This was written for the first annual HD Smoochfest on Livejournal. Fluffy fics galore! I'll add the link at the bottom for anyone interested. The prompts were: Malfoy Manor, broom, the Elder Wand, and they wanted a creature fic... I cracked it up. A lot.
Invasion of Privacy
Harry flew low, skimming the treetops and frightening birds into flight. It was possible that what he was doing was slightly unethical, but he simply did not trust the Malfoys' retreat from public society. He had studied every article in the Daily Prophet that concerned them, attended all of the Death Eater trials (during which they had been largely cleared of wrongdoing on the basis of coercion and with the assistance of huge sums of Galleons), and listened to every syllable of gossip that mentioned them during public functions.
He refused to admit that he might be obsessed, despite Ron and Hermione's insistence that he forget about the Malfoys and get on with his life. Even Harry's enrolment in the Ministry's Auror Training Program had not altered his need to keep an eye on the blond family.
Harry had scouted the Manor several times before, looking for any unusual activity, but he had never flown quite so low. Normally he used Omnioculars and stuck to the higher altitudes, but he had forgotten the device today.
The brick wall of the Manor grounds appeared and Harry slowed, searching for any sign of movement. Normally the Malfoys were not even visible; they seldom ventured beyond the house, it seemed. Harry had George working on a way to see through walls, but so far he hadn't come up with anything useful.
Harry was lucky today. He caught sight of a dark-clad figure skulking at the edge of a pond set close to what he had privately dubbed "Malforest", which was a huge expanse of thick trees and untamed wilderness, probably filled with horrific monsters and deadly plants.
Harry slowed as he crossed the wall, intending to drop into the trees and approach on foot, but something went wrong. His broom suddenly sped up and plunged toward the ground, still on a trajectory with whatever Malfoy stood in his path.
Harry tried desperately to turn his broom, but it refused to respond. It hurtled directly for a large boulder. Harry threw himself from the broom desperately—too late. He flipped arse over teakettle in the air, landed on his back with an air-stealing thud, and skid several metres to stop directly at the feet of Draco Malfoy.
Harry blinked up at him as he forced his lungs to draw in oxygen.
"Nice of you to drop in, Potter," Malfoy said conversationally.
Draco stared down at the Chosen One with a smirk. He had wondered what Potter had been up to since the final battle. Of course, he had been in the papers, but that was only public knowledge and gossip. Draco wasn't interested in Potter's heroic personae.
I'm not interested in Potter at all, he reminded himself sternly and wondered what had prompted an unscheduled visit from the Auror-in-training.
Potter blinked up at him, struggling to breathe. Draco waited. "Um. Hi," Potter said finally. Draco clenched his jaw and watched as Potter climbed stiffly to his feet and then wandered back to where his broom had crashed.
"Damn it!" Potter shouted. He held up several long wooden splinters that had formerly been his broom. Draco shrugged. It served the idiot right for trespassing.
"Just wait," Draco said cryptically. "It gets better."
Potter glared at him. "What do you mean by that?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Pureblood families have wards, Potter. Didn't they teach you that in Auror School?"
Potter gathered the final pieces of his broom and stood with an armful of kindling and bristles. "Of course."
Draco nodded. "We have a few enemies, so our wards are a bit… stronger than others."
"I noticed. Is there any way I can fix this?"
Draco shrugged. "I'll ask father."
He smiled when Potter blanched. The green eyes flicked to the jar in Draco's hand. "You're… collecting gnats?"
"One of the primary ingredients in Pepperup Potion." Trust Potter not to know that. His nose wrinkled and Draco sympathized for a moment. One drawback to making your own potions was the knowledge of what they contained prior to consumption. "Why? Did you think I was out here sinking a body into the pond?"
Potter's guilty flush made Draco roll his eyes. "Come along, since you're here. Idiot."
Harry followed Malfoy and idly wondered if he always dressed so nicely on a casual Saturday. The dark blue robes were more stylish than anything in Harry's wardrobe and looked far too formal for collecting insects. Malfoy's hair was perfect, as usual, slicked back in his preferred fashion, although it had grown a bit longer since Harry had last seen him, brushing the edges of his collar when he turned his head to look back. In fact, he looked far more relaxed and healthy than Harry could ever remember.
Malfoy walked up the steps and opened the large door. "Mother!" he bellowed. "Harry Potter is here!"
Harry winced. He preferred to be on his way without encountering either of the elder Malfoys, but such was not to be. Narcissa glided down the stairs, looking just as well-dressed as Draco in elegant robes of not-quite-Slytherin green.
"Auror Potter," she said fluidly. "How nice to see you again."
Harry coughed. "Not quite Auror yet, Mrs Malfoy. Sorry for dropping in… unannounced."
"That is quite all right. You are always welcome here." The words were polite, but the tone behind them sounded less than sincere. She frowned and glanced at Draco. "I was wondering who tripped the wards. I assumed it was Draco being careless."
Malfoy—Draco, Harry corrected mentally, since he was in a house full of Malfoys now—glared at his mother. "Hardly," he said. "Potter broke his broom."
Narcissa tsked. "That is a shame. Are you injured?"
"No. I'm fine. I just… I'll be going, actually. Do you mind if I Floo home from here?"
Narcissa looked amused for a moment. "I'm afraid that won't be possible. We were disconnected from the Floo Network during that… unpleasantness with You Know Who, and never bothered to have them reinstate our connection. Frankly, we feel safer this way, with the lessened possibility of strangers popping in unannounced."
Like me, Harry thought and tried not to flush. "Um… okay. No Floo Network." Harry's heart sank. Without his broom, he would have to Apparate in stages and it was a hell of a long way back to London from Wiltshire. The Burrow wasn't far, but he would never hear the end of it if he Apparated there from Malfoy Manor in order to Floo back home.
"He wants to fix his broom," Draco added. A house-elf popped up and removed the jar from Draco's hand before disappearing. Harry wondered vaguely if they always anticipated the needs of the residents.
Narcissa pursed her lips. "I shall ask Lucius. Make yourself comfortable in the lounge, Mr Potter. We will be with you in a moment. Draco, please entertain our guest." She turned and made her way back up the stairs.
Draco lifted a hand and gestured toward a nearby archway. Harry reluctantly entered the room, which was surprisingly cosy. It was furnished with pale-coloured wood and tawny brown shades, with large French doors open to admit the afternoon sunlight and a gentle breeze. Draco cleared a table with a wave of his wand and Harry set the remains of his broom upon it.
"Thanks," Harry muttered.
"So. You just happened to be in the neighbourhood, then?" Draco asked and leaned against the doorframe, staring out at the cultured garden.
"Something like that," Harry said lamely and hoped Draco would not continue the conversation. His platinum head turned and grey eyes met his with an amused glint for a moment. Harry almost groaned aloud; there was no way in hell he could concoct a decent excuse for being out this far. It was obvious Harry was spying on them. He sought to distract him. "That was a pretty potent Warding Spell. How does it work?"
He listened with half an ear as Draco explained the mechanics of the spell. He seldom inquired into the inner working of magic—he just repeated the words and movements as he was taught and hoped the spell did as it should.
