To my reviewers:
Even now, over a year later, I continue to get reviews for Raspberry Jam and notices of people adding the story to their favorites or C2. Even now, I get all flustered when I see a new notice. This encourages me that this story will also be well received. I thank all of you.
Note about Phoenix Fire:
I thought about working on Phoenix Fire – the sequel to Raspberry Jam – as I already had pieces of it sketched out, but…well, I'm quite dissatisfied with what I have of the sequel as it feels to me more like a bunch of scenes just stuck together and not a truly cohesive story and, as a result, I feel mostly disinclined to work on it.
Chapter 1 – Prologue
Betas: Many, many thanks go out to RRRII and DLRP for their work on this story. This includes the standard grammar, spelling, punctuation, suggestions and questions, as well as the occasional "Hey, when's the next chapter... Hey... Hey..."
A/N: Words DH asked about when reading this chapter: tetchy means irritable, grumpy; asperity means annoyance, irritation.
Harry had managed to fall down the stairs of Grimmauld Place and quite spectacularly scatter his belongings everywhere. The group of students and their – in Harry's opinion – much too overprotective and paranoid guards had planned on arriving at King's Cross station a mere ten minutes before the departure of the Hogwarts Express to – in Harry's opinion – unnecessarily minimize Harry's exposure to the "dangers" of the outside world.
Said group of students had also been running late and would have been lucky to make it a mere five minutes before departure. One might have considered this unfortunate, unless, of course, one had been responsible for all the subtle little delays that had added up to those five minutes. Which Harry had been. He had also been responsible for his tumble down the stairs and for his trunk having been not quite closed properly.
Harry wanted to miss the train.
As he lay on the floor with a new headache – from the cut he hadn't expected to get from a heretofore unknown sharp step, a bruised hip – from the umbrella stand he hadn't expected to fall heavily and unceremoniously onto him, and people exclaiming about him – because Merlin forbid they react calmly, he thought that perhaps he had been a bit too efficient in his subterfuge.
But, then again, they were missing the train for certain now and he would be healed so it was all fine.
Harry wanted to miss the train because he didn't want his secret to get out anywhere but in front of the entire student population. He didn't want his secret to be covered up for his own good, for the greater good, for the good of the war or the people or the student population or for little fluffy kittens everywhere. His soon to be not-secret would not be hidden and the only way he could be certain that it wasn't suppressed was by revealing it to hundreds of people all at once. Not even the Headmaster would be able to obliviate everybody before word got out. True, his secret would have gotten out on the train, but he wanted everyone to see for themselves, not to hear a second-, third-, or fourth-hand guaranteed-to-be-wrong rumor.
A few knocks were completely worth it to get what he wanted.
It had taken half an hour for someone to fetch Madam Pomfrey to check him over and heal his wounds and to gather and repack his trunk. The remainder of the day had been spent at Grimmauld Place in leisure until they were portkeyed to the Headmaster's office fifteen minutes before the feast. Unlike previous years, Harry didn't waste any time trying to figure out why, exactly, if they were so concerned about his safety getting to the Hogwarts Express, he hadn't been taken to Hogwarts by portkey before.
As he and his friends wandered down to the feast, he made a bet with himself over how long after the sorting it would take before all hell broke loose. If it took more than fifteen minutes he would actually do all his schoolwork this year on top of everything else. Obviously, given what he knew his year was going to be like, he was absolutely positive it wouldn't take that long. Neither of the affected students were known for their patience and he figured they would both be up and looking for him within seconds of the last sorting.
He was ready for them, though. Just let one of them lay a hand upon him without his permission…
All through the sorting he unobtrusively observed Draco Malfoy, his same age nemesis, and Edward Conway, an even-tempered seventh year Ravenclaw. Both were sniffing the air in an attempt to locate the scent that was, by now, permeating the air of the hall. Even the scent of food wouldn't mask it now.
Immediately after the last first year took her seat at the Ravenclaw table, Draco and Edward were up and heading towards their respective Housemasters. Such an unheard of display first caused silence and then twitters and whispers. The display of shock on the teachers' and Headmaster's faces only increased the clamor.
McGonagall obviously said something moronic – probably a variation of "Are you sure?" – because Snape, Malfoy, and Conway all looked at her in disdain. Harry couldn't really blame her, though; no one was expecting what the two students were reporting. And yet there could be no denial of the fact that somewhere in this hall was a newly awakened submissive Veela. A previously unknown submissive Veela that the two dominants were required – by instinct and Veela law – to identify, protect, and, if necessary, teach. After a few minutes of intense debate, Malfoy and Conway got their way and the Headmaster stood and sent a round of sparks into the air.
