Hi everyone :)
So many nice, encouraging comments for last chapter, despite the fact more than one said it was a little boring. In a way, boring was what I was going for though, (or at least anticlimactic) so I suppose even in a way, being told it was boring was a good thing as it meant I managed to succeed in what I intended to do.
Now, this chapter is sinfully short, I am aware of that, but there was very little that actually needed to happen in it. But keep the sequel in your mind and hopefully it won't be too disappointing, (that's what I'm praying for anyway).
Draco Lucius Malfoy, you have been charged with conspiring to murder Professor Albus Dumbledore to which you pleaded guilty. However, due to new found testimony from Albus Dumbledore and also evidence of the role you played in the down-fall of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named provided by our saviour Harry Potter, any possible sentence in Azkaban shall be pardoned. Instead, you are required to pay a fine of 250, 000 galleons.
Lucius Malfoy, you have been charged with numerous offences some of which are being found bearing the Dark Mark, escaping from Azkaban and being an active Death Eater, all of which you have pleaded guilty to. However, due to your role in the down-fall of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the subsequent information you have provided which has led to the arrest of several Death Eaters, the jury has decided to wave a new sentence in Azkaban and allow you to serve the remaining period of your previous sentence under house arrest. Therefore, for the next eight years, you will remain within the grounds of your manor.
Severus Tobias Snape, you have been charged with conspiring to murder Professor Albus Dumbledore, the actual murder of Albus Dumbledore, hiding a fugitive from Azkaban and being an active Death Eater, all of which you have pleaded guilty to. Due to new found testimony from Albus Dumbledore and that provided by our saviour Harry Potter, a sentence in Azkaban shall not be served and you shall instead be placed under house arrest for at least the next twenty-five years.
The sun was bright and the sky clear and blue that afternoon when the sentences were passed on the three traitorous Slytherins. There were a handful of people hanging around outside the Ministry of Magic building when Harry came walking out of the building, dressed in a simple black robe which although wasn't the one he wore most of the time, (because that one was hardly in a good enough condition to wear in public, or so Draco had told him) it was exactly the same style and made of the same material. He noticed that he drew the attention of several people around him but he ignored them and, thankfully, none of them came over and speak to him. So, he was allowed to head to the Apparation spot in peace.
His return to the Wizarding world had been surprisingly calm. He had remained mostly out of the lime-light thankfully due to the fact he had spent most of the time inside and speaking with Aurors and other official types who needed to check he was who he claimed to be. A few of the newspapers had managed to get a few sneaky pictures of him so far and the word of his return was starting to spread so things would no doubt get a lot more stressful very soon but, for that moment, Harry was allowed a relative amount of privacy and solitude as he left for...
"Harry!" The voice of Draco suddenly called to him and the dark haired young man stopped dutifully before turning to see the blonde aristocrat approaching him. "Are you leaving now?"
"There is no further reason for me to remain here, I have spoken all that I know." Harry answered in his usual monotone.
"I thought you would've at least, you know, said goodbye to us at least." The blonde said somewhat awkwardly and it was then that the saviour glanced behind his friend and saw Snape and Lucius further away, being kept under watch by a handful of Aurors while the elder Malfoy reunited with his wife.
"I see they are enjoying their last moments of freedom." Harry murmured, avoiding the blonde's previous statement on purpose.
"Whereas you're enjoying your first moments of freedom." Draco said with a happy smile. "How does it feel? To finally be able to do anything you want?"
"I feel...Anxious..." The dark haired young man admitted quietly, turning his head to look down at the ground. "I do not know what I shall do now, I do not honestly know where I shall go..."
"The offer for you to stay with us at our manor is still open." The blonde reminded his friend of the offer which had previously been made by Lucius.
"I do not wish to encourage the false sense of duty both Professor Snape and your father seem to have in regard to my keep."
"Then we'll get a place of our own."
Harry's eyes widened slightly at that and he lifted his gaze to meet the blonde's. "Pardon?"
"I have enough money in my own name, we'll use it to buy our own place. I'm seventeen and you're seventeen in a week, no one can stop us, we'll both be of age." Draco pointed out enthusiastically, obviously wanting to convince the Wizarding world's saviour that this was the way to go.
"I cannot allow you to give up your life for a stranger..."
"You're not a stranger!" Draco cried heatedly as he suddenly brought his hands up to hold onto each of Harry's shoulders tightly in an abrupt change of manner which rather startled the dark haired youth. "How can you even say something like that? Is that what you really think? That we're strangers to each other? Merlin Harry, can't you understand how much I love you?"
"We have known each other barely a month and you claim love? Draco, that is not possible." Harry told him gently in a tone of voice he had never really used before. He wasn't fully sure how to handle the current situation but knowing that to be harsh and cold would only emotionally hurt the other young man and, although he didn't understand what he felt most of the time, the saviour did know that he never wanted to see Draco in any kind of pain, especially if he had been the one to cause it.
