Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter, nor do I make and money from this story.
A/N: Hi! I know it's been a while, but I've been busy. There have been a lot of things going on at work. I know that's not really an excuse, but I just haven't had time to write. But, hopefully, there will be more updates on the other fics coming too. I'm working on it, honest!
Anyway, let me know what you think! On with the show!
The next morning dawned grey and ominous, but Harry's face sported a grin that could have lit up the sky.
"Why are you so happy?" Blaise asked, eyeing the royal.
"Oh, you know, just...stuff," Harry shrugged.
"He's up to something, and he won't tell me what," Draco clarified for the confused looking Italian boy.
"Oh," Blaise gave the raven blue and red haired boy a strange look.
"I sense...something...something good in the near future," Theo's gaze was locked on midair, his eyes hazy as he tried to sense what was coming.
All eyes snapped back to Harry, and the Dragon Flame gave them an innocent stare.
"He's right," was all he said in response.
There was a multitude of eye rolling in the vicinity, and Harry sniggered.
A flash of fire over the teacher's table silenced everyone in the great hall, as all eyes turned to watch as Dumbledore opened the expensive parchment that fluttered, unsinged, to the table in front of him. The aged headmaster read the elegant script that flowed across the letter, and glanced up at Harry when he was done, his blue eyes twinkling madly. Summoning parchment, ink and a quill, he replied to the sender, and called for Fawkes to deliver the message.
Whispers filled the great hall, as the students speculated the contents of the obviously pleasing letter. The Slytherins all turned to the prince for information, but maddeningly, Harry was pretending to be absorbed in his porridge. Schutz was openly smirking at the prince's enjoyment of the others' frustration, and even Draco was smiling inwardly, happy that Harry was happy.
Only a few minutes passed before another flash of fire signalled the arrival of a second letter. Dumbledore picked it up, read it and smiled, the twinkle in his eyes now almost blinding. Standing, he cleared his throat, though he already held the attention of every student and teacher in the room.
"As you all know, on Friday it will be Halloween, and as usual, we will be holding a feast," he announced. "However, this year will be slightly different. We will be receiving guests, and as such, all afternoon classes will be cancelled in order for you to prepare. You will need to wear formal clothes, and on saturday, we will be holding a dance in celebration."
Once again, a buzz of conversation filled the air, girls eargerly discussing what they were going to wear, boys groaning over the prospect of a formal dance. Even the teachers were leaning forwards, clamouring to discover the reason for Dumbledore's sudden decision.
Friday arrived with a heavy cloud of anticipation in the air. No one had managed to find out who the mysterious guests were, not even Draco, though not for lack of trying. Harry had remained smugly tight-lipped, and several of his housemates were playfully annoyed with him. Only Hermione had guessed who was coming to the castle, and she had an idea of why, but she refused to tell anyone, respecting Harry's secret and allowing him his fun.
The school was oddly quiet in the afternoon, with all the students locked inside their common rooms getting ready. Among them, in his seperate room, Harry and Schutz were putting the finishing touches to the young prince's outfit. Wearing a black velvet robe, well cut black trousers and a white silk tunic, Harry looked every inch the future king he was. The silver circlet with a band of diamonds running through it only completed the look. Schutz was kneeling on the carpeted floor in his official uniform, straightening Harry's hem when a note appeared in a flash of flame, the parchment fluttering gracefully into the prince's outstretched palm.
Scanning it, he turned to his now standing companion.
"They're here, waiting in an antechamber off the entrance hall. I'll go to meet them. Go and see if Draco needs any help, and I'll see you at the feast," he said.
"Yes, Your Highness," the blond bowed and made his way to the dormitory as Harry fire-apparated away to greet the guests.
Draco had just shrugged into his new dark green robes as the companion to the prince came in, instantly kneeling and straightening his hem. Used to this now, he glanced down at the other boy.
"Shouldn't you be tending to Harry?" he asked.
"His Royal Highness has already departed to greet the guests. He requested that I come to serve you now," came the reply.
"I see," Draco ran a comb through his silky locks and took one last glance in the mirror. "I think I'm ready now."
"Very well, sir," Schutz bowed slightly. "Should we leave?"
Seeing as the other boys were ready, the Slytherins trooped out into the common room to find the sixth year girls waiting for them.
