Title: Inhibitions

Rating: T (I'm fairly sure it's a T. There's mild sexual scenes, but it's really just snogging, nothing more.)

Disclaimer: I'm not JKRowling and I won't own Harry Potter. This is a for-fun endeavor only.

AN: This is mostly likely a one-shot until writers block on my other stories attacks me again and I get the urge to write another chapter for this one. It works as a one-shot though, so I'll probably leave it.

This is me playing with a more canon Harry than my other stories. Not a lick of inclination towards the Dark in this Harry. But I also wanted to take a more realistic approach to homosexuality in young teens than I usually see in most fanfiction. Most stories have the characters having some sort of epiphany moment (Hell, my own fics suffer from that) where they just suddenly realize that they're gay even though they never even realized it before and that's actually rather unrealistic. If you've ever talked with any guys who are actually gay, you find its rarely anything like that. Anyway, enjoy the fluff. It was fun to write. :)

Description: Fairly cliché setup – a potion accident involving Harry and Draco leads to happy snogging and startling personal revelations. Slightly AU 5th year.

– – –

Harry's head jerked up as he felt something jab him in the ribs and he blinked owlishly as he was suddenly wrenched from his catnap. His eyes landed on Hermione who was giving him a reprimanding glare. He smiled back sheepishly and refocused on the front of the classroom, just in time to realize that Binns had stopped talking and was in the process of floating through the blackboard towards his office. He looked around and also realized that all of his classmates were packing their things away into the bags.

Oh. It would appear he'd slept through History of Magic.

Not exactly a huge deal. And it was only their first week of class. Not exactly a big loss; although he would admit that it was probably not setting the best precedent since he'd slept through most of his class on Monday as well.

It was now Thursday, and he only had a few minutes to get down into the dungeons for Potions. He sighed heavily as he quickly began to follow his classmates example and stuffed his book, parchment and quills into his satchel and slung it over his shoulder.

He wasn't looking forward to potions in the least, but that was hardly a new experience. It was their OWLs year and he had potions twice a week this year. On Monday they'd been assigned partners by Snape and told they'd be with those partners for the entire year. This wouldn't have been a big deal if it weren't for the fact that Snape was clearly out to make his fifth year the worst yet because he had assigned Harry to be partners with Draco bloody Malfoy.

He doubted he would have made it through class on Monday if it weren't for the fact that they were brewing the Draught of Peace and it seemed to reduce the inclination on both parts to constantly snark and jab at each other. Today, however, they wouldn't be brewing any Draughts of Peace, so he doubted the class would go nearly as smoothly.

He trudged behind Hermione and Ron scowling slightly. They were bickering about something to do with their Prefect duties and the reminder only made Harry's scowl deepen. He still couldn't believe that Ron had been made Prefect.

Angelina had scheduled the Gryffindor Quidditch tryouts for that evening and Ron, of course, was planning to try out. Since last year had been Oliver's last year, the Gryffindor team was now without a keeper and Ron was hoping to make the team. The problem at the moment was that, apparently, the Quidditch tryouts interfered with some Prefect meeting or something. Ron, of course, saw no problem with missing it because Quidditch was obviously more important, and Hermione was snapping at him for not taking his responsibilities seriously.

Ron, take responsibilities seriously? Harry snorted. Yeah, right.

He really couldn't understand how on earth Ron could have been chosen for the job. Hermione was an obvious choice, but Ron? Hell, Harry would have been a better choice, even if he had a tendency to get mixed up in too many things or didn't have the best grades – but he'd still be a better choice than bloody Ron. Still, if anyone should have been picked it should have been... Neville... or Dean... or Seamus. Hell, anyone but Ron.

Harry was pulled from his bitter internal grumblings by the decrease in temperature and the realization that he'd made his way down into the dungeons on auto-pilot. He couldn't help but grimace as he came to a brief stop at the door to the Potions lab. He was not looking forward to this. An entire year being potions partner with Draco Malfoy.

At least he had Defense after lunch. Professor Doge seemed... well, interesting. Old, but interesting. His voice was rather weezy, and the hat that he wore over his shoulder-length silver hair was rather... well, stupid-looking, but at least he seemed to know what he was talking about and – so far – he didn't appear to be out to kill Harry.

Sirius had mentioned Professor Doge to Harry the week before when he was still at Grimmauld Place. Apparently he'd been a member of the Order of the Phoenix back in the 70's, and was an old friend of Professor Dumbledore's. The man hadn't originally had any intention of coming to teach, but apparently, if he hadn't volunteered to fill the post, the Ministry would have been able to put whoever they wanted in the job, and seeing as how neither Dumbledore nor Harry were on the best terms with the Ministry at the moment, whoever they would have assigned the post... well, they probably wouldn't have been particularly fond of Harry.