"Students! It has come to our attention that one of you has newly come into your Veela heritage. We offer you our congratulations on such an auspicious event. There are details to attend to, however, so if you would please come forward so we may discuss your new status in my office?"
The Headmaster was the picture of a genial old man wanting to help out a poor confused student. Harry could tell, however, that he was actually quite displeased. Undoubtedly, the fact that he didn't know who the student in question was was annoying him. That, and the fact that he was being forced into the public admission by the two determined half-Veelas standing at the head table.
No one moved.
"This is not the time to be shy," the Headmaster said encouragingly. "Please come forward so we may speak with you and let the feast progress."
Students started looking around but still no one came forward. Harry would be damned if he came forward so that his event could be dealt with privately. No, he was going to force the Headmaster to allow Malfoy and Conway to search. It was their right – and responsibility – to find and present themselves to a newly awakened submissive in their territory – especially one who was previously unknown – and Harry was absolutely certain that they would claim that right.
He wasn't disappointed when a minute later another low, heated argument took place and the Headmaster was forced to allow the search. Conway immediately turned towards the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables. Harry almost snorted in contempt. Idiot. He should have realized that if Malfoy was up at the head table arguing for a search that the submissive wasn't in Slytherin, even if it was the house with the most pure-bloods and therefore the most likely to have students of non-human heritage. Malfoy, however, made a beeline for the Gryffindor table.
Despite himself, Harry was impressed that Malfoy had figured out just exactly who the new Veela was. In retrospect, he realized it wouldn't have been that hard to figure out for the blond. The submissive wasn't in Slytherin and it obviously wasn't in Ravenclaw if Conway hadn't sniffed them out during the train ride or the sorting. That left Hufflepuff and Gryffindor, and Harry and his friends were likely the only ones of appropriate age that hadn't been on the train and therefore hadn't been harassed – and noted – by the Slytherin. Between the four of them that had missed the train – Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny – it was a simple deduction. Hermione was muggle-born and it was well-known that the Weasleys had no creature-blood. That left Harry.
When Malfoy turned at the far side of the table, Harry said calmly and clearly into the nearly silent hall, "Touch me without my permission, Malfoy, and I'll gut you."
"Please, Potter, you don't know what you're talking about," Malfoy said condescendingly as he continued to approach. "Now come with me and we'll go talk to the teachers about what this means."
Harry felt the dominant's hand on his left arm, lifting him from his seat. He allowed it for a moment, just to steady him as he rose from the bench, but the moment he was standing and stable he quickly shifted into his bird form, turned, and raked the claws of his right hand across Malfoy's abdomen.
Malfoy cried out and fell, blood pouring out of the deep gashes in his belly. Screams – not Malfoy's – immediately followed. To his credit, Malfoy had quickly become silent and curled up and put his arms across his belly in an attempt to stem the bleeding. Madam Pomfrey, who sat at the end of the teacher's table and had seen the whole thing, immediately ran to Malfoy's side and began casting spells in a desperate bid to save his life.
Harry turned back around and calmly picked up a napkin from the table and cleaned the blood off his claws. He ignored both the furor behind him and the stares of the students and teachers. Eventually satisfied with the state of his claws, he shifted back to human form and sat down.
"Mr. Potter. You will come to my office immediately," the Headmaster said in a cold and firm voice that cowed nearly the entire student population despite the fact that they weren't being addressed.
Harry looked up and said just as coldly, "I do hope you have something school related that you wish to discuss, because interfering in a Veela courtship is quite illegal and directly against The Veela Accords of 1612. This includes, but is not limited to, censure of any type of a submissive's defense of self from unwanted attentions, especially if a potential suitor had already been warned off." Harry pointedly titled his head slightly towards Malfoy and Madam Pomfrey.
The utter silence of the room at Harry's response allowed everyone to hear Madam Pomfrey's voice as she continued to cast her spells.
The Headmaster recovered from his surprise at being denied and said firmly, "We need to discuss your heritage, Mr. Potter."
Harry smiled grimly and replied, "I know all about my heritage, Headmaster, and have neither wish nor obligation to discuss it with you. All you need to know is that I am an x-male half-Veela who has come into his sexual maturity and will therefore be evaluating suitors."
