Title: Department of Magical Creatures Case #645369

Author: feltonxmalfoy

Beta: domtheknight

Pairing: DM/RW (eventually), DM/EM, DM/SF, DM/TH, DM/JFF, DM/multipleOMC's, RW/2OMC's, HG/OMC, BW/FD, HP/OFC

Chapter: Eighteen (Final)

Rating: M

Warnings: slash, swearing, sexual acts (but no details for now)

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Summary: At 21, Draco Malfoy is on a journey to find his life mate, but is delayed by pesky Hufflepuffs screaming 'regulations' and 'laws'. Please, Malfoys play by their own rules.

A/N: This story has been a long journey, but it is finally finished. I hope you all enjoyed the ride and thank you for staying with me. For those who want to follow Ron and Draco through their relationship, there is a sequel planned, so keep your eyes peeled for it. Enjoy!


My Dearest Ronald,

How are you? I hope you are staying safe in Egypt. Did you like my last letter? Harry says you read them; you don't know how happy that makes me. If only you would consent to see me so that we could speak in person. And possibly do the things I think about us doing. I miss you more with every day that I am away from you. Hearing Harry say that he is engaged to his little annoyance has only made me long for you more. Harry has proven to be a genuine friend, and as such I want him to be happy, but knowing that he is preparing to settle down and build his life when you still refuse to see me makes my heart ache even more than it already does. I think about you every moment of the day, waking or sleeping. I even think of you when I am helping Severus with his potions.

Severus is slowly improving, though he still has much farther to go before he is entirely healed of the suffering he experienced in Azkaban. He sleep-walks now. We find him in all manner of positions all around the estate. This morning Mother found him trying to fry an egg in the kitchen, his eyes still closed, muttering to himself. The house-elves were severely ruffled. When he isn't sleep-walking, he wakes several times a night screaming. He refuses to see me when this happens, but I know Mother is up with him most nights, trying to soothe his worry. They are healing each other this way. Both look healthier and less miserable every day. I still worry about them both, though. And all the time, I am thinking of you.

I hope I will hear from you soon. I miss you. Please stay safe for me. I couldn't bear it to know that you had been hurt, and I could not be there for you.

Your veela,

Draco

/

Ron was still holding the letter in one hand when he stuck his head in the fire and called for Harry. The flat looked empty, but Ron could hear shuffling in the direction of the bedroom, so he called louder. There were footsteps and then Harry appeared from around the corner, looking a little disheveled and very well-shagged. Ron ignored the signs of what he had been doing, too upset to care. "I have to hear about your getting engaged through Malfoy?" He demanded, not even letting Harry get a hello in first.

Harry paused, clearly confused, but then realization came to his eyes and the confusion was covered by shame. "We were planning on telling you at dinner tomorrow night. I forgot Malfoy writes you. Sorry."

Ron wasn't appeased and the look he shot Harry told him as much. "Why'd you tell Malfoy before you told me?"

"I saw him first? I see him once a week now when I go over to check on Snape. It er… just sort of came up."

Ron glared, but then he caught sight of Emma peeking around the corner, hair mussed and her make-up smudged, and he came to his senses. They had obviously just been shagging and he'd interrupted. He only felt a little guilty for that fact. "Well, congratulations, I guess. I would have liked a little heads-up, though."

Harry looked at his bare feet. "Thanks. Sorry for not saying anything. I didn't want to bother you while you've got the whole Draco situation…"

"Want to come through for a cup of tea?" Emma asked, having drifted to Harry's side. She was wearing his bathrobe and it made her look very small. Seeing her this way, Ron could almost see the appeal.

"Thanks, but I've got things to do, and you two were obviously er, busy. Sorry. I'll see you tomorrow night."

"All right, tomorrow night then."

"All right. Congratulations. See you tomorrow." Ron pulled out of the fire, feeling awkward and still a little upset. He looked down at the letter, crumpled up from his angry fist. Something about Malfoy's spidery script made him want to preserve it. He smoothed out the wrinkles and went to put it away in his office with the others, mind still on Harry and his new fiancée. Had he realized what he was doing, he probably would have just thrown it away.

After stashing the letter with the others, Ron went to his desk and back to poring over the old texts of Ancient Egyptian magic. It had been two weeks and they were still no closer to finding a way to open the stone door. They had been back to Djoser's tomb every day, trying found and invented spells, but nothing worked. The magic responded more strongly to Ron than it ever had, but even his now stronger connection to a magical creature didn't seem to be enough. If only they could find a solution, he just knew they would find Re.

/

"I 'ear congratulations are to be given, oui?" Franck said as he kissed Emma on the cheek.

"Yes! Harry and I are engaged! Isn't it wonderful?" She flashed her left hand in front of Franck's face, the pink jem glinting in the light and nearly blinding him, and grinned like she'd just won a million galleons. Ron watched Franck's face curiously, wanting to know what he thought of the engagement. Ron had considered asking Franck to marry him, but Franck always managed to change the subject when it was brought up. He looked happy for them and began asking questions about the impending ceremony.

