"You're the only place that feels like home…"

Another Shot at Life

Chapter 8

Draco

Draco's footsteps sounded unnecessarily loud as he followed the regrettably familiar route to the Room of Requirement. He trailed his hands across the stone walls, no longer damp and mold-covered, the way they had been two years ago. Strange how Hogwarts being rebuilt to be cleaner and more modern simply made the reality of what had happened there all the more apparent. And if Draco told himself that his pounding heart was due to excitement and not trauma, who could blame him, really?

Draco reached the corridor on seventh floor. He had somehow managed to avoid this corridor for the past three months, and had been hoping to avoid it for the rest of his life, if possible. And yet.

Draco took deep, steadying breaths with each step. The door was already there, slightly open, meaning that Harry had already opened the room. Draco swallowed thickly. This was fine. Everything was just fine. If he could just reach the door and walk inside, Harry would be there and everything would be fine.

The door was drawing closer, and closer, solid and wooden and horribly unforgettable. But that was okay. Everything was….

Draco could feel himself growing dizzy and nauseated. Crabbe had died in that room. He may have been stupid and cruel, but he had been Draco's companion for almost his entire life. Draco couldn't bring himself to feel anything other than grief at his death.

He was almost at the door. Draco reached for the handle, and there, right there, a small scorch mark.

Draco fell to his knees, eyes falling shut as flames erupted in front of them. He could hear screams, and feel the heat of the fire, skin and hair scorching as he struggled to breathe in the burning air, ripping his lungs apart.

"Draco?"

Draco's eyes snapped open, and he realized that he was lying on the floor, shaking. Harry knelt down next to him, guilt in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, Draco. I shouldn't have asked you to come here," he said softly. Harry reached out, picked Draco up off the ground, and stood up.

"I'm not a bleeding girl," Draco mumbled, even as he pressed his face into Harry's chest, which rumbled as Harry laughed.

"I'm quite aware," he said.

Draco kept his eyes shut as he was carried off somewhere, and felt deeply grateful for the first time at the lack of students occupying Hogwarts.

They entered a dark room, and Draco felt himself being set on a bed. He cracked his eyes open and watched Harry light a fire and turn on some lights. The room was somewhat large, and seemed almost like a classroom, except there were no desks. There were a couple of chairs next to a table; the bed Draco was lying on, and a couch.

"Where are we?" Draco inquired, looking around.

"Abandoned classroom that I kind of…turned into my own private space," Harry explained. "I wasn't sure if you would feel comfortable in the Room of Requirement or not, so I prepared this as a back up. Is this okay?"

Draco nodded. "Thank you," he said gratefully. "I didn't want to be…there."

A rueful smile tugged at the corners of Harry's mouth. "I thought not. I shouldn't have suggested it in the first place. I just thought it might be easier there. But this works too."

"What are we going to be doing?" Draco asked, sitting up.

Harry frowned. "Draco, are you sure you're up for—"

"I'm fine," Draco said sharply. Harry's eyes narrowed, and Draco amended, "Please, Harry. I want to do this."

"Okay, then," Harry said. He stood up and walked over to where Draco was sitting. He ran his hands through Draco's hair, and Draco's eyes shut lazily as he relished the sensation. Pansy used to stroke his hair, but Harry was much better at it. "Why do you want to do this?" Harry asked quietly.

Draco's eyes opened reluctantly, and he considered the question. "I'm not sure. Just…when we're together, I feel safe. I like the way you make me feel when you grab my hair, or whisper in my ear." Draco's face was growing warmer, but he pressed on. "I don't really understand everything that's happening. I just want it to continue to happen."

"Do you trust me?" The question was put forth rather noncommittally, but Draco could hear the slight uncertainty in Harry's tone.

"I'm trying to," he said honestly. "It's not the easiest thing."

Harry nodded, and continued to run his fingers through Draco's hair. "Any time you want me to stop what I'm doing, just tell me, and I'll stop, and we'll discuss what bothered you."

"Yes, sir," Draco replied, and felt a strange sense of longing upon speaking those words.

Harry's fingers tightened in Draco's hair, and he tugged Draco off the bed. Draco went willingly, sinking instantly to his knees.

"When you come into this room, you will assume this position in the middle of the room. You will wait for me to come to you. You will wait to speak until spoken to, and you will respond with a 'sir' at the end of your sentence when affirming that you will do something. If you have a question, however, you may pose it. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir," Draco said.

"Good boy," Harry replied with affection. Draco felt a swooping sensation deep within the pit of his stomach.

"When we are outside of this room, we will attempt to behave the way normal friends might. Try to be somewhat respectful, but try not to act cowed around me—"

"I do not act cowed—!" Draco began hotly.

"You will also not interrupt me," Harry said sharply, clenching Draco's hair. Draco's mouth shut, but he was already feeling slightly rebellious.

"Some Dominants like their submissives to be bratty. I am not one of them. If you are disobedient, you will be punished," Harry warned.

"How?" Draco asked.

"Usually with a spanking, either with my hand or belt. If, however, I discover that you enjoy that too much, I will find a different method of punishment," Harry said, and Draco guiltily tried not to look as if his dick had hardened at thought of being spanked. Harry was, unfortunately, very perceptive.

Harry gently nudged Draco's hard on with his foot, and Draco inhaled sharply. Harry grinned, and knelt down next to him. He leaned closer to Draco to whisper in his ear. "What, does the thought of being put over my knee turn you on?" Harry used the hand not holding Draco's head to run over the noticeable bulge. Chills ran down Draco's spine at the contact, and he shuddered, trying like hell not to hump Harry's hand like a third year on his first date. Harry was not, however, helping the situation. His hand went from tracing to rubbing, then grasping Draco's dick through his pants. Draco whimpered and buried his face in Harry's shoulder as Harry started slowly jerking him off.

