Author's note: The warnings for this fic include: character death, starvation, slashy sex of an R nature, and quite a bit of angst. This was a gift for ravennactan on LJ.
Now, Sakai Michiba presents:
Enemy of My Enemy
Draco Malfoy was miserable. In fact, he thought as he stared at his reflection in the mirror, I'm probably the most miserable sod on the planet. He was much paler than normal, his skin having taken on a nasty grey pallor, and he could not seem to bring himself eat anything cooked by that wretched Molly Weasley. As a result of this, he was becoming thinner by the day, and he was beginning to lose control of not only his temper, but his body as well. Even then, as he pulled down his bottom eyelid and observed the unhealthy flesh exposed, his hands were trembling. "Fuck," he murmured aloud, the sound of his own voice startling him. He had been locked up in his bedroom at number twelve, Grimmauld Place for five weeks now without seeing anything but the restroom and the four dingy walls containing him.
"Aguamenti," he whispered shakily, pointing his wand at his glass, but nothing happened. Irritated, he repeated the spell twice, but either his hand was too shaky or he was too damned hungry to perform any magic at all. He dropped his wand and rubbed his face in his hand before he stood up and went to the door. He rested his hand on the knob and twisted with gusto, but, again, nothing happened. He realised with a nasty jolt that the door was magically locked. Panic laced through him, and he thumped his fists against the inside of the door. "Let me out!" he exclaimed desperately. "Somebody let me the fuck out! Oh, Merlin…" He threw himself against the door, the scent of dinner being cooked in the kitchen below wafting upstairs and making his mouth water. He had ceased being hungry weeks ago.
Harry was just passing on the stairs when a startling slam sounded against the inside of Malfoy's door, and he hesitated. Five weeks before, a rainy, miserably hot August night, Snape had shown up on the doorstep of the Headquarters for the Order, frog-marching Draco in front of him. They were both soaking wet and filthy, robes tattered and covered in mud, and Harry understood why they were there. Just the week before, Molly and Arthur had unearthed a sort-of will left by Dumbledore before death, which detailed that Severus Snape had been instructed, in order to save the innocent Draco Malfoy if need be, to kill him, Albus, on request. He went further, explaining the Unbreakable Vow Severus had taken and informed him of at the beginning of the year, and instructing that the two be taken in as allies if ever they approached. Harry did not welcome them with open arms, but he opened his rightful home to them as instructed. He had not regretted it, as Snape was constantly out working on missions even though his cover as a Death Eater had been blown, and Malfoy had locked himself up in his allotted bedroom immediately. He had not eaten a single meal since his arrival, as far as Harry or anyone else knew, and if he did not glimpse the ghostlike figure of the boy occasionally fleeing to the restroom. He wondered if Malfoy even had anything in his body to expel.
There was another thump, though it was weak this time, and Harry lifted his wand nervously. "Alohomora!" he hissed softly, and the door clicked open easily. He took a startled step backward as Malfoy tumbled out, startlingly white, and he caught him before he hit the ground. "Whoa, whoa, Malfoy," he found himself murmuring as his rival collapsed against him, trembling and coughing dryly. "You all right? Fucking hell, Malfoy, you look like an Inferius…" Draco did not seem to notice that Harry was speaking at all, or even that he was there, and he would have sunk to the floor if Harry's arms had not immediately encircled him and held him aloft. "All right, all right…"
Draco was dimly aware that someone had a hold of him, that someone was keeping him from falling, and he leaned into the warmth. As if he were far away, he distantly felt his body being lifted up, and he shakily opened his eyes to look up to his saviour. Oh, he thought woozily. How utterly predictable. Potter was such a bleeding heart. Nevertheless, he did not move away or struggle to get out of those arms, instead letting his head fall onto Potter's shoulder. "Weak," he breathed, and he saw Potter nod. For once, they agreed on something.
The scent of the feast lain out before them in the kitchen nearly made him faint dead away, and he wanted to reach for everything, to shove every bit of the feast in his mouth. Harry did not place Draco in any of the chairs, instead carrying him past the kitchen doorway and into the sitting room beyond. Hermione was seated on the couch, but at the sight of Harry carrying Malfoy into the room, she leapt up and shook her head in disbelief. "Honestly!" she huffed as Harry helped Draco lie down on the couch, and she pulled a heavy blanket from one of the old armchairs. "What did he expect?" she asked quietly as she tucked the blanket in around Draco's skeletal form, and she touched her hand to his forehead. "Starving himself, honestly…What did he think he was going to accomplish? Was he trying to kill himself?"
