Author: TheSiner

Title: Unconditionally

Genre: Drama, Romance.

Pairing: Harry/Draco; Ron/Hermione.

Summary: HP/DM slash. Harry secretly keeps Draco locked in his attic and hates himself for that, but can't help it and Draco hates Harry. Complications ensue. A disturbing love story.

Rating: If you are not a teen, don't read this.

Disclaimer: These characters are not my own and belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliates.

Warnings: slash (duh!), a bit dark maybe, disturbing, swearing, non-consensual/dubious content, character death mentioned (not main), explicit sex. Not betaedited.

Setting after Voldemort is defeated. HBP compliant, contains spoilers for HBP.

A/N: This story is not going to be as fluffy as my stories usually are. Some readers might find it disturbing or not. How can I know what disturbs people these days?

There is a bit of drama and relationship which could be viewed as unhealthy.

There are things I am not putting in the warning, so you are still taking a risk by reading this. Be aware and don't blame me.

The story is not betaedited. I just can't make myself to stay in contact with someone for that, so it is as it is. If you see something screeming, you can let me know and I will fix it.

Draco's POV

I hate him. I loathe him more than any words can express. I abhor him. There are

is no way to convey my feelings strongly enough which doesn't involve considerable blood loses and screaming – all that on his part of course.

I hate his face, his ugly, stupid face which I scratched not so long ago. Now three red, angry gashes are adorning his left cheek. I whish I could hear him making excuses for those gryffindork friends of his, trying to explain where he got these. His little, dirty mudblood and the Weasel King are probably worried sick. I am almost certain that they saw the fine piece of my handiwork, since it took about three days till the miserable excuse for a wizard remembered that he could heal himself.

I know that he was pissed off when I did that, I just know that there was hot, ugly rage somewhere behind that façade, under that mask of insufferable calm. I know that he was angrier than an offended hippogriff when I did that, when I dug my nails in his skin and drew his dirtied blood out where everyone was able to see it.

Father would disapprove - physical violence is so muggle, but sometimes nothing is more satisfactory than a sound slap. Funny how it turned out that I had something in common with Granger. Zabini had a gall to imply that I was fighting like a muggle girl after that unfortunate incident.(1)

But it doesn't matter, what is important – I have had more than enough practice and I know how to hurt and anger and I did my best on the Hero of The Wizarding World.

I was waiting for him to fly into a rage as usually, but for the first time in his life he didn't. It only made me to hate him more if that was possible at that point.

I hate Harry Potter more than anything.

Then without another word he tied me to a chair and chopped off all my nails. There was no use to remind him that there was a spell for that.

Now they are too short and ugly. Never before in my life have my hands been in such appalling condition.

If I just had my wand… but even Potter is not stupid enough to give me a wand, or maybe he doesn't even have it. The possibility that he has lost it makes me want to slap him again. There are not two identical wands in existence and even if I got a new one, it wouldn't be the same. Something that had been as good as a part of me could be lost for ever. I can't even stand imagining my wand broken or burnt.

It's all sodding Potter's fault.

I don't have much to do so sometimes I lay awake and look at the ceiling thinking about all the spells I could cast on him if I only had a wand. You would think I'd use Avada Kedavra straight away, but, no, not really. No, there is a fate far worse than death. And I certainly wish that fate for Potter the muggle-loving idiot.

I would tie him to the floor and strip off all those awful, disgraceful muggle clothes of his, the kind I am also forced to wear. Then I would start with a bit of blood boiling, the curse is quite easy to cast, but it hurts like hell while doesn't actually damage, because it only makes one think that his blood had become unbearably hot and is about to fry victim's body from inside, but doesn't do any real damage to the body and after you can just keep torturing.

Of course there is always a chance that the victim could get a heart attack, but I am quite sure that it wouldn't happen to Potter, he is young and strong enough. If someone wanted to torment him they would have a lot of fun before he would break.

After the blood boiling curse I would cast a strong itching hex. Might not seem so bad, but it is. Imagine when all your body and I mean it, all your body is itching intolerably, but you can't do anything, you want to scratch so terribly, but you can't touch yourself. Maybe I would show mercy and let one of his hands free, let him scratch himself till his skin is bleeding and raw.

The next would be the bone crushing. Not too much, I'll just crush all the bones in his fingers, one by one, till he wouldn't be able to hold his wand even if he had it. Then I would start cutting him up. Little by little I would slice his skin, cover it with little cuts, not deep enough to kill, but enough to drive him mad, especially after I had conjured some salt water and poured it al over him… and that would be only the beginning. I know a lot about torture.

I know plenty of nasty curses and hexes. The one which makes the victim to scratch their eyes out, the one which peals of their skin by one strip at the time. There are plenty of spells which just make victims believe that something is happening to them, that their bodies are being damaged while they don't leave a scratch which means that it is possible to keep up the torture for days. And there is no reason to forget potions; I probably know even more 'dark' potions than hexes and curses.

There is that endless and pointless discussion about dark magic, some wizards claim that there is just magic and the intent is what makes it dark. Idiots. With what intent one would cast a blood boiling curse if not dark? How is it possible to make flesh from someone's feet rot off without having a dark intent? And?

But then there are those who claim that the dark magic is corrupting. That's tosh. It is as corrupting as a sword in someone's hand. One can use it to chop firewood; the thing is that if one has a sword, then it is highly unlikely that it had been bought for chopping wood. If one learns certain spells, it is also highly unlikely that they had learned them just for knowing.

But still if someone takes too much liking for nasty spells, it had nothing to do with their nature or some mysterious addictive magical properties. The only one who was to be blamed was the wizard and his own malicious nature, not the nature of spells.

Of course the intent it somewhat important, because it is impossible to cast a dark spell if one didn't want it to work. But the same is true about vingardium leviosa.

Does knowing a plentiful of supposedly dark magic makes a wizard dark? No, not really, I should know that… But on the other hand – why would someone learn dark magic if hey don't intend to practice it? Well there actually is a good answer to that, but… and then, I could kill someone easily with leviosa – such an innocent spell, every first year learns, but if I levitated someone and then let them go… SPLASH!

If someone says that the dark magic has that mysterious force which somehow lures and enslaves them, they are hypocrites. They just don't want to take the responsibility for being rotten, petty, selfish and cruel. If I expel someone's intestines through their nose, then I am doing it because I am evil and cruel and I like to make others suffer.

I would like nothing more than show Potter how good with all those nasty spells I am.

But it's not like I have a wand.

If I had I wouldn't be here anymore.

I wouldn't be here, locked in the attic. I guess I must be grateful that there are no dungeons in this house. Such a nice house this is. Isn't it sweet? No dungeons. Ha!

This is Potter's parents' house. That much he told me himself, it was about the only of my questions which he truly answered.

"Where am I?" I asked.

"My parents' house, The Godric's Hollow," he replied.

Godric's like Godric Gryffindor's. How typical. You are such a cliché Potty. Trust Potters family to live where Godric Gryffindor himself has dwelled. And this is the place where I am going to spend the rest of my life.

Sounds fatal.

But that's how it is. That is exactly what I am doing here, in Potter's attic. If everything goes as Potter wants it, I will be spending the rest of my life here. He hadn't said that, but I just know.

Of course there is the second choice – Azkaban. If Potter hadn't wanted me here, I would be rotting in Azkaban and hadn't cared at all, because my soul had been sucked out long time ago. Maybe it is my luck that Potter was the one who found me, not the aurors or whoever else is there on the 'Light side'.

Or maybe it's not, because now I am doomed to spend the rest of my life locked up in Potter's attic. It's probably a lot better than Azkaban, I mean the living conditions. Well, I know it is better. My father spent there enough time and had the chance to share with me like a good father he was. He suggested quick, painless death, said that they would never catch him alive the second time. And they didn't.

Potter's attic is not bad if you compare it to dim and dirty cell in company of dementors who surely were back to their guarding duty as fast as the war was over and, knowing the Ministry, were received with open hands. The room is big enough, it's done in light colours – the wallpaper is light green with some kind of little flowers and there is a beige very fluffy rug on the floor. Is this meant to be some kind of colour therapy to re-educate dark wizards?

Then there is the extra large bed which I don't really like to look at. There is a wide charmed window in the roof. When I say that it's charmed it means that I can see everything what is happening outside, but no one from outside can see me or any window at all. I can feel the wards shimmering on the surface. I am no foolish enough to try to break it.

I sometimes look out of it, but there is nothing much to see, only the muggle village down in the valley which is nothing particular, some houses, stores and a church and woods around the village. But the village is quite far, so I don't see any muggles from here which ironically would have been nice… but it could be worse, I am lucky that the house is on the top of the hill and there is nothing obscuring the view.

There is a table, a loveseat and a couple of chairs in my room, there isn't anything interesting about them. I have an en-suite bathroom, nothing grand by the wizarding standards, but nice enough with a tub and a shower both. I don't have to leave the room to take care of my basic needs. How convenient.

My favourite in this room is the rug. During the daytime I prefer it to the bed and the loveseat. It's nice to lie flat on it and rub my cheek against the long, incredibly soft fur. It is comforting in a way. I love soft things. Like socks made of yeanling wool which I used to wear to the bed, especially at Hogwarts since the castle was usually cold and draughty.

This Godric's Hollow wherever it is, is definitely closer to the London than to the north of Scotland, so it's a lot warmer here. But I still miss my socks and my flannel pyjamas. The ones which Potter gave me are very fine silk, they are very high-quality and probably expensive and no one would have guessed that I prefer flannel, because it's cosier…

Oh, for Salazar's sake! My world had fallen apart, I am become my enemy's prisoner and here I am ranting about my pyjamas! Well, but I have all the time in the world to think and rant about unessential things and to talk about them to myself. It doesn't look like anything I do would make Potter to let me free.

Even if he did let me go, I would probably be leaving for Azkaban. This probably is still a lot better than that. But it doesn't mean anything, I still hate this place and I hate Potter and this existence like a puppy kept in this comfortable box.

There is no point in fooling myself. I don't really have a choice. Even if I asked Potter to give me over to the aurors, to deliver me to Azkaban, he wouldn't do it. I know, because I already asked. After he took me here and nursed me back to health, I asked, no, not asked, demanded to let me go to Azkaban, but he didn't. I trashed the damn room. I jelled at him, I told him in detail how I tortured Ginny Weasley before the ugly bint died…

Despite my best efforts he did not bat an eyelid. Ignored me completely. Potter replaced the bedding I had shredded and all the insignificant damage I had caused – there was not much in the room I could destroy, but I had put my heart into it – destroying things the muggle way is not easy for someone who is used to use magic for everything… he even healed my hand which I had cut on the bathroom mirror when I broke it. Potter didn't even listen to anything I said at least there was no reaction from him and with Potter's temper that was something unexpected.

Potter, Potter, Potter… maybe if I curse his name enough times he would drop dead? I really have too much time on my hands. My only entertainment is those stupid books he brings me… and Potter himself.

But Potter is not very entertaining after all. Not the way he was when we were still at Hogwarts. He is so solemn and quiet, so unresponsive to whatever I say. Whatever insults I manage to think up – Potter ignores. Wouldn't even talk to me.

He gives me clothes to wear; he gives me food to eat and ignores me.

I told him how I killed muggles, how I put a woman under imperius and ordered her to kill her family. It's an old death eater trick, not really original, but no one can say anything bad about classics. But he doesn't even look at me. Isn't he self-righteous enough?

I don't understand Potter, I really don't, if he despises me that much, and I know he does, then why does he keep me here, in his house? Is it really worth it for him?

I hate him, hate him… like a mantra it is for me now…

To hate and be so weak and helpless, not being able to do anything about it, not being able to went my anger… it is so… it hurts somewhere inside me.

I brush my cheek against the comforting carpet again. I just love the thing. I hate the bed. The bed on which Potter fucks me.

The high and mighty Boy-Who-Lived is not so high above fucking a death eater scum like me. When I thought that there was nothing that could especially surprise me, I found out that the world was full of surprises. My surprise was Potter's cock up my ass. Who would have thought? I wouldn't have, before it happened, never ever.

I was not myself after the battle, after the one which lost my side the war. I was quite shocked when I opened my eyes and could feel my body aching like it had been mauled by a pack of angry hipogryphs, which meant that I was still alive though. That was not something I had expected after I saw a spell shooting my way. I was even more surprised when I hazily saw Potter looming over me. I couldn't do or even say much and passed out again pretty soon.

Next time when I woke up I found myself on another bed in the attic room. Potter was there again, and I knew that it had not been a dream. I demanded an explanation in the best Malfoy traditions and was ignored completely. Potter just gave me plenty of potions and let me sleep. When I woke up, I had recovered enough to trash my room and demand him to take me to Ministry, aurors, Azkaban or wherever. I just wanted to be somewhere else. I couldn't stand being there with him. I couldn't stand being in his debt for saving my life. I didn't want him looking at me with concern, pity and disgust and something else which I didn't understand.


He said 'no' and gave me another strange look, his eyes… they are brilliant green, stern and cold, but burning with some kind of strange fire in the same time, his expression was just unreadable. It almost made me to shut up. Almost.

Instead I shouted and tried to hit him. But Potter just grabbed me by the wrists and held my hands away from him with no effort at all. That moment I realized how much taller, bigger and stronger than me he had gotten. Or it is me, who haven't grown much during the last two years.

Nevertheless I knew that if he just squeezed his fists, he could have crushed my bones effortlessly.

I guess I was a bit overwhelmed by everything, I was just standing there feeling lost, confused and caged… and then, then Potter was gone. My room was as good as it had been before and I was locked there alone behind wards so strong that I could feel the magic pulsating around me woven through the walls, doors, floor, like an invisible web.

I knew when I didn't have much choice. It was not the first time; I had had a lot of experience with such things. So I took a shower and put on the silk pyjamas which had appeared on the bed while I was in the bathroom.

I climbed on the bed which was quite large and canopy-less. I didn't mind though, during last year some of my fastidiousness had been cured. I was going to annoy Potter about it anyway, but deep down I just loved it. The linens smelt clean, not just spelled clean and 'not dirty', but clean and there were two big and soft pillows. And there was no smell of death. Yes, the bed was so perfect for me that I felt like crying. But I just don't cry anymore. There is no point; there isn't anyone who would listen to my tears.

I fell asleep trying not to think too hard, live for this moment, the moment where I am lying in a nice, clean bed and that is all what matters. I ordered myself to concentrate on smell of clean linens and warmth and soothing dark surrounding me.

I had no idea how long I had slept when he woke me up, but I could see the stars through the roof window as I opened my eyes. Potter didn't do anything, but I knew that he was there. One learns such things in a war. He looked very strange and I was not sure what to say, I was pretty much startled to see him sanding next to my bed.

"Lie on your stomach," Potter ordered and I did, for some strange reason, I simply obeyed, I guess I had been trained that way, to obey those who were stronger than me and was still too confused after just waking up to remind myself that it was only Potter.

I just had no idea that… well for what reason I thought he was asking me to do that? I don't know what I was thinking he wanted. No, I was not thinking, just complying as I would comply my father or the Dark Lord.

But when he yanked away the blanket and got on the bed I came to my senses or rather freaked out, but I knew that this was wrong and whatever was happening had to stop and my only thought was to get off the bed and as far as I could from Potter.

He didn't let me. He straddled my upper legs, his strong, muscular thighs pinned me to the bed. Then there were hands on my hips and he pulled off my pants. I was petrified. I knew I had to tell him to let go of me, scream to let me go, but words just didn't come out. They got stuck somewhere in my throat. I tried to throw him off, I thrashed about, but it didn't help me anything, he really was a lot stronger than me…

"Stop fighting and I won't hurt you," he hissed. Potter's voice was low and throaty, and for some reason it sent shiver down my spine. The order was emphasized by his hand on the nape of my neck which showed how easily he could hold me in place if he wanted so. Potter was right. There was no point to fight him, I couldn't win, he was stronger than me.

So I was lying still while he was doing what he wanted to me. It almost didn't hurt though, it just was extremely strange and uncomfortable. As usually Potter was noble and probably it could have been worse if he hadn't prepared me so thoroughly. He was very thorough, very careful and almost gentle. I guess that was what he did stretching me with his fingers. He used a lot of some kind of oil and that was so weird. I didn't know what to expect, but since it didn't hurt I was relieved more than anything. I had imagined something more brutal and painful.

Still when I felt the head of his cock at my entrance and I had to bite the pillow to stop myself from begging him not to do it, because I didn't want to beg, I knew that it was not going to change anything, he was going to do it anyway. I knew that it was wrong, so wrong that he was taking something from me, something that should be asked for, but I knew that there was nothing I could do.

