Title: Another Cycle to Begin

Disclaimers: I don't own Harry Potter, J.K.R. does. I am getting no money for writing fanfiction.
Warnings: Slash. This is slightly AU. In this fic, Voldemort was killed after Harry's 4th year.

Chapter 2

As the days that went by, Draco found himself becoming increasingly confused when it came to the subject of a certain raven-haired boy. Gryffindor's Golden Boy had surprised the world two years ago by disappearing after defeating the Dark Lord. Draco's own father had thanked and rewarded Mr. Potter for freeing the world of "that half blood lunatic". Now, the savior of the wizarding world had returned; many cried; people danced in the streets and everything was right in the world. Then the public was promptly informed that the young Mr. Potter had been resorted into Slytherin.

For the second time in two years, everything stopped. Within the walls of Hogwarts, pure chaos broke out. The teachers - while acting what they hoped was natural - were trying desperately to figure out what happened. The Hufflepuffs could be heard in the library, trying to reason out what happened. The Ravenclaw students watched Harry, trying to figure out if this new development was good or bad. The Slytherin were skeptical that Harry could ever be a real Slytherin. The Gryffindor, however, came up with the only logical explanation: some unknown dark wizard had kidnapped their friend and had cast numerous dark and illegal curses on him while, for two years, Harry had struggled to free himself. Finally, Harry had freed both himself and Sirius and had returned to Hogwarts. Still, this didn't explain why their hero was in Slytherin.

Harry, ironically, was completely unaffected by this. Draco, who had never seen the Boy-Who-Lived like any attention what so ever, was deeply disturbed by his new housemate's strange behavior.

Something must have happened to the new Slytherin while he was gone. As of the present, nothing had been said about his disappearance. No one, except probably Dumbledore, knew exactly where the green eyed boy had gone; not even Granger or Weasley knew. Sooner or later, Harry would have to tell his fellow Slytherins his story.

The Monday of the second week of classes, Harry decided it was time to talk to Hermione. He woke early, showered, and made his way down to the Great Hall early. He sat by the entrance and opened a book. A half an hour later, He felt a tap on his shoulder. He looked up and grinned.

"Hermione, I was waiting for you. I think we should talk." He said quietly and he embraced his old friend. He only felt her nod; he lead her to the Gryffindor table and sat next to her. He gave her another hug.

"Why didn't you ever write us, Harry. We were so worried. You... you just disappeared." She said softly, looking at the table.

Harry sighed. "I know. I wanted to, but I thought it would be for the best not to. I needed to get away from everything. I just knew that If I got a letter from you or Ron, I would be back here as fast as I could. I am truly sorry that I did not contact you in someway to let you guys know I was okay."

"Where were you?"

"America. Sirius received a teaching job over there. He took me from the Dursley's, and we left."

"Oh." Hermione said. She was quiet for a long time. Harry noticed that the Great Hall was starting to fill. "Why aren't you in Gryffindor?"

Harry had been waiting for this question. "I told Dumbledore that if I was to return, I would have to be resorted. It would be too weird coming back and have nothing change. Two years have gone by, and so much has changed in my life."

"But why Slytherin?" She hissed out.

"It's not like I asked to be sorted there!" Harry replied. Subconsciously he knew that the Sorting Hat would place him there, he heard the words of his first sorting clearly when he put the hat on a few days ago: 'You could be great, you know, it's all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that.' (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone p.91)

"It... it just sort of happened." Harry said. He looked up and saw Ron enter the hall. "I have to go, Hermione. Ron is coming." Harry said with one last hug. He got up and made his way to the Slytherin table. He sat himself next to Draco.

"You know, Harry," Draco said with wonder in his voice. "I don't think I'll ever have you figured out."

Harry laughed, and put some food on his plate. "Really, now, why is that?"

"Well, one minute, you're being all nice and tochie-feelie with Granger, over there. Then you suddenly get up and become as cold as I get while you make your way to the Slytherin table. In the past week, I've seen you flirt with more girls than I can count. Still, you seem oblivious to how attractive you are."