Harry pulled in a deep breath and tried to muster his Gryffindor courage. It was stupid for him to be scared of Draco Malfoy and his endless taunts. He'd just have to make it through the next hour and a half, go to lunch, go to defense, get some homework done, go to dinner, and then endure watching the Quidditch tryouts. The level of stress he'd been absorbing from Ron in his endless worries about getting the keeper position was getting tiresome. At least after tonight, that would be over.

Just then, the doors to the potions classroom was wrenched open forcefully and Snape was standing there, sneering at the group of students gathered outside the door. He motioned them all inside with a sharp jerk of his head and spun to stalk down the center isle towards the front of the classroom.

They all filed in, sitting at their assigned benches that mingled everyone in the room with someone of the opposite house. Every group was made up of a Gryffindor and a Slytherin – all of them except for Neville who had been partnered with Hermione.

Harry wasn't sure if this was a favor to Neville, or simply the result of Snape refusing to force any of his Snakes to endure being Neville's lab partner. He also probably wanted the excuse to dock Hermione's normally perfect potions performance. It was a rare day that Neville's potion didn't get banished before the end of class, but Hermione's potions work was normally among the top in the class.

Harry sat down on the left-hand side of his assigned bench and began to pull out his books and supplies. A moment later, Draco Malfoy sat down beside him, scowling slightly and not even bothering to spare Harry a side-ways glance as he began to pull out his supplies.

A moment later Snape called the class to attention and started the lesson off by calling roll. "Monday's assignment was a simple enough drought that I had expected any reasonable OWL-level students would be able to brew without any complications," he began and he paused for a moment to sneer in disdain at Neville who's cheeks tinted pink with embarrassment as he ducked his head. "Today's lesson will not be so easy. We shall be brewing the Elixir to Induce Euphoria. It is an OWL level spell mostly because of the complexity involved in brewing it, as well as the fact that it takes about a week to complete and the steps must be spread across several days. After the initial directions are followed, the potion must sit, unbothered, for four days before the last three ingredients are added and the brewing can be completed." Snape paused again and glared out over the silent class. "Fortunately, it will be four days after this class until the next, so this will work out well for us. Of course, if you screw up this potion, and have to start over, you will have to make it up with me after class in detention. Open your textbooks to pave twenty-seven and begin."

Harry sighed heavily as he opened his book and started scanning the page. It didn't take long before Malfoy started snarking at him. He told Harry to go off to the ingredients cupboard to collect the ingredients while he prepared the cauldron. Harry bit back a remark about not having to follow Malfoy's directions, to which Malfoy shot back by asking which of the two of them actually had any idea what he was doing behind a cauldron? Harry shut his mouth, biting back his next retort and simply grumbled under his breath as he stalked over to the ingredients cupboard.

After returning, Malfoy snapped at him some more, making several disparaging remarks on Harry's intellect and sending him back to the storeroom for the right ingredients, since Harry was apparently too stupid to be able to tell the difference between Porcupine Quills and Scurvy Grass.

The class did not improve much from there and Harry spent most of the next hour and a half in a frustrated, bitter, and rather sullen mood while Malfoy did most of the brewing while Harry prepared the ingredients.

As if having Malfoy constantly making annoying comments wasn't bad enough, Snape also spent most of the class taking every opportunity he could to point out that Harry was doing it wrong and calling him a dunderhead, a waste of space, and a waste of his precious time and effort.

By the end of class he was absolutely seething.

Harry had known that this year of Potions would be unbearable but some tiny part of him had still held out hope that he and Malfoy could somehow work together without tearing each others heads off. That possibility was looking less and less likely with each passing moment.

The previous year had been... well, overwhelming and stressful, and downright horrible in every possible way. However there had been one part of the previous year that had been... well, slightly relieving, and really rather confusing when he thought about it. While Malfoy had taken every opportunity to mercilessly tease Harry after his name came out of the Tri-Wizard Cup – even going so far as to help create little badges that said "Potter Stinks" – the very day of the first task, when Harry had gone up against that dragon, the taunting and completely stopped. In fact, for nearly two months after the first task, Malfoy had barely even looked at him. It had been... well, nice, but also... a bit disconcerting. He'd sort of grown accustomed to the constant attention of the annoying blond git and he'd honestly wondered a time or two what he'd done to make him stop. But then he'd realized he was being bloody mental because it was a good thing that Malfoy was no longer trying to make his life a living hell. It was one less enormous stress to bare down on his already overly taxed shoulders.

And, oh, the stresses he had pressing down on him that year... The tournament, Ron being an enormous git, turning his back on Harry, the first task and having to face off with a bloody dragon! And then that stupid dance... oh, that damn, bloody dance.

