled. "I suppose you're right. What are you going to do then?"

"I suppose I'll find some club or bar and some deliciously pretty boy to kiss."

"You are insufferable, do you know that?"

Michael nodded. "I've been told. You'll just apparate home then?"

When Draco nodded, Michael leaned in and his face became concerned. "Why don't you just call Harry Potter?"

Draco sighed and rolled his eyes. "Is that all anyone ever wants to know about? Harry? If you must know, he's leaving in the morning for Ireland."

"Yes. In the *morning*."

"Personally, I don't think I'm up for another one night rendezvous."

Michael smiled and pat the younger man on the shoulder. "Well, suit yourself. But if you need someone to kiss, call me."

Draco shook his head and grinned as the two men apparated to their separate destinations.


Harry laughed as Fred and George told yet another joke. He had only been drinking long enough to feel a slight flush on his cheeks – nowhere near the amount his companions had consumed. Looking around, he noticed that something was definitely missing.

"Ron, where's Mione?"

"Oh!" Ron managed "She was real caught up and didn't know if she'd make it. She told me to give you this for her though."

Ron handed Harry a simple card, his name scrawled on the envelope.

"What is it?"

Ron shrugged, but before he could say anything, Fred interrupted.

"Careful Harry, knowing Hermione it's a shrunken book for you to read on the plane!"

Harry laughed and slipped the card into his pocket. "In that case, I'll open this when I get home."

Ron stood, wobbling a bit as he did, and tugged on Harry's arm. "C'mon mate, come sit outside with me."

Harry complied and soon the two were sitting under the stars. Harry rubbed his arms to warm them.

"It's cold."

"Yeah…" Ron said "…but it feels great, doesn't it? Winter feels…clean to me."

"I know what you mean…"



"Why are you here?"

Harry turned to look at his ginger friend. "What do you mean?"

Shrugging, Ron pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them, fighting off the cold. "Why aren't you with Malfoy?"

Harry was shocked that his best friend could ask him such a question honestly. "Why do you care, Ron? I thought you hated Draco…"

"Hate is a strong word, Harry. I can't say I'm fond of the git…but…I've been thinking lately…"

When silence followed his comment, Harry grew frustrated and prodded him. "…and?..."

"And having Mione gone so much…I'm lonely. I've learned that I *need* her around me to be happy…"

"That's great Ron…" Harry started, scratching his head "…but I don't see what that has to do with me…"

"I'm just saying that if anything *I* said has anything to do with you two not being together…you shouldn't listen to me. Sometimes I think other people might not want me with Hermione, you know. I think I might not be good enough…smart enough. But I don't care…because I need her."

Harry smiled at his friend and offered him a warm hug. "I promise you, Ron…there couldn't possibly be anyone better for Mione…"

"Thanks, Harry."

"I see what you mean though…and I'm glad for your support. It's just…sometimes I get so worried. Draco and I have so many obligations, and things were so great when we were in school…so simple. I'm terrified something will go wrong and we'll end up hating each other again…"

Ron placed a hand on Harry's shoulder and squeezed lightly. "Harry, you can't think like that. If you get so caught up in the 'what if's you miss all the 'right now's. I mean…what is life if not a string of moments, one after another until we die? And then…when that happens…what will you have to take with you if all your plans were for a year, a day, even a second later?"

Harry blinked and made a mental note that Ron became oddly insightful when drinking.



"I'll miss you mate."

Without words, Harry embraced his best friend whose humor, temper, loyalty and mysteriously ingenious moments had guided him through so many years. When he finished, he stood.

"I'm going to head home…I've still got packing to do."

"Alright. Hey Harry, what's your New Years resolution?"

Harry smiled. "I'm not sure…I'll have to think on it. Tell Mione I'll miss her."

With another warm smile, Harry headed inside to say his goodbyes to everyone and floo home.


With a pop Draco was back in his flat, and glad to be home. It bothered him a bit that it was New Years Eve and he was sitting at home, alone. However, he was unable to bring himself to attend any other functions as the holidays had worn him down. Had this been any other year, his flat would have been filled with fabulous people – all of whom were sure to feed his ego. But Draco was different now, and when he looked back on his life…his ego seemed of minimal importance.

Deciding not to let himself get too down, he turned on his muggle stereo and crossed to his bar. He made himself a drink and thought over his New Years Resolution.

He had already accomplished most of what he wanted to, and Harry was on his own now. He couldn't think of anything he really felt he needed to do, and so he went with the time honored tradition of telling himself that tomorrow, he would quit smoking – tomorrow being the operative word.


Ron had just made his way back inside the house. He was a little sad, having said goodbye to his friend. He knew he would see Harry again; he just wasn't sure how many months would pass before their paths would cross. He missed Hermione. Although he had infinite respect for his girlfriend's fierce work ethic, he couldn't help but wish that he had been more important.

He had just decided to forgo the midnight celebrations and simply go to bed when the sound of someone flooing in caught his attention. He raced to the fireplace and when Hermione stepped out and brushed herself off, he brightened immediately and swept her up – both of them laughing.

