Thank you again for all the reviews! This is the last chapter of Veela-Struck. I hope you've enjoyed the story.
Harry knew the Blazing Season had begun the day Draco arrived at his house wrapped in pale light and stared at him with silent, burning eyes. The back of his neck and back were overgrown with silvery feathers, and his wings were out, and his claws had taken over his hands in much the same way they had when he battled Pansy and Russell, making them into talons.
Harry swallowed. They had practiced for this, he reminded himself as he sat up in his bed and reached out a steady hand. Draco had spent the last few days in sudden isolation, as though struggling with something. The books said that Veela often did this because they were trying to come to terms with their emerging instincts, which would begin to challenge their human mindset for supremacy.
He was not going to think of someone else who had done the same thing.
Draco grabbed Harry's hand and rubbed his face against it, his expression soft and rapturous. When he opened his mouth—strangely elongated but not quite a beak—what came forth was a croon. Harry shuddered as the croon seemed to work its way down his spine like those hooked fingers.
"I know," he told Draco, and ignored the quickening of his breath. "Take what you need."
Draco climbed into the bed and behind him, spreading his wings. Harry braced himself a moment before the wings swept around him.
This was still the hardest thing for him to bear, being cut off from the world by walls of feathers that it was hard for even magic to get through. He couldn't punch or fight his way out. Well, he could, but he would hurt Draco. And so would the explosion of his wild magic, the magic that he had once counted on to defend him from a Veela. He could only sit here, tense, while Draco glared vigilantly from side to side, looking for some challenger that didn't exist, and wait until the moment ended.
Then Draco stuck his head down between the wings and crooned, and Harry realized that he couldn't do that, either, because he would distress Draco.
He took in a deep breath, told himself this was no harder than diving underwater after a case where the criminal in question had almost drowned him, and lay back, forcing the breath and the tension out all at once.
Draco's wings received him. Draco's arms cradled him, and his voice began a low, steady trill that wound in and out of Harry's hearing the way he imagined a lullaby might have done. He couldn't remember his mother singing a lullaby to him. Just another loss that he'd learned to live with.
Draco's hands, digging deep into his shoulders to massage, the hard claws incapable of hurting him, said that he didn't have to live with it and struggle and suffer alone. He could trust someone else to support him, and that person would gladly do so. He could trust Draco to take care of him.
With enormous effort that gradually, imperceptibly, stopped being effort and became the truth, Harry turned his head to the side and relaxed.
Draco knew people were staring at him as he paraded through the Ministry with his gift on a leash. That didn't matter. He wanted people to stare, so that everyone would know Harry was his and that Draco obtained such gifts for him that no one else could compete or compare.
The gift behind him snorted and once tried to dig in its feet. Draco ignored that. In fact, since he had fixed one impressive silver eye on the gift back at the shop and stared at it for a few moments, all the struggles had been for appearance's sake only. The gift knew what would happen if it delayed too much.
He came to the door of Harry and Weasley's office and knocked. He knocked impressively too, of course, with a ringing sound that traveled further than any other knock would and made other people stick their heads out of their offices. Draco looked haughtily back at them, silently inviting them to be the audience for the next part of the play. They would probably never see anything so wonderful in their lives, anyway, and he ought to do his part in providing entertainment to the plebeians.
Weasley opened the door, stared for a moment at Draco and the gift, and then gestured within. "You want Harry."
Draco nodded, but didn't move. First of all, he wanted Harry's reaction to be public. Second, he wanted the chance to shield Harry with his wings from curious gazes and so tell them who he belonged to."
"Right," Weasley said, his eyebrows creeping up slowly, and then turned and called Harry's name over his shoulder.
Harry stood up from his desk and came forwards. The color of his eyes was enough to make Draco's heart speed up. And the apprehension in them made him move his wings forwards at once, but then he remembered Harry wouldn't be able to see the gift if he did that and moved them back again.
Harry stopped, and his eyes widened. "Draco. You didn't."
Draco swallowed. "You don't like it, then?" His voice was higher and harsher than it would be ordinarily when he was in human guise, but Harry showed no sign of not understanding it. He simply fell to one knee and reached out a hand. The miniature Abraxan foal trotted towards him and reached out with its nose, snorting as though to say that Draco had treated it horribly and would Harry help? Its palomino coat, pale mane and tail, and wings were perfect. Draco knew they were, because he had spent hours in the shop this morning choosing the most beautiful one. Harry couldn't dislike it because he found fault with it, so it must be for some other reason.
