This will not follow the Harry Potter book plots at all! Some characters will be a little OC but that will hopefully be explained. The war against Voldemort will already be over and Draco will be in his seventh year at Hogwarts. Remus will be about 27, even though that makes no sense in the timeline but this is my story and I say he's 27. This will be a Remus/Draco fiction and it will be slash. Later chapters will be pretty graphic and the story will be rated M for a reason. So if your don't like slash you might not want to read this story. I hope everybody enjoys the story.
I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters.
Chapter One: Freedom To Change
No one knew that the day Lucius Malfoy was taken to Azkaban, his wife and son were relieved beyond measure. No one knew that they wept with joy, hugging each other fiercely, a sense of freedom coming to them both. No one knew that the very next day they boarded Lucius's wing of the house up, forbidding even the house elves access. When they moved from the sprawling Malfoy manor less than a month after Voldemort's fall people assumed they were grieving Lucius's loss. When people glimpsed them on the streets, pale and thin, they assumed it was grief that made them that way.
Draco and Narcissa, more than most people, knew that people could be deceived very, very easily. All it took was a slight look here, a word to the right person there and people believed what they were told. If one played the game right and had strict discipline than getting others to believe anything was relatively easy. And if Draco and his mother had two things it was discipline and the cunning to play the game well. That had been pure survival instincts. One did not live long in the Malfoy household without them.
Now that Lucius was gone for good now, the remaining Malfoy's finally relaxed, able to be themselves without Lucius's punishments for inappropriate behavior. Able to smile and display affection without fear of a beating. Able to finally break away from Lucius strong views on muggles and the like. The summer following Lucius's arrest was a summer of discovery and contentment for Draco and his mother. A summer spent finding exactly who they were without Lucius constantly instructing them in what was 'proper'.
Draco, no longer forced to act the way his father told him to, become a different person, an almost unrecognizable person. He found that he enjoyed long quiet moments to himself, reading a book or simply sitting and thinking. Now instead of mocking others to get his father's approval he was generally quiet and polite, if a little cynical. He no longer had to worry about his reputation or word getting back to his father for some minor indescrepancy. Draco, for the first time in his life, could be himself without any fear of punishment or pain. None of his old friends, ones his father had picked for him, appealed in the least, not that they ever had. Although he'd never particularly liked any of them to begin with now he found that he was fairly repulsed by them and their continued belief in Voldemort's ideals, even after the war was finished.
Needless to say, his reception at Hogwarts for his seventh and last year, only two months after his father's arrest, was decidedly uneasy. Draco knew it wouldn't be easy, seeing as he was in Slytherin, but he was determined not to revert back to his father's imitation just because it was easier. With this in mind he entered the train platform, his mother not two steps behind him.
"Make sure you write to me every other week, dragon." Narcissa worried at him, her face uncharacteristically anxious. She knew that this year would be hard on her son and she was worried that someone would break the fragile hope Draco had managed to gather. "I want to know all about your new classes and such."
"I will, mom." The word sounded foreign in his mouth but Draco said it anyway as he turned to face her. His father hadn't let him use a word as common as 'mom', which was why Draco decided to use the shortened title. "I'll write every other week."
"Oh, I'll miss you so much this year." She reached out and flicked a speck of imaginary lint off his dark green t-shirt, her blue eyes suspiciously wet. "We've been getting on so well this summer since….." She trailed off with a flutter of her fingers.
"Since he's been gone." Draco finished for her bluntly, ignoring her flinch in favor of scanning the crowd. He could see a few people he knew, some from Slytherin some not but didn't see anyone worth looking at. That done he turned his eyes back to his pretty mother and smiled at her reassuringly. The smile felt much easier than his fake smirks. "Its been pleasant without the bastard." He ignored his mothers frown at his language and continued. "You'll be fine, mom. You have a great many things you want to do now that father can't stop you. You can do them all now, and I'll be just as fine at school."
"I know, dragon, but I was enjoying getting to know my son." She replied, using his childhood nickname without much thought. Taking a deep breath she straightened her narrow shoulders and settled her face before glancing around the crowded platform. Draco saw the small grimace mar her lips and knew exactly what she felt. She felt the same instinctive shame of letting any warm emotions show as Draco did, the instinct Lucius had successfully beaten into the both of them.
"Hmm, I enjoyed the summer, and I'll be back for Christmas most likely. It won't be long and I'm sure you'll enjoy the opportunity to travel some more by yourself." Draco said, trying to cheer his mother up and not feel guilty. He almost felt as though he were abandoning her, it really hadn't been that long since father's arrest. "We'll be fine." He said this firmly, meeting his mothers eyes.
She nodded sharply, taking another deep breath. "I know we will be. You had better go find a compartment before they're all filled. I'll miss you terribly and you had better write every other week." Narcissa said in a rush, not used to being so blatantly emotional.
"I'll miss you too. I love you." Draco smiled up at his mother, giving her a warm kiss on the cheek and hugging her to him fiercely. Although she stood an inch taller than his 5'9, she felt small and fragile in his arms, making him hold her closer. Her thin arms came up and hugged him just as tightly.
Although the hug only lasted several seconds it spread warmth through the both of them. Stepping away from one another Draco gave his mother a second warm smile before heading to the train. He knew that one warm embrace would last him months. He'd found that physical contact was like a drug to his body, so unused to another's touch was he. His father had forbid such displays except in the general public to keep up their image. But things were different now and Draco couldn't be more glad.
"Ron, look!" Harry pointed across the platform, a surprised look on his face.
Ron followed his best friends finger, spotting the two Malfoys almost immediately. Their white blond hair was like a beacon in the crowded place. It only took Ron a moment to see what had Harry so surprised. Draco was smiling up at his mother and the two of them seemed to be genuinely sincere in their goodbyes. Before, Draco was always dropped at the platform by one of his chauffeurs, never one of his parents. And they had never seen Draco display any other emotion but disdain and hate. The genuine happy smile on his face was an expression they'd never seen in all their years at Hogwarts.
"Bloody hell, Malfoy's actually smiling!" Ron exclaimed, red brows raising in surprise.
"Lets get closer." Harry muttered, green eyes narrowed and slightly suspicious. He was heading through the crowd before Ron could even open his mouth. Casting one last glance at his mom, who was fussing over Hermione and Ginny, Ron followed with a frown.
They stopped several feet from the two Malfoys, tucking themselves behind one of the stone pillars . The conversation they heard next astonished the both of them.
"I want to know all about your new classes and such." Mrs. Malfoy was saying, tears clear in her voice. Ron was surprised at the amount of emotion in her usually sharp tone.
"I will, mom." Draco said, his tone softer than Ron or Harry had ever heard it before. They peeked around the pillar and found the blonde boy smiling warmly. "I'll write every other week."
