Auror Potter and the Book of Bedtime Tales

Draco woke up with a smile on his face. Mornings like these were almost enough to convince him that life was perfect. Not even three years had passed since Voldemort's fall, and already he could leave the Manor and receive a greater number of friendly nods than judgmental frowns. More importantly, if he were to turn over onto his left side right now, there would be a warm, hard body there for him to sling his arm around. And if he opened his eyes and looked at the bedside table, he'd see an Auror badge and a pair of round spectacles. He could pretend these were authentic—not replicas belonging to an overpriced rentboy— close his eyes again, and fall back asleep the happiest bloke in the wizarding world.

After a slow, satisfying stretch—the kind that's only possible the morning after a thorough shag—he decided to follow through with that imagined sequence of events. He turned onto his left side, reached out with his right arm and…

To Draco's dismay, his hand landed on cold, empty sheets. He opened his eyes. The bedside table was empty but for a spiky black quartz candleholder. Draco made a mental note to make sure that someone got a smaller pouch of galleons next time.

Yawning, he flipped back over and cast a glance at the clock to his right. It was 7:30 a.m., a decent time to get up and go about being a charitable person. The earlier he got to it, the earlier he could come back home and relax. Not that he didn't enjoy being a charitable person—he had indeed found it to be unexpectedly rewarding on a personal level—but it was hard work.

Something seemed a bit off, though. Draco just couldn't quite place it. He looked back at the bedside table on his side of the bed. On top of it he saw the clock, his wand and watch, and a candleholder identical to the one on the other side of the bed. But he was certain he had left The Book there as well.

Draco sat up and grabbed his wand. He shouldn't have felt so silly when he said, "Accio Book of Bedtime Tales." It wasn't as if he had given the thing its title.

A while passed, and nothing happened.

Draco tried again.

Still, nothing happened.

"Fuck!" he hissed through gritted teeth.

He had a pretty good idea of what had happened to his favourite rare possession.

Harry's day had started out like any other. He'd arrived at work, attended a meeting, spoken to a few witnesses in the latest case, and spent some time pondering the information he'd gathered over the last few days. There'd been no indication that before lunch was over, Ron and Hermione would be giving him that look. The look that told him they were worried he might have gone loopy. Even Neville was extremely fascinated by something invisible on his trousers and wouldn't meet Harry's eyes when he turned to him for support.

Harry hadn't seen such an extreme version of Ron and Hermione's Harry-must-have-finally-gone-mad stare since sixth year, when he'd been convinced that Draco Malfoy was a Death Eater and up to no good. It was of little surprise, then, that Draco was also the cause of this new bout of supposed insanity. Never mind that Harry had been right the first time.

Hermione shook her head a little and dipped her spoon into a bowl of tomato soup, which she'd neglected since Harry had pulled her copy of the Daily Prophet closer and, after scanning the article that had caught his eye, suggested that Draco might not be as reformed as he'd have everyone believe.

"Honestly, Harry—Draco has done so much for the wizarding world since the war. I can't believe you're going to take an article by Rita Skeeter at face value and accuse him of possessing dark artifacts without a shred of real evidence."

At that, Neville finally looked up. His eyes were full of admiration when he said, "That shelter for animals whose owners had died in the war was his idea. He funded and organised the entire thing."

Harry turned to him. "Right—animals. That's very nice of him, but it doesn't mean he's changed his attitude towards people and dark magic. Hitler treated his dog well, too."

"Who?" Ron asked over amouthful of turkey sandwich. He was staring at Harry with a blank expression.

"Never mind," Harry said. The degree to whichsome wizards were oblivious about the Muggle world was shocking.

"Don't be ridiculous, Harry," Hermione said. "He's done a lot for people, too. Just recently, he held that fundraiser for children with incurable magical maladies."

"Yeah, but—"

"And," Hermione continued, speaking over him, "he's been urging the Board of Governors to make Muggle Studies a required class at Hogwarts."

She glanced at Ron, and then lifted her eyebrows at Harry.

"They're right, Harry," Ron said, unaware of the silent communication that had passed between them. "I'll never like the git, but he does seem to have changed for the better."

Both Neville and Hermione nodded.

"And even if he hasn't—" Hermione looked pointedly at Harry. "—I doubt he'd risk the reputation he has built up by collecting illegal items. The Malfoys don't care as much about light and dark as they do about their own standing in the wizarding community, and with Lucius in Azkaban and Narcissa... unwell, it's up to Draco to gain some respect for the family name. As long as there's no Dark Lord promising him power, he isn't a threat."

"Listen to Hermione, mate," Ron said. "Stop obsessing over Malfoy and focus on the real bad guys."

Harry gave a resigned sigh. He knew a lost cause when he saw one.

"All right," he said, even as he rolled up Hermione's copy of the Prophet to take back to the office.

Malfoy Manor: Still a Museum of Dark Artifacts?

Late Saturday night, a thief was spotted making a sneaky getaway from Malfoy Manor. The witnesses, a young couple who had decided to go for an impromptu moonlight stroll around the neighbourhood—Oh, how we love such sappy real-life stories!—caught sight of a cloaked figure for just a few seconds before he Disapparated.

"He was clutching something rectangular in shape," claims one of the witnesses. "It might have been a book or a small box. Once he made it past the gates, where the anti-Apparition wards don't reach, he was gone."

Says the second witness, "We didn't see his face, but he must be been a friend of the Malfoys, or the gates would not have allowed him to pass. He went right through them, as if they'd become smoke."

The following morning, the couple reported what they had seen to Magical Law Enforcement, but when officers went to question Draco Malfoy, he denied that anything was missing from the Manor. Mr Malfoy has also declined to comment to reporters.

Harry didn't need to read the rest of the article again. He was well-familiar with the collection of dark artifacts that had been found in a number of hidden chambers at Malfoy Manor after the war. What he needed to do was to head down to the DMLE and find out who the witnesses were and what, exactly, Draco had told the officers.