"There was a secondary Ward, also," Draco said. "I suppose I should forewarn you."
Harry looked at him curiously, but his attention went to Lucius Malfoy, who breezed into the room in a flurry of ice blue robes. A silver filet held his hair in place and made him look like an ancient Nordic prince, something Harry had little doubt was intentional.
"Harry Potter," Lucius said by way of greeting. "To what do we owe this… pleasure?"
Harry refrained from sneering, with effort. "Lucius," he said almost politely. "I seem to have run afoul of one of your Warding Spells. I need to repair my broom so that I can be on my way."
"On your way," Lucius said and shot a quick, enigmatic glance at Draco, who shrugged. Harry frowned at the exchange.
"Yes. On my way. I did not mean to crash land on your property and since I cannot Floo and would prefer not to Apparate… Well, any assistance you can give me would be appreciated. I'm sure you don't want me here any more than I—" He choked back, want to be here.
"Interesting. I thought it would be a simple matter for you to wave the Elder Wand and send yourself straight back to London in one fell swoop," Lucius replied.
Harry pursed his lips. "You know I don't have the Elder Wand."
Lucius caressed the fanged head of his snake cane. "Pity. It would certainly make repairing your broom a simpler matter."
Narcissa flitted into the room and looped her arm through that of Lucius. She rested her head against his shoulder and gazed at him adoringly. "Darling, did you help out poor Mr Potter?"
Lucius patted her hand and smiled down at her. His features softened and Harry was startled for a moment; Lucius looked quite different without his cold mask in place. He looked younger and softer, more like… Draco.
Harry looked at Draco, who still leaned against the doorframe, rubbing at a temple with one hand and looking out at the landscape.
"Of course, my dear," said Lucius. "I was about to take the Savior of Us All downstairs."
"Downstairs? To the dungeon?" she asked.
Harry's gaze snapped back to the pair at the word. Narcissa's voice sounded a bit breathless and she ran her fingers up and down Lucius' arm. Harry's eyes widened and he heard Draco groan.
"Perhaps Draco should escort him," Lucius said in a purring tone, staring into Narcissa's eyes. Harry tugged at his collar, feeling the temperature in the room rise. Apparently the elder Malfoys were still very much in love.
"Draco, take Mr Potter to the dungeon."
Before Harry could protest, Draco stalked past them all and out the door with a brusque, "Come on, Potter."
Harry hurried after him, glad to escape his parents, who were staring into each other's eyes as if they were alone in the room.
"Bring the broom," Draco snapped in the hallway. Harry flushed and went back for it, in time to witness a scorching kiss between Lucius and Narcissa. He snatched up the broken pieces of his broom and escape, blushing furiously.
As he followed the younger Malfoy, he asked, "Are they always like that?"
"You have no idea," Draco replied in a long-suffering tone.
Potter trotted along behind him obediently and Draco savoured the novelty of the situation for a moment, particularly in consideration of where he was taking the man.
"Dungeon?" Potter asked in a rather squeaky tone when Draco opened the secret door and they began to descend a dark staircase.
"Oh, we just call it that," Draco said. "It was a dungeon when the Manor was first built, of course, but now it's mostly used as my father's laboratory." Draco shuddered slightly. Mostly it was used for his parents' sexual bondage games, but he preferred not to think about that. Ever. He was sure the mere mention of it upstairs had brought on their sudden onslaught of lust. He rolled his eyes. Sometimes it still surprised him that he was an only child.
When they reached the bottom of the stairs, Draco looked around, trying to see the place through Potter's eyes. Despite the two fully functional prison cells, the room was one of Draco's favourites.
Potter's eyes went straight to the barred cells and his eyes widened when he saw the shackles on the walls. "Are those—?"
Draco nodded. "Yes, one never knows when one might need to detain someone, although we mostly keep them for the sake of nostalgia. However, you need not worry about the cells, unless you have some sort of master/prisoner kink. I can lock you up, if you'd like?"
Potter blushed and stammered in a way that Draco found bizarrely striking. He allowed his eyes to travel over the Auror-in-training, viewing him in a new light. Potter had filled out nicely since the war. Draco had always found men and women equally attractive, but he had never expected to find Potter in that category. Mostly he had considered him to be a four-eyed git, but now…
"No!" Potter cried. "No, of course not! I just meant… Well, why did you detain me in the cellar when Voldemort was… You know. When Voldemort was coming."
Draco scowled. "The Dark Lord did not need to know all of our secrets. It was bad enough that he was here, in our home, forcing us to do unspeakable things. Thank Merlin he never knew this place was here. Father removed our memories of it and stored them for safekeeping until the war was over."
Potter looked around and nodded, but Draco shook off the unpleasant thought and cleared a space on one of the worktables. Potter set down his broom pieces and looked at them dubiously.
"Have at it, Potter. I'll be over here working on my Pepperup Potion."
Two hours later, Draco frowned at his second ruined potion. For some reason he was finding it difficult to concentrate. He glared at Potter, knowing it was his fault. Potter was working tirelessly on his broom, wand out, brow furrowed in concentration, and teeth clamped on his lower lip, which had grown quite pink from the number of times Potter had gnawed on it.
Worst of all, the bastard had removed his shirt. Sweat glistened on Potter's torso, highlighting his muscles and trickling down the light trail of hair that drew his attention to the form-fitting jeans Potter wore low on his hips. They seemed overly large for the Gryffindor and the heavy belt threatened to drag them even lower. Bloody hell, the man was definitely fit.
Potter's too-green eyes snapped up suddenly and caught Draco watching him. Horrifyingly, Draco felt a flush begin to stain his cheeks, but he refused to look away. Instead, he drawled, "You're doing it wrong."
Potter glared and Draco's tension ebbed at the familiar expression. "I'm not a damned broommaker! The pieces are not fitting together properly! Even if I can repair it, I doubt it will fly properly—if at all." Potter straightened and put both hands on his hips before arching his back as if to stretch out the kinks. Draco forced his eyes away as the movement caused Potter's jeans to ride even lower, exposing far too much of his lower abdomen.
"I don't suppose you would consider letting me borrow your broom?" Potter asked.
Draco snorted a laugh. "That would go over well. The Savior of the World riding the broom of an ex-Death Eater."
Potter scowled. "No one would know it was yours. It's not like it has your name on it… Oh. It does, doesn't it?" He rolled his eyes.
Draco smirked. "Of course it does. In glowing letters."
"Too bad you can't go anywhere without the press following your every movement. How did you manage to get all the way out here without an entourage?"
"I ditched them in London. I know my way around better than they do when it comes to maintaining the Statute for Secrecy."
"Of course. We can't have you breaking any laws, can we?" Draco asked archly.
Potter met his eyes again with a strange, broad smile that made something shift in Draco's midsection. For the first time he thought he might not know Potter as well as he thought. Potter chuckled.
"No, we can't have that," he agreed.
He bent back to his task and Draco frowned, wondering at the time. "Potter, there is something you should know about the Warding Spell you tripped."
