IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ! A/N: This picks up right after Deathly Hallows, but is not epilogue compliant. It features a Harry that was BORN female, but the storyline from canon history will remain the same EXCEPT a few, small points - like, Harry never dated Cho or Ginny etc.
The female Harry's name is Hariah (HAH-RAI-YAH; rhymes with Mariah), but Harry will still be referred to as "HARRY" for the most part. Like a nickname.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: The idea for the engagement rings and the basic concept of this fic was borrowed from "Harry Potter and the Malfoy Ambition" written by Goddess Blue. "Malfoy Ambition" is a brilliant fic that, sadly, has been discontinued. This fic is basically how I imagined the story might have progressed. Thus, certain scenes in the first five or so chapters, especially this first chapter, will be inherently similar to "Malfoy Ambition". However, this fic deals only with the idea of the engagement rings, not any of the subplots of "Malfoy Ambition". After the first few chapters, which lay the foundation of the fic, I will be writing my own plot and there won't be anything in common between the plot of this fic and Malfoy Ambition (except the engagement rings).
I have also informed Goddess Blue of this fic. If ever she expresses anything that she has against it, I shall take action accordingly. I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN ANYTHING OF GODDESS BLUE'S "MALFOY AMBITION" OR J.K ROWLING'S ORIGINAL WORK AS MINE. They belong to their rightful owners.
WARNINGS: Female Harry, Draco/Harry pairing, spoilers from possibly all the Harry Potter books, slight OOCness, cliches, and a bit of coarse language that will appear here and there.
Also, I'd like to thank my cousin, Euko-chan, and my friend, Mihoo, for all the support they've given me for this. Thanks, guys.
Edit 7th Feb 2011: Rewrote the Author's Note to clear up some things for readers.
CHAPTER ONE: WISHING UPON A RING
(PLEASE READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE BEFORE PROCEEDING)
'Vault 709,' announced the goblin as the carriage came to an abrupt halt. The little creature gently leaped off and respectfully held the door open for the occupants. Nodding her acknowledgement, Narcissa Malfoy gracefully descended from the little carriage, and was soon followed by her son, who stepped off as elegantly as his mother. The undignified, wild carriage rides that led to the underground vaults in Gringotts, the Wizarding Bank, always made him a tad nauseous, but Draco Malfoy maintained his cool composure and never showed it; he had a reputation to live up to, after all.
For the name of Malfoy still commanded some respect within the Wizarding World, even after the events of the 'Great War' as the battle that had led to the ultimate doom of Lord Voldemort, the most feared Dark wizard in many a decade, had come to be baptized. True, the family name had been tarnished somewhat but since the Malfoys had, halfway through the battle, stopped fighting for Voldemort's cause, they had not been thrown in Azkaban prison despite the fact that all three of them bore the Dark Mark, the cursed tattoo that marked them as servants of the Dark Lord, or rather Death Eaters as they were commonly known. This had been mostly due to the fact that Hariah 'Harry' Potter – the Girl Who Lived, the Chosen One, She-Who-Had-Saved-Us-All or whatever was the latest cheesy title that the Daily Prophet had dubbed her – had stepped in and vouched for them, to the eternal shock of the Malfoys.
The Wizengamot had been even more shocked and none of them had even bothered to mask it; in fact, Draco would have found their expressions almost comical had he and his parents not been bound by chains to their stone chairs in the sinister courtroom; such circumstances do have a tendency to put a damper on amusements. Kingsley Shacklebolt, who had been made permanent Minister for Magic after a near unanimous vote, had finally managed to locate his vocal cords and had demanded an explanation from Ms Potter for her blatant statement that the Malfoys should not be imprisoned, especially as they were proven Death Eaters.
'Because they are the reason that I stand alive in front of you today and, by extension, why Voldemort is dead now, and thus, why the rest of the world can sleep in peace,' had been her aloof response which earned her even more incredulous looks if such a thing were possible. But, Draco had noticed, his mother did not look as taken aback as the rest; if anything, her expression was one of comprehension. This was explained when Harry Potter added, 'Or at least, Madam Malfoy is.'
She had then gone on to explain how Narcissa Malfoy had saved her life by deceiving the Dark Lord (amazing in itself as it was nearly an impossible feat) and declared that she had clearly witnessed the Malfoys not fighting for Voldemort in the climax of the battle. At the moment, it had seemed to Draco that Hariah Potter was only speaking in their defence because she felt that she was indebted to Narcissa – which she was. But then again, that was not very surprising: Potter was a hard-core Gryffindor; one of those oh-so-courageous lions with a heart too noble for one's own good ... or, so Draco felt in respect to all Gryffindors in any case.
