It was quiet in the Ministry of Magic, but that didn't mean the danger had passed.
"Keep your hood up Draco." Narcissa reminded him, looking cautiously around the deserted floor with its empty cubicles, batting away stale memo's flapping overhead.
"Mummy! Why are we at the ministry? I can't be here!" Draco panicked, his eyes wide as he looked to his mother, dropping the formality for once.
"They won't be looking for you here dove. They're searching the Manor for you." Narcissa replied, tugging Draco brusquely through the labyrinth of cubicles.
"But why -?"
"Shhh." Narcissa waved a silencing hand at her son before hauling him through the door of a private office, closing and locking the door behind her with a brusque flick of her wand.
The room was full of muggle inventions, whole and in parts, littered over every available surface, a small corner of a quill scratched mahogany desk cleared for paperwork. Sitting in the muggle revolving chair by the desk was the last man Draco expected his mother to lead him to.
Arthur Weasley wore a pair of tartan pyjamas underneath his travel robes, fluffy pygmy puff slippers adorning his feet and a matching bobbled nightcap covering his ginger hair. Upon noticing their arrival, he stood to greet him, suspiciously grasping his wand as he did so.
"Madam Malfoy. I was not told that it was you who required assistance." He asked politely, his inflection strained as he was evidently uncomfortable associating with the refined woman.
"Well, Arthur, now you know it is I." Narcissa replied, using his first name to quickly integrate him into the level of social convenience she required. "I am here regarding a prior arrangement for unquestioning sanctuary made with Headmaster Dumbledore."
"With Dumbledore you say?" Arthur Weasley requested, seeming genuinely interested. "Perhaps you could offer a few more details?"
He hadn't noticed Draco's presence yet, partly because he was shielded by his mother, partly due to the heavy swath of his cloak and hood.
"Time is of the essence Arthur. I really cannot linger at the ministry long." Narcissa replied, firm and businesslike.
"This location is secure, I can assure you." Mr Weasley stated, holding her in his assessing gaze.
Narcissa regarded him a moment longer, catching his challenge and meeting it with her glare. Making her decision, she nodded, then turned to address Draco, who was still light headed and woefully confused.
"Draco, be a good boy and go sit down over there while I talk to Mr Weasley." She insisted, her voice motherly and attentive. This drew Weasley's attention and sympathy rather skilfully.
Draco gave a weak nod, divesting his dignity in favour of quelling his magic fuelled headache and moved to sit in the muggle revolving chair. He pushed away his hood and kneaded his temples wearily, smoothing down his hair as he did so.
"Well, I see now why lingering in the ministry is not an option for you." Mr Weasley said, his eyes drawn to Draco, drinking in the image of his tired form.
Narcissa allowed him to look a little longer, knowing that if Draco's plight caught his interest he would be more likely to help them. Hopefully Weasley's Gryffindor urges would override his prejudice against the Malfoy family.
"Yes, yet it is necessary for us to be here as it is no longer an option to remain in our own home." Narcissa explained, her tone drawing Arthur's attention away from Draco.
"Veela Control sent a team for him then?" Arthur questioned.
"Veela Control has expanded somewhat lately. No, we received a notice that a team might be sent for Draco after today, what we didn't realise that the team were out of ministry employ and that they would be coming tonight to deliver Draco to the Dark Lord."
Draco heard this information vaguely over the ringing in his ears but it seemed unconnected to him. His body and his mind were in shock from the magic and wouldn't respond. The only thought he could focus on was "do not pass out in front of Weasley, do not pass out in front of Weasley".
"Why?" Arthur exclaimed.
"Are you aware of the Dark Lord's most recent exploits?" Narcissa asked, and continued when Arthur shook his head in reply. "Since the return of his body the Dark Lord has, how should I put this, been focussed on the pleasures of the flesh? He has been relishing his new body so much that he has neglected to carry out much of what he promised, as such many of his followers are still in Azkaban and the rest of his ... more committed followers have fallen to the same addiction that the Dark Lord has."
"You don't mean -?" Arthur's eyes trailed to where Draco was slumped in his seat, understanding dawning. "Oh." He shuddered, finally understanding what Narcissa was alluding to. "How horrific."
"It is for the many victims who have found themselves enslaved and subjected to the Dark Lord's whims. It seems only recently he has set his sights on Draco as an obvious target. He was to be the latest addition to the 'harem' of Veela, merely because the Dark Lord wants what Harry Potter has, and it would bring him pleasure to steal from him." Narcissa's voice was disdainful, edged with intense disgust.
"I see." Arthur eyed Draco again with pity and curiosity. "So you are appealing for protection?"
"For my son."Narcissa stressed. "Lucius received a missive that he was to present himself before the Dark Lord to receive a task tonight. He has had little to do with the Dark Lord's new hobbies, and indeed knew little of them before today. Upon reaching the Dark Lord's location, Lucius learned swiftly of the Dark Lord's plans to capture Draco and sent a message to me immediately. I think the Dark Lord intended for Lucius to visit him tonight so he would not be home when he sent Death Eaters to claim Draco. Presumably, due to the late hour they expected us to be sleeping."