Then he entered me. It burned. It was uncomfortable, it burned more than the fingers, but was still better than some things I had endured.

He pushed in me and I bit the pillow twice as hard. Then Potter started thrusting. In and out… he kept touching me, his hands caressing my buttocks, my back and then something happened, something I had never felt before, something I couldn't have imagined, a wave of hot pleasure shot through me again and again and I would swear that I saw the stars. I think I totally lost all the self-awareness and then suddenly I came. Came hard. I didn't even noticed that Potter had also finished.

When he slipped out of me I could hear it, the sound was wet and… I felt him climbing off the bed and a bit later I there was a wet and warm wash cloth on my bum, between my cheeks as he cleaned me and after that pulled back my pants and finally tucked me in as if I was a child not someone he had just raped. The mess I had made also had vanished. I don't think that I had seen him with a wand in his hand even once since I am here though…

After I heard the door close, I couldn't sleep. Once more I wished I could cry, but Malfoys don't cry. I've been done with weeping since my sixth year at school when I was caught by Potter. Can't even express what an embarrassment was that, since I try not to loose my body fluids on self pity. But still I miss my tears sometimes.

I just hugged one of the many pillows, curled with my head under the blanked, creating a cacoon of illusory safety around me. I just had to hold on something…

(1) – for those who have forgotten, Hermione hit Draco in the fourth book.

Harry's POV

I hate myself. I hate what I have become with as much passion as Dursleys has always hated me. Finally I have something in common with them, finally I understand them. They thought I was absolutely rotten and now I agree with them. I am.

Some days I whish I were never born or Voldemort had dragged me to the hell with him. Now I have become this, this… this someone who can't look his friends in the eye, because he is ashamed. This someone who can't look in the mirror, because he is disgusted with himself.

I have a secret and it is not a little dirty secret, it is quite big and ugly hidden in my attic behind the strongest wards I could master. I have to keep my secrets safe, because as far as the Wizarding world is concerned, Draco Malfoy is dead or missing and supposedly dead, not locked in Harry Potter's, The-Boy's-Who-Lived, The-Vanquisher's attic.

If the Wizarding world only knew how low their beloved Saviour had fallen.

And the funny thing about it is that even if indirectly, it is still Voldemort's fault. He keeps influencing my life, my fate even from his grave.

I had no idea what exactly had happened after my severing curse had hit Voldemort. The first moment I am aware of was when I opened my eyes and found myself lying on the ground. But it was not as simple awakening. It felt as if I did not only open my eyes but all my senses suddenly came undone. Keen awareness washed over me and I felt almost dizzy, drunk on scents, sounds and senses. I sat up and my head was spinning. I had grown up in London and never before had felt especial closeness to nature, but all of a sudden I understood it all, I felt connected, for the first time in my eighteen years long life I could feel myself as a part of everything.

But unfortunately it didn't stop there. As well as I could feel grass growing, hear beetles crawling in it and smell the soil underneath I could feel other odours around me and they were a lot less pleasant. Death. I could smell burnt, rotting flesh. Sweat, blood and other bodily fluids.

The scene was as horrid as it could be expected, fallen bodies everywhere, not only witches and wizards, but creatures as well. Blood and gore, mangled corpses.

I couldn't stand it anymore, I had to get away from it all. I stood up and walked straight into the woods nerby. I not only wanted, I had to get away from all that madness. I couldn't look at his HIS body, if that could be called body at all, it didn't look very human, mostly skin reminding me of old parchment stretched over a carcass of bones. I hoped that there would be someone to clean this up properly; I wanted nothing to do with it. Hadn't I done enough already?

I couldn't help it; I still can't help it, but feel like this all was my fault somehow. All those deaths and suffering which could be prevented if Voldemort had been gone a day, a week or a year earlier.

It is complete dragon shit, of course, if I think about it rationally. There was nothing I could have done and even if there was – it doesn't work that way. Could have defeated him sooner maybe? Sooner when? I am a fucking kid, am still just a kid. I am eighteen years old, other guys my age are just finishing the school, hanging out with their friends, but I… I am running around, looking for those damned horcruxes and loosing people who are dear to me… Cedric, Hagrid, Seamus, the list is endless.

Ginny. She was the one who was supposed to survive the war with me, who was supposed to mourn with me those who were lost and with whom I was supposed to celebrate a new beginning, it seems that everything would be better if Ginny were here with me, that she could make everything right… I was supposed to save her. I was supposed to save her and marry her and we were supposed o be together forever.

And a traitorous part of me thinks that maybe it is better that she isn't here. It is a selfish thought, but I am somewhat glad that she is not here and can't see me now and doesn't know what I have turned into. Well, now I know that we were not meant to be anyway.

Ginny is dead. Kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Death Eaters. Draco Malfoy who is one responsible for her suffering and death is in my house now. I am spitting on her memory and on my parents' memory by keeping him there.

And all because I walked in that damned wood after the battle. I realise that I was not simply trying to escape the scene. It was as if something was pulling me in there. The calming, earthly odour of moss and putrescent leaves and dry pine needles and resin was not the only ones I scented. There was something much fragrant than any flower, tastier than chocolate and more energizing than coffee. I couldn't resist the pull.

And there it was. A small body almost lost in a Death Eater's robe which looked as if it was way too large for him. I turned him around. His distinctive silver blonde hair was streaked with dirt and there was a red, angry bruise on the pale cheek.

He groaned in pain, whimpered like a hurt puppy. And then I knew that I couldn't leave him there, I couldn't leave Draco Malfoy lying there cold and alone in the woods. I lifted him up in my arms, which was very easy even when I was tired from the battle; he was lighter than a feather to me. it was as if all he strength left in me was pulled together just for him.

I should have done the right thing – taken Draco to the healers and then he would be tried and sent to the Azkaban. But then suddenly I couldn't bear the thought of letting him out of my sight, of letting someone take him away from me. I didn't understand. Something came over me, I apparated straight to the Godric's Hollow.

I carried him inside; I took of the damned, dirty death eater robe and cast incendio on it. I couldn't look at the damn thing. I put him on the sofa and checked for injuries. It was not that bad, he was bruised terribly, one of his arms was broken, but I had a potion for that. My storage was full of all kinds of healing potions; I had needed them on a regular basis while dealing with horcruxes and Death Eater attacks. Malfoy's clothes were in a terrible condition. Even I could still see that once they had been fine and expensive, but had been worn too long and had gotten scruffy cuffs. I just took them off. Only then I saw how skinny he had gotten. Maybe not dangerously, but close. I could count his ribs.

I carried him to the bathroom, put him in the tub and run the water. I took the flannel and gently washed him. I ran it along his angular shoulders, narrow chest, I washed every finger; I didn't miss a single patch of his skin. Then like a child I wrapped his petite body in a large towel and carried him to the attic where I had build a guest room just in case as I was renovating the house. I decided that I had never seen a man who had features so fine.

I laid him on the bed and tucked in the blanket. I kissed Malfoy on the forehead.

Only when I left the room I started fully realise what I have done.

Draco Malfoy was a murderer, a dark wizard, a coward, scum…a Death Eater after all!

But his skin was so soft and radiant under those bruises; it burned the tips of my fingers as I touched it. His hair was like the finest silk when I run my fingers through it. His lips were rosy, full and tempting, his eye lashes - pale, long and I ached to see his grey eyes again, silver and alive like mercury especially when he was angry. And I could smell him now, and more strongly than ever, like many things and Draco was the sweetest of them all. It was driving me mad, it was divine…

I had lost my mind.

I knew what I had to do. I had to call the aurors or at least Ron and Hermione who were most likely already looking for me.

I looked at myself. I was standing there still wearing the same dirty jeans with torn leg and scruffy ends. Covered in mud and blood. I was still a mess. I decided to clean up and then figure out what to do about all this… or what not to do.

I did. I took a shower; I put on a clean shirt and a pair of slacks. I even firecalled The Burrow and Kingsley Shacklebolt, letting everyone know that I was fine. Did I tell somebody of the fact that Draco Malfoy was in my house, lying unconscious upstairs in my bed? No. I didn't.

I returned to the attic room. He was lying on the bed so slight and childlike as if he was an innocent babe, not a cruel, ruthless death eater. So beautiful. Like an angel. Who would believe that the fair creature had more in common with a demon who brought misery and devastation?

How many wizards, witches and unsuspicious muggles had killed the wand which was held by those delicate hands?

Why does Draco Malfoy have to be so stunning?

Since I brought him into my house he is constantly on my mind and nothing can change that.

While he was unconscious and weak I could pretend that the fair creature I ache for is something else. He was calm and quiet and I could just sit by his bed, look at him and play with his petite fingers.

But then Malfoy woke up. He broke everything what was breakable in the attic room. And the first thing he did when he saw me – he yelled at me. Called me names, asked me to take him to Azkaban, threatened me even. I told him 'no'.

I went downstairs and made myself a cup of tea. I had a reason to calm my nerves. I needed it. There I was sharing my house with the vicious little prick that did everything he could to make my life unbearable whenever he had a chance.

Why didn't I do what he asked? Why didn't I give him to aurors, to ministry, to the wizarding world which would eagerly tear apart the one who caused break-in into Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore's death and probably had done a lot more since. That was something I was supposed to wish myself, he deserved the punishment for all his crimes. What was wrong with me?

I went outside. I couldn't bear to be in the house anymore. It was getting dark as I walked to the graveyard, to my parents' grave. There they lie, forever young, forever together, a couple made in heaven.

Standing there at my parents' grave didn't offer me consolation.

They were just there lying quiet and emotionless. My parents have never been very real for me. They have always been like icons, a picture on the mantel – which I actually have there now – never real people. Of course, I owe them everything; I owe my mother for her sacrifice. The hell! The entire wizarding world owes my mother. It is her sacrifice that kept me alive, that weakened Voldemort and gave me a chance to off him about a week ago.

But when has the wizarding world given anyone a proper credit or punishment?

Maybe it is not that bad that I am not giving them a chance to punish Malfoy.

Speaking about Malfoy. Unlike my parents he was very real and alive and very close and I was painfully aware of it. I could hear his heartbeat, the rhythm which was unique, only his, feel his every breath. So close to me…

I let my legs carry me. Or I didn't let, they just did. Before I realised it, I had returned inside and I was climbing upstairs. He was asleep already, slumbering peacefully; obviously the people who he had tortured and killed were not disturbing his sleep. There it was the fairness of world for you.

I shouldn't be having those thoughts, I know I shouldn't. I was so disgusted with myself when I drew back the blanket which was covering his lithe, sinful, tempting body; his skin looks almost radiant in the moonlight. He opened those mercury eyes and if I had any doubts or hesitation I lost them, took just one look in his enchanting eyes.

Draco was still in a sleepy daze and when I ordered him to lie on his stomach, he obeyed without hesitation. I hate to think that he might be so obedient because he is used to taking such orders. There were a lot of rumours about Malfoy's sordid affairs when we were still in Hogwarts, but I never thought that he would take this position. But then – what did I know about him? I never thought that he would really become a death eater, not sure why, but I didn't.

He became aware of the situation when I climbed on the bed, but it was easy to overpower him. When I pulled of his pyjama bottoms all the blood in my body rushed to my groin, his bottom was perfect… I conjured oil; I didn't really want to hurt him more than necessary.

I wanted to take off his shirt too. I wanted to shower his body with kisses and caresses… but if I did… I couldn't go there. I had to keep some control and distance. I had to remain in control. There had to be a line I wouldn't cross, I had to keep my sanity somehow.

This, this I could excuse somehow or maybe I couldn't, but I also couldn't stop myself.

Can I excuse this? Is it justice? Does Malfoy deserve to be held prisoner in my house? Does he deserve to be used by me as, as… I can't say it, I can't even think it.

No, I am not corrupt enough to fool myself claiming that I am executing a just punishment over him. That I am punishing him. But I also know that I don't have a reason to feel sorry for him. This is still better than he deserves. I care for him. He is well fed and comfortable and what I am doing to him is less than he had done to other people. And it doesn't matter. He should be answering for his crimes. I should stop committing mine.

But it is too late.

I hate myself for what I am doing. I couldn't probably sink lower. But the thing is that I can't help myself, I can't stop myself. He is more intoxicating than any drug to me. I need him, I crave him desperately. I can't wait to get the next fix. I can't let him go. I don't want to let him go. It is as if I am ruined for ever. I have an incurable addiction.

Draco Malfoy.

When I leave the house to meet Ron and Hermione, to visit Molly or for a Ministry function I found myself fidgety and uneasy. Anxious to return as soon as I can.

I can hardly express how much I detest myself for having this abominable obsession with the slytherin I have hated since I have known him. I am helpless, I am desperate.

How can I be so infatuated with someone like him?

The things he tells me sometimes, well not sometimes, whenever he has a chance. As I chop his fingernails after he had scratched my face, he tells me how he killed muggle children who were playing outside their house when the death eaters attacked. He says that they were little freckled redheads, reminded him of Weasleys and they were screaming without sound, because he cast a silencing charm on them not to alarm their parents. He says he used crucio. If young children are held under it long enough, the pain is too much and their hearts can't stand it. They pop like nurbangs, in the heat, he says and I have no idea what 'nurbangs' are, probably some obscure potions ingredient, but I got the picture.

I ignore him. I ignore him completely. I refrain to think about his victims as real people, I don't think about them. If I said anything or did anything I wouldn't be able to stop what I have started. If I slapped him, I would probably stop only when he would be beaten into pulp. If I said something… well, what good words would do? What good would it do if I called him all the nasty words I had on the tip of my tongue? What if I told him what I think about him? Then I had to tell him all the things I thought about him and that would give Draco power over me.

And that's not all, in some perverse way I think I like hearing his voice and it doesn't matter what the words mean.

If it's any consolation then I think that my silence riles him up more than anything I could probably say. But it's not consolation, because it hurts me to think that he is such a cruel, ruthless monster. That he has no consciousness, that he feels no regret and that he enjoys talking about all the torturing he has done, all the suffering he has caused.

It pains me greatly that I am helplessly enamoured with this, this monster.

Hermione's POV

Harry has been acting very strange lately. I ask him if everything is fine and as expected he insults us with a fake smile and confirms that everything is fine and dandy. At the moment I regret more than ever that I am too well behaved to reply to his lie with a string of colourful words which Ron is so found of despite his mother's endless effort to re-educate him.

I glance at Ron and I see that even he has not been fooled, but tries to hide it. We know that there is no point to start interrogating Harry; he would just avoid us the next time, which he has been doing lately anyway. That house of his! I am starting to think that restoring it was not such a great idea after all since it is too perfect for hiding. It is almost impossible to get him leave the Godric's Hollow these days. And when we come over he gets all nervous and fidgety as if he is very uncomfortable and doesn't really want us in his house.

This is ridiculous! We are Harry's best friends. Together we have been through a lot, we have been through hell and survived. It counts for something! It must! That is why it hurts me so much when Harry doesn't trust me. That he keeps secrets from us.

I am trying to be patient and rational about it.

There is a great chance that he is having the kind of depression people sometimes have after big events, something they had been waiting for and preparing for, something they had dedicated all the effort to and when it is over, people sometimes doesn't know what to do with themselves. But somehow I don't think that it is bothering Harry.

We have discussed the situation with Ron. Ron said that 'Harry is a bloke' and there are certain things 'blokes' don't want to share much. He went all red and 'admitted' that guys don't want to appear to be weepy and weak and sharing all their feelings. He thinks that sometimes I am prying too much and if I wanted to have all those girly talks I should 'hang out with other chicks more'.

Naturally I went appropriately ballistic as Ron suggested that. But when I think about it, I must admit, that I can't expect all the people to agree with me, would be nice, but… that is exactly what Voldemort did after all. I know that I might want to tone done my self-righteous tendencies a bit.

Sometimes Ron is such a… guy, I guess. But sometimes he says things which are simple, but genuinely brilliant. Or sweet. He can bee so sweet sometimes!

Well, at first he was trying to keep me out of Harry's hair, so to say, but now he admits that he is as worried as me. Harry is hiding something important and possibly dangerous or just painfully embarrassing. I hope it's the second, because no matter what people say – no one had died of that yet.

Maybe it is something personal after all. But what?

I can't completely blame him if that is the case. Me and Ron. Us. We also have our secrets, maybe not really secrets, but private things, things we keep between ourselves as a couple. It is strange in a way.

There were always three of us. When we were younger I sometimes felt a bit left out since Ron and Harry became friends first and they were both boys, had a lot in common and naturally got along better. But now I am with Ron. I am close to him in a way Harry will never be. We love each other and no matter how reluctant I am, but I would be lying to myself if I said that friendship is as important as love. Of course I love Harry. But I LOVE Ron.