Potter looked at him curiously and that was when it happened. Potter's eyes widened and he straightened, pinning Draco with a stare that instantly turned accusatory when the change swept through him.
Oh shit, Draco thought. Sundown.
He watched in horror as Potter's handsome features melted and reformed, shifting into something new and different. The black hair lengthened and spread, quickly covering Potter's face, torso, and arms. Horns sprouted from his head and curled into the air. His fingers grew and his nails turned into wicked-looking claws.
Potter dropped to the floor, writhing, and Draco hurried around the table, wondering what he could do to help. He had known what the spell did, but he had never seen the effects in action. The process looked… painful.
Potter howled, giving credence to the thought, and Draco clapped his hands over his ears to block the high-pitched wail. When it was over, Potter got to his feet—all four of them—and glared at Draco through baleful green eyes. Draco's heart leaped into his throat as he realized his mistake. He began to back away slowly.
Potter bared his teeth—well, fangs, really—and advanced menacingly. If Potter possessed human intelligence beneath the animalistic façade, there was no sign of it.
"Now, there, Potter," Draco said soothingly and held out his hands. Fuck, his wand was on the worktable.
The beast growled. Draco turned to flee, but the creature was quick as lightning. A heavy weight hit Draco's side and bore him to the ground.
Whose brilliant idea was it to turn trespassers into gigantic lethal beasts? Draco thought in panic as hot breath panted over his neck. Fangs closed over his throat and hot breath steamed his skin. Draco cringed and waited to die, which was quite ironic considering his own family's idiotic spell was to blame.
To his surprise, the sharp teeth did not close. Instead a large tongue lapped over his throat as if sampling his flavour.
Please do not let me taste like food, Draco begged. Warm wetness drew over his throat again and the teeth disappeared. When Draco opened his eyes the tongue swiped across his mouth and nose, leaving a trail of saliva.
"Ew, gross!" Draco cried, unable to stop himself. "Get off of me, Potter!" He pushed at the beast in vain—it did not budge. Draco cringed as breath tickled his face and throat, moving slowly down across his chest and torso. The creature was sniffing him.
Potter's furred snout reached Draco's crotch and he stared at it in disbelief, wondering if Potter really was aware in there, and giving in to some sort of perverted fantasy… except that the sniffing increased excitedly as it reached a lump in Draco's pocket.
The beast huffed, almost like a dog, and Draco blinked at it; the creature suddenly looked more friendly than frightening. Draco suddenly realized what it wanted.
"The sweet!" he said and nearly sagged in relief. He pushed a hand into his pocket while the beast stared in rapt fixation. Draco pulled out a wrapped sweet—a hard candy shell over dark chocolate—and quickly tugged off the paper wrapping before offering it to the Potter beast.
The creature's tongue lolled out and took the sweet with surprising gentleness. It disappeared into the dark maw and Draco watched in bemusement as the creature's fangs crunched it. He frowned, trying to remember what flavour it was. Something pink. Raspberry? Pomegranate?
The beast cocked its head and huffed again before backing away, nearly dragging Draco with it until he remembered to release his hold on its fur. The creature sat on its haunches and watched Draco watching it. Draco studied the new and not-so-improved Potter. He had never seen anything like it. It almost resembled a dog, except that his shoulders were much larger and his front paws were almost humanlike, but tipped with wicked-looking claws.
Potter's head looked like a cross between a grizzly bear and a Shar-Pei—a bizarre mixture of terrifying and… cute. Small horns spiralled up from either side of his head. Large, pointed ears stood up and swivelled back and forth beneath the horns. His fur was ink-black, making the emerald eyes stand out brilliantly. Draco glanced over and noticed Potter's glasses on the floor, twisted out of shape and resting next to his discarded wand.
Draco climbed to his feet slowly and the beast cocked his head and huffed. A moment later, Draco heard his mother's voice and she appeared on the stairs, calling, "Draco? Are you all right, darling?"
Potter growled and started forward, but Draco threw himself on the creature and held on tightly. "No!" he ordered, gripping the surprisingly soft fur tightly.
Draco's mother gasped. "Oh dear, why didn't you lock him in a cell, Draco?"
"How do you propose I do that?" Draco snapped. "'Would you mind stepping into one of the cells before you turn into a beast, Potter?' That would have gone over well, I'm sure."
"There is no need for sarcasm, dear," she said disapprovingly. Potter growled, but stopped dragging Draco forward. "At least he seems obedient to your commands. Perhaps you can lock him up, now?"
Draco tried, but regardless of how he cajoled, ordered, or pushed at the beast, Potter refused to enter one of the open cells, whimpering pathetically whenever he neared the open door. Draco finally gave up and Levitated Potter inside before slamming the barred door.
He ignored the cringing, beaten puppy look the beast threw at him as it whined forlornly. He ordered, "Stay. You'll be safe in there until morning."
With that, Draco resolutely turned and headed for the stairs. His mother patted him on the shoulder as he passed. "It's for the best, dear. He'll be fine."
Draco snorted. "He'll be fine until he reverts to normal in the morning and has us all arrested."
"He was the one trespassing, Draco."
"Tell that to the Minister," he snapped and went out.
The howling began during their supper. Draco looked at his parents as the horrifying sound reverberated through the castle, carrying a magical edge that made the hair stand up on the back of Draco's neck.
"Perhaps he's hungry?" his mother suggested.
"He just ate," Draco said petulantly. A house-elf had taken Potter a plate of meat and the creature had nearly torn the elf's arm off. All the threats in the world would not force the house-elf close to the bars--it far preferred to iron it's own ears in punishment. Draco had relented and fed Potter himself, sliding the food beneath the barred door and suffering to be licked about the face while he was in range. "He drank a litre of water, also."
"Well, then, it's fairly obvious. He needs a walk."
Draco blinked at her. "A walk."
His father rolled his eyes. "Bodily functions, Draco. Attend to the beast. Take him outside, but take care not to let him escape."
"Narcissa says he won't let anyone else near him. Be a good lad." Despite the pleasant words, his father's gaze was resolute and Draco glared as he got to his feet. He stomped down to the dungeon and opened the door, allowing Potter out, which was a colossal mistake. The beast tore around the room in a frenzy, knocking over a stack of cauldrons and bumping a table hard enough to rattle the glass vials before pouncing on Draco--shoving him into the wall--and licking his face.
An assortment of shouted commands and hexes subdued Potter long enough for Draco to take off his own belt and fashion a collar for the beast. He hoped he imagined the slightly panicked look in the green eyes as he tightened it around Potter's neck, but his imagination stubbornly supplied an image of the long, cold hallways of Azkaban.
"I hope to Salazar you can't remember any of this in the morning," he muttered. He looped a hand through Potter's collar and led the surprisingly docile beast up the stairs and out to the garden. Once outside, he quickly Transfigured a length of twine into a leash and tugged the sniffing creature past his mother's rosebushes to the grassy meadow beyond the cultivated garden. Potter cavorted happily, bounding through the grass, and Draco was hard pressed to keep the leash at a proper length.
Thankfully, whenever Draco tugged at it, the beast would stop and then gallop back in Draco's direction. After what seemed eternity, Potter wandered behind a bush and attended to his business, finally allowing Draco to pull him back inside in the growing darkness.