"This situation has a great number of repercussions, Mr. Potter. Repercussions that we will discuss in my office. Now," the Headmaster said firmly and turned and started walking towards the teacher's exit.
Even Madam Pomfrey was silent after Harry's refusal.
Harry decided it was time to make his planned statement. There was nothing like a captive and silent audience, after all. "You are now in possession of all the information I am required to give you; that being, I am an x-male half-Veela who has come into his sexual maturity. Now that you are aware of this, you are required to accommodate in every way any and all courtships initiated for my hand. This includes my absence from school whenever I must meet with a suitor. Any interference of any kind – tampering with my mail or even my receipt of it, for instance – will be met with an immediate complaint to the Veela Council. They tend to get quite wrathful when their chicks are harassed or hindered during their courtships, so I wouldn't suggest doing anything that might inspire me to contact them."
"The only thing you may deny me in regards to this, ah, event I believe you called it, is the meeting I have arranged tomorrow morning with Mr. Lovegood of The Quibbler. I would think, however, that you would be pleased to allow it as it will drastically reduce the number of my suitors, which will, in turn, reduce the disruption in my schooling. It is, of course, your decision," Harry finished with just a hint of disdain.
Harry, as well as several other sensitives, could feel the churning fury of the Headmaster's power. It might be a bit foolish to piss off the old man, but Harry couldn't deny it was exhilarating. It was quite the high knowing he was completely within his rights and that there was nothing the Headmaster could do about it.
The Headmaster turned to Harry and Harry boldly looked him in the eye even while half the student population flinched back. "When did you become a Veela, Mr. Potter?"
It took everything he had not to make a snide comment, but after a moment decided that answering truthfully would actually be the best comeback to such an inane question. "When I was conceived," he answered calmly and bit his tongue when he heard more than a few snickers.
He hadn't thought it possible, but the Headmaster's countenance became even more glacial. "Neither of your parents were Veela, Mr. Potter, therefore your inheritance is a result of later magics, perhaps even dark rituals, and needs to be investigated."
Harry snorted in disbelief at the Headmaster's words. Dark rituals, indeed! "Just because you didn't know my mother was a half-Veela doesn't mean she wasn't," Harry said calmly. "She was quite aware of her heritage, as am I."
"Now," Harry said after a moment of silence, "are you going to start the feast or are you going to send everyone to bed without supper?" Those inclined to hear between the lines clearly heard the added "because you're being pissy."
The Headmaster's glare clearly communicated that Harry was in ocean-deep trouble but Harry didn't care. He watched dispassionately as the Headmaster stiffly returned to the head table and summoned dinner. Harry served himself and disregarded Madam Pomfrey when she levitated a still living Malfoy out of the hall. He completely ignored the gossiping student body and especially anybody that asked about his heritage or his confrontation with the Headmaster. And when dinner was over he calmly made his way to the tower and his bed despite the angry and hurt glares of Ron and Hermione. Curiously, Neville had sent him several sympathetic and supportive looks and Lavender and Parvati had casually filled the uncomfortable silence between the trio of friends with summertime gossip.
All in all, it was a very pleasant night.
Albus Dumbledore sent sparks from his wand for a second time that night and said loudly, "Quiet!"
The gathered teachers quickly silenced their chatter and those still standing rapidly settled into empty seats.
"I'm certain everyone understands why we are here tonight. Does anybody have anything constructive to say?" Albus asked grimly.
Minerva McGonagall nodded and asked sharply, "Does anybody know anything about these Veela Accords that were mentioned tonight? Were we truly required to let the two boys conduct their so-called search? And was what Harry said factual?"
Everyone turned to stare at Filius Flitwick, shocked that the normally exuberant and cheerful man could even speak in such a subdued tone.
The charms professor looked at his colleagues and continued in the same quiet voice, "When I was younger, I went through a phase when I was very passionate about my Goblin heritage and wanted to know everything there was to know about it. One of the things I read during that time was The Goblin Contracts of 1612. I was appalled to find them to be so blatantly unfair towards the Goblin nation that they barely deserve the label of contract and I wondered at the treaties that the Wizengamot held with other races. One of the treaties I read was The Veela Accords, which were made the same year after a failed attempt by the Wizengamot to conquer the Veela nation."
"Well?" Minerva said with some asperity.
"We were required to allow the search. And Mr. Potter is correct," Filius said with a sharp nod. "There is nothing we can do against him."
"He nearly killed Mr. Malfoy!" Minerva exclaimed angrily and several other teachers murmured their agreement.