"Oh, I'll miss you so much this year." She reached out and smoothed the shoulder of Draco's shirt in a motion very similar to what Ron had seen his mother do. "We've been getting on so well this summer since….." She trailed off with a flutter of her fingers. Ron thought her voice sounded very choked.
"Since he's been gone." This drew both Harry and Ron's attention. Draco's voice was almost devoid of emotion, although his tone was thick. "It's been pleasant without the bastard. " This made both Harry and Ron frown, confused. They had thought Draco worshiped his father yet Draco's tone had been more venomous then he'd ever used on them. "You'll be fine, mom. You have a great many things you want to do now that father can't stop you. You can do them all now, and I'll be just as fine at school."
"I know, dragon, but I was enjoying getting to know my son." Mrs. Malfoy said softly. Harry shared a confused glance with Ron, who shrugged in reply. Mrs. Malfoy straightened, highlighting how thin she was yet obviously confident.
"Hmm, I enjoyed the summer, and I'll be back for Christmas most likely. It won't be long and I'm sure you'll enjoy the opportunity to travel some more by yourself." Draco's tone now sounded soft and reassuring, something that seemed incongruous with the Draco Harry and Ron knew. "We'll be fine." He sounded confident and sure.
They heard her take a deep almost painful breath. "I know we will be. You had better go find a compartment before they're all filled. I'll miss you terribly and you had better write every other week." Her voice was clogged with emotions, sounding strained.
"I'll miss you too. I love you." This shocked the two eavesdropping boys more than anything, as well as the sight of Draco pulling his mom into a hard hug. They had a clear view of his face and could see the almost pained look on the blonde's face. Quietly the two dazed boys slipped away, leaving the two Malfoys alone.
"That wasn't what I was expecting." Ron grunted with a frown as they made it back to their group. No one but Hermione had noticed their absence and she only gave them a narrow look.
"Me neither." Harry agreed, running a hand through his messy hair. "It sounded as though he hated his dad."
"I thought he bloody worshiped the ground his dad walked on." Ron muttered in reply.
"We'll talk to 'mione later and see what she thinks." Harry whispered, not wanting the others to hear the conversation. Something about this new revelation felt private and clearly Ron felt the same way because he nodded solemnly. Both went through their goodbyes absently, thinking of Draco and this new information.
Draco found a compartment in the back of the train, empty because of the long distance to the train entrance. If he remembered right this compartment was usually empty which suited his purposes perfectly. Stowing his luggage he pulled a book from his trunk, The Wayfarers Redemption by Sara Douglass, and made himself comfortable in one of the window seats.
It wasn't five minutes later when the compartment door slid open, revealing the Golden Trio in all their glory. Draco glanced up from his book with a neutral expression, taking in the three irritated faces staring back at him. He wasn't sure why they were here but he wasn't going to start a pointless fight before he even got to Hogwarts.
"Can I help you?" He asked, sitting back in his seat, keeping a finger in his book to mark his place. His expression remained absolutely neutral the entire time.
"The rest of the compartments are full." Hermione informed him in the tone he recognized as her class room know it all tone. Instead of irritating him it amused him. Everyone had their shields and Hermione's was obviously her brain. It always had been.
"Then by all means." Draco waved a slender hand at the empty seats, a cynical smile quirking the edge of his lips as surprised expressions flashed across their faces.
With that he reopened his book and continued to read, ignoring them as they stowed their trunks with his. He didn't see the frowns Harry and Ron shared or the contemplating look Hermione had on her face. He paid them no attention at all when they sat across from him. After a few minutes he did become aware of their staring however. Looking up from his book he sighed in annoyance when he realized all three of them were staring. Hermione at the book in his hands and Harry and Ron at his face.
"It is considered rude to stare." He said after a moment with an amused smile. They were clearly confused as to his lack of hostility and despite the flash of bitterness this gave him, it was still amusing to watch them squirm in confusion.
"That is a muggle written book." Hermione said at last, causing her two friends to look at the book in question.
"Is it?" Draco looked down at the book as though never having seen it before. "I had no idea." The sarcasm was thick in this statement.
"But you hate muggles." She said this in her class room tone, making Draco grin faintly despite her fierce frown and her misinformation.
"Do I? Hmmm." He shook his head at her then returned his gaze to his book, knowing the silence wouldn't last long. He wasn't disappointed.
"I don't know who you're fooling, Malfoy, but it bloody well ain't us!" Ron exclaimed, an angry frown turning his mouth downward and his arms crossed over his chest.
Draco turned his gray eyes back up to them, a hint of cynicism darkening his face. He stared at them intently for several seconds, making them shift uncomfortably. They had never seen such an intense look on Draco's face, not even in the several life threatening situations they'd been in. It was disturbingly dark and each felt as though he was seeing much more than they wanted him to. Like he knew every single dark thought in their mind no matter if it was never spoken aloud. Like he understood every single thought without reproach. It was a very unusual stare, especially from Draco, the proclaimed Slytherin Prince.
Draco just looked at them thinking of all the numerous situations in which his flawless mask had fooled them. They would never truly understand real deception. Not until they had to hide every part of their soul so deep inside that they couldn't even feel it anymore. Not until they had to carefully monitor every single expression they made even in private for fear of punishment. They had grown up without pain, humiliation and agony every time they showed even the smallest amount of kindness or compassion. They had been able to accept mercy and emotions freely, not surrounded by icy coldness and pain. No, they would never understand his motivations.
"If it was my intention to fool you, Weasley, you wouldn't have the first clue." He told them a little coldly, a slight glare turning his eyes to mercury. He didn't need their judgment.
"That good of a liar?" Harry sneered, green eye hot and defiant.
"Yes." Draco said simply, eyes already falling back to his book. He didn't see the three Gryffindors draw back in surprise and share speaking glances. He didn't pay them any more attention the entire train ride to school, instead he immersed himself in the exciting world of literature. The Golden Trio cast him occasion glances but talked amongst themselves of their summer and points of interest, not trying to draw him into conversation again.
Hermione frowned, puzzled and a little intrigued, her eyes focused on the Slytherin table. At the center of her attention sat Draco Malfoy. He sat at the end of the Slytherin table closest to the teachers table, the seats closest to him empty of everyone but Theodore Nott. The sight was unusual. Draco had always been surrounded by his loyal followers from the very beginning of first year yet now they'd seemingly abandoned him. Yet Crabbe, Goyle, Parkinson and Zambini all sat at the other end of the table, casting disgusted sneers in Draco and Theodore's direction. Both boys seemed to be ignoring the looks, instead involved in what looked like a grim conversation.
"Look, Ron, Harry." Hermione pointed to the Slytherin table with a finger, drawing their attention from their food.
"Hmph, looks like his followers aren't kissin' his arse any more." Ron said bluntly, a bit of potato flying from his mouth.