Harry glanced up and then rose swiftly to his feet. "I love it," he said softly. "It's just—Draco, how can I feed it and spend time with it the way it deserves? Being an Auror is demanding."
"If you think that I wouldn't be happy to take care of it for you, then you're wrong," Draco said, and the Veela instincts took over. He drew Harry to him and embraced him, then lifted his wings like a hovering wall. All those jealous eyes peering from the corridor could see the Abraxan foal; its purpose was to be seen. But not Harry.
Harry huffed out his breath once, then nodded. "All right. But how big is it going to grow?"
"Not much bigger than a tall dog," Draco said. "And if your house is too small for it, I'll get you a bigger house."
He didn't understand why Harry chuckled at that, at least until Harry whispered, "You don't need to do that, Draco. Even promise it."
"Yes, I do." Draco felt Harry stiffen at the tone of his voice, but he couldn't help himself. They had discussed and discussed the Blazing Season, and still Harry didn't seem to understand what it meant. "Everything you need, you can have. Everything you want, you will have. There's nothing I wouldn't do for you."
For a few moments more, he thought Harry might make the objection that gifts like this weren't part of what he wanted, in which case Draco would retort that he needed to give them. But then Harry, as he had with the cloak and the books and the bed that Draco had bought him months ago, softened and nodded his acceptance. "Thank you." He looked down at the foal. "Can he be house-trained?"
"I never would have bought him as an indoor pet if he couldn't," Draco said, a bit offended. "I would have bought you a farm instead."
He really didn't understand why Harry laughed, but it didn't seem to be at him, so he fanned his wings out and offered the watchers a screech of triumph. Most of them scurried back into their offices.
Harry leaned back against the door of Mabinogion House and closed his eyes. He had left a note for Draco telling him where he would be; one of the first things Draco had insisted on when he felt the Blazing Season coming was that Harry let him know where he was at all times, so he didn't tear apart other people in a jealous rage. But Harry simply hadn't been able to remain in the house right now.
Strangely, the hardest aspect of Blazing Season for him wasn't the gifts, or being wrapped in Draco's wings. He had at least some practice with those things beforehand. The hardest thing was just being the focus of Draco's concentrated attention.
Draco was always looking at him. He always wanted to know what Harry was thinking if he smiled or laughed. Harry only had to glance at something before Draco was offering to buy it, or give it to Harry if it was something he owned. And he had begun to sing—not croon, not trill, but offer him small, swift, beautiful songs like a bird courting its mate.
Harry could bear it, really. But for a while, he just needed a few hours by himself. He had left the note and Apparated to the coordinates Narcissa had given him when Draco had gone into the shower to wash himself. It took him much longer with his wings and the feathers that covered his neck and back.
He turned around and looked curiously at the house. The entrance hall in front of him opened quickly into a broad, high central room, which was circular and had doors in every direction. Harry turned around in the middle of it, gaping at the ceiling, which looked as if it went up for at least three floors.
The decoration was soft colors for the most part, smoke-greys and wood-browns and a few shades of pastel green and silver. Harry wondered if Narcissa had decorated it for him, or if the last owner who'd lived here had been someone with a similar personality to his, just by coincidence.
Then he shook his head. It must have been the former owner, of course. How in the world would she know that I liked these colors?
He walked further into the house, reaching out to test each door he passed. Most of them seemed to lead to neutral rooms that could have been studies, libraries, bedrooms, guest rooms, or drawing rooms when the house was in use. Not all of them had furniture, but all of them did have windows, and the glow of wards that Harry had to respect. Some wards strengthened when left in place for a long time, and these felt as if they had been there for centuries.
He opened one door on the far side of the central room from the hall and simply stood there with his throat tightening. If not for the walls and the windows, he would have thought he was outside. There was a fountain in the middle of this room, arching up and splashing gently into its basin, which was made of light arches of stone. The "carpet" was a thick dusting of moss and grass, as well as tiny flowers like violets that wouldn't make it hard to walk. And yet the sunlight was clearly framed by the windows. Harry moved into it, shaking his head.