Harry disappeared momentarily and came back with orange juice and two biscuits, warm and buttery. Hermione, to everyone's shock, had been in a right state over Malfoy's health while he was locked up, and she knew that he had not been eating. "Why aren't you doing something?" she had hissed at Molly one particularly tense morning when Draco could be heard retching loudly upstairs, but she had been ignored. There really had not been anything they could do but wait for Draco to appear. Now that he had, maybe they could get some answers. Hermione took a biscuit from Harry and looked down into Malfoy's pale face, appalled to see that even though he was very sick, the spark of hatred for her in his eyes had not diminished. "Look, Malfoy," she stated in a tone not to be argued with, "you'll die if you don't eat, but you can't eat much in the beginning. Small amounts of food will suffice, even if you are still hungry." She held the biscuit to his lips, but he turned his face away. "Damn it, Malfoy! Grow up!" She was frustrated—it was obvious why he would not take it—and she shoved the biscuit into Harry's hand before getting up and staring at them.
"Er…" Harry looked down at the biscuit in his hand and rolled his eyes before he sat down on the floor beside the couch. He did not like the idea of feeding Malfoy one bit, and from the look on Draco's face, he did not fancy the idea either. His grey eyes were wild and starving, however, so when Harry wafted the biscuit under his nose like he would have an animal, Draco opened his mouth, his chapped lower lip quivering and saliva touching the corners of his mouth. Harry pushed the biscuit between his teeth and let Draco bite into it. "Chew it, Malfoy, for fuck's sake," he grumbled as Malfoy swallowed the first piece whole then tore another piece off with his teeth. Draco obeyed the command on the next bite, and when he finished the small biscuit along with the glass of juice, he managed a soft word of gratitude before his head rolled to the side and he slept.
Malfoy slept on the couch for days, waking up every few hours and calling for Potter. He was honest with himself about the whole thing—he loved making Potter do as he pleased, loved the frustrated look on Potter's face at having to feed him like a baby—and was not at all ashamed that he could not be bothered to feed himself. For three days, he had been truly unable to summon the strength to eat, drink, or use the restroom without assistance, but on the morning of the fourth day, he was able to sit up and would have been able to manage his own affairs just fine if Potter didn't just come running every time he yelled for him. Therefore, six days since he emerged from his bedroom, he was waking up from a brief nap and yelling for Potter, expecting to hear his clumsy footsteps at any moment.
They did not come.
Draco saw red—Potter was at his beck and call, damn it!—and he sat up on the couch and stretched his legs out in front of him, spreading his toes. His stomach rumbled, and he groaned quietly before he let his feet fall to the hardwood floor, and he pushed aside the cuddly blanket he had been so attached to for the past week before he hauled himself shakily to his feet. "Bloody Potter," he grumbled as he tottered to the kitchen, peering inside and scowling at Molly, who was working quietly on peeling a few potatoes over the sink. "Where's Potter?" he asked with an air of hubris, eyes gazing at her tattered apron and her old dress with distaste. For Merlin's sake, didn't these people know anything about how to dress themselves? He himself was dressed in silk pyjama pants, black, and one of Potter's oversized, long-sleeved t-shirts (he had had the misfortune of eating too much on the second day and it had just come right back up), but the t-shirt was not threadbare or covered in holes.
Molly blinked as she heard Draco in the doorway behind her, and she turned her head to see him standing there, slightly shaky on his feet and still as grey as November. His eyes were still sunken in, his wrists bony, and his body dwarfed in one of Dudley Dursley's old shirts. She felt very sorry for the boy even if he was Lucius Malfoy's son. "Oh, hello, dear," she sighed quietly, and she flicked her wand at the chair nearest him. It pulled out for him, and she was pleased to see that he hastily took it as though standing up was a great chore. She imagined that it might very well be for someone so malnourished. What had he been thinking? Well, she knew that she would not have come out of hiding if she was thrown into the enemy's headquarters, but the Order was not really Draco Malfoy's enemy. Quite the opposite, really, as they had been perfectly willing to take him in despite the fact that he had led the attack of the Death Eaters on Hogwarts, but she understood why he was afraid. Another wave of her wand sent a plate of fresh, cut-up vegetables from the other end of the counter to the table. "Help yourself, Draco. I will be very surprised if Harry, Hermione, and Ron will be back today, so you'll just have to care for yourself, hm?" Oh yes, she knew that Draco had been taking advantage of Harry's hospitality, but she would not hold it against the boy. He was still ill, after all, even if he was eating again.
Draco cocked an eyebrow at her as he took a broccoli tree from the plate and popped it in his mouth. He chewed it slowly and thoroughly, not wanting a repeat performance of his spectacular vomiting a few days before. He swallowed before he asked, "Not back today? Where have they gone that would prevent them from being back here today?!" This threw a wand into the gears of his plan of humiliating Potter as much as possible, and he was not entirely sure he wanted to cook anything for himself at four in the morning, as Potter would have done if he needed him to.
