Disclaimer: Lots of legal jumbo about not owning any of the characters in this story...
Rating: 'T', rated for mature issues and some sexual themes, as well as language. The rating may go up later in the story.
Warning: This story contains slash, and features a Harry/Draco relationship. Don't like it, don't read. There will be some sexual themes later on in the story, and mature issues (as stated in the rating). Just to let you all know.
A/N: All the other information you may want, including the summary, can be found in the first chapter. I don't feel the need to repeat the summary over and over again. To everyone who reviewed, thank you very much. That goes to all of you who added this story to your favorites list and such, and of course, to those who simply read and enjoyed.
Beta credit goes to TheseBrokenWings, who I am extremely grateful to! Thanks SO much!
LAST CHAPTER! WOW!
Chapter 26 of Catalyst- Catalytic Tendencies
Good news came one day later when a recovered and jovial Fred Weasley came through the fireplace, followed by his partner-in-crime, George. Harry was nestled into the couch reading a book, Ssyn draped over his shoulder, with Draco leaning over his other shoulder in order to read as well. The Gryffindor's right arm was wrapped loosely around his boyfriend's waist in a small gesture of support. Yet both boys sprang apart as the twins entered the room.
"Ah…Harry, Malfoy…not quick enough, boys," Fred said with a smirk and a wink. Harry blushed and looked over at Draco, who was as calm and emotion-less as ever, but the Gryffindor thought he spotted a slight pink-ish hue coloring Malfoy's cheekbones.
"Where's ickle Ronnie-kins?" George asked, "I'm sure he and Ginny will be glad to hear that mum and dad are up and about as well."
"What?! How long have you three been out of the hospital?" Harry asked Fred, wondering just how much he had missed in those three days he had been wandering in and out of consciousness.
"About four days. Well, me that is," Fred explained, "Mum and dad were just released today. We arrived the other day—"
"—In the midst of a bit of a commotion. Something about—"
"—A certain Harry Potter disappearing with a bang—"
"—Off to be the knight-in-shining-armor and save the love of his life from the grips of evil," George finished with a grand bow. Draco rolled his eyes and grabbed the book from Harry's hands, going back to reading with a disinterested look on his face.
"So…Ron and Ginny?" Fred prompted Harry again.
"Right, er... in the library. Hermione should be there as well."
"Studying for exams already, no doubt," The twins stated simultaneously as they walked out of the room with a wave.
"How can you stand them?" Draco asked, looking a bit appalled.
"Fred and George? I've always liked those two; they're easy to get along with. Not to mention brilliant…"
"Brilliant? I don't follow," The Slytherin deadpanned.
"So Slytherin poster-boy hasn't been into Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, then," Harry replied with a smirk. Draco rolled his eyes once again and changed the subject.
"When is Moody going to be here for the—"
"He's not coming. I think Remus had something to do with that, actually. All he said to me was that Moody wouldn't 'be able to attend the meeting today'," Harry cut in. "I'm really glad you're healed enough to be there with me. I think you're going to be the cut-off line."
"You think we'll be able to convince them?" Draco asked, the smallest hint of doubt on his face. Harry gave him a reassuring smile and moved closer to the Slytherin.
"Of course we can," He whispered in the blonde-haired teen's ear, placing a soft kiss right underneath it.
"Mr. Potter, I realize that Mr. Malfoy has been staying with you for the summer, and that he has not done anything to prove himself loyal to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but without substantial proof we can not grant him access into Hogwarts. Look at the liability! I hope you understand," Mr. Sinclain said in a monotone, bored, and disinterested voice.
