Second, I think I should make clear that these stories are now AU with the release of OotP. I think I have included a few details from the fifth book into these stories, otherwise, certain details will be ignored.... such as my favourite character's death. Excuse me while I sob.
Third, a huge thanks goes out to my betas, Padfoots_Bitch and Capricious_Sylph! They are both wonderful and this story is one hundred times better now. Thank you! Now... on with the story!
Harry sighed with content, rolled onto his stomach and placed his chin on his hands. As soon as he had moved into Sirius' manor, he had quickly realised that he enjoyed looking out his bedroom windows in the morning, even if it was pouring outside. The grounds outside the massive house were nothing short of impressive. They had rolling hills with strategically placed gardens growing every kind of flower, herb, and magical plant you could think of. If a plant could not be found in the gardens outside, it was most likely found in the greenhouses on the edge of the grounds of Black Manor. Even more impressive than the rolling, green hills were the snow-capped mountains that made up the background of the picture. Sirius had taken Harry flying there the first week he arrived. The air had been a bit chilly, but the view had been breathtaking. There were no words to describe it, and Harry hoped that he would be able to share it with Draco Malfoy.
Draco was another pleasant thought to think about on this beautiful, July morning. Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter's boyfriend, and in Harry's opinion, there was no other person out there like him. Harry still had a hard time believing that Draco actually loved him just as much as the Gryffindor loved Draco. Without fail, every time Harry thought of his silver-eyed boyfriend, he would get a funny feeling in his stomach and heart, like someone was squeezing them. He hoped that this feeling would never go away.
Just as Harry saw Sirius' owl fly into the Manor owlery, back from her night hunt, a knock sounded at the door. "Come in!" he called placidly, his mind turning to the whereabouts of his own owl, Hedwig. She still had not returned from her trip to Dudley, and that had been at the beginning of May. Not for the first time, he told his own mind to sod off and that Hedwig was all right. So, he turned his attention back outside. He kind of wished that his room overlooked the lake and the Quidditch pitch as well, but he supposed he could not have it all. The gardens, with their magnificent marble statues, gazebos, and secret stone pathways with ten-foot high ivy walls, were enough to look at. He loved everything about them. He had gone exploring in them everyday. Some of them were easy to navigate, as there were not any walls, but then there were some that he could never figure out, and he would have to yell for help when he became lost. Sirius would sometimes hear him, come flying with Harry's Firebolt in hand and toss it to him. That would be when they would go flying all over the grounds together. It was these moments that Harry loved the most.
His visitor opened the door and he stepped inside. At least Harry thought it to be a he. Sirius was the only other person living in the house besides the house elves, who never knocked. Harry closed his eyes as he laid his cheek on his hands, smiling softly. A sudden shiver ran through Harry's body as he felt gentle fingers running up his leg, back, neck, before they nestled in Harry's hair, gently massaging his scalp. It felt so good that Harry had a hard time opening his eyes to see who his visitor was. It definitely was not Sirius. He squinted because he was not wearing his glasses. The person chuckled and gently placed the round frames into his hand. After hurriedly putting them on, Harry looked back up at the person before him. A large grin broke onto his face, and he jumped off the bed with a strangled cry, hugging his visitor with a fierceness that he did not know he had within himself.
"Oomph! It's good to see you too, Harry," Draco replied, returning the hug to the overexcited Gryffindor. Harry pulled away and smiled fondly, tucking a blond strand of hair behind the Slytherin's ear.
"What are you doing here?"
"You don't want me here or something?" Draco asked with an eyebrow raised, amusement clear in his eyes.
"Of course I do! Why wouldn't I? I was just thinking about you."
"Oh, really?" Draco asked slyly, pushing Harry to a sitting position on the large scarlet four poster. "And what did those thoughts entail, precisely?"
Harry smiled again and pulled the fair boy onto his lap, kissing his neck softly in the process. "I was just thinking how every time I think of you, or see you..."
"You get an uncontrollable erection and can't think of anything else until you've taken care of it, thinking of me, and screaming out my name?" Draco interrupted smirking. "I mean, I don't really blame you. Look at me. I'm gorgeous."
"Honestly. Why I put up with you is beyond me. Seriously though, do you want to know or not?"
Draco pouted, letting his bottom lip quiver pathetically. "You mean that wasn't what you were thinking about? I'm hurt."
"Fine. That's what I was thinking about," Harry sighed, defeated. Draco smirked while he wrapped his legs around Harry's waist.
"I knew it. Nice pyjamas by the way," he commented, tracing his index fingers down Harry's chest.
Harry looked down and found that he was wearing only boxers. Even though Draco had seen him in only his boxers before, it still made him blush. "Shut up."
"Okay. But only if you tell me what you were thinking about."
Harry sighed, exasperated, wishing that Draco would make up his mind. "I was just thinking that whenever I think of you or see you, I just... get this fluttery feeling and another one, like somebody is clenching my heart and stomach. And I just... I thought that I never wanted that feeling to go away..." Harry looked down again, embarrassed now that he said his feelings aloud. They seemed so cheesy. However, Draco merely lifted his chin and looked into the emerald eyes before him. Draco's silver eyes showing nothing but happiness and love within them, and Harry felt himself sigh again. "Don't be embarrassed. I know what you mean." Harry smiled and let himself be kissed by his boyfriend. They pulled away slowly and Draco wrinkled his nose. "Harry, you need to brush your teeth. Your breath is horrible!"