"Yeah, that sounds like Harry, alright," Blaise said as he sat down. "You act with more confidence that I ever thought you could possess. Granted, I haven't seen you since forth year."

Harry grinned. "I found a lot of stuff out, I guess. I had fun, got in trouble, got something pierced. Sirius didn't complain, so I just had a blast for two years."

"Wow, our little Potter has grown up," Blaise said and pinched Harry's cheek, earning him a death glare. "And he's developed quite a Malfoy worthy glare, as well."

"Blaise, if you don't move your hand, I'll bite it off."

Blaise quickly removed his hand, and grinned.

"Anyway, I'm going to run back to the dungeons and get my books." Harry said as he made himself some tea and got up.

"Hey, Harry," Draco said as Harry stood. "Just wondering, what kind of girls do you go for?"

Harry grinned. "Why, do you want to set me up or something?"

"No, just curious."

"Well, Draco, my taste in girls is the same as my taste in guys," Harry said pleasantly. "Smooth, smart, bad ass, and with preferably light blond or dark jet black hair." With this, Harry exited the Great hall, leaving one stunned Draco Malfoy behind.

When a flabbergasted Malfoy walked into potions a few minutes late, he was still in shock about what Harry had said. Snape told him to take his seat, and Draco did. He looked around the room, and what he saw shocked him for the second time in less than twenty minutes. Potter was flirting outrageously with a seventh year Ravenclaw boy with bright blond hair. Fighting a growl, Draco slumped in his chair. Blaise gave him a weird look, but didn't question him.

Snape acted like his usual self, he praised the Slytherin and Ravenclaw houses and found any reason possible to take points away from the Gryffindor house. There were no Hufflepuffs in the class. All the Gryffindor had their eyes on Harry, watching his every move, wondering why he was being so friendly with a certain Ravenclaw boy who was absolutely smitten to have the Boy-Who-Lived all over him.

Draco, on the other had, was pondering many different things that were far more important: how many ways he could hurt that Ravenclaw boy and how many ways he would hurt that Ravenclaw boy. The one thing that the light haired Slytherin could not understand was why he was so jealous of this boy. Draco would talk to his housemate later.

Looking up, he saw Harry wind his arm around the Ravenclaw's waist and whisper something in his ear. The Ravenclaw boy blushed a deep crimson, and nodded. The ex-Gryffindor smirked and went back to reviewing the potion they were working on. Across the room, a certain bushy haired girl's eyes widened and a red headed boy's eyes narrowed in a very dangerous way. The blond haired Slytherin's eye twitched ever so slightly and he went back to stirring his potion.

"Draco, are you okay?" Blaise asked worriedly.

"Positively smashing," Draco replied. "Why do you ask?"

"Because, mate, your potion is supposed to be a light blue, not a bubbling green mass."

The great Mr. Malfoy cursed, and tried desperately to fix his potion.

It was finally Saturday afternoon and no one had seen the ex-Gryffindor outside of class since lunch on Monday. Draco had been left to obsess over the surprising statement Harry had left him with that day before Advanced Potions the other day.

As if cued by his thoughts, a smug looking Harry Potter walked gracefully into the great hall, accompanied by a very miffed looking Professor Sirius Black. The blond haired Slytherin looked on with morbid fascination as Harry rolled his eyes in response to something Sirius said and made a quick reply. At this, Sirius threw his hands in the air and stomped over to the staff table, positively fuming. Sirius sat down, glaring daggers in Snape's general direction.

"And where were you last night, Mr. Potter?" Draco asked as Harry sat down across from him.

"Well, Mr. Malfoy," Harry answered happily, "I spend the night in the Ravenclaw dorms, if you must know. I can't say I got much sleep." A smirk appeared on the dark haired Slytherin's face as his companion proceeded to choke on his pumpkin juice.

The flustered, blond haired Slytherin quickly regained his composer. At this, Harry shot another sexy, Malfoy-worthy smirk and quirked an eyebrow.

"Jealous?" Harry asked, teasingly.

"Of a Ravenclaw? Never" Malfoy declared.

