They appeared before the front steps of Malfoy Manor.
"Damn you!" Harry shouted, but Draco grabbed him and kissed him before he could finish his tirade. He was ecstatic. It had worked! Harry struggled in his arms, no doubt intent on berating him for being reckless and foolish and all manner of unpleasant Slytherin traits, but Draco simply kept kissing him until Harry could barely breathe and his eyes had that passionate, glazed look that always made Draco want to drag him straight to the bedroom.
"Shall we go inside?" Draco asked finally.
"Hmmm?" Harry asked in bemusement. Broom and owl cage were on the ground, forgotten, and Harry's hands were tangled in Draco's hair.
"Inside," Draco repeated gently.
Harry's eyes slowly came back into focus. He released Draco with a mumbled, "Damn you."
Draco shushed him with a grin. "It's too late to scold me now. We've been here for ten minutes. We're all alive, including your precious owl, and I would like to go inside. Come along." He patted Harry on the buttocks and headed for the house. Inside the front hall, he dropped Harry's pack and turned towards the kitchen, intent upon a decent meal since he couldn't remember the last time he'd eaten, but a movement at the head of the stairs caught his eye. He reached for his wand and his hand froze in midair as he was immobilized.
The spell caster walked down the steps with a rustle of dark green robes. Draco cursed roundly, several times, although no sound escaped his lips. It was Maeve.
The front door opened behind Draco and Harry said, "Draco, we're not finished—"
Draco nearly felt his heart stop as Maeve shouted and a burst of red light shot from her wand. He heard a thud and knew Harry had fallen.
Don't let it be anything deadly, he begged.
"Draco Malfoy," Maeve said and walked forward to peer up into his eyes. "Yes, I know your name. You are wondering how I got here, eh, laddie? That's a fine tale, it is. You see, when I awoke at Blarney in the mud and wet, I went home. Bloody hell, but I was confused. I did not even know why I was out there." She reached up and caressed his cheek. Her hand was cold. "And then I saw some unfamiliar clothing on my sofa. Who did they belong to, I wondered? I searched and found a strange object in the pocket. And what could the ridiculous thing be? It looked bloody worthless. In fact, it looked like a Portkey used by the Ministry of Magic, it did. If so, I needed to know if I'd been under attack. Obviously, someone had been toying with my memories."
She patted his cheek, hard, almost a slap. "I retrieved my own Portkey from my room; the one that takes me to the Ministry of Magic in London. Ah, yes, I have friends there, Malfoy. I went to school at Hogwarts, same as you, you know. My friends helped me to recover my memory. They told me plenty about you, son of Lucius. Apparently, you're nearly a celebrity. Almost as famous as your little friend—the one you were snogging outside, I presume?" She tsked as if disappointed. "It's not enough for you to break the hearts of the lassies, eh, Malfoy? Had to start on the lads, as well? At least Lucius never trod that path. Not that I've heard, at any rate. Perhaps you know better."
She sighed. "I left the Ministry this morning to come here. Luckily, I remembered where Malfoy Manor was located. I was here before, you know."
Draco wagered she was. Maeve had probably stalked his father like an obsessive menace until he had cast some sort of repulsing spell to keep her away.
"Looks like you've been busy, Malfoy. I wasn't sure what I'd find here. The Ministry said the Manor had been destroyed. It's almost too bad you'll never finish it."
Draco struggled to move, but the bitch's Full-body Bind held him in place.
"After your wicked treatment of me, Draco, lad, I've decided to make you my willing slave, after all. It will be nice to watch you crawl. You'll beg for every morsel of kindness from me and I plan to treat you like the lowest dog as you sicken and die of unrequited love for me, pleading for the kind words I'll never give you." Her green eyes were quite mad and Draco felt a distinct sense of horror at her words, especially when she held up a small vial with a bright pink potion inside. She shook it teasingly. "Yes, Draco, dear. A love potion. Fitting justice for a Malfoy. How many hearts have you destroyed, you handsome devil? It's time to return the favor."
She tucked her wand into her belt and loosened the stopper on the vial. It released from the bottle with a small pop and she slipped the cork into a pocket. Maeve reached up and Draco felt her cool hand on his jaw, prying it open. The vial was warm against his lower lip.
Maeve tipped the liquid into his mouth and Draco felt it on his tongue—it tasted of cinnamon and red pepper, and was both hot and cold at once. It trickled down his throat and he wondered if he could drown in it. Better that than to fall passionately in love with Maeve. God, what would it do to his feelings for Harry? Would it cancel them completely? Or would Draco still love him?
