Hello all, it is me, I am alive, please do not throw things at me. I know I have been a horrible author and you have all been so patient with me, still sending me reviews. So, while I am still in writers block on Captivated, I have created for your enjoyment a little one shot. It moves rather rapidly and makes some plot leaps, but I mainly wrote it for the sex… honestly. But, eat it up nonetheless and if you have any visions for Captivated let me know, because I could use some reader input into where you see the story going.

Oh! And this is dedicated to Manda, my back-up beta it would seem. Who manages to listen to my constant drivel through all my breaks, who cracks the whip when I need it, and who may just be as nerdy and insane as I am… which on a scale from one to ten is about twelve.

Love, Love


Harry stepped into the lift at the Ministry sliding his way towards the back and his friend Ron. It had been another long day at the office, with mostly paper work taking up the long hours between his breaks. He had been praying for the last week or so for a good field mission, but so far nothing had come up; it had been a relatively slow month for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. There had been no illegal dragon poaching, no werewolf attacks, and no centaur, goblin, or pixie issues. Basically, Harry's job had become boring.

"How was your day, mate?" Ron was leaning back against the wall in the lift, relaxed, with his arms slung over his chest.

"It was complete bullocks." Harry adopted Ron's pose and gave a long sigh.

"Aren't you the one who insisted on getting a nice, normal, semi-no stress job? You know that speech you gave everyone about why you weren't becoming an Auror."

"Yeah, and I meant it and it was great for a while. But after a few years you start to get restless and sitting at a desk doesn't cut it some days . . . even the times I do go into the field aren't dampening my need to do something."

"Just think about the parts of the war and Hogwarts that you don't miss," Ron clapped him on the shoulder and grinned, "that's what I do when I start feeling like maybe those years were the high-light of my life and everything that comes after is going to pale in comparison. I mean, the adventure and the rush of action go hand in hand with death, destruction, and everything else we went through, yeah?"

Harry sighed again, "Gee, I feel better, I'm glad we had this talk."

Ron shrugged, "anytime mate."

It's just that I get antsy, yeah know?" Harry starred at the ceiling.

"Considering the life you've lead, I think that's a perfectly acceptable feeling."

Harry made an exasperated noise in his throat and rubbed at his face with his hands, "How was your day?"

"Well, it's not Quidditch season really for another month and the World Cup is over a year away still, so apart from the everyday mundane things that we in the Department of Magical Games and Sports keep up with, it's nothing new."

Harry smiled at Ron, "So what you're saying is, your day was pretty much like mine?"

"Complete bullocks" confirmed Ron.

"How sad are we?"

"Pretty pathetic, I should say" came from the doors of the lift as they opened to reveal Hermione.

Ron smiled and kissed her cheek as she came to stand between him and Harry.

"'Ello Mione, how was your day?" Harry smiled at the woman who was his friend. She had come such a long way from the days of their earlier friendship; they all had, he supposed.

"Oh, my day was interesting…"

"Glad someone's was," quipped Ron.

"Yes, well, I got wind in the Improper Use Department that two of the hit wizards were summoned to Saint Mungo's today because someone had come in with a dark curse on them, supposedly placed by a family member."

"That kind of thing happens all the time doesn't it, family feuds and all that mess?" Harry ruffled his hair with one hand.

"Yes, it does, but rarely does the victim demand to press charges against the family member," continued Hermione. "And rarely does the case involve such a prominent wizarding family."

Harry could almost see Ron's ears perk up like a dog. Harry himself was mildly interested, what sort of prominent family would curse their own members, and then allow them to be treated at Saint Mungo's knowing it could leak to the press or they could face charges? It goes to reason, thought Harry, that the attacker assumed he could control his victim's actions.

"Who is it?" Ron was bouncing on his heels as they stepped out of the lift and into the atrium.

"They've asked me to help identify the curse placed on the victim. Since I suppose they think I have knowledge of identifying and fighting these kinds of things through Harry." Hermione halted in front of one of the floo fireplaces.

"So, where would you like to eat dinner Harry, it's your turn to pick this week."

"But, Mione, who is this person, who…"

"Later Ron, let's get to the restaurant first." Hermione flashed him the eyes and he fell silent.

"I think we should go to that muggle Italian place around the corner, let's take the telephone box." He turned to Hermione, "they are really trying to keep this case under wraps aren't they?"

"Yes." said Hermione.

"Good, we should be able to talk about it at a muggle restaurant."

One squashed ride and some transfigured clothes later they were all dressed normally and waiting to be seated at one of Harry's favorite muggle restaurants in London.

After being shown to a table Hermione made a big show of settling herself and folding her napkin over her lap and glancing at the menu. Harry grinned to himself because he knew it was completely on purpose and designed to make Ron impatient; Harry glanced at Ron and saw that her tactic was working. Ron currently looked like a little boy who had to go to the loo, he was doing so much sifting and squirming in his seat.

Finally Harry spoke, "Hermione, would you just tell us who it was that was cursed so Ron will stop jumping around."

Hermione looked up from her menu, "Alright, but you really can't tell anyone, it's all very hush, hush."

Harry and Ron both gave her a look that clearly said, who do you think you're talking to?

"It was Draco Malfoy."

"WHAT!!" Ron spit out the water he had just taken a sip of.

Harry chuckled, "come on Hermione, really?"

"Really," Hermione reached in her bag and pulled out a file folder. She handed it over to Harry because she knew he would actually read it, unlike Ron.

She buttered a roll from the basket in the center of the table, methodical knife strokes, back and forth like it was the only proper way to butter a roll, "technically, I'm not supposed to remove it from the office, but I knew you would want to take a look."

Ron laughed, "I know I've said it before but I really think you maybe picked up some bad habits from Harry and me."

Hermione gave him a withering look, "It's not like anyone will miss it over the weekend, plus I have to read it thoroughly since I'm supposed to interview him Monday; they want to give him the weekend to recover."

"Recover?" Ron was drinking his water slower now, "recover from what?"

Harry looked up from the file, "just because a dark curse is meant to have delayed effects doesn't mean that the affect it has on the body when it hits a person isn't negative."

Hermione nodded, "a curse is negative energy and when it hits the body it can weaken the system for quite a while, completely aside from the actual attended effect of the curse."

Harry looked down at the paper work in front of him; hit wizard scribble, illegible notes. From what he could tell, there had been a fight between Lucius and Draco and perhaps, Harry thought, for once in his life Draco had won… until Lucius threw the curse at Draco's back.

"Our first step in these cases, normally is to remove the victim from the situation, whatever that may be, but Malfoy owns his own place and has a 

pretty substantial means of income. In fact, now that I think about it, that had to be some fight for Lucius to alienate his own heir." Hermione sighed.

Harry looked up from the folder, "It stood to reason that Lucius would know Draco could break from the family."

Ron turned to the waiter to order and then waited for Harry and Hermione to order. When the waiter had walked away he asked, "Why would Malfoy strike out on his own? I mean he didn't exactly have an original thought when we were in school."

Harry felt a flash of memory and saw a tower illuminated by a green flash of light; he saw a pale, pointed, terrified face and a body collapsing over the edge of the parapet. He shook his head as if to shake the thought out and cleared his throat, "the war changed us in ways we keep discovering every day. Why should we assume that it was just us who were affected?"

Hermione sighed, "In any case I'll get some answers on Monday."

Harry ran his hand through his hair and looked at Hermione, "you know, this is going to sound really weird coming from me, but…"

"…keep an open mind, yeah?" Hermione smiled as she said it.

"I wonder what kind of curse it was." Ron looked at Hermione expectantly like she should already know the answer.

"I don't know Ron, that is the point of this whole thing, no one knows. It seems that the curse hasn't made its self apparent and Draco seems to be acting normal and quite healthy." Hermione frowned to herself.

Harry took a sip of water, "well, just because nothing's happened yet doesn't mean it won't. I guarantee that with Lucius Malfoy it won't be a mild curse either, it will be vicious and probably painful and humiliating."


Draco Malfoy sat in his bed, in his sterile white room, staring at the white wall across from him wondering when the pain was going to start. The curse on him had to be painful, it had to be excruciating, pain was what his father was best at, it was how lessons were taught and men were made.

