A/N: Wrote the fic last year for the Sugar Cum Fairies challenge at TopDracoBottomHarry yahoo!group. Even though it's almost Halloween, I thought I would post it here anyway.
Disclaimer: Clearly, nothing's mine.
Handle With Care
By: The Magicians Wish
Harry Potter strolled down the dark corridors of Hogwarts aimlessly; just letting his feet guide him to wherever they wanted. It was one, maybe two since he'd been walking for at least an hour by now, in the morning, and for all of the castles magical wonder it still had problems keeping the cold drafts from turning every student, teacher, and portrait into living ice lolly's during winter.
It made little difference to Harry though, these days; summer, winter, fall, spring – he was always cold.
He sighed quietly to himself. Though he cared little about the consequences upon being caught – his invisibility cloak proved rather faulty when facing Mrs. Noriss's nose or Dumbledore's keen eye – he didn't feel up to the explanation that would be expected from him after his 'capture'.
An indistinct sound suddenly reached his ears. For a moment he thought it was Filch and his trusty cat Mrs. Norris on the prowl for wandering students such as himself, but upon listening carefully he realized that he was hearing some sort of music rather then paws padding or footsteps.
'Music?' A faint spark of something fluttered through him, and it wasn't until he was moving towards the source of the sound that he realized it was interest.
As he traveled down the corridor where the music seemed to be emanating, he wondered who would be up at this time of night.
'You mean other then yourself?' a voice said cheekily in the back of his mind. He ignored the remark in favor of finding where the lovely tunes were coming from.
He found himself standing in front of a door five minutes later. This was a part of the castle that he'd never been down, but had passed by it from time to time. By now he could tell the instrument was a piano. It sounded beautiful even threw the wooden barrier that stood between him. Whoever was playing must have been doing so for a long time.
Should he just go in? It would be quite rude, now that he thought about it. Plus the mystery musician may have chosen to gallivant at this late hour for the soul purpose of avoiding nose-abouts such as himself.
Even with this in mind Harry didn't move from his spot. The music had him entranced, so to speak, and he was itching to know who was behind this wonderful spell.
I'll just take a peak inside for a moment, the person won't even know I'm there.'
Harry grabbed hold of the doorknob, turned it slowly, and opened the door just a crack. Inside the room, a boy with his back facing him was playing a white baby grand piano. He seemed to be rather in to the music, as his fingers danced merrily along the keys and a foot tapped in time with the beat. Harry recognized the song to be a jazzy version of 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas'.
After several moments of nodding his head to the music, Harry felt it was high time to leave the pianist to himself. He was about to close the door when the boy shifted his head so that he could see it in profile.
Harry gasped. The music stopped immediately at the noise.
Malfoy had stood up and was facing the door now, wand drawn and eyes narrowed. "Who's there?"
Against his better judgment, but figuring slamming the door and running away like mad wouldn't be the greatest of ideas either, Harry opened the door all the way and stepped over the threshold, hands in the air as if he were being held at gun point.
"Potter," Malfoy sneered. He relaxed his grip slightly but didn't put his wand down. "What are you doing here?"
"Nothing. Just wandering the halls in the dead of night," Harry said simply, mildly surprised by his honesty. "And what about you?"
"You were spying on me, I'm sure you're already well aware."
"I wouldn't say 'spying' exactly, and I'm not about to curse you with my fingertips Malfoy."
Apparently having just realized that Harry was, and always had been, unarmed, Malfoy reluctantly put his wand back in his sleeve. They stood staring at each other for a few seconds, before Malfoy shrugged and went to sit back down on the piano bench.
Harry realized that now would be the best time to leave, but couldn't bring himself to do so. For awhile he stood where he was, shifting from foot to foot awkwardly, as the tunes of 'Silent Night' flitted from Malfoy's talented fingers. Finally Harry moved towards the piano and took a seat adjacent to it on the floor.
"Can't your feeble mind comprehend the fact that you're not wanted?" Malfoy said, once the song ended.
"It can. That doesn't mean I particularly care though."
"Well I do. Get out."
"You don't own the school Malfoy. I have just as much right to be in here as you do."
Malfoy gritted his teeth. Harry smirked inwardly. He had him there.
"Are you so pathetic that you have no one else to annoy with your presence then me?"
"Oh, shut it Malfoy."
"You wouldn't have to here me if you would just leave."
Harry sighed. "This is ridicules. It's our last year at Hogwarts and we're arguing like a couple of first years. Can't we just behave like adults and try to be civil to one another?"
Truth be told, Malfoy actually looked more the part of the adult then Harry did. The Slytherin was tall and well muscled, though still had the lithe frame of a Seeker, and his platinum blond hair had grown as long as his fathers, accept the younger Malfoy had his tied back in a braid. While Harry had hardly changed since his first year. He was still very small, just barely five foot, and skinny to an unhealthy degree.
Malfoy stared at him hard, silver eyes unblinking, then nodded slowly. "Fine, I agree to a truce, seeing as we are adults now."
"Good. That's good."
The room filled with music once again, the only sound other then which was of Malfoy tapping his foot.
"What's with all the Christmas songs?" Harry asked after a long while of comfortable silence.
Malfoy shrugged, continuing on to play 'Jingle Bell Rock' without a hitch. "It's only appropriate, what with the upcoming season."
"I see." Harry paused, debating if he should say what he wanted to next and quickly deciding that it wouldn't do any harm. "You play nice."
There was the slightest twitch in Malfoy's fingers, but it did not interfere with the song. "Thank you."
"Where'd you learn to play?"
"From my mother. It was apart of my etiquette lessons."
"Ah. I thought she would have taught you to play songs that were more erm…"
"Classical?" Malfoy smirked to himself. "She did. But I prefer to play in this kind of style. At least, as long as mother is no where in the vicinity."
An hour or two passed with Malfoy and Harry lost in the music and there thoughts. When Malfoy declared that he was finished for the night – or rather morning – Harry got up and stretched and they both silently departed for their respective dormitories.
The next day Harry was the first to the showers as he hadn't bothered to sleep upon his return to Gryffindor Tower. This was nothing new, unfortunately. Before the Final Battle he had gotten little sleep because of all the nightmares Voldemort had sent him via their link. With all the horrible memories of those real and false visions, plus the events that had taken place after the Battle, Harry had simply foregone sleep all together.
"Goodness me dear, do you look awful!" the mirror in the boys bathroom exclaimed at the sight of his emaciated and scarred form.
"So nice of you to notice," Harry deadpanned. It wasn't as if he was self conscious enough already.
"Oh, I didn't mean anything by it deary," the mirror rushed on, abashed. "You just seem rather ill. Maybe you should pop by the Hospital Wing for a check up, hmm?"
"I'll…think about it."
After getting dressed, Harry headed down to the Great Hall. He froze upon seeing Ron and Hermione already at the great oak doors.
He was hoping if he stood and waited for them to enter first they wouldn't notice him. But it seemed luck wasn't going to be on Harry's side today.
"Still ruining people's lives, Potter?" Ron spat viciously, face starting go as red as his hair.
During the Battle Ron's ankle had been hit by a stray curse from a Death Eater. Harry had been in Hogsmead, dueling Voldemort at the time, and wasn't aware of what had happened until everything was over.
The trio had already been falling apart because of the stresses of the war, and this was just the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Ron screamed and raged at him from his hospital bed when he had come to visit. Harry was so confuse! Surely his best friend wasn't angry over his ankle, when so many others in the war had suffered far worse?
Then he caught sight of the still figure on the bed Ron was leaning against.
Ron sneered, then unmercifully threw the covers back.
Ginny. Oh God, Ginny! Harry would never forget the blood that was matted in her long red hair, the brusies and stab wounds that decorated her naked torso, the expression of anguish and terror forever frozen on her face.
So many times Harry tried to say he was sorry, so, so, sorry, that he thought she was safe, that he didn't know things would come to this!
But Ron wouldn't have any of it.
He accused Harry of being selfish, that he didn't give a damn about what happened to the people who cared about him, the sacrifices they made for him! He'd even gone so far as to say it was his fault Voldemort was brought back to life in the first place, and Cedric and Sirius and Ginny (his little sister for God's sake!) and everyone else who had suffered and died at the Dark Lords hands had done so because he was too pathetic to stop him.
Madam Pomfrey had managed to fix Ron's ankle but he would walk with a small limp for years to come, maybe even the rest of his life. And Ginny, Ginny who hadn't even graduated from Hogwarts yet, was cleaned up and packed into a coffin.
Ron had exaggerated his malady to the fullest, saying that it was grief that prolonged his pain. Harry, even though he took full responsibility for what happened, thought that it was rather sick the way Ron was using his sister's death to get attention. Since he had been released from the Hospital Wing, he'd even gone so far as to purchase a can,e and walked as if his entire left leg was just dead weight.
"I've already told you I'm sorry Ron," Harry said softly. "I thought you all would've been safe in Hogwarts, since the battle was going on in Hogsmead."
"Yes, well you thought wrong. Just like you thought Sirius was in trouble, and you thought it would be a good idea to take the cup with Cedric. And who knows what you thought when you told Ginny to stay behind. I reckon it's about time you stop thinking, Potter, before anyone else gets killed."
Harry was shaking now. Those were names that almost literally shot pain through his entire being, and Ron knew it. When had the boy he'd met at eleven years old on the Hogwarts express gotten so cruel? "That isn't fair –"
"Never truer words spoken from a murderer." Hermione nodded beside him in agreement. She, like a majority of Gryffindor House, was on Ron's side and thought the Boy-Who-Lived-Again was nothing but a no-good.
His former best friends of over five years left him standing there, with a lump in his throat and his heart feeling quite thoroughly stabbed.
'I'm not going to cry,' he thought furiously. Ron had every right to hate him. The whole bloody second war was his fault to begin with, thus every casualty, every life destroyed was on his head. 'Nothing to do but deal with it.'
He took a deep breath and then entered the Hall. He may be a pathetic murderer, but he refused to be a coward as well.
The Great Hall was decorated spectacularly for the season. Holly and Christmas reefs were hung on the walls, the flames on the floating candles were colored a festive red and green, and icicles hung on the edges of the four frosty House tables. The most eye catching of course was the Christmas tree. It was probably as tall as two Hagrids if they were stacked on top of each other. Fresh snow charmed never to melt flocked its leaves, ornaments of all shapes and sizes sparkled and span, and little multicolored glowing fairies winked and twinkled as they fluttered about in the nooks of the tree.
Harry took a seat at the far end of the table, trying his best to ignore all the whisper's from Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, the jeers and snickers from the Slytherin's, and the glares from his own table.
He pushed the little breakfast he had around his plate, but never brought any food to his mouth. A few moments later the morning post started to arrive, and Harry braced himself. A swarm of brown owls separated from the rest of the flock and headed towards Harry. Like bombs, letters dropped onto the table, some of them spilling into his lap. Every morning since the ending of the war he received bundles of mail, much to the jealousy and curiosity of the other students. Sometimes they were howlers, screaming accusations, like Ron and many others, and blaming him for not saving what's-her-face or destroying the life of who's-it. Others were the sincerest of thank you's, and usually held all kinds of exotic gifts and whatnot, varying from gold to candy to the ownership of a small country. And others still didn't even bother writing letters, they just placed a nasty curse or hex in the envelope.
The day didn't get any better as it progressed. He could barely concentrate in his classes because he was so tired, and had therefore lost Gryffindor a total of fifty points. During Potions one of the Slytherin's somehow managed to spray paint "Merry fuckin' Christmas you greasy git, your pal Potter" on the chalk board before class. Professor Snape, despite being aware that even Harry wouldn't vandalize and leave such obvious evidence behind, gave him a detention for the night and took still more points away.