Harry pushed the slight boy to the floor and mock glared. "I just woke up!"
Draco returned the fake glare and crossed his legs and arms at the same time. "This is no way to treat a guest. Especially when said guest comes bearing gifts."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "Why would you come bearing gifts?" Draco snorted, stood up, and sat next to Harry, taking his hand in a condescending manner.
"It's your birthday, Potter. I come bearing gifts, as in plural, because I brought one and Severus brought one as well."
Harry honestly did not know what to say. "Snape brought me a present for my birthday? I mean, I could imagine him celebrating my Death Day like Nearly Headless Nick celebrates his, but my birthday? That's... unfathomable."
"Yes. To think, I didn't even have to say anything about it. He did it on his own accord." Harry brought his hands under his glasses and rubbed his eyes tiredly. It was such a tiny bit of information, yet it was too much to handle all at once.
"Stop it, Draco. You may give me a premature heart attack or something and kill me. Would you want that hanging over your head?"
Draco gave Harry his annoyingly superior smirk and kissed his nose. "Not particularly, no." Draco climbed onto Harry's lap again and wrapped his legs about Harry's thin waist. "Besides, I think I would miss this body of yours too much." Draco lightly ran his fingernails down Harry's bare chest, giving the dark-haired boy goose bumps.
Harry suppressed a shiver as Draco went to work on his neck with his soft mouth. "Honestly, all you think about is sex, Draco," Harry teased, though he knew that this was far from the truth.
The blond boy sat back and looked at Harry with an innocent eyebrow raised in question. "Is that such a bad thing?" Harry gave Draco's trademark smirk, wrapped his arms around the boy's waist, and flipped him over onto the bed so fast that Draco barely had time to protest. Harry thought it to be very good luck that Draco's legs were still wrapped around his waist. "Harry, what are you doi... Oh." Harry continued sucking and nibbling on Draco's sensitive neck as Draco purred soft words into his ear. "Well," Draco began breathlessly as Harry moved down to his collarbone. "Who am I... Oh, yes, right there... To deny the... Damn, don't stop that... birthday boy what... Holy hell! Where did you learn that?" Draco had to take a few calming breaths as Harry continued his ministrations. "What he wants?" he finally finished lamely.
Harry looked up and smiled. "Draco, just shut up. Really good birthday presents don't talk so much."
"But I'm not your..." Harry cut him off by covering Draco's mouth with his own. Draco made a sound like 'oh well' into Harry's mouth and returned the kiss eagerly.
"Ah- hem," somebody cleared their throat from the door. Harry broke away from Draco with a silly grin plastered on his face and glazed-over eyes. Draco gave a small noise of protest and tried to get Harry to kiss him some more - he obviously had not heard the third person enter the room. Harry laughed nervously, batting his boyfriend's advances away.
"Sirius. Good morning."
Sirius raised an eyebrow. "Good morning and happy birthday. I would have knocked, but well, the door was open and I could see very well already so..."
"Oh..." Harry gave an embarrassed laugh. "That was Draco's fault then..."
"Well, I didn't expect you to jump me like this!" Draco exclaimed indignantly. "I was supposed to tell you that breakfast was ready, and I was going to get to that, but then you flipped me here!" If possible, Harry turned even more red and smacked Draco's arm.
"Shut up!" He said in a stage whisper and tried to get up. After the first and second attempts failed, Harry stopped to use his brain and realised why he was not able to get up from the bed. Draco still had his legs wrapped around him. "Let go of me, you twit." Draco sent a smirk to Harry for about the tenth time that morning and released his vice-like grip.
"Yes, well," Sirius began amused. "You may want to get dressed, Harry. Breakfast is ready in the dining hall."
"The dining hall?" Harry asked, confused. "But we've never eaten in there before." Sirius eyes twinkled, and he winked before he walked out, being sure to close the door behind him. Harry turned to Draco with his hands on his hips. "What's going on?"
Draco shrugged and climbed off the bed. "Damn you, Potter. Now you have you've got me all hot and bothered. I can't go down there like this!" Harry got a predatory gleam in his eye. "You want me to help with that? I'm sure we've got a little time," he said as he moved towards his boyfriend. Draco swallowed thickly when Harry pressed their bodies together. Harry kissed Draco's soft lips and wasted no time in moving his hands down to the top of the blond's trousers. He deftly undid the button, unzipped him, and began sliding his hand inside his trousers.
"Stop it!" Draco said, batting Harry's hand away and moving away from the disappointed Gryffindor.
"Nothing. You need to get dressed is all," Draco said uncomfortably, redoing his trousers.
"Fine," Harry replied shortly. "Go downstairs then and wait for me there. I need a shower."
"Don't be mad, Harry. It's just not the time for it, all right?"
It's never the time, Harry thought bitterly. "Who said I was mad? I'm hungry, I stink, and I need a shower." Harry ushered Draco out of his bedroom and leaned against the door, breathing deeply.
