Chapter Twenty-One

Dumbledore sat in his office, staring at the many portraits that lined the walls. He was deep in thought and didn't notice the faint knock at his door. It wasn't until the third, loud knock that his attention was drawn out of his thoughts.

"Enter," he said loudly. He took a deep breath as Harry and Draco entered his office, hand in hand. His heart stopped as he realized his plans were now useless.

"Headmaster." They both said, bowing their heads slightly.

"May we have a moment?" Draco asked. Harry was sure he was cutting off the blood supply to Draco's fingers, but keeping his composure was a bit more difficult then he had foreseen. He exhaled and took a seat.

"What can I do for you boys?" Albus asked politely.

"We were wondering if you had any other outrageous plots to destroy our lives or if you were going to finally leave that to the Dark Lord." Draco said nonchalantly. Albus visibly paled and lowered his head, but raised it again quickly.

"What do you mean? I only want what is best for everyone involved. You may not understand now, but I'm doing what I feel is right. That is what matters." Dumbledore had not met Harry's eyes yet. He didn't know if he could.

"What you think-" Draco was interrupted by Harry, who stood and slammed his palms on the desk.

"Does tarring me away from everyone I love feel right to you?" he yelled. "Is killing my best friend in your plans as well? They say Voldemort is misdirected, but he doesn't hold a candle to you. You've lost the ability to feel since that day, haven't you? Do you even remember what it feels like to love someone? Do you know what it's like to need someone and know that someone you trust is to blame for his absence? I do not exist to lighten your conscience. I gave you my mind blindly and you- you filled it with doubts and misconceptions. You gave me half truths and subtle lies, just so you can feel like you are doing the right thing. Well, you know what? I'll kill that bastard, but know that I'm doing it for everyone that you took away. I'll be your savior, but know that I'm going to do it on my terms! Stay the fuck out of my way." Harry stormed out of the room, Draco not too far behind.

They walked down several corridors before Harry stopped abruptly and slid down a wall. Draco was at his side before he hit the floor. There were tears in his eyes, but there was a smile on his face.

"Damn, that felt good." he said softly. Draco scoffed.

"I can't believe you did that. The bloody Gryffindor Golden Boy just cursed out the headmaster." it took a second to sink in. "That was brilliant, but we still didn't prove anything and we don't know that he isn't going to try that much harder to separate us again." His tone was sad and his gaze fell to the floor.

"It's ok. What doesn't kill us, right?" Harry said hopefully.

"So I've heard. Do-do you want to come back to my room? We still have a lot to talk about." Draco said a little more brightly.

"Yeah, can we have dinner there?" Draco nodded and both boys stood.

0o0

As they entered the rooms, they heard voices. Trying to be quiet, they snuck through the narrow entrance hallway and stood near the door to Severus' office. Faintly, Draco recognized the first as Severus and the second as the headmaster.

"Albus, please, calm do-"

"I will not be calm.You are the only one who could have told him about Stephen and I demand to know what you were thinking? What did you tell him and what the bloody hell were you trying to accomplish?" There was a pause. Severus may have been in shock due to the headmaster's language or he could have been phrasing his reply.

"It was my turn. I have watched you do this your way for 16 years and you were about to lose everything. I did what I felt was right. I told Draco what happened and explained your reasoning. Apparently, he did the opposite of my intentions."

"Severus, do not lie to me. How could you do this?" Albus pleaded.

"Because you don't know what the hell you are doing! You are mentally and emotionally abusing the only hope our world has and you think it's what is best! I know pain and suffering, just as you do. I know what sense of duty and responsibility is, just as you do. I'm telling you that Harry would have never responded to your way. Draco is your only hope now. The one you want farthest from Harry is the only way you can get his trust back in any capacity. Good luck." Severus concluded the conversation and stood.

Harry and Draco scrambled away from the door and tried to run to Draco's room, but only made it halfway before the door to Snape's office opened.

"Potter?" Harry turned and smiled lightly.

"I swear if my godson did not value your life so, you would find yourself without. Understood?" Harry nodded. "Your little discussion with the headmaster, while invigorating, I'm sure, cost me a lot. I worked for years to earn that fools trust and you thwarted me in one go."

"I'm sorry, sir. I lost my temper." Harry lowered his head in apology.

"Imagine that." Severus said sardonically.

"Severus it really is my fault. I let Harry get carried away. I shouldn't have told him in the first place, but I thought he had the right to know."

"That he did. You did just as I had intended." Snape's eyes gleamed with pride and mischief.

"Albus need not know that though." he let out a long breath and stared at Harry. The boy had yet to raise his head again. It was becoming quite unnerving.

"Harry, I'm sorry." All eyes flew to Snape.

Draco could not believe his ears. Not only had his impossible godfather addressed Harry as, well, Harry, but he apologized for god knows what.

"I should have done this a long time ago, but just as Albus trusted me, I trusted him. I thought his plans would surface and pan out eventually. After spending more time with you and getting to know you through Draco, I found that the possibility was slim. You were already so lost and angry. You already knew some of what he put you through. What I- I'm trying to say is, this is partially my fault as well. I let my preconceived notions and assumptions overtake my better judgment."

Harry's jaw could have hit the floor. He was genuinely shocked and impressed.

"Th-thank you. You really shouldn't feel so guilty. I didn't make this any easier for you." he couldn't believe the words coming out of his own mouth. Were they having a civilized conversation and behaving like adults? It felt weird. After a long, uncomfortable silence, Draco looked unbelievingly between the two for the hundredth time and shook his head.