"Mr. Malfoy had been warned away," Filius said grimly. "I heard Mr. Potter quite clearly and I was sitting at the other end of the hall."
"That's hardly relevant! The severity of Mr. Potter's response was uncalled for!" Aurora Sinistra banged the table with her fist in support of her statements.
"Only in wizard society," Filius said patiently. "According to Veela law, which we are required to follow, Mr. Potter was completely justified in his response, especially as he clearly warned away the approaching dominant."
"We can't have him going around harming the students!" Minerva exclaimed in dismay.
"As long as they leave him alone, there won't be any problems," Filius said with a shrug.
"Severus! Why are you just sitting there? It was your student that was nearly killed and you've always been against Mr. Potter in the past. Surely you don't think he should get away with this?" Aurora said angrily.
Severus looked up from the table and glared acidly at the astronomy professor. "Despite the lack of value some people may place on my life, I assure you I have no wish to be summarily executed."
There were several moments of silence before Albus questioned solemnly, "What do you mean, Severus?"
"Filius isn't the only one who has read The Veela Accords," Severus said grimly. "Interference of any kind in the courtships of Veela or half-Veela is met with harsh penalties, up to and including summary execution."
"Expelling him for nearly killing a student is hardly interference!" Aurora insisted loudly.
"It is," Filius said before Severus could reply. "Rejection of suitors is considered part of the courtships. Wizards are not allowed to punish a Veela or half-Veela in any way as long as they have acted within Veela law."
"And what about our laws?" Aurora asked angrily.
"They are completely irrelevant," Severus said coldly.
"What?" Aurora asked, most of the others mirroring her shocked expression. Albus had his hands steepled in front of his mouth and a very grim look on his face. Filius looked only thoughtful.
"Wizards must follow Veela law in regards to all full and half-Veela. Full Veela do not have to follow wizard law at all and half-Veela must follow wizard law only when they are acting solely as a wizard. Any other time, especially during courting, they are subject only to Veela law," Severus elaborated frostily. "I will not risk my neck speaking out against Mr. Potter's completely legal rejection of a suitor."
There was another uncomfortable silence before Pomona spoke up and asked hesitantly, "Can't we stop him from initiating courtships at all? Can't he wait until he leaves school?"
This time is was Filius that answered. "No. Once a submissive Veela, or half-Veela, which, as an x-male, is what Mr. Potter is, has awakened – generally, but not always, on their sixteenth birthday – they have a year, a year and a half at the most, before they must be mated. If not, they'll die."
"Surely the whole Veela mate thing is a myth!" Minerva said in surprise.
Filius shook his head. "Not entirely," he said. "It's a myth that there's a destined mate, but it isn't a myth that they have to mate. The submissives, that is. The dominants are all obliged to protect unmated submissives, but may mate whenever they wish."
"Well, then, why can't we just get him married off in the next few weeks and let it go at that?" Aurora asked in annoyance.
Severus snorted and said derisively, "Well, you're certainly welcome to present your choice of marriage partner to Mr. Potter if you'd like. However, I'd imagine that he'd report that to the Veela Council, at which point the Council would either simply execute you or send you to Azkaban for life for attempted murder."
Aurora, as well as many other teachers, blanched, but nevertheless protested, "That's a bit harsh."
"Not if you consider the situation from the Veela point of view," Filius denied. "The submissive cannot properly bond to a partner not of their choosing. If the submissive doesn't mate, they die. Therefore, interfering with the mating process is considered attempted murder and is treated as such."
"Can we make suggestions?" Albus asked into the resulting silence. "Or is that against these Accords as well?"
Filius nodded hesitantly. "It's not against the Accords, per se. You're certainly welcome to make suggestions. However, I highly doubt Mr. Potter would actually take those suggestions to heart. Veela are very picky about their mates and Mr. Potter, like any other submissive Veela, will want his prospective mates to prove themselves to him in one fashion or another."
"Then let's find a likely candidate, have them prove themselves, and be done with this nonsense!" Aurora suggested crossly.
Severus snorted but let Filius actually respond. "I don't know. I doubt that would work. It all depends upon what Mr. Potter has in mind for his tests of worthiness," Filius said doubtfully.
"Well, we could simply ask him," Minerva interjected logically before the astronomy professor could say something else biting.
"You could," Filius said with a shrug, "but he probably wouldn't tell you. The tests of worthiness are highly personal to each submissive Veela seeking a mate and usually aren't revealed until the tests have already been given and either passed or failed."