Returning to the dungeon, however, was problematic. Potter dug his feet into the carpet and refused to budge when they neared the stairs leading downward. Apparently he had no wish to return to the cell. Draco sighed and Levitated him once more, a manoeuvre made more difficult by the beast thrashing and the fact that Draco had to navigate them both down the stairs.
By the time Potter was ensconced back in his cell, Draco was exhausted and panting. He put out the lights, bid Potter a good night, and went to bed.
An hour later, Draco was awakened from a dead sleep by bone-chilling wails. He swore and dragged a pillow over his head in order to block out the noise, with limited effectiveness.
The wails grew louder and more tormented, until Draco heard his name bellowed loudly enough to be heard over Potter's howls. Draco dragged on a dressing gown and stalked down the hall, to be met by his parents.
"Can't you silence him?" his father demanded.
Draco glared at him. "I am not the one that set up the bloody spell in the first place! Whose idea was it to turn trespassers into giant, raving beasts, anyway? Does that not seem counter-productive?"
His father returned a baleful glare and muttered something about the spell being a leftover brilliant idea of the Dark Lord's that no one bothered to change. "That's beside the point!" Lucius continued. "The point is that Potter seems to feel that you are his master, so you are the one that needs to contend with him. It's only until morning, anyway."
"Well, what do you expect me to do with him?" Draco yelled. "I'm not going to sit down there and sing lullabies all night long!"
"Oh, come along," his mother said with a sigh. "We will think of something."
The three of them trooped down to the dungeon in time to witness Potter's howls attain a high enough pitch to break glass. They raced down the steps just as vials and jars began to explode all over the room.
His father's shriek mingled with Potter's wail for a moment, sounding oddly harmonic, and then the beast went silent, tail wagging as it viewed Draco.
"He ruined my Lamnis Dust!" his father shouted. "It's rendered inert when exposed to the air! Do you know how much this costs?"
His mother hurried over and patted his father on the shoulder, crooning, while Draco rubbed his own aching temples. Potter huffed happily and placed his front paws on the bars while shoving his nose through, obviously ecstatic at seeing Draco again.
"Get him out of here!" his father said hoarsely. "I don't care where you take him, but get him out." He examined another broken container with something akin to a sob.
"There, there, Lucius. It's not that bad. And look, once Draco takes Potter upstairs, we will have the whole room to ourselves. I know you've been wanting me to try out that new leather--" Draco blanched as her voice thankfully dropped to a whisper. His father chuckled wickedly and Draco flung Potter's door open.
He wrapped a hand in Potter's collar and dragged the beast quickly up the stairs, wincing when his parents began to snog before he could escape. He sighed when he reached the relative safety of the main hallway. What the hell was he supposed to do with Potter?
In the end, he simply took the beast to his room and ordered him to lie down on the carpet at the foot of the bed. The beast complied and seemed to go straight to sleep without a whisper or a whine. Draco rolled his eyes, climbed back beneath his blankets, and went to sleep.
Harry awakened feeling decidedly strange. And cold; he was most definitely cold.
He moved closer to a comforting spot of warmth and pulled the object nearer. Someone murmured and a hand moved in his hair. His eyes snapped open.
What the hell?
Harry pushed himself up to brace himself on his hands. He lay half atop someone whose hand fell away and dropped to the white sheets. Harry's eyes travelled up the dark-clad sleeve and fixed on the bright hair. Dear Merlin.
The not-so-mysterious someone moved and then pale lids lifted to reveal grey eyes. Harry froze, panicked at the realization that he was in Draco Malfoy's bed. Even worse, he was nude in Draco Malfoy's bed!
Thankfully, Draco seemed just as surprised.
Harry blinked at him, trying to connect his surroundings to his last memory. It was a disjointed haze. He remembered… bloody hell, he remembered jumping on Draco and… biting him? He recalled a cold floor and bars, and the horrible feeling of being trapped.
Draco's scent assaulted him, a strange mixture of spice, soap, and pure masculinity. It seemed to trigger something in Harry, something primitive and corporeal, invoking an immediate physical response.
A strange smile curved Draco's lips. "Nice collar," he said in a purring tone. He reached out and snagged something around Harry's neck before dragging him forward. Harry gasped. His eyes widened as he lost his balance and fell back onto Draco's torso, thankfully covered in silk pyjamas.
Several bright flashes penetrated Harry's astonishment and he glanced over to see a house-elf holding a camera, clicking merrily and nearly blinding Harry with flares of light.
Oh shit, he thought.
He tore away from Draco's grip and snatched an armful of blankets to cover his nakedness. Luckily, the shock of the camera flash had destroyed his erection. He could only imagine what Draco would have had to say about that.
The house-elf disappeared with a pop.
Harry climbed backward off the bed, dragging the large quilt and one sheet with him, slowing revealing Draco's lean form with the movement.
"What the hell was that?" Harry yelped.
"Have you never seen a house-elf before, Potter?" Draco asked mildly.
"Of course I have! Why was it taking pictures? And what am I doing in your bed?"
Draco pouted. "You don't remember?"
Harry thought he might be losing his mind. Had they actually--? He goggled at Draco.
"Absolutely not," Harry said flatly. He repeated it to himself a few times, just to make sure the idea took root. Draco looked far too attractive lying on the bed wearing an unusual smirk, especially when he rolled onto his side and propped his head on one hand.
"Pity," Draco said.
Harry glared and tried to arrange the blankets to cover himself as well as possible. "What do you mean by that? And where did that house-elf go? What does he plan to do with those photos?"
Draco shrugged. "He will probably try to sell the photos to the Daily Prophet, although they never seem interested. The Quibbler has purchased a few in the past."
Harry stared at him. "Purchased? What do you mean purchased?"
"Wembly was accidentally freed when mother was rooting through her closet and tossed a corset over his head. Unfortunately, he refuses to leave the Manor and still tends to most of his duties, although he occasionally asks for wages. Even more frightening is the fact that he appears in a corset whenever he can get his hands on one. Mother has largely removed them from her wardrobe."
Harry shuddered. "He's free?"
Draco nodded. "Absolutely. Therefore, we have not been able to stop him from taking photos. He claims it is his duty to show the Malfoys as we really are. Thankfully, none of the papers have been particularly interested in seeing my father in his underdrawers, nor mother putting on her evening face mask."
Harry made a face and Draco laughed. "Exactly. Although I believe he made a hefty sum of Galleons selling photos of me in the altogether to Witch Weekly."
"You never saw them? Believe me, I received fan mail for months afterward. I also learned to lock the bathroom door."
Harry felt a moment of regret for not having seen said photos and then shook himself.
"Would you like copies?" Draco asked.
Harry nodded and then caught himself. "No! Of course not! What I want is my clothes. Where are my clothes?"
"Um..." Draco looked away uncomfortably and Harry flushed.
"My clothes?" he asked uneasily, suddenly aware that he was wearing a collar and nothing else.
"They were sort of destroyed when you changed."