'New Years Resolution' he thought 'Trust Hermione…because she'll never let me down…'


Harry came tumbling out of his fireplace and looked around his home. He had really gotten used to the flat – it was, after all, the only home of his own he'd ever had. He had enough money to keep it while he was gone, and knew it would be here for him when he got back…still, it saddened him to leave.

Ron's words bounced about in his brain, and although Harry found them true, he could not find the courage to simply throw caution to the wind. It was ironic, he thought, that the 'brave and noble Boy Who Lived' who had faced countless dangers and Voldemort himself was afraid of one blonde Slytherin.

With plenty of time until midnight, and needing to clear his head, Harry decided he would go for a walk. Ron was right…winter did feel clean, and breathing the sharp, cool air always helped Harry set his mind right.

When he stepped out onto the street, he was met with several groups of friends, or couples – walking (or stumbling) hand in hand from pub to pub. He pulled his coat around him and began a steady pace – where he was headed he didn't know.

He had been walking for about half an hour when finally his fingers protested from the cold and refused to work. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets to warm them and felt his fingertips brush against something.

'Oh yes' he thought 'Hermione's card.'

Harry stopped for a moment and leaned against an old building, his numbed fingers fumbling with the envelope as he tried to open it. Behind his head and through the layer of brick, he could hear the chorus of people inside the pub he'd chosen as his rest stop. They were singing some Irish drinking song and Harry could feel the warmth of their sociability all the way outside.

Finally, he got the card open. Unlike Fred's prediction, there was no shrunken book – merely a card. He opened it and smiled when he recognized Hermione's hand writing. As his eyes ran over the words, Harry felt a tear slip down one cheek, warm and salty. Immediately the air hit the wetness on his face and chilled him – but Harry didn't care. Changing his direction, he took off in a run.

'Thanks Hermione…New Years Resolution decided…'


Michael looked around the crowded club he had chosen to celebrate at. He couldn't deny that he would rather have been with Draco, but the words he had spoken to the blonde rung true. If he were to be next to him when midnight struck, he would most likely have been fired for attacking the Slytherin – with his tongue.

He ordered another drink and leaned back against the bar, taking the scenery when an attractive young man bounded up next to him, ordering a beer. The boy was not as tall as Draco, but he was not short either. Michael started at his waist and let his eyes journey upwards. He obviously was an athlete of some sort, with well trained and well defined muscles. He looked groomed and from what Michael could hear he had a faint Scottish accent. His jaw was chiseled and somewhat delicate, leading to sculpted cheekbones. Finally, Michael got to his hair – blonde. Not platinum, but more a sandy color and tousled but not so much as to look messy. Just as he turned away, the young man's voice carried over the music to him.

"Hey, can I buy you another round?"

"I suppose" Michael lazily drawled back, sounding uninterested.

Undeterred, the young man moved closer to him. "I'm Shane. What's your name?"

Shane extended his hand and Michael took it. "Michael."

"So, what's your resolution, Michael?"

Michael turned and quirked a brow. "No more blondes."

The other young man smiled brightly. "That's a shame. You look just like this fellow I used to ogle in one of the local art galleries."

His interest piqued, Michael gave in and moved a bit closer. "Oh?"

Taking in the roar of the music, the smell of sweat and alcohol, and the painfully cute young man next to him, Michael had a thought.

'Perhaps this single life of mine isn't so very bad after all…'


New Years Day was less than a minute away and Draco sat on his couch, his eyes focused on the clock. Alone and with no one to judge him, he debated internally on whether or not his pillow could be considered attractive enough to kiss when midnight struck.


The countdown had finally begun and Draco decided to hell with it and hoisted the pillow into his lap.


"You are a very privileged pillow, I'll have you know. People have sold their souls to kiss me."


A knock on his door surprised him, and he almost dropped his smooching partner on the floor. Setting the pillow aside, he rose to answer the door.

"You wait right there." He called back to it.


After unlocking and opening the door, Draco's eyes went wide to find Harry Potter panting and out of breath.

"What are y–"


Harry looked up. "I need to use your loo."

Mr. Wellington from two flats down chose that moment to look out into the hall. He saw a disheveled boy with messy black hair had one hand propped against the door frame. He said something, but his old man's ears couldn't pick up exactly what it was. A second later, a pale hand extended and gripped the other boy's pants by his belt loop and yanked him inside. After that, all he could hear was the happy laughter of two people ringing in the New Year – together.



The Burrow was filled with cheers, hugs and kisses. The twins averted their eyes with a grimace as Arthur slid an arm around Molly and pulled her close. Bill's date had gotten sick in the bathroom and, sadly, he missed out on his kiss.

Ron tilted Hermione's chin upward and smiled when he met her eyes. As perfectly mismatched as they were, both had the same thought.

'I think that this will definitely be a happy new year.'


Michael hadn't even noticed the countdown, engrossed in conversation with his new companion, Shane. When the lights in the club went wild and ungodly amounts of confetti came pouring down on top of them, Michael, ever the alpha male, gripped the young man's chin possessively and pulled him in. When the kiss broke, Shane seemed a bit dazed and it took him a moment to collect his thoughts. When he did, he smiled his thousand watt smile.