Emma chattered on as they sat in the living room while Harry poured two glasses of wine and found two butterbeers in the cold cupboard. "We're going to have a May wedding. We've already booked the church at Godric's Hollow, and my mum and Molly are helping me plan the ceremony. We're going robe shopping next week."

"Where is zis Godric's 'Ollow?"

Emma looked a little confused and turned to Harry, who was just walking into the room holding the butterbeers while the wine glasses floated over to Franck and Emma. Ron intervened for her to explain to Franck, whose English history was spotty at best. "It's where Harry was born."

"And where my parents were married. I've always wanted to get married in the same church as they did. It's the closest I can come to having them be at the ceremony," Harry explained, handing Ron his beer before sitting next to Emma.

"It iz nice zat you would want to include your parents, even zough zey are no longer 'ere. Who will you 'ave stand wis you?"

Emma looked confused again and turned to Harry for help, but he was just as lost. Ron thought he might understand what Franck was getting at. "I think he means attendants, who you'll have as best man and maid of honor."

"Is zat what ze people who stand wis ze bride and groom at ze ceremony are called? I did not know. I 'ave never attended an English wedding before."

"Oh, of course. Sorry, I forgot. Yes, they're called attendants. I was going to have my sisters, Gemma and Laura. Harry…" She looked from Ron to Harry and smiled widely.

"I was going to ask Ron, actually. You are my best mate, after all." Harry grinned at Ron, blushing a little. He always got flustered with these situations.

Ron beamed at him. "Yeah, 'course mate. Anything you need me to do. What about Hermione?"

"I was thinking of asking her to officiate, but since it's going to be at the church, I don't know…" Emma bit her lip and turned to Harry again.

"Think we can make her a grooms… er, maid? With Ron and Neville," Harry asked, looking befuddled at the terminology.

The reaction on Emma's face was one Ron recognized from having received the same look so many times from Hermione and his mother as saying, "We'll be talking about this later, and you aren't going to like it." Thankfully, Franck recognized the look too, and quickly changed the subject before Emma had a chance to comment verbally.

Later as they prepared for bed—Ron was staying overnight at Franck's French home before taking an international Portkey home early the next morning—Ron brought the subject of the wedding back up, hoping to get more of a reaction from Franck. "So, Harry and Emma, didn't expect that one."

Franck smiled as he pulled the sheets back and slipped into bed. "I zink it is nice zat 'Arry is finally being settled. 'E needs a family."

A flash of annoyance passed through Ron's head at the implication that Franck didn't consider Harry a part of Ron's family, but he let it pass. "Yeah, I guess." He hesitated, but decided to just ask. "Would you ever want to settle down?"

Franck took his time responding, giving Ron that steady, probing look that always made Ron feel like a specimen in a jar. "I do not zink we are ready to be married yet. Neizer one of us wants to move and a long-distance marriage would not work so well as a relationship, I zink."

"But marriage is a relationship."

"Not yet, mon coeur. Let us enjoy our time togezer, and we will worry about marriage later, oui?" He took Ron's hand and brought it to his mouth, pressing his lips to the skin before licking playfully between Ron's knuckles. He used his grip to pull Ron onto the bed before pulling him into a kiss. Ron let himself be distracted and fell into his lover, returning his kisses and moaning when a hand squeezed his arse.

/

Draco looked down at his breakfast and thought he might be sick. Even though croissants with cream and fresh strawberries were his favorite breakfast foods, he knew every bite would taste like nothing more than ash in his mouth. He put his fork down and sighed.

"You must eat, darling," his mother prompted from across the table. It was almost amusing to hear the words fall from her lips, him having said the exact same words to her on so many occasions he was incapable of counting them up. It was a testament to how far she had come in her own recovery that she could even notice his eating habits.

"I'm not hungry."

"You had nothing to eat yesterday. You will waste away to nothing. How will you ever win Ronald's affection if you are too weak to walk?"

Draco's throat closed at the mention of His name. He took a deep breath and reached for his fork again. She was right, of course. He had to push on if he was ever going to win his love. The croissants tasted stale on his tongue, but he ate them anyway.

Severus walked into the room just as he started in on the strawberries and cream. "Good morning," he murmured as he took the seat across from Narcissa. His coffee cup filled as soon as he turned it over and Draco watched the relief on his face as he took the first sip. At the same moment the owls arrived, depositing a neat stack of post next to Draco's serviette. Draco took the post up and sorted through it, stopping at an elegant, pale pink envelope. He stared at the envelope for a moment before it clicked in his brain as to what lay inside. He opened it and a soft female voice began singing a terrible rendition of a Lorena Lockhart song, confirming Draco's suspicion that Potter had nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of his own wedding invitations. Severus looked sharply up from his coffee. "Why is your post serenading you?"