He knew he should not be angry and that he should give Draco as much time as he needed... but honestly, they had been together seven months, and Draco still would not let Harry touch him underneath his boxers, or over them for that matter. To think, Harry had been the one going into the relationship believing he would have trouble trying to keep Draco under control. How wrong he had been.
After most of Harry's major problems had abated last term at Hogwarts, he had quickly discovered that Draco was all talk and no action. Literally. The boy certainly talked about sex enough, but he sure as hell did not follow through. In fact, Harry would even go so far as to say that Draco was scared of sex. Every time their snogging went a bit too far, the blond would look like a deer caught in headlights and he would scramble away like he had been bit in the arse. It did not make sense with Harry's dealings with the Slytherin.
But the Gryffindor could not dwell on this right at the moment, he had to take a shower. Twenty minutes later, Harry was hurrying down the three flights to the ground level of Black Manor, showered and dressed in the dark blue robes that Sirius had bought for him at the beginning of the summer holidays. Once on the ground floor, voices echoed down the cavernous corridor from the dining hall, making Harry speed up in anticipation. As far as he knew, only Draco and Snape were here with Sirius, but it sounded as if there were about twenty people in the dining hall. The whispers quieted down as he approached and when he reached the closed doors, they had stopped altogether. Cautiously, Harry opened the door and stepped in. Everything was pitch dark.
"Er - Sirius? Draco? Professor Snape? Are you in here?"
Taking Harry by surprise, all the candles crackled to life and the curtains on the windows flew open, flooding the room with the morning sunlight. "SURPRISE!" The sound was so deafening that Harry took a few steps back in alarm as confetti rained down from the ceiling. Harry let out a breath and tried to say something, but he only managed to open and close his mouth like a goldfish. He had been correct in his approximation on the way here. There were about twenty people here, if not more than that. Sirius, Remus Lupin, Draco, Professor Snape, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Professor Dumbledore, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, the twins, Bill and Charlie Weasley, Harry's dorm mates, Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, and Neville Longbottom, Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, the Patil twins, Lavender Brown, and to top it off, the Creevey brothers. After the prolonged silence on Harry's part, some people started to laugh at his reaction.
"I..." he began, closed his mouth and tried again. "Is this for me?" he asked in awe as he looked at all the balloons and the banner that proclaimed, 'Happy 17th Birthday, Harry!' Even with that banner, he was sure they had made a mistake. Nobody had ever given him a party before. Let alone a surprise party.
One of the Weasley twins, Harry assumed that it was Fred, started to sniffle. Fred stomped his foot and made his lip quiver. "Damn! After all this hard work, we invited the wrong Harry! What are we going to do now? The whole day is ruined!" He then dramatically threw himself onto his twin's shoulder and began to sob. George solemnly began to pat his back.
"There, there, brother. We'll figure it out. We'll just have to kick this Harry out and go find the other one."
"Oh, but it's just not the same! The second surprise is never the same!"
"Boys!" Mrs. Weasley admonished, but Harry was grinning at the twin's antics. Fred immediately picked himself up, wiped pretend tears off his face, and sent Harry a winning smile. Harry was hard pressed not to return it.
"Of course this is for you, dear!" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed as she bustled over and wrapped him in a warm hug. "We should have done this for you years ago instead of waiting until now. Percy wishes you a happy birthday, by the way. He was not able to get it off of work. Fudge has been keeping him quite busy."
"Oh. Well, that's too bad," Harry replied, though how remorseful he felt over it, he did not know. Harry was still a little put out to think that Percy had taken the Minister's side when Voldemort had returned. Ever since the truth had become known, Percy had made an effort to avoid Harry as if he were embarrassed, though he had made amends with his family, which was definitely a good thing.
"Move it, mum. Hermione and I want to say hello."
"Ronald, you should have more respect towards me. Especially after I received all those letters from Hogwarts this year, saying how you were having a little trouble keeping... certain things under control!"
Draco and Harry snickered as Ron's ears flushed red and he withered under her stare. Harry still had not told Ron that Draco had been the one to curse him with an uncontrollable erection last term. And he was not about to either. "Mum, we're all aware of that. You don't have to announce it to the world."
Hermione maneuvered around Ron's mother and threw her arms around Harry's neck. "Happy birthday, Harry."
Ron came to him next and clapped him on the shoulder. "Bet you never saw this coming, did you?"
"That was an astute observation, Weasley. But I think we already gathered that from his reaction," came Snape's low, even voice from behind Harry. How the Potions Master had even got there was a mystery. Harry had to wonder if he was a bat. Harry turned and looked at him. Snape was still as greasy as ever, though he had his hair tied at the base of his neck and, somehow, it made him look cleaner.
"Hello, Professor Snape."
"Potter." Snape held out his hand and Harry grasped it in a firm handshake. "Happy birthday. I trust that Black has been treating you well over the holidays?" he asked, raising an eyebrow towards Sirius. Sirius turned pink and clenched his jaw angrily.
"Yes, he has, sir. I couldn't ask for a better guardian."