I and Ron, we will become a family sooner or later. I hope that we will get married and have children. Only it is breaking us three up in a way. The closer I and Ron are getting, the further we are drifting away from Harry. If we don't adopt him or something…

But none of us can stop worrying about him. That we are abandoning him, pushing him away and hurting him. It would be different if Harry had someone. We would feel less guilty. But Harry doesn't. He is alone. He doesn't seem even interested. It is not healthy. It can't be normal.

I think that it would be different if Ginny was still with us… I can't even think about her death without tears in my eyes. It was the loss that hurt us the most during this war. It is not a proper thing to say, because one can not compare such things, but Ginny was special. She was like a ray of light. The fire burning in her warmed us all when it got too cold.

Maybe he is still mourning her. He says he is. But it can't go on like that. He has to move on. Harry is alive, he must live. He must remember that the living are more important than the dead.

That is the spirit in the wizarding world. The threat is gone, we are all finally free to live, to hope, to have dreams, to believe that they could become true. The losses had been great, but there is a future to look forward to. People are falling in love like mad; everyone is dating frantically, getting married, trying for children.

But Harry is locking himself up in that damn house if we don't drag him out forcefully.

For god's sake – Harry is a hero! The-Man-Who-Lived, The Saviour, The Vanquisher, The-Boy-Who-Lived-And-Saved-The-World and so forth. I can't even list all the silly titles they come up with. Wherever we go the witches are all over him. Ron joked that he wanted to know what kind of aftershave he is using, because sometimes it seems that people find him just irresistible.

He could choose whoever he wanted. Even some wizards had a gall to flirt with him. But Harry is a bit better than blind to their advances.

Well, if he can't forget Ginny that is fine. He doesn't have to fall in love straight away. I can't believe that I am saying it, but he doesn't have to get married, I believe that a roll in the hay would do him a lot of good. Take that b… witch Lavender Brown. She is practically showing her enormous boobs in Harry's face whenever we meet her.

I don't like her, but she would be perfect for a little tension relieving affair. Don't men like big…err, cauldrons, anymore?

Ron was shocked when I suggested him to talk with Harry about it, make him look in the right direction so to say. Who does he thinks I am? I explained him that sex is a natural thing and a physiological need. And needs has to be taken care of or else they distract people from other important things and mentioned a couple of interesting facts about sexuality in general…

Ron needed a bit to digest everything I said. Some of those who had grown up in the wizarding world are such prudes! They had interbred with non-humans for Merlin's sake! This is kind of society in which they are holier-than-thou in public, but in the meantime are doing unimaginable things behind closed doors in their mansions and dungeons.

I know that I finally went too far when I hypothetically asked Ron if he had any idea how his parents came by seven children.

I guess, I got a bit carried away and he really didn't want to hear that.

Well, after Ron had calmed down and absorbed what I told him, he decided to have a friendly chat with Harry.

Harry rebuffed him completely. Didn't even let the conversation to go there and when Ron insisted, told him outright that he really didn't want to talk about it, maybe some other day.

Some other day, which was never going to come.

We can't help him if we don't know what is wrong. I hope he will tell us before it's too late. Well, I hope it's nothing life threatening and usually that's too much to ask.

Oh, Harry. I really want to now what is happening with you…

Draco's POV

I guess, I have accepted the fact, that I will never be free, some time ago. One master just takes the place of the previous. That is the way of things with me. I am a slytherin after all and we are survivors, no matter what.

My father was the master of Malfoy manor, a proper head of the family. I miss him very much. Father was strong, he took care of everything. We were Malfoys and many people envied us, hated us, feared us, but none of them dared to go against my family. It was a marvellous feeling sometimes. Everyone bowing down in front of us. However sometimes it was hard, because I knew that they were waiting for a chance, for a slip, for an opportunity to tear at us, destroy us like a pack of feral werewolves, thirsty for our blood.

We were in danger. Father reminded me that all the time, never let me forget who I was.

Father was the one who kept those dogs at bay. He was strong, unrelenting, cold-blooded and we were protected, I was safe.

But what no one knew was how generous my father could be. If I only mentioned that I wanted something, I got it. If I ever complained about something, my father not only listened, but tried to correct it. I wanted new toys – I got them. My tutor was being nasty – he was removed and I got a new one. I wanted friends, my father brought me friends. I knew that there was someone who would take care of my needs, who would solve all my problems.

I was so naïve.

I had a nasty shock when I went to Hogwarts and found out that father's power was limited. He couldn't do everything. He couldn't get Potter expelled and Dumbledore removed from his position; he couldn't make McGonagall stop staring at me as if I were something smelly and ugly; he couldn't get the damn hippogriff executed.

I still had more than others. I if I wanted something, I got it if it was possible, yes, my father bought me a place on the Quidditch team, because I loved to play so much… not that I wasn't a good player, but those Nimbus 2001 brooms definitely secured my position.

Of course, I am not being completely honest here, Lucius was also a demanding father and if I didn't do what was expected, there was always a sever punishment. I tried very hard to please him, but very often my best effort was not good enough. It hurt.

But, still, with father I felt the safest, because I knew what was expected, I knew what was going to happen if I didn't meet expectations, my life was predictable and safe and he could be really giving when he wanted to be.

Besides I had a mother. I would do everything to have her back. I don't want to think about it, I don't think that I will ever get over loosing her. According to Lucius I was too attached to Narcissa.

However it was not long after I lost my father, when I got a new master. The Dark Lord. He was twice as demanding and not generous at all. More demanding than my father and more powerful. I didn't feel safe at all, I was never safe, on the contrary, my bad luck could get worse every moment. My hands were constantly shaking. There was no way to negotiate, disobedience was unimaginable and no excuses were accepted. It was hard to tell what he wanted and usually he wanted more than one could give. His servants never knew when they would be punished, or why and how.

And sometimes I had complained that my father was too hard on me… oh,

what a clueless child I were before I started to serve The Dark Lord.

But I had to. There was no choice for me. I was to serve The Dark Lord, exterminate muggles and mudbloods to establish order in the wizarding world.

It was that or… in the end my service didn't make a difference. The only thing I wanted out of it, I didn't get. And I knew that I might not. And still I had to try.

How long I was relieved of my last master, before I got a new one? Mere moments, and I was not even aware of the freedom I had gained. Freedom. That's an interesting word, 'freedom'. Something I know nothing about. It sounds oh so tempting and sweet, but dangerous as well. I don't think I know anything about it. I am not sure if I know enough about it to muse over it.

Maybe it's like flying on my broom for no reason, just for fun, not because there is a quidditch match or something, knowing that there is no one watching. I loved that.

Oh, but it is not like Potter will ever let me to have a broom or fly on it or let me outside at all. Every Master sets rules, there are always restrictions. My restrictions here are very clear – I am not to leave my room, my cell. Sometimes I think that maybe if I asked, if I begged, maybe Potter would let me outside, just in the yard, in the garden. There is a really nice garden around his house; I can see it from the window.

But I don't ask. I am not going to ask Potter anything. Never. I will not beg him. He has power over me, but he is still Potter and I have exactly that much dignity left. No begging. That is my own rule. The one freedom I still have here.

Yes, there is one thing I know about freedom, I know how to find it in captivity. With my father I always knew that I could misbehave as long as I was ready to take the punishment.

With Voldemort I could take some pretty wild risks, because being there already put me in mortal danger. Still breathing could be as punishable as anything else, so why not to make it worth it?

In a way Potter is not the worst of my masters, the one I hate the most, that is true, but not the worst.

My father… well he is long gone and I loved him, but he was not strong enough to protect me and mother and that life we had was just not meant to be, so I better don't compare him to anyone, that all was too good to be true and remembering my life before The Dark Lord returned just hurts, so I try not to think about it as something I lost, I think about it as something I had for a little while.

I couldn't hate The Dark Lord, I was too afraid of him. I didn't dare. He could give me everything one moment and take everything away next and he did.

I am at least free to hate Potter. I had a lot of reasons to hate him and he doesn't punish me for hating him. It is funny. Potter doesn't punish me for anything. I can throw a fit and break all the dishes and he just casts reparo and carries on as if nothing had happened at all. I even harmed him, I made Potter bleed when I scratched him, but he just took it and decided that he should cut my nails afterwards. I can scream at him on the top of my lungs the nastiest insults I know, but he just stays quiet or leaves and closes the door after himself. Doesn't even bang it! I can tell him how I had tortured and killed and he looks as if I have been reading to him from a dictionary.

He just looks at me sometimes. I hate those looks; I really do… he looks at me with disgust, regret, pity? Well I don't really know, I have no idea what is happening in that head of his after all. I just wish I could get some reaction out of him, something at all. Something to bring some normalcy back into my existence.

I think about it. I can't figure out why Potter can't be like a normal person. It takes time, but think I have it figured out. It is not he, who is not normal. He just doesn't treat me like a normal person. With his attitude he shows me that I don't deserve to be treated like a person.

I know what is happening. He treats me like a pet, like an animal that can't be accountable for its actions.

I wish he punished me. I wished he lost that stony composure and stroke me across face for once as I probably deserve for all the badmouthing. I wish he punished me for something. I wish he said at least one world to me, because it would make me feel at least bit more like a real person and proved that I am still good at something.

But I am not a person for Potter; I am an object or an animal, a pet at best. He despises me. I think he hates me as much as I hate him. I probably deserve that.

Still he keeps me here. Still he comes to me almost every night.

Sometimes I think that Potter's strange compulsion to fuck me is why I am here. Sometimes I just don't know and I think I would feel better if I knew. But all my questions stay unanswered. Nothing I say or do changes anything. He just feeds me and fucks me.

I tried to ignore it, I tried not to think about it very hard and of course the more I try not to think about it, the more fixated on it I get. Besides it is kind of impossible to ignore the fact that I have someone's prick buried deep in my ass every other night. I can't really pretend that it is just a dream, because I can still feel it when I wake up in the morning, my body remembers everything, it remembers him in me.

I don't mean that I feel pain. Not really, he doesn't hurt me. I think he is being very careful and what he does with his fingers first is because he doesn't want to actually hurt me. Probably for his own sake, for his conscious which is still somewhere there telling him that what he is doing to me is wrong. It should be - he is Harry Potter and a gryffindor. But I don't see it and it is not stopping him.

I don't understand. I want to know 'why'.

Sometimes I think what would happen if I asked him to stop. But I don't, I don't ask him anything, I don't beg. Malfoys don't beg. I want to keep at least some kind of pride and dignity. If I begged him to stop and he didn't then, then what would I be? He wouldn't stop even if I begged; I know that, I am not going to humiliate myself unnecessary and that's it.

I have gotten used to it anyway. I just wish I wouldn't come every time he touches me, then I could feel like I had kept some dignity at least, but when he sinks so deep in me and brushes against that something and I just loose control over my body in the same way as I have lost control over my life in general. I try to excuse it as a natural reaction, but id doesn't help me feel less disgusted with myself. And then that stupid ritual of cleaning me afterwards. With a cloth. For fucks sake! He is wielding wandless magic as if it was as simple and natural as breathing! And can't vanish some mess!

Why I am so mortified… oh, that's because I sometimes become hard again as he's doing it. That's beyond… I try to will it away, but it doesn't always work, so I have to go to the bathroom and take care of myself. I feel so dirty, because of it, because he is… damn it… I don't want to say, but… he is violating me and it shouldn't feel good and it doesn't and it does.

I am screaming in my head every time he thrusts in me and I am not sure why anymore. Then my traitorous body suddenly finds the stimulation pleasant. All of it is so disturbing.

What hurts the most is the fact that it is obviously not even me he wants, I bet, he is imagining someone else while he is with me, why else he wouldn't even look in my face while he's buggering me. Am I not worth that much? Am I not good enough to be touched for real? Doesn't he want to kiss me and look in my eyes as he comes? I have been told that my eyes are of most unusual grey colour. But he doesn't care; he treats me like I am not even there, I am just a body. I wonder if anything had been different if I had been already dead when he brought me here.

The fact that it hurts is even more wrong than everything else about my life.

I just don't have control over anything anymore.

I am loosing myself. I am helpless. The only person I see is ignoring me, despising me. I find myself thinking that maybe there is something I could do to make him notice me. Not like the things I was doing all the time, breaking things and telling him gruesome death eater stories. No, nothing like that.

I find myself thinking that maybe if I said him that I was sorry and I didn't really mean all those cruel things I said, maybe he would… or maybe if I smiled at him and were nice… I don't have anything to offer, but he obviously likes my body, maybe… Oh Circe! I think I am loosing it, I am going insane. I feel so lonely and isolated. I feel desperate for something, anything at all… soon I will be ready to do anything for one word from Potter.

I really wish I could cry, I am sure that crying would take away some of the anguish I am feeling. But I can't cry. I have promised myself that I will be strong and I will not cry ever again. But I don't feel strong I feel helpless and sad. I feel numb.

I can't stand it anymore…

Harry's POV

I just came back from The Burrow. I was seeing Ron and Hermione. I love my friends, but I feel relieved when I finally manage to get away from them. I feel like I can finally let out the breath I was holding.

It is ridiculous. I shouldn't feel uneasy when I am meeting my friends. I am not going to complain that they are too noisy. Well, they are (kind of), at least for my tastes. But it is my own fault that I can't look them into eye. There wouldn't be such problems if I were not hiding things from them and lying all the time.

There would be nothing to lie about if I didn't keep Draco Malfoy in my house.

I go to the kitchen. I have to prepare him lunch. I want to do something anyway, keep busy; wallowing in guilt is no fun. So I open the fridge and get some lettuce, Italian tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and other vegetables just in case. I have decided to prepare some steamed fish and rice as well. As far as I know, Malfoy doesn't mind sea food, at least hadn't complained so far. Cooking is something I can enjoy, despite that Dursleys made me to cook for them all the time. It was one of the pleasant chores after all.

When everything is ready I take a plate and put a portion of rice on it, a piece of fish and some salad, I pour some pine-apple juice in a large glass. I have no idea what juice he likes the best, since Malfoy doesn't comment on them, so I try to bring him a different kind every day. The only one he didn't drink for some reason was peach, so I didn't serve that anymore. I've just always thought that the pumpkin juice is not that grand at all; especially if that is the only one you get to drink nine months out of twelve for seven years. And it's kind of bland.

I take care of him.

I give him what he needs. I bring him food, clothes and books and the most expensive grooming products I can get my hands on. I think he should appreciate them; Malfoy has always been kind of vain. Or at least he has always looked like someone who spends time on his appearance.

I don't know if there is anything else he could want, because he never asks for anything, he just yells and insults me. Well lately he even doesn't do too much of that.

He is awfully quiet recently and if honestly I am worried. I try not to make a big deal out of it because it is possible that this is just one of his moods. Only I am so aware of him, it is like every single breath he takes imprints somewhere deep in me. It is as if I am collecting his every sigh, every move, absorbing every word he says.

And now suddenly Draco is very silent and I miss hearing his voice no matter how cruel his words are when he uses it. Insulting Malfoy is a Malfoy I know and…

When I open the door he is lying on the rug. I almost can't see his face, because his nose is buried in the fluffy material and obscured by the wisps of silver blonde hair. The colour is amazing. I have never seen anyone with natural hair like that. It's getting longer, I wonder if I should trim it for him, but I kind of like the length, it means that there is more of that silver blonde beauty.

I put the tray on the table and look at the small figure on the floor.

He hasn't changed out of his pyjamas. Usually he does. Dresses and does his hair as properly as if he was going out. I hope he is not ill. I don't think so, he shouldn't be, he doesn't appear ill to me. For some reason I think I would know if he was really unwell.

I decide to let him be and leave the room. I have a couple of letters to write.

Later, when I come back into the attic room to retrieve the tray it looks like Malfoy hasn't moved from his spot. He hasn't touched the food at all. I leave the juice and take away the rest. I decide to leave it be for now. I can't force-feed him after all. Well, probably can, but don't really want to I am not going to use reasons like that just to touch him.

That night when I come into his room Malfoy is still lying on the floor. It makes me angry for some reason, angrier than all the nasty things he ever said. I don't think that he is even asleep. I take a deep breath, let it out and unclench my fists. There is only one thing I can really do. I go to him, kneel and lift him from the floor. He is still so light and warm like a kitten and smells so nice. When he is in my arms with his head so close to me I can't deny myself it, I breathe in and savour the divine smell of his hair. The things he's doing to me…

I put him on the bed. Malfoy doesn't look at me. He turns around lying on his stomach and lifting his bum up from the bed a bit as if offering it to me. Of course he thinks that I… that I came here to… and he is right, he is completely right. Oh, Merlin… I sink on the floor next to the bed and look at his back. The curve of his back is elegant so inviting… his bottom is so round and firm not hidden well under the thin silk. I want nothing more than reach out and touch him anywhere… everywhere. I am insane. He drives me crazy.