"Good," Harry said pleasantly as he picked up something to munch on. "Because you shouldn't be. He wasn't all that good, and you're cuter than he is."

Draco didn't have time to reply. At that exact moment in time, a fury of red hair entered the Great Hall. The red headed seething mass of anger made a beeline for the Slytherin table, grabbed the back of Harry's robes, and dragged the dark haired Slytherin out of the hall. Draco stared at the kicking and screaming Harry Potter. His captor didn't pay any mind to the question stairs from the house tables. Snape made to follow the pair out, but Sirius beat him to it.

"You! Sit! Now!" Sirius growled and shot poor Snape a death glare. Sirius stormed out of the Great hall after the red headed Gryffindor and his godson. Draco stood as well and followed Professor Black out of the hall.

Sirius and Draco approached the courtyard. Immediately, they were assaulted with the sound of Ron's bellowing voice. Ron had dragged Harry off into the far corner of the main courtyard; there, Ron was yelling at him.

As the professor and student came closer to the seething redhead, they heard something that sounded suspiciously like, "and stay the bloody hell away from my girlfriend, you bloody got." Harry looked very amused as he lounged against the stone wall.

Green eyes looked up through a mop of shaggy black hair as Sirius and Draco stopped a few feet away from him. Harry stood and looked as if he was concentrating. Ron suddenly was quiet. This angered Sirius even more. He was about to speak when Draco spotted the beginnings of a bruise on Harry's cheek.

"Harry! Are you alright?" Draco asked, carefully brushing dark hair from Harry's face so he could get a better look.

Sirius didn't see this action of affection, he was too busy trying to free Ron from Harry's silencing charm. Harry looked at Draco; they were so close that if he wanted to, Harry could lean forward and steal a kiss.

"Harry," Sirius called, bringing Harry out of his thoughts. "What did you do to him?" He asked, pointing to Ron.

Harry smirked and said, "My secret."

With a wave of Harry's hand, Ron was screaming again. Harry smirked, and made his way back to the castle. Draco followed, hearing Professor Black take points from Gryffindor for fighting.

Harry and Draco sat back down at the Slytherin table right as the mail started to arrive. Everyone watched as Harry greeted many owls. His own Hedwig flew down to her owner with a small note attached to her leg. Harry offered her part of his mean, which she took happily. Harry took his time going through his letters, knowing that everyone at the Slytherin table would want to know who the letters were from.

Harry had gotten many letters from his friends back in America. They had known that he wasn't 'James Black', but they had no idea that he was Harry Potter. Many of the letters started out with a friendly 'To Mr. James Black, (or whoever you're telling people that you are)". Harry was glad that his friends didn't get mad. It's not that he had lied to them for two years. He had just taken on a new name. Everything that he told people was true. He was free of having to live up to what everyone in England thought he was.

Hedwig, finally finished with her meal, nipped Harry's finger and took off as Harry got to the note that she had brought. It was from Hermione. She had apologized for Ron temper, and warned Harry that Ron may do something to get back at him - Harry thought this warning was slightly late - and she had asked if Harry would come up to the Gryffindor common room before everyone left for Hogsmeade.

Checking to make sure Ron and Hermione were not in the hall, Harry put the note in the middle of the table. In seconds, the note burst into flames. The Slytherins in nearby seats looked shocked. Draco shot his classmate a look.

"It was from Hermione," Harry answered.

"It's now up in flames," Draco observed.

"Yes. Yes, it is." Harry went back to his meal. In a few minutes, he walked out of the Great Hall. Pansy quickly excused herself, and followed the new Slytherin out of the room.

"Potter, what the hell was that?" Pansy asked in a deadly voice as entered the Slytherin Common Room right after Harry.

Harry looked at her questioningly and slightly lifted his left eyebrow, which made his eyebrow ring catch the light.

"That note, I know it was from Granger. Why the hell did you burn it?" She spat.

"That," Harry said, void of emotion, "is a little hard to explain. Now, if you will excuse me, I would like to go to Hogsmeade, and I would like to leave soon." Harry turned on his heal, and made his way to his dorms, his robes billowing behind him.