Harry forewent eating lunch all together, and only had a small piece of chicken for dinner. He found that he had little to no appetite lately. He hadn't realized until they were gone that Hermione and Ron had unconsciously made sure his eating habits were relatively healthy, if only to assuage their worries. Without anyone to placate though, Harry fell back into his summer diet, which was the bare minimum of sustenance or nothing at all.
'Bloody Slytherin's,' he thought moodily, once again awake and wandering the school in the middle of the night. The detention had not been pleasant, but then again, two hours with Professor Snape was never a joyous occasion. 'I hope this is the end of their little pranking spree.' Of course, that was the exact same thing he thought the last time they pranked him, and the last time, and the last time…
Anyway, it was unbloody likely that the Slytherin's were going to stop any time soon.
Harry paused as he came near the corridor where he found Malfoy the night before. Sure enough the faint tunes of the piano could be heard.
He started down the hall without thinking, like a moth being drawn to a flame. 'I probably shouldn't...' But his hand was already on the doorknob, turning it, and then he was inside the room.
"Enjoy detention?" Harry could hear the smirk in his voice.
"About as much as one can," he replied evenly. "Mind if I join you?"
"Whether you had my permission or not didn't seem to stop you last night."
"True enough." Harry walked near the piano, this time transfiguring some holly into a comfy chair. The earlier stresses of the day seemed to melt away as he lost himself in the music. He was just on the verge of falling asleep, when something touched him on the shoulder. He flinched violently and scooted as far back into the chair, for a few moments thinking he was back at the Dursley's and his Uncle Vernon had decided to play with him some more, that is until he realized it was only Malfoy who had risen a curious eyebrow at his antics.
Harry cleared his throat, feeling a blush rising. "Sorry. What's the matter?"
Malfoy stared at him for a few seconds. "I'm leaving now. Thought you might prefer waking up in your own dormitory, even though you looked pretty comfortable where you were."
"Oh." Harry looked at his lap. He shouldn't dwell on the past like that, it wasn't as if he was ever returning to Privet Drive anyway, not even if he wanted to. "I didn't know you cared."
Malfoy snorted, but didn't make any other objections.
The next couple of days passed in a similar fashion. Harry wouldn't sleep for the night, go to breakfast and encounter glares, whispers, and letters (everything but food really), go to classes to teachers who've had it up to here with his "fumbling up" and vainly dodge pranks the Slytherin's were apt to throw at him, and then finally, during the late hours in the night, go to what he had dubbed "The Piano Room" to relax.
It was strange, for all his seven years as a Hogwarts student never had Harry felt more comfortable then while being in the presence of his supposed rival.
And then, one night, it stopped.
Not the pranking, the letters, the lack of eating, and pretty much all of the other obnoxious things in Harry's life, but Malfoy's appearance in the Piano Room. Harry had been making his usual rounds, and had arrived in the Piano Room at the usual time.
But there was nothing there. Not the piano, not the last Malfoy heir, not even the chair Harry had conjured. Nothing.
What surprised him most about this turn of events though, was the strange feeling of despair that followed.
'Why am I so upset?' he thought. 'It's just Malfoy. And it's not like we set up a specific date and time for this or anything. It's no big deal, I need to forget about it.'
And yet, he continued to do just the opposite. All night he wondered what could have caused Malfoy to change his routine, what he had done this time to loose the small bit of civility between them. Because that seemed to be a rather accurate pattern for Harry as of late. He'd gain something precious, then fuck up and it would leave him within the same span of time.
These thoughts followed him into the morning. When he sat for breakfast in the Great Hall he couldn't stop glancing at the Slytherin table. Malfoy was eating and conversing with his friends, pretty much the same thing as every other student in the Hall. And what did Harry expect? For him to look guilty over not showing up for something he had every right not to show up for? It sounded ridiculous! Harry was being ridiculous!
"If I could have your attention please?" the Headmaster said, tapping a spoon on his goblet. When the students quieted he spoke again, "Firstly, our esteemed nurse Madam Pomfrey has had to leave because of a family emergency, and unfortunately won't be back for two months now. However, Madam Colfer here from St. Mungo's will be temporarily taking her place."
"If any of you want to survive the rest of the year," one of the fourth year Gryffindor's hissed, "then I suggest you try your damnedest not to get sick or injured till Madam Pomfrey gets back. I went to her last night after cutting my hand and instead of healing it she bloody added another one to my elbow and grew tentacles out of my fingernails. It took almost two hours to reverse it, and she never did heal my bloody cut!"
Harry glanced at the head table and saw the new nurse wave merrily at the students, in the process her other elbow somehow managed to find its way in the butter dish and the one that was waving had already knocked over two goblets.
Harry wasn't one to make snap judgments, but he had a feeling it would be in his best interest to steer clear of her.
"Secondly," Dumbledore continued, "we're all aware of the upcoming Holidays and all of the staff and I agreed –"
"Ahem," said Professor Snape.
"Excuse me, a majority of the staff and I agreed to have a Christmas party here in the Great Hall. Everyone is invited. I ask that you all act responsibly in light of this privilege, though I'm sure some of you have no need to be told twice," at this he glanced at the Slytherin table, "that is all."
The bell rang, and everyone hurried to their classes, finally whispering about something other then Harry Potter.
Harry was quite happy with the small reprieve.
The day seemed a bit brighter for Harry with everyone so preoccupied. The Slytherin's hadn't even bothered to prank him, though he wasn't going to count his luck until those slimy gits were unconscious to the world in their dormitories. Perhaps Malfoy not coming last night wasn't the bad omen Harry had been making it out to be.
Harry shuffled his way through the snow on his way to Care of Magical Creatures. He greeted Hagrid, being the first one there, with a slight smile.
"Lo Hagrid. What do you have planned for us today?"
"Nothin' too intense. But I got a bit of a treat for you lot at the end of class."
"This treat wouldn't happen to have sharp fangs and breathe fire would it?"
Hagrid merely grinned. Before Harry could get a proper answer, the rest of the class arrived.
As promised, the lesson for that day was an easy one. They read through their textbooks on fairies while Hagrid intermediately lectured about them.
"All righ' now class, we're going to do something called a Secret Santa. You'll pick a name out of this hat here, and then you ge' whoever's name you chosen a little present. O' course, you can't tell who yeh are till Christmas time. Anyone who wants to participate line up over here."
All of the Gryffindor's lined up, but only a couple of Slytherin's decided to join in the little festivity.
Harry unfolded his small slip of parchment, and mentally groaned at the name revealed:
'Wonderful. What on earth am I supposed to get him?' Sure, he and the Slytherin weren't trading insults like candy, but that didn't mean they were buddy, buddy now. Especially since it seemed he had ruined…whatever it was that had formed between them.
The bell rang. Hagrid called Harry over. "Join me for a cup o' tea?"
Harry sank into one of Hagrid's enormous arm chairs and sipped his tea, thanking the heavens that his giant friend had foregone making his rock hard scones. They talked about light hearted things for a while. Hagrid asked him about school and what he planned on doing after graduating, and Harry asked how Madam Maxime was.
"She's well. Fixed the tower at Beauxbatons them Death Eaters mucked up, doesn't even look like anythin' happened to it now." Hagrid took a big gulp of his tea and stared at the cup. He looked back up at Harry, his kind beetle black eyes now serious. "How are you holdin' up, so far?"
Harry sighed. The summer before this school year Hagrid and the Weasley twins were pretty much the only ones to have sent him anything on his birthday. They were only cards – Hagrid hadn't time to buy anything because he was busy helping Dumbledore with the aftermath of the war and the Twins were in a bit of a financial tiff because their shop was wrecked during the Final Battle – but to Harry the letters felt like the tiniest ray of hope in his world of despair. His friends were truly a blessing.
"I'm fine, Hagrid."
"Yeh know it wasn't yer fault, what happened to Ginny, an' everyone else, righ' Harry?" Hagrid asked gently.
Harry's silence seemed to be answer enough, because the giant continued; "Merlin, I dunno what's gotten into those two. Ron knows damned well that there was nothin' yeh could do to help her! And that little act he's puttin' on with his ankle, it's a dishonor to his sister's name it is, and apparently Hermione isn't as smart as I thought she was if she's going along with it!" Hagrid sighed deeply, running a hand through his long tangled hair. "Look Harry, all I'm sayin' is that if their going to blame yeh for somethin' you're not at fault fer, then they don't deserve to be yer friends….all righ' there Harry?"
Harry sniffed. "Yeah." He looked down at his shoes until the need to cry passed. At this rate he would be a blubbering mess by the end of the week. He was made of stronger stuff, wasn't he? "Thanks Hagrid, I…Thank you."
"T'weren't nothin' Harry. Yeh know, if you ever need someone to talk to, you're always welcome to me hut, anytime."
"Course yeh do! You're a smart lad after all. Now, it's gettin' pretty dark out, I'll walk yeh back to the castle."
Later on that night, Harry sat at a table in the far corner of the library, attempting to get a jump start on his transfiguration essay. He was falling behind in the lectures because he kept falling asleep (more like passing out) or nearly doing so in class, so he figured if he at least turned in all of the homework and pass the tests he'd be able to friggin' graduate.
The parchment he was writing on blurred for a moment, and he just caught his head from slamming on the table of its own accord. He scrubbed his eye fervently with his fist. 'Concentrate Potter. I don't need sleep, nope. Who needs it anyway? Yeah, it supposedly rejuvenates, sounds like a scam if I've heard one.' He yawned. 'Sleep is not my master, not at all.'
"Potter, I know how your always trying disprove the Prophet when it claims you to be insane, but I don't think talking to yourself is the way to do it."
Harry blinked up at Malfoy, who yet again was raising a curious eyebrow.
'Did I say that out loud?'
"Yes, you did," Malfoy deadpanned. "Dolt."
Harry gave his head a rough shake. "Bloody hell, I'm loosing it."
Malfoy took a seat across from him. Harry ignored him in favor of wondering if he should be worried about so easily speaking his thoughts.
"Oh, sorry. Can I help you?"
Malfoy smirked. "You sound like a store cashier…Potter?"
"Hmm?" Harry blinked again. Malfoy was staring at him as if he'd just flown the coop. 'I don't think he would be far off with that claim.'
"Maybe I should come back some other time…"
"No, no, no!" Harry rubbed his face with his hands. Merlin, what was the matter with him? "Sorry. I'm – I'm just a bit tired."
"Yeah, I can see that. I just wanted to ask what you were doing tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow? Erm, nothing really. Studying most likely. Why?"
"Well, it's a Hogsmead weekend, and I was wondering if you'd…join me for a butterbear in The Three Broomsticks?"
That got Harry's attention immediately. "Did you just…are you asking me out on a date?"
"Not a date, date per say." Suddenly Malfoy seemed a bit less confident than usual. He wouldn't look Harry in the eye, and if Harry didn't know better he could've sworn a faint blush painted his pale cheeks. "Just a little get together between…well, you did say that we should be civil with one another, and therefore as a fellow student I'm obliged to get to know you."
"Well, you're not obliged exactly – "
"Be that as it may," Malfoy hurriedly interrupted, much to Harry's chagrin, "will you go with me?"
'I should probably stay and study…' Then again, he doubted he'd be coherent enough to get anything done. Maybe some fresh air would do him some good, even if it was with Malfoy. "Why not? I'll go out with you Malfoy."