"Whoever built this house put a lot of effort into making it work," he muttered, and trailed his hands through the water. It felt perfectly cool, looked perfectly clear, and, when he dared to drink it, filled his mouth with a spark of coolness that wasn't quite a taste.
He lost track of how long he sat on the side of the fountain, tracing the course of individual drops of water and forgetting about himself, until the first blow fell against the wards.
Harry was on his feet in seconds, wand out, neck prickling as the little hairs there rose to attention, and then he heard the demanding screech and felt the shimmer of familiar magic crackling along the wards, looking for the way in.
Harry could feel himself flush. He hadn't meant to use the wards to keep Draco out. He'd just come here for some distance, and of course the wards had closed in behind him again when he came through the door. He was sorry for that, because if he wanted to hold Draco away from him, it should have been a conscious decision.
"Sorry!" he shouted, and concentrated on the silent spell that Narcissa had told him would unlock all the wards for a single instant, long enough to allow the passage of one person.
He heard the door boom open and then the sound of stamping footsteps as Draco searched for him. Deciding that he should confront him before anything was destroyed, Harry stepped out of the fountain room and shut the door behind him.
Draco was in the middle of the large central room, wings fanned out, gaze darting as though he didn't care what was behind any of the doors unless they could lead him to Harry. He had once again transformed fully, with talons in the place of his feet as well as his hands, and his clothes hanging in tatters from him. A crest of what looked simultaneously like branching feathers and waving scales rose from the back of his head. Harry winced. He knew Draco had liked that particular robe.
"I'm right here," he said, stepping forwards.
Draco shrieked and leaped into the air, flying this time, coming down on him from above like a great hawk. Harry flinched, but stood as still as he could when he was fighting Auror instincts along with the ones that Laurent had inspired in him.
Draco seemed to notice the flinch, because somehow he halted himself in the middle of his plunge, hovering above Harry with a questioning sound. Harry nodded and reached out his arms, trying to smile.
Draco dropped down the rest of the way and landed pressed up against Harry, holding his jaw in his talons as he turned it back and forth. Harry shivered. He had almost got used to the brightness of Draco's eyes in the past little while—so brilliant a silver that they no longer looked human—but not the intensity with which he studied Harry, or his silence. He did still talk since the Blazing Season had begun, but he relied more on touch and looks. That was part of the reason Harry had felt he had to break away for a short time.
"I'm all right," Harry whispered. "I didn't mean to keep you away from me. I'm still yours."
A single soft sound that Harry could have called a chirp if he was feeling daring enough, and Draco turned him around and began to groom Harry's hair with his beak, drawing out individual strands and nibbling on them gently. Harry hesitated, then leaned forwards against the clutch of his arms. They were solid enough that he thought he wouldn't fall.
"Talk to me."
Harry blinked. It took him a moment to recognize the words, which were distorted by the current shape of Draco's mouth, and then he had the urge to ask what he should talk about. But he thought he knew, and trying to feign ignorance would be stupid for both him and Draco. He shut his eyes and gave himself over, as much as he could, to the same impulse that had once made him babble to his boyfriends about everything and nothing.
"I was thinking today about this case I worked on earlier, the one I mentioned hiding from you," he muttered. Draco's arms tightened, but he said nothing, going on with the grooming. Harry smiled. "I enjoy the feeling that I can talk about anything to you, at least during the Blazing Season, and you won't be upset."
Draco said nothing, though his claws might have pricked into Harry's arms a bit harder than normal.
"It's about the disappearance of a man called Sandys," Harry murmured. "Our only witness isn't very reliable. There have been multiple attempts to solve it, and neither worked. I thought I could find out enough, but one of the families involved is pure-blood, and they've been stymieing me…"
He talked on, almost losing track of the words, his voice rising and falling like the fountain. Draco remained with him, clucking and chirruping, or asking a question when Harry paused in his recitation. So Harry told him the whole story of the case, and it no longer felt like a secret he had to hold onto, but a gift they could share together.
Harry had almost fallen asleep when Draco said, "Thank you."
