Thank you to my BETA: Malombra. She has not gotten her hands on this one yet, so all mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Co. belong to JKR. I am not JKR. Therefore, Harry Potter and Co. are just here for me to play with. And I do so love to play…

Pairing: Harry/Draco so this is SLASH. No MPREG in this story.

Summary: Harry Potter, the Care of Magical Creatures Professor at Hogwarts', was in love with Draco Malfoy. But he would never tell the man that. What happens when that option was taken away from him?

MY STORY IS AU.

ENJOY!

Care of Magical Creatures

Have you ever seen a unicorn in the woods? Have you ever seen a merman in the water? Have you ever seen a vampire at night? Well I have, my name is Harry Potter and I am a Care of Magical Creatures Professor for the biggest magic school in the English Isles, Hogwarts. It hasn't always been a piece of cake, most times it was painful and humiliating. But I stuck to it and I did something no one thought I could do, well, besides killing that is.

Truthfully my fascination with magical creatures was all Hagrid's fault. He was the first person who was ever nice to me. I looked up to him, not only because he was a half-giant and was 5 feet taller than me, but because he was a great man, a kind man, and he will be missed by me for the rest of my life. Was he a good Care of Magical Creatures teacher? Hardly. But he introduced us to creatures that I never would have thought existed.

And that was my downfall.

In trying to learn as much as I could to protect myself in his class (I mean, come on, who brings a blast ended skwert in front of a bunch of 12 to 13 year olds?), I had to do it if only to survive his class. And then I myself became fascinated with any magical creature that I could find information on.

The year after I vanquished Voldemort for the last, and final, time I entered the Wizarding Secondary University in Wales and majored in Care of Magical Creatures. The next four years were the best I had ever had. I couldn't believe my life. No one wanted me dead. I had friends that knew me, the real me, and I had realized my obsession with the biggest git I had ever met meant more than just wanting to know what he might be up too.

Unfortunately for me, he had been transferred by his parents to Durmstrang at the beginning of sixth year. I hadn't seen him since. I knew he was alive and the rumor mill said he had decided to stay at Durmstrang and teach Potions there. No surprise really, it had always been his best subject, Snape withstanding.

I did miss him though. Every night when I was alone in my bed my thoughts would drift to him and my longing grew to such heights that I always cried after I came down from the pleasurable height my orgasm took me. I knew it was pathetic of me to feel this way for someone who had hated me and had not seen in years. But that was my life now. Work, school, loneliness.

It had become a routine that I knew made my friends sad but they never brought it up anymore. Ron had tried and the resulting fight had us not speaking to each other for two weeks. My best friend had come back with understanding (from Hermione) and apology (directly from his heart) and we had made up. Ron hardly ever said anything about it anymore but he still watched me with a careful eye. His remark that he was afraid that I would do something drastic still hung between us. My reply was that just because my love wasn't returned didn't mean I was going to do something that stupid. I had lived with it for years and could live with it forever if needed. That didn't mean my life was over just that my heart belonged to someone who would never know. I wasn't the first man this had happened too and I wouldn't be the last. Ron had nodded and we hadn't spoken of it since.

I still had a full life. Just because I was alone didn't mean I didn't go out with my friends or do things. I just did it alone. It didn't matter to me that I was the only one without a significant other, I was content.

I was until the one man I never thought I would meet again came to teach at the same school as me. The morning I walked into the Great Hall for breakfast was the morning my careful existence came crashing down around my ears. I didn't remember the announcement of his post as the Potions Professor and new Head of Slytherin, all I could hear was the blood pounding in my ears.

The rest of the day was a blur to me. That night I skipped dinner to spend the night in my room trying, and failing, to get my emotions under control. It wouldn't do to act like a love sick teenager, I'd never live it down. I was an adult and I could act like one. In the morning. Right now, I was going to get as drunk as I could and pass out in my own vomit. It was a plan.

As plans go I knew it was a bad one but since I couldn't do what I wanted to do, I'd end up in Azkaban for sure, I would stick with this one. By my fifth glass I was toasting my luck and by my eight I was scrambling to the bathroom. With accordance to my plan, I didn't make it and the last thing I remembered was the ground rushing up to meet my face and the last thing I had eaten rushing up and out of my mouth. Not surprisingly they both met the floor at the same time.