Malfoy slapped a hand on the table. "Splendid! I'll meet you at the front doors at say…threeish?"
Harry chuckled. "Right, threeish it is then."
"All right. See you then."
Harry let out a breath, watching the tall blonde's retreating back. He was about to call Malfoy back and ask why he hadn't come to play the piano last night, but decided against it. Perhaps this meant he hadn't driven the Slytherin away. It was either that, or this was another trap set up by Malfoy's House.
'What in HELL have I gotten myself in to?'
The next day Harry was a bundle of nerves. He of course only slept for two hours the night before, but his anxiousness seemed to be giving him plenty of strength.
'And I reiterate, it's just Malfoy. There's no need to be nervous, your acting like a bloody school girl with a crush!'
Harry met Malfoy at the front doors and together they made their way to Hogsmead village. A light snow was falling and the wind was biting cold.
"Damn, forgot my cloak."
Harry grabbed his arm before he could go back into the castle. "Here." He took off his own heavy winter cloak and stood on tip toes in order to drape it across Malfoy's shoulders.
"You don't have to –"
"It's fine. I was getting a bit sweaty under that heavy thing anyway."
"What a lovely image that brought up," Malfoy said, a small smile spreading on his lips.
Harry chuckled. "Tis' the season for sharing."
They walked in an oddly companionable silence without any hitches. A couple of third years, all of them arm in arm, skipped excitedly past the duo. They were singing the most peculiar song, which had Harry cracking up and Malfoy scoffing at their antics.
"You're a greasy git, Professor Snape.
You have beetles in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a Basilisk hopped up on bile.
Given the choice between the two of you
I'd take um…the Basilisk hopped up on bile!"
"For there sake," Harry managed between snickers, "I hope Professor Snape never here's them sing that."
"I don't know, I think it would be entertaining to see. I bet you anything he'd fight tooth and nail to reinstate hanging students by their thumbs from the ceiling as a form of discipline."
By the time they made it to the Three Broomsticks Harry and Malfoy were practically frozen solid. They rushed inside and cast a couple of drying charms on themselves. Harry went to find them a booth to sit at while Malfoy ordered some butterbears from the bar.
'Okay, so far so good.' He didn't like feeling so apprehensive, but he didn't want to be caught unawares either.
Malfoy soon returned. After the first drink Harry began to slowly relax, the sweet bubbly liquid warming him from his head down to his toes.
"So, red or blue?"
"You wanted us to get to know each other, as much as mere civil associates should know of course."
"So, which color do you prefer Malfoy, red or blue?"
"It's 'which color do you prefer Draco'?"
"See, I'm learning new things already!"
The little questionnaire lasted two hours, a lot longer then Harry had expected. The queries were short but after a couple of butterbears their answers became more extensive, almost to the point that it required an entire back story. Draco soon asked his own questions, as he deemed that most of Harry's were too mundane.
"Cats or dogs?"
"Cats. I've only ever liked one dog, every other one has either tried to make me their lunch or chase me up a tree."
"Funny. It's hard to imagine the defeater of the Dark Lord running scared from a little puppy."
"Yeah, well none of the dogs I've encountered were little puppies. My Aunt Marge used to bring her pet Rottweiler's over when I was nine, and those ferocious mongrels were bigger then me without standing up. And don't even get me started on Fluffy."
Harry moaned, the memory of his first year adventures surfacing unpleasantly to mind. "Ugh, it's a loooong, story…"
Another hour later, Harry and Draco were leaving the Three Broom Sticks, both doubled over with laughter and trying to support each other so they wouldn't fall face first into the snow.
"Oh – oh God," Harry panted, before descending into another laughing fit. "I never knew Crabbe had it in him!"
Draco covered his mouth in an attempt to control himself. Instead a loud sort of snort emitted, which only caused them both to laugh even harder. "He – he - he doesn't. Blaise accidentally gave him his botched pepper up potion. I don't know what he put in it, but there must have been something to increase his IQ level if he was able to recite so much of Romeo and Juliet."
"I wish I could have seen McGonagall's face. What a first night of the school year present that must have been!"
They laughed all the way to the castle. Draco, in an act of kindness Harry was still getting used to, walked him up to Gryffindor Tower.
"Thanks Draco, I had a really nice time," Harry said, once they reached the portrait of the Fat Lady.
"Yeah, so did I. Your company isn't as obnoxious as I initially thought it would be."
"I'm going to take that as the complement I'm trying to see it as."
Draco smiled at him. It looked rather nice on him, that smile. It made those usually cold grey eyes of his light up and sparkle. "You do that. Same time tomorrow?"
Harry didn't hesitate this time. "Sounds like a plan. You'll be all right walking back by yourself?"
"Certainly. I'm Draco Malfoy, after all."
"And that just solves everything, does it?"
Draco waved a flippant hand as he turned. "Now you're getting it."
Harry watched him walk away until he disappeared around the corner. He couldn't remember a time where he laughed so much, felt so at ease, not even when Ron and Hermione were still posing as his best friends. And it was all thanks to his school rival, who at the moment didn't seem to be the spoiled little jerk he had been before.
'I still feel like I'm setting myself up for trouble.' He worried his lip, as he said the password and entered the Gryffindor common room. 'And yet, I'm not at all disinclined to go through with it. Merlin, I-am-loosing-it.'
Harry and Draco didn't stop spending time together after the weekend ended. One, if they cared to notice that is, could see them sometimes studying together in the library, or sitting next to each other in the back of classes and chattering like a couple of first years (however much they denied it), or even walking around the grounds together, admiring the winter wonderland before them.
Harry's words, not Draco's.
"Lamb chops or limburger?" Harry said one day while they were walking around the frozen lake.
Draco stared at him strangely. "What kind of question is that?"
Harry shrugged, laughing a little at Draco's expression. "The kind I come up with when I'm running low on questions. Now answer."
"That's not a good answer."
"All of my answers are good."
"Come on Draco…"
Draco rolled his eyes. "If you're going to wine about it – lamb chops. Though I still stand by my earlier statement."
"Stand by whatever you want. I will forever know you as the eater of lamb chops henceforth."
"Lovely. It's my turn now."
Draco placed a finger to his chin and hummed in thought. "Bitches or blokes?"
Harry gaped at him. Draco was in turn smirking down at him. "And what kind of question is that?"
"The kind I come up with when your questions become imbecilic. Now answer," he smirked, "and make sure it's a good one."
Harry paused. 'This could really come back and bite me in the arse.' Though, it wasn't as if he hadn't been spilling his soul to the teen already, may as well get this one out of the way too. To hell with the consequences! "Blokes."
"Ah, I figured as much."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You had to think about it. Normally a straight man would have answered right away."
"And what about you then, erm…girls or guys?"
This time Draco paused. Harry was about to call him on his hesitation, when the Slytherin spoke: "A little bit of option A, and a little bit of option B."
"Oh." After a few seconds Harry's eyes widened. "Oh!"
"So you erm…do…both?"
"Do?" Draco snorted. "You make me sound like a prostitute."
Harry didn't think he could turn any redder after that comment. "I – I didn't…that is I meant…erm..."
"Please Harry, stop while you still have some consideration for another's feelings left."
Harry nodded. Yes, shutting up sounded like the best thing he could do right now.
"Right, a change of subject then?"
"Yes, good idea." Harry thought about his next question. It had to be a good one, or at the very least something that would kill any thoughts on their previous conversation. "What do you want for Chrstmas?"
"Hmm, I don't know."
"Come now, there must be something you want," Harry coerced. "I know you're rich, but you can't have everything can you?"
"Promise not to laugh?" he finally said.
"Cross my heart."
"Hand knitted mittens," he said simply, "and a matching scarf."
Both of Harry's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Isn't that a bit plebian for your distinguished tastes?"
"Yes, it most certainly is. But you see all my friends and family have only ever given me material gifts. Not that I don't appreciate it or anything." He kicked up a pile of snow distractedly, then murmured, "I suppose I'd just like a gift that took some time and effort, even if it was shoddy workmanship. You know, 'it's the thought that counts' and all that rot kind of thing. What are you smiling about?"
Harry turned away, lest Draco's glare melt the ice and entrap him in a snow prison. "Nothing. It's just the snow really captivates the beauty of Hogwarts, don't you think?"
Draco shook his head, going off into a rant about "sentimental Gryffindors."
As Draco grew more impassionate with his ramblings, Harry secretly smiled. It seemed that giant ball of yarn Dobby had gotten for him for well…just being the "Great Harry Potter sir" was going to be put to good use after all.
Another week of December passed by and Harry had his good days and bad days. The Slytherin's had eased up a little – thanks to a little threatening from Draco – but hadn't stopped their pranking completely, and he would occasionally run into Ron and Hermione, where Ron would curse his very existence and Hermione would nod and repeat his words in kind like a faithful parakeet.
Worst of all were the dizzy spells he encountered at the most random of times, particularly when he was stressed out, and the shots of pain he felt in his whole torso. His ribs were still a bit tender from his Uncle's beatings last summer. He wished the stupid things would hurry up and heal already, as he didn't think he could stand another one of Draco's slaps to his back without screaming his head off.
It was the last day before break now, and Harry and Draco sat at their usual table in the library. Instead of discussing homework, which had been their original plan for coming here in the first place, the topic had somehow switched to where they should go out to this time.
"We could try that new club, what's it called? Serpentine I think."
"It's not anything like The Hogs Head is it?"
"Nah. That's for old codgers who like to drown their sorrows with cheap liquor –"
'Sounds like a place I'm likely to retire in,' a cynical voice popped into his head. He quickly squashed it back into the deepest recesses of his mind where it belonged.
" – Serpentine is more for our age group. So, you want to go?"
"Sure. You certainly want to go out a lot though."
Draco shrugged. "It's our last year here and I want to party as much as I can."
That night Harry scrounged for his most decent looking clothes, since Draco insisted that he wouldn't be able to step foot in a place like Serpentine in the "rags" he normally dressed in. He pulled out a nice green dress shirt that he had bought a long time ago but never had a chance to wear, and a pair of Dudley's old jeans from when his cousin was eleven. Any of his other hand me downs would drape over his small form like a blanket.
He shrunk the jeans as far as he could without ruining them, put on his Hogwarts robe and cloak, then left his room. Draco was already there by the time he made it to the front doors.
'Whoa,' was all his currently muddled mind could come up with at the sight of the Slytherin.
Draco had on a dark blue button up silk shirt that accented his muscles quite nicely and black trousers that were tight enough to be illegal in Harry eyes. His robes were the same color as his shirt but made of a fabric Harry could not define and his black boots reached up to where his calves ended.
Good God above! Who knew the blonde Slytherin could look so positively edible…
'Right, we'll just stop that thought process where it is.' Harry shook his head, hoping he hadn't been reduced to drooling. 'We're just friends, not fuck buddies. I don't think he would appreciate being ravished by a friend. A fuck buddy maybe, but definitely not a friend.'
Draco looked him up and down, then gave a long suffering sigh. "I suppose it'll do. They won't throw you out on sight anyway."
"There you go with that famous Malfoy charm again."
"Well, I try."
Draco was right. The bouncer at the door didn't toss Harry out as soon as he laid eyes on him. In fact, he spent a full fifteen minutes trying to convince Harry to give him an autograph, to which Harry grudgingly obliged when the burly Wizard started to make a scene.