Harry blinked, yawned, and stood upright, glancing over his shoulder. Draco's beak had gone, although his silver eyes remained and he still looked at Harry with that daunting intensity. But Harry had withstood it for the last—hour? Half-hour? That in itself was unusual. He kept track of time automatically, without thinking about it.
"You're welcome," Harry said. "Honestly, Draco, I didn't mean to shut you out."
"I know," Draco said. "And I didn't mean to panic when I discovered that you were gone, especially because your note told me exactly where you were going and Mabinogion House is a lot safer than some destinations." He remained motionless for some time, searching Harry's eyes as if he required some sort of acknowledgment.
Harry nodded back, and Draco's face melted into a smile and he leaned forwards to rest his head heavily on Harry's shoulder. "I don't care if we have to apologize to each other a lot more often than most Veela and their chosen have to do," he whispered. "I wouldn't trade you for anything."
"Neither would I," Harry said, and astonished himself a little by speaking the absolute truth.
Draco stepped out of the shower and beat his wings rapidly, sending the last drops of water spiraling out so that they struck the walls. The walls immediately and greedily absorbed them. Draco arched his back and reached down to scratch the feathers between his wings, which tended to itch after a thorough cleansing like this one.
He had needed it, though. He had the answer to Harry's problem with the Sandys case, but spending too much time with that pure-blood family—who had once been the family of Mariella, Sandys's lover—had made him feel unclean.
Draco shook his head. He didn't want to think about that anymore, and he didn't have to, except to keep the details fresh in his mind as a gift to his chosen. And he should be spending more thought on the test that this evening would be, anyway.
Tonight was the evening that he would both present Harry with food, and, hopefully, sleep with him. If they could find a position that would be agreeable to both of them.
Draco had a few ideas.
This Blazing Season had been swifter and brighter than any other he could remember. Of course, he had a chosen this time, which made all the difference and kept him from brooding and sulking. But it could still have been so much more difficult than it was. The endless practice—which Draco hadn't minded at all—had definitely helped.
And so did the fact that Harry was simply more large-hearted, compassionate, generous, and brave than the vast majority of people.
Draco smiled. He knew that he sounded like he was hopelessly in love, but there was no problem with that, since he was.
He spread his wings before the mirror and turned carefully in a circle. The silver feathers covered the nape of his neck and his shoulder blades now, in a swirl of colors richer and brighter than the ordinary white, marked here and there with curves of black, and grew deeper and thicker between his wings. He didn't have a tail, but that only made matters easier, and in any case, the feathers grew into fine ruffs and ruffles just above the ending of his spine. Draco thought them handsome enough.
If all went well, he would be displaying for his chosen tonight.
He turned away from the mirror and began carefully to dry his feathers with a series of charms. He had tried to use soft towels earlier, but had learned his lesson when they bent and broke some of the smaller plumes. No need to show up before Harry looking as though he had just rolled out of the nest.
Harry stared. He had seen Draco's drawing room before, but he wouldn't have recognized the place if he hadn't just come out of the Floo. Draco had utterly transformed it, making it look as if the room centered around the small table with glowing lamps carefully encased in glass. Harry wondered if that was because an open flame had almost singed one of Draco's wings last week.
The food was simple but sweet: oranges, bread with honey, scones with butter, and a cut of silvery fish that made Harry's mouth water. He carefully took his wand out of his pocket and laid it on the chair where he had already hung his cloak, though, because he knew that tonight's ritual required an absolute demonstration of trust. He wouldn't be able to cast spells on the food now.
The water in his mouth changed to something else. Harry swallowed it, though, and turned to face Draco.
Draco stood before him with wings extended and feathers erect in a crown around his neck, staring with that same silver intensity at Harry. He wore no clothing except a few pieces of cloth over his chest, groin, and legs, to cover the parts that didn't have feathers. He stepped forwards, and Harry saw that he once again had talons in the place of feet.
When he seemed certain that Harry was watching, he turned in a slow circle.
Harry's fingers itched to reach out and touch the softness of the feathers he saw there. Then he realized that he probably could do that and Draco wouldn't mind, so he stepped forwards and let his hand sweep across a black curve at the base of Draco's spine.
Draco tilted his head back and warbled. Harry looked up to see his eyes shut. Then he turned around, caught Harry's hand in one of those talons that couldn't hurt him, and smiled.