Most likely he would be so beset with lust for Maeve that whatever he felt for Harry would eventually be overshadowed and finally forgotten. Draco wished he could close his eyes. He hoped to hell she had not attuned the potion, although it wouldn't matter with her staring into his eyes the way she was now.
"Hey!" Draco heard someone yell and then Maeve and vial were gone. Draco heard another thump and a small clink as the vial hit the floor. "Malfoy! What the hell?"
Oh God, it was Ron Weasley. Please don't let the red-haired bastard walk over here and look at me. Much of the potion was still in Draco's mouth, but at least half of the vial's contents had gone down his throat.
Draco could suddenly move again. He clamped his eyes shut in relief and spat out the remainder of the potion.
"Who was that?" Ron asked beside him. "Where is—Harry!"
Weasley had obviously caught sight of Harry. Draco turned and groped his way to the front door, keeping his eyes tightly closed. He tripped over Harry and sprawled over him.
"Bloody hell, Malfoy, you're crushing him! What are you doing?" Weasley demanded.
"Is he alive?" Draco asked, running his hands frantically over Harry's body—arm, abdomen, chest, face. He pressed his lips quickly against Harry's and felt for a pulse on his neck.
"Just stunned," said Weasley. "Here, I'll fix it." Ron cast a spell and Harry stirred. Draco sat back a bit and opened his eyes at the same instant Harry did. The second his gaze met Harry's green eyes, a flood of sensation blasted through him. Lust, desire, need, and something immensely stronger. Draco's hands tightened on Harry's shoulders.
"What is it?" Harry asked. "What's happened?"
The strange, molten feelings seemed to lessen to a warm glow, enveloping Draco like a blanket. He smiled softly into Harry's beautiful face. He could not resist leaning down and planting a searing kiss on his lips.
Weasley made a coughing, choking sound and Harry pushed Draco back forcibly.
"Why am I on the floor? Did you stun me? No more snogging until—Ron? What are you doing here?"
Draco sat back on his haunches, but he kept one hand on his beloved Harry as he sat up. Harry looked at him worriedly and Draco sighed happily as his eyes took in the cute crease that formed on Harry's forehead when he made that gesture. Draco wanted to kiss him again.
"Hermione told me I should come here," Ron said. "To make… to make amends. She said I should help Malfoy rebuild the Manor. But Malfoy wasn't here and I didn't dare touch anything inside the house, so I went out to the garden and started weeding. For something to do. Because Hermione said not to come home until I make amends and she's bloody serious about that. You know how she is."
Harry and Draco got to their feet while Weasley spoke. Draco immediately wrapped his arms around Harry tightly and pressed soft kisses against his neck.
Ron's voice broke for a moment and he cleared his throat. "Anyway, I came inside through the back door. Thirsty work, weeding. I heard voices and walked round the corner to see that woman forcing a potion down Malfoy's throat."
"A potion?" Harry cried and stiffened in Draco's arms.
"A love potion," Draco clarified, sliding his tongue over the sweet indentation of flesh beneath Harry's ear.
"Oh, God," Harry said hoarsely. "What happened?"
Draco whispered, "Luckily, Maeve didn't attune it to herself. I fell in love with the first person I saw."
"Which was… me?"
"Lucky, lucky me," Draco murmured and sucked on Harry's delicious earlobe.
"Thank God… but you already loved me."
"Yes, and now I'm completely fucking giddy with it," Draco said, moving his attention to the perfect, crisp edge of Potter's jaw. "Get rid of Weasley so we can go upstairs."
Harry turned around and put his hands on Draco's shoulders to push him back gently. "What about Maeve?"
Draco's overwhelming lust diminished slightly as his gaze flicked to the prone witch. His eyes narrowed. He reluctantly released Harry and stalked over to strip the wand from Maeve's belt. Ron picked up the potion vial, which had not broken on the wooden floor. A small pink pool threatened to leach into the nearby carpet and Weasley spelled it back into the vial and conjured a cork.
"I can send this to Hermione and see if she has an antidote," he offered.
"Let's send it with Hedwig."
Ron handed him the bottle and Draco looked at Ron grimly.
"Thanks for saving me from the psychotic bitch, Weasel."
Ron nodded, looking sheepish. Draco's fist shot out and slammed into his jaw. Ron flew backwards, crashed into the wall, and sank to a heap on the floor.
"Draco!" Harry bellowed.
"What? He sent me to fucking Ireland without a wand. Or shoes! This entire Maeve ordeal was his fault. Be glad he's still breathing." Draco turned away and levitated Maeve before guiding her body down the hall.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Taking care of our friend Maeve, of course."
"You won't kill her?"
"No, Potter. Just for you, I won't kill her." Draco sighed heavily. He reflected that Harry would be damned annoying if he weren't so utterly adorable.