"Good," Snape replied, still not turning away from Sirius. "Just as long as he's not persuading you to do anything you'd rather not be doing..." Snape left it there and he walked over to where Draco was standing. Harry had to take a calming breath and tell himself that it was Snape's odd way of showing concern towards Harry, or rather contempt for his godfather. The latter seemed more reassuring because thinking that Snape might be showing any concern towards Harry was oddly disorienting.
In fact, any emotion shown towards Harry from the Potions Master that was not contempt was disorienting. Even with the events of sixth year, Harry found it hard to believe that Snape might have more respect for him. Last term at Hogwarts, Harry had been the victim of yet another one of Voldemort's schemes. The amazing thing was that the scheme was not to have him killed. This time, the plot was to make Harry join sides with Voldemort. It was an entirely successful plan, helped along by the least suspected person, Sirius Black. Sirius had been captured by Voldemort in the early weeks of the summer holidays after Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts, and placed under the Imperius spell. From there, he was ordered to keep himself isolated until Harry's birthday in July. It was then that Sirius had come to the Dursley's acting very much unlike himself. Harry had hoped that it was a facade put on for his so-called family, but it was not so. When Harry returned to school on September first, it was to find that Sirius did indeed hate him, along with Harry's best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. It had not stopped there either. When Harry had tried to find a compartment to sit in, nobody would let him sit with them, or the compartments were all full. The only person who had allowed him to enter, was the one and only Draco Malfoy.
Throughout the next months, Draco Malfoy, Ginny Weasley, and Colin Creevey were the only people who were even remotely nice to Harry. Eventually, Sirius got to the two Gryffindors as well, leaving Harry completely friendless because, at the time, Draco Malfoy could have hardly been considered a friend. It was then that Professor Snape stepped in with a very reluctant Draco at his side. The unlikely trio worked together all year, trying to discover the mystery that laid over Hogwarts, even while the Darkness was descending upon Harry. Harry had tried to fight it off, but soon, he had found himself turning to Voldemort. On the night of Harry's initiation, Voldemort revealed Sirius as the one who had been administering the Semi Vivus potion to everybody in Hogwarts, which made them hate Harry. Harry's task to become a Death Eater was to kill Sirius and torture his friend Ron Weasley. He did the latter first, and was about to kill Sirius when a large explosion blasted from behind them. Before Harry could do any real bodily damage to Sirius, he was pulled off his godfather and brought back to Hogwarts by portkey. Draco had proceeded to 'talk' Harry back to the Light while the Gryffindor dreamed.
The next day, when Harry had awoken, Snape had been sitting in his room, waiting for the younger man to stir. It was then that Snape had told Harry that he was impressed by Harry's ability to block out Sirius's brainwashing technique for so long. Snape's concern had been very disconcerting, no less than it was today.
Harry continued greeting his party guests and soon, they were all seated around the table, eating a large birthday breakfast. Draco was on Harry's left while Ron was on his right, and Hermione next to Ron. The red head seemed to be so ecstatic to see his girlfriend after one month of not seeing her, that he was completely forgetting the presence of his best friend. Harry could not really be bothered by Ron's inattentiveness either way because Draco was sitting next to him, and Harry was rather content with speaking only to him. In fact, Harry suspected that he would have been happier with spending the day with only his boyfriend than with this whole lot of people. Not that he was not grateful for the gesture of a party, it was indeed very nice. But it sometimes felt like people still had ill feelings towards the Boy Who Lived. He supposed that it was just too soon after his little ordeal to feel otherwise.
Harry speared a sausage onto his fork and leaned towards Draco with a small smile in place. "So, Drake... are you having a good time?" he asked, and took a bite of his sausage. Draco eyed Harry chewing the sausage. The blond cleared his throat and took a drink from his orange juice.
"Yes, quite. Thanks for asking, Harry. Professor Black puts on a good party."
Harry smiled, swallowed and licked his lips. "Well, he was bit of a wild one back in Hogwarts. It seems he still has it." Harry straightened in his chair, and continued eating his sausage. When Harry was full to bursting, he pushed his plate aside and smiled at Draco, who had just done the same. "So, Draco, how has your summer at Hogwarts been so far?" Professor Snape was now Draco's guardian after Lucius was thrown into Azkaban, and they were both residing at Hogwarts for the summer. Snape did apparently have a house of his own, but could not go there. Voldemort now knew that Snape and Draco were traitors to the Dark side, and would easily get to them if they were to stay at Snape's house.
"It's weird being the only student there. We never eat in the Great Hall anymore. We're always in the kitchens since there are so few of us. Only Professor Dumbledore, Severus, and Professor McGonagall stay during the summer holidays. Oh, Hagrid and Filch stay as well to keep the place clean, you know. But other than that, it's completely empty."
"I would think it's nice, getting the pitch all to yourself, the lake, the grounds, everything. I wouldn't mind staying there."
"Why? You have this place now! I wouldn't want to leave if I were you!"
"Oh, yeah. I sometimes forget that I actually live here." Harry offered a sheepish grin to Sirius who had overheard that part. "I keep thinking the Dursleys will come get me at any time."
"I know how you feel. I keep thinking that either my mum or my father will come get me from Hogwarts any day now and bring me back to Malfoy Manor."