Harry glanced over to Remus, whose eyes were fixated on Draco. The Slytherin student was glaring at the stubborn man who was the newest Ministry representative in the Order. Under a glare like that, most men would have caved in, granting him a signature—both Ministry and Order approved—and thus letting him into Hogwarts without further trouble. But Sinclain wasn't 'most men'. Draco slowly rolled up the left sleeve of his robe, keeping his gaze locked with the Ministry representative all the while and ignoring the Order members who tensed a bit and pulled their wands forth. The blonde-haired teen revealed his arm, bandaged with white gauze to keep his wound from tearing open. Waving his wand and whispering an incantation, the gauze began to unravel, turning to threads of white fiber and falling to the floor in dramatic, fluid motions. The top of his wound was revealed soon after, still a macabre red. The Order members, Sinclain as well, watched Draco's arm and face in morbid fascination.
While the grotesque wound was revealed, Malfoy's face was as emotionless as ever, save the cold and angry glint in his eyes. As the gauze unraveled further, the remainder of the dark mark appeared, marred by the scarlet laceration that slashed it in two. Finally, the last of the gauze loosened and fell to the floor. Draco stood, in all his lethal glory, still staring at the man before him. Harry watched as a thin stream of blood welled up in the indentation on the Slytherin's arm and trickled down Malfoy's pale skin, dripping off the boy's middle finger and falling to the floor. Silence dominated the room for a good two minutes; all eyes were glued to Draco's arm. Finally, Sinclain took a deep breath and grabbed a quill. The scratching of the metal tip was the only noise in the room as he signed permission for Draco Malfoy to attend Hogwarts for his final year. Harry couldn't help but smirk.
Harry stepped off the Hogwarts Express with Hermione, Ron, and Ginny beside him. Hogsmead Station was chalk-full of students clad in Hogwarts robes, all talking and laughing loudly with their friends in small reunions. Harry felt his eyes rove over the crowds on their own, looking for a certain Slytherin. A flash of blonde hair caught his eye and Harry looked over to see Draco talking with Parkinson and Zabini with a calm, arrogant look on his face. A feeling akin to jealousy arose in Harry's stomach, but he forced it out of the way and rolled his eyes at his own behavior. He was acting like a child who couldn't have his favorite teddy bear with him all day long. Sure, but before this, it pretty much was just us. And now: Draco Malfoy…Harry Potter's rival, Harry thought dismally, turning away from the Slytherin and his friends. The only reason he didn't march over there and wrench Draco out of their circle was because Draco trusted both of them with his life. Neither had been sworn into Voldemort's inner or middle circles, so even though they knew about him defecting, they wouldn't do anything about it. They were his sworn friends. And I thought Slytherins didn't have morals like that, Harry thought to himself, a small smile gracing his face.
"Harry, you there?" Ron asked with amusement, waving a hand in front of the black-haired teen's face. Harry pulled himself out of his musings and smiled.
"Yeah, all here."
"Come on you two, we've got to catch an empty carriage before we have to split up. Let's go!" Hermione cried, tugging impatiently on Ron's arm and dragging him off. Ginny looked back at him.
"You know…I think I'll catch up with you three later," Harry said, "I'll see you at the feast." Ginny gave him a small, understanding smile and walked off after her brother and Hermione, running a bit to catch up. Harry watched his three friends' retreating backs before ducking into a small niche in the wall of the station, out of sight for the most part. He withdrew a bundle of cloth from his robes, the shimmery material sliding easily around his body until the Gryffindor simply disappeared. Under the protection of his invisibility cloak, Harry stepped out onto the platform again and looked around for Draco. The tall Slytherin boy was walking towards the carriages with his two friends, clearing a path in front of the trio with icy glares. Harry worked his way through the mess of students until he was just behind Draco.
"Hey, Malfoy," He whispered softly, but not so quietly that the Slytherin couldn't hear him. Draco paused, and when Pansy and Blaise turned, he gave them a signal to continue on.
"I'll see you two at the feast, make sure Crabb and Goyle don't eat everything before I get there," He commanded. He was granted two smirks from his friends before they moved off. Draco took a sudden turn and stopped at the door of the carriage, pausing a bit to glance at the black, winged horse that waited patiently for passengers.
