Warnings: Slash, Odd!Slash, as well as some profanity.

Disclaimer: Honestly. Do you really think that I own Harry Potter or anything/anyone associated with the books/movies? Of course not.

Setting: Summer before seventh year.

Only Stronger

He stood tall, looking fey in the moonlight as he stared down at Dudley. He was beautiful, so pale and almost translucent. He looked so soft, yet sharp at the same time. The paradoxes boggled the heavier boy speechless.

"Are you," he paused contemptuously, as if the name was too filthy for his lips to touch, "Dudley Dursley?"

Dudley nodded slowly. "Why?" The word finally fell from his mouth.

"I'm your cousin's," again, the boy paused, this time letting a twisted smile cross his lips. Unlike the previous time, however, he didn't finish his thought and instead reworded his sentence. "I go to school with your cousin."

Dudley didn't have to ask which cousin. Even if he'd had a million cousins, this boy was so magical, he had to be one of those magicians that Harry went to school with.

Before, Dudley had always imagined them all to be scrawny little wimps like Harry, a school full of geeks and losers and people not fit for regular society. Monsters who terrorized innocent normal people: The monster who had chased them to the shack in the ocean and given him a pig's tail, those evil Weasles who flew out of the chimney.

This boy, though, he wasn't any of that. He was just... untouchable. Forbidden. Dudley had never met anyone he couldn't have. Who would say no to Dudley Dursley? This boy was exempt from that sort of rule. He was too different for those rules to apply. Dudley knew that he could never have this forbidden boy, wasn't even supposed to want him.

"I'm Draco Malfoy. Has Harry mentioned me?" Distinctive pause, but Dudley knew that Draco still had more to say. Why couldn't Draco talk like a normal person, without those damned contemptuous pauses? Dudley already knew that answer, however: because he wasn't normal and didn't want to be normal. Because he was contemptuous and saw no reason to act otherwise. Because he was Draco Malfoy (nevermind that Dudley didn't know what kind of power that name held), and needed no other explanations for his behaviour. Draco's drawl began again, saying something that sounded vaguely bitter, so Dudley paid attention. "Of course, you've never really talked to him, have you? Even though you two have lived together almost your entire lives."

"Why are you here?" Dudley demanded. "You're shouldn't be here. This is mine and my mum and my dad's house, so you have to go away because we don't tolerate your kind's presence." Dudley felt his heart slow. Good. He'd gotten control of the situation. There was nothing that fairy boy could say; this was his property.

Draco's smirk none-too-kindly informed Dudley that he was dead wrong. It didn't matter whose property Draco stood on, because Draco was always in control of every situation. "Where's Harry?" Draco asked smoothly.

"He's out for a walk. He'll be back soon," Dudley replied, resigned.

Draco tilted his head to the side and a few strands of moonlit hair slid into his face. "I've just decided exactly who you remind me of."

"Who?" Dudley couldn't bite back the curiosity. It seemed oddly like an honor to remind this boy of someone, presumably another wonderful magical person similar to the one whom he was currently not falling in love with, no matter what his heart was feeling.

"Two other boys. My friends, Crabbe and Goyle. Blockheads, both of them." Draco eyed Dudley critically. "But you're not exactly like them. You wouldn't be able to take orders, and that's their only redeeming quality."

Crabbe. Goyle. Malfoy. Where had he heard those names? They sounded suddenly familiar. It had to have been from Harry. Hadn't Harry compared him to those three people, just a few days ago? Said something like, "You may be awful, but you're nowhere near as bad as Crabbe or Goyle, especially not Malfoy." Something like that, but with more words and more anger and a glare that had convinced him that Harry was about to whip out some freaky magic, so he'd ran away and didn't even consider asking what kind of beautiful boys possessed those strange names.

Harry hated Draco. He'd figured out that part. So why was Draco here now? To hurt Harry? Dudley licked his lips nervously and realized that Malfoy was still staring at him intensely. "There's absolutely no resemblance between you and Harry," Draco said finally.

"Thank you," Dudley replied smugly.