"Harry's wedding invitation. His fiancée is insufferable. Be happy that you are not invited to the wedding. I'm certain it will be hideous and trite."

"From what you have already said of his fiancée, I do not doubt your assessment. Who will you bring as your…" Severus must have realized what he was saying at that moment because he abruptly stopped speaking and set down his fork.

Draco's finger's tightened on the invitation enough to wrinkle the fine calligraphy, but he showed no other outward sign of his distress. "I will take Mother, of course. She is named on the invitation. Would that be agreeable, Mother?" He looked to his mother, who pressed her hand onto his on the table and squeezed.

"That would be lovely, my darling. I would like to finally meet this Emma Harry speaks so highly of."

"You will not like her. She's insipid."

"Even if that is true, I will find something to like about her. She means a great deal to Harry and Harry is important to me." She blinked and looked bemusedly over at Severus. "I never would have thought that sentence could come out of my mouth. How life does change." She let out a little laugh as reached for her tea cup.

Draco starred at her. He had not heard his mother laugh in… he didn't remember the last time he had heard her laugh. He had never thought he would hear it again. But here she was, laughing and eating and drinking her potion-laced tea without any complaint. Draco looked to Severus for confirmation that he was seeing what he thought he was seeing, but Severus' attention was on his mother. Change, indeed.

/

Ron was nervous, but not for the reasons anyone else might have assumed a best man to be nervous. He knew Harry was marrying the best girl for him besides Ginny, and he knew Harry had finally made peace with Ginny about it. He was happy for Harry. He didn't think anyone deserved happiness more than his best mate. No, it wasn't the ceremony that had him worried, but rather the guests. Specifically, Draco and Narcissa Malfoy, seated two rows behind Franck. Draco's eyes had not left Ron since they were ushered into the church ten minutes before and the gaze was starting to make him fidget. How was he supposed to hide the situation from Franck with Draco making doe eyes at him and Fleur giving him meaningful looks from her seat right next to Bill.

"Why does Malfoy look like he wants to eat you?" Neville asked, a half-skeptical, half-disgusted look on his face.

Ron sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Because he's trying to kill me." Neville gave him a bemused look, but shrugged in the universal sign of 'whatever'.

Harry walked up next to them, nervously adjusting his tie, smoothing his dress robes, checking his hair (messy as ever despite loads of hair gel and half an hour of work on Hermione's part). "You look great, mate," Ron whispered, batting his hand away from his glasses.

Harry smiled a shaky smile and straightened. "Thanks. I'm just really nervous. This is a big step, yeah? I just know I'm going to muck it up."

Ron grinned past his own nervousness and patted Harry's back. "It'll be great. Don't worry."

Harry nodded and glanced at the crowd before shooting a curious look at Ron. "Draco's not far from Franck."

Ron groaned. "Don't remind me."

"What are you going to do when they meet? Draco promised he'd be on his best behavior, but that just means he won't hex on sight."

"You invited him, not me."

"He's my friend. And he's your mate, even if you won't accept him right now. You'll at least dance with him, yeah?"

"No," Ron snapped, looking at Harry like he'd grown a second head. "Are you mad?"

Harry was about to respond when the music flared up and the look of excited panic took over his face again. Hermione appeared from a side door, looking as pretty as the day she herself was married, and stepped between Ron and Neville. The doors at the back of the church opened and the ceremony was set to begin.

/

The party was in full swing and there had yet to be an incident with Malfoy, a fact Ron was very glad of. After the initial introduction, Malfoy had been respectful enough to keep his distance, dancing on the other side of the floor, though his eyes rarely left Ron's vicinity. Ron himself was enjoying the reception, doing his best to pretend Malfoy wasn't there. It was hard for him to do, especially when he caught sight of Draco asking Ron's own mother to dance. Molly had looked shocked, but she had grudgingly agreed, and the more she spoke with Malfoy, the less displeased with his presence she looked. Ron even witnessed her smile at him once before darting a look in Ron's direction that forced Ron to focus on Franck again.

After that, there was little Ron could do to stop himself from watching Malfoy's movements. He moved from Molly to Fleur, then Harry (though Harry had initially looked uncomfortable with the idea), and even Emma, who looked so radiant in her wedding gown that Ron had almost been jealous of Harry. Ron knew that Malfoy didn't like Emma, but they seemed to speak civilly and Emma even laughed at something he said. Ron found himself wishing he could know what Malfoy could possibly have said to make her laugh.

Once Ron fully realized what he was doing, he shook himself of the odd fascination and focused on his lover. Franck was holding him close and swaying to the jazz band Harry had hired, humming along with the music. Ron laid his head on Franck's shoulder and lost himself in his lover, forgetting about the outside world for a while. That was until the outside world barged in. Franck turned to look behind him and pulled away a little, and there stood the veela, eyes on Ron though he addressed Franck. "Would you mind if I cut in?" he asked, as polite as he had promised Harry he could be. He looked gorgeous, though Ron hated himself for thinking so. He wore grey silk robes that brought out the shimmer in his hair and made his eyes sparkle. Ron could hardly look away.