"I can't tell you," Molly claimed as she worked on her potatoes again, and she heard Draco sigh heavily behind her. She knew that Harry would not want Draco to know about the Horcruxes, that Draco was a possible risk, and she would not be the one to ruin it. Honestly, she was incredibly worried about her son and his two friends, concerned that they would get hurt or killed trying to get the damned Horcruxes, and she had not been able to sleep because of it. There were hints of the beginning of a relationship between Ron and Hermione—she had caught them more than once gazing at one another across the sitting room or 'accidentally' brushing hands as they passed one another—and the last thing she wanted was for that to be ruined by death, be it one of theirs or Harry's. Her heart ached. "It's a mission for the Order, Draco, you understand…"
Draco nodded silently and stared down at the plate, poking distractedly at a carrot as he chewed on a piece of celery. Yes, of course he understood that he was in no way to be trusted with any Order secrets, and he rather preferred it that way. If he were to somehow be caught by the Death Eaters, he would not want to get everyone here killed. 'Draco, you are not a killer…' The words echoed in his head, and he closed his eyes weakly. Why was the war not over yet? Why did he have to be born in this age, when he was likely to die at any fucking moment? Why had he not had the will to starve himself to death? His hand was shaking over the plate, and he balled his hand into a fist, punching the table and making the plate jump slightly. Molly turned to look at him in surprise, but she said nothing.
It was three days before Potter and his hangers-on returned to number twelve, Grimmauld Place. It was late evening, and Draco was curled up on the couch with an old spy novel he had found in one of the rooms when the three came bursting through the door in the adjoining foyer, laughing mirthlessly. They were the laughs of men who had just narrowly escaped untimely death, the laughs of those expected to never cry in war. They were soldiers' laughs. Draco dog-eared the page he was on and set the book aside, pulling his blanket close to his chest as the three came into the sitting room where he was stationed. There was something glimmering in Weasley's hand, and he grabbed Hermione by the arm, grinning at her. To Draco, it looked more like a grimace, like he was trying not to burst into tears, and he watched as the pair disappeared up the staircase. He heard Ron mutter, "Fucking hell…" just before a door closed him and his escort from the rest of the house. Draco realised with a blink that Harry had not followed them, and he glanced to the right to see Potter collapsing into a recliner and burying his face in his hands. The Headquarters were empty that evening, save for Draco and Kreacher, and so there was no welcoming party, no group of Aurors descending on Harry and demanding a story. It was just he and Draco there in silence. Draco lifted his book again, but he stared at its cover without opening it for a few moments before he reared back and threw it right at Potter, hitting him soundly in the arm.
Harry lifted his face from his hands and looked up at Draco, staring at him from across the room, and Draco noticed for the first time that Harry's face was cut and bleeding very lightly. They stared at one another for what seemed like an eternity before Harry stood up from his chair and sat on the opposite end of the couch from Draco. "Would you…get me something to eat?" he asked raggedly, his voice exhausted, and Draco frowned before he nodded and hauled himself into the kitchen. He made half a sandwich of corned beef on wheat bread before he went back into the living room only to find Potter lying down on the couch asleep. Draco was not about to give up his couch, and he thought about yelling at Potter to get up before he sighed and placed the sandwich on the counter before walking over and sitting on the opposite end from Harry. He reached over and took his glasses off, setting them on the end-table before he lay down as well, his feet resting somewhere near Potter's knees. He spread the blanket over both of them and buried his face in the pillow, flicking his wand to extinguish the light and ignoring the sounds of Weasley and Granger making love in the dark somewhere above them so he could sleep.
The Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix was boring when Potter was gone, and he frequently was, leaving Draco to sleeping or reading what he happened upon in the old house. It was a full month before he could gaze at himself in the mirror without flinching at what stared back at him—he had been eating frequent small, healthy meals throughout the day and was regaining the weight he had lost as well as the colour in his cheeks—and it was October before he thought that he was positively dashing again. He could not bring himself to return to the bedroom where he had imprisoned himself for five weeks, and so Potter, when he had been home one weekend, had moved his things out of it and into the room down the hallway where Hermione and Ginny would have stayed had they not gone back to Hogwarts for their final year. "The younger students need an education," she had said, and she had not met Harry's eyes. "And the teachers need help. The world cannot stop because there is a war." She and Ron had returned, leaving Harry at Grimmauld Place alone with Draco, but Draco did not have any qualms about that. He hated listening to the Mudblood and her weasel fucking every night, and more than once he had been forced to perform a Silencing Charm on their door. He and Potter had laughed after that, and he was glad that he was not alone in thinking that it was obnoxious.
He was learning more about Potter as time went on, though he did not like to admit it to himself. When the other boy was home, he frequently had nightmares, it appeared, for Draco was always awakened by Harry screaming and thrashing in the bedroom next to his own. It was on a night like this that Draco finally rolled out of bed and pressed his ear up to the wall. "No, no, please! Not Hermione, for fuck's sake!" Draco pushed away from the wall and tied a bathrobe around himself even though he was wearing pyjamas, and he left his room. He had expected Potter's door to be locked, but it wasn't, and he twisted the knob easily before he pulled the door open and went inside. In the dim moonlight, he could make out Potter gasping and tearing the sheets to shreds in his nightmarish attempt to get away from something, and he approached the bed with caution.