"This the first time you've seen them?" Harry asked from underneath the cloak.
"No. I've been able to see them for about three years, when Lucius started involving me in Death Eater activities," Draco replied, speaking softly so no one could hear and it didn't appear as if he was speaking to himself. The blonde opened the door to the carriage and found three boys wearing Hufflepuff badges and holding wizarding cards in their hands. The Slytherin quirked an eyebrow. "Get the hell out of here, before I rip your damn heads off," He growled. The boys—which looked to be third years or so—stood up in a flurry of cards and fled the vehicle, panic written all over their faces. One of them threw a glance over their shoulder as they scampered off to another carriage.
Draco climbed in with a satisfied smirk and Harry followed, rolling his eyes at Draco's antics.
"And I thought you had changed," The Gryffindor said with a spark of laughter.
"Why on Earth would I do that?"
"Because you found me," Harry answered with a smirk, pulling the invisibility cloak off of him.
"Nonsense, I have a reputation to uphold," Draco said, leaning back into the seat and letting the two of them fall into companionable silence. Both students absently noticed the slight jolt of the carriage as the horse lurched into motion, bringing the two passengers closer to their home for the rest of the year. Harry sighed.
"It seems like months ago that you showed up at my flat, but it's really only been weeks, I suppose," Harry commented softly, a sad look in his eye. Draco wrapped his arms around his bent knees and leaned into Harry's chest.
"YeahYour dream never came true then, hmmm?" Harry paused for a moment trying to think of which dream Draco was referring to, until it came to him. The images that had never truly left his mind flashed before his eyes once again. Pained screams, waves of blood, cold tears. Unconsciously, Harry wrapped his arms around Draco and held him closer.
"It could have happened, though. Probably would have if I hadn't been so angry that night and spilled magic everywhere. That was the only time I've ever seen Voldemort rightly afraid of something," Harry chuckled.
"Harry," Draco started suddenly, "Why didn't you kill him? The whole war would have been over if you had destroyed him right there." The Gryffindor sighed quietly.
"It was either him or you, Draco. And…I just couldn't let you die without trying something to get you back."
"And just how did you 'get me back'?" Draco asked. Harry locked eyes with the Slytherin, hesitating to answer. "Harry, I've asked this question a hundred times, I need an answer. My father killed me, I remember. I know my father's dead, but I want to know why I'm not." Harry turned his head away, breaking eye contact until Draco reached up and grabbed Harry's jaw, pulling it towards him and pressing his lips to the Gryffindor's. After a moment, Malfoy let his lover go. "I know you didn't want to tell anyone else, but please tell me," He asked softly.
"I…couldn't tell anyone else. It would be too dangerous for both of us. But…well…Lucius…cast Avada Kedavra on you. Something in me just, I don't know, snapped, and I realized that I could leave you to kill Voldemort, or I could try and save you and deal with the Dark Lord later. I didn't have enough magic for both. So I went for you. I can't remember what I did to Voldemort, but I know he's alive. Hermione had told me once that a person's magic dies when the person dies, but your magic was still pulsing. I think it's because I was tapped into a bond the two of us have in my core when you were killed. Lucius was still in the room after Voldemort fell, and suddenly I remembered this spell that I had read over the summer—"
"You traded his life for mine," Draco said in realization. Harry nodded silently.
"I'm sorry," He whispered. "It was the only way."
"I know. I suppose I owe you a 'thank you' then," Draco commented.
"Save it. Malfoys only have a limited number of those. Wouldn't want to waste it on the person who saved your life twice," Harry teased.