Hermione shot him a look of mild disgust, making him smile sheepishly, before she turned back to the lone Malfoy. "Yes, but why aren't they? It's quite obvious he's done something that they consider shameful. He's never really hung out with Nott before either. So why now? What's he done over the summer to make them hate him?"
"Maybe they finally realized how horrid he is." Harry muttered but turned his eyes to the Slytherin table as well. A speculative gleam came to his eye as he thought of the possible reasons for this new Draco.
"I'm going to find out one way or another." Hermione said firmly making both boys groan miserably. They both knew that when Hermione got that tone she wouldn't stop at anything until she got exactly what she wanted. Draco Malfoy didn't stand a chance.
Remus Lupin sat at the teachers table, watching those around him with interest. It was nice to be back at Hogwarts again, he'd missed all the activity. It was always interesting to see the newest students sorted as well. Moony moaned in disagreement at the back of his mind and Remus grinned at the sleepy undertone. Clearly everyone wasn't as interested as Remus was, but then his wolf got bored easily and the sorting most likely bored him to death.
The great hall was decorated just as extravagantly as it has been every year before, despite the loses that had occurred the year before, cheering everyone's spirits. The ceiling was crystal clear, not a cloud in sight, and every star in view. That alone was an amazing sight. Add the decorations and the poor little first years looked quite overwhelmed. Remus smiled fondly, he remembered feeling much the same on his first day here.
Severus sat to his left and on his right sat Professor Sprout, who was babbling away about a new plant she'd cultivated in the greenhouses. Severus was suspiciously silent his eyes focused on the Slytherin table. Although this was not unusual, the worried gleam in his eyes was. Since the war had ended and Severus' brave efforts had become known he'd become much more approachable but not to such an extent that worry was an emotion you saw often. Curious over what concerned Severus Remus followed his eyes to the source.
Draco Malfoy, if Remus wasn't mistaken. He'd met the boy the first year he'd taught at Hogwarts but that had been nearly five years ago and he found Draco much changed, in appearance anyway. Remus remembered the boy being small for his age, petite almost, with an attitude much bigger and fiercer than he was. The platinum blonde hair was the same, only a little longer, falling around his pale face instead of slicked back. Instead of the ugly scowl that used to mar his face he seemed to be seriously intent on the conversation he was having with another boy, a thoughtful look on his face. Remus couldn't see his face clearly from so far away but he thought the boy must be handsome when he smiled. Draco seemed to have grown as well, although still small for a boy he looked filled out and muscled instead of scrawny. The boy, who must be 18 by now, looked like he would attract a lot of attention from both sexes.
Not only that but his aura, the way Moony saw most people, seemed to have changed drastically. Remus remembered Draco's aura well, just for the fact that at such a young age it had been vastly deeper than most peoples, even Harry's. It had been a simmering red and black with a tinge of emerald green. The colors were all negative and Moony hadn't liked the bitter tinge to them. Now Draco's aura was a glittering purple that spiraled out into a pale blue tinged with pink. The change was vast and all consuming, Moony saw nothing of the old Draco's aura. Watching the boy in fascination Moony remained with Remus for several seconds before Remus again pushed the wolf back. Blinking as his vision returned to normal.
Intrigued Remus let Moony magnify his hearing until he picked up on Draco's conversation. Maybe he would find out why Severus found it necessary to worry for his godson. The two boys were at the end of the table closest to the teachers table so it wasn't that difficult. Their conversation intrigued Remus even further.
"Are you going to play Quidditch this year?" The boy asked Draco curiously, picking at his mashed potatoes.
"Do you really think they'll let me?" Draco replied, cynicism clear in his voice. "I don't think they'd want a mud blood lover on their team." Remus cocked a brow curiously. As far as he remembered Draco had been just as prejudiced.
"Who else are they going to have as Seeker?" Theodore smirked as Draco smiled. "They don't have anyone else, they'll end up coming to you for help if they want to win the end match."
"Hmm, I guess we'll see." Draco said with a sigh. He pushed his food around his plate, drawing Remus' attention to Draco's plate. There was not a bit of meat on his plate. Vegetarian? "Tryouts shouldn't be that far away. I suppose we'll see then."
"Yeah." Theodore was silent for several seconds, casting searching glances up at the blonde.
Draco finally sighed, setting aside his fork and leaning back to give Theodore his full attention. "What is it, Theo?" His tone was resigned.
"Did-did your father know you didn't mind muggles?" Theo asked hesitantly, keeping his eyes on his plate. Remus leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table, and settling his chin on his hands. This conversation was getting more and more interesting.
Draco was silent for several long strained minutes. Remus thought he wasn't going to answer. "Yeah, he knew."
"You told him?" Theodore asked incredulously, seemingly as surprised as Remus. Remus could just imagine Lucius' reaction to his only son and heir 'not minding' muggles. He remembered Lucius from school and imagined the temperamental man's reaction had not been pleasant.
"No." Draco sighed, and casting wary blue eyes around the table. But he and Theodore sat at the end of the table and no one sat within hearing range, at least not human hearing range. The seats surrounding them were completely empty. For a moment Remus considered withdrawing his senses to give Draco some privacy as that was clearly what the young man wanted but his animal curiosity got the better of him.
"When I was like seven or eight I used to….collect muggle things that I was interested in." He started, then frowned and rubbed a hand over his mouth as though trying to think of how to explain. "Just little things, like a cd player, cds, some books, just things like that. I kept them all in a broom cupboard in the house elves room." His voice became strained and he grimaced. "He found them one day when he was punishing an elf."
Draco fell silent after that and Remus knew he wasn't going to say more without prompting. Theodore seemed to feel his silent nudge because he leaned closer and whispered "What did he do?" Dread filled Theodore's voice and Remus couldn't help but lean forward, his attention focused intently on Draco.
Dark blue eyes came up and focused on Theodore directly, almost eerily. Ice seemed to build and climb in those eyes until Theodore shifted uncomfortably and even Moony perked at the predatory look. It was a look that one didn't often see in someone so young. "He gave me 50 lashes and then gave me to Fenrir Greyback for his nightly entertainment." The words were precise and calm, almost clinical. He spoke as though it hadn't been him involved at all.
Remus almost reeled back in horror, knowing very well Greyback's liking for children, especially pretty little boys. At best the poor boy had been beaten and tortured, at worst raped, beaten and tortured. And Remus doubted Greyback would hold in his lust for an entire night, let alone with a boy as pretty as Draco must have been. He had seen first hand the aftermath of Greyback's lusts and it amazed him Draco was still alive and not a werewolf. Remus was sure the only reason was Lucius' iron hand involved. Couldn't have his only heir killed or infected with lycanthropy.
Rage made Moony snarl viciously at the back of Remus' mind and for once Remus agreed wholeheartedly with the wolf. No man, let alone a defenseless child, should have been subjected to what Draco had been. No father should be willing to do such a thing to his own child. And Remus was sure there was more. Lucius wouldn't have been merciful, son or not, if anything Remus was sure he would be more merciless with his family. Yes, there was no doubt that Lucius had damaged his only son beyond repair.