"Potter," he whispered, but nothing changed, and he repeated himself, louder this time. Harry was sobbing and clutching his forehead, though he was not awake, and so Draco reached out and grabbed the hand that was clutching a handful of sheet, and he squeezed it. "Potter, wake up!" He spoke more insistently this time, and the flailing around began to ebb away. "That's right, come on, wake the fuck up so I can slap you…" He wouldn't have, really, and he knew he was only saying it to feel better about the scene before him. He was beginning to have nightmares of Potter's nightmares, and so he was dead-set on putting a stop to them. Green eyes—how did he know that Potter had green eyes?—were beginning to open in the dark, and Draco leaned forward, his hand tightening on Harry's just a bit. "Shhh…"
Harry suddenly bolted upright into a sitting position and stared at Draco, his breath fast and laboured. "What? What? Where am I?" he asked hurriedly in a fast whisper, but Draco only shook his head and gestured around. Harry's eyes took in the sight of the familiar room, and his shoulders sagged. "Oh, good…Good." Then he was burying his face in his hands again, and he gave in to his body's need to quiver. Draco observed him quietly for a moment, an old conversation with his father ringing in his ears.
'Father, why are we friends with the Macnairs?' He could not have been more than eight at the time. The Macnairs frightened Draco impossibly, and he knew that his father did not really like Walden. The two had been in Lucius's library at the time, Draco reading a spell-book for children and Lucius filing papers away in his desk. Lucius paused in his filing for a moment then laughed at his young son. 'There's an old saying, Draco," he stated softly, and he leaned forward to observe Draco with a smile. 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Have you ever heard that?' 'No, Father, I haven't.' Draco did not quite understand what the phrase meant, but Lucius did not offer an explanation, and so Draco let the matter drop.
The two had been in Lucius's library at the time, Draco reading a spell-book for children and Lucius filing papers away in his desk. Lucius paused in his filing for a moment then laughed at his young son. 'There's an old saying, Draco," he stated softly, and he leaned forward to observe Draco with a smile. 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Have you ever heard that?'
'No, Father, I haven't.' Draco did not quite understand what the phrase meant, but Lucius did not offer an explanation, and so Draco let the matter drop.
Draco slid off the chair and sat on the edge of the mattress cautiously before he reached out and wrapped his arm around Potter's shoulders. Harry leaned into the embrace then, and Draco closed his eyes as he rested his cheek against the top of Harry's head. "You want to talk about it?" What a silly thing to ask, really, but the words had escaped Draco's mouth faster than he could catch them, and he felt his cheeks flushing in the dark. Harry shook his head against Draco's shoulder, and Draco was secretly very glad. He didn't want to talk about it, either. Draco lost track of time sitting there with Harry in the middle of the night, only the light of the waning moon illuminating them in a blue cast from the window, and he was dimly aware of lying down with Harry there in that tiny bed and falling back to sleep with the other lying with his head tucked in against Draco's chest. Neither one minded very much. Draco woke first in the morning, and he slipped out from beneath Harry's head, tucked him in properly, and went back to his own bedroom.
It became a pattern. When Harry was home, Draco always started out in his own bedroom, lying down to sleep for three hours before Harry's yells and panicking woke him up and he went to him. Then it was two hours of sleep, then one, then half an hour, if he was lucky. He would creep out of his bedroom and, making sure no one was around to see him, slip into Harry's in his pyjamas and bathrobe. After a month of this, he did not even try to wake Harry up before he crawled into bed with him and pulled him close to whisper words of comfort. Harry would wake up and stare into Draco's eyes for ages until they both fell back to sleep. Each morning, Draco would wake up before Harry did and sneak back into his own room, shedding his bathrobe and crawling into his own bed.
Christmas was pressing down upon them, and Draco was dreading it. Christmas meant Christmas break, which meant that everyone would be returning from Hogwarts for the holiday, and he wondered what would happen if Weasley or Granger caught him sneaking from his room to Potter's, or vice versa. Of course, he thought, those two will be too busy buggering each other to notice a damned thing. He was just getting ready to slip into bed when there was an odd sort of knocking on his wall. He blinked and looked around, as though the knock could have been meant for someone else, then he walked up to the wall and knocked back, pressing his ear to the paint. The knock came again, and he heard Harry half-whisper, "Draco?" Draco blinked and knocked his acknowledgement, then he heard, "Come here, please?"