"Shut it," Harry said before Draco could say anything. Of course the Malfoy heir didn't need to say much to tease him, he just looked at him with a raised eyebrow and a smirk as if he knew a secret and you didn't, just like he was doing now, and Harry would fume like there was no tomorrow.
The club was filled with smoke, and music, and scantily clad teens gyrating against each other on the dance floor. The Christmas decorations were minimal, but the waiters and waitresses all wore red and green of some type. A band, dressed as some rather menacing looking Christmas elves, was playing on the stage, spouting off something or other that Harry couldn't make out over all of the noise.
Draco brought over some drinks to their table. Whatever it was must have been far stronger then the butterbear Harry was used to, because he was almost full blown drunk after his second glass.
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" Harry hollered at the top of his lungs to no one in particular. "Ho, ho, HO! Merry Christmas everyone. Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, it's the best time of the year ah….something, something, come on, everybody join in!"
"I think you might want to calm down Harry," Draco said, apparently more sober then his smaller companion. "You're making a scene."
"What are ya on about Draco, I am calm! I'm as calm as a bloody cucumber!" Harry turned his attention away from the blonde and to a young wizard that was passing their table. "Meeeeeery fucking Christmas good sir!" He shook the confused bloaks hand. "Merlin bless us, everyone!" His attention once again snapped to someone else. He stood shakily on his chair and yelled for one of the waiters. "Oy! Garsan! Drinks for everybody, on me! Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!"
Draco grabbed Harry and pushed him back down in his seat. "He didn't mean that!" he called before the waiter could ring up a hefty tab for the drunken boy.
As fast as Harry had sat down he was on his feet again, swaying and nearly tripping over his chair's leg. "But Draco, it's Christmas! We're supposed to give unto others and celebrate the birth of Jesus and how Santa Clause died for our sins so every year his ghost tries to appease Merlin by giving us presents and we sacrifice Cornish hens to the God of War!" He walked to the other side of the table and draped an arm over his shoulder, swiping Draco's bottle of liquor. "And that, my dear Slytherin, is the TRUE meaning of Christmas."
Draco stared at him for a long moment, then slowly plucked the bottle out of Harry's loose grip. "I…think you've had plenty to drink for tonight."
Suddenly the music came to a stop, and the band was replaced by a wizard decked out in a Santa Clause suit. "Is everyone having a good time?"
"YEAH!" the people chorused.
"That's wonderful! Now since it's almost Christmas we at the Serpentine want to see all of you get in to the spirit. So, who in the audience would like to come up here and sing an old Christmas classic? I need someone who can play the piano and someone willing to risk making a complete fool out of them self by singing."
"Oooh, ooh! That's us!" Harry exclaimed excitedly.
"What are you on about now, Harry?"
"See, you're someone who can play the piano, and I'm willing to make a complete fool of myself. It's perfect!"
Draco shook his head fervently. "Oh no! No way, nuh-uh, I am not doing that!"
Harry looked at him pleadingly. "Oh come on Draco. Santa commands it!"
"Does anyone want to come up here?" the Santa wizard repeated. "Anyone?"
At this Harry grabbed both of Draco's arms and hauled him bodily through the crowd. "We do! WE DO!" he shouted, waving one arm in the air while he dragged a resigned Draco behind him.
"All right! Let's give a round of applause for –" the Santa wizard brought his wand down to Harry.
The announcer ignored Draco's lack of enthusiasm, just happy that somebody participated. "Okay, now you're song is going to be 'Santa Baby', you two know how that one goes?"
"Oh yeah, I've heard it a million times," Harry slurred confidently. When he said a million times though, he meant once while he was at Mrs. Figgs house when he was six or seven, but who was counting?
Draco sighed heavily. "Yes."
"Great, take your spots, and start when the bell rings."
Draco went to take a seat at the ivory white piano, while Harry stood in the center of the stage, holding the Santa wizard's wand like a microphone.
A bell rang, and Draco started the first few notes that began the song. When he found his beat, Harry began to sing;
"Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight…"
Harry did a little sultry dance that he hadn't known he was capable of doing while sober, let alone drunk, as he sang. Draco started to get more in to it as the song progressed as well.
By the third verse Harry had hopped up onto the piano and was singing as if he were addressing Draco. He laid down on his back, then arched back up into a sitting position, his robe slowly coming off as if it were a stream of water. He jumped off the piano and walked slowly on beat to the music till he was behind Draco. Harry took off his tie next and wrapped it gently around the blonde's neck, while dropping slowly to the ground and rising back up.
As the end verse neared, Harry plopped himself in Draco's lap, smirking up at him in much the same way the Slytherin did.
"Beh doo, beh doo…
Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring,
I don't mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight.
Hurry down the chimney (he tapped Draco on the nose with his index finger) tonight!"
The crowd broke into applause, hooting and catcalling like mad. Harry tumbled out of Draco's lap as gracefully as a drunk person could, and Draco stood, face thoroughly flushed with embarrassment.
The two soon vacated the club, Harry skipping and humming parts from 'Santa Baby' while Draco walked beside him in a less hyperactive manner.
"That was fun!"
"Yeah. Unexpected, but fun nonetheless."
Harry stopped in front of him, wide green eyes staring at Draco piercingly. "You're not mad, about going up there, are you?"
Draco chuckled and placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "How can anyone be mad after receiving a strip tease like that?"
Harry turned on his heels and waved a flippant hand. "Well, I do try," he drawled.
"Are you mocking me?"
He stared up at him innocently. "What, me mock you? I'd never even contemplate such a thing." Before Draco could say anything more, Harry said: "I don't want to go inside yet."
"Are you sure about that? You don't seem too steady."
"I'll be fine. I think my buzz is coming down anyway."
"Where do you suggest we go?"
"Erm, this way!"
Harry led him over to the lake where they both sat on the large boulder that was perched just on the edge. They talked and reminisced about their years as students at Hogwarts, even joking about their rivalry, which seemed so silly now that they looked back on it. At some point or other the conversation had strayed to childhood pets.
"And then the bitch hit me with a toaster!"
"Wow, I had no idea Puffskins could be so violent."
"Well, mine sure as hell was. If you ever think of getting one you'd do well to keep them far away from muggle house hold appliances."
Not wanting to ask what muggle house hold appliances were doing in Malfoy manor, Harry nodded his acquiescence. "I'll keep that in mind."
"You don't believe me, do you? My parents never believed me either. That bloody Puffskin always got away with everything!"
"You sure that's not the alcohol talking?"
"You're one to talk. How exactly did Santa Clause die for our sins hmm?"
"I told you, I've got it all out of my system. Just don't make me recite the alphabet backwards and I'll be fine."
"Why would I do that?"
"Getting back on topic, as we're always so apt to stray from, what was your first pet?"
Harry looked up into the moonlit sky in thought. "Pet…pet. I don't think I've ever had a pet before Hedwig. Oh wait. I do remember once I found this kitten when I was six in my Aunt Petunia's garden. She was so cute, with orange fur with black stripes like a tiger. That's what I named her. I wanted to take her to my cupb – erm room with me but my relatives were pretty adamant about me not having…well anything. So every time I did my chores in the front yard I'd sneak some milk and fish out for her. And she'd always be their too, in the little nook between the bush and the flowerbed…" Harry smiled fondly at the memories. Really, that cat had been his first true friend.
"So what happened to her?"
Harry's smile melted into a frown. "Well, one day while I was feeding her, my Uncle decided to come outside at that exact moment. He must have saw that I wasn't working through the window. I tried to hide her back in the bush, but Uncle Vernon ordered me to give her to him. So I did. He yelled at me a bit for disobeying him and then took Tiger by the neck and snapped it right in front of me."
Harry turned to see Draco's reaction and was surprised by his horror struck expression.
"He killed your cat in front of you?"
"And you were only six?"
Harry nodded. He didn't understand why Draco was so upset. It had happened so long ago now, and that was hardly the worst of what the Dursley's had done to him over the years.
"Merlin, that's just disgusting. What the hell is wrong with that man?"
"I don't know. My family never really liked me much."
"Are they morons! Why on earth wouldn't they? You're so sweet and kind and beautiful and –"
An awkward silence befell them. Both had said far more then they had ever planned, and now didn't know what to do.
After several minutes of them just staring at each other, Harry whispered: "You – you think I'm beautiful?"
"Yeah." Draco cleared his throat and sat up straighter before repeating with more confidence: "Yes, I think you're beautiful. The most beautiful creature I've ever laid eyes on, in fact."
"But, I'm not – "
"You are," he said firmly.
Harry looked down at his hands. He couldn't be telling the truth about that. If it was one thing that Harry was completely sure of it was the fact that he was ugly. He was about to tell Draco that he didn't have to say such things to make him feel better, but upon looking back up at the Slytherin he found his breath stolen away by his sudden close proximity.
And they were only getting closer and closer and closer….and before either of them knew it they both found themselves locked in a tender kiss. It wasn't rushed and sloppy like the one Harry had shared with Cho Chang, nor was it awkward like the kisses he had stolen with Seamus Finnigan. It was sweet, especially with Draco placing a hand on his cheek like that, and it just felt so – so…
Harry made a small whimpering sound when they pulled away (unfortunately they had to breathe some time). They stared at each other, panting a little. Draco's hand was still cupping his cheek and Harry nuzzled into it like it belonged there. As if on some unspoken agreement they leaned in and kissed again.
This time it became more heated. Harry moaned his appreciation, while Draco's tongue swiped over Harry's bottom lip, asking for access. Harry of course granted it, and the Slytherin's tongue was soon delving into his mouth, swirling and tasting every nook and cranny. The talented tongue sent shivers down his spine, causing him to moan louder and pull Draco closer. Soon their hands were everywhere, rubbing and caressing their chest, back, thighs…sneaking up their shirts in order to have more skin to skin contact.
At some point the two had rolled off the boulder and landed in the snow. It appeared that Draco could think just fine even in the midst of a snog, as he quickly cast a heating charm on them.
Harry writhed and moaned from his spot underneath Draco, as the other teen suckled on his throat, kissed, and gently nicked at it. Both of their shirts had been taken off, a couple of Draco's buttons were ripped off in Harry's haste to kiss and touch and lick more of that pale skin. Draco grinded harder against Harry after the smaller boy's lips met his nipples. The blonde immediately broke the ministrations by catching Harry's mouth in another tongue twisting kiss.
"Draco – ah! – Wait a moment…" Harry panted when Draco had started to unzip his pants.
Harry was glad to see that he stopped almost immediately. At least he knew he wouldn't be taken advantage of. "What is it, do you want to stop?"
"No, no. I've just um – I've never erm…."
"You're a virgin?" Both Draco's eyebrows rose.
Harry blushed. "You sound so surprised?"
"No, it's just I can't believe you've never been with anyone."
"Well, I'd rather not get into the reasons. They're definitely a mood killer."
Draco smiled, and kissed him softly on the lips. "I promise to go slow then. All you have to do is say stop if you don't want to though."
Harry smiled as well. "I trust you."
Those words seemed to be all the permission he needed.
Edited, since this place is sensitive about mature content. Anyone who wants to read the good stuff can got to the link provided at the end of the story
Draco woke up the next morning a bit confused and disoriented. For one thing he was lying naked in the snow, something he normally didn't go about doing, and he wasn't lying their alone.
Suddenly, the memories of last nights…events, kicked in.
He looked down at the smaller teen sleeping in his arms and smiled. He didn't feel the misgivings he thought he would have after going over this scenario in his head before. Not the sex part, but the little confession that had sparked the sex.
'Well at least my feelings were reciprocated in kind.' He hoped so anyway. Harry had been pretty drunk last night. What if he had unknowingly taken advantage of him?