I feel familiar burning in my eyes. I am so fucked up… so fucked up… I reach out; I take his hand and rub it against my cheek. It's so soft, so fine. The nails I cut myself are getting long again, soon he would be able to scratch me again and I wouldn't mind, because so long that had been the only way he has ever touched me… oh God, I am pathetic. I place one little kiss after another on the pads of his fingers. His fingers are so long and elegant for a hand so small.

I fondle his hand and silent tears are running down my cheeks. Why isn't he someone else? Why isn't he a better person, someone I could love freely, without feeling any guilt, someone who loved me? Why?

He falls asleep. It's good. Sleep will do him good. Maybe it will pull Draco out of the strange mood.

I get up and go to my own room. It is on the second floor, right below the attic room. I had to change rooms so I could be closer to him. Naturally I also cast a strong monitoring charm on his room, to keep him safe. Still, I am a bit worried. Every time I leave the house I am worried that I will come back and Draco won't be there. But at the moment I have nothing to worry about; I can just close my eyes and fall asleep.

The next morning things are better. When I bring him breakfast, I see that Malfoy has taken a shower and he is wearing proper clothes. A white shirt made of thin material and a pair of dark grey slacks and socks of the same colour. He doesn't really need shoes here. I have bought him those clothes myself. I don't have any fashion sense, but there are enough stores on the highstreet with very helpful sales assistants who are ready to help me. Besides there are not much ugly things I could get there, so it would be hard to buy something too awful even if I tried.

He is sitting in the arm chair and reading one of those books I brought him.

Malfoy doesn't even look at me. Not at all, he is so immersed in it as if it held all the secrets of the wizarding world (don't think he would be interested in the secrets of the world in general). I leave the tray with eggs, toast and bacon and I leave him be. Damn him, I whish I knew how he likes his tea at least!

Later I come and take the empty plates; I am relieved that he has eaten, even if not all of it, he eats like a birdie, I am used to it. Then I bring him some sandwiches and lunch in the evening, he is eating. However he is still ignoring me. I don't hear a word for him. Well, that also means that he is not spitting insults at me, but it's so quiet like this and I don't even see his eyes, since Malfoy is avoiding my gaze so stubbornly. I am not sure what to make of it. I can't claim that I understand people at all and Malfoy, well, I think that Malfoy is something completely different anyway. I am not even imagining that I could compare him to other, regular people. I guess he would be pleased to know that I find him so exceptional. Not always in good ways, but I can bet that wouldn't matter to the brat so much.

That night I come into his room like every other day, but I don't wake him up. I just sit on the floor by the bed as close to him as possible. So close that our noses are almost touching. He is so beautiful. I don't want to disturb that beauty. So I sit there looking at him, learning every line on his face, whishing I could learn even more about him.

Next evening I can't stay at home. It's all Hermione's fault. Well, not really, but I have to blame someone, because all those parties, gatherings, balls make my mood awfully sour. Or whatever they are calling it this time.

It is something in honour of Rufus Scrimgeour's daughter who had finished her education in Beauxbatons. I told Hermione that I don't like Scrimgeour and I don't know his daughter, but she insisted that the party was not really about Sandrine Scrimgeour and I must show up just because I must and whatever… it is easier to do as she wants than fight. I swear - she's taking lessons from Mrs. Weasley and I am yet to see anyone under fifty saying her 'no'.

Maybe I could go and resurrect Voldemort to stop being their vanquisher and hero. I don't say that aloud though. One can never guess how a girl would take a stupid joke. Besides many people still take him so damn serious, still wouldn't use his real name – I think if they knew that I am thinking this they would run screaming.

I guess that one more of those social functions wouldn't hurt. I have been at so many. It appears that people do nothing else, but party these days. They always find one reason or another. Every week I receive owls carrying plenty of invitations. I usually don't accept the private ones. But as Hermione smartly pointed that out – an invitation from The Minister of Magic is not like that, the party is not as private as it appears to be.

Before I leave, I bring Malfoy his supper – vegetarian lasagne and fresh salad. He is still pretending I don't exist or something. I miss his insults, because I miss hearing his voice. I wish I could stay at home, I wish he knew that. But I just place the tray on the table and leave.

"I will be out late," I say as I close the door behind me, for some odd reason. Does he care that I will be late? Why do I wish he cared?

I leave the house, walk outside the wards and apparate to the designated place. I have never been to the house, but there is a picture of apparition spot on every invitation and it is enough to apparate there. I had no idea that the minister had such a grand mansion, but that is nothing unusual in the wizarding world. All the rich, influential and pureblooded have castles rather than regular houses. But a boy who has been living in the cupboard for eleven years and then in a dormitory with several other boys can't be expected to understand that.

Godric's Hollow is not small as I see it. There is a vast kitchen on the first floor, a library-office a sitting room and a huge dining-room which was used only when there were guests in the house – that was what Remus told me. There is even a basement or dungeon, not sure how to call it.

Remus (smiling sadly) told me that my father decided to build that in for him, in case he needed somewhere to stay during the full moon, but didn't want to make him feel indebted, so he said that it was in case they needed to hide something.

And then there are five bedrooms on the second floor. Five is a lot, more than I will ever need. Godric's Hollow was built by my parents, so it's not that ridiculously enormous.

I am well aware that there is also a Potter family mansion somewhere. It is the house where my grandparents and other pureblooded Potters had lived for generations. Probably I should take a peek, but it is sealed and under some complicated conversation charm to ensure that nothing changes. While I am curious about my ancestors I don't want to live in a mansion so I am not keen to disturb all that. At least not right now.

Scrimgeour's manor is lit up with floating candles and fairy lights in all colours of rainbow. That is typical as well. Some wizards like their stuff absolutely garish. Like Headmaster's robes and hats. But I should not think about Albus Dumbledore right now, it wouldn't do me any good.

The entire merry atmosphere should be inviting, but has reversed effect on me. Malfoy would enjoy this kind of thing most likely, where people dress to impress and entertain themselves with empty chit-chat or politics which I have no understanding about. I don't like the attention, I don't have any reason to show off, I don't want to meet new people, I don't really care for politics and the formal robes I am wearing make me feel like a doll of sorts, a mannequin. It's not me.

It's not long till I am spotted by the host. I don't try to sneak in unnoticed anymore. It's impossible in my case. Never works. Scrimgeour is smiling at me generously; I can assume that the smile is false, because I don't believe that the current minister of magic has forgotten our disagreements. Or maybe it is not false and he really doesn't care anymore, well perhaps it is not important until he tries to do something against me. And I really don't think that world revolves around me, so I feel pretty safe.

Scrimgeour keeps smiling and shakes my hand vigorously. There are the habitual flashes, so I will be in the 'Prophet' tomorrow. Nice. Then he introduces me to his wife Prudence and waves with his hand at some younger witches and wizards who are chatting amiably among themselves.

A girl with blonde hair comes to us and Scrimgeour introduces her as his daughter. Her hair is blonde and abundant, but not bushy as Hermione's, her curls remind me springs, her skin is fair and she has big amber-coloured eyes and a nice carefree smile. I shake her hand as well and she laughs. Sandrine is nice.

Still I can't not to think about the fact that Scrimgeour's daughter was safe, away in the France while Hermione, Ginny, Luna and many others much younger than her were fighting the death eaters. I look in her eyes and I don't see the shadows, the haunted look and the loss there. I realise that probably I have been staring at her too intently; I hope I didn't scare the poor girl.

"I'm sorry," I apologize. "I didn't mean to…mm, stare."

She blushes and laughs and I can feel my cheeks burning up. I am such a klutz sometimes.

Scrimgeour jokes that his daughter often has that kind of effect on young men, but since it's me he doesn't mind. That raises a laugh again. They start making me uncomfortable, I know that if I will not get away while they are still laughing they will try to engage me in a conversation and I don't really want to talk and I feel like I am on a display here…

"My friends must be somewhere around, I would like to…" I make a gesture in the general direction of the wizarding crowd in which I desperately wish to flee.

"Oh, of course, of course, we can't keep The Golden Gryffindor Trio," Scrimgeour nods knowingly.

I personally hate when they call us that or imply that we are or should be joined at the hip in any other way, but I am not going to quarrel. Fuck principles, I want to get lost.

"Yes, the Golden Trio," I mumble. "It was a pleasure to meet you." I nod to the minister and both witches and slip away or more like saunter away awkwardly. I push my way through the crowd nodding at people whom I recognize, but I try to avoid conversations since I am looking for… aha, there it is, like a bright red beacon. Ron is towering a bit over everyone. My best friend is impossibly tall and it is very convenient sometimes, like right now.

Hermione smiles at me warmly: "Don't make such face, Harry, you are scaring people." She makes fun of my obvious misery.

"Hermione's right, mate," Ron says stopping a tray with glasses which is gliding past us and hands me and Hermione each a glass of champagne. "It's a party. Let's enjoy ourselves. And the free food and the free drinks…" he stops as Hermione jabs him. She doesn't think that it's proper to come to the party just because of the free food.

So we do try to enjoy ourselves. It's not that bad. A lot of so called war-heroes are there, actually my school mates, those who survived at least. They are just kids. And the order members and aurors who are actually decent wizards and witches. I talk a bit with everyone and I guess it's the right thing to do, because it obviously makes them happy. Then there are also witches and wizards who are the same age as me, but obviously they have never killed anyone. They are louder and happier than the rest of us. I assume that they are Sandrine Scrimgeour's friends or schoolmates. Some of them speak French to each other. They are looking at me and whispering among themselves. I can imagine what they are saying – oh, Merlin, he is younger than I thought, can't believe he really killed You-Know-Who, I heard that he killed Bellatrix Black as well. It is irritating, but I am getting really good at ignoring people. It is the only way.

"Hey, Harry," Hermione approaches me.

"Hey, Hermione," I smile at her. I always try to smile at her and Ron. It has become reflex for me. Like I always need to reassure them that I am allright.

"Who knew that the minister has such a nice daughter,"


"Mhm, yes, she is nice or, mhm, no, not really," that's Hermione, has to know facts.

Why is that important now?

"Yes, she is a nice girl, pretty," I say, because it is true.

"You could ask her to dance,"

"I don't like dancing," I am not good at it either, getting better recently, but not good.

"Or you could ask her to have a cup of coffee someday…"

That really gets my attention: "Why?"

"Why? You ask me, why? Why would a boy ask a girl to have some coffee with him?"

Oh. "Oh," now I am really getting it. Hermione's matchmaking is getting less and less subtle.


"So, what?" I try to play a fool.

"For God's sake, Harry!" She is whispering furiously, I guess I am making her angry. "Sandrine is a very nice girl who has been looking at you all night long, you could at least talk to her or something, ask her out. I think she would agree certainly. You need a life Harry. Do you know what a life is? Ron and I, we can't make you happy, you need to find someone for yourself. That's what people do."

"Haven't you heard those rumours about how you and Ron are both 'making me happy'?"

She rolls her eyes: "I am not going to comment something that idiotic. Perverts. And don't try to change the subject!"

"I am fine Hermione,"

"No, you re not! You are not fine, you need to move on! We all loved her, we always will, but, Harry, she would want you to be happy more than anyone else. She loved you very much and she would wish you luck with finding someone else to love."

Aha, Ginny, so Hermione thinks I am still pinning after Ginny… what a mess.

"Oi, Sandrine, I should find Ronald, would you mind to keep Harry company here, he says he would like to dance…" Hermione is way too crafty.

That's how I end dancing with Scrimgeour's daughter. She is cute, cheerful and funny and not stupid at all. She is nice and maybe Hermione is right and Sandrine likes me. She says that she had heard a lot about me and that I am exactly as she had imagined me to be. Whatever she means by that. Why would she spend time imagining me? She says that her friends would like to meet me. I am very polite and very vague. She won't be able to say that I promised something.

Still – holding her in my arms feels so wrong. I feel guilty for more reasons than one.

All I can think of is that her hair is more yellowish while Draco's silver blonde and that she smells like jasmine while Draco smells just perfect and if Draco will be able to smell her on me when I come home.

And that is it. I really want to go home. I tell Sandrine how pleased I was to meet her and wish her luck and so on, but I am very tired and this kind of gatherings is not really my thing. She laughs her chime-bell laughter again and says that it's true that I am very modest, but it's cute and she would be happy to see me again and I can owl her anytime. I return the compliment saying that she is pleasant as well, say 'goodbye' and walk away trying not to look as if I am running.

I apparate as soon as I am outside the wards. I can feel a slight buzz from all the fuzzy alcoholic drinks I had consumed and I am missing Draco badly.

I pull off the robe and the bow-tie as soon as I am in the house. I am not going to my room, but straight to the attic.

I open the door carefully; I don't want to wake Draco yet. I feel as if I should apologize to him for some reason, but I know that I am not going to. It is somehow against the rules.

I walk to the bed where he is sleeping on his stomach peacefully. I don't really understand how someone, who has done what he has, can sleep so peacefully. Me, the ones I've killed deserved it and it didn't matter, because I had no choice, it was me or them, besides I still hated it, I still see their faces in my nightmares.

But Malfoy is a different case. How many innocent lives has he destroyed? Is it bothering him somewhere deep inside?

But he will not hurt anyone anymore. I am keeping the world safe from him as well as him safe from the world. It is the best I can do. No matter who he is and what he's done, I don't want him hurt.

I pull off the duvet and Draco still doesn't wake up. I climb on the bed straddling his legs, but I m careful not to disturb his sleep yet. I lean down and gently lift his pyjama top revealing the pale skin of his perfectly curved back. I give it a lick, it's amazing and I do the same again and again, then I switch to kissing. I trail little kisses up his spine and then down again. I want to go lower and so I pull off the bottoms baring the perfectly round buttocks which are begging to be kissed. I don't understand why I haven't done this before, why have I denied myself this pleasure?

I pull the pants further down and leave them around Draco's ankles. I keep trailing kisses down the legs which are covered with almost transparent, silky hair stroking his sides and hips at the same time. I know he's not asleep anymore.

Then I return to his bum, part the cheeks and give an experimental lick there. The body under mine shudders and I hear a gasp. I like it. I can hear how his breathing quickens as I keep licking and pushing my tongue inside. It's so good, it turns out that Draco can make wonderful little noises and he tastes fantastic. I am almost sorry that I have to pull away, but I have to be inside him. I know he needs me inside him.

I slide up his body; I have discarded my clothes some time ago, probably spelled them away. My wandless magic has mind of its own when I am not in perfect control. I burry my face in his hair and my hand is on his stomach for some leverage as I push in him. I thrust in and out; I pull him against me, even closer if that's possible. Then I pull him up on his hands and knees, I want to bee deeper, I want to touch him, I reach around and take him in my hand. I haven't touched him like this yet, but I can't resist any longer. I just want to pleasure him. He's smaller than me; the size is just perfect to fit in my hand. I pick up the rhythm and stroke him in unison with my thrusts. I go faster and faster until he's coming. He tightens around me and I am coming too.

I don't want to let go of him, I stay on top of him, still inside him, my arms around his waist and my cheek rubbing against his hair. He is trembling and it has nothing to do with fear.

"You are drunk," he whispers very quietly, I am not sure he even meant me to hear that, but we are awfully close at the moment.

"Mhm," is all I can answer. I lay us both down and pull the covers over us.

Draco's POV

When I start waking up in the morning I can feel that I am not alone in the bed. I feel someone's hands round me, one on my chest, other on my stomach and one finger is buried in my belly button which is as nice as strange. I am very much naked under the thin sheet, but I am far from being cold, since the body next to me is warm and alive, a natural furnace, I can a feel strong, manly chest rising up and down against my back as he is peacefully breathing in sleep. And I can feel him half-hard against my bottom which makes my body heat up a bit. I take one deep breath after another and will myself to calm down. It is going to be alright, I repeat to myself.

There is no reason to work myself up in such a manner. If he is here with me, it means that he wanted to be here. Or he fell asleep, because of having too much drink. What if he is upset and hurts me? What if he thinks that this is my fault somehow?

It's just that nothing like this has ever happened before and I am scared. He has all the power over me, he is stronger than me magically and physically, he can do to me everything he wants and I will have to take it, that's why I am so nervous.

He is my master now…

I feel him nudging my hair with his nose where his face is buried in it. Potter grumbles something unintelligible and his breath caresses the nape of my neck.

And then I suddenly realize that I hadn't been held for so long… not that it had happened a lot anyway… that I am being held with two strong arms securely around me, that I am warm and the skin against mine is softer than any material which I have ever worn, I am safe. Potter is strong, incredibly strong and he has never used his power against me since I am here, since I am his. He is taking care of me, keeping me safe.