He rolled his eyes—he knew that not everyone was in bed yet, so it couldn't be the time for him to join Harry yet—then knocked again, once, before he left his room, passing Arthur in the corridor. The man nodded to him, but Draco ignored him and went straight into Harry's room. He was startled to see Harry fully dressed down to the travelling cloak around his shoulders, and he closed the door behind him before he crossed his arms and leaned back against the door. "Going somewhere?" he asked quietly, eyeing the rucksack that Harry had lying open on the bed.
Harry nodded and opened a drawer beside the bed, pulling out a silver locket and a glittering cup before handing them to Draco. The sheer power in the objects made Draco's heart speed up, and he looked into Harry's face with an expression of confusion. "Those are Horcruxes," Harry whispered, pulling Draco deeper into the bedroom. "If I do not return by tomorrow night, I want you to destroy them. Be…be careful doing so, okay? They're powerful, and they need to be destroyed, and I know where the other ones are. I'm going tonight to try to destroy one myself."
Draco stared at the objects, the magic practically pulsing off of them. "Horcruxes?" he asked quietly, and he shook his head, confused. "I don't know what a Horcrux is, Potter."
"Doesn't matter. Just destroy them if I'm not back by this time exactly tomorrow night. Got it?" Harry's face was very serious, and his hands were on Draco's shoulders. Draco nodded his acceptance of the task, then he glanced up to meet Harry's eyes.
"What do you mea—you'll be back, won't you?" The full force of Harry's orders hit him suddenly, and he nearly staggered back with the weight of them. He dropped the Horcruxes onto the bed and crossed his arms over his chest, staring into Harry's face with a solemn frown. "Where are you going that you might not come back?"
Harry shook his head and looked for a moment as though he wanted very much to do something dangerous, and the expression frightened Draco. Harry's eyes dropped to the other's left arm, and he reached down to seize him about the wrist. Not even a second after Draco understood what Harry was going to do, Harry ripped back the sleeve and stared at the sharp contrast of the black Dark Mark to the alabaster flesh, and he reached down to run his finger over the blackness. Draco had never shown anyone—anyone—his Dark Mark, and to have Harry suddenly expose it like that made him feel naked. Harry's eyes flicked up to meet his, and he, to Draco's great shock, smiled ever-so gently. "Are you on our side, Malfoy?"
The question took Draco by surprise, but he shook his head. "No," he admitted, and he glanced over to the Horcruxes again before he met Harry's eyes. "I'm on yours, though." This seemed to be the answer Harry was looking for, and he released Draco's arm before he reached down and pulled up his right sleeve. Draco was startled to see something like a Dark Mark on Harry's right forearm, but it was not Voldemort's Mark. There rested a dark red phoenix, its eyes burning gold, and before Draco's eyes, the creature moved suddenly and laid an egg. It rolled down Harry's arm and into his palm, and Harry grabbed Draco's right hand. A sudden burst of warmth in Draco's palm made him jump, and he pulled his hand away to see that the egg had transferred itself into his own flesh and was rolling over his wrist to settle on his forearm just below the crook of his elbow. It cracked and disappeared, leaving an ugly little chick in its place. "…What?"
"If something happens to me, you'll know," Harry whispered, and he turned to close his rucksack, a strange expression darkening his features. "Malfoy? If I don't come back…" He trailed off then shook his head. "Nothing." He looked terrified, and that frightened Draco more than anything else. He sought out Harry's hand in the dark, and he squeezed it between his fingers. To his shock, Harry responded by turning to him and flinging his arms around his neck, burying his face in his shoulder, and Draco's arms instantly, instinctively, wrapped around him in turn. No words passed between the two embracing men, but their silence spoke for them.
'If I die, you'll be sad, won't you?' 'I'd be devastated.' 'You'd miss me, wouldn't you?' 'More than I should.'
'I'd be devastated.'
'You'd miss me, wouldn't you?'
'More than I should.'
Draco felt Harry's lips brush his cheek, and his breath caught in his throat, but then Harry had pulled away. His hands were clumsy and tried to work too quickly for their task, and Draco could see tears shimmering on his cheeks in the moonlight. "Hey," he whispered, and he took a step towards Harry, his hand raised. "Hey, stop that…" Harry shook his head fiercely and wouldn't meet Draco's eyes as he slung the pack over his shoulder and adjusted the strap. He tried to push back Draco, murmuring a goodbye as he did so, but Draco reached out an arm and caught him. He pulled Harry close to him again, lifting a hand to brush Harry's tears away before he leaned forward and brought their lips together in a brief, powerful kiss. He felt Harry's surprised lips arch into his, softening and plumping at the warm contact, and when Draco pulled away, he touched Harry's cheek. "Come back."
Harry hesitated for a moment, and then he nodded. "I will."
Draco watched the clock in the sitting room intently. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were there, had arrived several hours ago, and they, too, were in the room. No one was sitting with Draco. Harry had left the night before at 22:47, and it was already approaching 22:30. The baby phoenix on his forearm was smouldering quietly, and he lifted his sleeve to stare at the chick. It was preening its grey feathers quietly, but nothing was wrong with it, and so he lowered his sleeve again and got up off the couch, pacing back and forth. The clock on the mantle was ticking loudly with every passing second, and he was painfully aware of each one.