It wasn't like the dance made Harry come to some sort of epiphany realization about himself, because it didn't. All it really did was force him to come face to face with something he had, honestly, been trying to push as far away from his thoughts as possible. He told himself that it wasn't something that was really important. There were other, far more important problems and responsibilities to deal with than his stupid freakish problem. Things like schoolwork, and the ever looming worry about Voldemort, and – oh yeah, the bloody Triwizard Tournament with its deadly tasks designed to kill him.

But then there was that stupid dance and since he was one of the champions he had no choice but to find a date. A girl, of course, because he was the Boy-Who-Lived, and the Boy-Who-Lived was expected to find a nice, pretty girl to dance with. And he so badly wished he could just ignore the whole thing. Just stay up in his tower dorm room and wank off to a nice distracting fantasy and forget about the rest of the school down in the great hall dancing to loud music. And yet another part of him wished that he could find a girl to fancy and take her to the dance and be attracted to her and maybe date her or even kiss her like a boy was supposed to want to do, and then he'd have one less stupid thing nagging at the back of his mind, reminding him to be ashamed. Reminding him that he was alone. Reminding him that his stupid uncle was right all along and he really was just a freak.

And he was a freak. He knew that. He wasn't like his dorm mates. He wasn't like Ron. He could pretend, sure. He'd gotten good at that. At hiding the little freakish feelings he had that he knew made him different. That had always made him different. Up until the damn dance he'd refused to put a name to his awful secret. He knew, of course. It seemed like he'd always known, even back before he really understood that his freakishness had a label. He'd still known. But with the dance he finally admitted – even if only to himself in the absolute secrecy of his mind – that he was gay.

He'd always been drawn to other boys. Connected with them in a way he couldn't connect with girls. And maybe the reason he was able to connect with Hermione was because she had become such a sisterly figure in his life. She was so like an older sister that he couldn't even fathom her as dating material.

When he was younger and felt himself so inexplicably drawn to other boys, it wasn't even a sexual thing. It was just a sort of deep physical and emotional longing for closeness that had been there long before there was ever a sexual side to it. But when the sexual side began to show... ah, the dreams. While his dorm mates would have wet dreams about soft curves and tits, his dreams were filled with sharp angles, chiseled muscles, rough but strong arms and... well, they weren't girls. Going through puberty in a dorm filled with other boys, also going through puberty – only with a significantly different focus – was not an easy thing. The shame. Sorting through all that stuff, all alone, with no one to talk to. No one to relate to. No one to share your deepest, darkest secrets with... it was terribly lonely. Isolating. He'd never even managed to get up the courage to tell Ron or Hermione. He just couldn't do it. Even now, he still hadn't told either. Even with Hermione's brilliance and cleverness, he doubted she had any idea of the truth. Of his Secret.

But he had to keep it that way. No one could know. No one. He was the Boy-Who-Lived. He had expectations to meet, a roll to fill, even when he hated them and tried to reject those expectations in every way imaginable, they were still there and he so deeply didn't want to let anyone down. He couldn't stand the thought of disappointing the only people who meant anything to him. The fear was still always there, in the back of his mind. Wondering who would abandon him utterly if they were to discover the truth. Who would hate him for it.

There was no doubt that if the truth got out, Malfoy would take advantage to tear him to pieces. Even with the odd truce of silence that had sprung up after the first task. Malfoy and the rest of the Slytherins would instantly jump up and make his life an even greater living hell than it already was, if they knew.

And so he'd asked a girl to the dance. He'd gone to the Yule Ball and felt too awkward and wrong to do anything at all, so he'd just sat there with Ron while the ginger griped and complained about Hermione being there with Viktor Krum, and Harry's date had been miserable and finally just left him to dance with someone else. And he'd felt awful for it.

The months passed and the strange distance between he and Malfoy had continued, but towards the halfway point of second term the taunts had slowly started back up again until the last few weeks of term just before the last task, when the jibes and snickers had reached a fevered pitch. Malfoy's taunts and insults had gotten so bad that Harry had wondered what horribly offensive thing he could possibly have done to set the blond Slytherin so maliciously against him. And some of the taunts had almost seemed like some sort of sad, desperate cry for attention. They weren't even up to par with Malfoy's normally top-quality bullying. However some of them, despite how nasty they seemed outwardly, didn't contain quite the same level of venom as their fights in the past had been.

Some tiny, clearly overly-optimistic, part of Harry had hoped that Malfoy would go back to leaving him be this year, or at least be willing to work with Harry in a mildly civil manner, this year. Obviously that wasn't going to happen.