Draco sniffed at all the dreadful white surrounding him and the antiseptic smell permeating the room and tried to remember exactly how painful the cruciatus curse had been. Would it be worse? Of course sitting here waiting for it to hit him was worse and Draco knew that Lucius had known that and had in fact chosen a curse with delayed effects to prolong the suspense.

The Healers had no idea what was wrong with him, only that it was some kind of curse and that there was nothing they could do until it manifested it's self into physical symptoms… fat lot of good it would do him then. The Ministry had taken an active interest in his predicament, anything they could pin on Lucius they would run with. Draco wished them luck in dealing out justice.

The only problem was that, currently, Draco was unscathed since the "curse" placed on him wasn't doing anything. So, technically the Ministry needed proof of physical harm to actual charge his father. Draco guessed when he started screaming in agony and convulsing from intense physical pain they would have their proof.

At least they were being slightly proactive, since they were sending someone Monday from Magical Law Enforcement to discuss the curse with him so maybe they could discover the exact nature of it.

Draco shifted, Merlin the sheets were scratchy! He chuckled to himself and it bounced off the walls around him. His stupid father was going to get it served to him if Draco lived through this curse. He had made a name for himself selling hard to make, rare potions, black market and otherwise.

A personal Gringott's vault that no one could touch but himself, thank Merlin for his foresight with that, was assurance that he could make it on his own. He had been adding to it over the past few years and had amassed quite a fortune. Since he had nothing better to do than brew, he could turn a potion out pretty quickly and money came in a steady stream. He had even bought his own place a year ago when he had first foreseen the need to move out of the manor in the near future. Guess it was time… if he lived through this curse.

He was just tired of waiting for the pain.


Hermione stood in front of the door to Draco Malfoy's hospital room with thoughts whirling around her head. The last time she had seen her fellow student he had been standing with his family in the great hall of Hogwarts after the battle looking more than a little lost. But she also remembered so many other expressions she had seen cross Malfoy's face over the years: disdain, condescension, hate, uncertainty, and fear.

It was the fear that stuck in her mind now, that hopelessness that clung to every line of his face in her memory during their 7th year when she and Harry and Ron had been fighting and Draco had been trapped in Malfoy Manor, living with Voldemort himself. She knew the war had changed a lot of people, but she wasn't sure if one person could completely overcome a lifetime of prejudiced teachings. She looked at her hand resting on the door handle. Then again, the Malfoy that she knew wouldn't have ever stood up to his father about something and he wouldn't have forsaken his inheritance and struck on his own.

She took a deep breath and pushed the door open. The room she walked into was just as glaringly white as all the other rooms in St. Mungo's; in fact, she was sure that even without a light source it could never be completely dark.

She turned to look at the young man sitting up in the hospital bed, who was in turn studying her. Malfoy looked tense in the worst way, but he also looked surer of himself. She just felt it around him; he carried himself and held himself with a real knowledge of self and not the vain, cocky front he had carried in school.

She noticed that he had filled out too and was quite good looking, his school boy pointed angles had softened and he didn't look as though he was staring death in the eye as he had all during sixth and seventh year.

"Granger?" His voice sounded surprised, with no hint of a sneer or drawl.

"Hello Mr. Malfoy, as you've probably guessed I'm here to try to figure out what this curse is and how we can lift it."

"Please don't call me Mr. Malfoy, it sounds old, just Draco will do. I've been trying to forget I'm a Malfoy these days, you know."

"I don't blame you. I know this won't be easy, to answer personal questions, but I really need to understand what happened so I can get a better feel of what curse your father used." Hermione sat in the chair next to the bed.

Draco wasn't sure what to make of this new Granger, this woman who had poise and a professional air about her that made Draco comfortable. She wasn't shooting him distrustful looks or being short with him to let him know how much she loathed being in his presence. He had to fight his old self for a minute, not to yell at her and call her a mudblood.

It wasn't that he wanted to, but his former self, the part of him raised by his father fought the change the he had imposed on himself. The new him, the independent and free self, was going to be nice to Hermione Granger if it killed him. After all, he thought sadly, he owed her a small debt when his former weak self had stood by that night in Malfoy manor and watched Bellatrix torture her.

Draco was ready to get this curse off him, "Would you like to look at my memory of the fight?"

Granger looked like he had slapped her, "You want me, I mean, you would let me look at the whole memory?"

Draco shrugged, "it's easier than me trying to detail it out for you I should think."

Hermione nodded her head and turned to the bed side table. She had learned a complicated spell that summoned a pensive. Once the stone bowl was resting on the table she turned to Draco. He pulled his wand out from underneath his pillow and she raised an eyebrow at him.

"Just being cautious, I am still a Slytherin." Draco placed the tip of the wand to his head as he said Slytherin and closed his eyes.

Hermione watched as the silver thread of thought left Draco's right temple and trailed behind the wand tip until it was gently placed in the pensive to swirl around like glowing mercury. She looked back up at Draco who stored his wand back beneath his pillow and sat, calmly looking back at her.

Draco watched as Granger took a deep breath and stuck her face into the surface of his memory. He thought about what she was seeing. What would she think? After what seemed like forever she stirred and her head came back up, she took a deep breath and simply sat thinking for a moment.

Draco watched as she methodically bottled the memory and vanished the pensive. Then she stood up and looked at him directly.

Hermione tilted her head to the side, confused, "Aren't you going to make me swear not to tell anyone what I saw, what I heard? I'll take an oath if you want…"

Draco cut her off, "No, that is not necessary. I trust you to be discrete. Plus, I wouldn't have taken a curse to the back fighting for something I was afraid to admit, now would I?"

Hermione thought for a minute, staring into silver eyes that seemed to hold a weight she had only ever seen in one other pair, "you are not the person I thought you were."

Draco turned his head to look out of the picture window and then looked back at Granger, "I have not been the person you knew in a very long time. In fact, that person is dead to me; he was too weak to take hold of the life I wish for."

Hermione nodded and turned to leave, but Draco felt he needed to say something more, "I've been working on politeness, I've been working on a lot these past few years actually. But, please find whatever curse this is, because if it kills me then the person I've been striving to be will never have a chance to be."

Hermione thought maybe she was being a bit cruel, but she really wanted to know how far this new Draco could take this new persona. Had he really changed or was he fooling her and himself? Turning at the door she said, "I'll tell Ron and Harry you said hello."

A very sour look crossed Draco's face and he seemed in pain for a minute before replying, "by all means tell Weasel-bee and Potty I said hello."

Draco smirked, "I said I had been trying to change since the war, I didn't say I obliviated myself."

Hermione smiled and closed the door behind her.


Hermione wasn't surprised when she walked into her office Tuesday

to find Harry seated in one of the chairs in front of her desk.

"Impatient," she mocked walking behind it and sitting down.

Harry shrugged, "s'not my fault you didn't put up stronger wards and locking charms."

Hermione took a deep breath and started unloading the paper work from her bag to her desk, "so, what do you want?"

Harry chuckled, "Funny Hermione, you know exactly what I want to talk about and knowing you, you have some psychological drivel behind my absolute and unshakeable curiosity over Malfoy…"

Hermione opened her mouth, but Harry cut her off, "… which I am not interested in hearing."

Harry smiled when Hermione deflated a little, "what I would like to know is how your interview went yesterday."

"I would say that interesting would be a complete understatement." Hermione crossed her arms and plunked them down on the desk, then looked at Harry, "I mean, as far as the logistics of it went I gathered the information I need to begin research, but Harry, Malfoy is, well, he is…" Hermione threw her hands in the air.

"Different," prompted Harry.

"Yeah he's different, I expected him to be, but Harry it's the first time I'd seen him in five years and you just can't prepare yourself for that kind of shock. I just, couldn't believe it, he didn't call me mudblood once or debase 

me in any way and he let me take a pensive memory of the fight he had with his father…"

Harry sat up straighter, but Hermione held up her hand, "…which you will not be viewing."

Harry's face fell, "why can't I see it, I want to see what he's fighting so hard to prove to everyone and himself."