Draco mouth twitched into another smirk. Dudley wanted to kiss him, fuck what everyone else thought; this boy was beautiful. 'I'd give it all up for him!' Dudley thought wildly. 'I don't care if he's a boy and a wizard. I don't care if it isn't normal. I want this boy more than anything I've ever wanted anything.'

"You don't like your cousin? That's all right. Harry dislikes you just as much."

"Hate," Dudley corrected fiercely. "We don't just 'dislike' each other." If he could prove it, Draco would see that they had so much in common. They could become allies, lovers even. If he could make Draco understand...

Draco chuckled. "No. It's not hatred. Harry doesn't hate you. He couldn't, because every bit of his hate is directed to me, and I would never want it any other way. Harry doesn't hate you. You disgust him. He pities you sometimes, but mostly it's disgust and nothing else.

"It is hatred!" Dudley protested indignantly

Draco let out a breathy sigh laced with quiet laughter. "You have no idea what hatred is, love."

Dudley was at a loss of words, but that was alright, because Harry walked up the drive. "Draco?" he asked. His surprised voice pierced the evening with a strange innocence. "What are you doing here?"

Draco turned his back to Dudley, facing Harry. "I got bored. Being with you is never boring. You may not be in arithmancy, but I think you can still do the math." That was the first strange word that meant nothing to Dudley: Arithmancy. Dudley began to feel left out. "Besides," Draco drawled, "I don't need an excuse just to visit."

"I guess," Harry agreed reluctantly, but then he grinned. "Sorry, I'm sure that wasn't the welcome you expected. It's nice to see you, Draco!" Dudley's head felt like it was spinning. What was going on? Didn't Harry hate Draco? Didn't Draco hate Harry? Why were they being friendly? It went against everything (which admittedly wasn't much) that he knew about the boys' relationship.

"Want to spend time at the manor? It'll be nice. A vacation from this."

"Draco, we went over that before summer holidays started," Harry replied with the exasperation of someone who's had to repeat himself far too many times. "I can't go with you. Your family wants me dead. The boy who lived should not go to a Deatheater's convention for tea. What would Dumbledore think?"

"They wouldn't kill you, Drama Queen. My mother doesn't bother with the Deatheater business and my father won't be anywhere near the manor this summer. Despite what you may think, the entire Malfoy household does not go around kissing He-Who-Must-"

"Voldemort," Harry interupted.

"Whatever, show-off. The whole Malfoy household does not run around kissing his feet and trying to kill you. Just my father, alright?"

As was reasonable given the current circumstances, Dudley was completely and totally lost. All he understood was that Draco and Harry were getting angrier, arguing about family and houses and words that Dudley had never heard. He focused instead on Draco's body, twisting with movement. His eyes flashed dangerously. Dudley had never really seen anyone's eyes flash dangerously. He'd thought it was just an expression until he saw Draco's eyes. They burned passionately, glowed like heated ice, sent daggers spiraling towards Harry -- Draco defeated every cliche.

"I hate you!" Harry finally yelled, punching Draco hard, splitting the fair boy's lip. Draco looked at him, silently challenging, without showing a trace of the pain that Dudley knew he had to be feeling. "I hate you Draco Malfoy. I hate you."

"What are you going to do about it?" Draco asked, smiling slowly.

Harry kissed him, hard enough to bruise both their lips. Dudley watched them.

They finally pulled away roughly from each other, their lips swollen and red lips. "I hate you too," Draco said, his voice strange and husky. "Go get your things. You're coming with me. I don't want to wait for the term to start before I can kiss you like that again."

"And Draco Malfoy always gets what he wants," Harry mocked, but he turned obediently and jogged into the house.

"Don't pack clothes!" Draco called. "You've got horrible, Wand-Mart-esque taste. You can borrow some of my robes!"

"So says the boy I met in a robe shop," Harry retorted before disappearing inside the house.

Draco turned back to Dudley. "That's what hate is," he told the shocked boy. "Like love, only stronger."

He kissed Dudley on the lips then, and Dudley fancied he could taste blood.