Class drew to a close and Malfoy continued to complain and whine that Harry had slowed him down and their potion wasn't ready for storage yet. That it was all Harry's fault that they were going to be late for lunch and so on and so forth. Snape even made a scathing remark against Harry for bringing Malfoy's normally top-notch work down. Hermione and Ron gave Harry sympathetic looks as they finished packing up their things and left the room, leaving Harry alone with Draco as he hurriedly added in the Shrivelfig root.

Snape disappeared through a rear door to do Merlin knows what while Malfoy began to clear their work station and Harry hurriedly attempted to secure a lid over their potion. It wasn't making it easy for him though and it seemed intent on refusing to shut all the way. Finally he just huffed in frustration, considering it 'good enough' and started to haul it over towards the storage room where everyone had been instructed to put their cauldrons until class on Monday.

Malfoy followed behind, continuing on with some scathing remarks that Harry had been tuning out. The pair entered the store room and it became instantly obvious that all of the available shelf space was taken by their classmates who had managed to get their potion to a stopping point in a reasonable amount of time. This, of course, was an additional cause for Malfoy to gripe.

Harry gritted his teeth, trying with all his might to block the spoiled brat of a Slytherin out as he lifted the cauldron over his head, stood on his tip-toes, and tried to slide the cauldron onto the top shelf. However, he couldn't quite reach and the thing almost slipped off twice before he managed to steady it.

"Are you a wizard, or not, Potter? Merlin, you're such a pathetic idiot. You do realize you could have just levitated it up there, don't you?" Malfoy bit out.

Harry felt slight heat rise to his cheeks with embarrassment as he realized that, yes, that probably would have been a better idea than stumbling around with the damn thing balanced precariously above his head, standing on his tip-toes in the store cupboard.

"Merlin, just let me do it," Malfoy ground out impatiently as he stood next to Harry and reached up to give the cauldron a shove. Malfoy had several inches on Harry and clearly had a better chance of reaching, but bitter resentment filled Harry and he lashed out. "I can do it!" he snapped and pushed up with his toes one more time.

"Just let me do it, you stupid sod," Malfoy yelled.

"Back off!"

"Stop being such a stubborn idiot! I'm clearly taller, it'll only take me a second –" but Malfoy's words were suddenly cut off as the cauldron tipped, the lid went sailing behind their heads, clattering loudly to the floor, and the contents poured out, dousing the pair of them in thick, lumpy blue potion.

Angry shouting could be heard all the way through the classroom and into the back room where Severus Snape had retreated to a few moments earlier. But the yells weren't what had really drawn his notice – he was far to sick of the antics of those two to bother intervening in another of their pointless squabbles – no, what caught his attention was the distinct sound of a cauldron, clanging loudly to the floor, that had immediately preceded the yells.

He was out of his seat, through the doorway and halfway across the potions lab when the screaming seemed to suddenly stop. This didn't exactly bode well and a moment later he came to stand at the open door of the storage cupboard to find the two boys, absolutely covered in the thick blue potion and looking a bit wobbly.

Oh, this was not good.

"You stupid idiotic dunderheads!" he bellowed as he reached in and grabbed both boys by patches of clean robes on each of their shoulders and pulled them out rather forcefully. Both stumbled, looking a bit dazed and confused.

"What–" Harry began to say but he was quickly cut off.

"Not one word, Potter. Not one word. Both of you are coming with me. Now!" Snape snarled as he started a brisk pace through the classroom, through the dungeon corridors and up the narrow flight of stairs with two slightly wobbly boys trailing directly behind him. About a minute had passed since the accident when the three entered the Hospital Wing. Snape came to an abrupt stop and the two potion-covered boys nearly ran into his back as he called out for Madam Pomfrey.

The matron appeared a moment later and took one look at Harry and Malfoy before sighing.

"Dare I ask what the blue concoction I see coating the two of them, is?" she asked, directing her question to Professor Snape.

"It is an incomplete Euphoria Elixir," Snape sneered.

Madam Pomfrey frowned. "Incomplete to what extent?"

Snape turned to look at Harry and Malfoy then. Harry shook his head, trying to clear it of the strangely lightheaded feeling he was experiencing. Other than a bit of disorientation, he didn't feel anything especially off, so he wasn't terribly worried, but it was sort of odd for Snape to escort students to the hospital wing himself after an accident. Harry clearly remembered his very first potions lesson back in first year when Neville had blow up his cauldron and gotten covered in painful boils and still Snape hadn't escorted him. He had just told Seamus to take him. Hell, in retrospect, Harry doubted that either Seamus or Neville had even known where the hospital wing was back then.

"What was the last ingredient that you added? Snape was asking and Harry frowned as he tried to remember. Shrivelfig something, wasn't it?