"Isn't there anything we can do at all?" Minerva asked worriedly.
"Don't interfere," Severus said with contempt.
"And what about the interference of the school?" Minerva protested.
"As long as Mr. Potter makes even a semi-reasonable effort to keep the disturbance of the school to a minimum, there is nothing to be done," Severus said unsympathetically.
"For instance," Filius said, finally regaining some cheer in his voice, "Mr. Potter has already stated that the reason he's giving an interview tomorrow morning is so that he can reduce the number of suitors."
"Should we allow the interview?" Irma Pince asked thoughtfully. "Would it be illegal to deny it? It's not as if we allow other students to schedule interviews, especially during class time."
As everyone had returned their attention to Filius, he answered slowly, "It wouldn't be illegal as, technically, it's not part of the courting. However, Mr. Potter will likely have a great number of suitors." Filius ignored the disgusted snort from Severus and continued, "If we forbid something that has the potential of limiting the number of suitors, like this interview, then it will be solely our fault if the disruption to the school is twice as bad as it might have been. I recommend we allow the interview to take place. It won't really hurt anything and it could end up being a great help."
Everyone turned their attention to the headmaster for his decision. Albus interlaced his fingers and lowered his hands to the table. "I think we may have to," he said with a serious expression. "If we don't allow it, especially now that he's announced his heritage and reasoning in front of the entire school, it will reflect very poorly on Hogwarts."
"What about the fact that he scheduled it for tomorrow morning during class?" Minerva asked.
"An excellent time," Severus said blandly.
Minerva sent Severus a glare and said, "Just because he'd be missing your class is no excuse to agree, Severus. I see no reason why he couldn't have scheduled the interview for after the last class of the day."
"I imagine that it is a timing issue," Albus said thoughtfully. "The article probably has to be finished by a particular time in order to be printed the following day."
"I can't imagine a single day will make all that much difference," Minerva said in annoyance.
Severus looked at her in disbelief, "Given the speed of gossip?"
Minerva grimaced and said, "And, besides, The Quibbler isn't due out until the middle of the month."
"I wouldn't be surprised if this month's edition is printed early, or even an additional special edition is offered," Albus said diplomatically.
Minerva pursed her lips but offered no further protest.
"How do we know he won't simply use the interview as an excuse to skip classes?" Aurora asked, obviously still angry about the whole situation.
"I will stay in the Great Hall and watch," Albus said.
"What about when he starts responding to his mail?" Severus sneered. "Are you going to watch him then, too?"
"What do you mean, Severus?" Albus asked, resteepling his fingers.
Severus merely sneered and looked away, so Filius answered instead. "He'll be getting a lot of offers," Filius said cheerily, his persistently good mood obviously having returned fully. "He'll have to read and reply to all of them. Likely he'll be taking time from classes to do that as well. Nothing comes before courting to a Veela."
"Then we'll watch him then as well," Albus said decisively. "We may be restricted in what we are allowed to do, but I will not allow him to take advantage of the situation. Minerva, would you please arrange a schedule for all the staff to keep watch on Mr. Potter whenever he's not in class?"
"Of course, Albus," Minerva said with a nod.
"Also, I'd like everybody to watch Mr. Potter and report about his behavior. I want to be aware if his heritage causes any problems within the student body." When the teachers nodded, Albus continued, "I don't believe there is any more to discuss tonight, so I wish you all a good night."
As the teachers filed out, Albus leaned back in his chair and stared absently at the opposite wall. He was very concerned about this development. Very concerned. This was going to interfere with Harry's task in this war. How was he going to be able to concentrate on what he needed to do to defeat Voldemort if he was off involving himself in courtships?
There must be some way to make the boy see reason, to make him understand the necessity of completing these courtships as efficiently as possible so he could focus on the task at hand.
Draco lay in bed in the hospital wing, thinking. He had, to the immense surprise of the school nurse, taken the news that he would be here all week quite gracefully. He hadn't said it, of course, but he was glad he was to be confined for so long. He had a lot to contemplate.
He had woken to the white of the infirmary and had taken a minute to remember why he was there. Once the memory had surfaced, in all its gory detail, Draco's mind had promptly shut down in shock and left him staring blankly at the ceiling. This was the state in which Pansy had found him and which she had unsympathetically smacked him out of. She had overridden his indignant protest with a sharp, "Shut up and pay attention. I don't want to miss breakfast." Shocked and, truthfully, somewhat cowed, he had done as bid and listened in growing disbelief as Pansy related the previous night's events and her opinion and advice in regards to said events.