Franck stepped aside without protest and went to sweep his littlest cousin off her tiny slippered feet. Ron would have heard Victoire's giggle, but Draco was there, insinuating himself into Ron's embrace and causing every nerve in Ron's body to tingle with warmth. He had managed to forget how good Draco felt to the touch, and the reminder was almost overwhelming. Draco smiled up at him as though he held the key to all existence and swayed closer. "I've missed you," he said, voice low and sexy.

"You've said," Ron replied, tightening his hold on the blond's back.

"You have been reading my letters, then?"

"You know I have."

"Even the one about the tent?" His smile turned coy and he leaned in closer.

Ron turned a violent shade of red remembering the filthy words Draco had written to him and how aroused they had left him. He was ashamed to say, but he had wanked on more than one occasion to the fantasy Draco had constructed, however flawed and silly it might have been to think they might live in a tent somewhere. "Yeah, that was a… an interesting one."

"Did it turn you on?"

Ron choked, his hand clenching at the silk of Draco's robes. "I thought you promised Harry you'd be on your best behavior."

"I did. I apologize. It's just… I want you so much and it makes me feel good knowing you might want me even a fraction as much. I know you don't want to hear it, but I can't help it."

"Try please." He would have said more, but Draco's fingers migrated from his shoulder to his neck and up into his hair, leaving a trail of tingling warmth behind, and he momentarily forgot his own name. Fingers in his hair was Ron's weak spot, and combined with the intense pleasure of Draco's touch was nirvana. Draco smelled brilliant and the fingers massaging his skull were brilliant and Draco was pressed as close as he could be and Ron wanted to kiss him so badly he couldn't think of anything else. "Stop using your veela stuff on me," he murmured weakly, fighting the urge to kiss.

Draco was reaching up to meet his lips. "I'm not doing anything I can stop. This isn't pheromones. It's the mate connection. This is how it could always be, Ron."

Ron's lips were mere centimeters from Draco's when he was brought back to reality by George and his date 'accidentally' bumping into them while they danced erratically past. Ron started, blinking out of the warm haze he had been in. Draco glared daggers at George and his date. Ron pulled away as though burned. "I told you to stop."

"And I told you I can't. I wasn't doing anything except touching you."

"Well, don't." He took a large step back before swiveling and walking away. He couldn't look at the pain threatening to swallow Malfoy whole. Franck was standing at the edge of the dance floor, looking upset at what he had just witnessed.

"What iz going on? 'Oo is zis person to you?" Franck asked as soon as Ron was within ear shot.

Ron shrugged, hoping the lie wasn't obvious on his face. He could usually judge Franck's level of upset by the strength of his accent, and he hoped to nonchalant his way out of the situation before his lover started speaking Frenglish. He had learned the hard way that it was much more difficult to calm someone down when you couldn't understand every third word they were saying. "Just Malfoy. He doesn't take no for an answer."

"Do you desire 'im?" Franck cocked his head to the side like a curious dog, making Ron even more uneasy.

"I… no! I want to be with you," he insisted, moving into Franck's personal space. Franck's whole demeanor warmed at the words, and he smiled and cupped Ron's face in his hands, kissing him lightly.

"And I you, mon coeur. But zat does not mean you could not sleep wis zis man, if you really want to. I do not mind if it would make you 'appy."

Ron's eyes grew wide. Franck had mentioned having an open relationship before, but Ron had never taken him seriously. He felt his stomach drop out and found his eyes drifting to Malfoy, glaring daggers at Franck from where his mother had forced him to dance with her. The sheer possessive jealousy plain on his face made Ron fear for Franck's life. "I'm not interested in that. Really, no," he insisted when his lover's face turned skeptical. Franck shrugged and kissed him again.

"I wish you to be 'appy only, mon coeur. Forget I said it. Would you like a drink?"

"Please." One quick kiss later and Franck was striding towards the drinks table. Ron's eyes followed him until his line of sight was blocked by a determined blond. "Go away, Malfoy."

"I would prefer you call me Draco, and no. What did that monster say to you to make you look like you might be sick? I won't have my mate unduly ill."

"I'm not—" Ron stopped, unable to finish the sentence. Draco did it for him.

"What? My mate? You most certainly are, and you know it. Why else would your heart speed up whenever I touch you?" He pressed his palm over Ron's heart, which did just what he said it would and sped up. "Your body knows me, knows that we belong to each other. I know you can feel it."

He could feel it, the heat through his dress robes, the accelerated breathing, the sweaty palms, the insistence that he must reach out and touch Draco back, kiss him, find a private place and make love to him. The intensity of it scared him and he pulled quickly away. "Stop it. Leave. Me. Alone," he snapped, voice almost a growl. Draco's face fell and he took a step back. He opened his mouth to say something, but they were interrupted by Fleur, who rushed up to them and unceremoniously slapped Ron.