"And I thought girls were meant to take longer in getting ready?" Pansy teased as they made their way up to the great hall.
They entered the huge room, taking in the changes in almost awe. Absent were the usual bats, though the pumpkins still floated in the air, housing the candles that lit the area. Also, the benches at the House tables had vanished, replaced with individual chairs. The Slytherin table had been extended, and a larger, grander chair was seated right where the extension began. Knowing that this seat was meant for Harry, the students took their seats on the House table side, leaving the extension free. Draco took the chair directly beside Harry's as had become the custom.
Glancing to the front of the room, Draco saw that the teachers were seated at two tables running along the front of the dais where they usually sat, a gap leading up the centre of the steps directly in the middle of the two. The Head's chair was still at the top table, along with a row of equally grand chairs. Banners displaying the school crest hung from the ceiling above them.
Opening his senses briefly, Draco felt the curiosity of the students, along with their excitement. Something important was obviously happening at Hogwarts.
As soon as the House tables were filled (Draco noted that only Slytherin and some of the students from the older pureblood families had had the sense to wear robes, everyone else was dressed in smart-casual muggle clothing, though Hermione had chosen a lovely satin evening gown), Dumbledore stepped through from an antechamber behind what was usually the staff table, and stood in front of his chair.
"Students!" he called, raising his hands. "Please stand to welcome King Anblick, his grandson Prince Harry, and the nobility of the Dragon Flame, joining us in our feast, and here to engage in talks to form an alliance against Lord Voldemort!"
As commanded, the students stood as one, turning to watch as the doors opened, and Anblick swept down the aisle in flowing purple robes, his crown gleaming on his head. Harry strode beside him, elegant and strong, the pure picture of beauty. Draco's breath caught in his throat as he watched the object of his affections and his effortless nobility.
Behind the two royals came the Lords and Ladies of the Dragon Flame, and their children, Rosam gliding beside her mother in a lavendar dress, her golden curls swept back with jewelled combs.
As they reached the head of the extended Slytherin table, Harry swept around the corner and back down to his chair, standing tall beside Draco, Rosam on his other side, the others finding themselves places. Anblick and the nobles carried on, swiflty mounting the steps and finding places along the top table, the king next to Dumbledore. Making a welcoming gesture, Anblick sat, everyone else in the room following his example.
The food was sent up from the kitchens and everyone began to tuck in to the delicious feast.
"So this is what you've been so smug about all week," Draco muttered in a low voice to the prince beside him. "You've set up talks for an alliance between the Dragon Flame and wizarding kind. Very clever. We'll stand a better chance together rather than separate."
"Not just between the two, Draco," sapphire eyes caught and held stormy grey. "Grandfather is here to ally with the Order of Phoenix, and the Minister will also attend tomorrow's talks, to ally us with the Ministry. Grandfather has also sent letters to the leaders of the other magical creatures to invite them to talks. The more allies we have, the less there will be for Voldemort to sway to his side. Hopefully, we'll end up outnumbering him and his army. That way, we're almost guaranteed victory."
Draco stared at his crush for a moment longer.
"That's brilliant, Harry!" he breathed. "I don't know why you doubt yourself so much. You're going to be an amazing king."
"Thank you," the other boy blushed.
"Blushing, Your Highness?" came an amused voice from across the table. "What sweet nothings could that handsome blond be whispering into your ear to provoke such a response?"
The two boys looked towards the speaker, Harry laughing merrily.
"Draco and I were just discussing the tactical advantage these alliance talks will bring us, Mikal," the prince responded. "He was saying that it was a good idea."
"It was," Rosam nodded, joining the conversation between mouthfuls. "Not only will this aid us during this time of war, but in any future occasions."
"Thank you, but Draco provided the inspiration," Harry looked fondly back at the blond. "Without him, I would still be feeling sorry for myself."
Draco met Harry's eyes and smiled softly.
"We all need a little reassurance and comfort sometimes," he whispered.
The two stared into each other's eyes for a moment, getting lost in the emotions and thoughts they could see there. A throat cleared across the table, and Harry snapped out of his trance.
"Er, Draco, everyone, this is my grandfather's nephew's son, Mikal," Harry made the introduction hastily, while Draco admired the flush on his cheeks out of the corner of his eye. "He's next in line for the throne, after me."