"Do you want to get out of here?"


Draco, eyes wide and threatening to tear, wrapped his fingers through Harry's belt loop and yanked him inside. Harry almost fell over from the force of it, but instead fell into Draco, who kissed him soundly, wrapping his fingers into his hair.

Step by fumbling step they moved away from the now closed door, never breaking the kiss. Harry's hands slid down Draco's torso, slipping under his shirt to feel his skin – even softer than he had remembered. Although Draco loved the feel of Harry's silken, messy hair under his palms, he relocated his hands to the other boy's front, unbuttoning his coat.

Finally, he was able to slip the coat from Harry's shoulders and it fell, forgotten on the floor. Draco felt Harry's fingers work their way up his sides, lifting his shirt, and he raised his arms to allow its dismissal. With his shirt off, soon Harry's lips found their way to his throat, one hand behind his head, bracing him. He felt soft, yet urgent kisses along his collar bone, his chest, his shoulders.

Feeling his knees give way beneath him, Draco sank down to the floor, bringing Harry with him. They were behind the sofa, sprawled across the floor – and if it were not for the difference in their skin tones, one might not have been able to tell where Draco ended, and Harry began.

Removing the rest of their clothes, piece by piece and encircled by fleeting and salacious whispers, Harry couldn't tell which voice was his and which kisses he gave or received.











He ran his nose along the smooth lines of a pale neck – the most eloquent he'd ever seen – and wrapped an arm around Draco's shoulders to pull him up into a sitting position. Untangling their legs just long enough to intertwine them again, he straddled Draco's hips, his tanned legs wrapped about his lover's slim alabaster waist.

Nails raked across skin and lips laid claim to places never kissed before. Draco had never felt so owned nor connected in his life. Harry kissed between his fingers, the inside of his elbow, his eyelids, ears, chin, soul.

Tonight there was no blue, nor red glow – no tears or words of comfort. And when the blue black of night turned into the pale pink of morning two twin flames, wise beyond their years, lay together in the most peaceful sleep of their lives.


Morning light crept in and Hermione noticed with a great fondness how very beautiful Ron's red hair shone when lit by the rays of the sun. She reached out her hand to brush a lock away from his face and he stirred, smiling at her.

"Happy New Year."

She was silent for a moment, then "Marry me."

Ron was definitely awake now. "What? Aren't I supposed to ask you that?"

"Ron Weasley, if I left everything up to you we'd never get *anywhere*. So, what is it then?"

Laughing and rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Ron flopped back down onto the bed. "Then yes…as long as I don't have to be Mr. Granger…"


Michael smirked at his unknowing model. He hadn't really planned on painting so early in the morning, naked under a smock, but his bed mate looked so very interesting with one leg thrown out from under the covers and one arm raised above his head.

Already, this was shaping up to be a fantastic painting.


Draco awoke to two green pools of light staring at him. Closing his eyes again, he stretched and smiled.

"I think you missed your plane."

Harry kissed his forehead. "I think so."

"What made you change your mind?"

Harry leaned across Draco to dig into his coat pocket where it had been so carelessly discarded the night before. Pulling out the card Hermione had given him, he handed it to Draco.


We'll miss you so much while you're gone. I want you to know that you are a good man, and I am so very proud of all you have become. Whatever helped you get here – I think it's worth keeping.


"Harry, that's nice…but I still don't get it."

"No…look at the other side."

Draco looked to the other side of the card…it was a quote.

After awhile you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn't mean possession
and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises and you begin to accept
your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
burns if you get too much so you plant your
own garden and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn...

Veronica A. Shoffstall

As Draco finished reading, he felt warm, familiar lips – each kiss followed by a soft, almost inaudible "love you" – along his jaw, his face, his neck – everywhere.

Setting the card aside, Draco's soft and determined fingers – the fingers of a man, not long ago a boy – found their way into ink black hair…where they belonged.

"Words to live by…I think."

Harry nodded and all was lost to the quiet serenity of a new year.



Waaaaaaa. *points up* so cute.

I hope you liked it, and I'm sorry it was so long. I told you to trust me, didn't I?

Anyways…if you're interested. This is the summary for the next HP fic in line. (Still untitled)

An AU fic, what if Hogwarts never existed, what if wizards had no organizations, what if muggle borns had to figure things out for themselves? Set in muggle college, Harry Potter, orphaned after the mysterious death of his parents and left with a strange scar always knew he was different. In spite of his horrible relatives, he works hard and gets into a prestigious college. Enter Draco Malfoy, arrogant, spoiled and an all around prat. Draco, being a pure blooded wizard and trained by his family, notices Harry's talents and offers his hand – Harry refuses. Soon, however, strange occurrences and nightmares force Harry to reconsider. The two form an unlikely love/hate relationship. All too soon, the dark wizard that killed Harry's parents comes back and they have to find others of their kind, organizing for the first time before their world is destroyed completely. Will be H/D slash…just not right away.

THANK YOU again for reading!

Love and Kisses,