The feelings in me are suddenly so strong and overwhelming that I can hardly breathe, that I can swear I felt my eyes prickle with tears…

That moment Potters pulls me closer against his chest and puts one of his legs around mine.

It helps, unbelievable, but it really does.

Harry's POV

When I start waking up I instantly recall everything what happened last night and my eyes shot open wide and the same moment I am very much awake. I have my hands full of Draco Malfoy who is sleeping peacefully without moving a limb. I guess it is impossible to be physically closer to him than I am at the moment.

Was I really so drunk yesterday? Oh, the thing is I don't think I was, I could try to fool myself and excuse everything with drinking, but that would be very immature. I think the way I acted has nothing to do with champagne and everything to do with the way Malfoy is affecting me.

I know this is probably the time to consult Hermione, I know that it would be the right thing to do. But she hates Draco and Ron loathes him even more. I can't let the near him, I just can't. They will want to separate us, take him away. The thought of being away from Draco is unbearable. Even if he is a little monster who has killed, he is mine sweet, little monster, my irresistible drug.

No, I can't tell Hermione, she was the one who tried to trick me into that, that girl yesterday. Well, but it didn't mean anything. I came home yesterday and I showed Draco that he is the one who means everything, that he is the one I want to kiss, taste, hold and possess…

Damn, I have to put some distance between us. His presence is turning my brain into mush; I know that very well, I start having those thoughts and all the logic flies out of the window.

I still don't understand what is happening, but when he is around I can't bring myself to care.

I gently and carefully and unwillingly release him and slip out of the bed. I arrange the sheet around him; gather my clothes from the floor and leave.

When I bring him the breakfast, Draco is in shower. I try not to imagine the water running down his lean body, encircles his delicious pink nipples, runs down the cleft of his ass… little droplets trickling from blonde hair, his wet skin glistening in the morning sun,

I almost drop the tray and decide to leave, before I tear down the door to the en-suite and ravage him.

As I return downstairs I decide that I should get some fresh air, maybe it sounds weird, but in this house it's like I can smell him from wherever I am, even if he's occupying only one room. I certainly need to clear my head a bit.

I decide to go to the Diagon Alley and do some shopping. I am not sure what I need, well if I really need anything, but I guess I could always get a couple of new books for Draco.

I decide to floo to the Leaky Cauldron. The other option would be the Knight Bus, but that would take more time. My fireplace has been added to the floo-network only a couple of weeks ago and it is heavily warded. Basically it means that it has two-way connection only with The Burrow and Grimmauld Place. I can call whomever I want and go wherever I want, but I am inaccessible myself.

I stumble out of the fireplace as disgracefully as usually. I think I will never get used to some forms of wizarding transportation. I straighten up a bit, look around and nod at Tom who returns my greeting with a toothless grin.

Before tapping the bricks on the wall which is the entrance to the Diagon Alley, I cast a slight charm on myself, which means I will look approximately like me, but not completely, which will mean that only people who really know me personally will be able to recognize me. Very convenient and enough to ensure that I don't get mobbed. Turns out that offing a Dark Lord gives a wizard a magical boost. I can do a lot of spells more easily.

One look at The Diagon Alley makes me feel lighter and relieved. I remember how it was when Voldemort and the death eaters were at large. Most of the shops were closed, only few wizards and witches were seen walking around; everyone had been suspicious and scared. The atmosphere had been oppressing to put it mildly.

Now it was bubbling with life. When I see people on the streets like this, families shopping, enjoying themselves, he felt like I have done something worthwhile. Like all the awful things which had happened actually mattered, like there was a future.

First I go to the Gringotts, I am running out of galleons and then I am free to do some shopping.

My second stop is Flourish & Blotts. I want to buy something for Draco. I am not an expert of wizarding literature, so I just pick random novellas some of which are labelled as bestsellers. What truly amazes me is that they still sell Lockhart's masterpieces. Well, the wizarding world never stops surprising me.

I pay for my purchases and am about to leave when I bump into someone I am never happy to see.

"Potter, as graceful as usually," Snape sneers.

Every time I see him my arm is reaching for my wand. It is a reflex for me. I don't care much that the git is a hero now. I don't care that he was a spy for the light all along and killed Albus Dumbledore on headmaster's request. And it actually doesn't matter. The hate between us is personal. We dislike each other greatly and nothing could change that. He bullied me trying to get me back for something my father did. I am not going to feel guilty or responsible for that, I am not going to cower in front of him and ask to forgive me for something I haven't done. I am not my father. Maybe if he were a decent person I would feel sorry, but he isn't. He abused me worse than my father and Sirius abused him, since they were children, but he was an adult. We will never be on friendly terms with him, the vindictive bastard.


Dry, I know.

It is all the greeting he is going to get. I am about to be on my way, but obviously he has other ideas, because he steps in front of me. I notice that he is still taller than me, but not by much, besides I am broader and stronger than the overgrown bat.

"Is there anything you need?"

I ask directly since I want to hurry the things up, I don't want to talk to him for longer than necessary.

"You really think that I might need anything from you…" he drawls. "There is just something I ask everyone who participated in the massacre at the end of the war."

There is a pause. Bah! Always the dramatics… I wish he just got on with it!

"What I am interested in is if you saw Draco Malfoy anywhere in proximity of the battle,"

That gets my attention and I make a mistake of looking in his eyes which I luckily realise and break the contact instantly.

"Why?" I ask. That probably is the second mistake, because I shouldn't be interested.

"Mr. Malfoy has been missing,"

"And why would I care?"

"I am not asking if you care, Mr. Potter. I am asking if you know something," he looks at me suspiciously through narrowed eyes as if I were some kind of bug he would like to dissect and use in one of those vile potions.


I turn around and walk away. There is nothing he can do to stop me, he is not my professor anymore and he can't just demand answers and take house points or give me detentions if I displease him. Walking away from Snape feels great.

I am not in the mood for shopping anymore, so I just stop at Fortescue's and get a box of ice-cream. It frustrates me that I don't know what is Malfoy's favourite, so I get a box with selection of several different flavours.

After meeting Snape I want to get home as soon as I can, so I just go outside The Leaky Cauldron and apparate from a small bystreet when I am sure that there are no muggles around.

Snape is looking for Draco. I haven't thought about it. I didn't think anyone would care, except the aurors who would probably like to prosecute him, but didn't mind that he was out of the way – less trouble so to say. You can expect the Ministry to forget someone as long as they can pretend he doesn't exist. It was a trouble when Voldemort was still around, but now it's convenient.

But now Snape. He has always had some weird attachment to Draco and he is resourceful enough. Snape is dangerous. But I am too. I will not let him take Draco away. Besides he doesn't know anything.

I feel better as soon as I have returned to the house.

I bring Draco lunch and a large bowl with ice-cream and the books I bought. He is sitting in his regular place with a book and ignoring me, but in the same time I can feel how fixated on me he is. It is strange, but I think he's trying to ignore me so hard that the effect is exactly the opposite.

I am the only one here for him.

Draco is so beautiful. He is wearing a dark blue sweater and a pair of black slacks. I wish I knew what he is thinking about right now…

Draco, Draco, Draco, Draco, Draco… t

I leave the room. I am not sure what to do with him or myself. All of this is so confusing so hard.

I wish I could just forget all the hateful, cruel things he ever said, all the crimes he had committed and simply… simply… love him.

Damn it! Damn it! This can't be love! I can't love him. It's impossible! He is Draco bloody Malfoy, he is cruel, he is a murderer and a death eater and here I am sitting on the floor by his bedroom door and tearing my hair, because I can't live without him, because I think I love him, I need him, I crave him, I lie because of him, I could kill for him if I had to… the harder I am trying to remind myself who Draco really is, what kind of person he is, the worse it gets, the more I feel a desperate need to go to him and ask for forgiveness.

Now I am sitting on the floor, staring at the door and weeping like child, like a stupid, silly child because of him!

I push the door open; I crawl to the chair where he's sitting. I fall on my knees and burry my face in his lap still crying. I rub my cheek against his thigh.

"I love you," I know how wrong it is and I think I am shaking with violent sobs, but I have to repeat it to make sure that he heard me. "I love you," I sob against his thigh.

Then I feel a hand on my head, in my hair, running through it, petting me and it feels good. I put my arms around his waist and hug it. Draco's other hand is massaging the nape of my neck and I feel happy and sad at the same time. My feelings are so conflicting that for a moment I believe that my heart will burst with all the emotion. This is tearing me apart.

"Please don't leave me, never, please," I am begging as if he could leave if he wanted. But I am begging for him to want to stay.

He pushes me up from his lap and I think I almost whine aloud at the loss, at the horrifying thought that he is pushing me away, maybe I really do, because he says something in a quiet calming voice. Then Draco puts his arms around my shoulders and lets me hide my face in the crook of his neck. He lies me down on the fluffy carpet and holds me tightly in his arms while I am still crying, ruining his clothes most likely.

I want to ask him for forgiveness, I want to say that I am sorry that I am making him wet. But the gift of speech has left me.

But I know that I love him, I know I love him despite everything in spite of everything.

"Mine," I whisper on his ear. He has to know. I need him to know. "You are mine."

I put a hand on each side of his face and kiss him on the lips for the first time and it is heaven. I know why I hadn't done it before – because now when I have tasted his sweet lips, there is no way back. I know that he is the only one I want. I am his with my body, heart and soul.

I take him in my arms, lift him up and carry to the bed. He shouldn't be sleeping on the floor, he could catch cold. I lie him down and climb in next to him. I pull off his sweater and he obediently lifts his arms, then I take off his pants. Then I remember that I have magic and spell away my own clothes. He is watching me all the time. I smile at him. I lean down, give him one more kiss and then pull the duvet over us, put my arms around him and say 'Nox'.

I fall asleep listening to Draco's breathing and thinking of the way I could take us away from everything that makes it complicated. I don't need everyone else anyway if I have him and I think I do! And it makes me giddy with happiness. I just want to lie here holding him forever.

Snape's POV

I know he is lying. The damn gryffindor Golden Boy was looking me straight in the eye and lying. Of course it is not the first time for him, he has had a lot of practice. He thinks that now he can get away with it, that he can laugh me in the face. Does he really think he is going to get away with anything? Does he think that I am the kind of person who lets anyone get away with anything?

I have dealt with brats like him for twenty years. Who does he think he is?

He was safe until now. I couldn't touch a hair on his head, because no matter how I loathed him, I needed the imbecilic simpleton as much as all the wizarding world. But now, when The-Boy-Who-Lived has served his purpose, I have no qualms about taking revenge. And if he has something to do with Draco's disappearance, I would enjoy it even more.

James Potter's progeny is not a bit smarter than the father was and has the same flaws. The ones I don't suffer from. Like complete lack of discipline, mental discipline as well. He is still a feeble occlumens. He didn't learn when he had a chance and now he is going to pay for it. Albus is dead, The Dark Lord is gone There is no one standing between me and Potter.

A moment was enough, it took one look in his eyes and I knew everything.

I could hardly contain myself when I saw in his mind. All I saw was blonde. There was blonde hair, silver blonde, a very uncommon shade. That could always be a coincidence, but I don't believe in coincidences.

I am going to hurt Potter.

Harry's POV

When I bring Draco his breakfast he has already finished the shower and he has already dressed. I don't leave this time. I sit opposite him and eat my own breakfast. I notice that he likes his tea white and sweet. It gives me weird kind of satisfaction.

He is gorgeous. Sitting there, cutting his waffles in little, even pieces with a fork and a knife as if it was a sophisticated meal served in a fancy restaurant. Blonde, silky hair is falling on his face as Draco declines his head.

I know that I am staring, but I don't think he minds, I think he is aware that my eyes are on him only.

I think Draco has finished eating. He puts down the cutlery and looks at me. His eyes are questioning, insecure and there is something almost desperate on the bottom of those silver pools. They speak to me. He is trying to tell me something, he is asking for assurance. I reach out, cup his cheek with one of my hands, lean closer and kiss him thoroughly and when he responds I feel like I am loosing my mind. When we part, his cheeks are flushed. It's the most adorable sight I have ever seen.

I smile at him, letting him know how happy he makes me. I stand up and gather the empty plates and carry them down to the kitchen...

I have just put everything in the sink when I hear the firecall coming through; or rather feel, since the wards which are keyed to me work that way. It's like a tingling somewhere at the back of my mind. It can be only my friends, because I don't allow calls from anyone else. This is not the right time for their visit, because I want to go back to Draco… but I can't completely ignore them, it will only cause more complications later.

I drop the wards a bit and Hermione's head appears in the fireplace.

"Hi, Harry!"

Her greeting is even too cheerful. Almost suspiciously. But, hey, it's only Hermione. She tells me that Remus and Tonks are visiting and they all would like to come over and see me. My first thought is, no, no way, I don't want them here. Not now. I want to go back to Draco and make love to him.

However before I say something unreasonable I take several deep breaths hoping that Hermione doesn't notice anything strange.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with them wanting to visit me.

"Fine, I will lower the wards,"

A couple of minutes later Ron, Hermione, Remus and Tonks are sitting in my guest room and asking me what's new in my life. I just hate that question. They know very well, that nothing much had happened since I saw them a couple of weeks ago.

Remus looks a lot better than when I saw him the last time. His jacket is neater and hair had been trimmed recently. I think that Tonks is very good for him. Today her hair is dark red, which is almost a normal colour, at least I have seen it on other women, but still somehow makes her look weird.

I bring them tea and then return to the kitchen to fetch some cookies. Since Draco is living here I always have plenty of food at home, because it's not only me. I have to take good care of him.

I sit down again and listen to Tonks going on and on about some auror business. A couple of stray death eaters have been caught, they names are not familiar to me and I am done with all of it, but of course I can still listen… I sip my tea and try to shrug off the feeling that something is not quite alright. I know that I am too paranoid sometimes, but those are natural consequences of the war.

But when the room starts swimming around me and I hear Hermione calling my name, but can't quite answer her, I know that something is really terribly wrong.

Hermione's POV

When Harry collapses on the couch I feel so terribly sorry, so guilty. But we are doing it for his own good.

When professor Snape talked to us I didn't believe him and Ron thought he 'had finally lost it'. Harry our Harry hiding Draco Malfoy in his house? Why would he? That was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.

Snape just stood there and gave me time to think and Ron time to fume. Then he asked are we ready to hear him out or not. My temperamental boyfriend still wasn't, but I had always known that professor Snape despite of his, err, eccentric and difficult character was a competent teacher and a serious wizard and if he said something one should listen, because he was not one for nonsense.

So, professor Snape told us that he red Harry's mind and even if he was not sure what exactly was happening he was sure of one thing – Draco Malfoy was currently residing in Harry's house. He pointed out that even if he personally couldn't care less if Potter was under any spell or potion for the rest of his useless life of course. That he just wanted to inform us that Harry was possibly asking for trouble, because Malfoy was wanted by the MOM and harbouring a criminal wouldn't do 'The Hero's' image any good.

Ron's face turned in a ugly shade of red and almost shouted that Snape was absolutely crazy, that he had no proof, besides he should go to Azkaban for breaking into Harry's mind without his permission.

"How dare you!" Ron spat. "You will never stop trying to accuse Harry of something."

I personally thought he was being very rude to our professor, even if former and was planning the way to give my boyfriend a good dressing down.

But then I started thinking. Harry was acting very strange, spending a lot of time in his house and I recently felt as if he didn't want us there. Truly, he didn't want us anywhere. Maybe it was not such nonsense; maybe there was a possibility that Snape had discovered something…

The professor glared/sneered at Ron, letting him know how little better than a flobberworm he was and left. He said there was no way Potter would let him in his house, which was true, so what to do with the information was up to us…

After professor Snape left The Burrow we were quiet for some time. Understandably though. We were both sitting there and trying to recall everything what had happened after the Last Battle. I was taking apart Harry's every move, word and action and everything was adding up. It was terrible, we realised that Harry had not been himself for ages. We had simply gone the easy way and dismissed those changes as something to do with Voldemort. I felt guilty.

Why didn't we do anything sooner? I mean we both noticed that something is not alright, that Harry is behaving differently.

Ron was the first to speak up: "He couldn't have put Harry under Imperio."

Yes, that was the only one which we could dismiss, since Harry had kind of immunity against that particular unforgivable. But the other possibilities were endless. There were several kinds of compulsion potions; probably Malfoy knew more of them than all of us together, since he had always been very good at potions. Then there were dark artefacts which could bind a wizard's will. Then there were runes which could do the same when drawn on the body. Malfoy was smart enough and he had access to all of those.