So preoccupied with his thoughts he almost didn't hear Theodore's gasp of horror as he drew back. Frowning he focused back on the boys. "But Greyback could have killed you!" Theodore protested weakly, sounding slightly faint.
Draco shrugged absently, like they spoke of the weather, as he continued to pick at his fruit. "He said a dead heir is better than a blood traitor. Said that if Greyback killed me it wouldn't be hard to replace me with another child. Said that if I continued he would give me to Greyback for good." Draco's face was completely blank as he glanced back up at Theodore, who gaped at him in horror, his eyes almost dead looking.
"God!" Theodore muttered, astonished. Remus sat back in his chair, feeling angry and horrified. How anyone could say such a thing to their own child baffled him. "Well, I'm glad he didn't." Theodore touched one of Draco's still hands, drawing the blonde's eyes back up to him. Theodore's brown eyes were solemn and sincere, filled with a sheen of tears. "You're not replaceable to me. You're my best friend and I wouldn't have you any other way."
Draco just looked at Theodore for several long moments and Remus thought for an agonized second that he would refuse his friends comfort. But then a small smile curved his lips and his eyes darkened again losing their ice like quality. He squeezed Theodore's hand in reassurance then drew his hand away. "Thank you, Theo, it means a lot."
With that Remus pulled back his senses, frowning intensely. He wasn't sure what he thought about what he'd heard. He knew he felt furious and pained on Draco's behalf and he knew his view of the blonde had changed drastically. Although he wasn't sure what this would mean in the future or what if anything he would do about what he'd heard Remus knew he'd be keeping an eye on him in the future.
"How is my godchild fairing, Remus?" Severus' voice broke him from his thoughts and he glanced up to find the potions master watching him intently. The knowing look in his eyes said that he knew exactly what Remus had been doing. The look made him slightly uncomfortable.
Clearing his throat Remus thought of what to say. Did Severus know of Draco's traumatic family life? The harsh look in Severus' eyes said he did. "He seems…" Remus paused and flickered a look at the blonde and his friend, who had both started talking about other things now. "Fairly well adjusted, considering."
"Considering what?" Severus' eyes sharpened and Remus hid his grimace. He'd never been a strong liar and he was just lucky his lycanthropy kept Severus from reading his mind.
"Considering his father just went to Azkaban." Remus replied evenly, hoping Severus believed him.
"You can't lie worth shit, Remus, and I find it curious that you thought to lie now." Severus said with deceptive mildness.
"It's not something you really need to know, Severus." The werewolf said, not sure if he was telling the truth or not. He would have to assess Draco's mental wellbeing himself before he went to anyone else.
"You will come to me if I do need to know, won't you?" A clear warning colored the Slytherin heads voice, his dark eyes almost vicious. For once Remus completely understood his odd friend.
"If you need to be made aware I will let you know." Remus said solemnly, glancing once at Draco before nodding. He would watch out for the boy and do everything he could to help.
Draco glanced up at the teacher's table, struck with the odd sensation of being watched. He looked up just in time to catch his godfather's worried glance as he talked with Remus Lupin. Holding back a grimace, Draco hoped they weren't discussing him. Severus had been extremely concerned for him as of late and he didn't want the man to start recruiting people to watch him.
Watching the two teachers he noticed for the first time how much better Professor Lupin looked this year as opposed to the last year he'd taught here. He knew from Severus that the Wolfsbane potion had proven surprisingly effective and he assumed that the changes were due to the potion. Lupin was fairly tall but he'd always been unhealthily thin. Now his shoulders were filled out, his clothes actually fit nicely, and he wasn't nearly as thin as he used to be. Draco actually surprised how big the man was. His old clothes and slimness had made him seem much smaller than he actually was. Not only that but his face seemed a little younger, a little less world weary and his hair and eyes were no longer dull and unhappy. With a start, Draco realized that Professor Lupin was actually very handsome.
Shaking those thoughts aside he tried to listen to Theo babble on about his summer. Thinking about Professor Lupin was useless; there was no way the man would want anything to do with Draco. Hell, Draco didn't want to have anything to go with himself most days. Not to mention the fact that Draco was sure the werewolf was one hundred percent heterosexual. Besides even if Lupin was by some miracle attracted to Draco, the man was a teacher and it would be unprofessional. Sure, Draco was of age and it wasn't against school rules but Draco still doubted the man would want to cross that line with someone like Draco.
With an unnoticeable sigh he shifted his attention to his only friend and continued to push around the food on his plate. "What classes did you sign up for?" Draco asked, wanted to think of anything else but his own unworthiness.
"I signed up for Advanced Herbology, Charms, Runes, Muggle Studies, and Double Potions. How 'bout you?" Theo chimed eagerly, talking around a huge bite of ham.
Draco cringed, averting his eyes from the meat dangling from his friend's mouth. "Advanced DADA, Advanced Double Potions, Advanced Care for Magical Creatures, Advanced Herbology, and Advanced Transfiguration."
Theo stared at him for several long moments, mouth agape. "How the hell did you score so high on all those NEWTS for five advanced classes? I could barely get an O on one class let alone five!" Theo finally burst, still staring.
"I studied." Draco said simply, not meeting his friend's eyes but instead poking at his fruit. He didn't want to tell Theo that his father had made him study for hours at a time, making him reread the course books several times before the year had even begun. Not many people knew that Draco had a photographic memory, so he only had to read the books once to remember everything that was on the tests. After reading them several times he had been more than prepared for anything on the tests.
"Wow, you're going to be so busy this year." Theo said, accepting Draco's answer at face value. "I wonder if Granger even got so many O's on her NEWTS?"
"I'm sure she did." Draco murmured with an indulgent smile. He didn't mention that he'd actually gotten seven O's, three in subjects he hadn't taken.
"Probably, she knows pretty much everything." Theo agreed with a glance over his shoulder at the Gryffindor table. "Hey, the golden trio is watching us." He muttered, turning back around to meet Draco's eyes.
"They're curious about what brought about the civil Draco." The blonde told his friend, leaning over and blatantly looking at the three Gryffindors. He grinned when they all turned back to their food. That they thought he'd be interested in any childish game they were playing amused him.
"They can mind their own bloody business." Theo frowned, pushing his plate away at the same time as Draco. They both stood, and in silent agreement headed out of the Great Hall.
"I don't really care." Draco said casting one last glance at Professor Lupin, an electric sizzle racing down his spine when he met the werewolf's eyes across the Great Hall. Pausing for a moment Draco stared, then shook himself and followed Theo from the Great Hall. "They can snoop all they want and they're not going to find anything."