22:35 came and went, followed closely by 22:40. At 22:43, Draco was sweating profusely and getting snappy with Ginny. "Quit staring at me, goddamn it!" he growled at her, and she glared at him.
"What are you so touchy about?" she hissed at him, throwing her hands up in the air, and she gasped as he drew his wand on her. He was just about to hex her when the doorknob turned. He shoved his wand away hastily before he rushed to the door, pulling it open and scowling as Severus nodded to him.
"Get out of the doorway," Draco grumped, and he ignored the shocked sound Snape gave as he was shoved out of the doorway. Draco hung his head out of the door and sighed heavily before he pulled it shut again. 22:45 came, and he shoved his sleeve up again to stare at the baby phoenix with contempt, as though it was the cause of all this. His heart was pounding painfully against his ribs, and he was just about to go upstairs to get the Horcruxes when the door opened again. "Harry?!" He shoved Ginny aside as she got up and pushed past Ron and Hermione to stare into Harry's tired, bloody face. "Harry…"
Harry stumbled forward and came to rest against Draco's chest, his arms slipping around his waist despite the shocked—horrified was, perhaps, a more apt description—faces on his friends. "I came back," he breathed against Draco's hair. The last thing he saw before he closed his eyes and promptly passed out was the sight of Ginny, her hand covering her mouth and her face crumpling as she turned into Hermione's arms.
Harry slumped suddenly and heavily against Draco, and Draco grunted with the weight of him. He lifted his wand and murmured a charm that rendered Harry weightless against him, and he pulled him upstairs and to his bedroom, Weasley following him with an annoying look of concern on his face. Draco released the charm when he had Harry in the bed, and he tucked him in before he waved his hand at Ron. "Out," he ordered quietly, and he was pleased when Ron obeyed, closing the door behind him. Draco stretched out by Harry's side, latched onto him, and relaxed for the first time in days.
After Harry's destruction of Nagini, the fifth Horcrux, Harry did not disappear for days—or even hours—on end any more. For the most part, he was quiet and enjoying his time with his friends over the holiday, but Draco knew that something was wrong. Harry was not laughing as loudly as he normally would have been, and he fell silent before any of the rest of them. Draco felt isolated from the group, but that did not bother him at all, for Harry was just as isolated as he was, whether they realised it or not, and Harry would excuse himself first from the table to come into the sitting room and sit on the couch with Draco in front of the brightly-lit Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve night, Harry left his friends at the kitchen table and came in to find Draco reading one of his novels, and he curled up next to him on the cushions. Draco's arm wrapped around his shoulder and they sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes before Draco ended a chapter. Just as he was going to turn the page, however, Harry's hand lifted and took the book from him, dog-earing the page and setting it aside before he fingered through Draco's hair. "What?" Draco asked in hushed tones, knowing that Harry did not really want his friends knowing how truly close they were. Harry had closed the sitting room door, after all, when he had come in. Harry merely shook his head in response and leaned over to extinguish the candle by which Draco had been reading, leaving the lights of the Christmas tree the only things illuminating the room. Draco felt Harry's arms slide around his neck, and he just had time to moisten his lips with his tongue before Harry was rubbing their lips together and clutching a handful of Draco's blond hair.
The effect was instantaneous. Draco melted in Harry's hold, his own arms sliding around Harry's middle and holding him loosely as he opened his mouth over the lips pressing so insistently against him. His tongue flicked against a smooth expanse of teeth before they parted and Harry's tongue reached out to meet him. Harry did not taste of vanilla, mint, or chocolate, but of warmth and damp, and Draco was satisfied with that. Their tongues danced together, smooth and heated, and Draco found that his arms were tightening with every movement of Harry in his arms. He bit down lightly on Harry's lower lip and felt him shudder before he drew the lip between both of his own and gently suckled on it. Harry was moving then in his arms, and the kiss was broken so they could lie together on the cushions beneath them. Draco pushed Harry onto his back and lay on his side beside him, one leg covering both of Harry's and one arm secure around his middle. The tips of their noses touched, and one of them—Draco was not sure which—conjured a blanket to throw over the both of them. Each touch was fuelling a slow heat building up between them, each small kiss and caress forcing their hearts to pump faster. Draco slid on top of Harry, covering him with his warm frame, and as he lowered himself comfortably to press his face into Harry's neck, he could feel that Harry was just as aroused as he was. He opened his lips over Harry's neck and began to mouth the tendons very lightly, the sensation causing Harry to squirm and moan softly beneath him. One of his hands caught up to one of Harry's, and their fingers tangled while Draco's tongue made a lazy appearance, the flat of it pressing to the spot just beneath Harry's ear.