"None of that yet," he said, "unless you want me to embarrass myself before I sit down." He lifted Harry's hand and kissed the backs of his fingers one by one, and then added, "I have a gift for you. I think I may have solved the Sandys case."
It took Harry a long moment to make sense of what Draco was saying, because his mind was so far away from Auror cases and everything they meant, drifting in a hazy world inspired by the glow that Draco's feathers cast. Then he blinked. "What?"
"I went and interviewed that pure-blood family you told me about," Draco said, and lifted Harry's hand to bite delicately at the skin around his nail. Harry hissed. Draco soothed it with his tongue and continued as though they were holding a perfectly ordinary conversation, and not one where he was slowly sliding his hands up Harry's arms to his shoulders. "The one that wouldn't speak to you because you weren't pure-blood? They were happy to tell me everything they knew, and once I saw the spellbooks that that woman Mariella left behind, I knew what happened."
"Well, tell me," Harry said, a bit breathlessly. He let his head fall back so that Draco could stroke up the front of his throat and then run his hands through Harry's hair. His own fear felt faint and muffled behind the pleasure the claws inspired in him.
"It seems that she and Sandys were far more in love than your witness Jenkins, or anyone else, ever knew," Draco said softly. "She was the woman whose hand Jenkins saw him touch that night, though disguised so that no one else would recognize her. The touch triggered a spell that melted them both into sparks. Pure essence of being. Apparently they thought that was the only way they could be together. Or she did," he added, with a faint shiver. "I don't know that she saw the difference between what she wanted and what they both did. Some wizards who use Dark Arts are like that, and assume that their will and desires are the will and desires of everyone else."
"But the body?" Harry could barely concentrate on Draco's words, although he knew they were important. He wanted to lean back further, and only didn't because there was nothing to catch him if he did. He rolled his head to the side, and Draco purred and stroked more of his collarbone and shoulder than he'd been able to reach before.
"The body was a construct," Draco said. "Created from the side of her magic that hated him for parting from her, no matter how briefly, and inflicted with the kind of wounds that she would have inflicted on him if she had decided to murder him. I don't think she knew if she was going to murder him or not until she confronted him."
"Our labs said that it was Sandys." The contradiction pulled Harry a bit more back towards reality, and he shook his head and frowned at Draco. "She couldn't have magic so advanced that she fooled the whole Auror Department."
"And if you cut the hair from the head of a person transformed with Polyjuice and cast spells on it, it would seem to be the hair of the person they appeared to be, too," Draco said patiently. "She used hair and skin from Sandys's body to create the construct. She apparently had had them for a long time. As I said, I don't think she knew what she was going to do, kill him or vanish with him, until the last moment."
His stroking hands had stopped, and the solemn tone of his voice made Harry shiver. "You could say that she did murder him," he murmured. "Since she made him cease to exist, although she also did it to herself."
Draco nodded. "And I don't think we'll ever know whether he knew about it or not when he reached out to touch the witch she appeared to be. The spellbooks revealed only her side of the story."
"Huh." Harry's breath was coming more normally now. He didn't like that. He pressed back against Draco. "I'm glad that I've never been the victim of a lover quite that obsessive."
"You were," Draco whispered to him, and looped his talons into place over Harry's chest again. "But you're not now."
Harry caught one of the talons and squeezed down. "No, I'm not. Can we eat now?"
Draco had only one seat at the table, because he needed to ease Harry onto his lap for this meal, as he had for the one at Weasley and Granger's house, and feed him the food bit by bit. He kept his gaze on Harry's face the whole time, and of course they were pressed close to one another, his chest against Harry's back, his arm around Harry's body at the waist. He would know in a moment if Harry was distressed.
There were several times Harry closed his eyes and turned his head away. The fish, he refused entirely. Draco wondered if he had a special problem with meat in general. The spells Harry had cast at the meals they'd shared before had always been deeper and more searching on the meat, whatever it was.
But he ate peeled orange slices from Draco's claws, even licking at the juice so it didn't escape, and he shivered with pleasure when Draco caressed his back in approval. And he ate bread dripping with honey that stained his mouth and required Draco to lick it away. And he did it without demurring, though he did shake and sometimes shut his eyes and once grabbed Draco's arm and squeezed down as if he was going to crush the life out of it before he let go.
