Title: Sign, Symbol, Token, Chapter 25 -- Resolution
By: PepperjackCandy
Rating: PG13 (up to "second base" explicit, beyond that implied)
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to J.K. Rowling. I'm just borrowing them for a time.

Warning: This is a slash story (Harry/Draco), though romantically-slashy, rather than erotically-slashy. Hence the PG-13 rating.


"What are you?" Harry asked.

"Um. . . the best Beater you've ever seen? One-eighth veela? Graduating second in our class after the fair Hermione Granger?"

"To me." Harry rolled his eyes dramatically, then, before Draco could joke again, said, "for the purposes of this letter."

"Oh. Hm."

It was the final Friday afternoon of the term, and Harry and Draco were outside. Draco lay on his back staring up at the blue sky and Harry was sitting next to him, a scroll resting on his knees as he composed.



"No. For the letter."

"That's a little . . . more information than a Quidditch agent needs, isn't it?"

"Well, they might want to know why we insist that we need to be on the same team. . . "

"Something tells me that it wouldn't take anyone who meets us long to figure out why we want to be placed together."

"In that case, why don't you just call me Draco Malfoy and be done with it?"

"Yeah. I guess that'd do." Harry wrote Draco's name on the scroll.

"How about partner? That seems to be the muggle term for it." A deep voice said behind them.

"Sirius!" Harry yelled, dropping his scroll and running to hug his godfather.

After they'd greeted each other, Sirius dug into the pocket of his coat and handed a small parcel to Harry, watching Draco warily the whole time.

Then, Harry motioned for Draco to join them, which he did reluctantly.

"Draco." Sirius said simply.


Harry sighed impatiently.

"That was a very mature thing you did. Recanting your accusations against Buckbeak." Sirius seemed reluctant to admit this.

Draco shrugged. "It was the right thing to do."

"But you nearly got expelled."

"And if I had, I would've survived. Hagrid has."

Sirius blinked in astonishment.

Draco continued. "I owe Hagrid a lot. It was at his request that I didn't get expelled. Of course, having Dumbledore and Snape vouch for me didn't hurt, but it was sort of Hagrid's prerogative, since he was - is - Buckbeak's handler."

"Is he back?" Harry asked. When Sirius nodded, he said, "Come on, Draco. Let's go see him."

"I . . . think I'll stay here."

"Come on." Harry grabbed Draco's hand. "You don't have to pet him, if you don't want."

The couple walked to the stables, where Buckbeak demonstrated his pleasure to see Harry again. Buckbeak and Draco took a while to warm up to each other, but soon Draco was scratching the hippogriff above his left wing while Harry scratched the right.

They ended their visit to Buckbeak when Hagrid called them in to supper, walking into the Great Hall hand-in-hand and parting with a kiss that was no longer greeted with catcalls, since the student body had adjusted to their relationship.

Harry watched Draco walk away from him towards the Slytherin table, primarily because he liked to watch his boyfriend walk. Draco joined Erik's group, who had become his primary Slytherin friends and then, feeling the small parcel in his right pocket, Harry walked to the Gryffindor table, where he joined Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville.

"So?" Harry asked Ron and Hermione as he took a seat, "what'd Mad-Eye Moody want to talk to you about?"

"We're going to be interns working for him after graduation." Ron beamed proudly.

"After the wedding." Hermione inserted. "My parents would have a fit if we were going to be in mortal danger and my mom didn't get a chance to see her only daughter get married first."

This elicited amused laughs from Ron and Harry.

"What?" Hermione asked, affronted, but Ron and Harry only laughed harder.

"What are you all doing for your last weekend at Hogwarts?" Ginny asked. She was obviously dying to tell them all something.

"Gee, Ginny. I don't know what we're doing for our last weekend at Hogwarts. What are you doing for yours?" Harry asked obligingly.

"Neville's taking me to meet his parents." Ginny beamed.

"Really?" Hermione asked, looking from Ginny to Neville.

Neville nodded. "Yeah. My mum's nurses say that she's doing a lot better. Nearly constantly lucid. She's been improving steadily since You-Know-Who's death."

"And what about your father?"

"My dad? He's getting better, too, they say, just not as quickly as my mum is."

After supper, Harry and Draco had a study date. And they actually studied during it. Draco could tell that Harry had something on his mind, but didn't ask about it. He'll tell me when he's ready.

After their study date, Harry and Draco went for a walk, to get some privacy. They ended up in their old room in the Astronomy Tower. "You know," Harry said, kissing Draco deeply, "I actually still wake up at 1:30 every morning."

Draco grinned against Harry's mouth. "So do I. Maybe we should go back to sneaking out at night."

Harry kissed Draco again. "Mmm. Well, since finals are next week, probably not a good idea. My grades just barely pulled through during those months when we were sneaking around."

"Well, how about tonight, and then Wednesday, after finals are over?" Draco kissed Harry back.

Harry smiled. "Maybe." He took Draco's left hand, kissing the palm. Then he pushed up Draco's left sleeve, and kissed the inside of his wrist, then the spot where the Dark Mark had once defiled Draco's skin.

