Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers. No copyright infringement intended.
Title: Lean ar do chroí
Word Count: 3000
Summary: After finding out that he is a veela, Draco Malfoy embarks on a journey of self-discovery. With the help of leprechauns, ghosts, old friends and enemies, will Draco find and follow his guide to his one true love at the end of the rainbow?
Note: Written for hpcreatures' prompt - Gold
Warning: This is fairytale-ish and crack-ish fluff. I have no excuse. The translation of the Gaelic phrase is given. But not right away.
Lean ar do chroí
Lean ar do chroí
The tale said that if you reach the end of the rainbow you would find the greatest treasure. Some claimed that this was the place in which all the leprechaun gold was hidden. Not that fake gold that would turn into ashes and leaves in your hands, but real gold that could make you the richest person in the world in an instant. The others insisted that if you do find the end of the rainbow you would be blessed with all of the world's wisdom.
However, the veelas believed that there was indeed a great treasure hidden on that special place, but it wasn't gold or wisdom. If a veela reached the rainbow's end they would find themselves. Or rather a missing part of themselves manifested in a person that was their one true love.
The leprechauns were certain that the veelas were forever after their gold but the truth was they were just looking for something that belonged to them. Sadly, only few had ever managed to find what they were looking for, not for the lack of trying, mind you, but because they failed to understand their guide.
"Oh, just hurry up, Granger!" Draco whined, trying to conceal his apprehension. He lay on a desk in the Potions classroom and stared at the bushy head to his left. Granger was frowning and muttering to herself. Her nose was buried in a heavy book and she ignored Draco entirely. "Granger!" Draco hissed.
"Yes, yes." Granger waved him off, but then sighed and brushed her wild hair from her face. She approached the desk and looked down at Draco. "I just don't know if this will work," she said, biting her lip. "I mean, you are a bit unusual. Male veelas are rare and I just don't know whether the same rules apply ..."
"We've been through this, Granger. Just do it. I can't take it anymore." Draco closed his eyes in misery. "I can't live like this. I have to find him," he murmured, shivering. He felt incomplete — like a part of him was missing. He had to do this, even though it meant ...
Draco steeled himself. He just had to do this.
"All right," Granger agreed reluctantly. "If I understand this correctly then you should find your true love at the end of the rainbow. Or the end of the rainbow should find your true love. Oh, never mind. It's the same thing."
"That sounds impossible. And stupid," Draco complained.
"Well, that's why one can only do this in a lucid dream. Honestly," Granger said irritably. "You should've asked your mother about this!"
"Mother lies," Draco said, fighting with the awful feeling of betrayal. He was still upset with his mother for never telling him about this. His mother had hoped that no one would ever find out about her heritage. That was why when Draco turned eighteen, everybody suffered a severe shock.
Draco had found out that he was in fact a half-breed and was destined to find his love or die trying. He was also surprised to discover that he could light up the room, literally, and make everyone around him swoon. Well, nearly everyone. It didn't work on some people. Like Harry Potter.
A warm, gentle hand gripped Draco's and Draco squeezed back, finding courage in that touch. Granger said quietly, "Remember, you must find a guide and then you must listen to what he tells you, all right? Ready?"
Draco took a deep breath and nodded. "Find a guide, listen, and then find the end of the rainbow. Got it."
There was a rush of air and magic above him and Granger murmured something long and song-like. It sounded very much like a lullaby. Draco felt himself drifting away as the hand that gripped his disappeared and he was left alone.
With a whoosh, he landed on his behind.
Draco opened his eyes and looked around worriedly. He was in the middle of a large green field. The day was sunny and warm, and a shiny rainbow stretched over the blue sky. One side of it was pale and it disappeared high in the midst of white clouds, but the other side of the rainbow was beautiful and clear, its end hidden behind a great forest in the distance.
Draco groaned and blew an agitated breath. This would be a long walk.
The sun was burning and the heat was unbearable. Draco had already taken off his cloak but sweat was still making his clothes and hair cling to him uncomfortably. And to make matters even worse, both the forest and the rainbow seemed to run away from him faster than he walked.
Draco growled, annoyed, and tossed his cloak on the ground. He took off his tie, unbuttoned a couple of top buttons of his shirt, and rolled up his sleeves.
This was pointless. He needed a guide.
Something fluttered in front of his eyes. Startled, Draco blinked, thinking he was seeing things, but the fluttery image was still there. Something pale and translucent floated before him, and with some disbelief Draco recognized the ghost of a girl.
"Myrtle?" he asked incredulously.
"Draco Malfoy!" Moaning Myrtle gasped in delight. "What on earth are you doing here? You are a long way from Hogwarts!"
"So are you," Draco pointed out. Dream apparitions were dumb.
Myrtle pretended she hadn't heard him. "Where are you going? Are you sure you're not lost?" she asked mournfully.
"I ..." Draco hesitated. Honestly, there was no one else here — there was no harm in saying it. "I'm looking for my one true love," he declared. "Are you my guide?" he added worriedly.