"It was lucky you were awake then." Arthur decided, still processing the information. He was still cautious of Narcissa Malfoy's intent, his polite mien seeming forced at first due to his dislike of her husband. Her preoccupation with traditional pureblood dictums was also troubling.
Narcissa frowned, noticing Weasley's hold-out, his discretion with his words.
"They cross the line when they start attacking purebloods, let alone us. I've focussed so much on the Dark Lord's efforts, but the fact remains that the ministry's made Draco a target too. Between that vile quack scientist and Him, there was simply no way we could allow him to ..." Here Narcissa trailed off, her slender fingers bunched into fists. She levelled her voice again. "We are on the same side now Arthur, surely you can see this."
"I see it." Mr Weasley replied, his expression still guarded. He focussed on his central concern. "How was it your husband could convey this much information to you if he only found out about it today?"
Narcissa crossed her arms defensively. "We exchange pensive memories. We have been doing this since the beginning of our courtship. It was advantageous as it showed me Lucius' revelation and removed the memory from his mind so he was guiltless before the Dark Lord."
"That seems very resourceful." Mr Weasley said suspiciously.
"Mr Weasley, I'm here because Headmaster Dumbledore said that if we asked, help would be offered. Unquestionably. And I presume you knew this, else you would not be here in your pyjamas." Narcissa narrowed her eyes at the gingham nightmare Mr Weasley wore and pursed her lips, deliberately switching back into formal address to make apparent her displeasure. "I did not have to pander to your vague interrogation, I chose to in order to ensure you understand the weight of this situation."
"I am aware. I'm merely gathering all the facts before reporting the decision to headquarters." Arthur frowned, tugging on the tip of his nightcap self-consciously.
"We do not have time for you to report back to headquarters! Draco's safety is at risk, something which would not have happened if not for your boy saviour. You owe us this much, at least!" Narcissa hissed, lowering her voice so as to not upset Draco.
"Fine!" Mr Weasley raised his hands in supplication. "Fine, so shall I escort you both back to headquarters then, if that's what you want?"
Narcissa sniffed daintily. "No, that is not what I want. I only need you to assure Draco's protection. I must wait for Lucius."
"Wait for him? I thought you said your home wasn't safe." Arthur hissed, for some reason keeping his voice to the whispered level of Narcissa's.
"No, I said the manor wasn't safe. There are several other Malfoy properties I could go to, and as it is I will be safest with our relatives in France." Narcissa managed to maintain a condescending demeanour whilst speaking in a whisper.
"Well, why can't you take him with you if you're hightailing it off to bloody France?" Arthur gestured to Draco who had cleared space and was now resting his head on the desk, moaning slightly.
"Because no Veela is safe in France! Are you forgetting? Just look at him, he's too ill to cope with the pressure of being constantly on the run. Hiding in fear just because he's different. He needs protection! Protection from your side! The only faction with both the will and manpower to do something about this! Think of all he has done for your Saviour, the care and devotion! My poor baby dragon deserves more than this ... this disregard!" Narcissa gesticulated wildly, her actions contrasting to her indulgent whispering.
Arthur regarded Draco, assessing him in a new guilt induced light and saw that he really did look ill. Taking cautious steps over to the desk, Mr Weasley gently rested his hand on Draco's shoulder.
"Er, are you quite alright?"
Draco lifted his head groggily and sleepily blinked up at the bed-clothed man, his eyes drenched in silver light.
"Oh dear." Arthur's paternal instincts kicked in, recognising Draco's expression was more dire than the silver light of his eyes, a habit he learnt after living with children who invented sweets that made you vomit. "Are you going to throw up?" He hastily upended his waste paper basket and held it out for the glowing boy.
"Don't be silly, Malfoy's don't throw – uuurrrrghhhhhh!" Draco lurched forward and heaved into the empty bin, looking up only after being violently sick. Mr Weasley took up the gauntlet of holding Draco's hair and gently rubbing his back until it was over, fatherly intuition driving most of his actions.
"Why haven't you taken him to a Healer?" Mr Weasley rounded on Narcissa, again using the 'infuriated whisper'.
"He's been surrounded by Healers all holiday! It's a Veela thing. We don't know how to fix it." Narcissa replied waspishly, casting thorough cleansing, purifying and aerating charms over her son.
"Are you feeling ok? A little bit better?" Mr Weasley swung back to Draco, regarding the boy's sweaty face.
"Urgh, I feel disgusting." Draco mumbled wiping his face with a silk handkerchief from his cloak pocket.
"Mouth freshening charm dove, open up." Narcissa hovered over her son, willing to be more involved now he wasn't covered in sick.
Draco allowed his mother to perform the charm on him, as well as skin cleansing charms, and a charm that eradicated the smell of vomit by replacing it with the overwhelming scent of apples and vanilla.
"Better. I'm ok now. Much better." Draco said, straightening his posture before wincing as the quick movement dizzied him.
