Hi folks. Welcome back! I'm sorry that its been so long since my last update but to be brief here it is, the last chapter of Settling the Differences. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 20 – The beginning….
The doors of the great hall flew open and in strode a confident, yet rather short redhead. Ginny beamed at all the staring faces and went over to the Gryffindor table to have seat.
She was followed by what shocked the hell out of most of the hall. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy….together….not glaring….hand in hand….smiling…at each other….as if they were….in love!
What the fuck?
So you see the majority of the school was rather surprised to say the least. Needless to say rumors about where the group had been that night spread like wildfire, but none of the fantastical stories came anywhere near the truth.
"Let's blow their minds out." Draco whispered in Harry's ear.
"I think their minds are already blown." Harry muttered smiling weakly at the stunned faces.
"Well I bet we could give a couple of them heart attacks, and go down with style." Draco answered, a naughty grin playing on his lips.
"I'm not having sex with you in front of the entire school." Harry said sharply, a blush rising in his cheeks.
"Never suggested it." Draco said loftily, flashing a dazzling smile at some 6th year Ravenclaws they passed, who despite the fact that he was now obviously gay, swooned nonetheless.
"So what is it that you think will further blow their minds out?" Harry asked grinning at the looks of jealousy people were shooting at them from all over the room, especially the girls.
"This." Draco said. He then grabbed Harry and kissed him hard on the lips. Following this random public display of affection, there were gasps, swoons, shouts, outcries and a couple of loud thuds as people fainted from either the mere sexiness of it or perhaps the ultimate grotesqueness. The world will never know.
"Well that seemed to work." Draco said brightly after they had parted.
"Work as in successfully making half the school wet their pants in shock?" Harry asked looking around at the still flabbergasted faces, some with their jaws hanging almost precariously open as if they'd fall off any second.
"Yes, I thought they took it quite well, how about you?"
Harry stared. "Sure. They took it…wonderfully…" Draco grinned and steered Harry over to the Slytherin table for breakfast.
Harry strolled down the staircase leading to the dungeons.
This was the happiest he'd felt possibly ever. True, almost everyone he saw asked him what had happened, and a few people determinedly stopped him in corridors or classes so that they could test him for jinxes, hexes, or love potions that he may have been afflicted by. The majority of these were shocked when they received no evidence of Harry having been drugged. Others simply thought it was a joke and chose to stubbornly disbelieve.
But all-in-all Harry had been surprised at how few insults he received. Draco Malfoy was too popular, well connected and gorgeous for anyone to be brave enough to insult his boyfriend. Let alone accusing Harry Potter of anything out of the ordinary.
Besides, Harry had grown accustomed to funny looks, insults and accusations. Now at least he had someone to endure them alongside him.
He was truly happy, and no one could take that away from him. Not even Snape, despite the fact that this would be his first potions class since his "detention". But Draco would be with him, so all of a sudden two hours with Snape sounded strangely appealing.
He arrived outside the classroom to discover most of the class huddled in a corner attempting to distance themselves from Ron and Hermione who were making out passionately against a wall. Neville was staring openly with an awestruck look on his face.
"Its really quite disgusting." Pansy Parkinson was saying conversationally to a few others. "But we have no idea how to make them stop. AH! Harry! You're their friend…..there must be a way." She stared at him pleadingly as Ron made an especially grotesque slurping noise from behind her.
"Er..." Harry thought for a moment then grinned. " Hang on a sec…" He walked over to a very preoccupied Ron and Hermione. He took a deep breath and shouted…"THOUSANDS OF HOUSE ELVES ARE DYING AND QUIDDITCH IS CANCELLED!"
Ron and Hermione sprang apart each staring at him looking horrorstruck.
"What happened to the House elves?" Hermione asked frantically her lip beginning to quiver.
"What happened to Quidditch?" Ron asked just as frantically but with a note of stubborn disbelief in his voice.