After a long drawn out debate, the Wizengamot had finally decided that though the Malfoys would not be sent to Azkaban, they would be punished for their earlier actions which were, admittedly, not very pleasant. Not even the Chosen One had been able to change that decision. Draco had been let off easier as he had been underage when he was first initiated into the Death Eaters and Narcissa, too, had a more tolerable punishment than her husband for she had not been as 'involved' in Voldemort's plans as Lucius had been.
At present, Lucius still had a few more months of 'punishment' left, but mother and son were both free. In fact, Draco had even been accepted back into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for his seventh and final year, and the ministry had not confiscated the Malfoy fortune (though any object related to the Dark Arts had been removed from their manor house). As soon as the news that the Malfoys had turned to the Light (and halfway through the Great War too!) had begun to circulate, the respect for the family, which had been noticeably diminished, had increased by a fair few notches. There were still some who mistrusted them – and with good reason, considering their shady past – but Narcissa and Draco, though cowards at heart (they were Slytherins, after all!), had stepped into public with their heads held high, if only to remove the rust from the family name. And it was this pride that the young Malfoy heir displayed in the dark underground tunnel even if the only one to witness it was the lone goblin that had accompanied them to the vast and ancient Malfoy vault.
The little goblin, whose name Draco did not care to recall, hurried with lithe strides to the large door in the tunnel wall. For so small a creature (he barely reached Narcissa's slim waist), it really was admirable the proud and important manner in which he held his posture; but then again, goblins were a proud and fierce race. He turned his onyx, pupil-less eyes on the two humans and with courteous, yet haughty, civility requested the key to the vault, which Narcissa handed over delicately. The goblin turned it smoothly in the keyhole and the door swung open soundlessly.
Narcissa nodded her thanks to the goblin that had stepped back respectfully before sweeping into the large vault. Draco hesitated for a moment; the last time he had visited this place, getting into the vault had not been so simple. There had been a dragon, old and partially blinded, but magnificent still, which had guarded these deepest vaults of the bank. There was no sign of the beast now, thanks to – surprise! surprise! – a certain Hariah Potter. She and her faithful sidekicks had broken into a Gringott's vault (his aunt Madam Lestrange's vault to be precise) to steal what Draco understood to be a Horcrux that had belonged to Voldemort, and had actually evaded capture and escaped. This adventure had already become the stuff of legend for no one broke into the heavily guarded Wizarding Bank and got away with it – unless you counted Voldemort who had done the same thing through the manipulation of one of his earlier servants...
And what had made this feat of Harry Potter even more impressive was that she and her two friends had actually escaped on the dragon! Draco still had trouble believing it.
Stupid Potter and her showing off!
He did accept that he did owe her somewhat for his freedom; had it not been for her words of defence on their behalf (and the words of a heroine that had just saved the entire world from certain doom were extremely powerful as had been proven), the Malfoys would be rotting in Azkaban now. But still, that did not mean that his feelings towards her had changed. After all, a steady – and sometimes, violent – rivalry that had raged for nearly seven years could not be easily overlooked and thrown aside; they had been at each other's throats from Day One at Hogwarts, when she had first spurned his offer of friendship, had chosen a low-down, red-haired and freckle-faced Weasley over him...
A dark scowl marred his pointed, yet strikingly handsome features and his silvery eyes darkened a few shades at the unhappy remembrances before swiftly pushing them aside and stepping over the threshold after his mother, ignoring the goblin that had been staring at him curiously for just standing put. The vault was exactly as he remembered it: nearly overflowing with piles of coins, jewels and other various expensive trinkets and family heirlooms.
He found his mother scooping up one last handful of golden galleons into her exquisite money bag before straightening up and smiling at her son, the action highlighting her beautiful face. Her pale blue eyes were warm and affectionate as she looked at him and it nearly startled the living daylights out of the young wizard – again. At once, Draco scolded himself that he should be used to it by now, but it was still hard; for Draco had only ever seen his mother's eyes as cold, icy pools of sky blue for nearly all his life. However that had been in the past, back when she had been in the service of Voldemort. Now, with her freedom, she had allowed her true nature to come forth and had become the loving mother that Draco had never consciously realised that he had been craving all his life, but the change in Narcissa Malfoy still unnerved him at times.
