Hi everyone :)
Here we are, the final chapter. I'll leave all that needs to be said until the end. For now, let's just get on with wrapping things up. Please enjoy :)
4th May 1998: Morning
The weekend had been, in a single word, glorious, and Harry and Draco returned to Hogwarts seemingly more in love than ever. Then, things turned slightly ugly as reality caught up with them. As soon as they had set foot in the Great Hall, there had been complete silence and everyone had turned and stared at them. That had been no problem and neither of the Slytherins had cared. However, when the headmistress angrily marched over to them and demanded to see them in her office immediately, Harry couldn't deny that even he had felt a slight flutter of anxiety.
Now sitting in the woman's office beside Draco, Harry was gradually calming and coming to see the situation for what it really was.
"It was completely irresponsible of the both of you," McGonagall told them, her scolding lasting for what felt like a life time. "Not to mention in violation of at least ten school rules. And to drag your godfather into this, Potter, though he should've known better anyway. If not for the fact that he and Professor Lupin are on a year contract only, I would be forced to fire them both for their part in this."
"With all due respect, Professor," Draco said with a reasonable tone. "Both myself and Harry are seventeen, we're both adults."
"But you are still students here and so should follow the rules like everyone else. Any other student who showed such blatant disrespect of the rules, which are there for nothing more than your own protection, would be expelled without a second thought." The woman told them shortly.
"We are to be expelled then?"
That question made the headmistress stop speaking and look at the two young men with a sort of annoyance. Harry knew what she had been trying to do, she had been trying to unnerve them, to make them think that the consequences of their actions would be far more drastic and negative than she actually had in mind. By calling the woman on it when he had, Harry had effectively ended her scare tactics and was forcing her to reveal the reality of the situation much sooner than she had probably planned to.
"Since this is a first offence for the both of you, I think expulsion would be unreasonable." McGonagall told them stiffly and reluctantly. "You will be punished however, and most severely. Each of you shall have two hours of evening detention every week day until the end of the school year. You will have them separately and at different times, understand?"
"Yes, Headmistress." Harry answered for the both of them.
The woman continued to frown at them. "Well, considering you have classes to attend you had best be leaving now." She told them, making a shooing motion with her hand.
Harry and Draco stood and turned to leave without further word, naturally moving closer to each other after rounding their chairs. Draco had just reached the door and took hold of the knob when McGonagall's voice came again.
"Oh, and gentlemen?"
The two teenagers turned to look at the old witch.
No longer frowning but instead smiling happily, she gave them a nod of approval. "Congratulations on your bonding."
4th May 1998: Midday
That morning had been like a step back in time to Harry, to his first days at Hogwarts where everyone would stop and stare and whisper about him. He still didn't care and Draco didn't seem to either so he had nothing against it. If people wanted to gossip and ogle them then he had no objections. He would start to object, however, if people started to come up and ask questions. No one had done that yet but there was still half a day to get through.
At that moment, hand in hand, the recently bonded couple were entering the Great Hall for lunch. They expected the numerous pairs of eyes which turned to look at them upon their entrance but neither expected to be swiftly greeted by Hermione with Ron trailing not too far behind her.
"How was your weekend?" The Gryffindor girl asked immediately, coming to a quick stop right in front of the Slytherins.
"Exhausting." Draco leered, sending a sidewards glace to Harry.
"It was very pleasant, thank you Hermione." Harry spoke as though Draco didn't even exist.
"Must've been nice to get out of school for a few days," Ron pipped up then. "What I wouldn't give to get out of here for a while."
"Honestly Ron, one more month and you'll never have to come here again." The girl huffed irritably.
"One month too much if you ask me."
"You won't be saying that when the summer comes and you have to find a job."
"Is there a reason," Draco interrupted then, cutting the two Gryffindors off. "You came and stopped us other than to sit at the side lines of a lovers' domestic?"
Both Hermione and Ron blushed at the Malfoy's words and the girl quickly began to root through her school bag. "We saved you the page with your bonding announcement on it from the Daily Prophet," she revealed, still blushing but now also smiling, as she pulled said page out of the bag on her shoulder. "I know you have the original copy of the photo but I thought you might like the announcement anyway."
"Thank you." Harry murmured as he accepted the piece of paper, immediately unfolding it and looking down at his and Draco's bonding announcement.
