Disclaimer: This is not mine- any of the ideas. I will admit that the compilation of these ideas might possibly have been conceived by me, but that too is iffy. The plot, however, is mine.

Beta: nope

Summary: Everyone has secrets. Some are just more surprising than others. Drarry, Slash, DMHP, rated M, complete.

Authours Note: Sentient buildings and Rooms idea borrowed ever-so-slightly from 'Spindles End' by Robin McKinley. Salamander idea borrowed a-bit-more-obviously from 'The Fire Rose' by Mercedes Lackey. Read them both, they're a lot better than 'very good'.

Title: Ice Melting


He felt nothing. No pain, no fear, no hope. He was lost- locked inside a jail of his own making, and he didn't care. No- Draco Lucius Malfoy was the Ice Prince of Slytherin in truth, and he liked it that way.

He didn't remember the last time he had felt genuine pleasure in anything, but that didn't bother him. For if there was no pleasure, then conversely, there could be no pain. And in his life pain was a constant. Had been, rather. Draco had quite successfully managed to conquer his body, forcing it to feel nothing. In a way, he was quite pleased with himself. Now he would no longer have to fear Voldemort, for he could not feel fear. Now he would no longer have to love his father, for he could not feel love.

Now he would no longer have to become angry, for nothing roused his anger. Draco had been unique before, and now he was perfect. For ice was flawless, crystalline, and cool. Exactly as Draco wanted to be.

He merely had to make sure to never remember that ice melted. And that some day, so would he.

Draco sighed as his thoughts turned morbid. He would never melt, and he would never give up his icy façade. He relied too heavily on the freedom provided by his mask to ever give it up. He listened to McGonagall droning on and on about some aspect of Transfiguration he had learned as a babe in arms, and looked down at himself briefly. A small smile touched his lips before fleeing, and he returned his gaze to the teacher.

He knew his hair was perfect, pulled back in a sleek tail that hung down to beneath his shoulders. His clothes were perfectly pressed, thanks to a Malfoy House Elf who followed him from place to place, his legs were stretched out in the aisle, and his arms were crossed loosely over his chest. His notes were perfection, the elegant script covering the parchment in neat rows.

Draco smirked, completely satisfied with the way the day was going. Not once had he had a disagreement with anyone, his House was showing an unusual amount of respect to him due to his 'lesson' the night before, and he was still impeccable. If it wasn't against his nature, he would have smiled in pleasure. As it was, however, he was content to smirk.

"Today we will be beginning the Animagus Lessons." McGonagall's statement succeeded in gathering Draco's attention, and he cocked his head in interest. Finally- the old biddy was about to teach them something he hadn't learned.

"When starting the Animagus Lessons, the first thing you must do is figure out what Animal your other form will be. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot choose this form. The form that will make itself know to you was chosen by your magic the day you were born, and it can never be changed. That is the reason you have never heard any credible stories of Witches and Wizards having two Animagus forms." McGonagall paused, and her sharp eyes landed on Draco's relaxed and confident figure.

"When a Witch or Wizard finds out what their Animagus form is, they begin to exhibit signs of the creature. Take, for example, a Horse. If a Witch or Wizard has an Animagus form of a Horse, then they will be able to run longer and further and faster than before. There will also be the worse side-effects, such as an aversion to meat, but usually the good far out-weight the bad.

During this class we will discuss the method of the transformation, the spell required to know your Form, and finally the actual transformation. You are not required to complete the Animagus Transformation here, though it is preferred. While in school, your license from the Ministry is free, and you do not need to pay for a Ministry appointed tutor."

Minerva's gaze roamed over the class, and she nodded once. "Are there any questions?" No one moved. "Very well then. Here is the spell." With a flick of her wand, the incantation appeared on the board, and she turned back to the class. "You will practice the spell wandless until you say it right, and when you are sure, you will call me over. I will recite the spell with you, and we will both see your form. Only one person will go at a time, and I will not reveal your form unless you wish me to." Walking to her desk, she called over her shoulder, "Begin."

Draco muttered the spell- a simple one really. Revealious Animagus? Who had thought this crap up? But he said it twice more, then stopped, knowing he knew how to say it. Pansy to his left was muttering it under her breath, and Crabbe and Goyle were saying it by syllables. Draco shook his head in consternation- where had those two gotten so stupid? Certainly not from their parents, as both sets were abnormally competent in everything they did.