"Destroyed? Changed?" Harry realized he sounded like a parrot and strove to stop. "Changed into what?"
"Well, I'm not entirely certain," Draco admitted as he swung his legs off the bed and walked to the wardrobe on the far wall. "Would you like to borrow a dressing gown?"
Questions tumbled through Harry's mind, but he fought them down. "What I would like is my clothing and my wand. But I'll take the dressing gown at the moment."
Draco pulled a midnight blue length of material from the cabinet and tossed it to Harry, who nearly dropped the bedding in order to grab it. He glared at the blond before turning his back and donning the dressing gown.
"Well, well, Potter, who would have guessed?" Draco murmured.
"Guessed what?" Harry snapped. He was in no mood for games, fearing that he had been Transfigured by one of the Malfoys into... Merlin knew what. And collared.
"Who would have guessed what a delectable arse you were hiding under your robes?"
Harry spun and glared at Draco. "Very fucking funny. Now where is my wand?"
Draco grinned hugely, shrugged, and led the way out the door. Harry followed, trying not to notice that Draco Malfoy had a very nice arse, indeed, even though he was an utter fuckwit for making Harry consider it in the first place.
And he had to remember to ask him about that confounded house-elf with the camera.
Draco was still mulling over the novelty of finding Harry Potter in his bed as he led the way to the dining room. Potter might want clothing and a wand, but Draco wanted breakfast. For some reason, the sight of the Chosen One's naked arse had made him hungry. Possibly because the bastard looked positively edible.
Draco scowled and coughed loudly. He counted to twenty slowly while Potter gave him a perplexed look. "Trust me, you will never want to barge in on my parents in this house. It is not a pretty picture."
He was glad of the precaution when he stepped into the room. As expected, his mother was parked on his father's lap and she was feeding him by hand. From the swollen pink colour of his lips they had been doing less eating and more snogging. Draco shuddered.
"Potter!" his father barked. "How nice to see you looking less hirsute! I trust you are well?"
"No, I am not well," Potter snapped. "What happened to me?"
Draco strode forward and sat down at the opposite end of the table from his parents. He always found it easier to keep down his meals that way. A house-elf popped up with a glass of current juice and a plateful of toast.
"The warding spell you broke through yesterday was multi-layered. Crashing your broom was a minor effect. The secondary spell turned you into some sort of beast."
"Turned me into a beast," Potter repeated and Draco noted absently that he had been doing that quite often this morning.
"Sit down and eat, Potter," he said. "There is nothing you can do about it, except let it run its course."
Potter woodenly walked forward and sat near Draco. Several plates appeared before him and he picked up his fork to angrily skewer a sausage. "What sort of course?" he demanded.
Draco's father shrugged and stuck his tongue out to receive a fresh berry from his mother's fingers. Draco shifted his attention back to Potter resolutely, suppressing a grimace of revulsion.
"The spell is different for everyone, Mr Potter," his mother said helpfully. Draco ignored the sucking sounds coming from that end of the table, but Potter's expression told him that his father was likely performing fellatio on his mother's digits. Draco's appetite began to wane.
He signalled a house-elf. "Chad, please take a tray up to my room. I prefer to eat there this morning. Potter, do you want to come along?"
"You have a house-elf named Chad?"
"Would you like a list of our house-elf etymologies?" Draco asked dryly, getting to his feet and avoiding even a glance at his parents by looking at Potter, instead, who flushed in annoyance.
"No, I do not."
"Then, come along, unless you wish to stay and keep my parents company."
Potter's gaze shifted to the head of the table and he blushed scarlet. "No, I think I'll come with you."
"A wise decision."
Draco went out and after a few steps he felt a hand on his arm. "Wait! I still don't have my wand! And we need to talk about that house-elf with the camera!"
"Fine, let's go fetch your wand."
Draco made a detour to the dungeon, where they discovered Potter's wand missing, as were Potter's ruined clothes. The house-elves had most likely taken the tattered remnant of Potter's wardrobe, but they would never touch a wand without direct orders. That had to have been his father's handiwork.
Draco smiled brightly at Potter, who had recovered his twisted glasses. He adjusted them and put them on. Draco said, "I'm afraid my father has your wand."
"For Godric's sake, I already told him it wasn't the Elder Wand! He isn't going to destroy it, is he?"
Potter looked so distressed that Draco had a bizarre urge to comfort him. He actually stepped forward and touched the sleeve of the robe Potter wore. "Of course not!" he said while mentally hoping he spoke the truth. He didn't think his father would take apart the Chosen One's wand, but stranger things had happened in the past. He would not have expected his father to follow a half-undead raving megalomaniac, either, but they all knew how that had turned out.
Potter looked down at the hand on his arm and Draco slowly removed it, but the Gryffindor did not seem upset by the gesture, even though he frowned. "About the photos..."
Draco smiled. "Yes, well, as I was saying, we don't have much control over Wembly these days."
Potter glared. "It doesn't bother you that a house-elf plans to sell photos of us together in bed?"
Draco's grin widened. "Why on earth would it bother me that people think I'm shagging the Savior?"
Potter looked shocked for a moment and then his glare turned positively glacial. "You engineered the whole thing!"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Please, it was sheer happenstance. If I had engineered it, you would have been in a much more compromising position than simply waking up atop my bed unclothed."
The surprised look returned. "What do you mean?"
Draco moved closed to Potter, who bravely stood his ground like a brave little Gryffindor, although he leaned back until Draco wondered if he would topple like an unstable post. Draco touched Potter's bicep lightly, in case it became necessary to right the man. He put his face close to Potter's and whispered, "Well, for one thing, I would not have been fully clothed, would I?"
Potter's eyes widened, outlining each lovely green iris in white.
"And for another, I would have been doing far more than just letting you utilize me as a pillow."
"Far... far more?" Potter queried in a voice that was half-hushed and half-squeak.
"Yes, far far more," Draco said and allowed his lips to brush, feather-lightly, against the very edge of Potter's mouth in a not-quite kiss.
Harry thought his heartbeat had to be audible, so harshly was it pumping in his chest. The heat from Draco's body seemed to radiate into him, even though their contact was minimal--Draco's chest pressed against Harry's partially upraised arm and Draco's hand tightened on his bicep as though preventing escape.
Harry wasn't sure he could escape if he tried. He seemed to be locked in some sort of stasis, rooted to the spot by the power of Draco Malfoy's lips touching his face. The words were hypnotic.
"More?" Harry rasped and then wondered why the hell he didn't just push the blond away and escape.
"If you insist," Draco said and then it was too late to flee as the blond turned his head just enough to capture Harry's lips. Draco's other hand snaked up to hold his left arm, keeping him in place.
Draco's lips were soft, more dry than wet, and not much different from any of the girls Harry had kissed, at least at first. He seemed to take Harry's lack of violent reaction as assent, and pressed harder, applying light suction that sent tingles skittering away through Harry's blood, causing his heartbeat to pound even more loudly in his ears.
Draco's tongue traced over Harry's upper lip and then he bit down lightly on it before sucking it into his mouth and drawing back over the sensitive underside once more. Harry shivered and wondered where the air had gone, and felt his eyes flutter shut against the blurred image of Draco's closed eyes.