Narcissa checked her thin silver wristwatch before starting and pulling Draco to his feet. "We've already been here too long. Will you take him?"
"Yes, yes. Alright, we'll take him." Arthur grumbled, grabbing onto Draco's arm and helping him upright. "Can hardly refuse after all."
"Good. Excellent." Narcissa clasped her hands together, then kissed Draco on each cheek, smoothing his hair neatly. "Now you'll be alright dove. Stay inside and stay protected. Don't let anyone take you away from where you're safe. If anyone gives you any hassle, you have my full permission to give them what for, understand?"
Mr Weasley shot an incredulous look at the blonde mother. Draco merely nodded meekly.
"My clothes?" Draco inquired.
"I've ordered the elves to send you a selection, and your school equipment is already packed and will be ready to go on the eleventh. Once you're safe you should send me a letter and I'll send you your clothes, your books, your chocolates."
"Yes Mother." Draco dazedly replied.
"Keep your wand on you at all times and remember that I love you. Both your Father and I love you, and you must remain safe!"
"Yes Mother." Draco repeated and then mumbled in a lower more covert voice. "I love you too."
"Good." Narcissa paused for a moment, studying the sickly visage of her son, then drew Draco into a tight hug. "This isn't how I imagined our Christmas, my little dragon, but I promise you'll be safe."
After squeezing the boy for all she was worth, Narcissa drew away reluctantly, before pulling her hood up and moving to the door.
"Goodbye then Draco. I'll see you as soon as possible." The tender expression on her face morphed into something more vicious as she fixed Mr Weasley in her gaze, her deadly expression somewhat reminiscent of her insane sister.
"You look after him." She warned, pointing sharply at Arthur.
"I will!" Mr Weasley raised his hands defensively, the 'point' reminding him of Molly in her more volatile moments.
"If anyone hurts him I'll hold you personally responsible." She said in a similarly harsh tone of voice.
"Have a good new year." Her voice still harsh as she issued the seasonal greeting.
With a determined nod at Weasley and one last blow kiss to Draco, Narcissa whirled out the door in a flurry of expensive robes. The clip clop of her tailored heels rattled down the corridor for a moment before the whoosh and scraping sound of the Floo grate signalled her departure.
Mr Weasley and Draco stood in silence for a while after, both looking blankly at the door Narcissa departed from. The silence drew on until Mr Weasley realised with a start that he was still holding on to the young Veela's arm, the pleasurable magic delaying his reaction. Narcissa's threats still current, Arthur Weasley jerked his fingers away from the glowing boy and wrung his hands nervously, trying to squeeze the magic out of his tingling digits.
Weasley turned to look hesitantly at the Veela boy then hurriedly looked away, noticing the silver stare regarding him with narrowed eyes.
I must try to stopper my Weasley charm. Veela can't be looking at me, I have a wife! Mr Weasley thought to himself pompously.
Draco was squinting up at the ginger man with an expression of weak disdain, the best he could do with how he was feeling, that the man clearly took for something else.
Oh, that's fine. Jerk your arm away from me like I'm diseased. It's not like I care, I'm only entrusting you with my life, stupid ginger Weasley. Draco thought bitterly, his headache making him cynical.
"Right then." Arthur said. "Well. I'll just – let's just – shall we go?"
"Go where?" Draco frowned, his blonde eyebrows knitting together.
"Well, I'll have to get you out of the ministry now, so we really should hurry." Mr Weasley dodged the question, uncertain if the Fidelus charm would allow him to inform the young Malfoy of the address of his future safe house.
Walking to the office door Mr Weasley poked his head out and scoured the floor, before turning back around to Draco and gesturing for him to put his hood back up. "Follow me."
Mr Weasley took off through the department, not sparing a glance back to Draco, expecting the boy to be following him. Draco struggled to keep pace with the Weasley patriarch, still woozy from the magic, and stood to his left when they stopped in front of the Floo.
"Right." Mr Weasley held a handful of Floo powder, but paused suddenly, assessing Draco with a sideways glance. "Er, would you mind closing your ears for a second?"
"What?" Draco bristled, catching on immediately that Weasley was reluctant to inform him of their destination.
"Just for a second. Fidelus charms can be sticky things you know." Mr Weasley edged closer to the fire, gesturing for Draco to step into the fireplace with him.
"How am I supposed to know? No, I'm not even supposed to know where you're taking me to, and now you're asking me to deliberately not know something else." Draco muttered, huffing indignantly.
As Draco complained Mr Weasley threw the handful of powder into the grate and muttered the destination clearly and quietly, grabbing Draco's arm as the rush of magic pushed the pair through the Floo network.
The forceful squeeze of magic pulsed in Draco's mind again and as he stumbled out of the Floo grate he was surprisingly grateful for Mr Weasley's steadying arm.
"Ah, all here then. Good." Mr Weasley said with a nervous chuckle, trying to subtly ease away from Draco's death grip on his arm. Negating the effects of the obviously glowing Veela were difficult, although Arthur managed mostly through willpower and love (some might say fear) for his wife.