"Still, they have no idea what pure blood families are really like and they don't really have any business trying to butt into yours." Theo retorted, still frowning as they made their way down to the dungeon.
"Ron's family is actually a pure blood family." The blonde corrected absently. "And that's not going to stop them from trying to be nosy; you know that's what they're good at."
With that the conversation ended, the boys continuing to the Slytherin dormitories in silence. Both thought of different things, their thoughts whirling quickly. Draco thought on Professor Lupin and wondered what day he would have class with the attractive teacher. Theo thought on how he was going to keep the golden trio from bothering Draco. These thoughts followed then to bed that night, unwilling to be silenced even in sleep.
Draco picked at his fruit, sleepy and uncharacteristically rumpled. Since his father was no longer here to monitor his appearance he liked taking his time in the mornings, waking slowly and getting properly tidy leisurely. This morning was no different even if it was the first day of class.
"I can't believe you're not excited!" Theo said beside him, almost bouncing in his seat he was so excited.
Draco laughed lightly, running a hand through his messy hair. "I am excited, I'm just not as excited as you are. Not enough to drag myself out of bed this early." He threw Theo a significant look, since it had been Theo that had dragged Draco from bed this morning.
"Shut up, it not that early!" The brunette exclaimed, his chocolate brown eyes shining. He looked as impeccable as always, not a stray piece of hair out of place.
"Here they come." Draco pointed mildly, grinning when Theo began bouncing in his seat again. Sometimes Draco couldn't believe how exuberant Theo was, even after having Deatheater parents.
With a flutter their schedules landed in front of them, Draco saving his own from landing in the breakfast pudding. With a smile Draco turned his over and read through his timetable.
9am-Advanced Defense Against The Dark Arts
1:30pm-Advanced Double Potions
1:30pm-Advanced Care for Magical Creatures
9am-Advanced Double Potions
1:30pm-Advanced Care for Magical Creatures
9am-Advanced Defense Against The Dark Arts
I'm sure you're aware that advanced classes are 3 hours in duration and exceptionally hard. You're schedule will be quite hard to maintain with good grades if you do not work hard and study harder. As your head of house I expect great things from you.
Draco smiled, glancing at his godfather who sat at the head table speaking with Professor Lupin again. Meeting his godfather's eyes he smiled and waved his hand, receiving a nod in return. He knew it was Severus' way of saying good luck and he believed in him. Feeling a little more awake Draco turned to his best friend to compare schedules.
Neither boy knew what a stunning picture they made, sitting at an abandoned end of the Slytherin table, laughingly complaining over their schedules. The contrast between the two boy's was sharp and drew eyes even from the Gryffindor table.
Theo with his dark autumn hair and warm summer tanned skin. He was taller than Draco and broader, filled out with muscle despite his studious nature. With strong cheekbones, a squared chin and aristocratic features Theo was incredibly attractive. He could have easily gotten any girl he really wanted if not for his shy personality. Theo was the sweet one of the pair, evident in his sparkling brown eyes and ready smile.
Draco was the winter to Theo's fall, with his white blonde hair and creamy skin. He was shorter than Theo by several inches and muscled but lithely compared to Theo's stocky. His face was sharper and more angular but no less attractive. His pale blue eyes were intense and solemn and his mouth was wide and pink, generally holding a barely there smile. Draco knew he could have most girls but just didn't want them. He was confident and sure of himself and what he wanted.
Both boy's continued talking, unaware of the golden trio watching them from the other side of the Great Hall. Hermione and Harry frowned as they watched the pair, curious and just a little suspicious while Ron glared vehemently at the two Slytherin.
"Did you know that Draco received seven O's on his NEWTS?" Severus asked Remus absently, watching his godson receive his schedule.
"Did he?" Remus murmured, not sure where Severus was going with the comment. "He must be exceptionally smart then."
"Yes, he is." Severus nodded to his godson's wave before turning his dark eyes to Remus. "Only Hermione Granger scored higher and she had the help of the time turner. Draco has a photographic memory, has since he was a baby."
"I'm sure he'll do excellently in class as long as he reads the material." The werewolf replied, still a little puzzled. He was a little surprised Draco was so intelligent but he really shouldn't have been, Draco's aura clearly showed how intelligent he was.
Severus sighed, an oddly sharp look in his eyes. "His father used to make him read the course books several times before the school year even began, I'm fairly certain Draco has already read every book you recommended and more."
"Why are you telling me this, Severus?" He finally asked, frowning at the black haired male.
"Because I don't want Draco to act like he's stupid any more. He got horrible grades on everything but the NEWTS and the OWLS, does that tell you something?" Severus said solemnly.
"I'm still not sure what you want me to do about it." Remus frowned, feeling Moony become a little agitated as well. The wolf didn't like the idea of Draco purposely flunking any more than Remus did.
"You have him in your DADA class in thirty minutes, I just want you to make sure he actually tries this year."
"I'll try my best but I don't see how I would make any difference, he doesn't even know me." With that Remus sat back in his chair, focusing his gold eyes on Draco. He saw Severus nod from the corner of his eye but ignored him.
Letting Moony creep forward a little bit he focused on Draco's aura, the brilliant colors spinning into focus. The glittering purple, shiny and almost metallic, came first, the color generally indicating passion and deep feelings and thoughts. It told Remus that Draco was a contemplative person with deep passions that drove his thoughts. Next came the pastel blue, so light it was almost white. This color was a little trickier to interpret, it could either mean the person was calm in nature and accepting or it could mean that the person had a barrier between their thoughts and others. Remus thought it might mean both in Draco. Then last came the pale pink just on the outer edges of the boy's aura. This one's meaning was perfectly clear. Remus had only ever seen this color when the person was healing from massive psychological damage, the pink tender and painful. Remus was relieved that Draco's aura wasn't surrounded by black or red which would have meant he wasn't healing.
"Draco is going to be fine, Severus." Remus said at last, blinking his eyes and withdrawing Moony despite the wolf's protests. "He's healing as quickly as you can possible hope for."
"Good." Severus paused, hesitating for a moment. "Please keep an eye on him."
"I will, Severus." Remus promised, feeling Moony actually agree with him for once.
Draco entered his first class, scanning the room with weary blue eyes. He was relieved when he realized there weren't many Slytherins in this class, only two, both he didn't know very well. Feeling a little lighter he moved forward, taking the last seat in the second row on his left. Setting his bag under his desk he leaned back in his seat and scanned the other students a little more thoroughly.
All together there were eighteen students, a fairly large number for an advanced class. Ten of the students were Gryffindor, several of them glaring at him, and the golden trio sat to his right in the first row. Four were Ravenclaw, a surprisingly low number for the intellectual house. Three, including Draco, were Slytherin, a fairly normal number for any optional DADA class. The last student was a large Hufflepuff, sitting in the seat next to Draco and offering him a kind smile.