A few minutes later McGonagall started walking around the room and helping the students with the spell. Draco merely ignored her as she walked past, and smirked at the expression of determined patience on her face. Soon McGonagall started back to the front of the room, and began casting the spells with the students who were ready for her.

Draco let his mind drift off in a haze of boredom as the class dragged on and on with nothing interesting happening. The spell was a quiet one, as only McGonagall and the student she was currently performing the incantation with could see the results. But they stared at the desk in front of the student, and apparently saw something there because without fail the teen would smile, glower, or shrug at whatever they saw.

He watched with interest, however, when the old woman got to the Golden Trio. The Weasel went first- shock- and Draco watched the freckled face intently for the reaction. He frowned, though, when the red-headed fool grinned widely and turned to the Mudblood. Draco could not hear what was said, but the bushy-haired Know-It-All smiled and Potter- Draco cocked his head. Potter merely shrugged, and went back to whatever he was doing.

Shaking off the oddity that was Potter, Draco turned to watch Granger go. After a moment, she frowned and looked up at McGonagall. The teacher shrugged and patted her shoulder, and turned to Potter. Waiting a moment before rapping her wand against his desk, McGonagall frowned at the Golden Boy. He flushed slightly and shoved his hand under his desk as though hiding some terrible evil from the teacher.

Draco pursed his lips as they cast the spell, and McGonagall's face reflected her pure shock. Potter just shrugged, and whispered something to the Head of his House. She frowned ferociously, but Potter gave her such a piteous look that she nodded reluctantly. Potter went back to his previous actions, ignoring his pestering friends, and McGonagall moved over to the Slytherin side of the room.

Stopping by Draco, the Transfiguration Professor cleared her throat. "Well Mister Malfoy? Are you ready?" Draco shrugged gracefully. Like he cared. McGonagall and he cast the spell, and for a moment nothing happened. But then a hazy image formed in the air above his desk, and Draco sat upright. Ignoring the consternation the move caused his fellow Slytherins, Draco stared.

No, no, no, no, no. This could not be happening to him. No- no Merlin a Salamander? The rare magical creature that only incidentally inhabited fire and was one of the Highest symbols of Light and Good and Happy was his Animagus form!? He snapped his head up and glared at McGonagall, who was staring at the image in as much shock as Draco.

"What is the meaning of this?" Draco's furious voice cracked through the classroom, and every head- even Potters- turned to stare at him. McGonagall looked at him incredulously, more concerned by his Animagus form than his outburst.

"Mr. Malfoy, perhaps you should talk to-"

"No!" Draco cut her off, standing and shoveling his stuff into his bag, "No! I will not have you telling anyone! Do I make myself clear?" The class gasped as Draco made his demand, icy composure long forgotten by now. He didn't even wait for an answer before walking out of the classroom and storming to his quarters.

It was a long time before Draco settled down enough to actually think about his Form. A Salamander? For Heavens sake- Draco enjoyed his icy reputation and calm way of viewing things. The last thing he needed was for a temperamental Fire-Elemental to destroy his way of life and his only means of surviving the Dark Lord. Ice was comfortable, ice was cool, ice had no feelings.

Fire, on the other hand… Draco laughed a bit desperately, then cursed. Even now his icy mask was melting, and he couldn't seem to hold onto it. Fire was molten, ever changing. Hot and passionate and wild, it destroyed everything in its path and left nothing but ashes and dust behind. Exactly what he needed in life, yes, to burn hot and strong and die after a short while because the Dark Lord no longer had a use for his inconsistent temper.

Ice. Fire.

Cold. Hot.

Composed. Wild.

Comfortable. Intolerable.

Unfathomable. Uncontrollable.

Draco dropped his head in his hands, not noticing the Mudblood enter their Common Room. As Head Girl and Boy they shared a two room dorm with a connecting Common Room. Draco usually ignored her and now was no different. She walked past him quietly and shut herself into her room.

After a week Draco couldn't stand it any longer. If this was his form, then he would have it. It belonged to him, and so what if he could no longer access his icy mask? Fire melts ice, and therefore must be more powerful. He could live with that.

He began studying in the Room of Requirement, waiting until Granger was sleeping before leaving and staying in the Room the whole night. Sometime he slept, and as he dreamed he could swear he heard a deep voice laugh, shaking the walls and rumbling right to the foundations, filling him with a sense of comfort and security.