The first thing the reader was greeted with was the photo taken after the bonding of everyone who had been at the service. Harry and Draco were, of course, in the centre of the group, facing the camera head on, the blond standing behind the smaller youth with an arm around his waist and one of Harry's hands raised to his lips. To their right was Sirius, who looked the spitting image of a proud father despite himself, and Ron and Hermione, who were holding hands and standing close. To the bonded couple's left were Remus and Pansy. Everyone, including Harry, was smiling happily. Underneath the photo were the words, "Proud godfathers Sirius Black and Remus Lupin would like to announce the bonding of their godson Harry James Potter to Draco Lucius Malfoy on the 1st of May 1998. May their life together be happy and peaceful."
"You're beautiful in that picture." Draco murmured affectionately as he slipped his arm around Harry's waist.
Harry smiled lightly at the compliment before putting the cutting into his school bag. "Thank you." He said again to Hermione and, to a lesser extent, Ron.
"You're welcome." The girl said happily before turning and taking Ron's hand. "I'll meet you at the doors for Potions after lunch, all right?"
"Very well." Harry agreed.
With a final smile and a small wave, Hermione led a blushing Ron away. The two Slytherins watched them for a moment before they started over to their dining table, Draco muttering as they did. "How did I get stuck having to act all friendly with Gryffindors?"
"You did it for me."
"Oh yeah," the blond sighed before giving a huff. "The things I suffer for love."
"Yes, you are very noble." Harry said by way of a joke which Draco picked up on and grinned at.
"That smile won't last long," Pansy's voice came as the two young men then reached the table. "Just wait until the honeymoon period's over."
"Hush, Parkinson, you're bringing me down." Draco chided lightly as he and Harry sat. "Have a nice weekend?"
"It wasn't any different from how it usually was. I assume I don't have to ask you the same question?"
"Draco enjoyed himself if only because he discovered that he is fascinated by a Muggle device known as a television." Harry answered as he poured himself a cup of tea with one hand and reached for the nearby plate of cucumber sandwiches with the other.
Pansy raised her eyebrow at that piece of information and Draco blushed lightly. "I wouldn't call it a fascination." He grumbled.
Just then, the owl delivering the midday post started to fly in over head but they were ignored as Pansy continued their conversation. "So what would you call it then, Draco?"
"A mild interest."
"Draco did two things over the weekend," Harry said pointedly. "If he was not occupied with coupling with me then his gaze was fixed on the television screen."
The blonde girl immediately started laughing at that while Draco sent an unamused glare in Harry's direction, more embarrassed about the fact he had found a Muggle device interesting rather than his bonded's comments on their intimate relations. A minute or so later, when Pansy had yet to stop her chuckling, Draco turned his glare onto her and was just about to demand she shut up when an all too familiar owl landed in front of them all.
"Father's owl." Draco murmured.
Pansy immediately stopped laughing and looked at the bird in question. "Well," she said a little weakly. "At least it hasn't got a Howler."
"Father would never send a Howler, it would be like broadcasting the family's dirty washing to the entire school." The blond sighed as he reached for the envelope tied to the owl's leg. As his fingers retreated, the owl tried to take a bite at them and only narrowly missed. Draco glared. "Same to you, bloody chicken." He grunted.
The owl ruffled his feather and seemed to send a cool look in the Malfoy's direction before it had taken to the sky again. The three young adults watched it go for a moment before turning their attention back onto the envelope. None of them moved for several seconds before Draco gave a sigh and ripped open the seal, lifting the flap and pulling out the letter inside. Harry and Pansy watched him expectantly but silently. It was impossible to tell what the letter said from the Malfoy's expression as it remained completely blank, almost possessing a bored quality like he was reading nothing more interesting than a list of potions ingredients.
Eventually, Draco refolded the letter and placed it down on the table beside his plate. He didn't speak straight away but when he did, his words were clearly directed more to Harry than to Pansy. "My father is disowning me."
Harry's eyes widened in shock but it was Pansy who gave the verbal reply. "You can't be serious!"
"I knew it was coming." Draco said in a nonchalant manner which really didn't fit the situation.
"Let me see that." The girl demanded and the Malfoy handed her the letter which she immediately began to study.
"Draco," Harry said quietly, intending to only be heard by his bonded. "You do not have to pretend not to care, no one would think less of you if you were to react emotionally to a situation such as this."