"Shrivelfig root," Malfoy answered first.

Oddly enough, it appeared that Snape's features twisted up into an even deeper grimace.

"Dare I ask what is the cause of that face?" Madam Pomfrey said quietly to Snape, but Harry still heard it.

"The addition of the Castor Beans in the second half of the brewing would guarantee that the potion would only be effective when ingested, however at this stage, it can still have effects, even when absorbed through the skin."

"What sort of effects should we expect? How long will they last?"

"The Elixir to Induce Euphoria and the Draught of Self-Confidence have very similar ingredients and initial steps and are almost identical through the first half of the brewing, it's the steps taken during the second half that separate the two. At this stage in the potion I would expect symptoms to include a significant lack of rational inhibitions and consideration for the consequences of their actions or words. The mental blockage that normal, sensible, people have that restrains them from saying the first thing that comes to mind, or acting on the first impulse they experience in any given situation will be significantly suppressed. However, the Wormwood and Mint Springs that have already been introduced in the first part of the brewing will also instill a certain... I suppose, care free attitude, and generally suppresses aggression. So I suppose we can at least hope that they won't become violent and instantly begin tearing each other apart." At this he sent a scathing glare at the two boys who were now looking at the elder witch and wizard with wide eyes.

"Neither boy will feel particularly inclined to hold their tongues, so I insist that they remain here. I need to return to my lab and brew a counter potion. Because of the elixir's incomplete status, I have no idea how long it would take for it to wear off on it's own, and considering it was absorbed through the skin –" Snape continued.

"With skin absorption, it will taken even longer to wear off on it's own," Madam Pomfrey finished, nodding her understanding. "How long do you expect it to take you to brew a counter potion?"

"I should be done within two hours," Snape replied before turning slightly to look at the two nervous-looking boys again before refocusing on Madam Pomfrey. "I imagine they'll begin to experience the effects more and more in the coming minutes. Keep them confined to the hospital wing." He turned back to Harry and Malfoy. "You will stay here," he commanded with a threatening glower. "Neither of you will leave this room until I return with the antidote. Is that understood?"

Harry and Malfoy both nodded their heads quickly, causing a bit of blue goop to drip off of Harry's shaggy mop of hair and onto the floor.

"Is that understood?" Snape repeated in a low, deadly his.

"Yes, sir," the boys said quickly.

"Good. When I return we shall be discussing detentions. I expect the two of you will be taking care of the mess that you created in my storage cupboard. You will also need to return tonight to rebrew your potion." Snape turned away from them and refocused on Madam Pomfrey. "I will leave the rest to you." She nodded her head and waved him off as Snape spun on his heel and stalked out of the room.

The two fifth year wizards sagged slightly in relief when the dour potions master had finally left the room – only to stiffen a moment later when the matron turned her full attention on them and began to reprimand them for having ended up in this mess in the first place.

She directed them to stand in a certain place while she waved her wand over them, banishing the potion that was clinging to their head and hair, before making them each escape behind a curtain and strip down and change into hospital robes just to make sure that there wasn't any chance for any potion being left. Once each boy had emerged from behind changing curtains, she sent them each to a hospital bed, told them to sit there, and stay put and that she would be in her office if they needed anything.

Before she disappeared, she made a few silent waves of her wand that Harry realized was setting alarm wards to alert her if either attempted to leave.

Harry rolled his eyes, huffed slightly in frustration and sat back against the headboard of his bed. The silence dragged on for several long minutes and his mind began to slowly wander to what Snape had said about the effects of the potion. He didn't feel any different. Even the dizziness had passed. Maybe they were wrong about the whole absorption through the skin thing and he'd be fine.

He really did feel fine. Great, even. Like he could just relax and enjoy the next few hours until Snape showed up and not worry about a thing. It sort of sucked that he was missing lunch and, maybe he was a little hungry, but he could always get a snack later. Or Maybe Madam Pomfrey could have one of the house elves bring in a lunch. He should have thought to ask for that... Of course Hermione would undoubtedly reprimand him for even considering 'taking advantage' of the poor creatures like that. He rolled his eyes and snorted quietly to himself as he imagined what his only female friend would say in that bossy tone of hers and her poofy curls flopping about her head while she scowled at him. He chuckled at the mental image.

A rumbling sound cut through the silence of the room and it took Harry a moment to realize that it wasn't his stomach making it. He turned his head and his eyes caught Malfoy looking down at his stomach with an almost affronted expression, as if he were insulted by his stomach for having the audacity to make such an undignified noise. But then, just as suddenly, his face split into a grin and he laughed. Laughed!