"Sale menteur! Tu devrais avoir honte de toi-même! Je ne peux pas croire que tu serais assez têtu que tu mentirais à mon visage! Qu'est-ce que tu as ?" she shouted at him, poking him hard in the chest.

"I have no idea what you're shouting at me!" Ron snapped back, rubbing his stinging cheek. Fleur only glared and pointed a finger at Franck, standing a few feet away with a shocked expression on his face. Apparently, while Ron and Draco were having their little drama, a much bigger revelation had been happening at the bar.

"She says zat you lied to 'er. You told 'er zat I knew about ze veela and did not care? Mon coeur, 'ow could you zink zat I would do zat to anozer veela? I am 'aving ze ill feeling about zis. I would never... And you let 'im watch me kiss you? 'Ow cruel! I cannot be wis someone who iz zat soughtless." His speech was heavy with tears, though he wasn't crying yet. The pain was clear on his face.

It was illogical and completely wrong, but Ron suddenly found himself angry not at Fleur, not at Malfoy, but at Franck. He knew that Franck wasn't in any way at fault for the situation, but that did not stop him from snapping back, "You just told me I could sleep with him and you would be okay with it! How cruel is that? Every time you say something like that, it makes me wonder about all the time you have to sleep with other people while I'm away. Is that why you don't want to marry me? How could you do that to someone you supposedly love and then accuse me of hurting someone I don't even like?" He regretted the comment immediately afterward, but by then it was too late to take the words back.

Franck looked even more hurt. "I 'ave never… I only suggested it because I could see zer was somesing importante between you and zis person. And I was vrai, non? You are mated. Grand-Mère was right, as always. I should 'ave listened to 'er in ze first place and not connected myself wis someone 'oo was already meant for anozer."

"Franck…" Ron tried, but Franck shook his head and took a step back. "No. Je t'aime, mon cœur, but we are no more. It was stupid for me to even approach you in ze first place. Be wis your veela. It is what is meant." He turned and walked away into the small crowd that had formed around them.

Ron heard the loud pop of Apparition before he could think of anything to say to make Franck come back. He looked around at the assembled guests without seeing anyone and knew that he had to leave or he was going to cry in the middle of Harry's wedding reception and ruin the evening more than he already had. Someone took his hand—Draco, he knew because it was warm and he suddenly felt better. Except that it wasn't better; it was worse. He pulled away from the veela and glared viciously at him. "Don't touch me! This is all your fault. I hope you're happy." He didn't wait to watch Draco burst into tears before storming out of the hall. Hermione followed him, but he shrugged her off, claiming he wanted to be alone.

Without anywhere to go, he walked aimlessly, trying to wrap his head around what had just happened and how he was going to deal with the aftermath. Half an hour later, he found himself standing in front of a park with no answers and a burning in his throat. He found his way to a swing and collapsed into it.

/

Franck refused his owl the next day, so Ron had to take action in other ways. The Floo network was blocked at Beauxbatons, but Franck's home was connected. Ron went through, hoping his lover was home. Five minutes of wandering the house told Ron he wasn't. He Apparated to Beauxbatons and walked to Franck's office on the off-chance that he was there. It was empty, as were his quarters. Frustrated, Ron didn't even return the greetings of the beautiful little girls who giggled at him in the corridors as he walked back to the Apparition point. He Apparated back to Franck's and used his International Floo powder to go to Egypt as a last resort. He found Franck in his office, a stack of parchment in his hands. Ron's heart fell to his stomach. He knew what was in that stack.

"Nine months? You 'ave known about zis for nine months? 'Ow could you know about zis… 'ow could you keep 'is letters like zis and never say a word?" He looked hurt, betrayed. Ron didn't know quite what to say. Binning the letters hadn't felt right somehow. He hadn't thought it would mean anything to keep them. Obviously, he had been wrong.

"I didn't think it mattered. Yeah, I'm his mate, but he's not who I want to be with. You are."

Franck stood, the hurt somehow worse. There were definite tears now, trailing down his cheeks and somehow making him look more gorgeous than he ever had before. Ron thought he might start crying himself. "Non, mon coeur. You cannot lie anymore."

"I'm not lying! I love you. I barely know Malfoy."

"'E is in your 'eart or you would not keep such zings." He held up the letters as if they proved his point. "And you forget zat I saw you wis him. I cannot be wis someone 'ose 'eart belongs to anozer. Even if you do not want to say it is."

"Franck…"

"Do you know what I 'ate ze most about zis? It is not zat you lied or zat you are taken away from me. It is zat you 'ave let me betray anozer veela. I want to apologize to 'im for somesing I did not even know I did!" He waved the letters around angrily, tears streaming down his face. A lump formed in Ron's throat and he stepped closer, grabbing Franck's wrist to stop his flailing.

"Can you stop for a minute? I'm sorry I didn't tell you about this, but I didn't want to lose you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, remember?" He pulled Franck closer until they were nose-to-nose. Franck narrowed his eyes at him.