"First of all, I can tell you for sure that Malfoy is fighting himself, or I think what he sees as his old self, the weaker on, long and hard."

Harry looked down at his hands, "I would imagine overcoming 16 years of upbringing isn't easy, all those instincts screaming that it would be so much easier to go back to being the person you were."

Hermione hummed, but then pointed a finger at his chest, "secondly, I made a promise not to show that memory to anyone and to use it for helping to research the curse only. Breaking that promise, as you well know Harry James Potter, would make me just as bad as the person that Draco is obviously willing to be cursed to keep from turning into."

Harry raised his hands, "alright, alright, I give, but, I want to know how your research is going and I want to help you research."

"That sounds acceptable, I'm going to start today, but you can come by the flat tonight and we can continue there."

Harry stood up and walked to the doorway, "Oh, and you and Ron are still planning on going to the reunion on Saturday night?"

"Of course we are, it's only our first since graduation."

Harry smirked, "I was just making sure you remembered, almost forgot myself since they sent the invitations out eons ago."

Hermione had already started moving through her paper work, but she replied, "Yeah, yeah, meet at our place at around seven, right?"

"Yeah," Harry turned to go.

"Oh, Harry, Malfoy asked me to give Potty and Weasel-bee a big 'hello.'"

Hermione looked back down at her paper work as Harry pivoted and strolled out of her office laughing.

He had definitely stopped laughing by later that night, and was actually quite exhausted. He was up to his elbows in books, currently seated on the floor of Hermione's library in the flat she and Ron shared.

Harry slapped shut the cover of the book that he had been staring at for the past 10 minutes without taking in a single word. "Hermione, what are we looking for exactly?"

Hermione looked up from her book, annoyed as usual that she had been interrupted, "I told you; any curse that has to do with the emotions, specifically anger and passion, or even the desire to want something."

Harry pulled another book off the shelf, "what was the incantation?"

"Contemno egeo. Which in Latin translates, to think meanly of, or anger, and the last bit means, to need. So, this curse involves anger and need. But, 

like a lot of curses, it isn't the basic spoken word, but the intention of the caster that often molds the magic into doing what it means."

Harry rolled his shoulder, "so what, Malfoy needs to get angry? Or, he becomes uncontrollably angry when he needs something he can't get?"

"I'm not sure, really. Lucius would defiantly make the curse about a lesson he wanted to teach. Or maybe he just wanted to give Draco a reason to come crawling back to him, begging him to lift the spell." Hermione shrugged also and closed the book on her lap with a soft thump.

"That makes the most sense, since Lucius would know about Draco's access to an independent life even if he was disowned." Harry leaned forward in his chair, "you know I could probably help you more if you would let me see the…"


"Hermione, please."

"Harry, curiosity killed the cat."

"Curiosity killed what?" Ron walked in with a sandwich.

"It's a muggle phrase," Harry looked at his watch, "Ron, you do realize it's like eleven o'clock at night?"

"Uh, yeah, it's my bedtime snack." Ron bit into the sandwich.

"Ron, mate, that is not a snack." Harry laughed as Hermione rolled her eyes.

Harry stood up stretching and bending to pop his back, "I'm taking off to go home, I have to be at work early."

"M'orf tomorrow." Ron was still eating his bedtime snack.

"Yeah, well, I'm not."

Harry walked over to the fireplace and grabbed a fist of floo powder, "Hey, Mione, what are the chances from one to ten of Malfoy hexing my balls off if I go see him tomorrow?"

Hermione didn't even look up from her book, "Ten."

Harry threw out his fist and stepped forward disappearing into the flames.


Draco heard the knock on the door and assumed that it was Granger, coming to ask him a question that she had inevitably forgotten a few days ago. As he bade her entrance he found himself thanking his lucky stars that they had given him some decent clothes to wear and he no longer had to wear that horrible, embarrassing gown.

But, when Harry freaking Potter, and not Granger, walked through the door, shutting it softly behind him, he decided to tell each and every one of his lucky stars to go fuck themselves.

"Hello Malfoy, mind if I sit?" Potter indicated the chair beside the bed and Draco nodded his assent. It was a true testament to his new character that he didn't immediately throw the first nasty thought he could think Potter's way.

Instead he looked steadily at Potter, observing the changes in him over the past five years and waiting for him to speak first. It seemed that this Potter, the one sitting in front of him had more control over himself then he had ever maintained in school. Draco thought he remembered something about him refusing an invitation to become an Auror in exchange for something much more dull, like magical creatures; how very like Potter, Draco thought, and yet, how very interesting. The Harry Potter that Draco knew would have wanted to save the world one case at a time. But then, that Harry Potter would also be fidgeting or yelling right now, instead of staring calmly at Draco like he was the most interesting thing in the world.

"Hermione was right, you have changed."

"How can you be so sure Potter? I tend to be nice to people who can remove evil curses from my personage, I might not show the same courtesy to you."

"You haven't hexed me yet."

"Maybe that's because I don't have my wa…"

Harry jerked his head, "it's under your pillow."

Draco narrowed his eyes, "how the fuck do you know that?"

"Because that's where mine would be." Harry shrugged.

"Clever guess Potter, clever guess." Draco was starting to mentally grind his teeth together. Change or no change, he was still an arse and Potter was still a smug son of a witch.

Draco took a silent deep breath, "so come to beg me to tell you about that memory I gave Granger because you can't talk her into giving it up?"

"Clever guess Malfoy." Potter leaned back in the chair, the picture of a relaxed male, but Draco saw how guarded his eyes looked.

"Look, I've been helping Hermione research and even though we have the basic Latin translation for the curse, we still can't figure out what intention your father could have hidden in the words. So, while Hermione won't let me see the memory or even tell me what the fight was about. I was wondering if you know any dark curse you father would know involving the victim to show unnatural manifestations of anger, passion, or greed."

Draco allowed himself to cross his arms, "why greed and passion?"

Harry sighed, "Because the translation means 'anger to need' and Hermione isn't sure if Lucius meant to need something or someone."

Draco looked out the window, his one show of faith towards Potter, turning his back to him, "if I had to guess, it would be the need of someone, sexual desire, and he would make it a spell that was meant to be quit intense."

Draco turned back as he heard Potter stand up, "well, that gets us a little closer I guess." Potter walked over to the door, even put his hand on the knob, but he didn't open it and Draco knew that Potter still had that curiosity that always got him in trouble.

Sure enough, Potter looked up, his green eyes piercing Draco, "still not going to tell me why you're going through all of this?"

Draco made sure to keep eye contact while making his voice sound as cavalier as he possibly could, "because I'm gay."

Potter just stood there for a second, blinking, like he was trying to let his brain catch up. For a minute Draco wasn't sure what he was going to do, and the more the seconds stretched out the angrier Draco became. So, Potter was going to laugh at him, call him a pouf maybe, make himself feel better for a few seconds at Draco expense. Not, that gay was a huge stigma unless you were a pure-blood heir. Still Draco thought as the rage built up in his mind, it would be like Potter to rub salt into the new wound that was Draco's coming out.

Just as Draco was about to scream at Scarface to get the fuck out, he looked up from his staring contest with the floor, "I'm sorry that your circumstances have made it hard for you to be openly gay. I know how hard it is coming out to people you know will be ok with it; much less people you know will despise you for it. It gets easier I think." And with those parting words The Boy Who Lived was out the door, leaving Draco with his jaw on the floor… but not literally, that was too unbecoming.


The itching in his chest was getting worse. Draco could feel it clawing at him, like insects in his chest cavity. The tightness was also an issue, he felt sometimes like breathing was a chore. But, he was going to have to be in a lot more pain than this when he went back to St. Mungo's because he had just escape that forsaken fortress a few days ago.

He wasn't even sure if these symptoms were part of the curse, surely his father's brilliant plan hadn't been to simply irritate him. He was going to kill 

Potter, that would make him feel better. Potter and his stupid new level headed persona and his irritating way of being polite and non-confrontational. Well, it might work with other people, but it made Draco sick. Didn't Potter understand the delicate balance of their relationship? It was a battle of wits, of besting the other, and hate… mostly hate.