Myrtle stared at him and then abruptly, she shrieked with laughter. She managed to stop only after Draco glared at her for a long time. "Oh, Draco," she said, still giggling. "Maybe you should look for wisdom instead! A guide! Me?" She laughed again. "Oh, I hadn't laughed like this since I was —" Myrtle sobered up quickly. "Well, since I was alive," she lamented, looking as though she would burst into tears next.
Draco tried not to roll his eyes, but lost that battle. "Do you know where I could find my guide?" he asked, trying to sound polite and collected.
Apparently, Myrtle didn't feel like laughing anymore. She just shook her head sadly. "Oh Draco, I'm afraid you'll have to find your guide yourself. But I'll tell you this —" Myrtle rose up towards the sun and Draco couldn't keep his gaze on her. "You're going in the wrong direction!" she yelled at him and then flew away.
Draco stared after her, until his eyes began to stung, and then annoyed, he turned around towards the forest and cursed. Honestly! Wrong direction? Perhaps, he should fly up toward the sky? Draco snorted. Myrtle was never the brightest or most coherent ghost.
Draco glared around and not seeing anyone else, he continued to follow the path leading toward the forest.
Draco thought that maybe the forest was closer. Maybe. Or maybe he was too dizzy to see clearly.
Unexpectedly, something ran into him from behind and nearly knocked him over. He regained his balance and whipped around to see a giggling Pansy Parkinson, tossing her hair and winking at him.
"Sorry, didn't see you there," Pansy assured. "Oh, Draco darling, you should see your face."
Draco looked heavenward. "Please tell me you're not my guide."
Pansy looked at him excitedly. "A guide? Are we going shopping? Because in that case — absolutely!"
Draco glared. "No. I need a guide who would take me to my true love."
Pansy gaped, blinking rapidly. "O-kay," she said slowly as though speaking to a dim-witted person.
"No, really," Draco insisted. "I need someone to help me find the end of the rainbow. My ... er ... love is waiting for me there."
Pansy frowned. "Oh my. Well, I think you should look for gold instead. Then we could really go shopping!"
"Would you shut up about shopping?" Draco snapped. "I have to do this! For Merlin's sake, I'm practically dying! Don't you care? Can't you help me?"
"No!" Pansy said huffily. "You're always just yelling at me." She turned around with a flourish and tossed him a final glare. "You're not even going in the right direction," she sneered and before Draco could respond she disappeared on the spot.
Draco shook his head in exasperation and turned around towards the forest. Pansy's ideas were always ridiculous. Wrong direction, indeed.
Draco sighed and looked up at the high trees. He had finally reached the forest but he was at the end of his strength. He was just about to collapse on the ground when he spotted an odd sight a little further away. The leaves rustled and the branches swayed and two figures appeared before Draco.
They were both old and wore ridiculously colourful clothes. One had a dusty red cap and was clad in green, and Draco easily recognized a leprechaun. But the other, the one with in bright yellow robes, suddenly made Draco feel anxious ...
"Um, Professor Dumbledore," Draco greeted politely, not knowing what one should say to a man you once tried to kill. Sorry?
However, Dumbledore smiled warmly. "Mr Malfoy! What an odd place for us to meet. Are you in a hurry or would you like to join us?"
The leprechaun eyed Draco suspiciously and then opened his mouth to say something, but hiccupped instead. The small creature shuddered and swayed a little. "I hardly ever drink!" he exclaimed suddenly, glaring at Draco as though Draco had accused him of such a thing.
"Er ..." Draco said again, ignoring the staggering leprechaun and addressing his long dead Headmaster. "Are you my guide? Because I need to find my one true love."
Dumbledore's eyebrows rose as the leprechaun waved around with his tiny fists. "Idiot veelas! You're going after my gold again, aren't you?"
Dumbledore quickly grabbed the creature by the collar of his green shirt and prevented him from attacking Draco.
"I don't want your gold," Draco scoffed.
"Everybody wants my gold!" the leprechaun growled. "You veelas never had a brain, always tramping around and yelling, 'Are you my guide? Are you my guide?'" The leprechaun shook off Dumbledore's hand and crossed his arms on his chest. "Lean ar do chroí! Idiot!"
"Now, now, no need for insults," Dumbledore scolded his drunken friend.
"What did he say?" Draco demanded.
Dumbledore sighed and gave him a sad look, eying him over the top of his spectacles. "I must say, I expected better from you, Mr Malfoy. At least, you should know your guide." Dumbledore frowned. "I'm afraid we're not allowed to help you. But I will say this —" Dumbledore began to walk away, his grumpy friend following him. "You are going in the wrong direction."
Draco glared at the spot where the brightly-coloured duo disappeared. He turned around towards the forest in protest. He would not listen to Dumbledore!
Draco was only a little surprised when his mother appeared before him on a path in the middle of the forest.
"Don't tell me. You're not my guide and I'm moving in the wrong direction?"
His mother looked at him sadly. "Are you still mad at me?"
"Do I look mad?" Draco asked, hoping that he did indeed look mad.
"No. You look tired."