"Nothing you prat." Harry said laughing. "We just wanted to alert you that there are other people in the hall who may just prefer not watching the two of you make out. And of course class is about to start and Snape would explode if he caught you making out in the hall.
They stared at him.
"Harry that was really mean!" Hermione objected. Wiping the tears that had been forming in her eyes over the non-existent dead house elves.
"Yeah, man. I was really worried for a second…"
"Ronald! Is that all you care about? Quidditch? When thousands of house elves are dying?"
"No, of course not but-"
"Harry! This is all your fault." Ron said miserably as Hermione began to lecture him again.
Harry grinned sympathetically and walked off toward the back of the room where Draco was already seated, looking absolutely gorgeous and glaring at anyone who looked like they might sit next to him.
"Hey." Harry said sitting down.
"Hi sexy." Draco replied, pulling out his potion ingredients.
"So…what do you think Snape is going to say about his top student and his least favorite person on the planet hooking up?" Harry said grinning.
Draco stared at him. "Fuck! I completely forgot! Damn, there goes my potion grade." He said sadly.
"I'm sorry." Harry muttered, meaning it. Draco only got good potion grades because he was Snape's favorite.
The blonde looked at him, an unreadable expression on his face. "Don't be sorry Harry. You can't blame yourself for Snape being a complete ass." Harry smiled.
"That's the first time I've ever heard you insult Snape." Harry said wryly.
"Then you don't know me well enough." Draco said softly.
"In that case, I'd like to know you better." Harry replied, moving his hand to rest on Draco's knee and slowly moving it upward, causing him to gasp.
"Harry! Not in class!" He whispered urgently as Snape strode into the room, slamming the door behind him and glaring around the room as if daring anyone to object. The room as usual, was deadly quiet. Seemingly satisfied with the air of slight fear in everyone's expressions Snape turned to write on the board.
"The draught of Revival." Snape said sinisterly waving his wand, so that an invisible hand seemed to be spelling out the words he said onto the board.
"It is a very difficult potion that must be used only in small portions as it heals some of the most dire wounds and revives from sleep or concussion those who would otherwise be lost. Madame Pomfrey is in need of more and asked me to brew some for her. I am giving this class the opportunity to make it your selves. Anyone with a successful potion will recieve extra credit and fifty points for their house. The directions are on the board. Begin."
There was a flurry of movement as people began to copy down the ingredients and dug around in their bags for missing ingredients. Harry sighed and began to weigh out 3oz of dragon liver.
Throughout the rest of the lesson Harry and Draco helped each other with the potion that in any other case neither would have successfully made and with 15 minutes to go Harry felt quite relieved as he added powdered spider legs to his cauldron and stirred seven times counter clockwise. The steaming magenta liquid turned a clear, bright turquoise.
"I think I did it." Harry said shocked staring at the potion that had come out exactly as it was described in the directions. Draco grinned stirring his own turquoise potion.
"You know when Snape isn't breathing down your neck I reckon you wouldn't be half bad at potions." He said earnestly. Harry nodded his agreement as he scooped out two vials of the draught. One to hand in and the other as a back up in case Snape "accidentally" dropped it.
"Speak of the devil…" Draco muttered, as Snape drew near.
"I'm quite sorry Malfoy that you had to endure the presence of Potter for the full lesson, were all the other tables taken when you arrived?" Snape asked surprisingly kindly, and acting as though Harry wasn't even there.
"Actually Professor, I was saving Harry the seat." Draco said sweetly looking up at Snape determinedly. Snape looked shocked.
"Excuse me Draco perhaps I misunderstood, are you telling me that you actually wished to sit next to Potter, let alone be in the same room with him?"
"No, I don't think you misunderstood at all. You see I'm actually madly in love with Harry." Draco replied without flinching. Snape's lips curled into a smile.
"Very funny Draco, a wonderful joke, next time make sure that you arrive earlier so that you don't have to sit next to him alright?"