"Have you spoken to your mother lately, Draco?" Draco swallowed and looked out the window.
"No. She doesn't want anything to do with me anymore, remember? She still thinks it's my fault that Lucius was put into Azkaban."
"It's not," Harry assured.
"I know. But I can't help but feel guilty, you know?" he asked, looking again at Harry. "I mean, that's what I wished for day in and day out. I wanted him dead or in prison, and I got that. I just didn't know I'd have to lose my mum as well." Draco gave a dry, humourless laugh. "We really aren't that different, are we? I might as well be an orphan with the way things are going now."
Harry's heart ached when he saw the broken Draco before him. He wanted nothing more than to take the smaller boy into his arms and hold him, but there were too many people around, and only a select few knew the extent of their relationship. So, Harry settled for putting a hand on Draco's elbow, drawing slow circles with his fingertips where no one could see. "I'm sorry we never realised that we were so much alike before all this," Harry said softly.
Draco's eyes lit up with a mischievous sparkle. "I'm not sorry."
"What?" Harry asked, slightly hurt.
"Oh, come on, Harry! You weren't ready for my abrasive personality, and I wasn't ready for your goody-goody, thoughtless Gryffindor attitude. We would have killed each other."
Harry laughed. "Yes, I believe you are correct. I retract my statement. I don't know if I can even handle your Slytherin abrasiveness now, come to think of it," Harry added playfully. Seeming to have a very un-Draco Malfoy-like moment, Draco stuck his tongue out at Harry and mock pouted. Harry snorted with laughter and turned his attention elsewhere. Directly across the table was Professor Dumbledore. The wizened man was watching the two boys with a twinkle in his eyes and a benign smile upon his face. When the Headmaster caught Harry looking, he winked and looked away to speak with Professor McGonagall. Harry would not put it past the old man to have figured out just how close he was to the Slytherin. Even after Dumbledore looked away, Harry continued staring at him. After the events of sixth year, Harry's respect for the man had increased ten-fold. He had tried to explain this to Draco at the end of the term, but the Slytherin had not understood. Harry respected him more now, because the Headmaster was not infallible. The man made mistakes just like everybody else. He had not seen past Voldemort's plan. Which was not really a good thing when it came right down to it, but it proved to the Gryffindor that Dumbledore was human after all and could make mistakes.
"Okay!" Sirius exclaimed suddenly. "I know everybody is extremely full right now, but I think we should wear that off with a nice game of birthday Quidditch!"
Draco smirked and leaned into Harry and said quietly, "I think it would be more interesting to play if we got the birthday boy to play in his birthday suit." Harry covered his laugh with a hacking cough while he turned an incredible shade of crimson.
"You all right there, Harry?" Sirius asked concerned.
Harry pounded his chest with his fist and nodded tightly, willing his cheeks to return to their normal colour. "Yes. I just er - choked on some orange juice. That's all."
"But... you weren't even drinking from your cup, Harry," Ron said, plainly confused. Harry levelled a glare at his so-called best friend.
"Yes, Ron. Thanks for pointing that out."
"Well, what's the problem then, Harry?" Sirius asked.
"Nothing," he answered hastily.
"It really was nothing," Draco drawled from beside him, waving a hand majestically through the air. "I merely said that it would make things more interesting if we made the birthday boy play in his birthday suit." Harry groaned loudly and let his head drop onto the surface of the table with a very loud thunk, while the people around him roared with laughter. The only people who were not laughing, or even smiling, were Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Snape, Sirius, and McGonagall. Namely, the people who knew of the relationship, excluding McGonagall who just did not approve of what was being said of her favourite student. Ron looked terrified as images of the two boys together swarmed his head; Hermione pursed her lips, looking as disapproving as McGonagall did at the moment; Ginny was trying to look as serious as Hermione, but her eyes sparkled; Snape looked disgusted; and Sirius was looking murderously at Draco, and then warningly at Harry. Harry groaned inwardly. How come he had the feeling that he was going to be getting that talk later?
Offering a half smile, Harry looked at Sirius, then to Draco who was smiling indulgently. Harry ruffled the blond locks and pinched the Slytherin's cheeks. "Oh, but kids do say the darnedest things, don't they?" Draco swiped his hand away and scowled.
"I'm not a kid, Potter," he growled. Harry smiled and stood, pushing back his chair.
"I'm up for Quidditch!" he exclaimed enthusiastically. "Though I do think I'll keep my birthday suit hidden under my clothes, not that I don't appreciate the suggestion, Draco. Thanks for that," he said tightly, slapping Draco's shoulder rather hard.
The Weasley twins sighed. "Harry, can't you just give us a peek at that birthday suit?" Fred asked.
"I bet it's just to die for!" George finished.
Harry blushed and hurried from the table, sending his boyfriend a warning glare since Draco was currently sending death looks to the twins.
"Boys!" Mr. and Mrs. Weasley admonished as one.
Harry did not stay to hear what else the twins had to say, or the giggles that were coming from Parvati and Padma, Lavender, and Ginny. He was too busy hurrying up to his room to change into some proper clothing for Quidditch. He was now looking forward to Quidditch. It was the chance to play against Draco... and maybe even beat him so badly that the blond would never want to show his face again. Harry grinned and flew out of his balcony doors on his Firebolt.