The clock on the wall chimed eleven, and 'God Rest Ye, Merry Hippogriffs' played in tinny tones sounded in the room. Both of Harry's hands were tangled in Draco's hair, tightening when shivers were sent running down his spine and tugging when the sensations became too overwhelming and he was one kiss away from having an orgasm without even being touched. He and Draco had not snogged like this before—the extent of their kissing had been shy good-night kisses shared whenever Draco came in to lie down with him in the evenings—and the feeling of it was almost too much for Harry to handle. He could feel Draco's teeth scraping across the hollow of his throat, and he gasped, knowing that a year ago, Malfoy would have ripped his throat out. The fact that the scrape of teeth anywhere on his body could be pleasurable was a shock to him, and he was arching up into Draco as the other boy found his collarbone. His eyes were half-closed, his mouth open and gasping for air, and his hypersensitive skin gave way to gooseflesh when Draco's fingers slipped into his shirt. When a thumb and a forefinger pinched onto one of his nipples, he groaned without restraint and pushed his erection up into Draco's.
The sound of Harry's voice lifting from the sitting room across the corridor made Ginny's ears prick up, and she realised that Draco was in the room with Harry. Fear laced through her, and she stood up, her eyebrows knitted. She didn't trust Draco, not at all, and he could be hurting Harry, being with him all alone with the door closed. Hermione caught her eye and nodded, and she knew that Hermione was thinking along the same lines. "Excuse me," she whispered to Ron, who nodded, and she saw that the entire table, which consisted of several Order members as well as the Weasley family, had gone quiet. They could hear Harry gasping loudly, and Hermione stood up as well, not wanting Ginny to go alone in case something dangerous was happening. They walked together across the corridor, and Hermione placed her hand on the doorknob.
"I'll go first," she whispered, her wand raised, and she very softly twisted the knob so the only noise it made was the soft click of the catch releasing. The door swung forward silently, and she poked her head in. The coloured lights of the tree shone brightly in the dark room, casting their colour onto the startling sight of Draco lying on top of Harry beneath a blanket, his mouth opening and his tongue just scarcely visible as it traced the bow of Harry's lips before sliding between them. Her heart sped up in her chest as she saw Harry's hand combing through Draco's hair, and the soft moan he sounded into the kiss as Draco drew his tongue into his mouth and suckled it caused her to pull the door closed. Ginny made an annoyed sound and tried to push past her, but Hermione held her back. "No, Ginny," she whispered, and she cast a Silencing Charm on the door.
"Why not?!" Ginny exclaimed. "He could be getting hurt in there! Malfoy could be killing him!"
Hermione opened her mouth to say something, but she closed it again and shook her head. "Leave them, Ginny," she warned. The tone in her voice must have been convincing enough, for Ginny fell back and stormed back into the kitchen. Hermione did not immediately follow, instead taking a seat on one of the plush armchairs in the wide corridor and losing herself in thought.
Harry slid his hands down Draco's sides, his fingertips sliding just under the hem of his trousers. Draco paused in his lewd sucking of Harry's tongue to press their foreheads together and stare into his eyes. Harry's were unafraid, willing, and Draco nodded to him. He felt his trousers being unbuttoned, and he lifted his hips just slightly to allow Harry's fingers to do so then slide his trousers and pants down and away from his hips. He kicked them off himself when Harry could push them down no further, then his hands hurried down to give Harry's trousers the same treatment. He helped kick them off Harry's legs before he lowered himself enough that his cock drooped and touched lightly against Harry's stomach. "You ever done this with anyone?" he asked in whisper, and he was pleased that Harry shook his head 'no'. "Good. I want to be your first…"
"You'll be the only," Harry breathed, and he gasped as Draco reached down and seized both of their erections together. "The only one ever…" Draco was touched by these words, and he nodded as he began to stroke them both off as one. Harry's head was thrown back against the cushions, and he murmured a spell that produced a thick, clear lotion in his hand. He offered the substance to Draco, who scooped it out of Harry's hand then resumed what he had been previously doing, though the movements of his hand were greatly quickened. Shivers ran down his spine, and he curled his toes pleasurably as his hand slicked the lotion over both their cocks with gusto.
Harry began to squirm again, spreading his legs so one leg flopped off of the couch and steadied him as one foot anchored to the floor. "Draco, Draco," he whimpered, and Draco leaned down to claim his lips in a long, slow kiss nothing like the fervent jerking going on between their legs. Draco was panting into the kiss, his eyes squeezed shut tightly, and he groaned in response to Harry's tongue desperately fucking his mouth. "Fuck, fuck, Draco, I'll…I'm going to…A-ah!" Harry yelped, the heat that had been pooling in his abdomen bursting suddenly from him like liquid pleasure, and he arched his back high off the couch cushions as he shot thick streams of white into Draco's hand.