"You know," Harry said, coming back up and kissing Draco's lips, "I was so afraid it was too much to hope for when Neville said that the Mark looked lighter. And now it's completely gone."

"Just like Voldemort."

"Thanks to you."

Draco snorted. "I couldn't have done it without you, and you know it."

Harry shrugged. "I know that if I'd lost you, there wouldn't've been any reason for me to fight him."

"Oh? And why's that?"

"Because I love you." Harry grinned at him, kissing him soundly.

Draco pushed Harry back on the floor, running his hands lightly over Harry's body, making his breath catch in his throat. Draco's reasons for doing this were twofold - he enjoyed teasing his partner, and he briefly wondered if Harry still had the package that Sirius had given him in his pocket. But Harry's pockets were empty.

No matter, Draco thought, I'm here, alone, with the man I love, and that's all that matters anyway.

The next day, Harry, Draco, Ron and Hermione went to Hogsmeade on a double-date. Hermione and Draco had struck up a sort of friendship - being first and second in their class meant they always had something to talk about - but Ron still didn't like Draco at all. The best he'd ever said of the Slytherin was a grudging admission that he'd never seen any indication that Draco would hurt Harry in any way.

They shopped, had lunch at a small restaurant that had enchanted strolling violins that played themselves, stopped by the Hogsmeade Weasley's Wizard Wheezes shop to see Fred and George's latest inventions, and then headed back to Hogwarts.

That evening at supper, Neville and Ginny rejoined them, full of tales about their trip to St. Mungo's.

"Elnora is *so* beautiful, Hermione!" Ginny gushed. "And if that's her when she's not . . . you know, then I can't wait to see her when she's well again. Not to mention what she told us today."

"What'd she say?" Hermione asked.

Neville blushed. "Seems I'm not quite the miserable failure I've always thought I was."

Hermione snorted, "Of course you're not, Neville." She assured him, ignoring the amused smiles of Harry and Ron.

"No. I mean it. It's Peeves."

"Peeves?" Ron asked.

Neville nodded. "He kind of had a crush on my mom when she was a student here. He used to leave her little presents and things, and write her name in hearts on the blackboards.

"Well, when she realized that the Death Eaters were after her and my dad, she sent Peeves an owl, asking him when I came here, to keep an eye on me and make sure I didn't look like I could be any kind of threat to the Death Eaters."

"So all of those stupid accidents and things . . ."

"Were Peeves's way of following through on my mum's request."

"But your mum's not quite . . . well yet, is she?" Hermione asked. "Couldn't this all be just . . ."

"I thought that, too, but remember that my bad luck just seems to stop when I walk into the hospital wing." Everyone looked confused, so Neville elaborated. "Peeves isn't allowed in the hospital wing." He grinned at the others.

The next day, Harry and Draco decided to spend the day outdoors. They sat under a tree, studying, then moved out into the sunshine for a study break. They lay on their backs in the sun, letting the warmth of the spring day soak into them.

Harry took out his wand, and wrote Draco Quentin Malfoy-Potter in the air above their heads. "What do you think of that?" He asked.

Draco's only response was an eloquent, "Ummm. . . "

"Oh. How about this?" He lifted his wand again, and with one stroke, switched the Malfoy and Potter around so it read Draco Quentin Potter-Malfoy.

"Actually, I've lost my infatuation with the Malfoy name." Draco grinned. "How about just," he took out his own wand, and altered the text so that it read, Harry and Draco Potter.

Draco rolled onto his stomach and looked directly into Harry's green eyes. "That is, if I understand you correctly. You *are* proposing?"

Harry grinned up at him. "I thought you'd *never* figure it out." He sat up and pulled the familiar package out of his pocket. "I had to guess about the size, but hopefully it's right. My dad's hands were larger than yours." He opened the paper and pulled out a man's ring. It was made of a silver metal set with a cabochon emerald. "It's white gold. When I heard my dad had this ring, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It just seems so . . . us."

Harry sat up. "May I have the honor of your hand in marriage?" He asked formally.

Draco sat up. His throat had suddenly gone dry. "Yes." He squeaked.

"Your hand?" Harry prompted.

Draco obediently held his left hand out, which was shaking like a leaf. Harry slipped the ring onto Draco's hand. It fit perfectly.

"I don't have an engagement ring for you, though." Draco pouted.

"Of course, I had a little warning." Harry grinned. "So I could get Sirius to bring this to me. I suspect we're still engaged, even if I don't have a ring yet."

They kissed, then, to seal their promise, and kept kissing, and kept kissing . .


A/N: I was going to end this with a sort of "where are they now" kind of thing, but instead, I'm going to *show* you. Can anyone say "sequel"? 8-)

It's gonna be a Snapefic, just in case you're curious. So far, no plans to go romantic with it, but if I do, it'll probably be het.

It won't go nearly this quickly, I'm afraid, but while composing my "Snape" blurb for the "where are they now" thing I realized that it'd be a great story in its own right. I'm about halfway done with the first chapter.