Except the last few days, every time he thought about Potter, Draco got these weird disembodied feelings, like they were coming from him, but they weren't his. Like the other day he had wondered what Potter's messy hair felt like and that had lead to immediate revulsion. Except, for a minute the itching and the pressure on his chest had gone away, just for that instant.

All the same Draco didn't have time to worry about stupid Potter; he had other things to think about, like this bloody chest pain. Draco looked up from the book he had been surface reading and looked towards the window where he had heard a tapping noise, most defiantly an owl from Granger, he thought. Or maybe it was a freaking owl from Potter suddenly claiming he wanted to don the mantle of friendship and he and Draco should go to a Quidditch match together sometime.

Not bloody likely, Merlin he was irritating with a capital I! Then again, he thought as he opened the letter, I was polite to him the other day and yet I still don't like him. Maybe Potter's also developed a knack for faking it, there's nothing that says he can't dislike me just this side of not wanting to see me die.

And now, Draco absently handed the owl a treat, we have the fucking bond of homosexuality tying us together. That was also a thought that had been rattling Draco's cage; Potter was gay… who'd have thought.

Yes, the letter was from Granger, perfect, she wanted to see him again and note any new developments. Draco's hand rose to his chest, as he thought about the Hogwarts Reunion coming up this weekend, it had already been five years. He jotted off a reply about seeing her at the reunion and how that should suffice for a meeting and let the owl take with it another treat.

Really he could care less about the reunion, just a fun night spent in a room full of people who still hated him and he would likely be one of the only Slytherins there. But he was putting a new foot forward. What better way to turn a new leaf then to tell all those who oppose you to go fuck themselves? Draco couldn't think of anything better and if he was feeling adventurous he might just mention that he was gay, disowned, cursed, and fast becoming best friends with Harry Potter and company.

Draco laughed himself silly all the way to his closet to pick out a set of formal robes.

Being not so bad was turning out to be almost as much fun, as being not so good had been.


It was with equal trepidation but outward calm that both Harry and Draco stood on opposite sides of the great hall of Hogwarts castle. Harry was trying to face the fact that now instead of his friends and family knowing he was gay, his onetime school rival now had the information to do what he wished with it. Draco was simply trying to suppress the annoying urge to go talk to Potter and the dismay that he should be harboring absolutely no desire to be within the same room as him, much less strike up a conversation.

His chest was also giving him problems; the sudden, small spasms of pain made it hard to keep a calm face when people asked him all sorts of nosey questions. Apparently, laying low meant people became less afraid of you and therefore more inclined to approach with curiosity… and fifty thousand fucking questions! This must be what it's like for Potter when people pull the hero card on him, Draco thought. No! Urgh! He would not think about Potter.

And despite all these worries and unpleasantness they both had to smile and conduct meaningless conversations with people they had not seen in five years. As the two arguably most famous members of their graduating class, both Harry and Draco had to deal with even more pointless chats that started with, "I haven't seen you in sooooo long!"

By the time the crowd thinned around Harry he was ready for a big glass of fire whiskey and some fresh air. Draco just wanted to find Granger in an excuse to excuse himself. His wish came true when he saw Potter, Granger, and Wesley striding out the door to catch some time away from their classmates. Draco followed them not caring that some people noticed, all of them with shock on their faces when he joined their stride as if a Malfoy leaving a room to catch some air with the Golden Trio was the most natural thing in the world.

Instead of turning to go outside Granger headed up the stairs. Draco noticed that all three of them walked fairly close together with Granger only slightly ahead and that they all seemed to know where it was they were headed. They hadn't turned to look at him even though he was positive they knew he was back here. He looked over his shoulder every once in a while to make sure they weren't being followed by the foolishly curious.

When he finally realized where they were going he had to admit a begrudging respect for Granger who seemed to be once again testing him. He could handle it though, whatever she threw at him. Being up on the Astronomy Tower wasn't going to bother him now as much as it would have three or four years ago. What was going to drive him over the absolute edge was this gnawing feeling in his chest.

When they had all caught their breath and were standing silent in the faint light of the setting sun Granger finally spoke, "so, has anything happened?"

Draco looked at Potter for a second, to be sure he had told Granger about the visit to the hospital. Then he looked at Weasley, he would have been sworn to secrecy what little they have told him. Draco thought he could speak as openly as he knew how; after all, openness was one of his new tricks too.

"Actually, yes, I'm starting to manifest symptoms. My chest hurts," for a minute he allowed himself the luxury of clutching at his heart and grimacing like he had been wanting to all night.

Hermione looked from his face to his chest, "it it a sharp pain, an aching pain?"

"Its sharp sometimes, but mostly it just feels like a crawling sensation in my chest cavity."

Harry stepped forward to get a better look at Malfoy in the waning light, "what is causing the pain?"

Malfoy snapped his head around to look Harry in the eye, "isn't that what Granger is supposed to tell me?"

Hermione huffed as she passed her wand over Draco's upper body, "what he means is that for the pain to start, the curse had to be triggered. Have you wanted something badly or found yourself getting angry for no reason in the past few days?"

Draco shook his head in the negative, "the spell means anger to want, but that could mean so many things."

Hermione looked at Ron who had surprisingly kept silent this entire time, "what do you think about when the pain intensifies?"

Draco shrugged and winced, "I haven't noticed a pattern except when it stops for a second every once in a while."

Hermione's eyes light up, "the pain stops completely sometimes?"


"What are you thinking about?"

Draco took a deep breath and thought back to when the pain ceased in those brief moments. What had he been doing? What had he done period this past week? He had thought about Potter a few times because of that damn stunt he pulled showing up at… Draco froze as the pain melted for a second, but when he looked at Granger he immediately felt the itching return.

Hermione looked at Draco, "What? Do you remember?"

Draco really didn't want to say it. He really, really didn't want to say it aloud, but the pain was getting worse every day. He took a deep breath, "I was thinking about Potter."

Three identical expressions of shock met his comment.

"You were thinking about me?"

Ron finally spoke, "you were thinking about Harry?"

Hermione shook herself, "because he came to see you in St. Mungo's. You obviously wondered what that was about and…" as she broke off mid sentence Draco saw the color drain from her face and his heart sunk with it. What had she thought about?

He voice was small when she spoke again, "Draco, when Harry came to see you did you get angry with him?"

Harry laughed, "No he didn't even yell at me actually, he was pretty calm for me just showing up out of the blue."

"Actually," Draco looked over at Harry, "I got right furious for a few seconds when I told you that I was gay and you got really quiet. I thought for sure you were going to throw it back in my face."

Harry thought about that for a moment, "I guess I would have thought the same thing in the silence."

Hermione had gone very still however, she had that look Harry knew she got when she had an idea that she was so sure she was right about and yet really didn't like that she was right.

She looked up from the stone beneath her feet and looked from Harry to Draco as if seeing a rare breed of Dragon for the first time, "Harry, touch Draco on the shoulder."

Harry drew his brows together, "not that I don't trust you Hermione, but why am I touching Malfoy?"

"Just humor me Harry, please prove me wrong."

Harry took a few steps and gently settled his hand on Draco's right shoulder.

Immediately Draco hissed as the pain that had been dogging his steps for the past week dimmed to an annoying hum in his rib cage. Harry stared at his hand and Draco's face in equal amazement as the lines of tension and discomfort eased off the blonde's face.

Both Draco and Harry were so caught up in their respective relief and confusion they didn't hear Ron's puzzled, "what?" or Hermione's, "oh crap."


Harry just stared at his hand, attached to his enemy or nemesis or unfriend, or Draco's shoulder. Why was it him? Why did it always have to be him these things happened to? Dark curses, Dark Lords, dark whatever, Harry Potter was always there, right in the middle.

In fascination Harry removed his hand and stepped away; Draco immediately doubled over in pain his hand reaching back towards Harry, subconsciously seeking the comfort his touch had bestowed for a moment.

He righted himself a moment later with effort and faced Hermione, "it's worse now."

He glanced at Harry, "Now that it knows were to concentrate a target and where to push me, it's pushing harder."

Harry looked to Hermione as Draco tried and failed not to clutch at his chest, "how bad will it get?"

Hermione looked shaken, and she hadn't stopped looking from Harry to Draco in one continuous motion, "it may very well persist until it drives him mad."