"Professor I don't think you understand." Draco said smiling lazily. He then grabbed Harry like he had in the great hall and pulled him in for a kiss. Harry opened his mouth willingly letting Draco's magical tounge explore his mouth again. When they finally broke apart, Draco turned to look at Snape pointedly, but he was nowhere in sight.
"Where – "
"Good Lord!" Harry exclaimed non-chalantly. "I do believe he's fainted."
Draco stared for a moment then burst out laughing. The rest of the class seemed to have guessed what happened for those who hadn't seen it themselves. For many others, Gryffindors in particular, began to laugh along with Draco. Harry simply stared.
"Is he alive?" He asked meekly looking down at an abnormally pale Snape who was showing no signs of life.
"Who cares?" Draco said simply. "Just slip some of the draught."
Harry now stared at Draco. "But what if I made it wrong. I could kill him!"
"You're so adorable when you're honorable enough to worry about people you hate." Draco said lovingly picking up one of Harry's vials and uncorking it. "Open his mouth."
Harry looking thoroughly disgusted, obliged. Draco poured the potion down Snape's throat and closed his mouth. Nothing happened.
"Draco…I suck at potions. At best it did nothing, at worst I just killed him." Harry said miserably looking down at a still lifeless Snape. Suddenly he began to move and everyone jumped returning to their seats as if nothing had happened.
Snape stood up and looked around looking slightly ruffled and a bit disgruntled. "Who gave me their draught? It worked quite well." Snape said sourly hating to compliment anyone. He strode over to Hermione and Ron's desk with a pained expression.
"Am I to correctly assume that it was yours Granger?" He said straining to stay calm as he said the words, obviously not wishing to grant Gryffindor 50 points.
"Um, no Professor." Hermione said in a small voice trying desperately not to laugh.
Snape looked highly relieved. "It was Mr.Malfoy then?" He asked sounding almost thrilled at the concept.
"No, sir." Draco said with a wide grin. "It was Harry's" Snape stared at him.
"You're joking." Draco shook his head and nudged Harry who held out his sample vial. Snape took it as if it were poison and sniffed it gingerly then inspected it carefully.
"It is made correctly…but…had anyone else finished their draught before Potter?" He asked scanning the room, pleading with each amused face to claim that they had indeed made a better potion then Harry Potter. No one raised their hand. Snape turned and glared at Harry.
"Very well then Potter. Fifty…god damn it…fifty points…to…Gryffindor." He said as if every word was torturing him inside out to say. Harry grinned widely.
"Thanks Professor." He said sliding his arm around Draco's waist, who simply sighed and rested his head on Harry's shoulder. Snape looked as though he would be sick and swept out of the classroom as the bell rang.
They packed up their cauldrons and left the classroom in silence. As they continued up the corridor and toward the Great hall for dinner, Harry's arm still around Draco, the Slytherin turned to Harry and smiled, in a way that said a thousand words without making a sound. "I love you." Harry replied. He took the opportunity to show it and he leaned forward to capture Draco's lips in his.
The rest of his life wasn't going to be easy. There would always be obstacles and dangers even after the world had been completely purged of every trace of Voldemort. But as he stood there kissing his lover, Draco Malfoy, Harry knew that none of it would matter much, as long as he had him.
And so concludes this fic. Thanks to everyone who read! Thanks, gratitude and ice cream sundaes to everyone who reviewed! And love, kisses and beautiful wizards to everyone who reviewed every chapter! Anyone who is reading this must have read the entire fic, so thank you all for bearing with me. I hope you enjoyed it, let me know whether you thought that this was a suitable ending. Perhaps one day I'll return and write an alternate ending or a better sex scene depending on what mood I'm in. (heh) Anyway for anyone who is interested in reading any of my other fics. I've still got Stuck on You (Remus/Tonks) and I'm about to start Confessions of a redhead, which is going to be in a first-person diary format of Lily Evans. So if you are interested I'll be starting that one shortly. And to everyone else, goodbye and thanks. You've been great!