Draco maneuvered Maeve downstairs to the only part of the Manor that was original—his father's secret library. What Harry didn't know was that there were a few secret doors in the room. One opened on an escape route that led far out onto the grounds. Another led to a room similar to a dungeon that Lucius had called the Interrogation Room. A third was more of a huge, concealed cabinet containing illegal potions, questionable and dangerous items, and assorted Malfoy family heirlooms.
Draco twitched his wand and tossed Maeve roughly into a chair. He hit her with a second Stunner, just to be safe. And because he felt like it.
Harry thumped down the steps.
"Ron is out cold," he said reproachfully. "I put him in the library. What do you plan to do with Maeve?"
Draco's eyes fixed on Harry as he walked into the room with his usual unconscious grace. His black hair was awry—no doubt he had been tearing at it in frustration over Weasley's condition. Draco smiled and his heart did a slow roll of pure pleasure.
"I plan to modify her memory. Correctly this time."
Harry's lovely mouth twisted into a moue of disapproval and Draco took several strides forwards and hungrily took Harry's lips with his own. His hands moved over Harry's body and dragged the shirt from his waistband. He pressed his palms against Harry's skin. Bloody hell, he tasted so amazingly good…
Harry broke the kiss by gripping both sides of Draco's head and pushing him away forcibly. His eyes were glazing over again and his lips were wet from Draco's saliva. Draco groaned and dragged him closer, pulling Harry hard against him. Harry avoided his lips—barely—so Draco attached his mouth to Harry's smooth neck, instead. He slid his tongue over Harry's jugular and sucked lightly.
Harry gasped and his hands seemed to go nerveless against Draco's head. A swift movement of Draco's hand ripped Harry's shirt open and Draco chuckled at the welcome sound of buttons hitting the floor.
"Harry. Harry. Harry," he murmured. He felt absolutely drunk on delight, lost in a cloud of bliss.
Harry suddenly pushed him away with force and stood panting at arm's length. His eyes were wild and his chest heaved beneath his torn shirt. Damn, Harry was hot… so hot, so incredibly hot, and Draco loved him so much.
"Draco, stop!" Harry demanded shakily. Draco shut his eyes to block out the sight of Harry and took a step back, hoping to clear his head. "We've got to deal with our 'guests!'"
"You need to go, Harry. I can't control myself right now. Go take care of Weasley, or something."
Thankfully, for once, Harry did not argue. He hurried upstairs without another word. Draco sighed, already missing him terribly, and took a step as if to follow. Then he scowled and turned back to Maeve. "Fucking love potion," he muttered.
He opened the secret cabinet with his wand and searched until he found what he sought. A potion. He lifted the dusty brown bottle and read the label with a wicked smile. Lucius had invented it. The Ministry would cheerfully have tossed Draco into Azkaban for using it, but first they would have to learn of its existence and Draco did not plan for that to happen.
He returned to Maeve and uncorked the vial. His hands shook for a moment at the thought of what Harry would say—bloody hell, Harry would be livid. Draco took a deep breath and reminded himself that he loved Harry, but that did not mean he needed to turn into a damned Gryffindor. Or Hufflepuff. Draco grabbed Maeve's jaw and tipped the potion into her mouth with a grim sense of satisfaction at the turnabout. That would teach her to fuck with a Malfoy.
He quickly cast a spell to wake her up. Her green eyes blinked for a moment and finally focused.
"Hi, Maeve," he said pleasantly. "Do you know who I am?"
"Yes. You are Draco Malfoy."
"And what is it that you desire?"
"To serve you."
Draco grinned broadly. "Excellent."
Harry returned to the library to check on Ron, who had a sizable lump on the back of his head and a red imprint on his jaw that would become a nasty bruise. Harry supposed he could heal both wounds, but when he thought of Maeve standing over Draco with that knife, he had to admit to a lack of contrition.
He conjured a handful of buttons and repaired his torn shirt, blushing as he recalled Draco's amorous attack. They had better find the love potion antidote as quickly as possible. So thinking, he went to the desk and jotted a note before wrapping the parchment around the potion vial. Harry hurried outside to find Hedwig, who seemed none the worse for wear after the Apparition experience, despite Harry's annoyance with Draco always being right.
He fastened the potion and note to the owl's leg and sent her off to Hermione before returning to the Manor. Draco strode down the hall, followed by a docile Maeve. Harry quickly tugged out his wand, but he was enveloped by Draco's embrace before he could determine if he needed it. Draco pressed several kisses to Harry's forehead before pushing him away through what seemed sheer willpower.
"Maeve, this is Harry Potter."
Maeve curtsied prettily. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Potter." Harry felt his brows nearly meet his hairline with surprise.