Oxygen seemed unimportant as long as Draco was doing that and Harry opened his mouth, hoping that wonderful tongue would continue the blissful sliding motion in other areas. Draco obliged, playing over different surfaces in Harry's mouth, the super-sensitive part of Harry's mouth just behind his front teeth, the edges of his gums, and Merlin! the top and bottom of his tongue.
Thankfully, Harry discovered it was possible to breathe through his nose, because Draco held him so tightly he thought he might expire before escaping for air--not that he cared. At least, he didn't care until the first flash penetrated his closed eyelids.
Draco pulled away sharply and his wide grey eyes met Harry's for one shocked instant. Another flash nearly blinded them and Draco turned his head sharply.
"Wembly!" he snarled.
The house-elf clicked one more photo and then popped out. Harry wrenched himself away from Draco and dragged an arm across his mouth, trying to process what had just happened.
For the love of Merlin, he had kissed Draco Malfoy. And it had been... brilliant.
Draco watched the would-be Auror through narrowed eyes and tried to pretend that he hadn't been affected by the kiss. By Salazar, what the hell had that been? He could hardly process the fact that the Chosen One had suddenly attained the title of Draco's Best Kiss.
Thankfully, said Chosen One looked more like he might inadvertently cause the floor to open up and swallow him than punch Draco. He was suddenly very glad that Potter's wand was safely elsewhere, lest the floor-swallowing become a real possibility.
Potter's cheeks were flaming red and his eyes darted around the room, looking anywhere but at Draco. His embarrassment made him look positively cute. Draco scowled at his own thoughts. Potter was certainly not cute. Draco had only kissed him to get a rise out of him. He had only kissed those lovely, wet, pouty lips in order to--
He jerked his eyes away from Potter's mouth with effort.
"Where did that bloody elf go?" Potter ground out, finally taking refuge in anger, it seemed. "Call him back here right now!"
"I can't call him. He's a free elf, remember? Thank your friend Granger."
"I want my wand this instant!" Potter practically yelled.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Fine, Potter. By Salazar's bedroom slippers, they call me the spoiled one." He brushed by Potter and started up the stairs, followed by the angry Gryffindor.
They were halfway back to the dining room when Potter asked, "Why did you kiss me?"
Draco smirked. He should have guessed Potter's mind was whirling. "You wanted me to."
That earned him a yelp out outrage. "I--! I did not!"
"You certainly did. In fact, I'll bet you want me to turn around right now and shove you against that wall right there and snog you again."
Draco stopped and looked at Potter expectantly. The Hero of the Wizarding World turned red and began to stammer incoherently, but Draco noticed he never actually manage to produce the word no. He smiled smugly.
"Too bad we don't have the time, because you would not want me to stop, and then you would forget all about your wand and end up wandering the Manor in a daze."
That seemed to snap Potter out of his inability to speak properly. "I certainly would not! Why are we standing here, anyway? Lead on! My wand, remember?" Potter waved his hand imperiously.
Draco only smiled and led them back to the dining room, only to discover that his parents had adjourned to the Morning Chamber. He led the increasingly annoyed Gryffindor that way. Thankfully, his parents were not doing anything too revolting. Instead they were seated on a sofa in front of a tea table that was nearly covered in what appeared to be photos.
"Father," Draco said. "Potter, here, would like his wand back."
"Hmmm, yes, I can quite imagine to what use Potter plans to put his wand," his father said. His mother giggled and nudged him with a hushing sound.
Draco frowned and moved closer. "What are you looking at?"
"Photos, dear. They were delivered by owl from The Quibbler, along with a release form. They are hoping to publish them first thing tomorrow."
Potter nearly knocked Draco over in his rush forward. He snatched up a photo and goggled at it.
"This one looks much better, Mr Potter. Or should I call you Harry?" Draco's mother sounded positively smug as she handed Potter another photo. Draco took them both from Potter's unresisting grip.
Draco grinned hugely at the glossy picture of Potter waking up sprawled across Draco's midsection. He felt a pang when the Gryffindor pulled him closer and snuggled against him. The scene looked positively domestic. Potter raised his head in sleepy bewilderment... The photo halted and started over right before Potter's face could reveal his shock.
Draco watched it loop several times, admiring Potter's nude form, especially the rounded cheeks of his arse. It was a pity Potter had been sleeping face down, because Draco was rather curious about...
"Give me that!" Potter snapped and grabbed the photo out of Draco's hand. His cheeks were pink again.
Draco's mother signed something with a flourish and sat back with a satisfied smile. "There! Now, Mr Potter, if you'll just add your signature here..."
"My signature? For what?"
"For the authorization, of course. I just granted permission for The Quibbler to print the photos, although Draco should probably initial them, since he is of legal age now."
"Permission?" Potter thundered. "You granted permission? Why?" Potter began to snatch the photos from the table. Draco's father held several out of Potter's reach and the two men glared at each other.
"Honestly, Potter, this is fabulous news for us," Lucius said. "Granted, the thought of you and my son shagging makes me want to Crucio myself, but the wretched public will never dare to say anything against the darling of the Chosen One." He smiled evilly. "Oh, I can hardly wait to put Hesperidia Oglethorpe in her place!"
"What?" Potter asked stupidly, seeming derailed in his grabby mission by the name.
"Hesperidia Oglethorpe. She sends Lucius these awful Howlers, denouncing him as a puppy-killer," his mother explained.
"I've never killed a puppy in my life," his father growled.
"But these photos are a lie!" Potter shouted, waving them.
An owl fluttered into the room at that moment and dropped another package on the table before winging out. They seldom bothered to hang around for owl treats, which was a lucky happenstance, in Draco's opinion. His mother untied the bundle while Potter looked at her with a stricken expression.
His mother's mouth made a perfect O when she examined the contents and handed the new photos wordlessly to Draco's father.
"A lie, Potter? No one with eyes will believe that." The smirk was perfection, something Draco had been trying to emulate his entire life. He handed Potter a photo and Draco hurried forward to encroach on the Gryffindor's personal space by looking over his shoulder.
Potter seemed too stunned to push him away. Draco nearly gaped at the picture, which was a vivid reprisal of their recent kiss. Wembly had wasted no time. Draco felt his mouth go dry as he watched Potter's lashes flutter shut as Draco kissed him. Bloody hell, it was nearly as hot to watch as it had been to perform.
Potter made a choking noise. He seemed to want to speak, but couldn't quite manage it.
Draco's father filled the silence. "All right, Potter. If my son is not good enough for the Savior of the Wizarding World, then I will make a bargain with you. I will destroy all of these photos and break your engagement to Draco in return for the Elder Wand."
Potter found his voice. "What? My whatnow?"
"The Elder Wand. I want the Elder Wand, Potter."
"Not that. The other thing. Engagement?"
Draco's mother said, "Well, of course, Mr Potter. We are an ancient pureblood family. We cannot have Draco defiled without insisting that you care for him properly. It is not acceptable for you to share his bed without the benefit of wedlock."
Draco thought Potter might have gone completely around the twist with that statement. "Wedlock?" he choked in a tiny voice.