Harry ran his fingers through his hair, he seemed to do that when he was agitated, and spun around to look out off the edge of the tower and towards the lake, "We still don't know what the spell does. Just that now it involves me."

Hermione shook her head, "I know what it does, I just don't know what it is exactly. I haven't ever come across a spell quite like this, and some curses weren't made with counter curses, it could take awhile for me to create one, and by that time…" she looked over at Draco.

"By that time I will have gone mental, yeah," Draco winced, "you said you had never come across a spell like this, that sounds like you've figured out what it does?"

"I have."

Harry spun back around, "why don't you tell us!"

Hermione averted her eyes, "because I'm not sure and it's not pleasant and we don't even…"

Harry walked back over to Draco and laid his hand on the other man's shoulder again, sadly Draco's pain seemed to bother him. Harry felt a little better as he saw the worst of the tension ease again, "Hermione why don't you tell us what you think this curse does."

"It's quite obvious now that I think about it, hate to need. Lucius was furious that Draco would choose his passions, his emotions, over his duty to his family. So in his anger Lucius thought the ultimate lesson in humiliation would be to cause Draco to fall madly in lust with the first person he became truly angry at."

Hermione was gesturing madly like she did when she was on a roll like this, "and of course Lucius would also assume that having to beg someone to have sex with you because it was the only way to stop the intense pain, especially someone who had made you so furious, would be the ultimate humiliation."

Draco looked horrified, "I really hate the fact that you seem to be right Granger. That does sound like something my father would find ultimately humiliating, he might even be delusional to think I would be properly chastised and crawl back to him. Hate to need."

Harry looked at Draco, "I still don't quite understand what this has to do with me?"

Hermione gave him a look that clearly told him what she thought of his deduction skills, "the curse causes Draco to be irrevocably sexually attracted 

to the first person he feels extreme anger towards. Once activated by anger, the curse will continue to punish him with severe pain until he acts on those sexual desires. Once the need has been fulfilled the curse will deactivated."

Harry closed his eyes for a minute and then looked back to where his hand rested on the shoulder of Draco's dress robes, "and of course the first person he gets right and bloody pissed at is going to be me, why would it happen to anyone else?"

Harry sighed and looked up at Hermione, "I don't suppose you could whip up a counter curse?"

Draco turned to look at Harry, "there is no such thing as 'whipping up a counter curse Potter', and if you recall, I'm in this boat too. And I'm the one in massive amounts of pain."

Draco looked a bit shocked when Harry apologized, of course the old Harry would have started a fight. This new Harry, that Draco was really starting to dislike as much as the old one for completely different reasons, needed to cease being so fucking mature about everything.

"I suppose me refusing to have sex with Draco, however absolutely weird and vile that seems, looks rather callous given the situation?" Harry crossed his arms.

Unfortunately this gesture removed the contact he had been sharing with Draco and the other boy jerked and gave a gasp. Harry rushed to place his hand back where it had been but Draco continued to tremble.

He gritted his teeth, "it's not dissipating this time."

Hermione stepped up to Harry, "I think you need to touch him more intimately."

Harry widened his eyes, "define intimate?"

Hermione gave him a withering look, "hold him more like a lover than a friend."

"Put your arm around his waist." Ron had come back to life and was walking over to stand behind Hermione. Everyone was staring at him like he was Merlin come back from the dead.

He just stared back, "What? That's how I hold Hermione sometimes."

Harry almost laughed from the shock of Ron giving him tips of how to hold Draco Malfoy like a lover but then decided it wasn't actually funny at all. Harry stepped up to Draco and tried to think about any of his other boyfriends, how much he had enjoyed holding them and being with them. He stepped half behind Malfoy, sliding his hands down the sleeves of Malfoy's robes until he got to his hands where he threaded their fingers together and then brought them up together to wrap his arms around the blonde's torso.

Harry couldn't see Malfoy's face well at this angle and Malfoy couldn't see his. Harry wasn't blind or dumb so he couldn't actually admit that Malfoy wasn't very, very good looking. Urgh, just maybe they could make this work.

Harry turned his face into Malfoy's neck and noticed he had relaxed again, "better?"

Draco put all his will power into not shivering like a bloody virgin. Damn, when Potter decided to make an effort towards a cause he really put his mind to it, "for now the curse seems satisfied."

Everyone caught the 'for now', reminded again of the seriousness of what they were facing. This wasn't some silly rivalry or game, this was someone's sanity.

Ron looked at Hermione, "should we just take him to St. Mungo's and see if they can do anything for the effects of…"

"They won't be able to do anything short of dreamless sleep and I am not going back there unless I absolutely have to." Draco felt Harry shift behind him and he tightened his hands over the brunettes', afraid he would move away, he wasn't ready for the pain. Draco found himself grateful for the new Potter just for a moment because although he was sure Potter felt Draco's reluctance to let their connection go, he didn't mention it.

Draco thought about sex with Potter. Would he be any good at all? He seemed to know how to hold a person proper, and it seemed he had been gay for a while, that meant he had been with at least a few guys. But, even if Potter was spectacular in bed, it didn't change the fact that this was utterly impossible.

At least Draco had the spell going for him, to make him want Potter. How was Potter supposed to get past who Draco was long enough to even get it up? Merlin this was a complete disaster! He was going to absolutely murder Lucius!

Draco looked down to where Potter's arms were wrapped around his waist. How did this happen? Oh, right, I decided to assert myself, hurray for me. He thought about the pain and the crawling in his chest. Then he thought about kissing Potter, what would that be like? Potter had always seemed like a take charge type, always the leader, always setting himself apart? Would he carry that over to the bedroom? Draco raised an eyebrow. No, maybe Potter was the submissive type, being dominate in everything else he would naturally want to relinquish control sexually. Humm, so many possibilities. Draco was now quite certain the spell was affecting his brain; these could not be his thoughts, but he could not control their direction.

Draco thought back to the hospital, when Potter had been stretched out in that chair. His hair had been mused as always, his eyes a bright emerald green, like Slytherin school robes. He had seemed like the perfect example of arrested motion, all that lithe muscle relaxed and yet ready to spring to action at any moment. Draco felt his chest start to burn as the sensation traveled down, Potter was so hot, he just had this way about…Draco blinked. WHAT WAS I JUST THINKING!! He shook himself several times. It's the curse, it's the curse, it makes me think these things so I'll sleep with him. I'm stronger than this, I fought the pain and I'll fight this.

Draco looked at Granger who seemed to be thinking up some kind of strategy. He turned his head to look at Potter's profile and was alarmed to see that Potter had also turned his head. Did the curse project thoughts?

What am I going to do when he walks away? Draco thought about how much worse the curse was going to get and he wanted to sink to the floor. No matter how strong he was, the pain always won out; cruciatus eventually broke the strongest. Would Potter actually have sex with him just to stop 

Draco's pain, that was asking a lot of his mind and body, to share both with someone he didn't like and really didn't know?

But he's hot, Draco's mind seemed to whisper, and you're hot. So, what is your young adult life about if not to find, date, and have sex with hot guys? They were both young and obviously single gay men, so what if going straight to sex was skipping a few steps, Draco reasoned, people did it all the time.

Draco couldn't embrace the pain, he could be brave about everything else, but pride and conviction, and even love (though he had none) were nothing in the face of mind numbing pain. He couldn't live through it, or with it, and he couldn't go back to his father. He would just have to make Potter want him and use the curse to help him want Potter.

With his mind made up Draco slipped out of Potter's grasp long enough to turn his body, wrap himself tightly around Potter and press his lips to the other man's before anyone knew what was happening.

Draco felt Potter gasp as hands came up to his shoulder as if to push away, but Draco would not be rebuffed and he slid his hand in Potter's hair almost the same time he flicked his tongue into his mouth. The once hesitant hands wrapped themselves around his waist pulling Draco closer to Potter's body as Potter moaned a little into his mouth.

Draco grinned to himself, yes, like that don't you? It was almost like all those encounters Draco had experienced at the gay clubs in the muggle world, when he had still been in his experimental stage and worried that the wizarding world would find him out, or that his parents would find him out. But, Potter seemed to already be a better lover than Draco had given him 

credit for; he was a fantastic kisser, his lips slanting and moving in perfect harmony with Draco's own.