Draco dizzily blinked about the dreary room they had flooed to, the overuse of greys and treacle coloured timbers causing him to doubt his own eyesight. Either he was slowly blacking out or someone had never heard of interior decorating. The pounding in his head made the former more likely.
Mr Weasley cast one look back to Draco, assessing if helping the boy was worth testing himself, then paced to the door. "This way then."
Mr Weasley hurried out into a narrow hallway lit by a large dust ridden chandelier and several blackened gas lamps. The hall would have been opulent if not for the peeling wallpaper and the musty smell of rising damp. Draco walked behind Mr Weasley, peering blearily at every detail along the neglected corridor, assessing the nature of what he assumed would be his 'safe house'. As Mr Weasley went down a narrow staircase at the end of the corridor, Draco stumbled over a garish trolls leg umbrella stand.
Please let this be a stop gap. Please say I won't be living here. Draco thought frantically.
Edging away from the tasteless umbrella stand, Draco looked back along the corridor. Several doorways signalled rooms along the hallway, adorned with gaudy looking Christmas decorations. A prim glazed door at the front was emblazoned with a murky looking crest. This was a pureblood's house. That was something of a comfort then.
Glancing at the ascending staircase to the left, Draco flinched at the ominous decorating.
It couldn't be, but he was almost certain – were they taxidermy-ed house elf heads on the walls? Who in their right mind would find that aesthetically pleasing? Merlin knows Draco detested the unsightly creatures enough alive, let alone dead and wearing Christmas hats.
Shuddering, Draco followed Mr Weasley down the stairs to evade the general tacky grandeur of the house.
The Weasley patriarch stood in the doorway of a lit room at the bottom of the stairs, apparently some sort of basement, addressing a group of people. Mr Weasley shouted ahead of him a quick "I'm back" that seemed received by the people in the basement. What kind of people would spend their Christmas in a basement? Draco was growing more and more apprehensive about his new living space.
When Mr Weasley noticed Draco, he stepped to the side and motioned for the boy to enter the room.
"We've got a new little one to look after. I'm sure you're all already familiar."
Looking around Draco saw the room was definitely nicer than the other rooms in the house, which was a relief.
A large wooden table sat in the middle of the room, the array of metal cooking pots on the walls suggesting the room was kitchen. It was to Draco's surprise that he noticed the majority of the people sitting around the table were Weasleys and he just had time enough to wrinkle his nose at the flimsy pink paper crown perched on the Weaselette's blazing mop of hair when a large solid mass hurtled out of nowhere and crushed Draco in a fierce embrace.
Draco stumbled, then froze up against the foreign hold, his hand twitching for his wand.
"DRACO! You're here, you are here. Why are you here? Are you ok? Are you hurt? Is something wrong? Why weren't you here sooner? Mmm, your skin feels different."
Draco relaxed slightly upon realizing that Harry was the mysterious person smothering his face with kisses. It was a few seconds more until the bond rushed up to meet Harry's magic leaving Draco feeling woozy.
Several of the Weasley's were wolf-whistling for some reason. Draco suspected the infamous twins. Unfortunately, Draco couldn't do much else but cling to Harry, pressing his face against Harry's neck, the bond making his head throb.
"Oh, well. I don't need to tell you boys to get along now, do I? Er..." Mr Weasley said awkwardly, uncertain if Narcissa's missive included protecting Draco from welcome advances.
"It's ok dad. Deep breaths." Ron said wearily, shaking his head disapprovingly at the Veelic couple who had now moved on to passionate snogging.
"Er, hello Draco. It's nice to see you again." Hermione ventured optimistically. Upon receiving no answer her voice reverted to deadpan pessimism. "They can't even hear me now, can they?"
"How romantic." Ginny gushed.
The twins were shouting contradictorily, clapping their hands and cheering, switching from.
"Come on suuuun! Yeah, go Harry!"
"Awww! We don't need to see that. Yeah, get a room why don't ya?"
"Mhhm' is' a good idea." Harry broke off from the heated snog to leer at Draco and nod at the assembled kitchen before tugging Draco into a tight hug to drag him somewhat out of the kitchen.
"Ugh." Draco stumbled, following where Harry lead him. Behind them in the kitchen the twins stood at the bottom of the stairs winking cheekily up at them.
"Don't take too long up there boys." Fred yelled.
"Yeah, it's Christmas after all. You and your pretty little boyfriend have to join the family for unwrapping the presents." George added.
"So if you're not done unwrapping each other in fifteen minutes we're coming up to get you!"
"Though it looks like you'll only need five!"
The howling of laughter echoed all the way up the stairwell and Harry responded with a muttered. "You can ignore them, they're just being gits."
Draco barely had time to respond before Harry shoved him into a messy bedroom on the second floor and pushed him back on the bed.
Draco propped himself up onto his elbows and tried to still his dizziness enough to speak. Harry's eyes were glowing with lust, raking up and down Draco's body, thinking to himself that his boyfriend, his beautiful Veela boyfriend looked even more incredible than before, his features angular and alluring due to the magic.