Returning the smile Draco held his hand out. "Draco Malfoy." He said, his smile widening when the Hufflepuff took his hand after only a moment. The other boy's hand was larger than his own and almost completely engulfed his own.
"I know, I'm Gage Sanstrom." The other boy replied, his gentle brown eyes at odds with his height and size. He had to be almost a foot taller than Draco and double his weight in muscle.
"Nice to meet you." Draco said sincerely, even though he could feel the golden trio's eyes digging into him from across the room.
Apparently Gage could feel them too. He glanced behind Draco then met the blonde's eyes again. "They think you're going to kill me?"
Draco grimaced, his expression not going unnoticed by the Hufflepuff. "Apparently I'm dangerous." He said with a little sigh, feeling disappointment sink into him. Gage wouldn't want to be friends with him if he knew the golden trio of Hogwarts thought him dangerous.
"Hmm, you should come sit with me during lunch." Gage said unexpectedly, smiling at Draco with the same gentle look in his eyes. "Theo, too."
"You're friends won't mind?" Draco asked in surprise, arching a brow and staring at the Hufflepuff.
"Not if I tell them you're a friend." Gage cocked his head to the side, leaning back precariously in his chair. The little chair squeaked under his weight. "You are a friend, yes?"
Draco stared, mouth agape, completely taken by surprise. Then his eyes warmed to a bright blue and he smiled at his new friend happily. "Sure, we'll come sit with you."
Before Gage could reply Professor Lupin stepped into the room from his office, his appearance silencing the students. The werewolf smiled warmly at the students, straightening his coat sleeve as he walked further out into the room. Draco followed him with his eyes, finding himself still attracted to the older man despite his earlier discouraging thoughts.
"Welcome to Advanced Defense Against The Dark Arts. For those of you who don't remember me my name is Professor Lupin and I happen to be a werewolf." He said bluntly, his smile still in place as he surveyed the room. Several loud gasps echoed through the room and Draco thought Lupin's smile might have dropped just a little. He frowned, suddenly angry for Professor Lupin.
"Now before we begin with our first review lesson, let me put a few fears to rest." He continued to smile despite it being obvious to Draco at least that a few of the student's fear of him hurt him. "Now, how many of you have any kind of experience with werewolves?" Hermione, Harry, Ron and Draco were the only students that raised their hands. Draco could feel the trio's looks but ignored them, meeting Lupin's eyes instead. "Okay, good, now which one of you can tell me the difference between a feral werewolf and a domestic werewolf?" Only Draco and Hermione's hands remained raised. "Draco?"
Draco winced a little bit, unconsciously pressing a hand to his thigh, where Greyback's claws had racked him and left large scars. "There are specific laws werewolves have to follow, called the Domestic Laws, which govern how a werewolf is to act and live when they're around people that aren't infected. These laws even cover how a werewolf is to advertise the fact that he's a werewolf to his neighbors and how he goes about buying a house. The ministry is very strict concerning the laws and even disobeying one can get you arrested." He paused, meeting his teacher's eyes for a moment before looking back down at his desk. "Werewolves that obey these laws are called domestic werewolves and those who don't are called feral werewolves, who are hunted down until they're captured then executed."
"Excellent, Draco, the perfect answer. 10 points to Slytherin." Professor Lupin smiled at Draco before looking around the room again. By this time he'd come to a stop by his desk and currently leaned back against it. "How many of you know how to tell a feral from a domestic?" This time no one raised their hands but he seemed to catch Draco's glance around the room."Do you know, Draco?"
Draco sighed with a frown before nodding. "When a person is first turned a spell is cast on them by an officer from the department of magical creatures. This spell is magically connected to the Domestic Laws and if a law is broken then a red seal appears on the werewolf's right hand, recording every law that's broken." He ignored the few impressed glances thrown his way, instead focusing on the wood grains of his desk.
"Again, excellent work, Draco, another 5 points to Slytherin." Remus said with another smile, impressed despite himself. Not many people knew the extremes the Ministry of Magic went to, to curtail werewolves. He raised his hand and showed his right hand to the class, clearly displaying his seal less right hand. "I have never broken any of the Domestic Laws in the twenty years I've been a werewolf and I won't do so in this life." Several of the students relaxed the scent of fear lessening.
"Now that that's taken care of let's start reviewing exactly what was on your NEWTS and what most of you missed." With that Remus launched into a review of the things they missed, keeping an eye on the reserved Malfoy as he went.
Draco listened absently, focusing more on Professor Lupin than what the man was actually saying. He felt uneasy sitting this close to the man, listening to his smooth voice and feeling inexplicitly attracted to him despite everything he told himself. He'd never really been honestly attracted to anyone before and he felt a little overwhelmed being this attracted to Professor Lupin so suddenly. He wasn't sure if it was because the man always seemed genuine and gentle or whether it was because Draco knew that there had to be a wolf's wildness under there, hidden from view. Either way it was unsettling.
Either way he knew the man wouldn't want Draco that way. He knew very well that Professor Lupin had a son with one of the auroras, Nyphadora Tonks, if Draco remembered right, who had died during the war. Why would he want Draco when he already had a family? Why would he want broken beyond repair Draco, who had too many issues for his own good? It was impossible yet Draco couldn't help wanting Lupin despite that.
He came back to attention almost two and a half hours later, having missed most of the review during his introspection. "Now that I've reviewed most of the things from the NEWTS I wanted to make an announcement. This year due to the number of students taking DADA I'll be taking a student assistant." By this time Draco was fully focused on the Professor, interested despite himself.
Remus paused until the students calmed down, grinning when he noticed Harry, Hermione and Ron's keen interest. The interest that surprised him was Draco's, who had obviously been drifting through most of the class, only absently paying attention. Now Draco's eyes were intent on him with an intensity he hadn't shown the entire class. Moony perked up noticeable and Remus felt his own interest in Draco increase.
"Don't get too excited, I'm not going to be the one picking my assistant." He grinned at the groans from Harry and Ron. "Those who are interested will be taking a test and the person with the best percentage will become my assistant for the rest of the year. My assistant will be fairly busy so those of you who don't want to spend a lot of time in here you might not want to take the test. I'll be needing help with my third through sixth year classes at 5pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as well as my remedial classes on Sundays. This will be a lot of time you'll have to invest. It will be extra credit of course and go towards work credit. If you're interested than I'd like you all back here at six tonight to take the test." Remus was glad to see Draco still interested but knew almost instinctively that he'd have to give the blonde a little push to make him take the test.
He smiled and stood from the seat he'd taken on his desk. "I'll let you all leave a little early today but don't expect it very often." Remus grinned when the students all scrambled out of their chairs and tried to leave as soon as possible. "Draco, I'd like to talk to you after class, if you have the time." He called before the blonde could get too far.