He loved Pansy, he really did. She was a brilliant, brilliant girl. She was smarter than him by far, though not as cunning, and had been his best friend as long as he could remember. She could ferret out information astonishingly rapidly and accurately and then present it efficiently along with other tidbits of relevance. Plus, she literally remembered everything – last night's confrontation between Potter and Dumbledore had been narrated verbatim. And her advice was usually spot on, too.
Which left him with a lot to contemplate.
The first order of business, according to Pansy, was Potter's behavior and what that meant in regards to the dark-haired boy's true intelligence, resources, personality, and, of no small concern, allegiances.
It was obvious that Harry Potter was, astonishingly, aware. Not only was he quite aware of exactly what he was – not just a half-Veela, but an x-male half-Veela – but he appeared to also be quite aware of just what his rights were in regards to his particular station. This, in itself, gave Draco pause. Such things, Draco knew, were not taught at Hogwarts. In fact, such things were not even on the shelves of the Hogwarts library or even on the shelves of Flourish & Blotts. The Ministry really didn't like the fact that it was subject to a treaty in which wizards hadn't been the ones to dictate the terms and suppressed information about Veela whenever and wherever it could. So that meant…outside information. Where – or perhaps the better question was from whom – had the Golden Boy gotten his information?
It was also obvious that Harry Potter was not quite as enamored with Albus Dumbledore as everyone, including himself, had presumed. What Draco wasn't sure of, and he had spent rather a long bit of time thinking about it, was just when that attitude had manifested. While last spring's appalling incident at the Ministry – for which Potter blamed the headmaster and Snape, according to Pansy – may have been the catalyst, or the proverbial last straw, Draco rather thought that two months wasn't really enough time to foster the depth of coldness Pansy had reported in Potter's demeanor. Such true, dispassionate, disdain took time to develop. When – or perhaps again the better question was from whom – had the Golden Boy learned to so blatantly distrust the headmaster?
The last thing that was obvious, at least to those a bit in the know, was that Harry Potter had had practice. Young Veela did not simply shift in and out of bird form at will – it was not, despite popular belief, instinctive. Newly-matured Veela generally only shifted into and out of bird form when angry or relaxed, respectively. Also, Potter obviously had his allure under control as well. To shift at will required anywhere from one hundred fifty to two hundred hours of concerted practice under the tutelage of another half- or full-Veela who had already accomplished at-will shifting, and the same was true for the control of the allure. And Potter not only lived with intolerant muggles during the summer but was guarded by Dumbledore's lackeys to boot. How – or perhaps once again the better question was from whom – had the Golden Boy learned to shift at will and control his allure?
One thing was certain in Draco's mind: there was a lot more to the supposed Golden Boy than met the eye.
Half a day's lazy contemplation led Draco to believe that Potter was a lot smarter and much more crafty than he let on. Potter also had at least one contact within the Veela community; a contact that was willing to spend the greater part of the month of August with a newly-matured half-Veela to teach at-will shifting and control of allure as quickly as possible. And lastly, Potter was not interested in servicing Dumbledore's whims. Draco was still certain that Potter wasn't interested in servicing the Dark Lord's whims, either. And, really, that was more than fine with Draco; Lucius, in all his pathetic, whiny glory, was the only Malfoy with that particular bent.
Which brought him to the second order of business laid out by Pansy: was he interested in pursuing a courtship of Potter, despite being almost fatally wounded by the tetchy submissive?
Yes, he decided. Yes.
From the first moment he'd seen Harry Potter while getting fitted for school robes he had been intrigued by the dark-haired boy, even if he hadn't known whom the boy was. While he knew now that his immediate and continued interest was almost certainly driven by submissive Veela pheromones, it was nonetheless true that Harry had become a challenge for him, a fact that had made him want the boy's attention all the more. When it had become obvious that he couldn't have the other boy as a friend, he had resolved to have him as an enemy, and he'd done well with that. But now… now he wanted the young man for more.
Harry Potter would make an excellent mate. He was powerful and would pass that power on to any children. He was handsome and would clean up nicely with some good clothes and a decent pair of glasses. He was smart and clever and would keep Draco's mind on its toes, so to speak. And… he was intriguing. Just the right amount of spice was added, what with Harry showing the world exactly who he wasn't.
So he started plotting.
It would take some doing, he knew, but Draco was resolved that Harry would be his.