Draco glared and snatched the photo from Potter's hands. "Bloody hell! You bastard, Potter. I wouldn't marry you if you were the last breathing human on the face of the earth."
He spun on a heel and stalked out of the room.
Harry stared after the angry blond, mind whirling. Were they all mental? Marry Draco?
"Oh, dear. I'm afraid you've hurt his feelings, Mr Potter. Not a very propitious beginning. I so hoped you two could overcome your differences." Narcissa sounded genuinely regretful and Harry turned to stare at her.
Was there something in the water in Wiltshire that made them all crazy?
"There is no help for it. They cannot get along, so the wedding is apparently out of the question," Lucius said briskly. He handed the remaining photos back to Narcissa, who studied them pensively before putting them back into the envelope. Lucius continued, "You will simply have to hand over the wand and all this nonsense will be done with."
Harry felt annoyance finally overcoming his shock. "Wand. Yes. Where is my wand? The sooner I have it back, the sooner I can leave this absolute madhouse. And for the record, I will not be marrying your son, I will not be signing over authorization to use photos taken by some elfin paparazzi, and I will NOT GIVE YOU THE ELDER WAND. Is that perfectly clear?"
With that, Harry turned and stalked after Draco, knowing his exit was less than dramatic while he wore Draco's dressing gown. He needed to find some clothing and get the hell away from Malfoy Manor, even if he had to walk.
Marrying Draco Malfoy. The very idea was preposterous!
He paused partway down the hallway, realizing he had no idea where Draco had gone. He needed to borrow some clothing, apparently, and still had not received his wand. Surely the blond was not actually upset that Harry had no intention of marrying him... was he?
Luckily, he spotted a house-elf setting up a huge bouquet of flowers at the end of the long hallway and hurried to ask it a question before it popped away to perform some other task.
"You there! Can you tell me where to find Draco?"
The house-elf looked at him with thinly veiled disdain. "Master Draco is being in the ground floor library with Master Blaise."
Master Blaise? Harry wrinkled his nose. Zabini? What was he doing here at this hour?
"Um... where is the library?"
The elf gave him directions, but finally rolled his eyes and escorted Harry, most likely to keep him from wandering off to forbidden portions of the house. Harry strode into the library, which seemed to be double the size of the library at Hogwarts. The room even had polished wooden stairs that led to a second level.
Harry's eyes went straight to Malfoy, who stood in the centre of the room next to Blaise Zabini, although next to did not quite describe their proximity. Zabini was nearly pressed up against Draco while they spoke in low voices. As Harry watched, Zabini lifted a hand and pressed his fingertips beneath Draco's chin before leaning even closer.
Fuck! Was he planning to kiss Draco? Harry felt an explosion of purest rage and he strode forward to shove Zabini with both hands. The dark-skinned man toppled over with a yelp and stared up at Harry with wide brown eyes.
"What the fuck?" Draco snarled. Harry looked at him, almost as shocked as Zabini at his own behaviour. Draco's silver eyes were stormy.
"Um..." Harry floundered, unable to explain himself.
Draco helped Zabini to his feet and Harry felt another wave of annoyance wash over him when they seemed to clasp hands a bit too long. What the hell was wrong with him?
"I need to speak with Draco... I mean Malfoy... I need to talk to you," Harry said.
Zabini's eyes roved over Harry and a smirk curved his handsome lips. Harry glared. The Slytherin was very handsome and Harry could hardly blame Draco if they had some sort of... relationship. Even though Harry didn't like blokes. Especially not Slytherin blokes. And definitely not insane Slytherin blokes with satin-soft hair and incredible lips...
He swallowed hard, watching Draco's face, which was still set in petulant lines and a pout that Harry struggled not to find cute. What the hell was wrong with him? It had to be the stupid spell. Or a different spell.
"Apparently. I simply dropped in to ask Draco to lunch, but judging by your appearance, Potter, I seem to be too late. I don't think I can compete with a half-clothed Saviour, yes, Draco?"
Amazingly, Draco's eyes softened and he actually grinned, causing Harry's heart to do a strange flip-flopping thing. Yes, definitely a spell.
"Sorry, Blaise. We shall have to postpone our luncheon."
Blaise smirked. "Don't be too rough on him, Potter." Zabini laughed and Disapparated.
Harry frowned. "What did he mean by that?"
Surprisingly, a pink blush tinted Draco's cheeks, making him look even more fetching. Harry wished he could stop thinking of the blond as attractive, but once started it seemed impossible for him to stop.
"Never mind, Potter. Come along. I've thought of a solution to your problem. I will give you some decent clothing, first. Hopefully your body won't go into shock at being decently attired, for once in your life."
Draco brushed past him and out. Harry trailed after him once more, hurrying to keep up.
"Is there something... going on between you and Blaise?" he asked and then mentally bit his tongue for allowing the wayward thought to escape.
"That depends upon what you mean by going on," Draco answered blithely and took the stairs two at a time.
Harry made a brave effort not to watch Draco's arse and nearly succeeded. The blond did not pause until they were back in his bedroom, where Draco wrenched open his wardrobe and began to toss items of clothing at Harry.
"Socks, undershirt, pants--I certainly will not be wanting those back--trousers, they should fit you, although they might be a bit tight in the arse. I can have Marigold take them out for you, if necessary. Here's a jumper; you might not need it depending upon how warm the weather turns, but better to have it, just in case, yes?"
Harry stood with an armful of clothing and listened to Draco's dialog until the blond turned and looked at him. "Well, Potter, do you plan to stand there all day, or are you going to get dressed?"
"Um... is there somewhere I can...?"
Draco rolled his eyes. "Modesty. How quaint, considering I've already seen you naked. The bath chamber is there." Draco waved a hand toward a door on the other side of the room and Harry bolted.
He reluctantly took off the leather collar and set it on the edge of the washstand. His fingers caressed it for a moment, although he wasn't sure why he felt a pang of regret at removing it. Was it simply that he had never belonged to anyone before? He snorted and made a mental note to see a Mind-Healer when he got back to town.
Everything fit to perfection--except the trousers. Draco had been right about that. They were definitely snug. He was reluctant to return to the bedroom. The damned things showed off every curve, both front and behind. He tugged down the hem of the blue cashmere jumper, but it was not long enough to conceal anything.
He sighed and walked out, waiting for the inevitable snickering. It never came. He met Draco's eyes, only to find the blond staring at him with such an intense expression that he felt his mouth go dry. Draco had also dressed while Harry had been in the bathroom. He looked cool and pristine in robes of pale grey.
Harry looked at the floor as heat rushed into his cheeks and then Draco turned away.
"Come with me," he said sharply and Harry did not bother to argue. Another trek through the Manor led them to the garden. Malfoy stopped in a grove of cultivated bushes and trees. He used his wand to cut a small branch from a tree.
"You know what the Elder Wand looks like, correct?" Draco asked.
Harry nodded, puzzled.
"Take this and fashion it into a copy of the Elder Wand. You can give it to my father in exchange for the photos and then you can be on your way, since you're in such a bloody hurry to escape my company."