Two hours later, Harry flew down to the earth with a large grin in place. The golden snitch was currently fluttering in his hand, struggling to get out again. Draco soon followed him, scowl set in place, avoiding Harry and not looking him in the eyes. "Oh, come on Draco. It wasn't so bad."
"Only because this time you didn't try to kill me," Draco growled out and stalked away, heading back to the manor.
"Oi, Harry! You'd think he'd get over the fact that you always beat him by now, eh?" George asked jovially.
Harry nodded, watching him go, feeling like his heart was sinking into his stomach. There had been absolutely no reason for Draco's sudden outburst. The game had been far from competitive or physical. Everybody had been laid back throughout the entire game. In fact, that was why it took so long to end it. Harry had seen the snitch fifteen minutes into the game and two more times after that, but let it go and prayed that Draco would not see it. Thankfully, he had not. Harry began to wonder to himself if Draco was really that bad at Quidditch or if he had been playing the same way as Harry had.
"What's wrong with Draco, Harry?" Hermione asked as she ran to him from where she had been sitting in the grass with her dorm mates, Ginny, and Padma. Harry shrugged and left without a word.
"Don't you want to play another game, Harry?" Seamus called in his thick Irish accent.
"No. You guys go on ahead. I'm going to go talk to Draco about something. Here, Charlie. Use my broom and play since you didn't get the chance to last time."
"Thanks, Harry," Charlie smiled and ran to him to take the broom. Harry could not help but look the red-haired man up and down a little as Charlie ran to him. He was extremely good looking. Charlie had that rugged outdoors type look about him, and was never without dragon hide somewhere on his body, even if it was just his boots. Dragon hide was extremely irresistible to Harry, for some strange reason. Charlie stopped in front of him, and Harry was surprised to see that he towered over Ron's older brother by at least three inches. He had not realised that he had grown so much since the last time he had seen the man. Harry was even more surprised when Charlie took the Firebolt from him and let the calloused hands run over Harry's a moment longer than they should have. Charlie grinned, and his chocolate eyes twinkled. He nudged Harry in the side with his elbow. "Is there something going on with you and Draco Malfoy, Harry?" Harry blinked, and unstuck his throat.
"Me and Draco? Heh... no. We're just friends. He helped me out a lot last term."
Charlie nodded. "So I've heard from my mother. She's been giving Ron an earful every day this summer. I think he's real happy about staying here until the new term begins."
"Ron's staying here?"
"Oh, shit. Yes, sorry. I wasn't supposed to say anything. You didn't hear it from me." He grinned sheepishly, and Harry felt his stomach churn with butterflies. "I'm shit for keeping secrets, you know. I once told mum that Bill had a foursome with two men and one girl. She had a fit and called him straight away through the fire and gave him a mouthful, plus a howler. I don't think Bill spoke to me for about five months." Charlie laughed while Harry stared, his mouth agape. "I tried to explain that he was in the experimentation stage when she got into the fit about no grandchildren. I had heard it once before and I certainly wasn't about to listen again."
Harry heard nothing of Charlie's last bits of conversation. His mind was still on the part about a foursome. "Bill had a foursome?" he asked incredulously. Of course in Harry's inexperienced mind, having sex with one man seemed impossible, but two men and then throw in a woman? How exactly did that work?
"Oh, there I go running my mouth again. Pretend I never said that. I better get to the air. It looks like they're getting impatient for me up there." He again smiled at Harry in that way, and the younger Gryffindor found it hard to keep his knees from giving out. Charlie touched his arm gently and rubbed his thumb in circles. "Thanks for borrowing your broom. I've left mine at home anyway."
Harry stood gaping after the older man as he took to the air and started yelling out commands to the team that Harry and had just been a member of.
After a few moments, he collected his senses and started walking towards the manor, intent on finding his boyfriend. "Hey, Harry! Wait up!" The ebony haired boy turned to see Ron running towards him. Oh, Merlin. Not another Weasley, he found himself thinking, much to his dismay.
"I know you want to talk to Malfoy alone, but I just needed to warn you about something first."
"Well... aren't you supposed to be playing?"
"No. I let Ginny take my spot. Let's keep walking. Look, Harry... don't get me wrong, I love Charlie. He's the best brother I could ask for. And he is truly a good guy and a hard worker."
"What's your point, Ron?" Harry asked perplexed.
"For your own good, stay away from him, all right?"
"Ron, he's your brother, and your family is like my family. Why would I stay away from him?"
"I've seen that look in his eyes before, Harry. That look he gave you when he smiled at you... It's his 'come hither' look."
Harry stopped in his tracks and stared at his best friend's retreating back. When Ron realised that Harry was not following anymore, he turned and looked at him, blue eyes showing concern and confusion. "Come hither, Ron? That's ridiculous. Charlie doesn't fancy me. And for another, how in the world would you know that look?"
"I don't like what you're implying. I know that look simply because I've seen it before. He is quite a bit older than me, Harry. He was a teenager and babysitting Ginny and I when I was four. I saw him give many girls and boys that look. I still do, as a matter of fact."