'Well, I think that's enough galleons to buy all your school things,' Narcissa commented lightly, lowering her eyes to the full money bag. 'What do you think, my Dragon? Do we need more?'
'I think that is enough, Mother,' answered Draco, once he had regained his composure. In truth, the school book list had not even arrived yet, but Narcissa, who had had the day free and longed for the outdoors, had insisted that Draco accompany her to Gringotts and then Diagon Alley to buy everything else that he needed for Hogwarts.
'Very well, then, darling.'
'Shall we leave now?' asked an uncomfortable Draco; he was still not used to hearing his mother calling him loving endearments.
Narcissa bestowed another one of her stunning smiles upon her son. 'No, Dragon; there is one thing left to do here, something of great importance and it should be taken care of soon.'
'Oh? What is it?'
'Here, come with me, love.'
She led him to the very back of the cavernous vault where a small, slender, yet elegant pedestal stood that rose to a height of approximately four feet. It had intricate designs carved on its sides and it stood placed well away from the rest of the Malfoy valuables. On its flat, circular surface rested a plush, velvet cushion that was the colour of blood and nestled in the very centre of it were two rings that lay side by side; the silver of both contrasted starkly with the crimson background.
Draco's breath caught in his chest as he stared at the two rings. He did not need any explanation from his mother to understand what was going on.
'Mother, I ...' he croaked weakly, not sure how to express the contradicting feelings that had begun to rage a battle as ferocious as that of the Great War within the confinements of his mind. He tried to speak yet again but his mother held up a delicate hand and he snapped his mouth shut, though the turmoil in his mind never lessened.
'Dragon,' his mother's voice was soft and her tone was soothing, 'tomorrow is your eighteenth birthday; you know what that means ... and you have always known that this day would come.'
'I did,' nodded Draco, his face troubled and his eyes betraying the conflict within. 'But, Mother, I ...'
'Draco, understand this: this is entirely your own choice. Your father and I have always agreed that we would not choose for you, or force you to decide as we wished. This agreement was strengthened after the fall of the Dark Lord when our lives, once again, belonged to us. You are no one's slave, my Dragon, your life is yours.'
'I understand, Mother,' said Draco softly, 'but, please try to understand me; I am not ready to marry.'
For the two rings that lay on the cushion were the ancient Malfoy engagement rings, the most valuable family heirlooms of the Malfoys. Every Malfoy couple in history had had their own special wedding bands, but the engagement rings had been passed down from generation to generation; from the Middle Ages, in fact, ever since they had first been forged especially for the Malfoy family by the master goldsmith of the era. The rings had first been worn by the late Abraxas Malfoy and his wife, the late Genevieve Goldheart. They were the couple that had started the tradition of passing the rings down the Malfoy line.
It was traditional that the Malfoy heir chose his bride by his eighteenth birthday. Draco's parents had worn those very rings during their engagement, as had his paternal grandparents, great grandparents and so on. And now, it was his turn. The only problem was that he was not ready to commit to a marriage yet. There was much that he wanted to accomplish in life before settling down. Couple that with the fact that he had not even met a woman he liked yet!
No, he was not ready for marriage; not at all.
His mother, on the other hand, did not appear to agree. Surprising her son immensely, she threw back her blonde head and laughed merrily, the sound reverberating through the vault like the sweet tinkle of chimes.
'Oh, Dragon,' she exclaimed cheerfully once she had calmed down, 'an engagement is not the same thing as marriage! You do not have to marry immediately. You can prolong the engagement for as long as you and your bride-to-be see fit. Though, of course, it is preferable that the wedding not be put off for far too long.
'And you know that it is traditional for the heirs to the family fortune to choose their spouses by their eighteenth. It is a tradition that has been upheld for centuries, love, and it is your father's and my wish that you follow it. Your father would have wanted to be here with you today, but seeing as he is still serving his sentence ...'
'Mother, I know about the tradition, but,' a hint of desperation had crept into Draco's voice by then, 'there isn't a girl I like, much less want to marry! How am I supposed to choose a fiancée by tomorrow?'
Narcissa scrutinised her son carefully, all traces of humour gone and replaced with thoughtful contemplation. After several seconds of this treatment, Draco could not help but squirm slightly, though he did not lower his silvery eyes from his mother's azure ones.