There was no way to tell what he had done to Harry to make our best friend to protect him. Could bee even a love potion, but I didn't mention that possibility to Ron – it would make him go ballistic. Still that would explain why Harry hadn't been interested in anyone lately.

It was bad, very bad.

So we decided to act. We needed a plan. There were a lot of things to consider. We could assume that if Malfoy was there he had some sort of power over Harry. Whatever it was, that meant he could become dangerous to himself and us if we threatened Malfoy or if he thought that we had discovered anything.

Then there was a chance that we were all wrong and there was no Draco Malfoy and professor Snape had a fevered imagination…

Of course it was not clear how Malfoy could put any spell on Harry, since he is magically very strong. But then he is also as reckless as a gryffindor can be and quite clueless sometimes and sometimes sheer strength can be defeated by cunning. I have always told Harry and Ron that they should pay more attention to their studies. But have they ever listened to the voice of reason?

After I explained everything to Tonks and Remus, they agreed to our plan. Remus was also upset, but he remarked that if professor Snape said anything, then there had to be a reason and most likely he was at least partially right and we had to do everything we could, to ensure that nothing bad happened to Harry.

However he firecalled the professor and flooed over to Snape's manor (I didn't know that he had one) to discuss some things. He returned with a slytherin scarf which had belonged to Malfoy according to Snape. I wonder how and why he had it, but that was not important right now, Remus needed to know Malfoy's scent to see if he could smell him somewhere around Harry. Remus also had a vial with transparent liquid which according to professor was a strong sedative. Without any smell or taste. Why didn't they make polyjuice that way? I am still getting queasy remembering the foul concoction.

Meanwhile Tonks had contacted some reliable aurors – mostly the ones who were order members as well. They would not ask questions and get the job done. Exactly what we needed. We didn't want anyone to know about this before we found out what exactly was happening.

Before I firecalled Harry we stood there for a bit, trying to pull ourselves together. Then I took a deep breath and tossed the floo-powder in the fire-place.

We went over to Godric's Hollow.

Now I could see how strange Harry looks, his eyes were glassy; he looked nervous and obviously didn't want to let us into the house. But there was no good reason for him not to receive us, so he gave in.

We all hugged him. Harry went to get us tee from the kitchen.

Remus looked at me and nodded. That is the sign; it meant he was able to smell Draco Malfoy on Harry. Harry returns with tea and says that he has some very nice cookies too. It was the opportunity I was waiting for to slip the potion in Harry's tea. I mentally asked him for forgiveness and tried to remember that I was doing this for his own good.

It was not that long after Harry fell asleep on the sofa. Apparently Snape's potion was as strong as it could get.

I stayed with Harry. Ron, Remus and Tonks searched the house and pretty soon Remus confirmed that Draco Malfoy was indeed there.

After that everything happened very fast. I, Ron and Remus took Harry to Snt. Mungo's. Tonks remained in the house to let in the auror team.

While healers were examining Harry we waited and Tonks came to tell us what else had happened.

It turned out that it took quite some time to break through the wards which Harry had put on Malfoy's room. Then she returned to the Ministry to tie up some loose ends.

Besides the wards there is one more thing I don't understand. Apparently Malfoy didn't have a wand on him. But there was the Dark Mark on his forearm. He was taken to the Ministry to hold him there until his trial. But whatever. He is not the one I am worried about at the moment. What matters right now is that Harry is there in the room and there must be something wrong with him. I just hope that the healers will be able to help him.

When one of the healers finally comes out of the room she says that they can't find any traces of spells or potions on Harry, no hostile magic or runes. I can't believe it, I ask if she is sure, because there just must be something! The healer presses her lips together and then she says that there is. There is something what could have made our friend act strange. I don't like the look she is giving us. It can't possibly be anything good.

And it isn't. It isn't… I have seen a lot since I found out about the wizarding world, but it appears that it will never stop surprising me.

Draco's POV

I never expected this. I had already accepted my life as it was. The attic room, the books and Potter who was so strange and confusing, whom I thought I hated, but then… then I started admitting that maybe I… when the door opened and unfamiliar witches and wizards barged in my room with their wands pointed at me I almost shouted for help and for Harry.

But I seriously doubted that it would do me any good, so I let them to do with me what they wanted. I didn't put up any fight as my hands were tied. Not because this was something I wanted, not because I was obviously being taken away from Potter. I just knew how to pick my fights.

The aurors dragged me to the Ministry and threw me in the cell. I didn't protest, I didn't demand anything, I just waited. It was not Azkaban yet. I knew it, because we flooed there. One cannot floo into Azkaban.

I suspect that I was being held at the Ministry. I was not sure what it meant for me. The possibilities were endless. They could just take me to the real prison any time now. Or they could come and kill me, to keep things simple. There was no way to tell. Maybe even give me a fair trial. Yeah, right…

However I was surprised when later that evening I was introduced to my defender. That was the last thing I had expected. Alf Smuges was wearing dark grey robes and a bow tie. He was older than me, but younger than my father. He was attractive in a very ordinary fashion, but there was not anything particular about his features. Anyway, I couldn't care less about the wizard's appearance. My life was at stake and that didn't inspire pettiness. Especially after he informed me that he had been hired by Severus Snape.

So Severus is alive and free. I had always suspected that he had something up his sleeve. So obviously that was something big, since he can help me now.

"How? Why?" I asked. How did he know? Smuges simply shrugged and commented that since Severus knew that I would be arrested, the Ministry didn't have a chance to overlook my rights and ship me straight to the prison or do something worse.

Severus. I grin like a fool when I think about my godfather, head of the house and potions professor. He has always been there for me. I am grateful beyond words.

Smuges questions me and I answer as truthfully as I can. Defenders are bound to keep their client's secrets after all. I am very forthcoming until he asks me about Harry Potter.

I guess it makes me to snap out of it. I do the perfect pureblooded Malfoy impression and make it clear that I haven't done anything criminal against the Saviour of the wizarding world and it is against my best interest to reveal any details about the time between the Last Battle and today. He looks at me strangely and inquires if it's possible that Potter has done something criminal against my person.

I am quiet. I sit there just looking at him with a blank expression on my face. It works like a magic. He fills the silence and explains that the fact that I had spent the last couple of months with Harry Potter is not known to the general public. Not even Ministry. Someone has done very good work ensuring that everything stays under wraps. Master Snape knows about it from a personal source.

"Well, then," I try to sound and look as commanding as I can. father's training can be good for something. "Get me out of here first and then we will discuss Harry Potter."

He nods as if we both are partners in some kind of conspiracy. I don't know what he wants, but I refuse to think about it for now. First things first.

I just want to be alone; I am relieved when my defender leaves. I think I have lost my touch. It is very hard to act as a proper Malfoy after everything I have been through. I feel like I am a plant who has been pulled out of its pot and dropped into unfriendly soil, forced to take root anew. Besides it has happened too many times already and I can't see it stopping. My fate is playing with me.

Besides there are so many thought floating in my head, but I can't catch one and hold onto it, they don't make any sense.

They bring me food, well, no one actually gives it to me - it just pops up on a tray next to my cot. Probably it's a house elf. I think they are trying to torture me. The mash potatoes are cold, peas yellowish and lamb sausages look like they had been starving. They had forgotten gravy, probably worried that the salty stuff could somehow conceal the awful taste of everything else and make it bearable. It is no surprise that the tea is cold, but I am thirsty and don't care.

Funny, but Potter has spoiled me again. I guess it's true that it is easy to get used to good things. I wonder if it's possible that he cooked all of the food I ate himself? I must admit that I am in a bit of awe. It's hard to imagine. S far as I am concerned the meals come from house elves. How they are put together and what precisely they consist of. I have never seen anyone cooking. It was not necessary. But Potter is pretty much muggle and muggles don't have houselves, even some wizards and witches cook for themselves.

It's very exciting. Potter cooking. Creating nice food from a scratch.

But when I think about him, I am worried. I can't help, but wonder where Potter is, what has happened to him. What will they do to him for hiding me? Or for kidnapping me. But they don't know… then it would be the first time when a secret would stay a secret in the wizarding world. What if they find out?

It's long until I can finally fall asleep and I have no idea what the time is when I wake up since there are no windows in my cell. The only thought that somewhat comforts me is that my trial will be held very soon and one way or another it will be over before long.

I am really unsure how much time passes until they come for me. A couple of days at least. My defender visits me one more time. He assures me that everything is going smoothly and he is doing everything he can to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises.

It must be the same in Azkaban. Probably it is what actually drives people mad. For some reason it is important to know what day is it, if it's morning, afternoon or midnight. Here, in the cell with no windows I have no idea what time of the day it is and it is driving me mad.

And then finally the aurors come and announce that this is the day of my trial and I am to face the Wizengamot. I can see from his faces how much they are enjoying their task, taking a part in bringing down Draco Malfoy. Son of Lucius Malfoy. I am an infamous dark wizard after all, it almost makes me laugh, but I am not going to since I don't want them telling the Prophet that I am insane as well. I have some dignity left. At least in public. I even glare at them.

I allow the aurors to push and jostle me wherever they want.

As we enter the hall I see that the trial has been made very public. Should I be pleased that so many are considering me important enough to waste their time listening to my gruesome confessions?

My heart skips a beat when I think that maybe they are here because they know what had happened between me and Potter. But, no, I don't think so, Smuges has assured me that my secrets are safe and they will stay that way until I decide to do something about it. As far as they all know, I have nothing to do with their hero. Father would be proud if he knew that the Malfoys are still prominent enough to attract the masses. Or mobs.

However most of them are going to be disappointed. Alf Smuges has ensured that the trial will be as painless as possible. He had used all the possible clauses and stipulations and the prosecutor is on a very short leash now. Scratch that – prosecutors. There are two of them. I am a really important person apparently. But they have a list of questions which they are allowed to ask me under the influence of veritaserum to ensure that they don't pry into my personal life which have nothing to do with my crimes. I am officially the head of the Malfoy house and some matters are also considered to be personal business of my house.

I could have refused to take the potion after all.

I am sat down in a chair which is large enough for one more me and chains which are unnecessary heavy as well magically wrap themselves around me tying me in the seat. As if I could really harm anyone without my wand. I can't turn around to look around the room since I am chained, but I somehow doubt that Potter is there, I think I knew if he was.

The thing is that they don't really have many witnesses to testify about anything besides the Hogwarts incident. I am not even sure, who has testified before me, since I haven't been present. Ministry claims that if the offender is present, the witnesses might be intimidated and withhold the information. They are not required to take the veritaserum if they don't agree unless something they testify is in conflict with culprit's testimony. I still know that there is no one who has seen me since the end of my sixth year. I am wondering has anyone tried to pin something on me.

The moment of the truth has come. I think that maybe I should refuse to take the truth potion and let them convict me. That would be a very Malfoy-ish thing to do. To preserve my pride. But maybe I am not Malfoy enough or I am too much of a slytherin. I have the instinct of self-preservation in abundance, I am afraid of Azkaban, I am afraid of cold and of being alone. I know that I am weak. I am a coward, but I want to live no mater what.

I will tell the truth.

I am asked to stick out my tongue and four drops of the vile potion falls on my tongue. The Ministry is overdoing it. Considering my weight it is about twice as much as I need, so I will probably tell them everything they want in great detail.

But there is nothing I can do about it and as often in my life I decide to go along with it.

The prosecutor stands up. His black robes swipe the floor, the hem is getting dusty. I have no intention to look the wizard in the eye. I know that it will make me more open to his questions when I am overdosed with veritaserum. The prosecutor knows it and demands that I look him in the eye. Smuges protests and one of the elders, Griselda Marchbanks I think, accepts the protest. I am allowed to look wherever I want. Still I feel so vulnerable and exposed.

I smirk, but the questions start. They ask me if I am a death eater, if I took the mark. My answer is positive. Then they ask me about Hogwarts. It's not fun, because I really don't like remembering any of that.

They ask me if I set up the vanishing cabinet. I did. That was maybe the only noteworthy thing I have done. They ask me if I let the death eaters in the Hogwarts. Yes. Then they ask me if I put Madame Rosmerta under Imperius. There it starts. My shameful confession. No, I didn't. They ask me why. Because I couldn't. They ask me who did it. I don't know who, but it was a death eater.

I think I could hear a feather fall in the courtroom, that's how silent everyone is as one after another I admit to my crimes or rather lack of crimes. When they ask me how many wizards, witches and muggles I have tortured I can't tell. I can't tell, because I haven't. I can hear gasps and murmuring of the crowd. I guess it's not what they have expected.

When the prosecutor asks me, how I served You-Know-Who, I answer that I let the death eaters in the Hogwarts and I was making him potions.

The atmosphere is very strange. I understand, everyone is confused. My cheeks are burning red, now everyone knows what a coward I am, how weak I actually am. I am glad that I am sitting with my back turned to everyone except the Wizengamot.

They ask me if I were fighting at the final battle and I have to admit that I tried, but luckily was hit with some pretty strong spells before I could raise my wand and didn't have to. I say 'luckily', I let them know that I was relieved that I didn't have to fight.

What can be more humiliating than that? The truth is that The Dark Lord simply threw me out there with other death eaters, to prove my worth or die. He had kept me alive only because my skill in potions, he didn't want to simply leave me behind so why not to take me to the battlefield with everyone else even if there was no point in doing that, because I was not really good for anything.

Then the prosecutor obviously gets desperate. He asks if I hate muggles. Smuges ptotests, but it is too late.

"I am not sure," is my answer. One of the elders is obviously curious and asks, why. Well it is obviously very simple in my mind. I don't know much about them, I haven't met any. The next question is how I feel about muggleborns. I admit that I think they are annoying, because they are ignorant. Then they ask me if I have ever considered harming any muggleborns. My answer is positive. Once or twice in my life I have considering harming almost everyone I have met, but the question is stupid. What does it matter if I have ever wanted to throw an éclair in Pansy Parkinson's face or trip a gryffindor or two in the halls.

I guess I am getting tired and annoyed and things start simply slipping off my tongue. I am babbling. The last question from the prosecutor is if I have ever wanted to kill anyone. I am absolutely truthful: "One time a mosquito somehow managed to get in my room. It bit me, my skin is very fair, there was a red blotch on my cheek. I really wanted to kill it, but couldn't find it anymore."

After that shameful admission I glance at the members of Wizengamot, they are ancient, and irritated. Griselda Marchbanks asks the prosecutor if they have anything else to ask, anything important, she specifies. Apparently not.

Then it's time for Randolph Smuges, my defender to ask his questions which are designed to show what a poor victim of circumstances I am. So I tell everyone who listens that I didn't see any choice but to join the death eaters, because The Dark Lord threatened to kill my parents and me. It is true after all. I hoped that he would spare my mother, but he didn't of course. But I would have done it again, because I had to take the risk, I couldn't just let him kill my mother.

When Smuges asks me if I wanted to join the death eaters and fight for the Dark Lord's cause, I say I didn't. I think he gets carried away and asks what I wanted instead. I say that I just wanted to be let alone, to go home with my family, to finish the school and become a famous quidditch player or potions master.

I want to throttle him. But now anyone knows that I am not really capable of that. I am a failure of a death eater.

When I am asked why I reminded with The Dark Lord I tell them that I didn't have a choice. I was locked up. He asks if I ever thought that I could gain anything by serving You-Know-Who. I tell them that I hoped that he will not kill my mother so soon and she will have time to get away and hide. He asks if I thought that my own life would be spared if I became a death eater.

"Maybe before I took the mark, but after that I was sure that sooner or later he will find a reason to get rid of me. I think he was crazy like that and I really was not very useful."

In the end everything is very clear. As much as the wizarding world hates me as last living Malfoy and someone who painfully reminds them of Lucius, especially with that long hair I have right now, they can't lock me up. I am not going to adorn Azkaban. My birthday is on the fifth of June, if I had let the Death Eaters in the Hogwarts a couple of days later, I would be serving a term in the Azkaban. But In the time when I committed my crimes I was a minor and obviously I was coerced, so I can't be held as responsible as under other circumstances. Besides he pointed out that I don't pose any danger to community, which makes me scream and probably several generations of Malfoys are also yelling at me from their graves. A Malfoy who is not a danger to community. Once again I am reminded what a failure I am, how disappointed and ashamed my father would be if he was still alive.

I will have to pay retributions to those who had suffered that night at Hogwarts and an impressive sum to the Ministry elimination of consequences of the war and if I commit any crime against the wizarding world during next ten years then I go to the prison for what happened year and a half ago. I will be on probation. And that's it. As I listen to them I almost start believing that I am just another victim of the war.

In no time the bindings on the chair fall off and I am standing up, desperately hoping not to loose my balance, as if I have any pride left to loose. I could as well literally fall on my face after everything. Wouldn't make much difference.