"God I've missed you." Harry growled, low and husky, before he pounced onto the bed on top of Draco and kissed him fiercely.
Draco gasped as Harry mouthed his jaw all the way down to his collarbone, peeling his clothes as he went. Finally gathering his wits Draco gave one last try at conversation.
"I was waiting for your dirty little letter to arrive. Are you going to act it out for me?" Harry breathed hotly into his ear, pushing back Draco's clothes and clawing at his belt.
Draco groaned loudly, all words lost. Harry took this as incentive to continue, dipping down to kiss Draco's stomach, pushing his shirt up while he undid his belt.
"Are you my Christmas present?" Harry murmured against Draco's navel.
"Haaaaaarrrrry!" Draco moaned as Harry's mouth inched downwards and latched onto his cock.
Harry sucked enthusiastically, his own hand down the front of his pants, bringing himself off. The magic heightened sensation, and they didn't last long. Their climax was dramatic, the white glow from the Veela magic erupting in a sudden flash.
Draco fell back limp upon the bed. Harry snuggled up next to him, a doting expression on his face.
"How was that?"
"I feel so dizzy." Draco meekly replied, finally finding his language.
"You do? Yeah, it was good for me too." Harry sighed contentedly.
"I threw up on Mr Weasley." Draco said dazedly.
"That's nice." Harry tugged Draco closer, stroking his hair, face and body fervently.
"My mum threatened him, and now she's gone to France."
"Do all of the Weasley's wear gingham?"
"Draco." Harry sounded highly preoccupied. "Do you want to make out now?"
Draco closed his eyes and fell back against the pillows. He could feel Harry shifting on the bed beside him, his besotted petting motions somehow removing most of his clothes.
"Love?" Harry questioned again, his hands causing a dip in the mattress on either side of Draco's head.
"Harry, you just came." Draco mumbled, his eyes still closed.
"I know, but I've missed you." Harry whinged petulantly.
"But you just came." Draco emphasised. "And I have a headache."
"Do you not want to? It's ok. You just lie back and I'll take care of everything."
"My back hurts." Draco grumbled.
"Do you not want to lie back? Do you want me to roll you over? Oh, but then I won't get to see your gorgeous face." Harry fretted.
"Mmrrgh." Draco's non committal noise seemed to be enough for Harry, as he gently rolled his boyfriend onto his belly. Harry moved his legs to straddle Draco's arse, his renewed erection pressing into the cleft as Harry trailed his fingers down Draco's back.
"So beautiful Draco. I've missed you so much." Harry murmured, his eyes lighting up as he saw the sheathed wings twitch under Draco's back.
Running his fingers repetitively over Draco's shoulder blades, Harry experimented with pushing magic from the bond into his boyfriend's skin. Draco shifted and mumbled, his body arching into the touch. The mumbling faded into a sensual trilling, and Draco's arse wiggled beneath Harry. Murmuring endearments as he did so, Harry's mouth stretched into a Cheshire grin when the large downy wings erupted from Draco's back in time with Harry's minute thrusts.
A luminosity betrayed the repressed glow of the Veela magic while Draco's wings instinctively curved to Harry's touch.
"Oh love, you're so beautiful. Your wings are amazing. You look like an angel." Harry cooed, dragging his fingers through the feathers displayed for him. Draco's self-conscious sounds of protest were eradicated by the instinctual mewling of Draco's Veela side. If the soft whimpers and appreciative keening noises where anything to go by, Draco's Veela side enjoyed Harry's ministrations a lot.
Harry licked and kissed patterns on Draco's back between his wings as he rubbed against Draco's arse, massaging the wings gently.
Draco's head was reeling. Even the earlier expulsion of magic was not enough. The magic swelled and swamped in his mind, the gradual steeping of energy from his wings was not nearly enough to level him. Veela magic worked as an exchange. Without a partner to continually exchange the magic with, it would amass and overwhelm the individual. Draco just wanted to push all his inconvenient magic away from him, so Harry could help him settle, in turn settling the dizzy blur in his brain.
Extending his wings as far as he could, Draco grabbed Harry's roving hands and groaned as he pushed the Veela magic away from him in a continual pulse. Harry moaned on top of him and Draco felt a warm wetness trickle across his lower back.
He tried to look for his wand to spell the mess away but he couldn't see anything, just after images from the white light of the magic. It sizzled his retinas, engulfing his entire eye with the strong beam of light. He closed his eyes in defeat and slumped onto the bed, nuzzling into the pillow as his magic slammed into Harry's.
"Fuck. Draco." Harry exclaimed appreciatively, addressing the back of Draco's neck."That was new."
"Nnnmmrg." Draco grunted into the pillow, his wings brushing up against Harry's skin.
"Seriously, that was just... you were glowing. I mean, seriously glowing. Like a lumos. I felt your magic." Harry said, astounded, hoisting his body off Draco's and rolling to lie next to him on the mattress.
"Mmm, it's been building up while you're gone." Draco murmured, feeling sated and less overwhelmed. He turned and rolled into Harry, wriggling into his chest.