Draco gulped at the thought. That would definitely pose as a relationship killer.
A small yawn brought his attention back to the object of his thoughts. Harry blinked his large greens eyes and furrowed his brow as the confusion Draco had been feeling before seemed to transfer to him.
"Morning," Draco whispered.
All the confusion seemed to melt away at the sound of his voice, and Draco could see realization dawn. "Good morning."
Harry looked surprised. "Yeah. I did actually."
They fell into silence. Worries and fears racing through their minds respectively.
Harry cleared his throat, a cute flush rising on his cheeks. "So…I guess this makes us erm…boyfriends?"
"Only if you want to be."
There was a hopeful look in his eyes, one that Draco was sure he mirrored. "I – I want to be. Do you?"
Draco nodded slowly. "Yeah. I think I do."
Harry smiled shyly up at him and kissed him on the cheek, as if to seal their agreement.
As nice as it would've been to just laze about in the snow for the rest of the day, it was probably past breakfast time by now and Draco's stomach was making its needs known.
"We'd better start heading back."
Draco summoned their clothes that were spread out all around them. He handed Harry his underwear first. To his amusement, the small Gryffindor quickly dove under the cloak and dressed under there. Draco rolled his eyes at his new lover. It wasn't as if they hadn't seen each other naked before.
He shook out the snow flakes that had landed on his shirt and underwear, but unfortunately his socks and pants weren't so easy. The garments had managed to escape the heating and drying charms he had cast around the area Harry and Draco sat, and were now frozen solid.
"Remind me to never shag you in the snow again," he grumbled, trying to thaw out his clothes with a spell without burning them.
Harry laughed. "I'll try, but I'm not making any promises."
His pants and socks now a little singed but at least relatively dry, he turned to Harry, who was shaking his own shirt out of snow. The boy was beautiful. With his midnight black hair and large emerald green eyes, and those angry scars that decorated his pale skin…
Draco placed a hand on Harry's arm to stop him from putting his shirt on. Scars and bruises were splattered all over his chest and arms in various stages of healing, some looking far more recent then others, and his stomach was almost non existent with the way it sucked in. He had felt some abrasions in Harry's skin last night but hadn't been turned off in the slightest. Now that it was daylight and he could clearly see every wound, every hurt that someone had the balls to inflict on HIS Harry.
"Who did this to you?" he said lowly, feeling his anger rising steadily and desperately trying to control it.
Harry mumbled something he couldn't make out.
"My uncle," he whispered more clearly this time, his head bowed.
Draco went as still as a statue. He knew the man was a psycho, if Harry's story was anything to go by, but to harm your own flesh and blood! It was unthinkable. Perhaps being raised in a pureblood family was the reason he was so surprised. Children were precious in the wizarding world, especially since their numbers were rapidly decreasing, and parents were hesitant to physically hurt them even for disciplinary reasons.
And Harry was so sweet and kind. He'd already gone through enough grief with Voldemort and the war, and now his own family had been hurting him too!
"I'll kill him," Draco said with a surety that mildly surprised himself.
Harry's head shot up at that. "No, don't! It doesn't matter, it's not like I'm going back there again anyway."
Draco let out a long breath and ran his hand through his hair. He nodded in agreement for now, but there was no doubt that, that uncle of his was going to die by his wand, whether he had Harry's permission to do so or not. "Does anyone else know?"
"No, you're the first person I've told." Harry stared down at his lap again, looking so dejected and sad that all Draco wanted to do was whisk him to a far off place where no one could ever hurt him. "I – I guess you'll want to leave me now."
"What! Harry, what are you talking about?"
He sniffed, and said in a tight voice, "I mean I'm so pathetic, I can defeat Voldemort but I can't defend myself against my fat muggle uncle. And well…I already said that I was ugly, I guess this is just more proo - proof –" He cut himself off as he dissolved into sobs.
The sight nearly broke Draco's heart. He gathered the delicate teen into his arms and held him gently, scared that he would shatter to pieces if he squeezed too tightly. Harry cried and cried on his shoulder and Draco just sat their and held him, rocking a little and rubbing soothing circles on his back. "Shhh, it's all right now. You're safe with me." He kissed his hair and continued to mummer comforting nonsensical words.
Harry finally pulled away a little, just enough to look up and give him a watery smile. "Sorry about that," he sniffled, tears still streaming out of his eyes.
Draco looked around for something he could wipe his face with. Finding nothing, he transfigured one of his socks into a hanky and gave it to Harry.
"Thanks." After blowing his nose, he wrung the handkerchief in his hands nervously. "Do you still want to…"
"Of course I do."
"But I'm – "
Draco lifted his chin up with a finger so he could stare him in the eye. "Look Harry, whatever your uncle," he spat the word out like an obscenity, "did to you was horrible, but it wasn't as if you could do anything about it. If I recall correctly we're not allowed to do magic over the summer and so I believe that bastard had a large advantage over you. And you. Are. Not. Ugly to me. You are beautiful in every sense of the word, scars or no scars."
Harry still wasn't completely convinced, but there was that hopeful spark in his lovely eyes again. "You really mean that?"
"Harry, what have I told you about me being right?"
"That you always are."
"So what would that make me right now?"
Harry sighed, smiling fondly at him. "You're impossible."
"Damn straight. Now let's get back inside before we freeze to death out here."
They gathered the rest of their clothes, Draco transfiguring a pebble into another sock, and walked hand in hand towards the castle. He thought about making a detour to Madam Pomfrey's to fix up Harry's wounds (He had a suspicion that one of his ribs might actually be broken. How in Merlin's name had the boy lasted this long without telling anyone?) but remembered that the hospital matron wasn't here. He opted to wait until she returned, as he wasn't going to risk making Harry hurt any worse under that crack pot Madam Colfer unless it was a dire emergency.
"When was the last time you ate something?" he thought to ask, remembering the teen's lack of stomach.
He knew it was going to be bad when Harry had to actually think about it, but he still managed to almost trip over his feet in the most unMalfoyish of fashions at the answer. "I think I had some crackers a week in a half ago."
Draco stopped in front of him and grabbed him by the shoulders. "What are you trying to do? Starve yourself!"
"No! That's ridiculous," Harry said indignantly. "I just forget to eat sometimes."
Draco narrowed his eyes. "You forget to eat?" he deadpanned.
Harry shuffled his feet, flushing as if ashamed of what Draco was seeing as fact in Harry's mind. "Well yeah. It could happen!"
"You don't just forget to eat for over a week," Draco reiterated, a bit worried by the fact that Harry was being so flippant about this. "You don't even forget to eat for over an hour!"
"I suppose I'll just have to remind you then."
"It's not that big a deal, Draco."
Draco scoffed. "Now look who's being impossible?"
They entered the Great Hall while it was still in the midst of serving lunch. A majority of the school were staying over the holidays because of the Christmas party, which was unfortunately going to create a lot of grief for Draco and Harry two weeks earlier if they were going to be open about their relationship.
He looked to Harry to see if he wanted to be at all subtle about the whole thing and go to his table alone, but he stayed where he was, ever the stubborn Gyrffindor, and waited for him to choose where to sit together.
Gryffindor table was out of the question. They may be a bunch of full hardy idiots but there was no doubt they would cause a loud ruckus with a Slytherin at their table, especially him. He was certain that neither he nor Harry wanted to deal with the headache that would come later. So he pulled Harry with him to where the Slytherin's were eating. They'd glare at Harry and mutter under their breaths, but at least they wouldn't try anything so plebian as cause a public stir. No, they'd wait until they found Draco alone somewhere before questioning his motives about being with the Gryffindor.
Draco sat next to Crabbe and let Harry take a seat next to him. Lucky he was at the edge of the table so he wouldn't be sandwiched between any other Slytherins.
"What's he doing over here?" the burly teen grunted.
"Sitting Crabbe, much like yourself."
"How come he's sitting at our table though?"
"Well, it would be hardly appropriate if I made my boyfriend sit on the ground. Have you no manners man?"
Everyone stopped eating and stared, including Harry who was gaping at him in shock and had elbowed him in the arm. Whoops, did that slip?
"You're going out with the wonder boy?" one of the seventh years, Theodore Nott, sneered disgustedly.
Draco gathered up all his famous Malfoy arrogance. If he was going to be making proclamations he'd be damned if he wasn't going to portray being proud of them. "Why yes I am. Does anyone have a problem with that?" His tone was even and cold, glaring around the table and mentally daring a single one of them to object. The first through third years squeaked and went back to their food, the fourth and fifth years merely looked away, and the sixth and seventh glared right back, but with less ferocity and not for long. They too went back to their meals, grumbling angrily under their breaths.
Goyle leaned over a little from his place next to Crabbe so he could see Harry properly. "Hey, want some of my ham sandwich?"
Draco rolled his eyes. Food was probably the most important thing in the world to Crabbe and Goyle. To willing offer something so precious to them was their way of acceptance.
"No, thank you," Harry said. "I'm not really hungry."
"In that case, give him the sandwich Goyle."
Goyle looked a little confused by the double answer, but Draco's word always won out so he handed it over.
"I said I wasn't hungry."
"Given the evidence I've seen earlier I find that hard to believe." Harry looked on the verge of arguing further, so Draco said; "Please Harry. Just try a little something for me?"
Harry sighed. "Yes, mother," he said, but there was little heat in his voice.
Draco added some fruit and vegetables to his plate, much to Harry's irritation, and watched out of the corner of his eye as he picked off only a corner of the bread from his sandwich.
Draco wondered when Harry's small hands had adopted a slight tremble. He never noticed it before, but he hadn't exactly been looking that hard for it either. He felt worry gnaw at him as Harry struggled to swallow his third little piece of the sandwich. 'Maybe he's anorexic?' He certainly looked the part. Shuddering at the memories of his lovers abused torso, he scooted closer and wrapped his arm around him, as if by holding him Draco could chase all of his pains away.
Harry blinked up at him in confusion, then smiled, leaning into the half embrace.
"Ugh, my tooth is starting to hurt from all this sweetness," said Pansy Parkinson, one of the only seventh years who hadn't paid all that much attention to Draco's declaration.
Pansy tossed her hair and lifted her nose in the air, sniffing delicately. "Hardly. You can keep him."
"There isn't a doubt that I won't."
"I wasn't talking to you." She turned to Harry and winked. "You're a lucky boy Draco, you've finally found someone who can stand your sparkling personality."
"Harry like's my personality just fine. Right Harry?"
Harry tried to keep from snickering, but was failing miserably. "For the most part."
"Is everyone against me?"
"We're not," Crabbe supplied helpfully, a bit of his mashed potatoes sputtering out of his mouth.
Goyle nodded beside him, his cheeks puffed out as they were also filled with food.
Draco rolled his eyes skyward. "Oh, I feel tons better now."
After lunch they both agreed that going to either of their dormitories was a bad idea, so Harry opted that they go into the room where he had found him playing the piano. Draco pulled off the chain he had tucked under his shirt that had an ivory piano charm clasped onto the end of it. He tapped it with his wand once and set it in the middle of the room, where it enlarged into the baby grand piano it originally was.
He played for a little while, this time with Harry joining him on the piano bench.
The next few days passed in a blissful blur. Draco, who was used to one night stands, found his relationship with Harry refreshing and new. The main differences from the friendship they had shared before was that they touched and held each other more without feeling tense or awkward, and they snogged at almost every opportunity. But other then that things between them hadn't changed much.