Harry blinked twice in shock before his face split into a wide smile and chuckles escaped his lips. He couldn't recall ever seeing such an expression on Malfoy's face. It wasn't the malicious gleeful smirk he got when he was entertained because someone else was suffering, it was just a legitimately amused smile.

Malfoy's laughs subsided into chuckles and then died away with a sigh. He seemed to be looking out into the open room with an almost dazed expression on his face. Maybe the potion was effect him more than it was effecting Harry?

"I'm hungry," Malfoy said suddenly. It was just a simple statement, said as a simple fact.

Harry nodded and hummed. "Me too."

Malfoy's head lulled from the left to the right and back again several times while he hummed quietly under his breath and stared off into the room. Harry watched him with some bemusement for a moment before he realized he'd started mimicking the rocking motion himself and snorted.

Malfoy turned his head and look at Harry with a blank look for a moment before he grinned.

"Do you know the name's to any of the school's elves?" Malfoy asked.

"Uh –" Harry started but stopped for a second and frowned. He was almost sure that there was some reason he shouldn't... "Yeah, Dobby," he finished suddenly.

"Dobby?" Malfoy echoed and his brow furrowed slightly. "You know, I used to have an elf named that."

"Yeah, I know. I'm the one who tricked your father into freeing him." Harry said, suddenly snickering.

Malfoy's jaw dropped and he gaped at Harry for several seconds and Harry suddenly wondered if Malfoy was about to get really angry with him. What happened, however, was not what he'd expected. Malfoy suddenly burst into hysterical laughter and after a moment, he actually fell right back off his own bed.

Harry laughed and quickly scurried off his own bed and leaned over Malfoy's bed to look over the other side to see Malfoy sprawled on his back, still laughing.

"Why is that so funny?" Harry asked through his own mild laughter.

"You... you tricked my fa-father... into... heh... into freeing one of our elves!" Malfoy said, still laughing near hysterics.

"Yes. I did." Harry said, grinning despite not understanding what Malfoy found so funny. "Why is that funny?"

"I just... it's... it's just funny." Malfoy finished with a happy sigh and brought his hands up and threaded his fingers behind his head. His face was flushed and so happy and relaxed. Harry couldn't help but think that the blond boy looked brilliant with such a carefree expression on his face. Of course Harry had always been aware that Malfoy was attractive. Hell, the whole school knew Malfoy was probably the best looking guy in all of Hogwarts, but the scowls, sneers, and twisted smirks that usually graced his face hardly did him justice. This was much better.

Malfoy smiled up at Harry and sighed. "I think this potion is brilliant."

Harry snorted.

Malfoy suddenly kicked his feet up, rolled up fluidly into a sitting position before continuing on in an equally smooth movement until he was up on his feet and then crouching over the bed, almost face-to-face with Harry.

"Whoa!" Harry yelped, but still grinning madly with amusement. He fell back and landed on his bump, looking up at Malfoy who was grinning down at him madly. As soon as Harry found himself sitting on the floor with Malfoy now looking down on him, Harry couldn't help the laugh that bubbled up from his chest and escaped his lips. Malfoy quickly followed with more laughter.

"Merlin, it's like we're high on something," Harry said after a few minutes of absolutely unwarranted laugher.

Malfoy snorted. "What do you think Korks are made of? Wormwood and Mist Thistle."

"Korks?" Harry echoed in confusion.

"It's something the wizard pleebs use to get their kicks. Stupid shit for wizards who have nothing better to do with their lives. Usually near-squibs get hooked on the stuff because they're too pathetic to do anything worthwhile with their lives."

"What does it do?"

"I dunno... makes them giddy or something. I imagine it's something like this."


"So... wait, didn't you say something about Dobby... oh yes. So Dobby is working at Hogwarts now? How did that happen?"

"Dumbledore offered him a job. He pays him to work in the kitchens."

"Pays him?" Malfoy echoed incredulously.

Harry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, Malfoy. Pays. He's a free elf now. No body owns him."

"Yeah, but is he bonded to Dumbledore, or to the castle's magic?"


"Yeah, all house elves have to be bonded to a wizard in order to power their own magic and keep them alive. Of course, an elf can also be bonded to a powerful magical institution as well, which is how it works for the school's elves."

"Bonded... wait, I still... I've never heard any of that. What do you mean?"

"Don't you know anything, Potter?" Malfoy said with an exasperated tone that was only vaguely biting but really had no venom behind it. He ended up chuckling weakly at the end and sighing. "Well, it's not all that complicated. You see –"

After a fifteen minute crash course on the history of house elves, how their magic works, and why it was supposedly important that they be 'bonded' to someone, the two remembered that they were hungry and Harry called out to Dobby asking for food.