Finally, his mother spoke, 'Lucius has not explained this to you, has he? But then again, what with the war and the Dark Lord and his demands, I suppose that it is not surprising ... Well, Draco, there are a lot of things you need to know about those rings and the first thing you should understand about them is that they are not the ordinary engagement bands that you are, doubtless, imagining them to be; they are magical, Draco.'
Draco looked at his mother with confusion and mild surprise. His father had explained the history of the rings and the tradition to him long years ago, but this was something that he had not been informed of before. They're magical?
'You see, Dragon,' his mother explained gently, 'it is not necessary that you meet a girl before being engaged. These rings, at the time they were forged, were enchanted to help find the spouse-to-be of every Malfoy heir or heiress, based on their wishes.'
If anything, her simple explanation only served to further confuse her already confused son.
'What do you mean, Mother? I'm afraid I don't understand.'
There was a pause as Narcissa, once again, studied her son almost critically, head tilted slightly to one side.
'Do you want to get married, Draco?'
'At some point in my life, yes; but not now.'
'That is beside the point. Now, tell me, do you have an idea of the kind of wife that you desire?'
Draco flushed slightly, looking a little embarrassed. 'I suppose so.'
Narcissa smiled. 'Well, then, all you have to do, Dragon, is tell the rings exactly what kind of a woman you want as your spouse. Make as many wishes as you want, provided that you ask for the kind of girl that you truly desire, and the ring intended for your fiancée will find her for you. After you make your wishes, that ring will disappear from the vault and appear on the ring finger of the girl that matches your description within the next twenty four hours. It is a very simple procedure.'
'I see,' murmured Draco thoughtfully, now truly intrigued. It was not a revolting idea; he would not mind marrying a girl he had never met before, provided that she proved to be the wife that he longed for. And if he were to believe his mother's words – which he did, for she was a woman of honour – that the engagement could be prolonged indefinitely, then he would have enough time to get to know the girl before officially committing to the relationship. Hmm, this could really work.
However, right then, his musings were brought to a rude halt when a sudden thought struck him.
'But, Mother, how on God green's earth am I supposed to find her when I do not even know who it is?'
'Do not worry, darling. You need not seek her out.'
'No? But then, how ...?'
'Well, the girl will have to come forth, darling, and reveal herself to you. The ring cannot be removed by any means whatsoever, unless you, her fiancé, remove it from her finger; thus, she will be forced to come out anyway. And you can spend the rest of your engagement getting to know one another before marrying.'
'I see. Well, it doesn't sound too bad when you put it like that ... but, wait!' he exclaimed, another question popping into his already information-overloaded mind. 'What if the ring makes a mistake? What if it chooses a girl that I despise?'
His mother smiled at him again. 'The ring cannot make a mistake, Dragon. It never has. The engagement rings have found perfect brides for all the Malfoy heirs, ever since the time of Abraxas Malfoy and Genevieve Goldheart-Malfoy, as I'm sure your father has already told you. It will find you a girl that matches your heart's true desires; one who will be an immaculate wife; one who will bear your children; one who will fulfil you in every way. The ring is never wrong, my Dragon, rest assured.'
There was a silence as Draco pondered his mother's words. He was still unconvinced about how foolproof the rings were. His scepticism must have shown on his face for his mother suddenly said, her voice as soft and comforting as the sound of waves lapping against a smooth shoreline, 'Are your father and I not proof enough?'
Draco raised his eyes to meet those of his mother's and his lips curved up slightly. It was true; Lucius Malfoy and Narcissa Black-Malfoy truly were a couple that left nothing to be desired. This had been apparent even when they had been slaves of Voldemort; especially during the dark and dangerous period when their thoughts had begun to oppose the opinions of him and they had almost lost all hope of freedom and survival. They had comforted each other, with and without words, drawing strength from their love and sticking together to the end.
His smile broadened. His mother was right: the rings were absolute. That they had brought Narcissa Black to Lucius Malfoy was the living proof.
'Very well, then, Mother; I shall do it.'
Narcissa nodded at him, her happiness evident in her smile and eyes. She pulled out her wand and waved it gracefully at the stone pedestal, murmuring a few indistinct words under her breath and Draco understood that she had probably removed the powerful protection charms and wards cast over the rings. Narcissa put her wand away and delicately picked up the two rings which she handed to her son.