Finally, it seemed from far away, someone cleared their throat. Draco drew back to look in the direction that the noise had come from to find Granger blushing and smiling a wicked smile that seemed to combat each other and Weasley resolutely holding his hands over his face with a grimace on his lips.

Weasley spoke first, "you would think you could at least warn a bloke, I think I'm going to lose sleep over this."

Draco felt Harry give a shaky breath and turned with resolute determination to face him.

Harry, while not angry, which was the emotion Draco thought would surface first, looked annoyed that Draco had decided to take so much liberty without permission. Draco was quite sure that if he hadn't of taken Potter by surprise, or found his weak spot, namely his hair, then he wouldn't have given into Draco that easily. Draco also fancied as Harry scowled at him, that it had been a while since Potter had been with someone. He probably spent all his time at work.

Harry acted like he would step away from Draco when the blond didn't give an immediate response, but Draco fisted the clothing under has hands, "don't you dare break contact, I'm not ready to start fighting yet."

Harry looked a little startled at Draco's words, but didn't make any more attempts to move, "curse or not you can't go around accosting me like that."

"It's the curse; it tortures me with pain and," Draco coughed, "…and other stuff about you."

Unfortunately, despite his vagueness, Potter seemed to work out what the other stuff was and the amused look that crossed his face was all the taunting Draco needed in his state.

Draco shoved Potter away in disgust, but gave a soft scream as the pain hit him from all different directions. Potter, bless his bleeding heart took a step forward as if he couldn't help but want to take the pain away no matter who it was hurting, but Draco, against all instinct took another step back.

"I can't do it! No matter what feelings the curse throws at me I can't, we can't…" Draco closed his eyes and clutched at his chest.

Harry watched as Malfoy fought to stay upright and distant as the pain intensified. He cursed himself silently, why couldn't he be one of those people who could remain distant in these things? Why couldn't he just send him packing to St. Mungo's and help Hermione find a counter curse? Harry thought about how long it had been since he had created time go out with a bloke or even just pick one up at the club; he had really shut himself off from dating the past couple of months. The question was, was he sex starved enough to have sex with Malfoy? Was he that stupid, to share something that personal with someone who should hate him, who he should hate?

Harry looked back at Malfoy and decided he should be thankful he wasn't the one under the direct manipulations of the curse.

He turned to face Hermione, "do you at least have some sort of spell that will numb the pain? If I... I mean, if we…" Harry looked back over at 

Malfoy, "if I decide to help him I want him to make the decision without the influence of pain."

Hermione nodded her head and brought up her wand. She walked over to Draco and ran a basic medical diagnostic test before raising her wand and beginning the complicated movements that are usually involved in a complex spell.

When she was done Draco straightened himself up and the natural arrogance he carried himself with seemed to settle around him like a mantle once more. Harry was personally grateful, seeing Draco disarmed of his natural state reminded Harry too much of the Draco he had seen throughout his visions in sixth and seventh year. He was certainly glad Draco was moving towards at least becoming his own person, instead of the Malfoy heir, but if he suddenly started acting pathetic whilst farting sunshine and butterflies, and kissing muggle babies on the head, Harry would have himself committed to St. Mungo's.

As Draco smoothed out the imaginary wrinkles in his robes he thanked Hermione and asked her how long the spell would work.

"Well, it doesn't really combat the effects of the curse as much as it masks them for a few hours. In reality your body is still going through the effects of the curse, but you can't feel them, including the pain. It should give you a clear head for about five hours."

She looked at Harry as she spoke the last, "that should give you enough time to make a decision and carry it out one way or another."

She nodded to Ron as she turned to leave and he followed her. Before she disappeared down the stairs she called back, "I'm going home and getting to work on the counter curse just in case you both chicken out. Either way I want you both at the apartment tomorrow by noon so I can examine Draco here."

With that she was gone, Ron trailing her mumbling about alternate universes and spell damage to the brain.

Harry turned to Draco and reached up to loosen his tie, which was much too tight and was making him even more uncomfortable, "my place or yours?"

Draco sneered, "you seem to assume a lot about what is and isn't going to happen tonight Potter. Are you that vain about your skills in bed?"

Harry smirked, something that Draco obviously found disturbing because he looked disconcerted, "No, I'm not arrogant about my skills, though I wouldn't say I'm bad either… you seemed to be enjoying yourself while ago."

Draco snorted, "That was the curse."

"Yes, blame it on the curse, it's the reason we're in this mess. And, yes, I do have a pretty good idea about what is going to happen tonight. I've been under the cruciatus curse Malfoy, I know what pain is, I've actually died before, and I know how it affects your brain. How it takes over your whole being until you'll do anything to make it stop."

Draco opened his mouth, but Harry cut him off, "I know you can't feel it right now, but you can feel the memory of it and you know when it comes 

back it's going to be worse. It's going to keep getting worse and you won't be able to stop it unless Hermione comes up with a counter curse which could take days, and who knows how intense the curse will be by then."

Draco curled his hands into fists, "I'll fight it until she comes up with something."

Harry shrugged, "an admirable endeavor but I think you'll change your mind when the pain returns in an hour or so. The curse has identified me and it won't be satisfied with that mild crawling feeling anymore, it will drive you to insanity."

Draco threw up his hands, a gesture he was raised not to give into. He could hear his father now, Malfoy's don't need theatrics to get a point across. His father could go to Hell!

"Why do you want to help me? Why are you insisting that I give into the curse and cure myself through having sex with you? Has it been awhile Potter?"

"Actually, it has been awhile. And I would be lying, or blind, if I said you weren't attractive. And you, more than anyone else should know that my greatest and worst character trait is what you would call my Hero Complex." Harry looked out over the ramparts, "I can't watch you go through this, not when I know that this is happening because you stood up for yourself, not when I know you're trying to change, and not when I know I can help."

Draco scoffed, but he looked Potter in the eye, "bleeding hearts never come out on top."

Harry shrugged looking calmly back at Draco, "then I'll bottom."

Despite everything the blond let out a low laugh, "how about your place Potter, before I change my mind."

Harry nodded and strode towards the staircase that would take them back into the castle. He heard Malfoy follow him.

"You know I'm not saying I'm not trying to disentangle myself from my upbringing and the boy you knew in school, but I'm not ever going to be like you or Granger. I could never suddenly care about the welfare of someone I hated for seventeen plus years."

Harry glanced back at Draco, "I never said I was going to help you because I thought you were waging a personal campaign to become a Gryffindor. I just know what it's like to have to fight your nature, your instincts, all the time and it sucks arse. I don't ever think you'll be a good person, but I think you'll be a decent one and that's still a far cry from a pure-blood bigot with Voldemort mania."

"Um, thanks, I think." Draco shook his head and decided this new controlled and honest Potter was pretty entertaining, when he wasn't being bloody annoying.


When Draco opened his eyes, after letting the feeling of having his entire body stuffed into a candy jar subside, he was standing in front of a non descript two story house with a slightly over-run, but charming garden taking 

over the front lawn. Draco obviously thought it small for a house, but most definitely enough room for Harry.

Suddenly Draco noticed a plaque by the front gate wavering in and out of view. Reading it carefully he realized where they were and what exactly they were standing in front of.

"You restored the house?!"

Harry nodded at him, "the locals tell me it looks almost the exact same. It's also quite roomy on the inside, 3 bedrooms, a living room, a den, a library, and a great kitchen."

Draco kept looking from the house to the plaque and back again, "isn't it a bit morbid? To live on the spot where your parents died."

Harry shrugged, "I thought maybe so, at first, but now, it just feels right."

Draco shrugged and followed Harry through the gate and up the path to the house, the door opened as Harry neared without any help, swinging open with a small creak. Harry flipped something on the wall as he walked in and lights issued from the ceiling.

Draco must have looked puzzled because Harry chuckled and said, "It's called electricity, the muggle equivalent of magic, it makes certain things work without aid and it means I don't have to use magic to light the house, I just have to flip a switch."Draco sneered, "What's the difference in flipping a switch and flicking your wand?"