None of that mattered, though. His chosen was touching him. Draco appreciated that far more than him flinching back and curling into a ball. Harry had come so far, it was an honor to eat with him, and Draco tried to tell him that with every silent caress, every nibble at his ear or throat, every stroke over his stomach and groin.
By the end of the meal—which Harry insisted he share, to the point of cramming bread down Draco's throat instead of simply letting him watch—Draco was singing softly, constantly. His feathers on his neck were permanently on end, and he nuzzled his face into Harry's throat and sang against his skin. The notes were high, clear, liquid things that Draco could never have produced outside the Blazing Season, and his mind couldn't hang onto them, either. But Harry shook and sighed, and that was enough.
Easing Harry back on the stool, Draco rose. Harry looked up swiftly, a question in his eyes, but Draco shook his head and turned his back. He had been displaying for his chosen for the past fortnight, in certain ways, by singing to him and buying him gifts and showing how far he was willing to go, but there was one more to go through first before they could join each other in bed: the formal display.
Harry opened his mouth as if to object, but closed it again and stared as Draco turned in his circle, lifting the feathers just above his tailbone and using them to beat slow time to the movement of his feet. He looked over his shoulder, well aware of how his face would appear, framed by feathers and wings, and sang again.
This time, the liquid notes connected into a single, flowing piece of music, and light filled the room, attending the invisible air waves the sound produced. Draco sang the light into being, and it rose and fell and shimmered sideways in silvery curtains of beauty. Harry swallowed and swallowed again, looking dazed, and leaned forwards, staring.
That was all Draco could have asked for: his chosen fixed on him, the way Draco had been fixed on him since the Season began.
He extended his wings and lazily beat them, creating wings that changed the composition of the air and thus altered the patterns of sound and light. Then he began to bend and bow and gesture and turn, and the whole came together in a glittering dance that worked as powerfully as the allure to enchant, while still leaving one's free will intact.
Harry stood up. He was shivering, wide eyes locked on Draco. He stepped forwards and into the dance, within reach of Draco's wings, adapting himself to their movements half a beat behind.
Draco moved with him, lowering his voice and reaching out with his hands so that Harry might have less chance to panic. But it didn't seem as though he would. Harry grasped Draco's hands and laughed aloud as Draco had never heard him laugh, careless, carefree, like the man he might have been without Laurent.
But not even the thought of Laurent could anger Draco as it usually did. All he felt was a territorial smugness. Laurent had had his chance to possess Harry, and failed. And that failure had partially made it possible for Draco to succeed.
He moved closer to Harry, diminishing his circles, singing softly to him and him alone now, rather than an immense admiring audience. Harry stroked his arms in reaction, blinking slowly. Draco thought he saw the shine of tears in his eyes, and was pleased, choosing to think of the tears as a reaction to the beauty of the dance rather than a sign of fear.
In fact, he would have sensed the fear if his chosen was experiencing too much. Fear damped desire, and this moment was about desire.
Draco ended the dance clasping Harry in arms and wings, and Harry was pressed close against him without struggling, breath quick, one leg rising of its own volition to loop around Draco's waist. "Can we?" Harry whispered, almost without breath.
"Can we what?" Draco echoed, and nipped at the side of his face. This close to the height of the Blazing Season, he didn't have to will magic from his wings into his teeth; Harry gasped, half-cursed, and arched his back from the simple bite, and even more when Draco's fingers pressed into the mark he had already given Harry on his back.
"Can we go to bed?" Harry's voice was thick enough that the words sagged in the middle. He began again. "Please—I have to—"
That was all Draco had been waiting for. He scooped Harry up in his wings and arms and carried him off.
Harry was riding a constantly changing, tossing tide. One component of it was fear and anger; it made the waves rise and lash high when he thought of the things that had happened the last time he was in bed with someone.
But the other part of the current was desire and fierceness, longing and impatience. Laurent would always be there, but Harry no longer wanted to let him control what Harry did in bed. Besides, he had shared sleep and sex with Draco, and he had survived.
Tossed from moment to moment, caught and dragged deep and then sent spiraling back to the surface, Harry was actually grateful to be carried. He didn't know if he could have walked and struggled with his emotions at the same time.