Dobby's initial reacton to Malfoy's presence was obvious shock, and for a moment Harry suddenly realized that Dobby might be upset or scared to find his old master's son sitting there.

"Master Draco!" Dobby had squeaked and his tennis ball sized eyes actually looked larger than usual. "What is young Master Draco doing in Madam Pompy's hospital? And Mr. Harry Potter, sir! Is Harry Potter unwell? What can Dobby be doing for young masters?"

"I'm fine, Dobby," Malfoy said with a chuckle and his hand came up and he actually patted the elf on the back, which only seemed to stun the elf even further. "You know something, Dobby?" Malfoy continued on a moment later. "I really missed you. You were such an... er... entertaining, house elf," he said before dissolving into snickers.

Dobby looked stunned for a moment before his eyes suddenly began to fill with tears and he burst into hysterics. He was blubbering something about being sorry for leaving Master Draco all alone and that he didn't want to abandon his young master and oddly enough Draco began to try and reassure the little elf that he was never angry and he never blamed him for disappearing on him, and that he knew Dobby didn't like being bonded to his father.

After they'd finally calmed the little elf down and talked him into fetching them food, they were once again left alone in the hospital wing. At some point during the interactions with Dobby, the pair had ended up sitting cross-legged on opposite ends of Malfoy's assigned bed and Harry wasn't even sure how or when that had happened, but shrugged it off because there was really nothing he could find wrong with it.

Malfoy sighed happily before turning his attention back to Harry. "You know, I asked that elf to try and protect you for second year... I never found out what he did though..."

Harry's head snapped up and the dazed expression on his face vanished almost instantly.


Malfoy snorted and began to snicker as his head heaved forward and buried into the bed between them for a moment before he sat back up. "Merlin, Potter, could you possibly be more incoherent? Huhuwhat? How does that even qualify as a word?"

"Shut up!" Harry called back, but it had no bite to it, and he was grinning and fighting too hard to keep himself from laughing as well. "What do you mean, you sent him to protect me?"

"I knew my father was up to something... and I heard him mentioning you. But I wasn't as good back then at sneaking around in the secret passages between the walls so he caught me and sent me to my room. I got worried and asked Dobby to find out if what father was doing would put you in danger... Didn't see him again for a while after that."

"Do you have any idea what that elf did to me?" Harry asked incredulously, deciding to latch onto that instead of how stunned and bewildered his mind was over the thought that Draco Malfoy had seemingly been worried about him between first and second year and tried to... to, what? Protect him from his father? What?"

Malfoy suddenly frowned and shook his head. "No, what'd he do?"

"He... well, he was trying to keep me from going back to Hogwarts so he tried to get me in trouble with my relatives... it was awful. They got so angry they locked me in my room and put bars on my window."

Malfoy, oddly enough, looked absolutely stricken with this but didn't say anything.

"And then later in the school year, Dobby hexed a bludger. Do you remember that rogue bludger during the quidditch match that broke my arm and then that stupid ponce, Lockheart, went and vanished all the bones?"

Malfoy suddenly glared at the bedspread and Harry noticed his hands fisting the fabric of the sheets so hard that his knuckles turned while.

"Um... Malfoy, you alright?"

"I'm not sure who to be more angry with. Stupid Dobby, your relatives, or that idiot Lockheart," he ground out and Harry sat back, bewildered and taken aback by the intensity in Malfoy's voice.

"Well... I mean, it was years ago. It's in the past, so who cares anymore, right?"

Malfoy looked conflicted for a moment before his face actually contorted into a... a pout! He sighed and sat back on the bed more relaxed and a moment later seemed to have completely forgotten that someone had angered him at all.

"This is so weird," Harry mused.

"What is?"

"You; me. Sitting here, being all civil. Neither of us trying to tear the other's head off. You, not insulting me."

"Why would I do that? I hate doing that," Malfoy said, his lip jutting out slightly in a pout while he examined his finger nails.


"I hate all the fighting. I'm so sick of it," Malfoy said with an exasperated sigh. "So sick of feeling like it's the only way I can get you to look at me."

Harry gaped at Malfoy just looked back at him blankly, as if he didn't see a thing wrong with what he'd just said.

"Yeah... I hate it too," Harry said in a softer voice.

Malfoy sighed heavily and slumped back against the headboard behind him. "I wish I could talk with you without feeling like... like I have to find something to bite at. It's so exhausting and I just... I hate... I just hate it. I wish I could make you smile like the stupid Weasel and Granger do, but I only know how to make you angry. I get so angry with myself. That... that this is the best I can do. And all I do is make you hate me more."

Harry's mouth floundered for a moment and when some words finally managed to come to him, they came out before he had a chance to even realize what they were. "Well, we're talking now, right? This is nice. I... I like this. I'd like to do this more too... you know... the talking without the insults."