"Well, even if he was giving me that look, why has it got you so concerned?"
"That doesn't answer my question."
Ron groaned. "Listen. Charlie messes around a lot and I wouldn't want him hurting you. I just think of you as having more serious relationships, and that's not what he is about. He's about one-night stands and all that. It would leave you crushed if you got involved with him."
"I understand how you're concerned, Ron, but you have nothing to worry about. I have Draco and I'm perfectly content with him. And if him and I ever have a fight and break up, I'll remember Charlie if I feel in the mood for a one-night stand." Harry grinned to show that he was kidding.
Ron groaned again. "I'm not going to think of it. I'm not going to think of it." He took a deep breath and nodded his head firmly. "Okay. You may have Malfoy, but Charlie doesn't know that. I heard you tell him that you two were just friends. Now Charlie is going to think that you're free meat. It's open market day on Harry Potter now."
"Come off it," Harry said as he began walking again.
"I'm serious!" Ron started walking again, hurrying to catch up. "If you don't believe me, I don't want to hear it when he starts pursuing you aggressively. I mean... seventeen is legal in the wizarding world."
Harry stopped again and turned his attention to the sky, and he watched Charlie fly gracefully in the air, looking out for the snitch. How could Charlie Weasley be interested in him? It just did not seem right. Faintly, Harry heard Ron groan again in realisation. "Merlin. You don't like him, do you?"
He didn't look Ron in the eye. "I don't know what makes you get that idea."
"Oh no. You do. Malfoy will kill you, you know that, don't you?"
"I never said I had any feelings for him!" Harry exclaimed indignantly. He looked at Ron's face, raised eyebrows, and disbelieving eyes. Harry sighed. "Okay. So, I am mildly attracted to Charlie. It isn't a big deal. I don't want anything to come of it because it's only physical. With Draco, it's more than that. Besides, I don't see Charlie enough to gain any real feelings for him."
"Believe me, that'll change now," Ron sighed. "He has set his sights on you. And Harry… whatever happened to the whole, 'redheads don't do it for me' business?"
Harry looked at Ron now and grinned. "We were talking about a redhead who happens to be a girl, Ron."
Ron nodded and then grimaced. "Merlin, Harry, if you--"
"Don't finish that thought. I do not like you in that way. I like blondes, but do you see me dating every blond that comes across my path? No. It's the same for red hair. Look, I can't think of this right now though. I need to go find out what's wrong with my boyfriend. I'll talk to you later, since you're staying here for the summer."
"Oh, damn! Charlie went and opened his fat mouth didn't he? Bloody hell! Sirius is going to be mad. That was one of your surprises!"
"One of my surprises?" Harry grinned.
"Damn. Just go already, before you find out anything more. Apparently loud mouths run in the family." Harry laughed as he turned back towards the manor, running the entire way there. He hurried into the front doors into the massive entrance hall. He paused to look where there was a fountain in the middle of the room with a magnificent star at the top that spouted out the water as well as illuminated a radiant green light at all hours of the day. Sitting forlornly on the side of the fountain with his back facing the door was Draco Malfoy, running his fingertips through the green tinted water. Harry sat quietly beside him and brought his left leg onto the cement so that their knees touched. "Hey," Harry said quietly.
"Nothing," was the short reply.
"Do you really take me for a stupid person, Draco? Honestly, what in the world is wrong? I know there is something."
Draco finally looked at Harry with no little irritation in his eyes. "Look, Potter. There isn't anything wrong, so drop it, would you?" Harry smiled deviously and scooted closer to him.
"I'll drop it if you give me a hug."
"What?" Draco stared at him incredulously.
"I want to hug you. Is that so much to ask?"
"Er - no, I suppose not."
Still, Draco made no move to give Harry a hug. He just stared with a weird expression on his face. Harry put on his puppy eyes. "I've wanted a hug all morning, Draco. I might just implode if I don't get one soon. Would you want to make me implode on my birthday?" He then stuck out his bottom lip and made it quiver. Draco cracked and let out a small laugh.
"You're pathetic, Harry."
"So, does that mean you'll give me a hug?" he asked, his expression brightening up considerably. Draco rolled his eyes and pulled Harry into a tight hug. Harry sighed and clung tightly to his boyfriend, but soon, it felt as if though it was Harry who was hugging Draco, who was continuing the embrace. The blond boy pulled Harry closer to him and buried his face in Harry's neck. Harry respected the fact that Draco did not seem to want to speak about whatever was bothering him and held the smaller boy even closer to him.
"I heard Charlie Weasley talking to Bill Weasley earlier," Draco said suddenly. His voice was muffled but Harry heard and tensed slightly.
"Yeah? Anything interesting?"
"Yes." Draco pulled back and stared at the wall broodingly. "That bastard is going to try and take you away from me."
"Draco, he doesn't even know that we're together. If he did, well, I don't think he'd try anything."
Draco turned to Harry angrily. "You know already that he's hot for you?"
"Yeah," Harry sheepishly replied. "Ron already had this talk with me before I came to find you. Before that, I borrowed my Firebolt to Charlie... and he was flirting a lot."