Draco laid him on the bed and literally hovered over him, wings fanning out. Harry watched even them with an ache of yearning that he had never thought he'd feel. They were part of Draco, and he wanted Draco.
"This is what I thought would happen," Draco said, voice calm and warm, as if they had this kind of discussion every day. "I'll lie down. You can ride me. Would that work for you?"
Harry nodded. "I—thank you," he said. He couldn't say what he was thanking Draco for, but Draco knew and turned his head to the side, displaying the brilliant silvery feathers along his neck in response.
Then he leaned down, kissed Harry, and rolled them so that Harry was straddling his hips. Harry breathed more deeply once he was in no danger of being pinned down. Then he looked down and realized that Draco's wings were spread out beneath him like a rippling blanket, and frowned. "Won't it hurt you to lie on them?"
"One of the great benefits of magical wings," Draco said softly, and shrugged. The wings diminished into thin, silvery streamers that extended from his shoulders only. "Right now, the hesitation hurts far more."
Harry gulped, nodded, and started undressing completely in front of a lover for the first time in three years.
Draco watched him in greedy silence, stroking his limbs and stomach as they were revealed, once leaning up to kiss his chest. Harry had to rise off Draco to pull his trousers and pants completely from his hips and legs, and promptly felt a surge of irritation run through him at the loss of skin-to-skin contact.
That reassured him more than anything else. He wanted this, not the helpless, Veela-struck creature Laurent had raped, or the Harry he might have become if Draco had used the allure and it had worked. This was him.
He dropped down again and smiled. Draco had started to reach out, but Harry waved his hand and negligently summoned the lube Draco had left on the bedroom table with a small nip of wandless magic.
Draco's eyes widened, and his prick surged beneath Harry. Harry laughed. "You like that?"
"You have no idea." Draco choked the words out, and then reached up and gripped Harry's cock, pumping once.
Harry rolled his hips back, hissing, enjoying the normal fact of warm skin under him and the hand on his cock and the fact that he was about to have a cock up his arse. The fear was still there, yes, but he could control it more easily now, and bury it under the warm, continuous anticipation. And he was looking forwards to what other ways he could make Draco's eyes widen.
"I wonder," he said breathlessly. He thought about worrying about that, and then decided that most of what he said tonight would be breathless and he ought to get used to it. "Would you like to prepare me, or watch me prepare myself?"
Draco gasped and looked as if he might faint. Harry laughed again and tipped the lube out on his fingers.
He took his time. He thought Draco would like that.
Draco would have challenged any other Veela who might show up in his room that moment and declare that his or her chosen was beautiful, sexy, handsome, or inspiring to look at. Because none of them were, and Harry was.
Harry braced himself with one hand on Draco's chest, leaning forwards while the other worked behind him. He kept trying to lift up so that Draco could see, but it didn't always work. That didn't matter, not when Draco was ready to be lit on fire by the glimpses that he did receive.
Harry's fingers pumped and slipped in and out, faltered and fell to rest briefly and then went to work again. Harry was grimacing and moaning, and Draco knew some of that came from pain. He stroked Harry's stomach, flattening his fingers over the hairs there and tugging on them, to give Harry some minor distraction from any unpleasant emotions he was experiencing.
His arse pumped up and down with the fingers, slipped back into place, and then fell decisively. Harry gasped at the same time, tipping his head back and shaking it as though he were on the verge of a fit, and Draco discovered that it was possible to feel jealous of a pair of fingers.
Then Harry was suddenly poised above him, shaking his head again and trying to find the right angle, and Draco grabbed his cock even as his mouth babbled, "Are you sure that you're ready?"
"I'm sure that I can't wait any longer," Harry snapped, and dropped down.
Draco cried out at the same moment as Harry did, though he was aware that he had much less reason and tried to keep as much of his attention on his chosen as he could. But suddenly to be inside Harry, to know that Harry wanted him there and had put him there and had welcomed him there…
Draco had no words for what that meant. He had only sensations, heat and tightness and Harry groaning above him and the sharp smell of sweat and the urge to move outweighed by the churning, soaring desire that climbed through him. He had displayed to his chosen, he had fed his chosen, he had danced for his chosen, and now he was loving him.