Draco accepted them and held them up to his eyes for inspection. They were not made from silver as he had initially believed, but from pure white gold that gleamed brilliantly in the dim light that shone in the vault from an unseen source. One was slightly larger than the other and was obviously meant for masculine fingers, and while the other was slimmer, the design was identical. The white gold bands were inlaid with the tiniest of sparkling diamonds that flowed along the entire outer surfaces in similar elegant patterns. The outer edges were plated with light gold and set into the centre of each ring was a beautiful diamond gem, cut with precision into a regular hexagonal shape. The gems seemed transparent and white simultaneously and their dazzling sparkles seemed to hold seductive allures.
The design of the engagement rings was hardly extravagant, yet it was their simplicity that made them all the more beautiful. They were breathtaking.
'Dragon,' His mother's voice jolted him back to reality. 'Are you ready, my love?'
Draco gazed at the rings for a few more seconds before nodding, his jaw set in mute determination.
'Good. Now, put on your ring.'
Without question, Draco slipped on the larger ring onto the ring finger of his left hand. It magically shrank in size to fit the slender digit. He had to admit to himself, it looked quite good on him!
'Now,' Narcissa said seriously, 'describe the girl of your choice to the other ring. Keep your wishes to the point and precise, and make sure that they are extremely clear. Most importantly, speak from your heart, not your mind. Wish for a girl that would truly make you happy, my Dragon, not for one that would only be beneficial for a material purpose. You know what kind of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. Wish for her, Dragon, for yourself as well as for her.
'When you are finished, the ring will disappear, and you cannot remove your own ring until you have met your fiancée. Do you understand?'
She nodded once and began to walk away. Draco stared at her, a little confused. She caught his gaze and explained, 'I shall wait by the vault doors, Draco. This is a personal matter and I would not want to intrude on your privacy.'
'No, stay,' Draco said quickly. Narcissa raised her eyebrows at him. 'I mean, I do not mind you hearing my wishes. Really,' he added when she looked unconvinced. 'After all, I'd want your blessing and approval for my choice in a bride.'
'Oh, darling,' she smiled affectionately at her son, 'you know that your father and I would approve, no matter who it is! We trust your judgement.' She looked at him sincerely.
'But, all the same, I'd rather you stayed, Mother.'
After a moment of consideration, Narcissa nodded and stepped back up to the pedestal. Draco heaved an inward sigh of relief; he would never admit it, but he was rather apprehensive about asking a ring to find him his bride-to-be. He had never done such a thing before and his mother's presence was a comfort; she gave him confidence.
Narcissa nodded at him encouragingly and Draco, closing his fingers over the 'feminine' ring, began to speak albeit a little awkwardly for he felt rather foolish talking to a ring of all things.
'I wish ...' he trailed off, a little embarrassed at expressing his desires, – desires which he would have regarded as weaknesses only a year or so ago – but gathering his courage, he ploughed on, 'I wish for a girl who'd understand me and vice versa, one who would love me for myself and not for my wealth or status. I want a girl who has not forgotten her morals; one with whom I can talk to about nothing and everything; one who will never bore me; a girl who would always be there for me as I would be there for her. I want a wife with whom I can spend all my days in bliss, with whom I can have a family; with whom I can grow old ...' He paused slightly, recalling his mother's earlier words and proceeded to repeat them, 'I want a girl who fulfils me, completes me; a girl I know, preferably and ... well ... I just want a wife that will make me the happiest man alive. Please find such a one for me.'
When he finished, he opened his fingers and looked down at the ring that was nestled in his palm. For a few seconds, nothing happened, but then, slowly, the Malfoy engagement ring began to fade. The solid white gold became transparent, and before he knew it, there was nothing in his hand at all. The ring had disappeared, just as his mother had said; gone to find him his perfect wife.
As for Narcissa, her eyes were fixed not on his empty palm, but on his face. The expression on her face was a mixture of disbelief, amazement and pride. Her son had truly grown up, she could see that now. A couple of years ago, he would not have uttered such words. His wish would have been to have a wife that was beautiful, socially powerful, and wealthy and from an upper class background; the list would have also included 'pure-blooded'. In fact, she had been half afraid that he would truly ask for such a woman even now. But no, he had changed. He had matured and grown wise. He no longer had a mania for pure-bloods and money. No, instead, he had, perhaps for the first time in his life, truly allowed his heart to speak for him.