The next day found Harry sitting in the parlour in Malfoy Manor, apparently a most unwelcome guest.

"I told you: nothing was stolen from this house." Draco punctuated each word as if he were talking to someone either mentally challenged or hard of hearing.

Harry had to admit, Draco looked hot when he was angry. If he didn't take his job so seriously, and if the well-being of the wizarding world wasn't so important to him, he might have been willing to drop the matter entirely if only the other man would agree to a shag. Or two.

"What about the witnesses?"

"Obviously they're making the story up." Draco's fingertips were digging into the armrests of his chair. It was hard to tell whetherhe was just annoyed or on edge because he was hiding something.

Harry let his eyes wander until they settled on the hollow of Draco's throat. "Why would they do that?"

"I don't know. You're the Auror—why don't you tell me?"

Because they're probably not, Harry wanted to say. "Did you have any guests over that night? Someone the witnesses could have mistaken for a thief?"

Draco's glare was like frostbite. Harry wondered what those grey eyes would look like if a hint of warmth ever reached them.

"No," Draco said flatly. "Will that be all?"

"I have a few more questions, if you don't mind."

"I do mind—I wanted to visit my mother in St Mungo's. She's gone mad, in case you haven't heard— but that won't deter you, will it?" Draco turned his head to gaze out the tall window as he waited for the questions. Harry looked back down at Draco's hands, pale as ivory against the black leather armchair. The gold signet ring adorning his finger glinted in the sunlight.

"I'm sorry about your mother," Harry said, and paused before continuing. "I'll just make this very quick, then. Are you aware of any dark artifacts the Ministry had missed when they searched your house after the war?" He knew he was probably asking in vain, but he hoped that if Draco truly had changed, he would tell the truth.

Draco shook his head.

"Have you acquired any such artifacts since that time?"

The question appeared to have hurt Draco's feelings. There was a raw and sincere look in his eyes when he turned them back on Harry.

"No."

Harry wanted to believe him, but he didn't think the witnesses were lying. And if someone had indeed stolen something from Malfoy Manor, why would Draco deny it, unless he had something to hide?

Realising that Draco wasn't going to tell him anything useful, Harry closed his notepad and stood. "All right, that'll be all for now."

Draco's eyes shot up. "So you'll be continuing this blasted investigation, even though I told you I wasn't robbed?"

"You bet," Harry said. "And thanks for the tea." He injected a bit of sarcasm into that last part; Draco hadn't offered him anything to drink. Not that he had expected that much.

An offended snort followed Harry as he escorted himself out of the parlour.

Harry spent the next week conducting his own off -the-record investigation into the matter. It turned out that the number of rare magical objects reported stolen was on the rise, a trend that appeared to have begun about a year after the war. That, of course, didn't include dark artifacts, which were illegal and therefore unlikely to be reported. But Harry strongly suspected that whoever was stealing these harmless items wouldn't pass up the extra Galleons a dark artifact would bring in. If that was the case, then some of those objects were being passed from the harmless hands of collectors to dark witches and wizards with more sinister purposes. And that was not on.

An anonymous tip owled in to the Aurors' Office the Monday after Skeeter's article had been published pointed him to an address in Chelsea, which the source believed to be the residence of a group of young wizards engaged in the trafficking of stolen goods. That same day, he managed to convince Ron and Neville of the validity of his theory, and that they should follow the lead regardless of whether or not anything had been stolen from Malfoy Manor. He brought his findings to Robards and received the go-ahead to begin a formal investigation.

The next day, Harry and Ron went to speak to the residents of the posh flat in Chelsea Bridge Wharf. The shock Harry experienced when the door finally opened knocked the wind out of him. Ron was rendered speechless as well.

"May I help you?" asked the bloke on the other side of the door.

If it weren't for the American accent and lack of round spectacles, Harry would have thought he was looking at his own reflection in the mirror.

"We, er—" Harry started, but forgot what he was supposed to say.

Ron flashed his badge. "We're from the Aurors' Office. Do you live here?"

The man on the other side of the doorway didn't look surprised at all; anyone who recognised Harry—as this man did, if the amused twitch of his lips was anything to go by—would also know he was an Auror.

"Yes, I'm Tyson Boyd."

Harry recongisedthe name as that of one of the three listed owners of the flat.

"Then would you mind answering a few questions?"

"No, of course not." Boyd opened the door wider and stepped aside. "Come in."

Harry remained frozen in the doorway until Ron took his arm and guided him inside the flat. They followed Harry's look-alike into a spacious living room and sat down on the sofa.

"What can I help you with?" Boyd asked.

Harry couldn't take his eyes off him. Was it Polyjuice? Did he have a long-lost twin?

"How long have you been living in England, Mr Boyd?" Ron asked.

"A little over two years," said Boyd. "I moved here from the US shortly after Auror Potter here defeated You-Know-Who."

"So you were born in America?"

"Yes, I was."

"Hmm," Ron mused.

Harry looked at Ron and saw that he was admiring the glossy polish of the hardwood floor. "What do you do for a living?" he asked.

Boyd shrugged. "Nothing, really. My parents are wealthy."

"Doing what, exactly?"

"They own a few luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan." Boyd seemed a little uneasy as he looked from Harry to Ron.

"So you went to—" Harry searched his memory for the name of the American school of magic. It was on the tip of his tongue.

"The Salem Institute?" Boyd offered, and at Harry's nod replied, "yeah."

"Mr Boyd," Ron said, "we believe you and your flatmates might be trafficking stolen goods—rare and dark artifacts, and the like."

Boyd gave him a wide-eyed look and shrugged. "I've never stolen anything in my life. Never had the need."

"So then you wouldn't mind if we searched your flat?" Harry asked.

Boyd held his gaze, but in his peripheral vision, Harry could see his hands fidgeting.

"Do you have a search warrant?"

"No."

Boyd stood. "Then get one, if you like. Then you can do your search."