"Please, Harry," Draco moaned.

"'Please, Harry,' what?" Harry replied, almost mockingly.

"Fuck me," Draco begged, and no, it was clear that at this point he would never recover his dignity.

"Maybe one day," Harry said eventually. His movements quickened. Draco abandoned all pretense and began rapidly jerking his hips, pushing into Harry's welcoming hand. Per Harry's order, he hadn't touched himself in over 24 hours, which was far longer than he was used to. He could feel his balls tightening, and stilled, suddenly remembering something from that book Pansy had given him.

"Is something wrong?" Harry asked.

"Can I come?" Draco asked, mortified.

A proud smile spread over Harry's face. "Good boy," he said. "I'm glad you remembered who owns your orgasms. Yes, you may."

"Thank you," Draco bit out, and it took only a few more thrusts before he was violently orgasming in his pants. He all but collapsed against Harry, panting. Harry wrapped his arms around Draco and pulled him into an embrace.

After a few moments, Draco reached out towards Harry's trousers, but Harry caught his hand halfway.

"I appreciate the sentiment, Draco, but it is not to you to decide when I take my own pleasure. Your pleasure is my responsibility. Not the other way around," Harry said firmly.

"Yes, sir," Draco replied, and leaned heavily against him.

They sat like that for a while; Draco curled up against Harry, refusing to consider it cuddling.

"What else are we going to be doing today?" Draco asked after a bit.

Harry gently pushed Draco away and went to retrieve his bag. Draco gazed after him, starkly aware of how vulnerable he felt without Harry holding him.

Harry returned with a quill and some parchment, and handed them to Draco. "I want you to write out the rules as I have given them to you thus far," Harry instructed. "When you have finished, I will look it over to make sure that you got everything down correctly. When I give you new rules, you will add them to this parchment. I will try to give them to you gradually, so that you will have time to get used to them. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir," Draco replied, and turned his attention to the parchment. While he wrote, Harry pulled up a chair and sat down behind Draco, who leaned against his thigh.

Draco handed him the parchment. A small smile crossed Harry's face as he read. "Perfect," Harry said. "That's my boy." Draco shivered. "I want you to read this each morning when you wake up, so you'll be reminded of them, and will never forget."

"Yes, sir."

"Now, I think that's enough for tonight," Harry said, and chuckled at the disappointed look on Draco's face. "I figured we'd study for a while."

"I didn't bring my books," Draco said.

"That's okay. We'll use mine." Harry summoned his bag and pulled out his Transfiguration textbook and his Potions textbook. He waved the books at Draco. "Which do you need to study more?"

"Transfiguration," Draco responded promptly.

"Good," Harry said, and handed Draco the appropriate textbook.

How long they studied like that, Draco curled up at Harry's feet and Harry's hand idly stroking Draco's hair, Draco couldn't tell. However, he reflected, he would have done much better on his OWLs if he'd studied in this position.

The clock struck twelve, and Draco jerked sharply, head hitting Harry's knee. "Shite!" Draco cursed, rubbing his head. "Are you okay, Harry?"

"I'm fine," Harry said, amusement apparent in his voice. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," Draco muttered, annoyed with himself.

"I think maybe it's time we both went to bed," Harry said, yawning. Draco stiffened.

Harry tugged lightly on Draco's hair. "What's wrong?" he asked gently.

"I just…I don't know if I can…." Draco stumbled over his words, annoyed at his inability to be even slightly coherent around Harry anymore.

Harry waited patiently for a few moments. "If you can…?" he prompted.

"I had a really hard time sleeping last night," Draco mumbled. Understanding washed across Harry's face.

"I see," he said. "Come on, Draco, stand up."

Draco stood, heart pounding as Harry stood as well, and turned Draco to face him. Piercing green eyes sliced right through to his core, and Draco's eyes fell, unable to stand the assault.

Warm fingers gently traced his jaw, and goose bumps erupted all along his body. Harry allowed his fingers to trail slowly down until they reached the back of Draco's neck, where they tightened as they had before. Draco raised his eyes to look at Harry again.

Harry leaned in and pressed a kiss to Draco's forehead. Draco's eyes slid shut in contentment, and he relaxed into the kiss. After a few moments, Harry pulled back.

"I want you to sleep tonight," Harry told him firmly. "I want you to relax and know that you will see me again tomorrow. Everything will be okay. Is that understood?"

Draco hesitated only a moment before responding. "Yes, sir."

Harry reached down and picked up his bag, slinging it over his shoulder. "Now come on. I'll walk you back to Slytherin."

"Thanks," Draco murmured, and with that, they left the room.

A/N: So. *Sigh*. I know it's been a while since I've updated. For that, I must apologize. I've been swamped with school, and my doctor's got me on this annoying antidepressant regime that's made it hard to write. I'll be frank. I don't know when I'll be able to update again. I've reached a roadblock with this story that I'm having difficultly overcoming. I really like this story, and I know many of you do as well. I want to devote some time to it, and I will try. But the truth of it is that sometimes I can't overcome roadblocks. However, don't lose faith. I will do my best to think about this story and make of it what I can. I know where I want to go, I'm just not altogether certain how to get there from here. I can make few promises except for this one: when I finally do update again, and trust me, I will, it will be as marvelous as I can make it. If any of you are willing to give words of comfort, they will mean a great deal to me, and even more so if you would like to be my beta/roadblock mover. Even if not, I will hope for reviews, and will my muse to return to me. Farewell for now. Adios!

-CatJetRat