"Shove it, Potter," Malfoy snapped, glaring half-heartedly. And suddenly Harry's lips were on his, quickly working to coax them open and push his tongue inside. Draco complied, letting Harry gain access without a struggle for dominance. Slowly, Draco moved his hands up Harry's sides, slipping underneath his robes and un-tucking the Gryffindor's uniform so he could slide his hands over Harry's smooth skin. The contact sent fire through his veins, burning his fingers when they touched Harry's muscles. Draco pulled Harry down on top of him, breaking their kiss for a moment to re-situate themselves in the rather cramped space. The Slytherin's left hand moved from Harry's chest and tangled itself in the Gryffindor's black hair, pulling his lips closer until they were kissing once again. This time, Draco didn't let Harry prod his lips apart so easily. Their tongues clashed together as Harry grabbed Draco's hips, pushing them roughly into the padded cushion. His actions elicited a low moan from the Slytherin and he deepened the kiss, rolling his tongue into Draco's mouth and running it along the blonde's teeth. Draco arched his back with a cry, slamming his chest into Harry's and squirming his way out of his robes; their hips ground together, creating burning friction. Sweat was beaded at Draco's temples, the burning fire that was Harry's touch still running through him; through his mouth when Harry's lips met his, through his hips when Harry grasped them, through his chest when Harry trailed his fingers along it, deftly undoing the buttons of his crisp, white shirt.
Draco's chest was exposed, bruises running along his ribs from his father and Voldemort, making Harry scowl angrily as he brushed his fingers around them.
"Do these still hurt?" He asked.
"Mmm, not much," Draco answered before Harry bent down and placed a simple kiss on his lips, then released them to move across Draco's jaw, eventually trailing down the Slytherin's neck. Harry's tongue swirled over Malfoy's collar bone, sucking gently in some places, and not-so-gently in others. Draco let his hands wander freely around Harry's nimble body, pushing the Gryffindor's robes off his slim shoulders and pulling Harry closer. He gasped in pleasure as the black-haired teen's teeth grazed his nipple, replaced soon after by Harry's deft tongue.
"Harry…come here," Draco moaned, pulling Harry up to his face and kissing him with bruising passion. His hands left Harry's chest and wrapped around his back, holding their chests flush as their two tongues danced inside each other's mouths, mapping and claiming territory that was already familiar. They were a tangle of limbs, some clothed, others not, fire now running in both of them at the touch of the other. Both Harry and Draco could feel heat rush from each other as their gasps and moans filled the carriage. What if this is the last time I can kiss Harry like this? Draco wondered, marveling at the fact that the summer had given him a new weakness. Harry had turned into an extremely addictive drug, one that was always there, through good and bad, thick and thin. And now…they had to pretend to hate each other. It's so much easier, not to mention more pleasant, just to keep on like this, Malfoy thought, feeling Harry ravish his mouth thoroughly, sucking on his lower lip before pulling away all together.
The Gryffindor let his forehead rest against Draco's, inches between their red lips, millimeters between their noses. Draco shivered for some reason he didn't know.
"There's one thing you never told me," Harry whispered after a minute of silence. Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "How did you find my flat?" The Slytherin's lips curved into a self-satisfied smirk.
"After the end of term last year, when I went back to Malfoy Manor, the Dark Lord gave me an assignment to assure my loyalty to him; my father didn't know about it. My assignment was to locate you." Harry froze. "I had heard you talking to Weasley and Hermione about staying by yourself for a while, hidden in a muggle town. From that, I used a series of spells, mostly dark arts, and located you. But…on the day I was suppose to report to Voldemort, several Death Eaters were killed in a raid, and headquarters was in chaos. I forgot about my assignment until the next day, when Voldemort called me to him. He had muggles with him, chained to the walls, bleeding and screaming. I…I couldn't tell him where you were. I kept seeing your face in the place of a tortured muggle, and I lied. I told him I would need another week. That's really when the torture started, the beatings…So when it got to be too much, and I noticed a lapse in the security around my cell, I ran…to you. I don't know why I came to you; maybe it was because I knew you were alone, maybe because I didn't have anywhere else to go…I don't know. But I suppose I'm glad I did," Malfoy ended with a crooked smile.