"All right, fine, maybe it isn't love, all I know is that I have never felt this way about anyone before." The blonde admitted, relaxing his hold on the other young man but not releasing him completely. "Harry, the thought of not seeing you every day makes me feel physically ill, it makes me want to go so far as binding myself to you just so you can never leave me. So please, don't say we're strangers, because we're not, we're so much more than that."
"I-I...I..." The dark haired young man stuttered for a moment, a blush colouring his cheeks and his eyes staying fixed on those steel-grey eyes above. "I-I am sorry, I do not know what to say to that."
"Just tell me how you feel about me." Draco almost pleaded.
"I do not know how I feel..." Harry murmured in almost a whisper, his eyes still not leaving the young man who was so close to him. "I am sorry."
"Then just answer me this," the blonde said gently. "Do you like spending time with me?"
"Would you be sad if I suddenly left, for whatever reason?"
"Would you try and find me?"
"Do you find me attractive?"
Draco leaned in much closer then, so close that their noses gently brushed against each other each time they took in a breath. "Do you want kiss me?"
Harry swallowed thickly before he managed to nod his head and breathe out a quiet: "Yes."
"Then I think it's safe to say that you care about me just as much as I care about you." The blonde murmured with a smile before he backed off slightly, aware that it would only be too easy for a journalist from a newspaper to take their picture so that their faces would be seen by every witch and wizard in Britain the next day. "We're not strangers Harry, we're so far past that now."
"I will still not allow you to give up everything for me." Harry insisted firmly.
Draco gave an annoyed huff at that, removing his hands from Harry's shoulder and crossing his arms across his chest as he scowled lightly at the dark haired young man. "You're too bloody stubborn." He muttered and, to his great delight, Harry gave a very slight smile at that, though really it was little more than a very tiny curve of the corner of his mouth. The blonde felt a ridiculous amount of joy at that one little quirk but chose not to comment on it, not wanting to ruin what they had built up between them at that moment. Instead, he continued to haggle. "All right, say we go along with what you want, where exactly are you going to stay now?"
Unfortunately for Harry, that completely stumped him. He looked away from Draco awkwardly. "I..." He said before hesitating, unsure of how to follow that up.
Luckily for the young saviour, their conversation was interrupted with a familiar voice spoke the dark haired young man's name behind them. "Harry Potter?"
Harry and Draco turned then to see the figures of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black standing there, both looking rather anxious but also determined, no doubt to speak to Harry properly no matter what. "Remus Lupin and Sirius Black." The dark haired young man replied with a nod of greeting.
"You know who we are then?" Sirius asked hopefully.
"Did you know when you broke into our house?" Remus inquired with nothing but curiosity and relief in his tone, obviously not in the least bit angry at what Harry had done.
"Why didn't you say anything to us then!" Sirius exclaimed, dismayed.
"It is...Complicated." Harry answered unsurely, not knowing whether the two men would understand what had happened to him.
"We would still like to know Harry." Remus said gently, as though sensing the young man's anxiety. "About everything you care to tell us. We were just about to go and get some lunch, if you have no other plans would you like to join us?"
"I think that would be a good idea." Draco murmured to Harry discreetly when the saviour hesitated. "They're the closest link to your family you have, you should get to know them. We can always finish this battle over where you're going to live later on."
Harry nodded very slightly to that before nodding more obviously to the two men in front of them. "That is acceptable." He told them.
Sirius and Remus seemed a little confused by Harry's formality but said nothing in comment of it. No doubt Harry's entire story would come out to them at some time that day and everyone was both dreading and anticipating it. Harry, however, was somewhat reassured by the knowledge that, no matter what, he would always have Draco Malfoy there to walk with him, talk with him, support him and care about him. And, in thanks, he would do all that and anything else for the blonde aristocrat who had become such a major part of his life in such a short time.
End of Epitome of a Soldier.
Yes, that's right, it's the end of this story but not the end of the entire story! For this story, (which, let's face it, ended far too quickly didn't it?) shall have a sequel named "What it is to be Necessary". In it, we will see Harry attending his Seventh Year at Hogwarts and dealing with the problems which arise from his lack of social skills. Also, there will be more romance and more...Um..."Graphic" intimacy between our two boys, (one reviewer said they wished there had been some in this story XD It was a temptation for me to include it but I thought it really would be too rushed then). And now, I hear you all ask, when will the sequel be posted? Well, to that I would say, that's a very good question because I'm not exactly sure myself. At this very moment, I have almost five chapters, (more like four and a three quarters) pre-written and that's no way near enough for me to feel comfortable to start posting. So, I want to get another handful of chapters pre-written before I actually release it for you all to read. All I feel comfortable with saying right now is that it will be posted sometime before the end of the year and yes, I know the end of the year is quite a ways away XD
Right, okay, I've said enough. So, I shall simply bid you all fond farewell until our next meeting in the sequel. Take care of yourselves everyone and I hope to see you all again soon :)