"Zen why did you keep ze letters?"

Ron again had no answer. "I don't know. It just… it felt wrong to bin them."

Franck shook his head and stepped all the way out of Ron's personal space. It was like standing in a doorway on a cold winter's night and having the door shut in his face. "I wanted to spend ze rest of my life wiz you, aussi, but I cannot betray anozer veela. I will miss you, but zis is for ze best. Be 'appy, mon coeur. Je t'aime." He handed the letters to Ron and kissed his cheek. Ron stood frozen, not knowing what to say. He didn't move until Franck was already gone and it was too late to run after him. He did the only thing he could think of to do; he took the Floo home to Mum.

/

Ron awoke to the warm scent of baked cinnamon and only paused long enough to pull on sleep trousers before drifting downstairs in search of the source. His mum looked up from the fresh scones she had just placed on the table and gave him a pointed look. He looked down at himself, rolled his eyes, and accio'd a shirt.

"That's better, dear. Breakfast?" she asked warmly.

He sat without further invitation and tucked in. He was just biting into his third scone when he finally noticed something. "Where's everyone?"

"Already gone for the day. I thought we might have a chat, just the two of us. It's been a long time since we talked, hasn't it, love?"

The partially digested scones already in his stomach felt heavy, and he put the half-eaten one down. "Mum…"

Molly ignored his plea and pushed his dirty fringe from his eyes. "I love you very much, Ronnie. I know you've always struggled in this family, being the youngest boy, getting the worst of the hand-me-downs, always left for last. I never wanted that for you, you know. You might not believe it, but I always knew you were special, my baby boy." She kissed him on the cheek and continued to play with his hair. Ron should have been worried about where this was going, but her fingers were so soothing that he couldn't muster up the energy to mind.

"You know I've never much liked that Malfoy boy. He was rude to you when you were younger, and Lucius… Well, let's just say that dislike was justified. But even so, if there is one good thing I know about that boy, it's that he loves like a Weasley, with his whole heart. He loved Justin that way, while he still thought he should. I watched him every time Justin brought him round. Even though it was obvious to anyone with eyes that he hated being here, he was always polite, always trying, because he wanted to make Justin happy."

Ron would have stopped this line of conversation a long time ago, but his mother knew how to ply him with baked goods and soothe him enough to make him listen even when he didn't want to. "Of course, I knew right away that Justin wasn't really meant for him. He tried very hard to be in love with Justin, but I don't think he ever was. And now we know why."

"Why?" Ron mumbled around a fourth scone.

"Why, he was waiting for you, love. Just one glance at him when you're in the same room can tell a person that much. All he sees is you. When I danced with him yesterday, all he could talk about was you. Isn't that what you always wanted? To be someone's total focus? I always wanted that for you, but it wasn't something I could give you myself."

"You don't even like him."

"I don't know him very well. And neither do you."

"I thought you liked Franck."

"I do like Franck, but you were never meant to be with him forever. You're too different and in the wrong ways. He wasn't right for you."

"And you think Draco is."

"Yes. I watched you dancing with him the other day. You Know Who himself could have appeared right next to you, and Draco wouldn't have taken any notice."

"He is sort of… intense."

"You're his mate. He is probably completely miserable without you. You should go and see him."

"Er, now?" Ron dropped the last few crumbs of his breakfast to stare from his mother's face to the old pajamas he was wearing.

Molly smiled and pushed his hair from his eyes. "Something tells me he won't even notice."

Ron stared down at the platter, previously piled high with warm, crusty scones, now down to just two. His thoughts were all over the place, images of Franck's hurt face as he left Ron's flat, Draco's warm touch, the manky smell wafting off Ron from having washed neither his clothes nor himself in a twenty-four-hour-period. He looked at his mum again, patient and accepting of whatever he decided to do, and nodded. "I think I will." He kissed his mother on the cheek and thanked her before standing and going back upstairs for his wand. He Apparated to the Manor as soon as his wand was in his hand, so that he didn't have time to talk himself out of the visit.

The entrance was as intimidating as he had always imagined it to be, with giant hedge rows and a huge iron gate. It was a good thing he'd landed on soft packed earth because he realized belatedly that he wasn't even wearing shoes. He could see a white peacock wandering across the path behind the gate and watched its progress, not sure how to open the gate as pushing didn't work. A house-elf popped up behind the gate and stared at him.

"Er, hello. Is er… is Draco in?"

"Master Draco is being ill. Who is you?" The elf's expression was accusatory and a little disgusted. It probably wasn't normal for strange young men to appear at the house unwashed and in only their pajamas.

"I'm Ron Weasley." Ron's stomach flipped at the admission. Even if he ran now, Malfoy would know he'd come.