"'I suppose'," Harry mimicked, and Draco laughed. Suddenly, the carriage lurched to a halt. "I'm going to miss your laugh," Harry commented.
"I'm going to miss having someone to ravish whenever I get the whim," Draco replied with a smirk.
"Hey, I'm still going to be here. Don't forget that," Harry said as he rolled his eyes and gingerly pushed himself off of Malfoy, tucking his shirt back in and putting his robes on as Draco buttoned his shirt up and replaced his robes as well. With a shake of his head, Draco's gleaming hair was back in place. Harry adjusted his glasses a bit and turned to look at the Slytherin sitting beside him. Their eyes locked. This has to be what drowning's like, Harry mused thoughtfully, losing himself for a moment in the Slytherin's stormy eyes.
"We'd better go," Malfoy whispered, breaking the moment.
"Yeah." Still, neither of them moved. Finally the carriage lurched again, the horse obviously getting impatient. The motion stirred Harry into a standing position, grabbing his invisibility cloak and wrapping it around himself. Draco opened the door of the carriage and stepped out, his head held high, his mask firmly back in place. It was as if the summer never happened. Harry clambered out after the Slytherin, whispering to him to assure the blonde that he was completely out of the carriage. Before he turned away, Harry leaned in to Draco, grabbing his shoulders lightly and pressing his lips to the Slytherin's for a brief moment. Malfoy smiled.
"Room of Requirement, after the feast. Don't be late, Potter."
"Whatever, Malfoy." Harry saw Draco smirk, a gleam appearing in his grey eyes, before turning away to find Ron, Hermione, and Ginny in the crowd of students. Maybe this year won't be so bad…
Wow. What an adventure to write.
A note to all the fabulous readers: Because it's required that I thank all of you for being such supportive readers, here it is: THANK YOU!!!! This was my first Harry/Draco story I've ever written, actually my first Harry Potter fanfic, so I'm blown away by all the wonderful reviews I've gotten from you all. Honestly, I didn't expect to have so many readers! A million thanks to you all, especially those that faithfully reviewed. I enjoyed reading every single one of your reviews, and received some major inspiration from the majority of them. Your questions and guesses about the plot and such actually developed much of the story…pat yourselves on the back!
A second note: I'm taking a break from the Harry Potter-fanfic realm for a bit (Kingdom Hearts…here I come!), but I'm posting a one-shot sequel/ epilogue to this piece. I can't say when it'll be finished yet, or what it's going to be about, but before I post my KH story, the epilogue to this will be submitted (as a completely separate story from this one, btw). Promise! So…keep your eyes open for that...
And a third note: Thank you my beta, TheseBrokenWings, who offered to help me out about four chapters into this, and stayed with me until the very end. Thank you for being so wonderful and helpful! I hope you enjoyed this last chapter!
Because this is the last chapter, and all you readers were so fantastic and supportive and all that, I think you deserve to see the statistics of this story. They're impressive, thanks to you.
Catalyst: 26 total chapters NOTE: Note that these stats do not yet include stats for chapter 26
546 reviews (Whhooo!!! Over five-hundred reviews!)
68422 hits (Incredible…)
Added to 13 C2s (Thanks to all of you staff members who put this in your C2!)
155 people added this to their 'favorites list'!
263 people added this to their 'alert list'
On average, Catalyst received 20 reviews per chapter (Thank you all!)
The most reviews I got for a single chapter was 38 (Oh my god…!!! FABULOUS!)
I would absolutly LOVE IT if all the people who added Catalyst to their alert lists would review this chapter. One word, two words, a sentence, a paragraph...I don't care. But if you haven't given me your thoughts on my story, I would love it if you would take this opportunity (last chance!) and review! So...please review if you've been following this story, add yourself to Catalyst's 'Stats list'!
And there you all go. Thank you for supporting me while I was writing Catalyst, and thank you for patiently putting up with my irregular updates. I love you all!