"Has it been causing you trouble?"
"Yes." Draco sighed and pressed his cheek to Harry's chest. "Hence the healers and Hilda, and the fact that Weasley Senior held my hair back while I threw up in his waste paper basket about half an hour ago."
"What?" Harry sat up slightly on the bed.
"Lots of shitty things are happening to me because of the fat man's Veela curse. I can't stay in my home anymore." Draco pouted, curling around Harry's arm.
"You can stay with me though. You'll always have a safe place with me." Harry cooed.
"Great." Draco mumbled. "Wonderful. Just off the Dark Lord for me and I'll live in happiness forever."
"Again, what?" Harry sat up properly again, frowning down at his tired boyfriend.
"We've got a lot to talk about. I don't feel like repeating myself, and they'll probably all want to hear it if we are to go down for the Christmas presents. Though why they'd wait until night to open their presents I'll never know." Draco commented, still trying to burrow into Harry's chest, despite the Gryffindor's righteous dismay. "I don't want to repeat myself. Mr Weasley heard it all. He can tell them while I just cuddle you and nap, alright? Alright."
Harry blinked before smiling ruefully. Cuddling his Slytherin tighter he stroked Draco's whitish hair with a bemused expression on his face.
"Just glad you're back love." Harry mumbled before pressing a quick kiss to Draco's temple.
"Mmmrghmmma." Draco responded sweetly.
"I missed you too love." Harry chuckled, running his broad hand over Draco's wings, moving down to cup Draco's arse only to draw his sticky hand back to grope for his wand.
"Scourgify." Draco gave a contented little wiggle as Harry's magic washed over him again, the evidence of their coupling cleansed from their skin.
Draco relaxed and curved further into his boyfriend's embrace, the large white wings cocooning around Harry.
"Best Christmas present ever." Harry whispered to himself.
Tiny sighs of pleasure and gratification were Draco's sole expression of gratitude for their reunion. Harry found it endearing how Draco would communicate with odd little noises half of the time and was surprised to note that he forgot this oddly charming habit over their brief separation. Taking note of it now it somehow seemed twice as cute.
His lips curling up into a grin Harry leaned over to inform Draco of his apparent cuteness when the door slammed open with a loud bang.
"Are we interrupting something Fred?"
"I think we may be interrupting something George."
Draco's wings immediately snapped back to cover his nudity. Harry grabbed the rumpled sheet on the bed and drew it around him.
"Oi, clear off! You said fifteen minutes." He warned, trying to preserve his modesty.
"Oh we will." Fred conceded, his eyes flicking greedily to the nude Veela.
"In a minute." George added, his avaricious look mirroring that of his twin's.
"But first we have to tell you that we're all waiting for you downstairs."
"And the noises you were making, while entertaining, were becoming a bit of a distraction."
"And while we're up here, we don't mean to trouble you –"
"But we couldn't help notice an abundance of feathers on Malfoy's back –"
"And we were wondering if he wouldn't mind parting with a few of them."
"Perhaps even as a Christmas gift in the spirit of good will and love to all?"
"What?" Harry questioned at the same time Draco said "Meerhgh?" which Harry presumed meant the same.
"Just pluck a few of those pretty quills from your boyfriend's back Harry –"
"That's all we ask."
"Veela feathers happen to be highly useful in our current line of business –"
"And very expensive –"
"And rare –"
Said feathers bristled indignantly at the suggestion, Draco's face flushed pink as he tucked it further into Harry's chest, hiding.
"Fuck off. I'm not selling my body parts. Bastards." He scowled.
The twins paused for a beat, they looked expectantly at their Gryffindor comrade.
"Harry?" They said in unison.
Harry blinked, then wrinkled his nose as he figured out what they were implying.
"No! No, he said no, so that's a no. I can't believe you guys." Harry replied, his tone as offended as humanly possible.
The twins continued staring at Harry in a way that some would consider unnerving.
Harry sighed. "Actually, I can. But you're not having any. So leave Draco alone. Can you leave now?"
"Why ever for?" George purred silkily, his eyes alighting on Draco's nude form once again.
"So we can get dressed. For the meeting. The meeting you came up here to call us for?" Harry reiterated, wearing an exasperated expression by this point.
"Don't be shy Harry." Fred said with a chipper grin.
"We're all blokes here." George piped in, grinning like a Cheshire.
"Reminds me of the locker rooms after Quidditch –" Fred mused.
"-With the communal showers. Good old pervy Hogwarts." George hummed.
"Though we never had a Veela on our team." Fred nodded once again towards Draco's naked form.
"That's it." Draco grumbled and suddenly his wand was in his hand. "Allerez Ambularez."
The minuscule flick of the hawthorn wand immediately animated the twins legs and sent their bodies in motion, jolting and jerking, their legs contorting in odd positions as the hex propelled them out of Harry's room, the door slamming shut behind them. Now reunited with his wand Draco sent a barrage of cleaning and straightening charms on his and Harry's assorted clothes.