"Of course I'm tired!" Draco fumed. "I've been here forever. And I don't even have a guide!"
His mother came closer and put her hands on Draco's shoulders. "You have a guide. But you refuse to follow."
Draco had the strongest urge to whine to his mother. "Where is my guide? I just really want to find my destined love. Mother, it's killing me! Can't you help me?"
His mother shook her head but then she smiled slightly. "I can take you a little further, that's all."
"Will my guide be there?"
His mother smiled again and suddenly Draco found himself in another field, but here, it looked like the sun was setting. Impossibly, the rainbow was still there, beautiful and colourful with a clear end, bathed in bright golden light that touched upon the faraway lake.
Bewildered, but happy, Draco found new energy and ran forward. He ran as fast as he could towards the golden light. His love was waiting for him there. His destiny!
Draco ran until he could no longer breathe and his whole body ached. His legs weren't supporting him anymore but the light was still far away. Miserably, Draco paused and fought to steady his breathing. He had to get there! Or die trying.
A warm hand grabbed his suddenly. Draco knew who it was even before he turned.
"What are you doing, Draco?" a soft voice asked.
Draco turned to look at the bright green eyes, reflecting the light of the rainbow. "I need to find my ..." Draco faltered. "I'm sorry. I have to do this. I have to find him or ... I have to."
"I know, Draco," Harry murmured. "But what did your guide tell you?"
"My guide? My guide!" Draco mourned, "I couldn't find him!"
Harry shook his head. "Of course you found him. But you didn't listen, did you?" Harry smiled at him fondly. "Listen now."
Draco stared and listened. Was everyone mad? What on earth were they taking about? He couldn't hear a thing.
Harry squeezed his hand and looked at Draco with warmth in his expressive eyes and Draco was suddenly mad at rainbows and guides and destined loves. Even if Draco would find his love beneath the rainbow, he would have to abandon the one person he had truly fallen in love with. The person that hadn't swooned when faced with Draco's veela abilities, but instead liked him for who he was. The person who was beside him in the Potions classroom, holding his hand as Draco went to search for another man. The person who loved him so much he was willing to let Draco go. How could Draco ever leave him?
"What did it tell you?" Harry asked again.
Draco blinked and suddenly everything that happened to him today fell into place and this whole thing seemed ludicrous. Staring at Harry's face made everything clear.
Draco grinned widely and looked around at the golden end of the rainbow.
"It really was the wrong direction!" Draco exclaimed happily and then turned back towards the right one.
Swiftly, the golden light enveloped both of them and as Draco floated away, he wondered why did he come here, looking for the unreachable when the unreachable had already found him first.
Draco opened his eyes and met worried green eyes staring down at him.
"Are you all right? Did it work?"
Draco couldn't help himself and he smiled, almost laughed. "Yes, it worked."
Harry squeezed his hand tighter and looked away. "Good. I'm glad." Harry tried to pull his hand away but Draco held fast. Harry asked quietly, "Who is he? Or she?" Draco stood up and fighting dizziness, he pulled Harry closer. Harry looked at him again, his expression morose. "I was really worried. I'm really happy for you. I am."
Draco wondered who Harry was trying to convince — himself or Draco. Instead of saying anything, Draco leaned in and kissed Harry's lips, gently touching them with his. "Guess who he is," Draco whispered.
Harry stared, his expression guarded. "Who?" he asked carefully.
Draco laughed and kissed Harry again. After a long moment they parted and Harry looked dazed. "Me?" he asked breathlessly.
Overwhelmed, Draco hugged him. "Yes, you."
"We're destined to be together?" Harry asked, laughing in Draco's ear.
Draco snorted. "I don't know, really. We'll be together either way," he said firmly.
A displeased voice broke through Draco's happily dazed mind. "This is what we missed lunch for?" Ron Weasley groaned.
Draco and Harry ended their hug and looked over toward a glaring Ron Weasley and equally unimpressed-looking Hermione Granger. They were sitting on a nearby desk with their arms crossed on their respective chests.
"And dinner," Granger added.
Frowning, Weasley checked his watch. "Actually, we could still make it to dinner."
In flurry of cloaks, books and bags, Granger and Weasley left the classroom, not looking back.
Draco shrugged and turned towards his boyfriend. He wrapped his arms around Harry's waist and pulled him closer.
Harry looked happy and relieved, just like Draco felt. "So," Harry began. "Who was your guide?"
Draco frowned and suddenly he felt his face heat up. "Um, in order to avoid embarrassing explanations. I'll just say that ... er ... my guide belongs to you."
Harry frowned. "What the hell does that mean? Was it Kreacher?"
Draco grinned. "No. Maybe I'll tell you once. When I get drunk or something."
Harry tried to look upset but he was grinning too much. "Oh, I'll get you drunk, don't worry," Harry promised with a sly grin.
"I know," Draco sighed dramatically. "Come on." He pulled Harry towards the door. "I'm starving."
(Gaelic) Lean ar do chroí — Follow your heart
Of course, the rainbow really does point to the location of the leprechaun gold.