Except for the shagging. The shagging was good, really good, and definitely something they hadn't done as friends.
The two found their selves spending more and more time in the Piano Room, as it was the only place they could be together without any fuss – word of their relationship had traveled fast – and so decided to make it a bit less…empty.
Though he hated to admit it, making furniture wasn't exactly his forte, so he allowed his boyfriend to do the spell work. Soon, Harry had two comfy chairs, a sofa, a coffee table, and a large squishy rug transfigured from a couple of Bertie Botts Every Flavored Beans in his pocket, and lit a fire in the hearth on the side wall. He added a little Christmas cheer by hanging some stockings over the fireplace and adding holly and reefs all over the walls, with a little mistletoe in the door way. He even brought in a small potted tree he had been taking care of in Herbology class and decorated it so that it looked similar to the Christmas tree in the great hall.
Harry also had to eventually transfigure a bed, as several times their snogging sessions would lead into shagging and they were both getting sick of waking up on the floor.
Never in his life had Draco thought he could feel so protective over someone other then himself. It simply wasn't the Slytherin way. He knew Harry was strong – killing Voldemort was no easy task, and he had survived his relatives without going insane or evil because of their horrible treatment. However both had left marks on him. It turned out that Harry was used to being starved as punishment at the Dursley's, hence his bad eating habits. And he had frequent nightmares about the war so he didn't sleep very much.
The more time he spent with Harry, the more he realized that however strong and determined the Gryffindor was he hadn't the slightest clue of how to take care of himself.
'Well, I'll just have to fix that problem then.'
He discovered that forcing Harry to eat more then he could – even if it was only a little – only caused him to throw it all up. So Draco resigned himself to looking for some books on child abuse and anorexia, trying not to let Harry see what he was doing but he had a feeling he already knew. He did find a minor solution to the nightmare problem though. As long as he slept with the delicate Gryffindor the nightmares would be kept at bay. Neither of them wanted Harry to be completely dependent on Draco, but it was a lot better to become addicted to the Slytherin then addicted to Dreamless Sleep potion.
Christmas was coming fast, and Draco had yet to buy his new boyfriend a present. Coincidentally enough he was also Harry's Secret Santa, which was one of the reasons why he had pursued to further end their rivalry. It was now the twenty-second of December and Draco finally managed to get Harry out of the way long enough to go get his gift. Luckily Harry had to send something off with his owl Hedwig, so they both agreed to meet each other later in the Piano Room.
Draco searched Hogsmead up and down for something Harry would want. Suddenly, an ingenious idea struck him – though all ideas he came up with were ingenious – and quickly went to purchase the perfect gift for his boyfriend.
When he returned to Hogwarts it was to raised voices in the Entrance Hall. Draco stopped at the sight of the Mudblood and Weasel, flocked by Finnigan and Thomas, shouting obscenities at Harry.
"…a dark wizard like you had lots of fun fucking a Death Eater."
"Draco was never a Death Eater," Harry shouted, fist clenched at his sides. "The Malfoy family went spy during the war, and you know that!"
It was true. During the second war Draco's father had realized that the Dark Lord was less into his original political agenda and more into being a crazy homicidal maniac. Lucius Malfoy, being the smart man that he was, saw it in his best interest to make sure the less psychotic side of the war was the one to win. Hell, the Light wouldn't even have known that there was going to be an attack on Hogsmead if it hadn't been for the Malfoys.
"Malfoy only said that to get out of Azkaban," Weasel said snidely, as if it were the simplest fact and everyone should know it, "just like he did in the last war. But I suppose you would defend that lie, seeing as your letting the ferret bugger you."
"I bet he only killed You-Know-Who so he could replace him," Thomas spoke. "Probably screwing the ferret in return for being his right hand man."
Students were starting to gather around, many of them whispering about Thomas' claim.
"I don't think so Dean. We all know how Potter can't stand to share his fame and fortune with anyone. He's likely to stab Malfoy in the back and go off and fuck someone else."
"Maybe we should warn Malfoy about what a slut he is," said Finnigan. "It's only fair, no one deserves a worthless whore after all."
That comment snapped Draco out of his shock. Anger coursing through him, he pushed past the first years that had circled around the Gryffindors, stood next to Harry and had his wand at the Weasel's throat in less then a second.
"I think that's enough bullshit for today gentlemen," Draco said in a calm voice that belayed his rage.
After a few seconds the other three Gryffindor's finally found their brains and had their wands trained at his head. Draco resisted the urge to roll his eyes. How these dunderheads had survived those Death Eater attacks he would never know.
"Only a Death Eater would curse someone who's so obviously defenseless," Granger snarled.
Draco actually did roll his eyes. "Oh please Granger. One could hardly call a temporary limp a physical handicap." He shoved his wand under Weasley's chin, forcing him to look up. "However, I could easily rectify that, since it seems you want to play the injured party so badly."
Finnigan growled. "Let's get rid of both of them, the school'd be a lot better off with two less dark wizards!"
Harry had his wand at Finnigans head in a flash. "Don't even think about touching him Seamus!" he hissed through gritted teeth.
"You'd best listen to Potter."
Draco looked over Weasley's shoulder and saw Pansy, her wand pointing at Granger, and Crabbe and Goyle, who had snuck up behind Finnigan and Thomas and had them in an arm lock.
Pansy wagged a disapproving finger in Grangers face. "Tut, tut, four against two. That's hardly fair now is it?"
"And what would a stupid Slytherin bitch like you know about fair," Granger spat.
"This bitch knows plenty I assure you." Pansy tossed her hair and offered Granger a sinister smile. "Including how to curse that mud blood of yours to boil."
Granger looked as if she were going to forego wands and pummel Pansy till her fists bled, but an authoritative voice had them all scrambling to put there wands away.
"What is the meaning of this?" Professor McGonagall easily parted through the crowd of students and stood in front of the group of Slytherins and Gryffindors.
"Nothing Professor," Malfoy said, smiling charmingly at her. "We were just passing through."
McGonagall gazed at the other students, who all nodded fervently in agreement, suspiciously. Finally she nodded, albeit hesitantly, since she technically couldn't pin anything on them. "Everyone out of the Hall then, you're blocking the entrance."
The other four Gryffindor's along with the nosy spectators all quickly hurried to some other destination. Harry shook his head slightly, and hurried into the Great Hall.
Pansy and Draco exchanged worried looks before following the irate Gryffindor. They saw him drinking deeply from a goblet, glaring over at the other side of the room.
Draco saw Warrington and Montague, who were both repeating a year…yet again, and Nott snickering and pointing at them at the Slytherin table. Draco narrowed his eyes suspiciously. Earlier in the year he had been apart of their little 'Potter pranking spree', he had even come up with the idea to spray paint that cheery statement on Snape's chalkboard. He had stopped after those first few nights they had spent in the Piano Room, at first thinking because nothing they did got a rise out of the Gryffindor, but later he realized he just didn't want to see him hurt anymore.
His attention was brought back to Harry when the other boy slammed his goblet back down onto the table, the force knocking over a couple of Santa Clause shaped salt shakers.
Draco placed a hand on each of his boyfriends shaking shoulders. "Are you all right?"
Harry took a deep breath before responding. "Yeah, yeah I'm okay." He turned around so that he was facing him and smiled. "Thank you for defending me."
"It was nothing." Draco rubbed his arms. Harry was still shaking, from fatigue or remnants of anger he didn't know. "Are you sure you're all right."
Harry hesitated for a moment this time, before shaking his head. "I…no. I think I just need to be alone for awhile. Is that okay?"
"Of course." Then he said, the words coming out unthinkingly, "I love you."
Harry looked just as surprised as he felt. He was glad however, when the shock quickly gave way to a warm smile. The Gryffindor stood on tip toe and kissed him softly on the lips, before whispering with suck tenderness that his heart almost melted: "I love you too."
"Meet me back in the Piano Room?"
"Okay. I'll only be out for an hour or so."
Then he turned on his heels and walked out the great oak doors.
After standing there for several moments in a love struck days, a frightening thought came to mind. 'Merlin, when did I become such a softy?'
Just to prove he could still be the cold hard-ass he always was while being in love with a Gryffindor, he scowled fiercely, causing several innocent first years to squeak and run for cover and the trio at the Slytherin table to look away.
He smirked inwardly. 'Thank God. I've still got it!'
Draco retreated into the Piano Room and played his usual Christmas songs. One hour, two hours, three hours past, and still Harry had not returned. When Draco went down to the Great Hall and saw no sign of Harry there either he felt his worry grow.
"Have you seen Harry, Pansy?"
Pansy shook her head. "Not since the fight earlier." At Draco's downtrodden look she said comfortingly: "I'm sure he just lost track of time. The Weasel and Mudblood hit some pretty low blows, I'd be upset too if they had said those things to me –"
Some loud snickering interrupted whatever else she was going to say. Pansy glared daggers at Montague, Warrington and Nott. "Do you three find something funny?"
"No," Nott said, not even bothering to subdue his laughter, "nothing at all."
Pansy and Draco looked at each other. Something was definitely not right.
Dinner ended, and still Harry had not returned. If Draco had been worried before he was a bundle of nerves now. Even if Harry had lost track of time, surely he would realize how late it was by now, wouldn't he?
Draco was at his wits end by the time he reached the Slytherin common room. Pansy tried to calm him down with reassuring words, but he couldn't be placated. Especially with those three morons guffawing in the corner, and it was only growing louder and louder and Draco thought he'd pull his hair out soon if they didn't shut the fuck up!
"If you three don't shut your yaps right now I'm going to hex your mouths off!" he finally shouted.
"Aww, are you worried about your little Gryffindor?" Nott cooed, fluttering his lashes and making kissing sounds. Montague and Warrington fell to the floor at that, laughing so hard that they were choking.
Draco narrowed his eyes, and rose slowly from his seat. "What the hell did you do?" he said in a tone that could freeze the Atlantic.
Nott smirked. "Oh nothing really, we just slipped a bit of instant flu potion into his drink."
Montague howled, banging his fist on the floor. "I bet – I bet he's blowing chunks in a suit of armor right now!"
Blood pounded in Draco's ears, and his vision tinted red as unadulterated rage swept over him like a tidal wave. In a matter of seconds the trio's howls of laughter changed into howls of pain. He punched Nott between the eyes, causing him to topple over the arm of the chair he was sitting in and slam his head against the corner of the coffee table. He threw a hex that had Montague scratching furiously all over his body and an inflation curse that blew Warrington up like a balloon, floating till he hit the ceiling.
None of the other Slytherin's bothered to aid them. When it came to fights within the House you were pretty much on your own. If you fucked with a fellow Slytherin then it was on you to pay the consequences.
Draco breathed deeply through his nose, lest he start casting Unforgivables, though the idea did seem rather alluring at the moment. "Crabbe, Goyle, if you wouldn't mind taking care of these three? I would greatly appreciate it."
Crabbe and Goyle exchanged a look and shrugged. It had been a while since they'd beaten anyone up good and proper, so Draco knew they would get a few kicks out of this.
"Was all that really necessary?" Pansy drawled with a raised brow. "A flu potion isn't that bad."
"It is when you haven't eaten or slept for weeks," Draco snapped, images of Harry passed out in some dark corridor racing in his mind. Dear God, what if he had fallen off of one of the staircases while they were moving?
Pansy winced, perhaps sharing thoughts similar to Draco's. "That's just horrible." Her dark eyes sparked with anger, as she glared up at the boy's dormitory where Crabbe and Goyle had taken the three idiots. "I think I'm going to go help Crabbe and Goyle."