Harry gave him a withering look as he took out his wand and pointed at the grate in the living room through the doorway, where a fire sprang up.

Draco raised an eyebrow, "Bravo."

Harry rolled his eyes and wondered off into the back of the house flipping another switch. He walked over to a very large white box which he reached into and brought out a pitcher of something. He looked over at Draco, "it keeps things cold."

As if that explained it, "Potter, why have you muggled your house?"

Harry took a sip of whatever was in the pitcher he had poured, "Because, believe it or not there are some muggle comforts that work better than the wizarding counterpart. Plus, I was raised muggle for the first 11 years of my life and have only really immersed myself fully in the wizarding world since I left my relatives house at seventeen, so I guess I'm also as used to the muggle way as I am the wizard way of life."

Draco watched Harry gaze at him as one would a potions project, not sure if you were going to get the desired outcome or not, "is this where I make a snide comment about how obviously superior the wizarding way of doing things is to the muggle?"

Harry shrugged, it seemed to be his universal gesture, "it would make me feel better."

"It would make me feel better too Potter. It would make me feel better if you would call me ferret face or try to hex me because you think I deserve it. If I could just go back to being the mirror image of my father, mudbloods could be filth again instead of intelligent worthwhile people, muggles could be ignorant, stupid sheep, you could be infuriating because of your absolute conviction that you're right, and I could stop having to try so bloody hard. 

But there is this feeling that I get every time I think about trying to be that person I was, ever since the war; it's horrible and it ate me up inside until I was empty and the only option I had was to start filling myself back up, little by little with nothing but my own thoughts, my own feelings, my own views of the world."

"It's called guilt Malfoy, and then it's called admitting you were wrong. It's something we all have to do in our lives. Though admittedly, it's not usually as extensive a project as you had to take on."

Harry set his glass down and then removed his glasses to clean them on his shirt. Draco looked at Harry's face unguarded and how much more open it seemed without the glasses acting as gates to hold everything in. It made him even more striking, Draco decided.

"Let me do a spell that fixes it temporarily."

Harry looked up, "fixes what?"

"Your eyesight."

"I don't need you fixing my eyesight; I'm used to my glasses."

"Just for a few hours, your face opens up when they are off."

Harry nodded, "fine, but there better not be any adverse side effects like dizziness or some other shit like that."

Draco smirked and flicked his wand, mumbling the spell under his breath. When he was done Harry blinked a few times as if adjusting to light, "You're not fuzzy anymore."

He placed the glasses back on his nose and scrunched his nose up, "bloody hell, I'm blind as a bat."

Draco slipped his wand back up his sleeve, "clever observation Potter."

Harry threw the glasses onto the kitchen counter and looked at a clock on the wall, "we've already wasted an hour of Hermione's spell."

Draco smoothed his robes again, a nervous habit, Harry noticed, and looked up at him, "why are you even considering this? I mean I've got the motivation of the curse, it even forces my mind to think about you in ways that I thought I would rather not. But, you've got no motivation; you get nothing out of this…"

Draco's voice trailed away as he ran out of words, at a loss for once.

Harry laughed, "You still think like a Slytherin. Who says I don't get anything out of this, you haven't even asked me what I might want in return."

Draco's eyes narrowed, "how Slytherin of you Potter, to ask for something."

"I actually haven't thought of what I want from you, but you will owe me a debt and that is enough. I also get to have someone in my bed for the first time in half a year without having to actually go out and work for it, and despite the fact that it was someone I never thought of sleeping with, ever, to begin with, the prospect is looking more and more appealing."

Draco licked his lips when he caught the way Harry was eying him, like a lion sniffing prey. Maybe there was something to be said for those Gryffindors after all… if they were all this fierce.

Draco took a step backward, "why aren't you more disgusted by what we're about to do?"

Harry took a step forward, "is there a reason I should be?"

Draco realized he was backing down and he straightened himself, facing Harry, "You hate me."

"I think you have effectively removed all the reasons I should hate you."

"Maybe I still hate you."

Harry shrugged, "a pocket full of galleon says that Hermione's spell only worked on the pain aspect of the curse. Which means, Draco, that the curse will still react to my touch?"

With that he reached out and gently ran his knuckles across Draco's cheek, brushing his thumb over parted lips. Draco felt the curse surge up in him, daring him to try and fight the urge to mold his body to Harry's and take what he wanted. Draco gritted his teeth, the only outward sign he had shown that he was affected. But Harry caught it and laughed a little.

Harry grabbed Draco's hand and tugged him towards the stairs, and ultimately the bedroom. He could just keep telling himself it was the curse, that what was about to happen was not something he actually wanted as well. As long as he could maintain the illusion that he was not willfully anticipating this with everything within him, then maybe he could let himself live with the experience. But as Harry looked back at him with fire in his green eyes, Draco knew that the illusion was a thin one, he knew it, the curse knew it, and Harry knew it.

The bedroom was dark and Draco expected another flip of the switch until Harry took his wand and with a few flicks candles flared to life on the bedside tables. It created just enough light to cast a soft glow upon the bed.

Draco had to stamp down the nervousness that tried to overcome him for a second. All his other sexual experiences to date had been with someone who had known Draco was the superior one in the relationship. But, of course Harry wouldn't quite see it that way.

When Harry faced him it was like looking at someone else. His smile was sexy and relaxed, his gaze penetrating and predatory. Draco was fairly certain more than one guy had fallen for that look in the time it took for Harry to bed him and toss him out the next morning. Draco was under the assumption that Harry cared a bit more for the feelings of the partners he came into contact with, however long they lingered, but he was also fairly certain that the Gryffindor had broken many hearts.

In the time it took Draco to wonder how many people Harry had invited into and subsequently kicked out of his bed, said man had closed the space between them and had somehow managed to bring his face close enough to Draco's to kiss, but not quite, without Draco noticing. When Draco started at the proximity, Harry leaned in and closed the distance, pressing his lips against Draco's. At first the kiss was gentle, like easing into warm water, but soon Draco was responding with a passion even he hadn't foreseen erupting this quickly.

Draco's mind kept taking him back to his years at Hogwarts; when he and Harry had gone nose to nose, trying to find the chinks in the armor where the arrows would pierce and do the most damage. It didn't matter how horrible 

the barbs got, the more anger, the more pain, the more hate between them only made it easier to keep on justifying how right you were and how wrong he was. But, now, when Draco's mind wondered to these battles, the curse stepped in, neatly rearranging the memories without Draco's permission, so that each memory Draco noticed, not the hate he remembered, but how stupid the whole thing had been.

If he had just realized then how wrong his father was, how wrong he had been to place his trust in evil and hate and lies. Maybe Harry could have saved him then too. He noticed how Harry's eyes flashed with anger and a hurt he tried to mask every time Draco attacked. How horrible they had been to each other. But the people they had been then were not the people they were now and as the curse helped Draco to realize this, it seemed Harry was figuring it out all on his own.

This wasn't Malfoy and Potter, or Gryffindor and Slytherin, having sex. This wasn't even the Golden Boy coming to the aid of the Malfoy Heir. It was just Harry and Draco, trying to find their way past the old, reaching for the new.

Draco felt Harry's hand fist in the material of the robes on his back as the other gently cupped the back of his neck. Draco had one hand on Harry's hip and the other he lifted to card through Harry's hair. He remembered how well the brunette had responded to that on the tower and he was not disappointed when, once again, a lazy moan spilled from Harry's throat into his own mouth. Gripping him closer Harry pulled Draco's head back, bending his body into Harry's own and immediately attacking his neck as it was bared to him.

His throat had always been a weakness of his, that and biting, he thought, right before Harry practically sunk his teeth into the spot where Draco's neck met his shoulder. Bloody hell! Did Harry have vampire blood in him? Stars burst behind Draco's eyes as the pain gave way to intense pleasure when Harry started soothing the bite with his tongue.

"Clothes…" Draco managed to mumble this incoherent thought and Harry acquiesced by muttering a spell under his breath.