"I'm fine, Harry," Draco reassured just as quietly, reaching to take the other young man's hand in his own. "It's regretable, but not the end of the world. You're my family and if my parents don't want to be part of our family then that's their loss."
Harry wasn't convinced. He was sure that Draco was putting on a show and was in fact feeling bitterly miserable inside. With no way to prove it though, he had no choice but to accept the blond's word and allow the subject to drop.
"This isn't an official document," Pansy suddenly spoke, bringing the attention of the two young men back onto her. "This doesn't mean anything definite, it could just be your father's initial angry rant. I'd give it a few days if I were you, wait to see if you hear anything more and if you don't try talking to him then. Until you get an official notice of disinheritance, this letter is nothing more than an empty threat."
Harry, at least, felt hope upon hearing that but a mere glance at Draco proved that he wasn't the least bit relieved or reassured by that. Perhaps it was because he knew his father better than the other two Slytherins, perhaps Lucius Malfoy wasn't one for empty threats. Harry wasn't really bothered in all truth. He wouldn't let his bonded be so cruelly dismissed by his parents. If it came down to it, he would visit the Malfoys himself and demand they correct the situation. It probably wouldn't be necessary though. The Malfoys, despite the way they acted around each other, were a family who loved each other dearly and Harry couldn't imagine they would remain angry forever. They were all very stubborn though...
None of that really mattered. Either the family of blonds would make up of their own accord or Harry would lock them in a room and force them to make peace with each other. As much as Draco may have denied it, he loved his parents and cutting them out of his life would hurt. Harry never wanted to see him hurt and so would do what had to be done. Only time would tell whether it was necessary though.
4th May 1998: Afternoon
Potions class was an extremely gloomy affair for both Harry and Draco. While the blond mourned the possibility that he would be cut off from his family completely, his bonded sympathised and shared in the pain. Neither paid much attention to the lesson which was focussed on theory rather than practical work. Perhaps that was for the best, however, as any potion that needed to be made would have to have attention put on it. Beside them sat Hermione who kept glancing to the two young men every so often, obviously concerned and no doubt wanting to inquire as to what was the matter.
It barely registered in Harry's mind when people started to get up to leave at the end of the lesson. In fact, it took a nudge from Hermione to have him return to reality. He blinked once or twice, as though startled, before giving a light sigh and nudging Draco. "It is the end of the lesson, Draco."
"Hmm, I know, I was just waiting for you to move." The blond admitted before he slowly began to gather up his text book, parchment and quill.
"Harry," Remus' voice suddenly called.
Lifting his head, Harry saw that Remus was standing at the front of the room with Sirius. When his godfather had entered the room, he had no idea.
"Could you stay behind for a minute please? You too, Draco."
"He wants to see the both of us?" Draco murmured to his bonded quietly, still packing his bag as he did so. "Don't they realise it's a little late to try and talk us out of the bonding?"
Harry ignored the blond's words and instead focussed on packing his own bag and returning Hermione's goodbye as she left the classroom. Before too long, the other students had left, leaving the two professors and the two Slytherins at peace. Harry and Draco moved from behind their desk and towards the front of the class so they were nearer the adults; no reason to have to shout the on-coming conversation across the length of the classroom after all.
"Did you have a nice weekend, boys?" Remus asked them pleasantly.
"Yes, thank you." Harry replied.
"If this is just for pleasantries, do you really need me here?" Draco asked rudely as he folded his arms across his chest.
Both Remus and Sirius seemed surprised by the open hostility.
"Do not mind him," Harry said quietly as he rested a supportive hand on his bonded's shoulder. "He is having some family problems at the moment."
"Shock horror." Sirius grunted. Everyone ignored him.
"Oh, well," Remus said, his tone forcefully cheerful. "Perhaps we have something to cheer you both up." Here, he paused to open one of the drawers of his desk. He pulled out a scroll of parchment and with a bright smile, stepped forward in order to hand it over to Harry. "From Sirius and I, well, mostly Sirius really. Your bonding gift."
Harry felt a small amount of surprise at that; he hadn't known they were supposed to receive gifts. He carefully took the scroll from Remus and brought it to himself. Despite his bad mood, Draco's full attention was on the parchment as Harry unfurled it. The two young men read it together and it was the Malfoy who commented on it first.