"We will," Harry said, getting to his feet as well.

Boyd opened the door and waited for them to leave. "Nice meeting you, Auror Potter," he said as Harry passed.

"The pleasure was all mine," Harry said through clenched teeth.

As soon as the door closed behind them, Ron turned to Harry. "I don't trust him."

"Nor do I," Harry replied as he pressed the button for the lift.

Only because he was Harry Potter did he manage to get a warrant the same day. It was necessary, too, if he wanted to return and search the flat before Boyd and his mates had time to get rid of any incriminating possessions.

The sun had already set when he, Ron, and Neville Apparated near the Chelsea Bridge. "One of us should sneak in, first. That way, we might overhear something useful, in case they don't store the artifacts in the flat." Harry said as they walked to the apartment building.

"So which one of us is going to break in?" Neville asked.

"I can," Harry said, "unless one of you would rather do it."

Neither Ron nor Neville protested.

"Okay, then," Harry continued. "I'll use Permeo and go through the door in my Invisibility Cloak. If I need help, I'll activate the charm on our badges to let you know. Otherwise, I'll come back out and we'll actually ring the doorbell."

They took the lift up to the ninth floor. Harry pulled out his wand, pointed it at the door, and whispered, "Permeo."

The door didn't change in appearance, but Harry knew that he could now walk right through it. The spell worked on the same principle as the charm on the Malfoys' gates.

Harry put on the cloak over his head and stepped through the door. At first, he thought no one was home, but then he heard voices coming from a room further down. He crept slowly in their direction.

"I knew you were stubborn, Draco, but I didn't think you were stupid enough to come here," said a voice Harry recognised as Boyd's.

Harry's blood froze. It didn't please him to know Draco was there, even if it meant he'd been right all along. He cursed the man's stupidity even as he feared for his safety.

"You'll be sorry for this," Draco hissed, and the threat was promptly followed by laughter.

There were more people in the room besides Draco and Boyd. Harry recognised two other distinct voices.

He moved quietly down the hallway until he reached the room they were in. Stopping in the open doorway, he assessed the scene.

Malfoy was bound in a chair, surrounded by three men. Boyd had his wand drawn.

"No, I don't think I will be," said Boyd. "I didn't want to harm you, you know. But now that you've seen all this—" He gestured vaguely around the room. The shelves on the walls of the room were lined with dark tomes, glittering jewellery, strange orbs, mirrors, combs, colourful potions, and fancy goblets Harry would never dare allow to touch his lips. There was even a pair of black lace gloves. "—I can't let you go free."

"You're going to kill me?" Draco' voice cracked a little.

"Yes," Boyd said casually. "But first, you're going to tell me where your father kept all those valuable dark artifacts. If you cooperate, I'll make sure your death is as painless as possible."

One of the men, a dark-haired bloke as wide as the two others put together, looked very displeased to hear this. He glared at Boyd. "I thought you said we could fuck him first."

Boyd waved his hand dismissively. "Oh, he'll enjoy that."

"What if we want to make sure he doesn't?" asked the third man.

"Well," Boyd drawled, "it won't technically count as being a part of his death, will it?"

The other two chuckled lasciviously.

Draco swallowed. "I told you, Tyson, the Ministry confiscated everything."

"I don't believe that. Tell me what I want to know, or we'll Crucio it out of you."

"I'm telling you the truth!" Draco's eyes were wide with fear, and nostrils flared with every breath.

Boyd picked up a glass of scotch from the desk and took a sip. "Have at it, boys. He won't be any fun after we've tortured him."

Harry pressed the centre of his Auror badge. There was no way he was leaving Draco alone with those thugs, even for a minute. "Just be quick about it; we need him and all of this rubbish out of here by morning. Aurors could arrive at any moment."

"They're already here!" Harry said as he pulled of his cloak.

Hexes began to fly at him from every direction, but Harry's speedy Protego deflected the first few, and by the time it wore off, Ron and Neville were at his side. They went after Boyd's two friends, leaving Harry to challenge his own evil twin. Boyd was the only one of the three who showed any skill in dueling, but once Ron and Neville were free to join Harry, he was Disarmed and Stunned within seconds.

"Incarcerous!" Harry shouted, and magical ropes similar to those binding Draco's wrists together shot out of his wand to tie Boyd's arms behind his back.

Harry released Draco and kept an eye on him as the others took down the wards around the flat so that they could Disapparate with the felons.

Draco walked over to a nearby shelf and picked up a green book.

"Thanks, Potter," he muttered as he tried to squeeze past Harry through the doorway.

Harry grabbed the book and pulled it out of his grasp. "Sorry, Draco. This item is now a piece of evidence in an Auror investigation. If it isn't illegal, it will be returned to you shortly."

"It isn't illegal."

"Even if it isn't," Harry said, and he noted with suspicion the dread in Draco's eyes, "it's what started this investigation. I can't let you have it just yet."

"Fuck you, Potter!" Draco let go of the book and stormed out of the flat, apparently still too shaken up to Disapparate without the risk of splinching.

Harry watched until he was gone before he opened the book to a random page in the center.

It was blank.

He turned another page, closer to the front.

That, too, was blank.

Flipping through the entire volume, Harry saw that none of the pages contained any text. He wondered if it was similar to Tom Riddle's diary. Maybe one had to write in it.

Hermione would figure it out.

"Corin Chadwick," Harry said slowly as he and Ron entered the interrogation room. He wanted to savour the moment. He had learned some very interesting things about the man who called himself Tyson Boyd since they'd arrested him two days earlier.

'Boyd' sat slouched in his chair, legs spread wide and smirking as if he owned the Ministry. The cockiness made him look unlike Harry, even if everything else fit—even the fake scar.

"That's my name," Chadwick said. "But most people just call me 'Harry'."

Harry ignored the comment as he took a seat across the table across from him. "So you lied about your name and the fact that you were born in America. You were actually born here in the UK, but moved to America with your parents when you were three. You returned a little over two years ago, like you said, and have been rather busy since then."