The elf's entire expression changed to delighted surprise. "Master Wheezie?" the elf squeaked excitedly. The gate vanished at the snap of his fingers and he grabbed Ron's arm, pulling him along the lane and inside the house before Ron had time to protest. "Master Draco is not leaving his bed since he is coming home from Harry Potter's wedding party. Mistress and Master Snape is not knowing what to do. But Master Draco is going to be so happy you is here, Master Wheezie!" the elf rambled, pulling Ron along so quickly that Ron didn't even have time to register his surroundings. They stopped abruptly at a large, oak door with an ornate carving of a dragon. Ron stared at the carving for a minute, still processing the trip up two flights of stairs and through more corridors than he could remember. The carving glared back at him and blew an ineffectual puff of smoke at him.

"Is this his bedroom?" Ron asked awkwardly.

The elf nodded enthusiastically and gave him a little push. "Master Draco is sleeping, but he is not minding you waking him, I do not think."

"Right. Thanks." Ron pushed the door open a crack and peered in. The room was massive, or at least he thought it might be. The curtains were drawn, there were no candles lit, and the fire had banked low. He could make out the huge oak bed, but its occupant was hidden by thick curtains pulled closed. The elf gave him another gentle push, and he stepped into the room. Now that he was inside, he could hear the soft sound of movement behind the curtains. Maybe Draco wasn't as asleep as the elf had thought. He crept closer and pulled the curtain at the side of the bed open. In the little light available he could see Malfoy's blond hair, messy and unwashed. "Malfoy?" he whispered. Malfoy shifted fitfully, but didn't otherwise indicate that he had heard Ron.

"Draco?" Ron tried again, reaching out to shake his shoulder. It was like that first time he'd tried waking Malfoy so many months ago. As soon as he touched him, grey eyes were looking at him inquisitively.

"Ron?" he rasped, voice scratchy from previous sobbing. The red rim of tears was still visible around his eyes, now that Ron could see his face clearly. He looked gaunt and tired, as though he hadn't had a good meal or a good-night's sleep in months. Ron hadn't noticed on thin he was at the wedding, but it startled him now.

"I hope you don't mind me barging in. Your house-elf was pretty insistent."

"I'll have to buy him some silk tea towels." Draco sat up, watching Ron with caution. "Are you…"

"Yeah," Ron mumbled, somehow knowing what Draco was asking without having to hear the rest of the hesitant question. Draco's entire body lit up, like Fleur's had when she was pregnant, and the brief view Ron had of him before he threw himself at Ron was breathtaking. Draco kissed him, knocking into him with such force that he almost knocked them off the bed. Shocked, Ron had to grab onto him to keep them both steady in the moment before he melted into Draco's mouth and moaned. The warmth and the smell of him was overwhelming. Ron felt his tingling touch in every part of his body, even the parts Draco wasn't touching. He was consumed by the veela, and before he knew what he was about, they were sprawled across the bed together, Ron's t-shirt tossed over the side and Draco lapping at his armpit.

"Wha…? 'Smell…" Ron mumbled, distracted by the tingle of fingers brushing the waist of his sleep trousers.

"I think you smell wonderful," Draco countered, burying his nose in the thick orange curls of his armpit hair. Draco was making the strangest sound he had ever heard, sort of a cross between a dove call and a purring cat. Ron was too far gone in pleasure to consider why, but it was the sexiest sound he had ever heard. He hauled Draco up and kissed him again, rolling him onto his back. Draco's legs came up to wrap around his back, but Ron sat back up before they could, much to Draco's protest.

Ron ignored him and began peeling off his shirt. "You're wearing too many clothes," he explained as he tossed the shirt aside and leaned down to kiss a line down his breastbone. Draco's skin was just as gorgeous underneath his clothes as the skin Ron had already seen and it was baby soft against his lips. He groaned against Draco's chest and tugged down his trousers as he crawled backwards on his knees, kissing and licking along his visible ribs. "God, you're gorgeous, but we need to get you fed, yeah?"

Draco blushed at the implication that he was too thin, but didn't pull away from the heavenly touches. Ron had to pull away to tug the trousers all the way off of Draco, but he made up for the movement by licking a stripe up his prick and swallowing it whole. Draco cried out and bucked into his mouth, and Ron had to grab onto his hips to steady him. He took his time sucking Draco, testing his sensitive spots—it seemed every part of him was sensitive to Ron—tasting the sweet texture of him, trying to understand the deep connection he felt to Draco. Before, sucking cock had never been a particularly soul-connecting activity. It was intimate, yes, but nothing like the feelings that were coursing through him now. Ron felt dizzy with the need to take care of Draco, to make sure that he was protected and warm and happy.

His eyes connected with Draco's and he knew that Draco was feeling all of those same emotions, and had done since their meeting in July. Overwhelmed with the need to be close to him, Ron abandoned his task and knelt up to kiss Draco's lips and hold him close. He took over Draco's mouth, slithering his tongue across every surface of his mouth, sucking on his tongue, biting at his bottom lip. Draco's tongue vibrated with the sound of his cooing, making Ron want to fuck him even more than he already did. Ron bent one of his pale legs at the knee and pushed it to his chest before reaching down to test Draco's arse. The ring of muscle was tight and strangely wet with lube. He probed cautiously, confused in his haze of passion as to where the lube had come in. His first finger slid easily in, and he quickly found that Draco's hole was already amply lubricated for him. Where had it come from?