Draco averted his eyes from his mother for as long as he could. He was embarrassed that he had spoken such private yearnings out loud; he had not meant to sound so romantic, like a love struck schoolgirl. But once started, it had been difficult to stop. Nonetheless, he realised that he did not regret it. For once, he had done the right thing.
With the utmost reluctance, Draco turned to face his mother, not knowing how she would react to the sappy speech he had just made. To his surprise, he found Narcissa positively beaming at him with unshed tears glittering in her blue eyes.
'Oh, Dragon, I'm proud of you; you will have a fine wife, one worthy of your love.'
Surprised, but happy at her positive reaction, Draco smiled at his mother, silvery eyes bright. She returned the gesture before turning to leave, beckoning him to follow her.
They were in the carriage, hurtling back up towards the surface, when Draco, who had been examining his engagement ring – he had given it a few experimental tugs and, just as Narcissa had told him, had been unable to pull it off –, realised something and voiced it.
'Mother, it just occurred to me – the girl, what if she does not know that it is the Malfoy engagement ring? How would she know how to find us? In fact, how would she even know what is going on and why there is an engagement ring on her finger that had appeared out of nowhere?'
'Easy, love, easy; do not fret. We just simply have to advertise it.'
'What? What does that mean?'
'You see, Dragon, our engagement rings are not the only ones that are enchanted. Other old wizarding families have similar rings. It is rare, but not unheard of. A lot of wizards in our society are aware of how such rings work. So, what we need to do is let the news spread that you have wished upon the rings for a wife and are awaiting your new fiancée to make herself known to you. That way, your future bride will know what the ring on her finger is and what action to take.'
'Spread the news?' repeated Draco, horror beginning to register on his face. 'You mean, through media? Through the Daily Prophet?'
'Yes, love, and we need to send in a picture of the ring, too, so that your fiancée will recognise it for what it is. Whatever is the matter, Draco?' she added concernedly as her son dropped his head into his hands and groaned in a very un-Malfoy-like manner.
'Mother, I could do perfectly well without any more publicity.'
'I understand, Dragon,' Narcissa responded, sympathy reflected in her voice. The Malfoys had had more than their fair share of media and publicity during the first few months right after the Great War; their trials, their conversion to the Light, their sentences, everything had been media-covered and much gossiped about amongst the British wizarding society. She could wholly comprehend why her son did not want any more news of himself printed in the Prophet, especially when related to such a personal matter. The gossip that would spread like wildfire about the rings and his engagement to an unknown girl would make anyone's worst nightmares appear tame.
'Do not worry, love, everything will be alright. The media phase will be extremely tiresome, yes, but it will be short-lived and when you find your bride-to-be, you will realise that all that pain and trouble was worth it in the end. Everything will be alright, Dragon, everything will be alright.'
Draco merely nodded, glancing out of the carriage windows at the blur of the underground tunnels. Yes, everything will be alright. When he finally found his mystery bride who would be everything that he had ever wanted – or, rather had been wanting very recently after his change of heart and mind – everything would be alright.
The thought brought just a hint of a smile to his face which did not leave even when they finally left the snowy white building of Gringotts and entered Diagon Alley to buy his school robes and other knick knacks.
Yes, all will turn out fine soon.
Pity that young Draco Malfoy did not know that there was a long way to go before he got his happy-ever-after.
A/N: So, what do you think? Though the third to be posted, this is the first fanfic I've ever started to write and I hope I didn't screw up big time. Reviews and constructive criticism will be very appreciated.
By the way, before you ask about Narcissa's little nickname for Draco - 'Draco' is a Latin word that literally means "Dragon" and I thought it was an appropriate pet name. Besides, the same thing's been done in a lot of other Draco/Harry fics, so it's a bit of a cliche, anyway.
And as to why Draco's going back to Hogwarts when he's nearly 18; well, I figured that since the Death Eaters had taken over the school the previous year and taught the students the Dark Arts, the teachers would bring back the former seventh years for a REAL education once Hogwarts is reopened.
Also, if you're wondering why I pulled a gender-bender on Harry - then just blame my overall weirdness, people! X3 I just thought it would be fun to do, and hell yes, I've had way too much fun writing this thing because girl!Harry is quite a challenge. But I love this fic to bits and I'm determined to finish it.
Anyway, I really hope you enjoyed it. So, how about that review? ^_^
ON THE WAY - CHAPTER TWO: Life's Back to Normal - NOT (Oh, yeah, Harry's up next XD)