Harry leaned back in his chair and observed Chadwick, who didn't so much as flinch under the scrutiny.

"How exactly is it you were able to gain access to the residences of so many affluent people, Boyd?"

Harry knew the answer, but he wanted the pleasure of drawing it out of Chadwick, who wouldn't be able to resist the Veritaserum as it compelled him to answer truthfully.

Chadwick's smirk grew. "I'm you."

"Please clarify."

Chadwick leaned forward and rested his bound wrists on the table. "There are many people who fantasise about shagging you, Auror Potter. I bring that fantasy to life for them."

His eyes never left Harry's, and although the bold stare was making Harry uncomfortable, he refused to look away.

"What's your relationship to Draco Malfoy?" Ron asked, as if there was no way the obvious conclusion could be the right answer.

Something flipped in Harry's stomach when Chadwick smiled at Harry and said, "He's one of my most loyal clients."

Harry had considered that possibility, but hearing it confirmed he thought he might faint. Images of Draco spread out beneath him flashed unbidden through his mind. He shifted in his seat, hoping his cock wouldn't decide to respond to the stimulus. Ron didn't seem to be faring much better—though hopefully for a different reason, such as horror. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry could see his face turning red.

"How did you manage to steal the book?" Harry asked.

Chadwick shrugged. "Easy—he was asleep."

"He fell asleep while you were still at the Manor?" Harry asked. He wouldn't have thought Draco was trusting enough to allow himself to fall asleep with a rentboy in the house.

"Yeah, he started requesting that I spend the night. Pays extra for it. He likes to cuddle in the morning."

More images flashed through his head. This time of Draco pressed against him and nuzzling his neck, laying soft kisses on his shoulder.

"What's so special about the book?" Harry asked.

"It's very rare. Only one man knows how to craft them, in Paris."

"Why haven't you sold it yet?" What Harry really wanted to ask was iWhat does it do?/i but he didn't want to admit that the Aurors hadn't yet succeeded in breaking its security charms. All they had seen were blank pages in an untitled green leather binding.

"We haven't been able to get past its security charms."

When Harry didn't respond for a moment—he had to warm up to the idea of admitting that the Aurors hadn't had any more success with the book than Chadwick's gang—Chadwick seized the opportunity to speak.

"So, Auror Potter—have you ever wondered what it would be like to fuck yourself, literally?"

"Not interested, Chadwick, but thanks for the offer," Harry said. "I'd rather know what the book is for."

Chadwick leaned back in his chair with a pleased expression. Harry thought it must be because he looked like him and knew something he didn't.

"It's called the Book of Bedtime Tales. It authors stories specifically for its owner."

"The book writes the stories?" Harry asked, to be sure he'd understood.

Chadwick nodded.

"What kind of stories?" Ron asked.

Harry's look-alike gave another grin. "Erotic ones."

Harry wasn't sure he understood exactly how that worked, so he questioned Chadwick further. "You mean it writes down its owner's fantasies?"

"Not exactly," Chadwick said. "It writes stories for its owner's entertainment. Like bedtime stories, only for adults."

If there was one thing Harry knew about Draco, it was that he wouldn't share such details of his private possessions with a rentboy. Especially one with non-magical parents. He furrowed his brow in suspicion. "And Malfoy told you all of this?"

"No, I just recognised the binding—they're all the same. I've seen one in Paris."

Harry wasn't as certain. If Chadwick was basing his assumption purely on his familiarity with the book's binding, it was likely he was mistaken. Draco's book might simply have been made to resemble the kind of self-authoring text Chadwick spoke of to disguise its true nature. That, however, was nothing Chadwick could help them with, so Harry let Ron change the topic to talk about the man's other misdeeds. This was going to be the trial of the year.

Harry was sitting at his desk, finishing up tedious paperwork, when Hermione's bushy head appeared over the wall of his cubicle. She came to stand next to him.

He turned to face her and noticed that she look flustered; her cheeks were coloured pink and she wouldn't look him in the eyes.

"Everything all right?" he asked.

Hermione handed him the book Chadwick had stolen from Malfoy Manor. "I was able to reverse the security charms."

"Oh, that's great!"

Hermione's blush deepened as he took the book from her. "As far as I can tell, it's exactly what it appears to be. I haven't found any traces of dark magic. It will open, and you can read what's already there, but it won't work for you. The book will only write for its original owner."

"Thanks, Hermione."

"Any time," she said. And as soon as Harry opened the cover, she was gone.

Harry looked down at the green tome. bThe Book of Bedtime Tales/b was written in ornate letters on the title page.

He flipped to the second page.

Welcome, dear reader! Within these pages, your erotic fantasies will take on a life of their own. The process is simple: flip to a blank page, think of the one you desire, and then sit back and watch as the words appear.

Harry resisted the urge to beat himself over the head for thinking of Draco when he found a blank page about two thirds of the way into the book.

A line of print appeared in front of him.

My apologies, but I am not authorised to write for you.

With a sigh, Harry turned to a random page among those already filled and began to read.

The Knight in Golden Armour

Once upon a time, there lived a dashing prince named Draco Malfoy.

Harry sniggered into his coffee, and a few drops splattered onto the open pages of the book. "Damn it!" he said, reaching for his wand. With a flick of his wrist the mess was gone, and he resumed reading.

The people saw their prince as a shining beacon of hope, with his white-blondhair, radiant face, and finely-polished armour. But appearances could be deceiving. The prince harboured a terrible secret—a fascination with all things dark and dangerous.

It began when, as a young boy, he had sneakily followed his father into a secret chamber beneath the castle. His father had carried him away at once, but not quickly enough that the prince hadn't caught a glimpse of all the curious magical artifacts, some colourful and glittering, others ugly and repugnant and therefore all the more curious.