Draco stared at her for a moment. "Make sure the curses are at least semi legal," was all he said, before running out of the common room at the top speed.
"Lumos," he muttered into his wand. He then placed it on the palm of his hand and said: "Point me! Harry Potter." Draco followed the direction his wand pointed, out of the maze of corridors that the dungeons were made up of and up the stairs, into the Entrance Hall, and to Draco's horror, out onto Hogwarts grounds.
'Oh no,' he thought frantically, as a sea of white filled his vision. 'Oh no, no, no, no, no!' Sleet and snow fell down at a slant and the wind howled. Draco pulled up his hood and raised his wand out in front of him as he trudged as quickly as he could through the snow.
"Harry!" he shouted as loud as he could to be heard over the wind. Left, right, front, and back there was nothing but white. 'Please, please, please be all right. God please let him be all right.' He cast the point me spell again, eyes scanning wildly for any sign of his boyfriend.
"Harr – oof!" he tripped over something and landed face first in the snow. Cursing he started to climb to his feet but the sight of a black cloak covering a lump had him scrambling forward on all fours. "Harry!"
He lifted the soaking cloak and sure enough, their Harry lay. His face was as pale as the snow his legs were buried in and his lips were blue. His clothes were soaked like his cloak, but at least he was alive, as he could tell by the way his small chest heavily rose and fell.
Draco pulled him into his lap and slapped his face a little. "Come on Harry, you have to wake up, come on now…"
His eyes cracked open, revealing glazed green eyes. "Draco?" he whispered, before going into a coughing fit.
"Hush now, you're going to be okay. You have to stay awake though, all right."
Harry opened his lids just as they were about to shut. "I'll…try."
Draco placed one arm around his back and hooked the other under his knees, picking up the small teen and cradling him to his chest. Luckily it wasn't as far getting back to the castle as it was looking for Harry. He burst through the doors and, with a little trepidation, headed for the Hospital wing.
"Madam Colfer!" Draco shouted for the replacement matron when he arrived. He gently laid Harry down on one of the beds. He cast some drying and heating charms on both of them and then brushed a lock of hair out of Harry's face, resting his hand on his cheek. Harry gave him a small smile at the comforting gesture and nuzzled into his hand as he was apt to do.
"What's all the noise about?" Madam Colfer yawned loudly and adjusted her night robe, her brow furrowing in confusion at the sight of the two students.
"My friend here has ingested a flu potion and hasn't eaten anything for over a week," Draco explained clinically. "He was also in the storm for a couple of hours." Remembering how much of a struggle it was to breathe for him, he added: "And I think he may have the beginnings of pneumonia."
"What on earth was he doing outside at this hour?"
Draco stared at her incredulously. "Does that matter? Help him first and ask questions later!"
The nurse from St. Mungo's jumped at the command. "Oh right, right. Of course. I'll have him fixed up in a jiffy." She pulled out her wand from her sleeve and leveled it over Harry's shaking form. Draco reluctantly pulled his hand away to let her work.
Draco should've known something was wrong when she didn't do a diagnostic spell first thing, but the events of the night had left him in a tired daze, so he didn't question her methods.
An iridescent orange light shot out of her wand and hit him. At first everything seemed to be normal. Harry stopped shivering and a bit of color returned to his face.
Harry screamed in agony. Draco wouldn't be surprised if all of Hogwarts had awakened, he was screaming so loud. He violently arched off the bed, as another crack emanated from Harry's chest. His bloody ribs were being broken from the inside!
"YOU'RE KILLING HIM!" Draco shouted at the matron. "FIX HIM! FIX HIM NOW DAMNIT!"
"It's okay! I m-m-must have pronounced it wrong that's all." The witch's hand shook violently as she once again leveled it over Harry. "Was it Aurorami-ella, or maybe Aurorami-alla, or..."
"HURRY THE FUCK UP!"
A darker shade of orange came out of her wand this time. Harry's screams soon quieted into pained whimpers as he fell heavily back down on the bed.
The witch let out a sigh of relief. She wiped some sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand. "See, nothing to worry about. I have everything under contro –"
She was interrupted by Harry's loud moan. The small Gryffindor rolled onto his side and to Draco's horror started retching up large amounts of blood onto the floor.
"What the hell did you do now?"
"It-it's nothing!" Madam Colfer shouted back distressfully. "I can fix it! This time I'll just stress the R more."
"Don't stress anything. Reverse it, now!"
By now bloody tears were seeping out of Harry's eyes and even more blood was coming out of his back, no doubt from the wounds already on there. He had still yet to stop retching.
"No, I know the spell. It'll heal everything if I say it correctly." the witch insisted.
"Reverse the spell before he bleeds to death!"
"But – "
Draco knocked her wand out of the way before she could try and mangle the spell again and therefore mangle Harry, and shouted: "Finite Incantatum!"
Blood immediately stopped spewing out of his mouth and back, and his tears soon changed from red to silvery translucent. Not unexpectedly those continued to flow out of his closed eyes.
Draco turned his furious gaze back onto Madam Colfer. He had to get Harry out of here before he was killed, and he had to get out of here before he killed Madam Colfer. He transfigured a bag out of one of the Hospital sheets and hissed to the nurse: "Don't. Fucking. Touch him!" before marching into the store room.
He cursed under his breath as he saw that the stupid wench hadn't supplied her medical potions yet. He grabbed what he could – a couple of blood replenishing potions, there was only one pain reliever, a few sleeping draughts…damn, there weren't any nutrient potions left – and dumped them in his bag. He'd just have to make the few healing potions he knew himself later on, or stop by Professor Snape's and see if he could get him to brew something.
Draco nearly went mad with rage at the sight he encountered. The bitch was pouring a second bottle of potion, since the one at his bedside was empty and most definitely hadn't been there before, down a feebly protesting Harry's throat.
"Are you deaf as well as incompetent? What the hell did I just get through saying you sodding cunt!"
Madam Colfer bristled at the name. "How dare you! I have a good mind to take points off."
"Take points off," Draco muttered mockingly, shaking his head. He quickly crossed the room and stood by Harry's side, frightened at what would happen to the poor boy next. At least she had cleaned him up of blood, maybe there was a smidgen of hope for her yet. "What did you give him?"
"A Pepper Up potion," she said confidently. "And I know for a fact that it stops the flu and colds. I did graduate from Harthrow Academy, you should have more faith in me young man. I even made the potion myself."
Draco couldn't believe it. This must be how Professor Snape felt every day during potions class. The woman must have the IQ level of a pile of dung, it was the only logical reason she could ever be so incredibly stupid, it had to be! "You. Utter. IDIOT! Pepper Up potion cures a natural flu, not a magically induced one! And you're not supposed to dose him with two of them under any circumstances! Did you even consider how it would react to those first two spells you botched?"
Another agonized moan from Harry stopped Draco's ranting. He was curled up in a fetal position and was shivering even harder then when Draco had found him in the snow. "I don't have time for this."
He swung the strap of his transfigured bag over his shoulder, picked Harry up, turned on his heels, and proceeded to calmly walk out of this hell hole guised as a place to tend the sick.
"Hey, wait a moment –"
Draco looked over his shoulder and growled in such a way it would put that mongrel Lupin to shame. It had the right affect anyway. Madam Colfer stopped her advance and actually gulped.
"Oh, you will die." And with that simple threat Draco vacated the Hospital Wing and made his way to the Piano Room.
He set his bag on the floor upon entering and then tucked Harry into bed. The black haired boy was still shivering and moaning, his breath hitching every once in a while. Draco pulled a chair next to the bed and caressed his small hand.
Harry turned green eyes to Draco, glazed over with pain and fatigue. "S-so cold…" he said weakly.
"Do you want another blanket?"
Harry nodded, wincing at the movement. "Please?"
Draco summoned the blanket on the duvet and draped it over him, casting a few heating charms while he was at it. "Better?"
"Yes." He gasped, clutching his chest as pain wracked threw his small body. "Hurts…Draco…"
"I know love. But I can't do anything about it until the potions you've already taken wear off." It made him sick to say just that. He hated to see his Harry in so much pain. Damnit, he should've never gone to that moronic physician!
"I...under – understand."
"Try and get some sleep, all right?"
"Kay." Panting with effort, the delicate teen slowly lifted a hand, fingers shaking from the strain. Despite the agony that must have been stabbing through his body, he laid his palm over the back of Draco's hand. "lo – love you."
Draco felt a lump in his throat. He would never get tired of hearing those words pass Harry's lips. "I love you, too." He entwined their fingers. Harry smiled, content washing over his features now that he was sure that he wasn't alone, then drifted off to sleep.
Draco stayed awake through the whole night, watching Harry. Several times the small Gryffindor threw up, and every time he coughed a stream of blood would come out of his mouth.
When morning dawned, Draco snapped his fingers for a House Elf.
"What can Dippy do for young master, sir?" the elf said, giving a little salute.
Draco pointed to Harry, then said curtly: "Watch him."
He left for the Owlry and wrote a letter to his father, asking him (more like demanding) to press charges against Madam Colfer for malpractice and hopefully attempted murder. He then went back to his dormitory, took a quick shower, and gathered his potions kit before returning to the Piano Room.
Harry stayed asleep for most of the day and when he did wake up he was weak and disoriented. Draco cast a diagnostic spell on him and saw that the potions were still in his system and therefore he could not do anything to alleviate Harry of his pain. He did get him to eat a little something at least, but it wasn't nearly enough to ease any of Draco's worries.
Yet again he stayed up that night, this time occupying his time with making the few medical potions he knew how to brew. He knew Harry wouldn't appreciate anything Snape had to offer – Draco couldn't blame him, his godfather was at his most vicious when it came to Harry Potter – so decided he would go to him as a last resort.
On his way back up to the Piano Room the next morning, Pansy pulled him aside and unknowingly brought him some good news.
"What did you do to Madam Colfer?" she asked, straight forward as usual.
"What ever do you mean, dear Pansy," he drawled. "Did something happen, per chance?"
"Yes! Two Ministry workers just escorted her off the grounds."
Draco smirked outright, inwardly cackling like a maniac. 'Merry Christmas mother fucker!' he thought viciously, before saying aloud, "What makes you think I had something to do with it?"
"Because she kept shouting she 'hadn't meant to hurt the Potter boy!'. I know whatever happened to him you had to be involved somehow."
Just then Draco's eagle owl swooped in and landed on his shoulder. He untied the letter off his leg and read his father's reply with a frown. "Drat, she can't be charged for attempted murder."
Pansy's eyes widened in shock. "Draco, what on earth is going on?"
Draco explained everything that happened two nights ago. By the time he finished his tale Pansy agreed fully with his want for the nurse to get the death penalty.
"So, how goes The Three Musketeers?"
Pansy smirked this time. "Traumatized. Especially if you say monkey. Don't ask."
"Excellent. I knew I could count on you Pansy."
Pansy sniffed and tossed her blonde hair arrogantly. "Was there ever any doubt?"
Draco returned to the Piano Room to an awake and more alert Harry. He decided immediately not to inform him of the good news. The sentimental moron would probably blame himself for the whole thing, if anything, and Draco refused to add anymore stress on his love.
He collapsed into the chair by the bed and offered a smile. "How are you feeling?"
Harry paused. "Better then yesterday."
Draco rolled his eyes. That wasn't saying much. "Do you think you can eat something?"
"Probably not. I'll try though."