Harry bobbed back and forth, eyes shut, forehead crisscrossed with so many lines that Draco reached up to him. "Are you all right?" he whispered in a voice that startled him with its hoarseness and faintness.
Harry nodded and opened his eyes. He didn't quite smile, but the expression on his lips was more than enough to reassure Draco, along with the shine in his face. "Yes. Just—watch."
He began to move.
Draco clamped his hands on Harry's hips and struggled a moment with the instinct that told him to take control, that he should be pinning his chosen to the bed and driving into him, the way so many Veela had over the years with so many human chosen.
But he remembered again who he was with, and the control that he had in this situation that Laurent didn't and never would, and the instinct went to sleep again, leaving him to watch Harry rock.
Harry didn't feel quite mortal anymore.
It was strange, because he had never been so aware of his body, of the muscles that clamped and clenched around Draco, of the way his neck ached as he held it back, of the bruises on his hips that Draco's fingers were probably forming. His teeth hurt. His lips were swollen. His hands rested not on things that he could just notice and then dismiss, like the arms of chairs, but real flesh and bone. He could feel the circulation of Draco's blood beneath his palms.
But at the same time, he had snapped free and was ascending, flying as if he were the one with wings, in the middle of pleasure that sparked around him and excitement like the fountain in Mabinogion House and triumph like a conflagration.
Take that, Laurent. You didn't win.
He laughed aloud, and rocked back to impale himself again on Draco's cock—his choice, his choice to have it there—and then moved forwards again, wriggling in a way that caused Draco to gasp and spasm, and then back, and this time he managed to make Draco's cock reach his prostate.
Draco thrust up, joining the game, the dance. Harry spiraled higher. More and more laughter bubbled in his throat, especially when he looked down and Draco was watching him as if he was some sort of miracle, or angel come to earth.
I won. I'm still in control and surrendering it at the same time. It doesn't make sense, and I don't care.
Higher, and higher, and his body grew tense and his pleasure more insistent. That was the part he had always missed before, Harry thought, half-mindlessly; the pleasure held back, patient, until he invited it forwards. This time, it was just there, and Draco's wings, beating around them like water flowing upwards, were part of it, and Draco's odd faces as he tried to deal with what he was feeling, and Harry's thrusting hips and Draco's thrusting hips, and the complexity and weight of the past behind them.
And the future before them.
The spiral snapped, and Harry fell, burning, on wings of melted wax, wings of fire, wings of sunlight, and meanwhile the pleasure tore through him, and Draco began to come a moment later, and even that was pleasurable, and he was still laughing, because he had won, and he had survived.
Not unscathed, but no longer broken.
Draco could remember the aftereffects of the orgasm better than he could remember the orgasm itself. The pleasure made his limbs shake and his head spin and his consciousness simply dissolve for long moments after it—the first time he hadn't been conscious of Harry since the Blazing Season began. But he couldn't remember the moment when he had come.
He returned to himself piece by piece, scent first with the skin pressed against his nose, and then touch with the feeling of Harry slumped over him, and then sight as he opened his eyes and saw a scar a few inches in front of them. He kissed it without thinking.
Harry laughed, groaned, and then said, "I don't think I should do that again soon. My ribs hurt."
The statement wasn't serious, Draco knew, or his senses would have told him sooner. He turned and buried his head against Harry, wrapping his arms and then his wings around and up, and then lay still, too overwhelmed to move.
"It seems simpler than it should be," Harry murmured. Draco didn't know where he was getting the strength of will to talk. "I love you. You love me. I wonder if that really changes anything, but I feel like it does."
Draco locked a hand into place on Harry's back, hoping that would convey all the words he was too tired to speak right now. By the way Harry seized and kissed his other hand, it seemed to.
A cocoon of warmth. A cocoon of light. A cocoon of wonder, that Harry Potter, his chosen, was here with him and already well on his way to sleeping, if the tenor of his breath didn't lie.
Draco could usually think of things he wanted and didn't have yet, even if he had no means to speak of them or possess them. Harry had been on his mind as something he wanted for years, even before he decided on him as his chosen. His friendship, his attention, his hatred, had all been things Draco coveted in Hogwarts.
Now, wanting had reached an end for the moment, and desire had fulfilled itself.
Draco did not know a better definition of love.