"The deed to number 10 Grimmauld Place." Draco read with a light frown before. "You bought us a house?" He asked in disbelief, his gaze lifting to look at the two adults.
Remus was smiling happily while Sirius looked somewhat awkward and gave a shrug. "I've got more inheritence than I know what to do with and a house is more useful than a toaster." He mumbled. "Besides, it's not a completely unselfish gift, you'll be living right next door to us so it just means I won't have to lose my godson straight away."
Harry moved forward very quickly then and embraced his godfather, a move which seemed to quite stun the man. "You will never lose me," the teenager murmured against Sirius' chest. "You are a part of my family." He pulled back slightly then and offered a smile. "Thank you for your generosity and kindness."
"Don't mention is, Prongslet." Sirius murmured, sounding suspicously choked up, as he affectionately ruffled his godson's hair.
4th May 1998: Evening
The sun had set and with it another day had passed. As Draco finished getting dressed in his pyjamas, Harry sat on the edge of their shared bed, looking down at the deed to 10 Grimmauld Place which he held in his hands. It had been a day full of surprise, some pleasant and others considerably unpleasant, and the Wizarding world's saviour was quite looking forward to being able to lay down his head and get some rest.
Quite abruptly, Draco's presence was behind Harry as the mattress bounced from the impact of the blond flopping onto it. He rested his chin on his bonded's shoulder and joined in on peering down at the deed. "If I'm only grateful to your godfather for one thing," he murmured through a sigh. "It's that he's given me one less thing to worry about. I have to admit that I've been doing my best to avoid thinking about where we were going to live once we graduated. Now we can just concentrate on our NEWTS. We can decide what careers we want after that."
"A career." Harry said quietly. "I cannot even think of what I might do."
"Ever since seeing that television, I've wondered over starting my own company to produce such things but with charms so they work around magic."
"You will give the gift of television to the Wizarding community; how very grand. You know how such things are made and which charms will need to be implimented?"
"No, but I shouldn't think it'll be too hard to figure out. And if it is, I'll hire someone to figure it out for me." Draco grinned playfully. "You could be my business partner, we could run it together."
"I know little of business and even less of Muggle technology." Harry pointed out. "Perhaps I will consider Auror training."
"A bit dangerous, don't you think?"
"It may be, but I can think of no other occupation more suited for me."
Draco sighed lightly at that before he shifted himself so he was sitting beside Harry rather than behind him. Almost automatically, Harry had leaned his head down to rest on the blond's shoulder as an arm looped aroud him and a kiss was pressed to the top of his head. "No matter what path you choose," Draco murmured tenderly. "I'll support you all the way."
Perhaps the excitement in Harry's life would be over from then on, perhaps he would become an Auror and the danger would continue, perhaps one day he would once again find himself getting bored of life. There were a lot of perhapses and no way to tell which, if any, would turn out to be a reality. As far as Harry could see, as he closed his eyes and revelled in the warmth of his bonded's presence beside him, there was only one real certainty. No matter what life brought, he would always have Draco and Draco would always have him.
Wherever their individual futures lay, they were intimately intertwined because above all else, Harry was certain that it was Draco Malfoy that made him necessary.
End of What it is to be Necessary.
And so ends another tale from Dream. You'd think I'd be used to the bittersweetness of my stories coming to an end but I still feel sad when one does. All the more so this time because, although this also wasn't the longest fic ever, I've fallen in love with this AU I've created. I love my stoic Harry and I'm going to miss him terribly. Maybe I've write a different fic with a stoic Harry someday...Or would that be flogging the idea too much, do you think?
However, before I can even think of stuff such as that, I must concentrate on my current project; my Fenrir Greyback/Harry fic! The title is Sacrifice and it's coming along nicely, have a chunk of chapters pre-written. Though, admittedly, I have no idea how long it's going to be so having half a dozen or so chapters pre-written is no real comfort to me. Therefore, I'm going to wait for a little bit before I start posting it, so I can get more chapters done. I'll be gone no more than a month though, for those who'll be keeping an eye out for it.
So, hopefully, I'll see a lot of you with my next story. If not, perhaps we'll meet again if I return to Drarry writing. Who knows?
Whatever the future brings us, I thank you for the reviews, I thank you for reading and I wish you all happiness and health :)Hugs and love