He ordered the House Elf Dippy to get him some chicken broth. Harry tried to feed himself, but couldn't even lift the spoon without spilling hot soup all over his lap. Without a word, Draco gently plucked the spoon and bowl out of his reach and set it on the bedside table. He fluffed up Harry's pillows and sat him up against them. Scooping up a spoonful of soup, he blew it till it was cool and brought it up to Harry.
The small Gryffindor gave him a distressed look, clearly upset that he couldn't do this simple task on his own.
Draco narrowed his eyes. "Don't make me say: 'open wide, here comes the Hogwarts Express!'."
He said the words normally used to coerce two year olds in such a menacing tone that Harry burst into laughter. It was like music to his ears, Harry's laugh, so he decided not to be too irritated at being ridiculed when he was trying to be threatening.
Harry ate two more spoonfuls then he usually ate, which was more improvement then Draco had seen in days. He told Harry this, to which the little teen beamed proudly at the achievement.
"Draco, when's the last time you've slept?" It was later on that evening. Draco startled from his reading at the sound of his boyfriends voice, who had been taking a nap beforehand.
"Erm…" Damn, he must really be tired if he resorted to "Harry" idioms.
Harry's concerned gaze rove over Draco's form. "You're tired, you need to rest."
"I'm fine, really Harry."
Harry didn't seem convinced, and neither was Draco for that matter. Harry patted the bed. "Lay with me, please?"
Draco sighed in resignation; he couldn't resist that pleading look. He climbed into the bed and under the covers. Harry snuggled into his embrace. They stared at each other in silence, Draco taking in Harry's beautiful face. Merlin, how could he have ever hated this boy?
"I never did thank you, you saved my life Draco," Harry whispered.
"Yeah. Only to almost get you killed again."
"You didn't know any of that would happen. Please don't blame yourself."
Draco snorted inwardly. He could've called Harry a hypocrite, as he tended to blame himself when the bloody rain fell, but he doubted the teen would make any sense of it.
Harry kissed him gently on the forehead then cuddled up next to him. "G'night my love."
Draco chuckled lightly, and rested his chin on top of Harry's head, holding him just a little bit tighter. "Goodnight."
The two woke up well into the afternoon the next day.
"Merry Christmas," Harry said, giving Draco a soft kiss on the lips.
Harry wanted to take a shower too when Draco mentioned that's where he was going, since he hadn't done so in such a long time.
Harry tried to sit up on his own, but when he was about half way there he gasped in pain and fell back down again, panting as if he had run a marathon.
"Couldn't you just hold me up in the stall?"
Draco laughed. "As pleasant as that sounds – no I'm not being sarcastic – I don't think that would work out too well. I'll do this for you though."
He cast a cleaning charm on him. Harry lifted his arm and took a whiff of his armpit. He sighed a long suffering sigh. "It's passable. Doesn't beat a shower by a long shot though."
"They never do, unfortunately. But it'll have to suffice for now."
"Have those Potions worn off yet?"
Draco cast the diagnostic spell. "Forty-eight more hours should do it. Are you in pain?"
Harry paused, which in his language meant that he most definitely was. "Just a little bit. Merlin, I never thought I'd say this but I can't wait until the day Madam Pomfrey returns."
Draco put on hurt look, pouting playfully. "What, I don't take care of you good enough?"
"Don't be silly, you've taken great care of me. Why, you're a regular bed nurse."
"Wonderful. I've finally achieved my lot in life."
"Oh go take your shower you jackass."
As night approached Draco could hear the music and laughter, and other party making sounds muffled below them. He sighed. Well, it wouldn't kill him if he missed one exciting event, there were bound to be more celebrations later in the school year.
"Draco, why are you still here?" Harry said, sighing loudly.
"What do you mean?"
"I know you want to go to the party. So go."
"I'm not going to leave you up here alone to go to some party."
"It's not just some party, it's a Christmas party, and it'll be the last one you'll ever get the chance to go to here at Hogwarts." Draco was about to tell him that Harry would share the same fate, but he raised a hand to silence him. "Look, I'm feeling a lot better now, so there's no need to worry about that. And besides, you've been sitting in that chair far too long, you need some exercise. And getting drunk off your ass and dancing will do just that I think."
Draco hesitated. He really did want to go to that party, and if Harry didn't mind then… "You're sure about this?"
"Absotively, posilutley. Or is it the other way around?"
Draco smiled and gave him a peck on the cheek. "I'm sure you'll figure it out. I won't be gone long, I promise."
Harry kissed him back on the lips. "That would mean you hadn't had any fun at all," he said softly. "Make sure you don't keep that promise."
Draco squeezed his hand gently then vacated the room.
The Great was set up beautifully. Two giant ice angels were placed on either side of the entrance doors, a sheen of ice covered the floor but no one slipped on it, icicles hung off the walls in different shapes and sizes, and pretty much everything else had some ice involved in it except for the people.
Draco walked over to the long table, which was made of ice, as well as the silverware on top of it, and ate some of the finger foods. He didn't dare touch the drinks, as he could tell by the fourth years boisterously caroling that rendition of 'Mr. Grinch' that involved Professor Snape not a few feet away from said Professor, that the punch had been spiked.
The wizards dressed as wicked Christmas elves that had played at Serpentine were on the snow covered stage. Now that he was sober enough to understand what they were saying he concluded that they were alright, not The Weird Sisters great, but not bad either.
Draco wasn't having fun as the party progressed. A couple of drunken bints had asked him to dance, to which he replied: "I'd rather piss glass then come within a foot of you" and a few guys asked him if he'd care to join them for a snog, to which he didn't reply with his words but rather with his fist.
The only upside was when Montague, Warrington, and Nott came simpering towards him and apologized profusely for their actions.
"Why thank you," Draco said curtly. Then he said, smirking like the devil himself; "Monkey, monkey, monkey!"
All three of their eyes bugged out in terror. They let out an ear piercing wail and ran from the room, Montague holding his eyes closed, Warrington covering his ears, and Nott covering his mouth.
Everyone stopped what they were doing, as "HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL!" was screamed in a girly high pitched manner.
Draco caught Pansy's eye from across the room, giving her a "What the fuck?" look. Pansy shrugged, mouthing "Don't ask".
Pretty much the only thing he could think about was Harry. How he was doing now? What was he doing now? Why did horrible things always seem to happen to him and therefore exclude him from what should have been the greatest party ever?
Draco sighed. The band was playing "Blue Christmas" now and all the couples on the dance floor had moved closer for the slow dance. He was about to leave, when he found himself with a lap full of a very, very wasted Daphne Greengrass.
"Heya (hiccough) Lover boy," she slurred, pulling herself up by grabbing his collar, "How'd you like to give old Daphne a smoochie woochie?"
"I've got a better idea," Draco growled. "How about I um…let's see, maim you till you're a bloody unrecognizable pulp? Does that sound preferable you drunken slob!"
Greengrass stared up at him, eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "W'as preferablbable? Oh! Oh – oh no…" she gagged, and before Draco could do anything about it the stupid bint threw up all over him.
Draco closed his eyes tightly and counted to ten backwards, lest he murder everyone within a ten degree radius of him. He shoved Greengrass unceremoniously to the ground and stood up from his seat. 'I. Am. OUT OF HERE!'
"Wait!" Greengrass, excess vomit dribbling down her front, shouted at his retreating back, "we have to kiss, there's a mistletoe above us!"
"There's no mistletoe above you," someone else said.
"I meant the mistletoe…in my heart!" was the last thing Draco heard before leaving the party behind.
He furiously shouted the Slytherin password and entered the common room, marching upstairs to the boys dormitory. He ripped off his robes, throwing them to the ground and setting them on fire with a satisfying Incendio. After splashing some water onto his face he pushed open the hangings on his bed and sat down heavily.
'What's this then?' Draco lifted his hand and found a gift messily wrapped in purple and blue wrapping paper resting on his bedspread. It was a good thing he placed protection charms all around what he dubbed as his area of the room, otherwise it would have been stolen long ago. He picked it up and examined the tag, heart catching in his throat at what it read:
To: Draco. From: Harry, your Secret Santa. Hope you like it!
With trembling fingers he slowly unwrapped his gift. His eyes blurred with tears as he unraveled a hand knit scarf, a pair of mittens and even a beanie falling out of its folds. The scarf was pale green with a silver dragon in the center of it, and the mittens were a matching green with silver colored at the wrists. He chuckled at the scripture wrapped around the beanie, which read: "I'm Always Right…So Shut up!"
There were a few knobs where he could see Harry had messed up in, especially on the dragon, but to Draco they were absolute perfection.
Draco quickly wrapped the soft scarf around his neck, put on the mittens, and placed the beanie on his head. He dropped to his knees and searched for his gift to Harry under his bed. It struggled when Draco tried putting it in its box.
"Hold…still," Draco grunted, pushing it down. "You'll only be in there for a moment anyway…AH HA!" He shoved the lid down before it could get out again. The box shook in his hands, and Draco thumped it irately as he headed for the Piano Room. "Oh stop complaining, you didn't mind being in their when I bought you!"
Slowly he opened the door. It was dark, the fire in the hearth almost burnt down to the embers. He lit it back up and crossed the room to the bed, practically having to fight to keep his present under control.
"Harry, you awake?"
"Y-yes," he said weakly. He did not look as "fine" as he claimed earlier. His breathing was ragged and he had a hand clutching his chest. "I – I thought you said you wanted to go to the party?"
"I thought you said you were fine?"
Harry was about to argue that he was, but was cut off by going into a fit of hacking coughs that had his whole body shaking. Draco set the present aside and gently sat Harry upright, rubbing soothing circles on his back. He leaned Harry's head back a little and tipped a goblet of water down his throat.
Harry rested his head against Draco's chest, panting heavily. "I guess we're both liars then, huh?" he said in an even weaker voice then before.
"Yeah. And not very good ones at that." He brushed a few locks behind his ear. Harry's eyes began to droop. "Don't go to sleep just yet. I've got a present for you."
When it looked like a struggle to just keep his eye's open, Draco thought the better of his statement. "Maybe we should wait until tomorrow, if you're tired."
"No, no, no. Can't go to sleep now that you've got me in suspense."
Draco smiled. He very much doubted that Harry would be able to stay up more then five minutes, so he quickly reached for the present he had set on the nightstand and sat it in Harry's lap. Harry didn't even get a chance to pull the bow undone before the lid popped off by itself.
The black kitten glared up at Draco, but when its luminous yellow eyes landed on Harry she jumped out of her box – slapping the confining thing out of the way with her paw – and made herself comfortable in his lap.
"Her names Ebony. I didn't want to get a orange and black one because it would bring up bad memories," Draco cut himself off as he started to ramble. Malfoy's didn't ramble, rant, maybe, but never rambled. "Do you like it?"
Harry looked up from petting the purring kitten, smiling so widely that Draco thought his head might split at the top. "She's…perfect." He fingered the scarf on around his neck, "I see you got my presents too. Did you like them?"
"Yes." Then Draco thought to add, "Perfect."
This right here was his Christmas party, with the fire crackling as his music, the chicken broth and crackers on the bed side table as his appetizer, the stupid cat batting the tassels on his scarf, and his beautiful little Harry dozing in his arms.
Yes, everything was perfect. And he could very well imagine celebrating holidays to come, with the exception of Harry being ill, in the same manner.
A/N: Oy! Anyone notice how I seem to have an undying hatred for Theodore Nott, first here and then Kitty, kitty Meow? oO Damn him and his lack of characterization in Canon. Shakes fist at the heavens
Hope you enjoyed this bundle of fluff
The Magicians Wish
Smut link: http/