When Draco grew old enough to make his own decisions, he hired an expert in dark artifacts, Severus Snape, to search out and bring to him the rarest and most valuable of such treasures in the entire kingdom.

"That's Malfoy, all right," muttered Harry under his breath.

Ron peered over the wall of his cubicle. "What was that, mate?"

"Nothing, just talking to myself," said Harry. He was starting to wonder where this tale was going. There was nothing remotely erotic about it so far.

One day, Severus returned from his travels looking particularly pleased. With a bow and a smirk, the sallow-skinned man extended his arm and presented the prince with a small glass orb, in the centre of which swirled an ominous darkness.

"What is this?" Draco asked.

"A captive Shadow Spirit, most likely the last of its kind. A Shadow Spirit is a powerful being, but never an ally." Severus's dark eyes bore into the prince's. "You must be careful not to let it out, Sire."

"How does one let it out?" The question sounded eager even to Draco's own ears, so he hastened to add, "Just so I don't do it by accident."

"I do not know," was Severus's reply. "Only the capturer does, and I suspect he is long gone. The glass should be unbreakable, but I don't suggest testing it."

Prince Draco stared at the globe, entranced by the Shadow, which danced inside its prison like black smoke. At last, he wrapped his fingers fully around the thick glass and looked up at his servant. "Thank you, Severus. You shall be rewarded."

Draco didn't spare much thought to how the Shadow might be let out. He had no desire to unleash a danger upon his father's kingdom, especially one his sword would be unable to destroy. But he grew fond of the small glass orb, and often held it in his fingers when he needed to think.

One day he was doing just that when he absentmindedly rubbed his finger back and forth over the shiny surface. The ball began to shake, faster and faster, until it was vibrating in the prince's hand. He held his breath, while his heart hammered with anticipation.

The Shadow shot upwards as though the glass wall didn't exist, leaving behind a clear, empty orb. It hovered angrily in front of the prince and, as he stared at it, the most devastating images shot through his mind. He saw fire in the shape of beasts surging through the castle and leaving behind nothing but charred stone. He saw himself and his parents screaming in agony as the flames swallowed them up. For the first time in his life, Draco felt true terror.

Just as quickly as the Shadow escaped its prison, it vanished from sight. But that was hardly the last Draco would see of it. The vile thing sought out his father, and from that day forward, it was a constant presence at the king's side.

King Lucius had never been a very kind monarch, but now he grew more terrible by the day. When the king gave orders to begin rounding up everyone of non-noble blood who could work and executing the sick, elderly, and disabled, Draco knew that the Shadow was now making his father's decisions for him. His father's eyes were filled with a fear that never left, and as the vile, black thing grew, the king gradually lost his strength and vigour until he became as frail and withered as an old man.

Many brave souls took up the challenge of trying to vanquish the Shadow, including Severus and some of the king's best knights, but not one of them survived. Prince Draco didn't dare pick up his own sword, as he was his father's only heir.

"Now there's an excuse if I ever heard one," said Harry, masking his disappointment with sarcasm. He'd never read an erotic story before, and he'd been looking forward to it. It seemed that Chadwick had been mistaken about the nature of the book. Nevertheless, Harry read on. Maybe when the Knight in Golden Armour arrived, he would add some spice to the story.

As it always happens in times of crisis, the people began to pray for a miracle, a hero who would defeat the Shadow and save them from certain death. They spoke of an undefeated knight called Harry, who was said to have begun slaying evil beings at an early age.

Prince Draco had heard of this knight before, and he didn't like him. He didn't much like anyone who tried to win fame and glory, which were meant for princes and kings. But if this fabled knight came to vanquish the Shadow, Draco would certainly allow him to try.

Within a fortnight, the knight arrived at the castle gates. His armour glinted red-gold in the light of the setting sun. He wore a crimson cloak over his shoulders. On his shield was a rearing lion, and at his side was a squire with hair so flaming red the prince found it offensive. The gathered crowds gaped in awe, and even the clouds parted to give the sun a chance to look.

"I wouldn't wear gold armour," Harry said in his own defence. All hope for a racy read was now gone because if he was the Knight in Golden Armour, then he wasn't likely to get any action. Draco might have wanted to shag Harry's look-alike, but he'd never shag him. He hated Harry too fiercly.

"Rumour has it that an evil Shadow plagues your court," said Harry when the prince received him. He hadn't bowed, but Draco didn't notice because his eyes were glued to the knight's forehead, where they found the legendary lightning bolt scar.

"Sometimes rumour has it wrong," Draco said. The self-assured, handsome knight needed to be knocked down a peg or two.

Harry nodded once. "Sometimes it does." His eyes raked over the prince's body from head to toe, and he licked his lips. "Do you deny need of my assistance, Sire?"

A reluctant pause followed the question. Finally, Draco said, "No, what you have heard is unfortunately true."

A smile graced the golden knight's lips. "Then I shall send your foe into oblivion."

"You will almost certainly die," said the prince harshly. "But if, by some miracle, you survive—what kind of prize do you seek?"

Harry raised his chin haughtily. "I do not fight for reward," he said. Then with a smirk he added, "But if you feel so inclined, you may show your gratitude upon my victory...in whatever way you see fit."

Draco gave a snort. The knight's presumptuousness was insulting; it also made him blush because he'd never been on the receiving end of such a bold innuendo, and he was overcome with a sudden desire to…

The prince straightened his shoulders. "We shall see," he said. Only because he didn't want to ruin what might be his last chance to save the royal family, and the kingdom, from the oppressive Shadow.

Here Harry's cock perked up instantly. Malfoy wants me? he thought, despite the evidence that was the overpriced rentboy-thief named Corin that was where the story was heading. By the time Harry scanned over the next few paragraphs detailing his adventures with the villain of the tale to get to the good bits, he was hard. And indeed it appeared that Malfoy did want him.