I woke up the next morning with a massive headache and with a taste in my mouth that made me want to vomit all over again. The smell and the position of my face ON the smell didn't help either.

A wave of my wand got rid of the vomit spattered on the floor and another wave had the air smelling as fresh as a spring day. I wandered to the bathroom where I knew a shower and a hangover potion were waiting for me. As I exited the bathroom there was a loud knock on the door. Tightening the towel around my still too skinny waist, I opened my door to the person I had actually thought would have shown up last night - Hermione. It wasn't until I saw the worry in her eyes did I remember the wards I had set last night.

"You okay?" Hermione asked gently.

I nodded and stepped back to let her in. A sound made me turn back and look into the hallway. Draco Malfoy was standing in the doorway of the room right across from mine. And he had just seen a near naked Harry Potter letting Hermione Weasley into his room. All I could hope for was that the horror I was feeling didn't show on my face.

"Harry?" Hermione called out from behind me and all I could do was nod at the other man and close my door. The look on my face must have been bad because all Hermione did was hug me tightly and say sadly, "oh, Harry, I am sorry."

"It's okay, Hermione, really." I tried to say it gently but I was never very good at that kind of thing.

"It's not Harry, I can tell."

"It's not now but it will be, Hermione." I pulled back as far as her arms would let me and gave a rueful smile. "I've survived worse."

"Umm…Harry, what are you talking about?" My best friend pulled back further so that she could look into my eyes. I saw her confusion and knew I was reflecting it.

"Malfoy."

"What about Malfoy?"

I looked at her as my confusion grew. "You're not here because Malfoy is the new Potion's Professor?"

Hermione shook her head sadly, "no, Harry, I'm not. But I feel for you about that. I'm here because of Ron."

"What's wrong with Ron?"

"Harry….he's…he's in St. Mungo's."

"What happened?" I was shocked.

"We think he was poisoned."

"Poisoned… what!"

"We think it was Gawain."

"Gawain Robards? The Head of the Aurors, Gawain Robards?" Now I was shocked and confused. What the hell had Ron gotten himself into?

"Yes, Ron was trailing him."

"Robards was the one suspected of the poisoning at the Orphanage then." It wasn't a question, I knew what case Ron had last been working on. Needless to say I was shocked no more. Damn it! I knew I should have helped him with this one. But I hadn't wanted that life, no matter if I had happened to be good at it. I should have been there to help my best friend!

Hermione nodded her head.

"And you think he poisoned Ron because he was on to him?"

Hermione nodded her head again.

"Do you know which poison it was?"

Hermione shook her head no.

"Fuck!"

Hermione giggled and then hugged me tightly again. "The Healers think he will be okay. They identified the poison that was used, it was the same one used at the Orphanage so they tried the antidote for that one first and it worked. I came to see if you wanted to come to dinner tonight. Ron will be out by noon but Kingsley is making him take leave. He won't have to go back until Monday. We thought you would like to spend the weekend with us."

"You're sure he is fine?"

"He'll be fine. Just weak and sore for a few days."

"Merlin! Ron on bed rest. No wonder you want reinforcements."

We laughed together and I said I would be at their house by five. I just waved her on when I could tell by her face that she wanted to bring up the Draco thing. I didn't want to talk about it. I knew they would both be hounding me with questions sooner than I was willing to answer any. But they were good friends and wanted what was best for me. Even if it was 'that albino git, Malfoy' as Ron likes to call him. Sighing deeply I moved to get dressed just now realizing I had had that entire conversation with Hermione in a towel!

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I spent lunch in my room knowing I was being a coward but I kept telling myself I wasn't. Telling yourself you are not a coward when you firmly believe you are one makes for horrible indigestion. Or so I kept telling myself that that was the reason my stomach felt all wonky. I told myself, repeatedly, that I would go to the Great Hall for breakfast on Monday, giving myself three more days to come to terms.

Do you know how hard it is to convince yourself of something when you know damn well you are lying to yourself? Pretty damn hard I'll tell you.

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Another one that I started. This did NOT get sent to my BETA, my one-shots rarely do. However, as it was pointed out there were some mistakes, I offer this re-post. I fixed some other things I found wrong as well. That's what you get when you want to post something before it has been gone over with a fine tooth comb. My apologies.

ENJOY!

LMG