"Harry, let's go. We still have a few things to deal with. Severus," Draco said awkwardly. "This is just too

weird."

Harry entered Draco's room and was overwhelmed by the comfort it brought him. He sat on the familiar bed. Draco sat next to him and laced his fingers with Harry's.

"I'm sorry." Harry said suddenly. "I never meant to hurt you. I don't love Ron. I don't want to be with anyone but you." Harry rested his head on Draco's shoulder.

"I know love." he stood and walked to the other side of the room.

"Whether we like it or not, this war is going on. We are both deeply involved and that puts us both in danger. I wanted to protect you. I didn't want Dumbledore to hurt you anymore than he already has. I know now, that I may have caused more damage than he ever could. I know we weren't apart very long, but it felt so wrong. When Severus feels sorry for you, you know your life is shite."

Harry came and stood behind him.

"Well, I'm here now. So, let's make the most of the time we have before our lives get in the way again." Harry slid his hand down Draco's stomach and turned him around. Draco was the first to lean in, and their lips met harshly. Everything they hadn't been able to say aloud was conveyed in that kiss. Each second that passed alluded to another unspoken confession of love, frustration, or devotion.

Harry pulled away and started to pull Draco towards his bed.

"Wait," Draco said sadly. "Before we get too caught up, what did you with Weasley? I won't be mad. I just need to know." Harry lowered his head, but met Draco's eyes shortly after.

"H-he went down on me, but we didn't fini-" Draco held his hand up and tried to hide the hurt he was feeling. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't put up his stoic mask and lie. He walked to the bed and sat on it. For a moment, Harry cursed himself. He sat next to Draco and tried to find a way to console him, but couldn't think of anything. So, he pushed Draco back on the bed and kissed him softly.

"Never doubt that you are what I want, love." Draco looked Harry in the eye and nodded. The proof that Harry's words had been accepted was found in Draco's hand feeling its way up Harry's leg and nestling softly in the crease of his jeans. He rubbed his hand against the bulge and unbuttoned the pants swiftly. Harry made no protests and Draco continued his ministrations.

"I love you." Draco said softly before pulling the zipper down. Harry's breath caught and it had nothing to do with the hand that had just entered the fold in his boxers. This new sensation of warmth that flooded his body and made his toes tingle almost made him forget about everything that he had gone through to get to that point. To hear Draco voice his feelings so bluntly, made Harry's heart race. He was brought back to earth by a hand unbuttoning his shirt.

"I love you too," he finally gasped.

0o0

Lucius Malfoy sat behind his desk and stared at the informant before him. His only son, his former heir, had traded sides completely. Draco was a selfish being and the thought of him actually sacrificing some of his safety for someone else was a very new concept.

"Do you know how much information he has given?"

"No sir, I only know that he is no longer neutral and, given the recent arrests, he is obviously the leak we have been searching for. Why didn't you just kill him? You knew when you disowned him he could be a threat to our cause." Blaise Zabini said angrily.

"You know Draco is not one to concede and go against his beliefs. Not to mention, put himself in obvious, unnecessary danger. How was I to know he would fall for that… that Potter. I may not be the best father, but killing my son isn't something I am willing to do. I would rather out him under the Imperious before I take such drastic measures." Blaise nodded in agreement. "You may go now. I greatly appreciate this information."

0o0

Hermione found Ron laying on one of the couches in the common room. He was still and could have been sleeping, but she sat next to him. The last few days had been hard on her. It tore her up to see the person she loved hurt so much. Now, Ron looked so peaceful. Breaking up with him had been hard, but everyone has their limit and he had certainly reached hers. She wanted to lie down next to him and let him know everything would work out, but her dignity was far too bruised for that. She moved to get up, but Ron grabbed her arm. Her eyes darted towards him and he was smiling at her.

"I'm done now," he said quietly. "I'm done yearning for something I can't have and I'm done hurting someone I love just as much. I've got my answer and so does he, so can we try this again?" he pleaded.

"Ron, you can't just make the last two weeks go away. I'm glad that you decided to move on, but I still can't trust you and I'm not going to put myself in that position again; not until you prove to me that I have nothing to fear." Ron's smile had returned and he squeezed her hand.

"So, there is hope for me?" he said softly. "I haven't lost you completely?" Hermione shook her head.

"Not yet, but its still going to take some time."

"I'll wait and I'll do everything I can to win back your trust. I'm not willing to let you go." He leaned forward and kissed her softly. She kissed back for a second, but moved away.

"You won't woo me so easily Ronald Weasley." She got up and walked back to her bag she had set there before to do her homework.

"Will you study with me tomorrow?" She heard Ron say. She thought for a moment.

"3:30, you better not be late."

0o0

Draco looked down at Harry. His bare chest was glistening with sweat and he could just see the beginning of the trail of hair on his stomach. He rolled his finger over the hair and traced the line the sheet made over his boyfriend's stomach. He lowered his head and flicked his tongue over Harry's earlobe. He wanted to wake Harry in the best way possible. He wanted Harry to know and feel how much he was loved. He traced Harry's cheekbones and jaw with his tongue before ghosting it across his swollen lips. Suddenly, his tongue was engulfed in warmth and Harry was sucking slowly. He let out a deep moan and slid his hand up and down Harry's right thigh. Finally, Harry let go. He stretched properly and held Draco to him.

"I could get used to waking up like this." he squeezed Draco lightly.

"Me too."

"Draco, if we- when we get through this, I want to be with you. I want to wake up like this and, before everything else comes crashing down on me, I want you to know that there will be many more times like this. You are what I'm fighting for now."