"A pleasure to meet you all," Mikal inclined his head.
The rest of the meal went smoothly, and afterwards, the nobility retired to their guest rooms, as the students returned to their dormitories. Harry escorted Rosam, Draco walking on his other side, their shoulders brushing gently. Behind them, Pansy rolled her eyes at their obliviousness, turning to make a comment to Blaise, only to find him trailing behind, engrossed in a quiet conversation with Theodore. Shaking her head, she strolled in amused silence.
Saturday dawned, the Slytherins venturing out of their common rooms only to eat breakfast and lunch. They spent the rest of the day sitting and chatting, playing quiet games of chess, or studying while waiting for the prince to return from the talks, all eager for the news he would bring.
It was mid afternoon, and some of the girls had slipped away to start their preparations for that evening's dance when Harry sauntered through the entrance, looking like the cat who ate the cream and the canary. Draco, who was sitting on the couch, helping a second year boy with his potions homework, jumped up and hurried over to him.
"Well?" he asked. "How did it go?"
"The alliances are struck!" Harry cried joyfully, throwing himself into Draco's arms. "It was amazing! It felt like a real triumph! I'm finally doing something to further the war cause. Normally, I'm shut out until I'm thrown into some life or death situation. Now I feel more in control."
"I told you you would do well," Draco buried his face into Harry's hair, the bare-headed prince smelling fresh and so enticing. "I know you're going to win."
"Thank you," Harry whispered, drawing back, and accepting the congratulations of several Slytherins in the near vicinity. "Now, shouldn't we all be getting ready? We must look our best for tonight!"
A buzz of conversation filled the air as the Slytherins, led by Harry, entered the transformed great hall. As in fourth year, the long House tables had been cleared away and replaced by smaller round tables. From the enchanted ceiling hung banners displaying the Dragon Flame crest of a silver dragon in flight upon a red background, interspersed with Hogwarts ones. The walls had been charmed to shimmer with a pearly sheen, and a large square of the floor was charmed silver. Overhead, the thousands of candles that lit the room were linked together by swirls of fire, obviously the work of a Dragon Flame enchantment. The overall effect was staggering, a true fairytale palace.
Harry fitted into the room perfectly, the magnificent prince, dressed richly in a tunic and robe of the deepest red, and fitted trousers of a rich black material. A circlet of silver, with rubies designed to look like a circle of flames running around it sat snugly upon his head. The streaks in his hair stood out in contrast with the blue-black, which seemed darker next to the shining silver. All who saw him knew in that moment that Harry Potter would be the greatest Dragon Flame to ever live.
Anblick was already sitting at a table with Dumbledore and Minister Scrimgeour, and the prince excused himself, hurrying over to speak with them briefly, before returning to his friends.
Soon, the party was underway, with everyone enjoying the sit down meal before the opening dance.
"Looks like Granger and Weasley are having an argument," Millicent observed, her eyes locked on the table holding the sixth year Gryffindors.
Everyone turned to look, and sure enough, Hermione and Ron were holding a fierce, yet whispered, conversation, Hermione's face contorted with anger. Shaking his head in amusement, Harry turned back to his meal, starting a friendly discussion about the benefits of fresh mandrake leaves versus dried ones. He watched in fascination as Draco's face came alive, potions being his favourite -and best- subject. The blond, in his expensive dark grey velvet robes and lighter grey shirt, silky strands of hair falling across sparkling eyes, was truly a sight to behold. Harry longed to reach out and touch the other, before remembering himself, and pulling his emotions in line. Draco didn't seem to notice the fluctuation in his feelings, and Harry wondered if he had all of his barriers up. That would be unusual for Draco, as he liked to have an idea of the atmosphere he found himself in. Another thought popped into the prince's head, and he found himself wondering if Draco could sense attraction, but not for specific people. Perhaps he just thought that Harry felt an attraction to someone, but had no idea of who. That would be helpful, but Harry would still have to be careful not to let his feelings spark around his friend. Draco was anything but stupid, and would easily figure out that Harry felt attraction the most around the blond.
The meal finally drew to an end, and the soft strains of a waltz echoed around the hall. Everyone moved to the dancefloor, where Anblick was standing with Lady Helena, and Harry moved out to join them, leading Rosam on his arm. The two royals began to lead the women around the floor, and moments into the dance, others began gliding out onto the gleaming floor.