"What was that spell? I've never seen it before." Harry commented as he was pulling on his jeans, sneaking looks at his boyfriend's reverse-striptease, slightly disappointed now the brilliant wings were once again sheathed in his back.
"It's a Malfoy spell invented by my ancestor Victor Malfoi. Apparently his friends were in the habit of walking in on him when he was bathing or changing or with a lover, so he made the spell to teach them a lesson."
"Really?" Harry said, bemused. "It seems like a lot of trouble to go to over something like that."
"It can be very frustrating." Draco replied sagely, speaking from personal experience. Pansy had the habit of just bursting into the boys dorms at the worst of times.
Once the boys were appropriately dressed, Harry showed Draco to the meeting room (formerly the dilapidated dining room, now recently refurbished) where the Order had set up a large ornamental Christmas Tree. Walking with a friendly arm around Draco's shoulders Draco decided to allow Harry the contact in public, if only to cement his status as Draco's protector and send a message of warning out to others, namely the twins. He was too tired to bother arguing. The fact that Draco enjoyed Harry's affections was beside the point.
The meeting room was full with both familiar and unfamiliar faces bedecked with bottles of butterbeer and glasses of port, topped off with the gaudy party hats Draco had seen on the Weasel girl. Nearly all of the faces were friendly, some pitying and some a bit more amorous than acceptable, but Draco was becoming used to this phenomenon.
There were the Weasley brood, that was to be expected, as well as the werewolf and old defence teacher, Remus Lupin. Draco made a mental note to always keep a human barrier between himself and the deceptively gentle looking man. Draco used to think (privately) that the man was very reassuring, attractive even, but he cast such thought away when Professor Snape told of his true nature. It would not do to panic like he could when he was younger, but he couldn't help but cling tighter on Harry's arm. At least keeping someone else around him would help settle his lycanthrophobia.
Standing to Lupin's left was a slender young woman with startling green eyes and messy black hair, features that suddenly morphed into fairer traits resembling Draco's hair and eyes. A Metamorphagus then. She stared, openly curious at Draco, a gleeful smile lighting her face as she acknowledged Harry's reassuring hand encircling Draco's waist.
Harry lead Draco over to a lounge in the middle of the room, pulling him onto his lap in the vee between his legs, the generously cushioned chaise making it comfortable.
Hermione gave Draco a tentative smile. She sat on the lounge between Harry and a middle aged man with youthful eyes. He had shoulder length rugged black hair, messy, almost like Harry's, with sharp and playful grey eyes, the colour Draco's had been before the Veelic curse.
He was grinning lazily at the Veelic couple and winked when Harry wrapped his arms around Draco, to which Draco scowled and Harry grinned in reply.
The twins sat on the floor by the tree, across from the couple, curious expressions on their faces. Draco expected them to be feeling sour after being hexed by him, instead they were ecstatic.
"Malfoy, what was that hex you used?"
"Bloody amazing –"
"- it'd be dead useful –"
"- in conducting pranks –"
"- and removing unwanted visitors."
"Like you?" Draco snapped back, scowling at the chipper twins.
Harry tightened his arms around Draco's middle and murmured calming phrases in his ear, pressing a conciliatory kiss on the Veela's neck.
"If you don't snap, they'll get bored and leave us alone."
"What happened to the "I'll fight them for you" Gryffindor boyfriend I had last term?" Draco shifted in Harry's lap, trying to pin him with a disappointed look.
The dark haired man at the head of the table threw back his head and let forth a bark of a laugh.
"Oh my poor Harry. You must be losing your touch if a Slytherin is schooling you on how to be Gryffindor. That would never have stood in my day. Poor form."
"Shut up Sirius." Harry snapped back cheekily. "Leave me and my incredibly Gryffindor boyfriend alone."
Draco blinked. "Is that supposed to be a compliment from you?"
"The lad's a natural. Give's compliment's like his father's." The man Harry called serious chuckled jokingly.
Molly Weasley, who up til now stood a plump red haired little thing by her husband's side, visibly bristled at Sirius' comparison and clearly intended to change the subject.
"Harry dear, would you like to introduce us to your friend?"A copy of the Daily Prophet winked up at the room from the coffee table, and Molly made a point to look meaningfully at the black and white spread of the embracing couple before fixing Harry with an expectant gaze.
Harry blinked. "Uh, seriously?"
The grey eyed man snorted, as did Ron and the twins.
"Yeah, you've only been talking about him all holidays Harry." Ron rolled his eyes.
"I miss Draco." Fred sighed in perfect mimicry of Harry.
"I wonder what Draco's doing now." George leaned into his brother looking gleefully wistful. Harry frowned at how whiney their imitations were. Surely he didn't sound that bad.
"I wonder what clothes Draco is wearing." Fred added on.
"I wonder if he's wearing any clothes at all." George continued.
Both the twins sighed. "Now I miss Draco even more."
The light chuckling that twitted round the room was quickly quelled by Mrs Weasley's disapproving look. Even Draco looked slightly amused, staring at Harry, his lips twitching as though he were fighting a smile.