Prince Draco watched Harry throughout the victory celebrations. The man was a pompous brute, and Draco couldn't help imagining what he might be like in bed—forceful and dominating, like the beast on his shield. He found the idea repulsive. His cock, however, begged to differ; it made him want to do vile and distasteful things, like let Harry bend him over the side of a bed and mount him fast and hard.

"I'll show you a brute," Harry wanted to say, but all that came put was a needy whimper. He cast a privacy charm around his cubicle, then brought his hand under the desk and dragged his fingertips lightly along the bulge in his trousers. Fuck, yes.

It had been way too long since he'd last enjoyed a proper wank.

It needn't be told how it came to pass that when Harry retired to his guest chambers for the night, Prince Draco was already waiting there. Nor is it necessary to go on at length about the conversation that took place then. It suffices to say that Draco was very, very grateful. This display of gratitude was what had got him into his current position—on his knees, fingertips digging into the backs of Harry's strong thighs, mouth sliding up and down his length.

The musky scent and salty flavour of Harry's cock went straight to Draco's groin. He moaned wantonly around the thick shaft as he imagined what it would feel like filling him, pounding into him.

Harry's fingers wove themselves into the prince's hair, curling gently to keep his head in place ashis hips began to pump in earnest. Draco had hoped his lover would last a while, for he was in dire need of a good, thorough fucking. He said so, too, for it was unlike him not to voice his desires.

Harry was overcome with the need to touch himself. He blushed at the thought of pulling his cock out in his cubicle; but it was late at night, and the Aurors' Office was nearly empty. Papers continued to rustle intermittently in the cubicle next to Harry's as Ron sorted through a pile of paperwork he had left for the last possible minute.

Slowly, his face burning with shame and need, Harry unzipped his fly. His teeth worried his lip as he reached into his pants and pulled out his cock. He didn't bother wiping off the precome that had smeared over the backs of his fingers before he took himself in hand and refocused his attention on the pages before him.

Harry teased the prince, for hadn't he come to show his gratitude, rather than to make demands? But even the strongest and bravest of heroes were vulnerable to Draco'scharms, and so, when the he demanded that Harry bend him over the side of the bed—as he had so vividly imagined earlier—his wish was granted before he could even take a proper breath.

With the self-restraint of a peasant at a feast, Harry tugged on the laces of Draco's breeches until they were loose enough to pull down to his knees, and pushed a calloused, saliva-slicked finger inside his arse as soon as it was exposed.

A clever prince always thinks of everything, though, so when Harry performed the aforementioned brutish act, he found that Draco was already prepared. A lusty growl escaped his throat, and he quickly aligned his cock with Draco'sopening.

Draco pushed back eagerly against the moist head. "Now!" he demanded, and Harry obliged.

The prince bit his own fist to keep from crying out, for he had never been pierced by such a mighty sword—or any sword at all, though he would never admit it. The weapon stretched and filled him beyond what he thought was possible. He felt helpless and trapped as Harry leaned against his back and began to fuck him. It felt so good to finally give up control, to be completely at another's mercy.

"Yes, that's it," he said to spur his lover on, "use me as you please."

Harry's breath came in hot puffs against the prince's ear, and he made rough grunting sounds as he rutted even harder against him. It is possible that Draco also made a series of undignified vocalisations, but that was entirely Harry's fault. The man was oblivious to the fact that they were noblemen, not beasts mating in the forest. And Draco loved it.

"Fuck," Harry whispered as he threw his head back and stroked himself faster. 'Prince' Draco's description of his lovemaking as primal and brutish was far from the truth, but his cock was certainly enjoying it. So much so that he couldn't continue reading.

He allowed the image of himself fucking Draco hard over the side of the bed, dominating him until he barely had the space to breath, to fill unfold on its own in his mind until he came with a strangled cry. The seed shot violently out of his cock, covering his hand, the floor, and the underside of his desk.

Harry had just finished cleaning up the mess and canceling the privacy charm when Ron appeared beside him.

"I'm going home," he announced. "I can hardly keep my eyes open."

"All right," said Harry. "See you tomorrow."

Ron's eyes landed on the open book, and Harry hastened to close it.

"You... don't want me to return that to the ferret, do you?" Ron's reluctance was evident in his slow, drawn-out speech. "Because I could, if you'd rather not have to show yourself to him."

Harry laughed. "It's okay—I think I can handle it. But thanks."

"If you say so." Ron gave Harry a worried look. "Juster... be careful he doesn't molest you or anything."

"What if that's what I want?" Harry gave Ron a crooked grin. His question had the exact effect he'd predicted: Ron cringed and swallowed as if a slug was trying to come up his throat.

"Whatever lights your candle, mate." Ron turned and began to walk away as if Harry showed all the signs of having some sort of a contagious mental disease. "Night," he called over his shoulder when he was a safe distance away.

Harry took the book home with him that night.

Over the next couple of days, Harry learned five things:

1. The book wasn't full of cheesy fairy tales. Apparently Draco had a wide range of tastes, as the selection of stories encompassed various scenarios, time periods, and even worlds.

2. He and Draco were the main characters of each and every story, all of which invariably ended with them shagging each other's brain out.

3. Draco had never been the submissive party in a sexual act with another man before.

4. Draco harboured a secret fantasy of being dominated, though he did seem willing to switch things around on occasion.

5. Draco had more balls than Harry thought. Because he was at the Aurors' Office, demanding that his book be returned to him.

Harry gulped as Draco continued to glare at him across the table. "I er... it's at home."

A mortified look flashed across Draco's face before he covered it with a mask of condescending incredulity. "You took it home," he repeated. "Now, is that proper protocol, Auror Potter?"

Harry thought for a moment, then shook his head. "Not really, no. But—"There was a fluttering in his chest. "—I rather liked the stories."

If Draco was at all affected by what Harry had just said, he did an excellent job of hiding it. His face was expressionless as he pushed back his chair and stood. "Bring it to me at the Manor when you're off work, will you?" he drawled.

"Sure," Harry said pleasantly.