The sight of Harry losing control and letting go beneath him made Draco moan loudly, and he released Harry's cock before he began to masturbate furiously. In less than ten strokes, he was coming hard, coating Harry's t-shirt in heavy seminal fluid. He heard Harry whisper a mild cleaning charm, and when his hand was bereft of ejaculate, he collapsed on top of Harry and pressed his face against his neck. For ten minutes, he listened to Harry's heartbeat slowing down in his chest and let himself be lulled halfway to sleep by the constant rhythm. "Draco," he heard Harry murmur, and he lifted his chin to gaze sleepily at him. "Draco, we need to get up…We're hogging the room, and someone's going to suspect."
Draco groaned and nodded, pulling his trousers back up and stretching in the dark before he helped Harry to his feet. He helped him pull up his trousers before he nuzzled a kiss against his cheek. "Happy Christmas, Harry."
Harry told Draco that there was one final Horcrux, a secret, and Draco never even thought to question him about it. It never occurred to him that the look in Harry's eyes after every time they fooled around could have been anything but satiation. He never put a second thought as to why Harry always held onto him just a little longer than was necessary, thinking that Harry just craved physical contact. Draco never minded the prolonged embraces, the hand-holding, or the sudden, desperate pawing in bed. Or the sitting room. Or the drawing room. Harry did not seem to mind that Molly had walked in on them twice—once when Draco had Harry's cock in his mouth completely, his lips wrapped around the base, and once when Harry had Draco bent over and was lathering his arsehole with his tongue—or that Arthur had caught them snogging countless times. Ginny had written several furious letters, covered in tears, but Harry never read them.
It was when Draco was sheathed inside of Harry's arse, coming hard just moments after Harry had come to his own climax, when something in Harry's eyes concerned him, and when he was milked to the last drop and had pulled out of him, he lay over to the side and reached a hand up to touch his cheek. "What's up?" he asked quietly, his voice hoarse from moaning so much, and he frowned as Harry rolled over to press their foreheads together with a very, very sad expression darkening his features. Draco ran his fingers over Harry's cheek, frowning. "Harry?"
"I love you," Harry rasped, and he shook his head at the shocked expression on Draco's face. "Don't look at me like that, and listen to me! Goddamnit, Malfoy, if nothing else—if nothing else—know that I love you, all right?!" His voice had gone from shaky to almost angry, and Draco's heart was speeding up its pace again.
"All right," he whispered, and he was startled when Harry's face crumpled. "Fuck, Potter, why are you crying about it? It's not a bad thing…I mean, for fuck's sake, if this isn't love, I don't know what—"
"I-I don't want you to know why," Harry whispered, and he shut his eyes tightly as Draco drew him close and ran his fingers through his hair. "But know it, okay? Just…just know it."
Harry disappeared the next morning, and he never came back. Draco woke up to an empty bed and sighed, crawling out from between the sheets and heading to the shower before going down to breakfast. Molly and Arthur were there, making breakfast together, and Draco sat down at the table and was halfway through breakfast before he dropped his fork and ripped his right sleeve back. Pain was ripping through his forearm, and he witnessed the phoenix, which had been beautiful and resplendent, bursting into black flames. "Harry!" he gasped, and he grabbed his wand, wanting to do anything, everything, but not knowing where to go. Molly chased after him as he dashed through the house, panicking, and she watched as he found the roll of parchment Harry had left on his pillow.
Draco, I never wanted to tell you that I was the last Horcrux. I didn't think it would be fair to you, knowing that I could die any day, and knowing that what we had was to be short-lived. Yet, I'm here now, writing this letter to you, and you're lying just there, just beyond my reach, fast asleep. Are you dreaming of me? Are you dreaming of the first time you kissed me, or the first time we were intimate before Christmas? Merlin, I hope you're dreaming of me. I meant it when I told you I loved you last night, and I'll love you forever. I'm so sorry I didn't get the chance to wake you to say goodbye, but I have to go now, I have to leave while I know where he is. My last gift to you is your freedom. Remember me for who you knew me to be and no one else. You're the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Love, Harry
I never wanted to tell you that I was the last Horcrux. I didn't think it would be fair to you, knowing that I could die any day, and knowing that what we had was to be short-lived. Yet, I'm here now, writing this letter to you, and you're lying just there, just beyond my reach, fast asleep. Are you dreaming of me? Are you dreaming of the first time you kissed me, or the first time we were intimate before Christmas? Merlin, I hope you're dreaming of me. I meant it when I told you I loved you last night, and I'll love you forever. I'm so sorry I didn't get the chance to wake you to say goodbye, but I have to go now, I have to leave while I know where he is.
My last gift to you is your freedom. Remember me for who you knew me to be and no one else. You're the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
Draco let the parchment fall from his hands, and when the phoenix on his arm died and was not reborn, instead disappearing completely from his skin, he turned into Molly's arms and began to sob.
It only took six weeks for Draco to die of starvation.