"Now boys, I won't have you being rude. Harry's special friend deserves a proper introduction since he'll be staying with the family. Harry." The stern glance was all it took, despite Draco's incredulous eyebrows at the epithet 'special friend'.
"Er, right well. Everyone, this is Draco. Draco, this is everyone. Draco is... uh ... he's my boyfriend." Harry's cheeks were a lovely pink tinge, and Draco kissed his cheek in reward.
"That looked difficult." Draco whispered against Harry's skin.
"Ickle Harry's Veela boyfriend." The twins cooed.
"Now we'll have no more mention of this 'V' word!" Mrs Weasley said, her voice full of reprimand. "There's been enough trouble with the ministry, so I'll have none of you being mean to young Draco because he's different."
Draco's amused expression faltered slightly. Mrs Weasley noticed this from the corner of her eye and thought it prudent to move onto lighter topics. Clapping her pinkish hands she caught the attention of the room.
"Come now, presents everyone! Presents!"
The twins flew into action, hurling presents from the bottom of the tree to their respective recipients. Draco turned to Harry, puzzled.
"You still haven't opened your presents yet? We opened ours this morning."
"We were waiting for Tonks and Remus to come back. It fit in well with the big Weasley Christmas dinner we usually have. And Bill and Fleur are still travelling over, so we've been trying to stretch Christmas out a bit so nobody is left out." Harry replied.
"So are you leaving some presents until they arrive?"
"Yes." Hermione answered. "Fleur has to travel under Polyjuice mostly so the Ministry doesn't arrest her. They're coming to England the muggle way."
Draco frowned, but didn't linger on the conversation as a well ribboned present was placed in his lap. Feeling through the crepe paper, the contents seemed soft and material.
"What's this?" Draco pondered. "It feels soft."
"Ah." Harry cast a brief look to Mrs Weasley who conspicuously looked away, something of a blush decorating her cheeks. "I have a feeling I know what this is."
Draco was already unwrapping the crepe paper packaging, when Harry leaned into him, whispering into his ear.
"Draco, I know you may not like it, but please, at least pretend that you do. It means a lot to her."
Draco blinked, puzzled, and replied in a similar whisper.
"It's a present Harry. I never dislike presents. That's just rude."
Peeling back the paper, a soft knit jumper was revealed. Moss green with silver lettering. The capital D implying Draco's new place in the family.
Draco looked about the room, taking in the similar jumpers on others. Smiling, he looked up to Mrs Weasley.
"Thank you. This looks very warm. It'll be useful, especially up at the castle."
Smiling back, Mrs Weasley hesitated, then crossed the room and pulled the blonde boy into a surprising hug. At first Draco looked panicked, as he did when any stranger touched him, but then he calmed upon hearing her words.
"Poor poor lad. Of course it will keep you warm at Christmas. You're part of the family now, you are. We'll look after you."
Draco awkwardly patted Mrs Weasley on the back.
"Er, thank you Mrs Weasley."
"Oh Draco dear, you can call me Molly." Mrs Weasley replied, pulling away from the hug with a wink.
"Yes, yes, well, we've lots more presents to open now!" Mr Weasley hurried forward, tugging his wife back to the tree, remembering Narcissa's dictum.
The evening passed with reasonable haste from that point on, presents opened and thank you's given to appropriate people. The general consensus was to retreat with the presents to try them out before retiring for the evening.
The surplus of awkward pauses and drifts in conversation when it came to Draco's situation left the night feeling off.
Draco had the distinct feeling that as welcoming as the Weasleys were being, he just didn't belong. Obviously the family hadn't been expecting his sudden arrival, and whenever he had cause to dwell on the matter, Draco thought of his father navigating the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord, and of the Ministry turning over his house, searching for him.
It made him shudder, thinking of those dredges from the ministry, in his house, in his room maybe, touching his things. His letters from Harry were still on his bedside table. Certainly, Draco had the real thing right next to him, holding him in a strong comforting embrace.
But to think of men like Stopko, men like Dacribade ogling the precious correspondence, it made Draco feel sick to his stomach.
Although the night seemed hurried, Draco couldn't be more relieved when it finally drew to a close.
"Here, you can stay with me in my room." Harry pulled a weary Draco along through the house.
Undressing once more, Draco begged off any further sexual activity, seeking only the warm embrace of sleep.
Curled up in his bondmate's strong embrace, Draco sniffled for a moment, feeling sorry for himself.
Harry must have heard, and nuzzled his lips up against the back of Draco's neck.
"You ok?" Harry's husky voice ghosted over Draco's skin.
"Mmm." Draco's ambiguous answer was high pitched and tremulous.
"Don't worry love. You're safe here. I'll protect you."
Draco sniffled again, glad that Harry could only see the back of him, grateful that the welling tears could belong only to him in this silent moment.
Harry took his silence for acceptance, and murmured again.
"It'll get better. You'll like it here, I promise."
There was another gap of silence in which the steady rise pace of breathing lightly played.
With silent wet tears and the warmth of a lover behind him, Draco closed his eyes on what must be his worst Christmas so far.