A/N: I'm just going to put a warning here… the story is going to start getting darker now. I don't want to spoil it, but be warned for the emotional turmoil ahead.

Harry sat next to him, cross legged on Draco's bed. He had brought his backpack with him, as though he knew that Draco would offer for him to stay for awhile. At this point, Draco wouldn't put it past him. They had put up the wards around the bed again, although Draco added a few more this time).

Draco was rewriting his list. The paper was charmed, of course, so Harry couldn't see. He felt stupid for thinking Harry had figured out how to read it, and a little guilty about his reaction to the whole thing. But now that he was talking, Harry didn't seem like he was going to bring it up again.

Once Draco felt like he had remembered everything for the list, and crossed off everything that he needed to, he looked back up at the dark haired boy sitting next to him. Harry was biting his lip, his quill was scribbling quickly across the page.

"What are you writing so intensely about, Potter?"

"Harry," he said, not looking up.

"Excuse me?"

"My name is Harry. And I'm trying to finish a charms essay. I waited too long to start it."

Draco frowned. He looked down at his list.

They must be willing to learn.

Draco actually felt nervous. It couldn't end now, could it? Not after he just figured out that Harry still wanted to talk to him. He shook his head. He would just wait, that's all.

"Great to know that even the Boy-Who-Lived procrastinates. It makes us mortals feel much better."

Harry's quill froze. He looked up at Draco, his green eyes flashing.


He threw up his hands before Harry could start yelling.

"I was just kidding! Honest." He gave Harry the most innocent look he could muster. "Harry."

Harry rolled his eyes.

"Well, Draco, you should just be happy that the Boy-Who-Lived even finds you worthy enough to sit in your room."

"Sure, Harry." Harry's name felt weird on Draco's tongue, but he liked it. He wanted to keep saying it, just to hear the way it sounded, and to see the look in Harry's eyes when he said it. "How did you even get in here, by the way?"

Harry laughed.

"Nice try, Draco. That's a secret I'm not going to share easily."

Draco sighed dramatically, but let it go. He found Harry's mysteriousness a little alluring, not that alluring was a word Draco ever thought he would be using to describe Harry Potter. Pushing that thought aside, he leaned forward a little towards the other boy, smirking at him.

"Luckily I don't back down easily then."


Draco was feeling pretty good. Much better than the last week. Harry had stayed in his dorm until almost eleven, when he had realized what time it was and, after swearing loudly, practically ran out of the dorm, saying something about meeting Ron and chess. Which left Draco staring at the now empty spot on his bed, his mind reeling. He looked down at the list in his hands, remembering his moment of doubt earlier. He was now determined to keep waiting. There was something about Harry. Not Potter, the boy Draco had fought with for the past five years, but Harry, the boy who snuck into the Slytherin dorms to make Draco talk to him, whose green eyes flashed when discussing the war and lit up when he finished an essay. If Draco thought about all of this too much, he would panic. But thinking only about Harry was much easier. Until the list was complete, if it even was, Draco didn't need to worry about the consequences of all of this. He didn't need to worry about what his father would say.

He wasn't even going to think about it.

Draco fell asleep that night and dreamt about black haired boys and soft lips. When he woke up, he wondered if he would ever kiss them again.

The next few days passed slowly. Draco could feel Harry trying to catch his eye whenever he saw him. Knowing they had to keep up pretenses, he would scowl back at Harry, but the scowl never reached his eyes. Somehow, he knew that Harry understood.

His thoughts were confirmed when he received a letter from a school owl at breakfast.

Tonight, 8, your room.

After not talking to Harry for a few days, Draco couldn't help but smile as he read the note.

"What's got you so happy?" Pansy asked him. Her voice was soft and quiet. Draco looked over at her. He had finally caught up with her yesterday. She seemed so tired and worried, and Draco had felt awful for ignoring her. She said she had been avoiding everyone, but Draco knew that if he hadn't been so moody from the whole list fiasco, he would have made more of an effort to find her. He wondered if she knew that too.

"Nothing," he said, trying to stop the smile that was etching itself into his face, "it's nothing."

"Hm," was all she said. She picked at her toast. Draco realized that she hadn't eaten anything all morning. "Well, I'm happy for you, whatever it is."

"Thanks," he said. He tucked the note away quickly and stared at her intently. "Pansy, you need to eat something."

Malfoys don't talk about their worries in public, but he tried to convey his concern for her through this command. He knew that she would understand it, she knew him better than almost anyone else. They had grown up together, and as much as Draco found her annoying, as much as he knew they would never end up together, despite her childhood hopes that they would, he really did care about her.

"I'm fine Draco. I'm going home tomorrow, mum'll feed me plenty there."

Her voice was strained.

"Tomorrow?" Draco tried to keep his voice even. Pansy was avoiding his eyes. "Already?"

She nodded. Standing up, she waved goodbye to him.

"I'll see you later, Draco. We can talk more in—private."


"Hey," a voice said. Draco jumped, a book falling off his bed as he did so. He had been lost in thoughts of Pansy, who told him when he went to visit her in her room after dinner that everything was really fine; she had it all under control. She had been shaking though, and as Draco left he saw an owl arrive with a letter for her. As she said goodnight and closed the door,

Draco could hear the sound of parchment tearing and of Pansy's sobs. Not knowing what to do, Draco returned to his room.

He had been trying to write his potions essay, but he couldn't stop thinking about Pansy, and about family, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. He hated this: the sense of duty they all felt to their families, what they had to do if they wanted their families to stay alive. He hated it. He hated that Pansy was the first.

"Hey," Draco replied, his pulse racing. Harry kicked off his sneakers and climbed onto the bed.

"You look surprised," Harry said. "Did you forget I was coming?"

Draco shook his head.

"I didn't realize the time. I'd been lost in thought."

"Care to share?"

Draco shook his head again. Maybe someday, maybe. But not now. It was too dangerous.

"I can't tell Harry Potter, Savior of the Light, the troubles of evil Slytherins, Harry." He meant it as a joke, but it came out much sharper. He looked down at his lap.

"Maybe not," Harry said, after a long pause. "Harry Potter might just laugh in your face."

Draco blinked.

"But Harry," he continued, "Harry is willing to learn all about Draco, the confused evil Slytherin."

And suddenly Harry's eyes were closed and he was coming closer to Draco. And even though it wasn't the first time, Draco felt very nervous, but he leaned forward slightly to meet Harry's lips. Their kiss was long, but soft and tame. Draco could feel the trust that was forming between them; Harry was not pumping Draco for information, but instead trying to show him with his wonderfully gentle lips that Draco's secrets would be safe.

When the kiss ended, Harry leaned back to look into Draco's eyes. For once, Draco felt like his mask was completely down.

"Harry, I—"

There was a loud thump noise, and Draco stopped talking. Suddenly, a third voice could be heard. Harry and Draco froze.

"—you have to stop with these—damn wards—Draco!"

Theodore's head finally popped through the curtain. His eyes were dark and his face was pale. It seemed to take him a second to notice Harry. His eyes widened slightly.

"I—I'm not going to even ask. Draco, you need to come with me, right now."

"Theo, I'm kind of in the middle of something. I'll be out in a second." Draco said, trying to remain calm, as though there was nothing different going on. As though he didn't have Harry Potter sitting extremely close to him on his bed, both of them with slightly swollen lips.

"Draco, now. It's Pansy." Theodore choked on her name. Draco felt his blood run cold.

"What about her? Did she leave early?"

"Draco." Theodore's dark eyes closed for a second, when they reopened, they were emotionless; blank. "Millicent found Pansy in the bathroom. She's—she's dead."