Draco gave a curt nod and exited the conference room, leaving Harry a tad confused. Had that been a secret invitation to a night of hot sex, or did Draco really just want him to come over to return the book? Harry had never been good at reading into such things.

The workday had come to an end both way too slowly and way too soon. Harry tightened his grip on the Book of Bedtime Tales as he approached the entrance to Malfoy Manor. Only mere seconds after he knocked on the heavy front door, it swung open, and ahouse-elf let him inside and led him to Draco's study.

Draco was sitting at his desk in front of a piece of parchment when Harry entered. His eyes immediately fell on the book in Harry's sweaty hand. "You can leave it on the shelf over there," he said instead of Hello, nodding toward a bookcase to Harry's left.

"Okay..." Harry set the book down as directed. When he turned around again, Draco was engrossed in writing, as if completely oblivious to his continued presence.

Harry cleared his throat, and Draco looked up with a bored expression that didn't quite hide his embarrassment.

"Do you think I could er... borrow it sometime?" Harry asked, but what he really meant was, Can we shag on that that insanely expensive leather chair you're sitting in, like in that one story?

Draco looked back down at his parchment. "Thank you for returning my book, Potter. You may leave now."

"But—" Harry began, but he didn't know what to say. If Draco wanted him to stay so they could do naughty things to each other, then he'd surely say so.

"But what, Potter?" Draco asked impatiently. "You thought I'd ask you to stay and shag me? Well, I won't. Perhaps it has escaped your notice, but we don't get along in real life."

Harry had to resist the urge to point out that they didn't usually get along in the stories, either, but they still always led to mind-blowing sex. Obviously Draco was more successful than Harry when it came separating fantasy from reality.

"Right," Harry said with a sigh. "I'll be going, then."

All the fiction he'd read over the past two days must have eaten away at his brain, for Harry walked slowly, just in case Draco suddenly changed his mind and came after him—as if things like that actually happened in reality. His walk down the hallway was uneventful, as was his journey down the stairs. No footsteps followed him across the entrance hall, either.

With a heavy heart, Harry slowly turned the doorknob and left the Manor. It was still raining outside, but didn't bother casting an Umbrella Charm.

"Potter!" a familiar called when Harry was a third of the way down the path towards the gate.

Harry turned, and when he saw—with difficulty through the water droplets on his glasses—Draco coming down the steps to the Manor, he rushed to meet him. The rain had soaked through his Auror robes, which now clung to his body and probably made him look like an idiot incapable of casting an Umbrella Charm, but Draco didn't seem to care.

"Did you notice the common factor in how all of the stories end?" Draco asked when they met at the bottom of the stairs.

"Well, yeah—" Harry said, unable to hide his grin.

"I didn't mean that. I meant afterwards."

Oh. Harry thought for a moment. The only thing that ever really came after the sex was..."We lived happily ever after?"

"That's the syrupy version of it, yes."

For the first time in his life—at least as far as Harry knew—Draco looked genuine. The masks were off. All of them. There was no malicious sneering or bored eye-rolling. It was kind of scary, in a thrilling sort of way.

Draco reached out and dragged a finger along the palm of Harry's hand, which was hanging relaxed at his side. "I'm not looking for a one-night stand with you." His eyes searched Harry's face. "But I don't think it's realistic to expect that we could ever have anything more."

Draco had a point, but Harry wasn't one to give up without at least trying. He laced their fingers together and said, "We'll never know for certain if we don't give us a chance."

There was a moment's pause, in which Draco stared at Harry and Harry wondered whether he was going to kiss, hex, argue, or agree with him.

"Do you realise what you're saying?" Draco asked, speaking in much the same way one would to a child who was having trouble grasping a basic concept. "If you want to sleep with me, you have to be my boyfriend and deal with everything that entails. And I promise you: I'm a handful."

When Harry's brows rose at the last statement, Draco did roll his eyes. "Never mind—you're not even taking this seriously."

But when he tried to turn back toward the Manor, Harry refused to let go of his hand. Instead, he pulled Draco close enough that the Umbrella Charm shielded them both from the rain.

"You are insufferably dry," he said. "Mind if I get you a little wet?"

Without waiting for a response, Harry pulled Draco against his rain-soaked body and kissed him roughly. It wasn't perfect like in the stories. Their teeth crashed together and Harry's wet glasses must have been poking Draco's face,because they somehow ended up in the grass beside the path. The rain was bouncing off the Umbrella Charm, which Harry thought was unacceptable. He pulled away for a moment to end the spell. "That's better," he said when the rain began to fall on blondhair, and he covered the Draco lips with his own before the other man could protest.

Harry moaned, both because he felt every swipe of Draco's tongue in his groin, and because the other man's mouth was so hot and pleasant in contrast to the chill that was beginning to seep through to his bones. This time, it would have been perfect, if only Draco hadn't turned his face away much too soon.

"All right, I'm wet. Now can we take this inside?"

The delicious skin of Draco's neck—the best alternative to his mouth—muffled Harry's response. "No."

Draco sucked in a breath. "Why ever not?"

Harry stopped kissing him and grinned. "Come here." He took Draco's hand and pulled him onto the lawn, towards the house, where he pushed him up against the stone wall of the Manor.

Draco leaned away from Harry's searching lips and said, "Ugh, my shoes are all muddy!"

Indeed the ground beneath their feet was squishy, but Harry didn't care. "I read somewhere that you wanted to shag an Auror in the rain." He circled his hips suggestively, and was pleased to find Draco as hard as he was. "Well, here's your chance."

A faint pink blush appeared on Draco's cheeks. His voice cracked a little when he asked, "How many did you read?"

"All of them," Harry said proudly.

Draco closed his eyes and let his head fall back against the wall. "Great."

Harry took the opportunity to lean in and kiss his pale neck. He created a wet spot with his tongue, then sucked the delicate skin into his mouth. When Draco's breathing grew heavy, Harry stopped and pressed their foreheads together.