Thanks to wandless magic Draco now stood naked, in front of any equally naked Harry Potter. Maybe that had been a little too fast. But, Draco refused to blush or be cowed like some virgin, he knew he looked good. A quick glace up and down at Potter also told him that his assumptions about how built Potter was, were not incorrect either.

Harry quickly ripped back the covers so that they could lie on the sheets and then lay sprawled out on the bed. It was like he was giving Draco that final choice to come join him or walk away. He's treating me like fucking glass; he's the one who should be having second thoughts. Draco growled at the idiocy of chivalry and climbed onto the bed, looming over Harry, instead of lying down beside him.

"I'm the one who should be giving you more time to think about this." Draco spoke softly as he ran his palm over Harry's chest simply because he couldn't help it.

Harry smiled softly, "we don't have time. Plus, the curse has started affecting me too."

Draco jerked his head up to looked Harry in the eye, "it's what?"

"I guess it thinks I need help too. It must be designed to bring you together with whoever you get mad at, at all costs, even by infecting the other person as well."

Harry grabbed Draco's hand which had sunk lower on his stomach, tracing his abs, "you didn't tell me it whispers to you, that's downright scary. Or that it tries to alter your memories."

Draco nodded and bending his head down flicked his tongue over one of Harry's nipples, "what did it whisper to you?"

Harry sucked in a sharp breath, "how much you enjoy being bitten and that you like it a bit rough."

He added as an afterthought, "and that you like to bottom."

"Liar. I know it didn't say the last part. I like both... with the right people."

Draco shifted so that he was more above Harry now, he absently brushed a piece of black hair out of Harry's face. This gesture brought the lightning bolt scar to his attention. He lightly traced his finger over it and he felt Harry shuddered a little. He looked down into green eyes, his question unvoiced.

"It's always been sensitive to the touch," Harry whispered.

Draco nodded and then bent down kissing first the scar and then Harry's lips, lingering there for a minute before continuing on. Draco lavished attention on Harry's abs, which had secretly always been one of his favorite parts of the male body and then shifted lower, cruelly skipping the area that 

needed the most attention and nibbling his was down Harry's soft inner thigh.

Harry had his hands fisted in the sheet and his back slightly arched, trying with all his self control to keep his hips planted firmly on the bed. His breath was coming faster and he was moaning, but he didn't plead or beg for Draco to get a move on, which was impressive.

Harry bucked his hips in protest to Draco's endurance test, opening his eyes to stare in a silent plea for a little relief. Draco smirked but was reminded of the fact that they had precious little time and decided he could tease later. He lowered his mouth, hovering over Harry's groin just for a second, just to be an arse and then he took him into his mouth and hummed a bit.

It would seem Harry was not the paragon of control he was pretending to be, he practically shot off the bed at the sensation and Draco had to pin his hips so he could continue his work. If someone had told him five years ago he would be in bed, having passionate, meaningless sex with Harry Potter he would have gone to Azkaban for murder. Now, it hardly seemed implausible that this is where his life had led him. What was that shit about the thin line between hate and love or what not… he and Harry were always destined to either kill each other or have really rough sex. They, or the curse, had apparently chosen the latter.

Draco felt Harry's body tense slightly and he drew away, Harry giving a moan at the loss of warmth where he needed it most.

Draco chuckled and slid up the bed, "oh, not yet, you aren't getting yours before I get mine."

He spread himself out beside Harry, "you'll find I'm quite selfish in bed."

Harry seemed to come back to himself just the slightest bit and Draco really should have read the glint in his eyes better. As it was he didn't and before he could get another sound out he was beneath Harry, the other man pinning his body to the bed with his own.

"Then by all means lets switch roles," Harry grinned wickedly as Draco moved to push at Harry's shoulders. He was a bit peeved to find his wrists easily captured and also pinned above his head. Harry shifted slightly and their body's slid along one another. They both moaned, but Draco also had the presence of mind to struggle a bit, hoping the distraction would throw off Harry's grip. No such luck.

Harry laughed a little, "You can continue to struggle if that makes it even more of a turn on for you. Of course it won't do you any good."

Draco looked up into green eyes, "what are you on about, more of a turn on… what?"

Harry bent down and nuzzled Draco's neck, biting his shoulder again in almost the exact same place. The blond immediately went limp beneath him, rolling his head to the side for more access and arching his hips up into Harry's.

Harry whispered in Draco's ear, "See, even if you're too proud to admit to me exactly what you like in bed, the curse knows and it tells me what to do. For example, you seem to have a curious weak spot on the inside of your hip bone on the right side…"

Harry ran his thumb over the curve of the bone and then suddenly applied pressure to soft skin on the inside. Draco cried out in pleasure and seemed to mumble what Harry was pretty sure sounded like, "bastard".

Draco heard Harry whisper a spell and when he finally released his grasp on Draco's wrist he still couldn't move them. The wanker had used a sticking charm. Draco growled in frustration, but Harry merely gave that half smile of his and told him it was for his own good. He was going to murder Potter when he got out of these bonds. But, then Draco ceased to have any thought process at all as Harry applied himself to doing almost the exact same thing that Draco had just done to him.

He added an extra component when he summoned his wand and said a spell Draco didn't recognize but realized at once must be a variation of the lubrication spell. As he slipped the first finger inside and Draco hissed a little, Harry leaned over to kiss him thoroughly until he almost forgot about the stretching and preparation.

But then Harry added another finger and with a slight bending motion managed to find Draco's prostrate. Draco gave an embarrassing half breathy moan, half sob that Harry seemed to like and his legs fell open even more, his lower back relaxing when earlier it had been in knots.

Harry mumbled something again and Draco felt his hands being freed of their invisible bonds. He reached up and ran his hands through Harry's hair going for the one weak spot he was sure of. Harry practically purred as Draco scratched and tugged at his scalp.

Harry gently motioned for Draco to roll over and get on his hands and knees. Harry scooted into position and moved forward, entering Draco slowly so as 

not to hurt him. For all the teasing Draco had given Harry about it being a long time, it certainly hadn't been just last week for Draco either. Once fully seated Draco assumed Harry would start thrusting. It figured Harry would choose this position, it was less intimate and set more distance between the taker and the person being taken.

But to his surprise, because Merlin forbid Harry be predictable, Draco felt a hand slid to the center of his chest, pulling him up off his hands. He and Harry were now back to chest, his legs pressed to the outside of Harry's, with the brunette's arm wrapped around his torso and one guiding his hips.

"Is this better?" Harry had a knack for whispering in the ear that was rather sexy, or at least less trashy than it had been when Draco's other lovers had done it.

Draco shifted forward and then back, slowly, drawing a moan from Harry. The curse, upon seemingly accomplishing its ends was sending tingling waves from Draco's center outward, like aftershocks, but before the earthquake. Not for long though, Draco thought, as Harry picked up the pace, thrusting in earnest now.

With both of them working together, they set a rhythm. Draco, at some point brought up Harry's hand to his mouth, absently kissing the tips of his fingers and biting the inside of his wrist. Harry nuzzled Draco's neck, biting his shoulder finally to send him over the edge.

Draco came a few seconds before Harry, cursing and panting while Harry followed with a shout and an exclamation that may have been Draco's name. They collapsed at the same time, Draco sinking to the bed on his stomach 

with Harry on top. He felt lips pressing small kisses into the hollow between his shoulder blades.

The pain wasn't coming back. Draco thought idly whether this had all been worth it, breaking this curse. He thought maybe he would know in the morning, or after round two which Harry seemed already interested in initiating… news flash, Draco was topping this time.

He smiled into the pillow and then rolled his body over to bring Harry down into a passionate kiss that took both their breath away. Maybe this was going to be it; just this night and then they went their separate ways. Maybe it would go further? Who knew what the hell this was going to turn into.

Harry felt his body start to respond again as he and Draco continued to kiss. This night was turning out to be way hotter and a lot less awkward then he had originally anticipated. He still wasn't sure where all of it was headed, but he was pretty sure that after tonight neither one of them was going to be able to walk away.

They were bound together now, for whatever reason, curse or no curse, it wouldn't be easy to erase this. But Harry was prepared for, was anticipating, the next move no matter how trivial or grand it was going to be. Sometimes it's the little things that connect people, the small threads that tie us all together.