The Slytherin's eyes flashed and he stood abruptly. "That little fucking Weasel! I'll kill him!"
Harry hastily pulled him back down and placed gentle hands on the boy's shoulders. "You are not going to kill Charlie. All right? The Weasleys are the closest thing I have to a family, excluding Sirius and Remus for the moment here. You have nothing to worry about because I love you, not Charlie, all right?"
Draco stared some more into the green water, clenching and unclenching his jaw. "Fine," he replied tersely. "But if he ever lays a finger on you, I'll kill him."
"When did you start getting so jealous?"
"When good-looking, red-haired men start taking interest in you, that's when!" Draco snapped.
"So..." Harry began casually. "You think that Charlie is good-looking?"
"I didn't say that!" Harry only grinned wider and pulled his boyfriend back towards him.
"You're so cute when you're jealous and indignant."
Draco looked extremely offended. "Aren't I cute all the time?"
The dark-haired boy laughed and kissed Draco's neck. "Mmm..." He kissed Draco's lips softly. "You are..." another kiss, "so cute..." he kissed his chin, "and sexy..." he moved again to his lips, "all the time."
"Damn straight, Potter."
They both grinned and kissed again, slowly and deeply. It sent shockwaves through Harry and he felt himself becoming faint, and his body swayed towards the water. Draco seemed to be having the same problem because his body was following Harry's. It was either that or he just did not want to break off their kiss. It did not matter anyhow, because in the next moment both were splashing into the green water. They came up choking and gasping for air and stared incredulously at each other, then Harry began laughing uncontrollably.
"Nice going, Potter! Now I'm all wet! Look at you! Your skin is green!"
Harry did not care, he was too busy pointing and laughing at Draco to even speak, let alone breathe. "What? I know my skin is green if yours is, but it's not even funny! Stop laughing like that, Harry!"
Harry took a deep breath. "Draco," he choked out and pointed. "Your hair - it's green!"
Draco's mouth opened and he gave a soft cry of horror. "My hair!" he yelled. "My beautiful blond hair is green?"
"Honestly. I like it green. It's kind of sexy. Besides, I'm sure you were ready to dye it again anyway."
Now Draco looked beyond horrified. "Dye my hair, Potter? I'll have you know that my hair is naturally blond! How could you..." he spluttered. "I don't think I've ever been so insulted in my entire life." He took a strand of his hair and looked at it mournfully. "My hair," he whimpered.
"You're such a pretty boy. It's a wonder nobody has figured out you're gay."
"Well, I'm sorry if I like to look presentable! I don't know about you, but I don't want to go about looking as if I just came out of a rubbish bin. Besides, you're gay but you don't care one bit about your looks, so don't even start!" He started to get back out of the fountain, but Harry pulled him down with a splash. "What are you doing? I'm getting cold and I want to find Severus so he can sort me out here."
"Well, the way I see it... we're wet, cold, and green. Why not stay in here for a few more minutes and try something out?"
"I don't want to stay in here!"
"Just let me experiment with one thing and then we can get out! Please?"
Draco let out a long suffering sigh and crossed his arms over his chest. "Fine! One thing and then I'm out of here."
Harry smiled victoriously. "Okay, you'll have to hold your breath." He pulled Draco to him and kissed him, lowering them down into the water, where Harry got to find out what it was like to kiss underwater.
I think this is probably the lightest chapter of the story so far, but I could be wrong. But, I'm sorry if it seems a bit slow. Not all beginnings can start off right away like Let the Darkness Take You did! So, I hope you liked the beginning. Strange things begin happening in the next chapter.
Um... I wasn't going to add a teaser like I did before, but I decided to at the last moment. Here's an un-beta'd version of the part I picked. The beta'd version is on another disk and I'm too lazy to get it right now.
With one final squeeze of hands, James and Lily Potter disappeared from view and the room was flooded with light once more, making all occupants blink owlishly trying to get their pupils to dilate. Harry's hands dropped to his sides, and he stood staring at the spot that his parents had just occupied, unable to believe that he had finally got a chance to speak with them, hug them, tell them he was okay, and that he loved them. He smiled. The occupants of the room were now in a state of shock as they continued to stare at the black ball. Harry began to speak, but stopped when the object began to glow a mysterious red. Right before their very eyes, the ball cracked, hissing as it steamed. Harry watched it warily as it seemed to rotate by itself, and before anybody could do anything, it shot a jet of red light towards Harry and hit him in the chest. He went flying backwards into one of the windows. Luckily, they had been charmed to be unbreakable so Harry merely bounced off the windows and onto the floor. He lay in shock for a few moments before pulling himself up to stare incredulously at the heavy ball. It was resealing itself, and the light faded just as quickly as it had come. It now seemed perfectly harmless.
Well, for now, I am not updating once a week because of a variety of circumstances. But, I have a LiveJournal that I will keep you updated on this story among other things. The link is on the top of my bio. Just click on my name above and you'll see it. If you don't want to check there for updates, I have a paid account here at FF.net, and if you add me to your favourite author list, you'll get notices. I'm not asking you to, it's just a suggestion so you know when I update because I don't send emails! I hope you enjoyed and as always please review to tell me if you loved it or hated it!