His tone was pleading against Draco's mouth. "Say yes."

"Yes," Draco said, right before his lips caught Harry's and his tongue slithered inside his mouth like a wicked thing.

Harry began to fumble with Draco's belt as they snogged. Once Draco's trousers were open, Harry reached inside his pants and took his hot, smooth cock in hand. Draco bit his lip and pushed his head back into the wall.

"Don't you think we're moving too fast?" It seemed like Draco had asked the question purely for propriety's sake, for he showed no indication of wanting to stop.

Harry shrugged. "So much has already been written about us," he said with a smirk. "We might as well jump right in."

Draco ignored the comment. After another minute or two of wanking and snogging, he looked at Harry and said, "Suck my cock."

Having no desire to protest, Harry sank to his knees. The rain soaked quickly through his already-wet trousers so that it felt like his knees and shins were in standing water, which wasn't far from the case. He didn't mind though; the feeling only caused more blood to pool in his groin.

The musky scent of cock filled the space between Draco's crotch and Harry's face. Harry had never been with a bloke before, so he didn't know what to expect as he leaned in to lap up the oozing precome from the tip.

A salty flavour exploded on his tongue; it wasn't bad at all until it gave way to bitterness back towards his throat. Still, Harry kept his lips wrapped snugly around the shaft as he began to slide his mouth up and down its length. A few minutes into it, he noticed that Draco's fingers were threading through his hair, stroking gently, pulling when Harry used his tongue more.

When Harry felt like he couldn't wait any longer, he stopped and rested his forehead against Draco's hip. "Please—I need to fuck you."

"Haven't you learned anything from your reading, Potter?" His voice was teasing, rather than mocking. "You need to prepare me."

"Oh, right," said Harry, wondering what he could use. He doubted Draco had any lube with him, but maybe there was a spell...

Draco seemed to have read his thoughts. "If you make me come, you can use that."

It sounded like a brilliant idea, so Harry turned his attention back to the arching cock next to his face. As he took it in his mouth, he reached down with one hand to unzip his own trousers. There was no reason he couldn't start preparing Draco now. His finger didn't require copious amounts of come. He used it to collect the sticky fluid on his pants and the head of his cock, then brought it in between Draco's legs.

When Harry pushed in, Draco sucked in a breath and stepped his feet a little wider apart. Harry began moving his finger to the same rhythm as his mouth, and when he noticed that Draco was bracing himself against the wall behind him, he redoubled his efforts. He would have continued in this fashion until Draco came, but then he had a better idea.

"What are you—" Draco began to protest tongue and mouth left his cock, but shut up when Harry aligned their cocks and closed his hands around them.

"Who's bigger?" Harry asked when he noticed his cock was under scrutiny. The look he gave Draco should have made it clear whose equipment Draco was supposed to compare it to.

"S'about the same."

Harry kissed him hard and began to stroke them both. If he wasn't bigger than Chadwick, then he would have to prove that he was better. "Come for me," he said.

Draco held on to Harry's shoulder with one hand for support and, eyes closed, started to thrust into his palms. In less than a minute, his breath hitched as he tensed and shot his load all over both their cocks and Harry's hands.

"Turn around," Harry said as he spread the come all over his cock, more generously at the tip.

Draco turned towards the walland pulled his trousers down his thighs to reveal an unsurprisingly pert, white arse. Harry couldn't resist smacking it, and he laughed when Draco gasped.

Then it hit him: He was about to shag Draco Malfoy, the boy he'd hated since he was eleven and only recently become attracted to. Never in his wildest dreams would he have believed he'd be standing here, in rain and mud, his cock covered in Draco's spunk.

"Sometime tonight would be wonderful, Potter," the familiar bored voice drawled, and Harry smiled to himself as he stepped closer and positioned his cock between Draco's arsecheeks. Nothing would ever be the same now that he knew how Draco scrunched up his face when he came, or how harshly he breathed when Harry slowly pushed into him.

Fully sheathed, Harry pressed up against Draco with every inch of his body he could. The intense heat around his cock instantly made him forget the chill of wet clothing against his body, clothing they should probably have removed but, in their eagerness, hadn't thought to.

Harry wrapped both arms around Draco—one below his chest for leverage, and one around his hips to take his flaccid cock in hand—and began to thrust. As the cock in Harry's palm swelled, Draco began to moan—sweet, rewarding sounds that drove Harry to fuck him harder and harder, until Draco was fully erect and pushing back to meet his thrusts.

Five minutes, Harry thought. Any other time, he would have considered himself a sexual failure if he only lasted that long, but considering how turned on he was, five minutes seemed like an ambitious goal. He sped up the hand on Draco's cock and kissed him as best he could in their current position, which equated tosloppily licking the corner of his mouth. When Draco turned his face away and his breathing changed, Harry opened his eyes and looked over Draco's shoulder until the cock in his hand twitched and spurted.

It was the sight of Draco's come, shooting upward in ribbons that fell to the wet ground, and the heat of it on his hand, that sent Harry over the edge. "Fuck, Draco—" Harry whispered as he pounded erratically into him a few more times and came so hard he thought he'd fall over.

A moment to sag against Draco while he regained strength was all Harry wanted, but the prat escaped from underneath him at the first opportunity to complain about the clingy state of his clothes. Even though his voice was starting to grow on Harry, he couldn't help imagining how he might shut him up if it ever got too annoying.

Draco took out his wand and spelled them both clean and dry, then casually cleared his throat. "Care for some hot chocolate?"

Harry smiled. "I'd love some."

It was as they sat curled up together in front of the hearth, fire and chocolate chasing away the remaining chill from their bones, that Draco finally managed to subdue his pride and ask, "Will you spend the night?"

Harry had been looking at the flames, but then his lips slowly curved into that annoying amused and self-satisfied grin, and he turned to Draco. "Only if you promise to read me a bedtime story."

And they lived happily ever after. Well, mostly.

The End.