Draco turned to look at Professor Lupin, a little puzzled. Had he realized Draco wasn't paying attention? "Sure." He said before turning to Gage, who'd been waiting for him. "I'll meet you down there in a few minutes." He told his new friend with a smile.
"Sure, I'll see you in a few." Gage replied with a nod before turning to follow the rest of the students.
Draco's eyes followed Gage for a few seconds, spotting Harry standing by the door with a suspicious frown. Hermione and Ron stood just behind him, sharing the same expression. Draco smiled at them somewhat sarcastically before walking towards Professor Lupin's desk, where the Professor sat shifting through some papers. Draco recognized them as last year's DADA NEWTS.
The Professor looked behind Draco for a second, probably at Harry and his friends before shifting his gold eyes up to meet Draco's. Draco fought the shiver that raced down his spine, hoping the Professor didn't see it but by the narrowing of those gold eyes figured he probably had. After a moment Lupin's eyes widened. "You wanted to see me?" He asked, trying to draw attention away from his reaction to Lupin.
Remus narrowed his eyes at the blonde boy, seeing the boy's fingers tremble a little. Thinking Draco afraid of him Remus let Moony come closer and inhaled this being the first time the boy was close enough to smell. He almost choked when he smelled, not fear, but desire. Draco was attracted to him and doing a fairly good job of hiding it, all except the barely there tremble of his fingers. Feeling a little stunned, he leaned back in his chair, vaguely feeling Moony begin to howl in the back of his mind.
With Draco's mint and chocolate scent came immediate lust, Remus almost shocked when he began to harden in his pants. He'd never had such an immediate reaction to anyone in his entire life, not even Tonks. Not only was he attracted to Draco but Moony as well, who'd never approved of a human the whole time Remus had been infected. He couldn't believe that not only was a beautiful young man like Draco attracted to him but both Remus and Moony were attracted to the boy as well.
Clearing his throat, Remus smiled vaguely, hoping to hide at least most of what he was feeling. Moony was rattling his chains wildly but Remus ignored him as best he could. "Yes, I did. Do you guys mind giving us a moment?" He directed this at Harry, Hermione and Ron, who stood just inside the classroom. Harry nodded reluctantly as the three complied. Remus absently noticed their suspicion before his eyes were back on Draco.
Their eyes met for several long moments in silence, Draco's pale blue eyes weary as they met Remus'. Remus studied the boy, content to just look at him for a moment. He couldn't believe he'd never noticed Draco sexually before but in his defense he supposed he'd never gotten close enough to smell the blonde either. As a werewolf his attraction to any given person was based mainly on their scent rather than their looks. And Draco smelled absolutely delicious, like the chocolate Remus loved so much. That and the blond was beautiful, lithe and angular enough to be slightly feminine but muscled enough to be masculine. His face was a work of art when he didn't have that scowl permanently pressed into place.
"I'd like you to come by to take the test today." He said after a few moments, leaning forward and setting his arms on his desk to hopefully cover his erection. He couldn't believe he was getting hard from just looking at the blonde.
"Why? I'm sure Hermione or Harry will take the test." Draco asked, his brows arching just a little. His eyes were still weary as he watched the teacher.
"Yes, but I believe you'll score higher and honestly I think you'll be of much more help." Remus said honestly although omitting the fact that he himself was interested in Draco in an entirely different way than Hermione or Harry.
"But….." Draco paused and hesitated before continuing. "I'm sure Hermione would do a better job than I would. She did receive more O's than I did last year." He bit his lip as he looked down at the desk, tightening his grip on his back pack.
Remus groaned as he watched Draco's lip turn pink, startled by the immediate reaction from his body. "Yes, Hermione did receive more O's than you did, however…" Remus pulled the paper he'd been searching for from a stack and pushed it across the desk. It was Draco's NEWTS exam with the percentage written in red on the top. "Even though she received an O in Defense her percentage was still five points lower than yours. Hermione lacks the ability to efficiently duel which I'm going to need in an assistant."
Draco was silent for a long while and Remus inwardly hoped he would agree to show up. Finally, slowly Draco nodded, releasing his lip and looking up at Remus with an almost shy smile. Remus felt his heart clench at the rare look on the blonde's face. "Sure, I'll stop by and take the test." Draco said, nodding.
"Good, I'm glad." Remus replied with a grin. He was pleased when Moony caught the spike in the blonde's scent, a sure sign that Draco was as much attracted to him as he was to Draco. "Then I'll be seeing you tonight at six."
Draco nodded again, his smile turning into a grin as he turned away from Remus. "I'll see you at six." He said with a little wave as he exited the classroom. His steps seemed to be hurried despite his easy going grin.
Remus sighed as soon as Draco closed the door behind him. The boy was going to be a distraction but Remus found he didn't really mind. It had been a long time since he'd been genuinely attracted to anyone let alone this strongly. Tonks hadn't been a relationship of attraction as much as it had been comfort in the midst of the war and of course he'd gotten his son Teddy in the relationship, which had made the complicated relationship with Tonks worth every fight. But this compulsion with Draco was pure chemistry, attraction at its very finest, something Remus had been sure wasn't in his future.
Of course he would no doubt have to persuade Draco into going any farther than a teacher student relationship, which he wasn't sure he wanted to do. Draco had a lot to get over, a lot to heal from and Remus wasn't sure he wanted to take advantage of Draco's vulnerability. Moony urged him to pursue the boy, and his desire for the boy echoed the wolf, but Remus would have to think on the situation carefully first. Not only did he have to worry about Draco, but he also had to worry about what Severus would think and how this would affect his son, Teddy.
A commotion outside his door drew his attention and a frown snapped his brows together as he rose from his desk. It sounded like a fight and if it was who he thought it was then he would be very displeased. With that thought he strode towards the door, Moody growling in the back of his mind and his wand already out.
Draco exited the class, feeling just a little too aroused for his own good. He found he didn't like the way the teacher made him react, made him feel vulnerable and safe at the very same time. All Draco's carefully constructed walls seemed to come down at the first glance from Lupin and Draco didn't like it at all. He'd lived his life dependent on those very walls and it made him uncomfortable being so open to a virtual stranger. Sure, he knew things about the teacher but not nearly enough to warrant any kind of trust.
He pulled up short right before he ran right into Harry, who'd been standing right outside the classroom door. Pulling away from his distracting thoughts Draco focused on the golden trio, who all seemed to be watching him suspiciously.
"Can I help you?" Draco asked sarcastically, quirking a brow at the three of them.
"I don't know what the fuck you're up to, Malfoy, but it's not going to work." Harry said through gritted teeth, his fists clenched at his sides.
Draco glanced down at Harry's clenched fists, feeling a little wary, but that of course didn't stop his mouth. "Contrary to popular belief, Potter, I don't have to be plotting a nefarious scheme all the time. And even if I was, what makes you think it would involve you at all?"