I look at the crowd of witches and wizards who all have been watching the trial. I am not sure how to proceed; they are all staring at me. I am really supposed to elbow my way through all of them?

No, I don't have to. My defender comes to my aid and Severus is at my other side where others say he is intimidating for me his significant presence had always been reassuring. I want to smile at him, but my lips are not obeying. I will thank him later for saving me.

They lead me through the crowd and there are aurors who stand between us and the reporters who are shouting questions at me. It appears that no Dark Lord can take out Rita Skeeter, if there was one who would promise to rid the wizarding world of scum instead of mudbloods I would gladly follow him.

Smuges says that we are heading to a fireplace somewhere so we can floo out of the Ministry building instead of causing more trouble by trying to use the main entrance.

"Malfoy, professor Snape! Wait!"

Someone shouts after us. I know the voice, so I spun around. It's Granger and Weasley trailing behind him like her little toy-dog. Only he is not little, he is taller than all of us, even Snape. Now I feel inferior to a Weasley, I really want to go home. Only where is my home now? I have a thought, but…

"We are in a hurry miss Granger," Snape sneers as only he can.

"Please, Malfoy, we need to talk to you," looks like the only one who wants to talk is Granger, because the weasel looks like he's just swallowed one of Severus' potions.

"It's about Harry,"

The little vixen knows how to get lad's attention.

"Mr. Malfoy doesn't want anything to do with Potter," Severus answers for me and puts a hand around my shoulders to pull me away.

"Please, Draco, you must forgive Harry! He didn't know what he was doing! He feels terrible, at the moment he is in St Mungo's and… and… Harry is a veela; he thinks you are his mate…"

"Miss Granger," Snape looks at Granger as if she were nothing more than a slug or something less worth his attention. "Potter kidnapped my godson and did who knows what to him. What makes you think that we care if his ancestors have been dallying with magical creatures? Excuse us."

I am too shocked to say anything and my defender and Severus are leading me away already. She has thrown quite stunner at me. I can't believe it. Potter is a veela? I am blond and charming, but in the end Potter is a veela. It's priceless in a way and tragic in other.

Veela? Mate? Potter? Holy, fucking… it sounds so…

Suddenly I realize what just happened. They were begging me. Potter's pet mudblood was just begging me. I have power. I have power over Potter; I can drag him to the court. I have power over Granger and Weasley. I could make them fall on their knees and beg me to spare their poor, misguided friend, I think they would. I have power to destroy and humiliate Potter, to hurt him like no one could.

It is somewhat intoxicating, the notion that it's all in my hands, that Potter is in my hands and I can crush him. The same way he held me.

'He is a veela; he thinks you are his mate…' Granger's voice keeps shouting after me.

It's too much. This everything is way too much.

I suddenly feel so weak. I would be lying on the floor, but Severus catches me, his arm around my waist.

"My poor, child," he whispers somewhere near to my ear. "Don't worry, Draco; everything is going to be alright, Potter will not get to you, we are going to be home soon."

Home? Where is my home now? Potter will not get to me? Isn't just a little too late. He had already gotten to me.

Hermione's POV

It was awful. They had put Harry under restraints. His forehead, neck, chest, waist, hips, both legs and arms, everything he could move was safely strapped to the hospital bed. It hurt me when I looked at him. They said that there was no chance to predict what a veela would do when one would realize that they had been separated from their mate.

They called him veela. I was angry at first, I wanted to shout at them that he was not a veela, that he was Harry Potter, but I was distraught, I knew, I was too upset, irrational and ready to bite everyone's head off whom I suspected of wishing him ill. I knew they didn't mean any offence.

Besides I realized that the healers were right. When Harry woke up he realized what had happened. He called for Draco, not just called; he whined in an inhuman voice and didn't want to recognize us. His fingernails started to grow till they turned into talons and I was grateful that he couldn't move his hands and claw his way out of St. Mungo's to get to Draco Malfoy. His emerald blue eyes were lighter and brighter than before, practically gleaming, but unseeing. I was so scared. Scared for him and I must admit – scared of him.

Then the healers rushed in the room and threw us out.

I didn't know what was going to happen to Harry, none of the things I had ever red about veelas seemed helpful. Harry's appearance, family relations – nothing explained what had happened.

When the healer called us in her office I was scared. I told her that I had no idea that there was any veela blood in Harry, how could he be one of them? She didn't answer me, but inquired if Harry had experienced a magical boost recently and hinted at the fact that he had killed a dark lord not long ago.

I just nodded, that was a fact. Harry's magic had become stronger.

The healer Marigold who was in charge of Harry's treatment was also confused. She admitted that nothing similar had happened during her practice. However there were recorded cases of delayed coming into magical inheritance. She explained that the magical genes sometimes were not working like the regular ones. Like when a wizard has a child with a half-veela it's not always a quarter-veela, certain amount of magic is needed to support the veela traits in a wizard and certain type of magic – wild one. It was all just a theory, because no one could tell for sure, she added, but the only explanation she could offer. And the result was the same. That little bit of veela that could probably be found in Harry's blood had decided to manifest itself, because something about his magic had changed. And taken over.

Ron asked if Harry was a veela, then why wasn't everyone drooling on him. I rolled my eyes and explained that apparently Harry was still as much wizard as a veela, not a pure veela, then he was a male and it was not like people weren't attracted to him.

"But what can we do now?" Ron sounded as desperate as I felt.

She said that we didn't have to do anything, we just had to get Harry's mate here and he would calm down instantly without any potions.

I had to tell her that it was not possible.

She sighed. It was a very tired and not a good sigh.

I clenched Ron's hand in mine and asked if Harry was going to die without his mate.

She chuckled. She said that it was just a myth. Harry was not going to die. It was an exaggeration. She just didn't like to treat veelas who were abandoned by their mates if there was another way; they didn't make a pretty sight. I could only agree. Our best friend was lying there and 'pretty' was not what I thought when I saw him.

She informed us that there was a way to treat him. The main problem was going to be the depression, which was dangerous since if the patient was not going to die, there was a great chance that he didn't see a reason to live and… She didn't finish the sentence, but I understood what she meant.

So Harry would have to take a lot of potions. To calm him down and ensure that he was not violent and could function. I could hear a 'but'; there was certainly a 'but'. I was right; I usually liked to be right, but not this time. She explained that it was impossible to completely eliminate the pull a veela felt towards their mate so if the person in question didn't want to accept the veela as their partner, then it was better to keep them apart and very often the veela couldn't accept another mate. That depended on the strength of the created bond.

But there was still a chance that he would fall for someone else after some time. There were no guaranties though. Or not. That didn't sound too assuring.

The reality is that Harry will live, but what kind of life is it going to be? Most likely without love, in solitude. I am sorry, so sorry…

I can't help, but wonder why he chose Malfoy of all the people. He always had this fixation on him, especially during our sixth year when he suspected that Malfoy was up to something and he was in trouble. Was there something more than rivalry there even then?

Ron is faring worse than me. His dislike for anything with name 'Malfoy' is legendary for a reason. He starts some kind of rant about how he still thinks that Draco did something to Harry and he can't believe that Harry has chosen Malfoy from all the people and so on till I almost slap him, but I can control my temper better than that, so I just yell at him that it is not Harry's fault and if he can't grow up and be there for his best friend when he needs us the most, then he can go and leave me here alone. Luckily that makes a difference.

"Harry didn't choose it, Ron," I tell him. "He wouldn't choose it."

Ron hugs me and says that he is sorry, that he didn't mean it. He is also worried and Malfoy could use this to hurt Harry.

I realise that he really could and that we have one more thing to worry about. Harry kidnapped Malfoy, held him captive against his will. It is a crime. He can go to Azkaban.

I thought that it was over when Voldemort was defeated, but it's never over for Harry Potter. I finally break down and cry. I wished so many good things for him…

Draco's POV

Severus took me to his house. Not the Spinner's End which he had inherited from his muggle father. Urgh… That one he got rid of. It was the house where his mother was living with his father after she was thrown out of Prince's manor. Now, when everything is over and his grandparents are dead leaving him as the sole heir, my godfather had returned there.

Yes, I know. Severus was a spy. Should I feel betrayed or cheated? Well, I don't. I can't blame him. Maybe I am a bit sullen that he didn't tell me, but that's it. I didn't want to be a Death Eater myself. But now many more things about him make sense. Some of his cryptic remarks, some things he did.

It's al for good, he has helped me a lot after all and even with my parents gone I still have some family left. I mean I have some blood relatives, but I am not going to let them even come near me. I have heard too much about them from my parents.

I stretch my limbs and yawn when I wake up. I am so wonderfully relaxed. I don't remember how I got to this room or the bed clearly, but I know that it's over. Finally it is over for me. I am free.

My bed is large and old fashioned with a canopy made of heavy, dark green velvet and a heap of embroidered cushions. There is a step so one can comfortably get out of the enormous piece of furniture which is quite high. Nothing I am not used to. The pyjamas are silk again, but I guess everyone is expecting a fondness for silk of a Malfoy. The room is huge; the ceiling is high with some kind of floral adornments on it (nothing ghastly of course), the wallpaper expensive, the cherry wood furniture antique, a bit ponderous though. Not that different from my manor. It's a paragon of pure bloods house.

There is a string on my side and when I pull it the house elf arrives and announces that Crumpet will be happy to serve the young master. All this predictability calms me so much that I grin like an idiot.

I tell Crumpet that I will take a bath and groom myself and she can let her master know that I am awake.

I look in the mirror before I join Severus. I look fine, really good. My hair is long, but not as long as father's; it only reaches my shoulders, soft and shiny. Not that Sevrus would care for my looks… I must admit that Potter took good care of me, at least fed me well and I look much better now than when I had just left the Dark Lord. The clothes I found in the wardrobe fit me almost perfectly. It is obvious who bought them. The shirt is dark green and the sleeveless robe over it is black, there are no pants. Very proper for a wizard even if a bit too formal, but that's Severus for you. He is not Potter and obviously one of those old fashioned wizards who can't see why someone would wear anything as uncomfortable as trousers out of the quidditch pitch.

The house elf walks me to the dining room. I wonder how it manages no to trip over those big foot. I remember something Pansy said about men with big feet and big… yuck! I just didn't think about house elf's… Eww, trust Parkinson to gross me out even without being present. She and Blaise – they are very sick people. Talking about all kind of disgusting things and teasing me about being too innocent. Not everyone is a pervert in the Slytherin, but because of people like them our house has that disrepute. I wonder where they both are now.

I am admiring Severus's house. It is grand. It is obvious that Princes were rich and now Snape is rich. I am certainly going to get acquainted with the portraits who are watching me with suspicion as I walk through the halls. Who knows what interesting things they can tell about Severus and the family.

When I enter the dining room, I see Severus waiting for me already.

"You missed the breakfast,"

Severus informs me and I know that he is not really reprimanding me, so I smile and reply him that obviously I am on time for lunch.

We eat and don't talk much which is good. Words are not always necessary, every slytherin knows that. Besides there are things I don't want to discuss. There are things I don't even want to think about. I want to relax a bit.

Severus also says that he has things to do and he tactfully suggests that I should get a plenty of rest, get acquainted with the house, take a walk garden or do whatever I please. Before billowing out of the room he summons a house elf who hands him a box made of smooth, polished wood. Severus puts the box on the dinning table in front of me.

"I found it after the battle," he states dispassionately.

I think I know what it is, my heart beats faster, I am so excited. I lift the lid and there it's laying in a bed of black velvet – ten inches, hawthorn, a core of unicorn's hair. It's my wand. I take it in my hand, lift up and wave a bit, and still get the sparks like the first time. My wand doesn't care what I have or haven't done, it still wants me. I look around to give Severus my thanks, but he has left already, which is typical, I guess. Apparently he wouldn't want me to hug him.

I feel so good with a wand in my pocket, like I have been born from anew, the helplessness is gone. I am a different person with my wand, I am a wizard. I can do whatever I want now. I have my wand, The Dark Lord is gone, I am at home with my godfather. Life is good.

So I do as Severus suggested, I walk around the house, it's not like there is anything special to see, at least nothing surprising. The library is a bit gloomy like the rest of the house, but there are hundreds of books and I can bet that at least half of them are potions' texts, so I promise myself to return there. Snapes' portraits don't mind me, they are only a bit curious, but as I inform them that I am a Malfoy, they welcome me in the house I manage to locate the tapestry with Severus' family tree. Surprisingly we are not related, because his family comes from somewhere in Italy and have been living in the Britain only for about five hundred years. There comes the Roman nose I guess.

Right however I am more interested in the garden's, doesn't matter that it's not warm anymore, I just cal the house elf and order him or her, well it's not that easy to tell and I don't want to offend it by asking, which is strange, to get me an outer robe.

I haven't been properly outside for some time. For a long time since the battle and that could hardly be considered a walk to get some fresh air, since I was scared shitless and knocked out pretty soon. And before that I was confined to the Dark Lord's dungeons, making potions for him and his army. I must thank Severus for teaching me so good and that I was useful for the Dark Lord and he didn't kill me straight away after realizing that I couldn't be proper death eater, because I didn't stomach killing. I still remember the cruciatus though. I am grateful for being cursed with that instead of the killing curse.

But I try not to think about sad things as I explore the gardens. It's a good idea not to get too lost in thoughts while browsing a wizards garden, I will be very embarrassed if Severus will have to rescue me from clutches of some homicidal plant on the first day of my visit. There is a very practical reason why they are teaching us herbology at Hogwarts. It makes me wonder if Longbottom survived the war. Wouldn't be a great loss I guess, the little imbecile… or it would. He probably has a family, equally imbecilic gryffindork friends and a greenhouse somewhere. Probably would be a grater loss than me. Who would truly miss me? Severus, probably, I guess he has a soft spot for e if he is bothering. Potter. Potter would probably miss me, he said he loved me… but he was not quite himself, right?

I cast vingardium leviousa on a couple of white pebbles and make some flowers bloom just to get reacquainted with my wand. Doing magic feels good indeed.

I start getting tired; I am not used to physical exercises after all, so I decide to take a nap.

I enjoy my time in Severus' manor. I walk in the garden, read books from the library, I have meals with Severus and we play chess after the dinner.

Still, I am getting restless, I think I should do something more meaningful, maybe go and take a look at the manor, the Malfoy Manor, maybe set up my own potions lab somewhere – Severus doesn't let me in his private laboratory unattended which is ridiculous of course. I help him brewing when he is making potions. He says that I am the most competent assistant he has ever had. No surprise when my life depended on being good at brewing for almost a year. But I guess I would like to make my own stuff, mess around with ingredients a bit, invent something, not only chop and grind for Snape.

Nonetheless Severus has been good to me. But he always had been. Severus is like a father to me he had always helped with whatever I needed. I was so proud when I realized that I could make the head of my house soft like butter with one smile. He would punish Potter even if he looked at me the wrong way or anyone else in Slytherin – even if not in public. His support made me powerful in our house. I was so childishly full with myself back then, because the most important person in the school (for slytherins) indulged me.

I am so grateful for everything he has done for me. He was the one who got me out of the Azkaban after all. I wish I could repay him somehow. I am a slytherin and we slytherins are not supposed to help anyone just because, there is always a debt and the debt has to be paid. But Severus is not just a slytherin. He is my family.

The stay in Princes' Manor is exactly what I need at the moment. I haven't left it since I was brought here after my trial. I red everything about it in The Daily Prophet. My trial was covered in detail. Only adding some veiled insinuations that once again a Malfoy had managed to escape the justice, a Death Eater had gotten away with milder punishment than one deserves and so on. I know why they hate me. It is really simple – they the me because of father and power the Maloy family has always had. Maybe not anymore, but wizards have good memories. And there I am - still rich and good looking, that's enough to make some people envious. They would like to see me fall. I didn't fall as low as they wanted to see me falling and they are upset.

I was the big news for a week after I was captured or so. But not the biggest. There is only one person they never stop writing about. Harry Potter. Even if the pictures they have are mostly old, they keep reposting them. The things they write are just outrageous rumours. Like Potter running for the post of Minister, joining Puddlemere United as a seeker, Potter had bought a small island, several witches claiming that Potter has gotten them pregnant – well, the usual doxy-shit. No one really believes it, they just like reading about it. Everyone wants a peace of The Hero these days.

Then there is something I don't like looking at. Potter at the ball, dancing with some blonde tart, Sandrine Scrimgeour. They look like the prince charming and his princess. She looks completely smitten, but I think that Potter is not really enjoying himself. Good. They are quoting on of tart's friends who 'has confirmed that 'Miss Scrimgeour is very impressed with Mr. Potter.' Of course she does as the rest of the wizarding world. Poor unsuspecting Potter is the most eligible bachelor at the moment. He is not only rich, but famous and good looking too. If he only wanted then he could took over Scrimgeour's post any day. I don't think that Potter would ever want anything like that though.