Pansy sighed, and followed Potter into his bedchambers. The room was large and only held three beds; one bed for Harry, one bed for Blaise, and one bed for Draco. Crabbe and Goyle's rooms were located across the hallway. When Pansy entered the room, she found Harry in only a pair of black pants. She blushed slightly and cleared her throat.

"I know your there, Pansy, you can come in. I'm not going to strip, I just want to change my shirt," Harry said as he bent down to open his trunk.

Harry sat on the floor, and proceeded to pull out every article of clothing that his trunk held. Harry pulled out a pair of black converse sneakers with writing and doodles all over them. He looked as if he was deep in thought about what he wanted to wear. Pansy sat at the foot of Draco's bed, and let her eyes roam over Harry's upper body; by the looks of it, Harry had not given up Quidditch for his upper body and arms were toned. Pansy also noticed the variety of scars and markings that Harry had on his arms, back and chest. It was understandable that he would have gotten hurt in the fight against Voldemort back in forth year, but that fight couldn't possible be the cause for all the scars she saw. Many of them looked as if they were placed on his body deliberately. Harry looked up, and caught Pansy fixed on his back.

"I have a scar by my collar bone as well," Harry said, and turned so she could see. Harry pointer to the scar that started at the base of his neck, and ended at his left shoulder.

"How?" Pansy asked.

Harry turned around.

"Some are from my fight with Voldemort. Some are from the Dursleys. A lot are from other fights." Harry said and turned around.

"Oh, and I lied." Harry said.


"I will have to strip." Harry said. Pansy blushed.

"Could you... could you just turn around... It's kinda... Weird, you know." Harry said, and Pansy spun around.

Harry and Pansy had set out for Hogsmeade when Pansy asked why Harry had burned Granger's letter.

Harry sighed and told her, "It's hard to explain. After two years of being away, it seams as if they expect me to be the same person I was before the last task. I don't think they really understand that I was changed by the time I got back."

"But why did you burn the letter?"

"Hermione phrased it as if I wasn't in my right mind. She kept saying 'I hope you come to your senses'. I just think it's a lot for them to take in at the moment. I really did miss them; I just wasn't ready to come home yet. I didn't want them to make me so homesick that I would have to come home before I was ready. The longer I stayed away, the more I realized who I really was. I don't think Ron or Hermione would like who I have become. I don't really want them to know who the new me is." Harry shrugged. "I know it's foolish, but I really think that it is for the better if we don't become close friends again."

"Don't worry, Harry," Pansy said. "I understand."

Harry smiled.

"Now, the reason I came to Hogsmeade today: to shop! I am in desperate need of clothing. Would you like to join me?" Harry asked Pansy.

"Of course, I know some very nice stores," She replied. She grasped the dark haired boy's hand, and led him down the street.

Draco wasn't too far behind. He didn't know what Pansy and Harry were talking about, but he didn't like how close they had become. Why is she so close to him, it should be me, Draco thought. Immediately he was disgusted with his jealousy. It wasn't like Harry belonged to him. He had no right to feel this way. Still, the new Slytherin was what Draco wanted. Malfoys always got what they wanted, and Draco wanted Harry Potter. Draco sighed. It looked like there was a first time for everything. Harry and Pansy looked as if they were getting along very nicely.

While Draco went off to find himself a butter beer, Pansy and Harry were on a mission. They had been to almost every clothing store in Hogsmeade, and Harry had not found what he was searching for. Harry was deep in thought when Pansy spoke.

"So," She said, "What's it like being back in Hogwarts? Has anything changed?"

"A few things." Harry answered. "Everyone still looks at me in the hallways, but like I said before, a lot changed while I was gone."

Pansy nodded, and went back to looking at the racks of clothing. "So, is there anyone who has caught the eye of Mr. Potter?"

Harry didn't say anything. Pansy turned and saw that Harry's face was bright red. She shot him a questioning look.

"So, there is someone?"

Harry nodded.