"We know you're planning something! Don't think we're stupid!" Ron growled, taking a step closer to the smaller blonde. Hermione was conspicuously silent behind the two boys, just watching the scene cautiously, her eyes shrewd.
"Far be it from me to question you're intelligence, Weasley." Draco drawled, and then quirked a sarcastic little smile, not dissimilar to his classic Malfoy smirk. "You've caught me." His mouth moved into a mock moue of distress and his eyes widened. "I'm in the middle of a very complicated secret plan to actually arrive to lunch before it's over. You've foiled me again!"
"Why, you-" Ron growled, feeling stupid and furious. He took another step closer to the blonde and jabbed one finger into the blonde's chest accusingly, ignoring Hermione's restraining hand on his arm. "You think you're so much better than us, don't you Malfoy? Well, let me tell you you're not, you're nothing but Deatheater scum! You don't even deserve to be here!"
Draco's face froze, his expression becoming icy as he calmly pushed Ron's jabbing finger away from him. "That may be but at least I won't ever be Weasley scum." Draco said frostily, his blue eyes nearly arctic.
He was unprepared when Ron jumped at him, sending him sprawling to the floor with Ron's fists swiftly following. Vaguely hearing Harry and Hermione shout in the background he tried to keep the worst of Ron's hits away from his face. He didn't stand much of a chance, Ron being larger and stronger physically than he was. All he could really do was try to deflect a few blows while he waited for Ron to be pulled off him. He winced when a glancing blow struck him across the mouth, splitting his lip and sending blood down his cheek. Ron's face was red and furious above his, one fist clenched in Draco's shirt and the other pulling up for another hit. This next blow hit Draco across the cheek, making his head pound and no doubt bruising his cheek.
Then it was over, Ron's body going flying with a well placed spell from Professor Lupin as the teacher swept onto the scene. Draco winced as he sat up, propping himself up against the wall, and bringing trembling fingers to his bleeding lip. His blue eyes were tired as he lifted them to Lupin's and he was a little puzzled by the furious emotion there.
"I can't believe you, Ronald Weasley!" Hermione scolded as she helped Ron to his feet. Her expression was just as furious as Lupin's. Harry was silent as he watched Lupin kneel beside Draco to check his injuries.
"You okay?" Lupin asked, his eyes unexpectedly gentle as they focused on Draco's swelling cheek and bleeding lip.
"Yeah, I've had worse." Draco told the werewolf feeling that same vulnerable feeling. He wouldn't have normally told Lupin that but again the curious lowering of his defenses loosened his tongue.
"I know you have." He agreed in a whisper, making Draco's blue eyes snap to his gold ones. Understanding passed between the two for a split second before the Professor stood and turned to the still furious Ron. "I don't care what started it, there's no excuse for attacking another student, Ronald."
"He insulted my family!" Ron protested, again ignoring Hermione's restraining hand on his sleeve, letting his redheaded temper control his mouth. He pointed an accusing finger at the prone blonde.
"I don't care!" Lupin said calmly, his eyes the only thing showing his anger. They glowed an eerie yellow as Moony lurked close to the surface. "You're old enough that you should be able to control your temper. By no means is violence accepted here. 50 points from Gryffindor and detention for two weeks, Mr. Weasley. You will report to Professor Snape for detention tonight."
"But-" Ron tried to protest but this time Hermione jerked on his arm and he spluttered to a stop. Aiming one last venomous glare at the wounded blonde he accepted his fate. "Yes, Professor."
"Good, now go, before you three miss lunch altogether." Remus told them, turning his back on them as he knelt beside Draco again. He didn't pay them any more attention as they disappeared down the corridor. His hammered copper eyes focused on Draco's bleeding lip. "I can heal the bruising but there's no helping the cut."
"That's fine." Draco murmured his eyes a little vague. His head pounded furiously as he rested it against the stone wall behind him. His blue eyes were tired and just a little pained as he watched Lupin aim his wand at his swelling cheek.
"You should know better than to insult Mr. Weasley's family." Lupin chided gently as he healed the bruising and swelling as well as he could. "He has quite the volatile temper."
"I didn't mean to." Draco admitted, that curious lowering of his walls again loosening his tongue. He found himself saying things to Lupin he wouldn't have said to anyone else. "He called me Deatheater scum and I just lashed out." His voice was quite and pained and his eyes wouldn't meet Remus'.
"Is that all he said?" Remus asked, his wand dropping as he healed the last of the bruising on Draco's pale cheek. The split in his lip looked red and painful, still bleeding just a little but there was nothing he could do about that now. His eyes were gentle, despite Moony raging in the back of his mind, displeased by the attack on the blonde.
Draco drew a deep breath, wincing a little as his head twinged again. With a little head shake Draco told Lupin the rest, almost compelled to tell him. "He said I didn't deserve to be here and as right as he is it still hurt. So I insulted him. I don't blame him for attacking me." A quiet acceptance filled his voice, infuriating Remus all over again.
Remus reached out and gripped Draco's chin, turning him to meet his eyes. An electric spark seemed to travel through his fingers and up his arm, making his heart jump but he ignored that for now, meeting Draco's blue eyes intently. "You deserve to be here just as much as anyone else does. You don't deserve to be punished, Draco, you've already paid for any sins you've committed and Ron had no right to attack you, no matter what you said to him. You're a good person, Draco, and you don't need them to tell you that." His voice was low and sincere, his eyes intense and honest.
"Thank you." The blonde's voice wobbled just a little, gratefulness in his eyes and relief. He reached up and gripped Remus' wrist, squeezing just a little in gratitude. The same electric tingle passed between them again and Remus smiled, Moony shining out of his eyes just a little.
Remus dropped his hand reluctantly and rose to his feet, not wanting the moment to end but knowing now wasn't the time. "You'd better head to lunch before it ends." He advised as he helped Draco to his feet. "Wouldn't want to keep your friend waiting."
"Oh!" Draco's eyes widened just a little as he picked up his fallen book bag. "I completely forgot, he's going to think I ditched him."
"Then you'd better hurry." Lupin said with a little smile. "I'll see you at six."
"At six." Draco confirmed with a little shy smile that gave Remus the urge to kiss him. He ignored the urge prudently. "Thanks for healing my cheek." Draco called as he began to hurry away, throwing one last glance over his shoulder as he rounded the corner.
Remus blew out a rough breath, feeling out of sorts and just a little bit aroused. Draco affected him more than anyone ever had in his entire life and he was starting to have a sneaking suspicion as to why. When he'd seen Ron hitting him, he could have sworn he was going to transform right then and there if it wasn't impossible. Moony had been so enraged Remus hadn't been sure he could control himself for a split second. As it was a protective possessive emotion had fixed into place, making Remus want to go hunt Ron down and give him another two weeks of detention just because. Yes, Draco would definitely be a distraction but Remus just couldn't find it in himself to care.