A pure-blood wife who would push him about and spend his money would be perfect for someone with so little ambition. Sandrine would fit that role perfect.

I snort at the thought and Severus raises a brow at me. But well, I have a reason to snort. Potter doesn't even like girls. But I guess no one really knows that, except me and his friends. I wonder who did what to keep this whole affair from the papers. I put my galleons on Granger. Everyone thinks that their Hero is still mourning Weasel's sister. Ha!

Well, I guess it shouldn't concern me at all.

Potter, he, well he… it is strange. I should hate him. I am supposed to hate him. I am supposed to be plotting my revenge at the moment. But I am not. I just don't feel inclined. I am just trying not to think about him. Which is not working.

I guess it's sick. But I can't simply forget what happened, the things he said… my mind is replying those scenes over and over again and there is nothing I can do. Every night I promise myself that I will wake up in the morning and something would be different, but it's always the same.

I don't want to admit that I am miserable. I am not going to. And I am not, not really. I am basking in luxury, doing what I want, kind of… fuck, it's so confusing.

Snape's manor is safe and peaceful enough, but I still feel like I am missing something, something very important. There is something terribly dull about my existence, like my life is missing colours. I am trying to fill my life with things. Like reading and walking in Severus' garden, but it's not helping.

One day I notice that Severus is watching me. I guess it is not the first time, he has always been watching me if I think about it. I look up from my book and smile at him tentatively from under the curtain of my white-blonde hair. His lips quirk, that means he is returning my smile. It is so reassuring.

I should have known that good things can't last forever. That sooner or later something is bound to happen and turn my life upside down.

My godfather is the one who breaks the peace and I should beat myself up for not expecting it and not being prepared. One day after the dinner he looks at me seriously. He is so severe. No pun intended. I haven't seen him for long and there is something very cold in his gaze. It makes me uncomfortable. Even fearful. Then he reaches out and brushes aside a wayward strand of hair and hooks it behind my ear.

"So, Draco," Severus starts. "What are we going to do about Potter?"

Ron's POV

Hermione says that Harry is doing fine. Fine? Comparing to what? To who? To those who are dead or insane like Lockhart? Of course the comparison is crude and I am not about to say it aloud, since I have no wish to sleep on the couch or rather in my old room, alone. But I have a point! Harry is out of St. Mungo's, he can take care of himself, but the way my best mate is going about his life - I just can't look at it.

We are checking on him every day and he obviously hates it even if he hasn't said anything. But after everything… it is his own fault. Harry was keeping so much from us. He mentioned that he thought his magic was stronger after killing You-Know-Who, oh, yeah, he said that his magic might be a bit stronger. A bit sounds like a little tiny bit, but then we find out that he hasn't used a wand since forever! And that is how the veela thing comes into picture. If he had been more open about everything we had made him to go to St. Mungo's straight away and maybe there was something we could have done to prevent the whole mess.

Maybe we could have stopped him before he got so obsessed with Malfoy from all the people. Malfoy! From all the witches and wizards in Britain! Hermione says it's not Harry's fault. I know that it's not completely true. I also red all of those books she bought to read more about 'Harry's condition' as Hermione calls it.

The fact that he went crazy might not be his fault, but there is nothing inevitable about the fact that he is set on Draco Bloody Malfoy. It turns out that veelas fall in love the same way as the other people, they get to know the other person and so on and then when they have fallen in love they go a bit berserk. I am not as stupid as somemight think, just because I enjoy quidditch more than academics doesn't mean I can't analyse what I see, I just don't do it when there is no reason.

So I started thinking about Fleur and Bill and their relationship.

Yes, the way Harry doesn't care that Malfoy is an inbred prick, racist and death eater, Fleur couldn't care less that Bill is disfigured by Grayback. She loves him seemingly unconditionally. But it didn't happen suddenly. They were dating first. She just grew more and more attached when one day she couldn't live without him anymore.

That can mean only one thing. Harry has had feelings for Malfoy before the whole mess with him becoming veela. But for how long? Who was my sister to him then? Was he dating Ginny and thinking about Malfoy? Even if Harry was not deceiving her on purpose, even if he was not aware of the fact that he fancied the blonde, conceited git… How should it make me feel?

Hermione says that sometimes you can't help who you love. She is such a girl…

Of course I know that I am not going to be angry at him for long, I just can't help myself sometimes. I know that I have a terrible temper and…my own issues. Not going admit it though.

I am more upset because of Harry, not with him.

My best mate is like a shadow of himself. He is pinning after that bastard I can just feel it. He doesn't say anything though and Hermione says it's really bad that he has no one he could talk to about it.

She offered Harry once, said if he wanted to talk about Draco, we wouldn't minded and I tried not to make any faces (yes, called him 'Draco' as if we were friends). Harry just looked at her and smiled sadly and that was it. I am ashamed, but I was relieved. I didn't really want to hear about 'Draco', I don't want to know how badly my best mate is missing our worst enemy after You-Know-Who and Voldemort. Well, when I say that, it sounds ridiculous. Malfoy – an enemy. He is more like a major nuisance.

I was at the trial after all. It was so weird. The Malfoy I saw was not the Malfoy I had imagined. I had thought about him as a vicious Death Eater, but what I saw was more like a scared boy. Not so brave after all.

But then I remember all the things he has said to me, Harry and Hermione… still makes my blood boil. When I think about Harry… Yes, I know that it is not Malfoy's fault, but I am still blaming him. Fuck rationality! I am going to hate Malfoy for all this mess no matter what. He ruined my best friend, a great guy, as far as I am concerned. Fuck rationality!

I can't express how much I would like to get my hands around Malfoy's scrawny neck! I have always known that there is a good reason to hate him just for existing and now life has proved me right. Every day I fear that he will pop up and do something bad to Harry, to hurt him more. It has always been his special talent – finding out where it hurt the most and then poking till it's bleeding. I can't believe that he will leave everything as it is. I can't believe that Hermione tried talking to him and almost begged him to spare Harry. It probably just gave him some pointers, how to harm us.

What truly scares me is that I don't believe it's over yet.

Draco's POV

"So, Draco," Severus starts. "What are we going to do about Potter?"

What are we going to do about Potter? I am not ready for a question like this. I haven't thought about it. I have spent my days here trying not to think about Potter at all, pretend that he exists somewhere far, far away, somewhere on the moon or anywhere else where I can't reach him. where he can't reach me.

I don't want to do anything about Potter. What are 'we' supposed to do about him? Besides trying to forget that he exists.

"How about, nothing?" I inquire carefully. I would really like that. Doesn't Severus see that I don't like this particular topic? I make a bit of a face to hint that the inquiry is not appreciated.

Severus looks pensive. Then he looks me into eye. His eyes are so dark that one can see the pupil only from a very close distance. They are usually demanding and merciful. Except when he looks at me. He has a very soft spot for me, which I don't fully understand, but I am not going to complain as long as it gets me good things.

"We have been prolonging this for too long, Draco," he states. "You have had enough time to get over the unpleasant experience. Now is time to act. We are slytherins, we need to discuss this, find the most beneficial way of action."

I don't want tooo…

"I just want to leave it behind," my voice sounds quieter and weaker than I would have liked.

Severus sighs and rubs his temples tiredly: "How old are you Draco?" it is not a question. Besides he knows how old I am. "You are acting as a child. Running from it. Hiding."

I don't say anything. He hasn't finished yet.

"Don't you want revenge? This is a perfect opportunity. He is not essential to our survival anymore," his voice reminds me of a snake. I red an old tale once. It was about a snake who tempted people to do things, Severus's voice is that snake right now.

But itdoesn't tempt me, not at all. I know it should. I am a slytherin. I should be exited. With what happened… the possibilities, the ways I could explore this, they are endless…

But do I want revenge? No, I don't I shake my head. I don't want to do anything about Potter, I want to leave it be.

"There is nothing, nothing I want to do about Potter," I finally manage to get the words past my lips and. There is no conviction in my words, Oh, Merlin…

And then I flinch. Severus springs to his feet and his chair falls on the floor with a loud bang.

"Nothing, Draco, nothing? Do you hear yourself? He kidnaps you, holds you in his house against his will and you don't want to do anything about it?"

I keep shaking my head.

He grabs me by the shoulders and pulls to my feet.

"And it wasn't all, am I right? Tell me Draco! Did he touch you? Did Potter touch you with his dirty hands? Where did he touch you? Did he take you? He did, didn't he! And you want me to forget about it!"

He is enraged, so mad at me that I am scared; I wish that I could say something, but nothing good comes to my mind. I turn my head aside; I don't want to look in his eyes, so dark and furious.

"Look at me, Draco!" Severus orders and I must comply. "Did Potter touch you?"

I nod. Severus is right Potter did touch me and I never said 'no'. I realize that I never, ever made any protest. But then he never did hurt me, he locked me up and confused me, but never scared or hurt me. He was incredibly gentle and patient with me, he never even lost his temper in spite of all the awful things I said… and in the end he told me he loved me, despite everything, no matter what.

"Why, Draco? Why don't you want revenge? Don't you want to make Potter pay for what he took from you? Why?" Severus' voice is gentler now and his grip on my shoulders loosens. He is staring in my eyes intently as if looking for answer there.

Why? I don't know why, I am not sure, well, maybe because no one besides my mother has ever said that they loved me…

"Because he is Harry Potter," I finally answer. As if that explains everything. It's not a complete lie. Harry Potter is Harry Potter and he is…

I think Severus grits his teeth. I don't want him to be upset with me like this.

He clutches my chin in his hand and keeps staring looks in my eyes. I realise that I have never been scared of him before.

"Don't lie to me Draco," he snarls making me flinch. "Have you forgotten that I am a legillimens." Yes, I had forgotten. I had forgotten…

"Your mind is so weak, I can read you like an open book," I can't believe it, but it seems that his words are deliberately cruel. He want to hurt me.

He goes on and I can't believe what I am hearing: "I patiently waited for you, for years I watched you grow up and become more and more beautiful. No boy should be so fair… I wouldn't dare to touch you, because you were too young and innocent in your own way. And I did everything I could to keep it that way. I hoped that one day you will appreciate it and… You were supposed to be mine, Draco, mine and no one else's! But Potter as always manages to spoil everything doesn't he? And now, you are ready to go against me for him! you are lying to me and lying to yourself."

I want to say that I am sorry, beg for his forgiveness, but I am too shocked. In my wildest dreams I would have never…

Then suddenly he leans down and presses his dry, cold lips against mine and I want to scream, it's so wrong. He has always been a father to me when my real one was not there for me, I am grateful, I owe Severus so much, my life probably, but… oh, Merlin, his grip on my chin is painful and all the calm and safety I felt around him… I feel his hand on my bottom and I can't believe he is touching me there. It's so wrong! I feel bile rising in my throat.

I try to break free. I am screaming in my head. I can't do it. I just can't…

"No," I whisper. "Pease, no! Stop…" I can't, I just can't do it, I can't let him…

Severus stops trying to coax my unresponsive lips into a kiss and he is looking at me and I know that he sees how horrified I look. I don't want to, he is important to me, I don't want to hurt him, but I know that it is too late.

"No, you are saying 'no' to me. Did you tell 'no' to Potter?" Severus sounds so bitter as he pushes me away. It's unbelievable, but I am still relieved.

"After all these years, after everything I have done for you, you can't even give me a proper kiss? I can't believe what a fool I have been. For six years I waited patiently, I did everything to keep you out of any serious harm, which was not an easy task when one is…" he doesn't finish, but I think I know what he means.

"I watched you running after Potter like a bitch in heat, trying to get his attention. It was always before my very eyes. What was I thinking? The infamous rivalry," he snorts. "It's understandable that none of the fools realised the truth, simple minded, naïve hypocrites they are… it's understandable that you didn't realised what you really felt for Potter, since you are so used to lying to yourself and considering what a child you are… But there is no excuse for me, I was lying to myself, I saw what I wanted to see and now I am paying for it."

"And are you happy now, Draco? Now you finally got what you wanted, didn't you? You never said 'no' to him, did you? You allowed him to fuck you, Draco. Stop blushing like a virgin in a whorehouse, you are not one anymore. I saw it all in your mind.

If you had said 'no' you he hadn't touched you. Veela never does anything to deliberately hurt their mate. You allowed him everything he wanted, gave him everything he asked, you little whore. You gave him everything. I can't look at you anymore! You disgust me! Get out of my sight!"

He pushes me away and stalks out of the room. He doesn't even give me a second glance or a chance to explain, to say that I am sorry… but what would be the point? I can't explain, I don't really understand myself. And what is my 'sorry' worth? What good would it do? It wouldn't change a thing, I can't, I can't let him touch me, kiss me… I let my enemy, my rival do to me everything he wanted, but I can't give anything to a person who I have always loved, who had always cared for me. But not like that…

I am left alone in the large dining room. It's getting dark and the room seems much colder and gloomier now. I am completely alone. I feel sick, I feel physically ill. A part of me wants to run after him and beg for forgiveness, but another part feels betrayed and orphaned for the second time. Even if I tried, I couldn't express how much everything hurts.

I just wanted some peace. I just wanted to be somewhere safe. I trusted Severus, I loved him, but not like… I could go to him, go to his room and beg him to take me back, tell him that I am sorry. I could close my eyes and give him everything he has always wanted, but I couldn't do that to him, he deserves better than me and I will never be what he wants me to be and he would never forget how I have belonged to Potter.

I feel incredibly guilty. I wish I could be what he wanted me to be. I wish I could be what my father wanted to be. I wish I could be what The Dark Lord wanted me to be then maybe I wouldn't feel as such a disgrace, maybe my mother would be alive. But I am weak. I have always known that I am weak. Good for nothing. Whore. Potter's whore.

I must leave. I can't stay here. For a moment I think that I should go and pack, but then I realise that I don't own anything here, all what is mine in this house is the wand in my pocket.

I leave the dinning room. I walk out in the hall. I push open the large front door and turn around to look at the house for the last time. It is so large sad and, sudden pain squeezes my heart. I am leaving Severus so alone in this monstrosity of a house. I have betrayed him. He has betrayed me – a voice whispers from somewhere.

It is all Potter's fault. It's really always about him.

It always comes back to him.

As I approach the wards I find out that they are not stopping me. I can enter freely. He has keyed me to his wards as if he has been waiting for me to come back as if he hoped that one day I will return. He is waiting for me, expecting me, he wants me here.

I haven't reached the door when opens and I see him standing there. I stop and for some time we are both standing there and looking at each other. I think he can't believe that I have returned and a part of me is afraid that he will not let me in. But then he smiles. He steps forward, reaches out and locks me in his arms and I don't even think about pulling away. It feels so good, so right.

"Draco," he says my name as if it was not just a name and when he says it, it really isn't.

He is simply holding me. He loosens the grip a bit as if he is not sure if it should really be like this. I don't know. Maybe it shouldn't. He probably shouldn't want to hold me and I probably shouldn't want to be held. But I don't care. All I know is that I want it. I twist his shirt in my hand on his lower back, where I have wrapped my arms around his waist. I feel him relaxing. I am glad that he is not asking anything, because I can't explain anyway.

I am basking in the warmth of his body, I feel safe and I feel scared, because I know that I had stepped on a path I don't really understand for reasons which I understand even less. For some obscene longing I feel in defiance of reason.

Well it's not that we have ever been at least remotely reasonable regarding each other. The thought makes me chuckle and startles him.

"What?" He sounds like he has been startled out of a reverie of his own.

"Nothing," not now, at least. Now is not the time.

I shudder. It's cold outside.

Harry picks me up on his arms and carries me inside.

The End

My commentI can't even tell if I like this fic myself or if I don't. I always think my writing is lacking in one way or another, but since I have seen worse and there are people who like those stories, I just post mine anyway.

But this is the first of my stories which is not against the canon – at least I think it isn't. Of course, pretending that the 7th book doesn't exist.

I enjoyed writing Draco as he is portrayed in the books – a spoiled brat with a big mouth, but not much to back it up with and a bit of coward. Usually I like a different approach, but this time I chose to do it that way.

And it turns out that this was my 'obligatory veela story, every author must write'. He, he, I am citing someone here, I don't know whom though. Is the veela thing, Ok? That was one thing I kind of found not that convincing, but well…

Oh, whatever, I just wrote one more fic and I am happy if you liked it, if you didn't, there is a lot of fiction to read out there!

You can leave a review,

I am very curious to find out what you will say about this one.

P.S: ABOUT A SEQUEL: I am not usually a sequel person, but this could be a different case, since their relationship is only starting and there are so many issues which Draco has to solve.