Harry frowned at Draco's tone. Surely he was just as anxious for Harry to leave? "What about the spell? Won't I turn into a beast again?"
Draco shook his head. "The spell only last for 24 hours. It will fade this afternoon." Draco handed Harry his wand just as a house-elf popped up. "Marigold, please fetch Harry Potter's wand from wherever my father has hidden it. And fix Potter's trousers."
Draco turned his back and Harry felt a loosening sensation as his trousers grew to a more comfortable size. The elf disappeared. Harry scowled at Draco's back and Transfigured the branch into a simulacrum of Dumbledore's old wand. Malfoy's wand was sluggish and he was relieved when Marigold returned with his own wand.
The task was slightly easier once he handed back Draco's wand and used his own. The blond nodded curtly when he was done.
"That will do. Your Transfiguration skills are improving, at least."
Harry blinked at him, thinking it was the only compliment he had ever received from Draco, until he remembered Malfoy mentioning his arse. "Thanks," he said.
He walked beside the sombre blond as they started back toward the house. "Um. You wouldn't really want to marry me, right? That was just your mother having me on, wasn't it?"
Draco's silver eyes slanted toward him and then away. "I suppose you'll never know, Potter. Run along back to the Ministry and your normal little life."
Harry scowled. Draco was right; he did not need to get involved with the Malfoys. He vowed to stop stalking them altogether. They did not seem to be up to anything nefarious, after all, they were simply completely bollocking mad.
Draco's parents were in the same room as before. Thankfully, they were not snogging--or worse. Narcissa was reading from a scroll while a house-elf stood patiently nearby. Lucius was dictating loudly while a black Quick-Quotes Quill scratched on a piece of parchment that hovered in front of him.
"...kindly inform Mr Jones that if he does not pay the rent by the fifteenth of the month that he shall be trying to run his restaurant with a permanent set of antlers." Lucius noticed Harry and added, "Scratch that last bit. Of course I would never give a business associate antlers. I will work with Mr Jones for as long as it takes to ensure his ability to make future rent payments in a timely manner."
Harry made a mental note to look up "Mr Jones" and keep an eye out for random attacks of antlers.
"I've decided to turn over the Elder Wand," Harry stated bluntly. "I doubt it will work for you, since it technically belongs to me, but you are welcome to try it. Give me the pictures."
Lucius hurried across the room, snatching up the two photo packets in passing. Harry held out the wand and Lucius grabbed it roughly at the same time Harry took the photos.
Lucius bellowed a huge, demented laugh and held the wand high. "YES! Finally! I will RULE THE WORLD!" He laughed again and clutched the fake wand to his chest, fondling it like a prized pet.
Draco sighed and Narcissa smiled fondly. Harry glared and turned to Draco. "You knew this would happen."
Draco nodded. Lucius levelled the bit of elder at Harry and yelled, "Imperio!"
Harry snatched the faux wand with a curse. "That's it. I am out of this madhouse. Good day to you all."
He turned and marched for the door, ignoring the bedlam behind him as Narcissa tried to comfort the angry Lucius. Harry made it down the front steps before he remembered his broom was still in pieces in the Malfoy dungeon. He snarled and walked down the drive, intending to Apparate in stages. He would be exhausted, but it was better than spending one more minute in the company of Malfoys.
The crunch of gravel behind him made him glance over his shoulder. Draco caught up, holding a broom in his hand. "Here, Potter. I would have given you this before, but we couldn't have you turning into a beast while flying. It's an old broom. No monograms. You'll be safely anonymous."
Harry took it and his fingers brushed against Draco's for a moment. Their eyes locked and Harry froze, nearly overcome with the desire to lean forward and kiss the blond again. He looked away, confused.
"Thanks," he said.
"Have a good life, Potter."
"Yeah, you, too." Harry mounted the broom, kicked off, and flew away without looking back.
Draco watched until Potter was a dark speck that disappeared over the treetops. He sighed and wished he didn't feel so... disappointed.
He turned and kicked at the gravel as he slowly walked back toward the house. What had he expected? Potter was a straight arrow, the Ministry's Poster Child for Good, and probably the future Minister for Magic. Draco was... Well, he was an ex-Death Eater with insane parents and nothing to offer the Saviour of the Wizarding World.
He frowned, annoyed that he had even considered becoming involved with Potter. Still, that kiss, it had been something special. He thought Potter had felt it, too.
Draco paused and fished the purloined photo from his robe pocket. He watched Potter's black lashes flutter shut and his head tip to allow Draco better access to his mouth. Draco lifted a finger to trace the edge of Potter's thick hair, remembering the texture. He frowned and returned the picture, knowing he would have wank material for a few months, at any rate.
He started down the path once more, but a loud shout drew his attention. Potter careened straight for him, broom shaking wildly, out of control. Draco leaped aside and cast a quick spell that slowed the broom.
Potter flew through the air--sans broom--in a fashion remarkably similar to the way he had done before. Draco winced when the Gryffindor hit the gravel and slid several feet. He ran over and looked down at Potter in amazement.
"Potter, are you a complete imbecile? You triggered the ward spells again!"
The fallen man simply raised a hand and beckoned Draco closer. Draco knelt and leaned down, wondering if the bloody idiot had a head wound.
Potter's hand curled around the back of his neck and pulled him down into a scorching kiss. Draco relaxed into a boneless heap, half crushing Potter, who did not seem to mind. They snogged for what seemed hours, until the gravel beneath Draco's knees became too painful to ignore.
He pulled away, panting, and stared down at the stunned-looking Gryffindor. Potter's glasses were gone and Draco vaguely remembered tugging them off and tossing them.
"You came back," Draco said redundantly.
Potter grinned. "I haven't done anything reckless and foolish in a long time. I think I missed it."
Draco choked back a laugh. "Are you certain you're up for this sort of foolishness?"
"I'm willing to give it a try," Potter said and caressed the edge of Draco's jaw. "I couldn't stop thinking about you and... well, I didn't want to make a stupid mistake."
Draco smiled and then stood before helping Potter to his feet. He Summoned Potter's glasses and said, "Let's go announce our re-engagement to my parents."
Potter yelped as he replaced the bent spectacles. "Hey, I didn't say anything about engagement!"
Draco laughed and straightened the glasses. "I'm only joking, prat." He cocked his head and nodded in satisfaction before starting down the path again.
Potter looked relieved, but then he shot a sidelong glance at Draco. "I'm not ruling it out completely, though."
Draco flung an arm over Potter's shoulder and buried his face in his neck. There was something strangely liberating about the gesture; he would never have guessed Potter would allow such casual familiarity. And Potter smelled lovely. The arm that snaked around his waist was nice, too.
They started back toward the Manor and Draco asked casually, "You do know you're going to turn into a beast tonight."
"Oh, I intend to," Potter said in a purring tone. "Long before I start to grow claws and fur."
"I'll get the collar," Draco murmured and took his Potter into the house.
(YAY FOR CRACK! LOL! HD Smoochfest can be found at http (colon, slashes) community (dot) livejournal (dot) com (slash) hd_smoochfest )