"Did you know I was coming?" he rasped into Draco's mouth.

Draco laughed and shook his head, squirming his arse closer. "My body makes lube all by itself, like a girl. Started when I saw you again. All for you. Everything for you. God, please fuck me. I can't wait any longer." In his own frenzy, he began to babble, and Ron had to kiss him again to shut him up.

Ron pulled his fingers out of Draco and used the secretion they were covered in to coat his own erection. He pulled away from Draco's mouth to shift their positions and find his way to Draco's entrance, and in the meantime Draco had started rambling again. The words stopped as soon as Ron slid inside and both of them froze, staring into each other's eyes, unable to move. The instant Ron had slipped inside, it was like a wand flick and everything changed. He could feel Draco's heart beating an insane rhythm, almost as though it had left Draco's body and taken up residence in his own chest; he could feel Draco's lungs expand and contract, feel his skin tingle, sense the hunger inside him to please his mate, to be everything Ron wanted and needed him to be. There was no longer any question of Draco's feelings for him; Ron could feel everything as though they were his own emotions.

It was only a moment, but that moment lasted an eternity to them both, and the whole world stopped in motion. The instant it all came crashing back down, Ron dropped into Draco's arms and began to thrust in earnest. Draco whined and pulled at his shoulders and words of love and devotion came pouring from his lips and into Ron's ear. It was all he heard for a long time.

/

Neither of them was coherent again for several hours, not until they had made love three times and both were too weak to move. The intensity of their connection had faded after their first orgasm, but each still sensed the dull pulse of a heartbeat next to their own. Draco lay on Ron's chest, listening to his heartbeat in sync with the faded one he could still sense next to his own, while Ron combed fingers through his greasy blond hair.

"We should take a bath," Ron said.

"Can we do it later? I want to stay here with you a little bit longer." Draco murmured as he shifted ever closer, his fingers wrapping around Ron's bicep as if to keep him in place.

"Don't I smell? I didn't shower today and after what we just did… I feel like I just swam in sewage."

"Can we have sex again afterwards? I like being covered in your sweat."

Ron thought that might have been the strangest thing anyone had ever said to him, but he was still flying on a veela high, so he ignored it. "Yeah, 'course. You'll have to wait a tick, though. 'Ve never shagged more'n three times in a day." Ron paused, as though something unexpected had just occurred to him. "You know, I wasn't planning on having sex when I came here. I just wanted to talk to you."

He could feel heat against his skin and peered down to see a slight pink rosining Draco's cheek. "That was my fault. I've been working so hard to keep my pheromones in check around you that when you finally agreed to be with me, they… er, exploded, I guess."

Ron knew he should have been angry, but he wasn't really surprised, and he wasn't angry. Draco pressed a kiss to the spot just over his heart and sat up on his hands. He looked a little more serious than Ron's level of consciousness could handle, and Ron squirmed a bit. "I'm sorry. You aren't going to leave me, are you?"

"I…" Ron paused, stumped. He hadn't been thinking in permanent terms when he'd come to the Manor. He'd been a bit skeptical that he and Draco could even stay civil for more than an hour, let alone eternity. But now, looking up at that gorgeous, earnest face and remembering the powerful flood of emotions he had known were Draco's, it was hard to say what he wanted. He didn't love Draco yet, though he knew he would do everything in his power to protect him, but a voice in his head—one that sounded suspiciously like his mum—whispered 'You could.' "No, I don't think I will." Draco beamed and kissed him. Ron framed his face with his hands and pulled away an inch to look him in the eyes, smirking. "Just so we're clear, we won't be living in any tents anytime soon, yeah?"

The glow of love and warmth intensified around Draco, making him so gorgeous Ron wanted to punch himself for taking so long to give in. "I've never much liked tents, anyway."

/

Form: 83352739

Name: Draco Malfoy

Registry Number: 625369

Date: 15 sept 2006

Age: 26

Mate: Ronald Weasley

Current Location: Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, England

Number of Sexual Encounter(s): 10

Name(s) of Partner(s): Ronald Weasley 10(M)

Age(s) of Partner(s): 26

Species of Partner(s): Wizard

Description of Sexual Encounter(s): Absolutely none of your business, nor will it ever be. What happens between a veela and his mate is usacred/u. Suffice it to say that the sexual bond has been created.

Was non-Veela magic used during the encounter(s)?: None.

If so, what spell or potion was used and what were its affects?:

Did any encounter result in pregnancy?:

Was Veela Power used in any manner not involved in finding a mate?:

If so, how and why?:

Comments: Everything that has led up to this moment has been worth it. There are no words for how happy I am. No words at all.

FIN