"And who would this person me."

Harry didn't say anything.

"Come on, I won't tell anyone. Who is the lucky girl."

"Actually, it isn't a girl. It's Draco."

Pansy's eyes just about popped out of her head. "Draco? As in Draco Malfoy?" She asked.

Harry nodded.

"I must admit, I'm somewhat disappointed that you like a guy, I was hoping it was me," Pansy told him. "Anyway, do you think he likes you?"

"I don't know, I don't even know if he goes for guys." Harry said, as he turned back to the rack of robes he was looking at.

"Well, I'll just have to help you out then," Pansy answered in a determined tone.

Two hours later, the two Slytherins were found wandering the streets of Hogsmeade with many shopping bags, most of which belonged to Pansy. The students of Hogwarts were starting to retreat back to the castle, while the sun was setting on the horizon, reflecting beautifully off of the lake. Pansy and Harry checked the time, and decided that it would be wise to start back towards the school. As they left Hogsmeade, they noticed a certain blond haired Slytherin following them.

Pansy spun the dark haired boy around and leaned up as if she was going to kiss him.

"This is your chance," She whispered in his ear.

With that, she gave Harry a little nudge in Malfoy's direction and she let herself fall behind the two boys.

"Hello Draco, how was Hogsmeade?" Harry asked as he fell into step with the blond.

Draco didn't even look up as he answered, "Fine."

There was silence as they walked. Harry looked over his shoulder at Pansy who made wild motions with her arms that Harry figured meant 'ask him out already'. Draco, on the other hand was having the hardest time keeping himself from throwing his arms around Harry and snog him silly. The image of Pansy leaning up to Harry was still fresh in his mind.

"Hey, Draco, I was wondering," Harry began, but that was as far as he got.

"If I could set you up with Pansy," Draco cut the dark haired boy off. "Sure, any time. I really didn't think she was your type, mate." Draco's smile didn't quite reach his eyes, but Harry didn't notice.

"Yeah… Sure…" Harry Potter took off towards the castle at an alarming rate.

Pansy saw and heard the whole interaction.

"You git," She said as she smacked Draco upside the head. "I see the way you look at him."

Draco just gaped at her. "I have no idea what you mean."

"Of course you do," Pansy said. "And for your information, he was trying to ask you out."

Malfoy blinked.

"But you blew it!" Pansy ranted.

Malfoy blinked again.

"I can't believe you! You better hope he tries to ask you out again." Pansy practically yelled at him as they entered the castle.

Malfoy was silent the rest of the way to the common room, still blinking.

Draco left Pansy in the common room and went to his sleeping quarters. He sighed as he noticed that Potter's hangings were pulled closed. There was faint singing coming from inside. Should I look, Draco thought. He inched closer to Potter's bed.

Harry sang with his eyes closed as he lay on his back, his dark hair falling perfectly over his face. Draco could still see the scar. It had been so long since he could look at Potter and it was the first time he had such a clear look at him. First loves die hard.

While the young Malfoy thought, Harry had opened his eyes. He looked at the blond before him, watching the different emotions flicker on his face. Draco was so different when he thought no one was looking.

Malfoy looked up as Potter sat. The blond blushed slightly. Now it was Harry's turn to study the person before him. Beautiful, he thought.

Quickly, before the blond could turn away, Harry closed the distance between them, and captured Draco's lips with his own. There was a second of hesitation before Draco kissed back eagerly. Tongues battled for dominance and Draco was pulled down to Harry's bed.

Their bliss was cut short, however, when the door opened.

"Oops, um… Sorry Draco, Harry…" Blaise said timidly from the doorway. "I didn't know you two were… occupied."

Draco quickly straightened his hair and robes and jumped off the bed. Harry, on the other hand, lay back with his hair close to the 'just shagged' look.

"I'll just go, then," Blaise said as he backed away from the room and made a beeline for the common room.

Draco, face slightly flushed, followed him.

Whoot, i finally got around to editing. I am working on this, don't worry. I probably won't get around to updating for a few weeks, though...

Isabel Evelyn