"I insist that you serve him as completely as you would me," Draco said.
Maeve nodded. "As you wish, sir. What can I do for you now, if you please?"
"A cup of tea would be nice. You'll find the kitchen that way." Draco waved a hand down the hall and Maeve hurried away with a clack of heels on wood. Harry stared after her.
"What the hell did you do?" he asked sharply.
"Just a little memory modification," Draco said evasively.
"Memory modification. That quickly? And what is up with that 'you will serve him' business?"
"I sort of made her believe she works for me."
"Draco! That is—"
"You are absolutely adorable when you scowl like that. I'm beginning to think I intentionally make you angry just to see it."
Harry quickly backed away, holding up both hands to ward off Draco, who had obviously finished discussing his new servant. Harry tried one last time. "Draco, that is blatant manipulation. You can't just turn someone into a… a human house-elf."
Draco's eyes glittered, although he did not stop his inexorable approach towards Harry. "Would you rather it was Maeve that I intend to kiss at this moment, Harry? Would you prefer I look at her the way I'm looking at you right now?"
Harry had backed up against the wall. He sought for an escape. "No, Draco, of course not. I just think it's…" He was silenced by Draco's mouth on his and realized if he didn't escort Draco up to the bedroom soon he was going to take Harry in the front hall, regardless of their lack of privacy. Harry would never have guessed he would be glad to see Maeve, but she returned wheeling a tea cart bearing Draco's polished silver tea set. Draco sighed deeply and released him.
"We'll have tea in the library, Maeve." Draco spoke with the confident grace of the lord of the manor—which he was, Harry realised. He looked at Draco with grudging respect. Draco caught the look and, groaning, reached for Harry again, but Harry danced away.
"Later," he promised huskily and Draco's brilliant smile flashed out at him. Not too much later, he amended to himself. He practically ran after Maeve to the library.
Ron was beginning to revive as Maeve poured tea. Harry stopped in the center of the room and Draco's arms went around his waist and warm lips tickled his neck. He thought about tying Draco up for a while and that thought nearly caused him to turn around and take him straight upstairs.
Ron sat up and immediately fingered his jaw. "Damn," he muttered. "What hit me?" His blue eyes flicked to Draco in sudden recollection. "Oh."
Draco chuckled. "Yes, Weasley, you may thank Harry here for the fact that Granger is not mourning your demise."
"Thanks, Harry," Ron mumbled.
"Maeve, I have a small job for you." Draco gestured to her.
"Please return home to Ireland and copy every single spell book and scroll that you own into nice, neat volumes. Bring them back here when you have finished."
"Yes, sir. As you wish, sir." Maeve Disapparated.
"One down, and one to go," Draco whispered. His fingers were crawling slowly up Harry's ribcage.
"Ron… we're pretty tired. I think we'll go… upstairs to rest. Can you… take care of things for a while?" Harry asked with a breathy tone to his voice.
Ron buried his face in his hands and nodded.
Harry made it out of the room placidly enough with Draco's hand on the small of his back, but they both took the stairs two at a time and pounded down the hall to Draco's room at a dead run.
Draco brushed a thumb over Harry's jaw and stroked his face, even though he had already memorized every plane of it. Harry's green eyes were soft and liquid and a mystified grin curved his lips. His breath mingled with Draco's and his fingers drew random designs on Draco's chest.
"Love potion, eh?" Harry asked with a chuckle.
"Actually, I don't feel that much different," Draco admitted. "Except that I can't seem to stop touching you."
Draco snorted. "You have a point."
"I suppose the constant touching thing might get cloying. After a month or two."
"So I should take the antidote?"
"You should definitely take the antidote. Just not too soon." Harry laughed and then sobered. "I want to be sure you love me of your own free will."
"You need not worry on that account, Potter. Speaking of free will, I wonder how long Weasley plans to be my willing slave?"
"How long will Maeve be your willing slave? Don't you think she'll shake your memory charm again?"
"Not this time." The Obedience Potion developed by his father was permanent, unless countered by the antidote, which was safely downstairs in the cabinet, never to be used.
"Well, hopefully the task you set her to will take a few months," Harry said with a resigned sigh. He knew by now that Draco could be evasive for weeks, if necessary.
"If she finishes early, I'll have her copy another set for Granger."
"You're completely unscrupulous."
Draco kissed him, pleased. "I know, thank you."
Harry poked him with a laugh and Draco sighed happily.
"Are you glad to be home?"
"Wherever you are is home to me, Harry."
Harry's eyes softened into luminous pools and he kissed Draco tenderly. "You always know exactly what to say, don't you?"
"And all without kissing the damned Blarney Stone."
~End of Part Three~