One Friday night three weeks after Draco began studying he mastered the spell. Looking around the Room, he prayed silently that this worked. He had not been able to replace his icy mask since the last Transfiguration class he had gone to- Dumbledore had pulled him from it for the duration of the Animagus lessons seeing as how Draco was ready to murder McGonagall- and the Slytherins thought he was going insane.

It was no more than the truth, however. The need to touch the fire dancing on the candles wick was overwhelming, and he could stare at the fireplace for hours without moving. And worse- he was snappish. Angry. He got into fights with anyone over the stupidest of things. Draco no longer looked perfect- though to anyone else he was still as immaculately dressed as ever- and falling asleep was a trial when there was a fire in the next room and he didn't trust himself to be near it. So he hoped that once he placated this creature living inside of himself he could go back to normal.

It was worth a shot, anyway.

With a deep breath, Draco spoke. The words were hard to speak, feeling as though they were being wrenched from deep inside of him, and… heavy… in an odd way. But Draco managed, and waited.

Suddenly a searing pain lanced through his body, and he collapsed in on himself, crying out. If Draco hadn't known this was going to happen, he would be very scared right now. As it was, he merely sobbed in agony. His body felt as though it were twisting around him, coming apart at the seams and thrust back together in the wrong places. After a while, Draco just blacked out.

When he woke, Draco was disoriented and confused. Was the Room that much bigger? What was on the wall? Even as he thought these things he was moving, rising from the floor and floating in the air. Had he been even slightly more awake he would have panicked, but Draco just went with it. Moving towards the wall, he stopped, dumbfounded.

In the mirror he was the creature he had seen on his desk. But… something was different. He was about three feet long as near as he could tell, and aquiline. But his scales- instead of the fiery red depicted by the creature he had seen, his were blue lined with silver, and his eyes were a startling sapphire shot through with his natural silver. Draco twisted around to see himself from every angle, and had to admit grudgingly that he was not bad looking.

A sight out of the corner of his eye caught his attention, and he turned suddenly. There, in the corner of the Room, was the biggest fireplace Draco had ever seen. And right then, it was all he wanted. Before he knew what he was doing, Draco was in the flames and bathing in the comforting heat of the blaze. As his mind slowly caught up with what he was doing Draco flipped out.

Flinging himself out of the fire and frantically checking himself for burns, Draco sighed as he realized he was fine. And then the temptation to return to the flames came back- and he gave in.

And for the rest of the weekend, Draco bathed in flickering flames of red and gold, relaxing for the first time in a long while. And he no longer cared about later, for the now was enough.

"Draco?" Granger asked hesitantly, "Are you alright?"

Draco turned to the Gryffindor, and grinned. Loving the look of total shock on her face, Draco widened it as he replied, "Never better, Mudblood. Why do you suddenly care?"

Hermione frowned at the boy, and walked out without answering. Draco shrugged and looked away, eyes landing immediately on the roaring fire. He grinned again. Merlin love the end of November- every fireplace and candle was lit. Walking over to the hearth and dropping into a crouch, he stuck his hand in the flames.

The flames danced over his hand joyously, climbing up his wrist slyly as they twined around his fingers. He let them for a moment before shaking them off and rising. Today was Monday, and he needed to be in class soon. Rather- he needed to re-teach the House of Slytherin why you didn't mess with a Malfoy no matter how frazzled they acted.

Three hours later his House was properly terrified of him again. He leaned back in his chair in Divination and smirked at Pansy, who dropped her gaze as she paled. A few pranks, a few vicious curses, a few well-aimed threats from his bodyguards and all was normal. To Draco's eternal surprise and relief he'd even managed to regain his icy mask, though now it was only that- a mask.

He no longer needed to hide behind a façade of icy composure- though he did so anyway. With the mask he could control his Slytherins so much easier. They already knew how to please him when he was the Ice Prince of Slytherin.

After all, no one needed to know that the ice was merely the thin veneer hiding the Salamander inside. Because really- who would expect such a thing? And the element of surprise was Draco's favorite weapon.

Oh my hey I love this fic. It's complete- and I think it's the best thing I've ever written. Totally inspired, if I may say so myself. But read, review, and tell me what

you think, since that's actually the only thing I really care about. Otherwise, please check out my other stuff, and remember, I'm only here till 02 January! I really should edit my profile...