Harry spotted Hermione dancing with Neville on the other side of the crowd over Rosam's shoulder, and steered his cousin in her direction. The dance ended, and Harry inclined his head to his curtseying cousin. Turning, he held his hand out to his friend.
"May I have this dance, Miss Granger?" he smiled.
"It would be my pleasure, Your Royal Highness," the girl dropped a curtsey and took his hand.
Sweeping her off into a fast-paced twirling dance, Harry adopted a stern expression.
"So, why have you not come to the party with Ron?" he asked.
"I did," the girl protested.
"Then why are you not dancing with him?" Harry asked. "I saw you fighting during the meal."
"He's just being stubborn as usual," Hermione blew out her breath, annoyed. "He's refusing to see that the Slytherins aren't all on Voldemort's side. He's jealous, really, that the nobles sat at the Slytherin table last night. Says it's proof that the Slytherins are lying and corrupting the Light side."
"Doesn't he realise that they were sitting with me?" Harry asked, incredulous. "There clearly wasn't enough room at the top table, so the decision was taken that we teenagers would sit with my House."
"I know that, and so do most of the others," Hermione huffed. "It's just Ron, being childish."
"Still reckon he'll come around?" despite all the problems Ron had caused, Harry didn't want to be at odds with him. Even if their friendship could never be te same, it felt too strange to fight constantly.
"To be honest," the Gryffindor bit her lip. "I'm not sure. He just refuses to listen."
"It's ok," the prince reassured her. "Don't push him. He'll come around if and when he comes around."
They finished their dance, and separated with a bow and a curtsey. Seamus stepped up to whirl Hermione away, but before she disappeared into the crowd, Harry took the opportunity to call out to her once more.
"Pink suits you, 'Mione!"
She grinned in response, and in a flash of delicate rose pink, disappeared.
"Would you honour me with a dance, Your Highness?" a familiar voice sounded behind him, and Harry turned with a smile.
"Why, I would love to, Mr. Malfoy," he answered, taking the proffered hand.
Sinking into Draco's strong arms, Harry felt a flash of contentment. For the second time today, he was being held against the blond's chest, breathing in his familiar scent, and getting to study his flawless face in close quarters. It was a slower dance, too, so he had the chance to appreciate the situation.
On the side of the dance floor, Pansy turned to say something to Blaise, only to find him staring at the table they were sitting at earlier, watching Theo intently.
"Oh, go and ask him to dance, for goodness' sake!" she snapped, annoyed at all the potential couples dancing around each other.
"I'd love to, but I have to be careful with him," Blaise moaned, agonised over his secret love. "He's so fragile."
"I'm sure a few dances won't hurt him," Pansy placed a gentle hand on the Italian boy's shoulder. "In fact, it might take his mind off whatever he's sensing."
"You're right," Blaise took a deep breath. "Let's see if any of Harry's ex-Gryffindor bravery has rubbed off on me."
He made his way over to talk to the thin, dark haired boy, and Pansy turned back to look at Harry and Draco.
"I think it's deserted even him," she muttered.
"His Highness and young Master Malfoy make a good couple, don't they?" came a velvety voice from behind her.
The blond girl jumped, and spun around, her elegant black dress swirling around her ankles.
"My Lord," she greeted Mikal with a smile. "They would if they actually admitted their feelings for each other. Draco doesn't want to tell Harry because he thinks Harry's too preoccupied with the war and wouldn't take kindly to a relationship, like it would be too much of a strain. Harry doesn't want to tell Draco because he thinks he doesn't feel the same! It's ridiculous, and it's giving me a headache!"
"Perhaps we could cure that," Mikal bowed slightly. "Would you honour me with a dance, my lady?"
"I would be delighted, My Lord," Pansy took the boy's hand, and allowed him to lead her out into the crowd.
The night wore on, and the formal music was replaced with more modern fare, and the adult nobility slowly slipped away, leaving the teens to their party. They danced long into the night, finally stumbling into their beds in the early hours of the morning, dreaming of dances and their secret sweethearts.
A/N: Well, I hope that was ok for you! A little more on Draco's feelings for Harry, a bit on Harry's feelings for Draco, some expansion on Blaise and Theo, and a few hints on Pansy's power! Please review! I'd love to know your thoughts!