Malfoy's face split with another of those genuine smiles that made him just utterly radiant and Harry felt a flutter in his gut stirring suddenly.

"Really? You'd like... I mean, you wouldn't mind talking to me? Without us having to... to aggravate each other?"

"Well, yeah! Of course! I mean, it would be such a relief if we could actually interact without all the bickering and the sneering. And Merlin! You look so much more brilliant when you just smile. I mean, even when you're being a git, you're still hot, but when you smile, you're just stunning. I wish I could see this more often. This... this happier you. Without all the meanness." The worlds had already left his mouth before he had a chance to even process them. Immediately following the vomit of uncensored words was probably one solid second where a horrified pit managed to form in the base of his gut before it was wiped away by the indescribably elated look that suddenly appeared on Malfoy's face.

"You really think I look hot?" Malfoy whispered and the amount of glowing hope in his silver eyes was almost overwhelming. "You – you would like to see me... I mean... I... I thought you hated me. That – that I've done nothing but make you hate me." Malfoy said, suddenly, looking sullen and sort of sinking in on himself.

The unexpected transition made Harry's chest tighten. Malfoy had looked so happy and it was just gone. He wanted that happiness back.

"I don't... I mean, not really... I guess I've sort of hated um... Just the way you've treated me. That's what I hated. All the crap you're always giving me. The way you pick on my friends. The way you pick on me –"

"I didn't know what else to do," Malfoy wailed as he collapsed forward, stuffing his face into the mattress between them. There was another thirty seconds of muffled, unintelligible moaning before Malfoy pushed himself back up into a sitting position. His head was still bowed and Harry was almost shocked when he heard a little snuffle and watched as Malfoy brought his hand up and wiped his face with the back of his arm.

"Gods, I'm so pathetic," Malfoy said in a quiet, defeated voice. "I'm like some stupid little boy, chasing a girl he likes around a playground, punching her in the arm because he doesn't know how else to get her attention."

"You like me?" Harry asked incredulously, not entirely sure if he'd really understood Malfoy's words correctly.

"Yes!" Malfoy moaned out again, and let his head fall into his hands this time, instead of the bed.

"Wait... like me, like me? Like... you fancy me?"

"Yes, you dolt. Me, Draco Malfoy fancies the Boy-Who-Lived! And yet, the best I can do is just screw it up, again and again, and push you further and further away. I couldn't even get you to be friends with me, let alone... I told myself that.. that we could be rivals and then... then, maybe friendly rivals, but I just can't do it. I just screw it up. I screw up everything. I'm such an idiot."

"You're gay?"

Malfoy seemed to stiffen suddenly and after a few silent minutes he jerkily sat up and looked at Harry with a pale, gaunt face.

"Oh, Merlin," he whispered. "You're going to hate me even more, now, aren't you?"

"Huh? Why would I hate you more?"

"Be-because I'm... I'm a f-faggot," he spat the world and buried his face the bed again with another devastated moan.

"Malfoy! Come on, come back out," Harry said, pulling on Malfoy's shoulder and trying to get him to sit back up, but Malfoy just shook his head against the mattress.

Harry gave up for a moment and sat back trying to make sense of what was going on. Malfoy was gay? The Draco Malfoy – most physically attractive boy in Hogwarts – was gay... and he fancied Harry?

The first thought that passed through his mind was that there were going to be a lot of very disappointed witches, and the thought made him snicker slightly. It had always baffled Harry that Malfoy could be such a git to everyone in the school and yet still have an army of smitten girls trailing behind him. But then again, the one person who Malfoy was the biggest git to, of all, was Harry, and even he'd had his fair share of erotic dreams featuring the blond Slytherin. But those were entirely manifestations of his subconscious! It's not like he had any control over who his wet dreams focused on.

Besides, Malfoy was hot! He couldn't help it.

Oh Merlin... Malfoy fancied him!

Harry sat up a bit straighter as a bit of pride flooded through him with the realization. It was... oddly pleasing to know that someone like Draco Malfoy could find Harry fanciable. Draco Malfoy, especially. Malfoy wasn't under any delusions about Harry being some great hero. Malfoy definitely was not some 'Boy-Who-Lived' fanboy. He saw every one of Harry's flaws, and then some, in absolute minute detail. And he pointed them out to Harry on a daily basis... and yet, he fancied Harry? It was still a bit ludicrous to even consider.

Could Malfoy be lying? Could this just be a trick?

Harry doubted it. As surreal as it all was, it felt real. He felt like Malfoy was being more honest with him at that moment, then he'd ever been before. Obviously it had something to do with the potion. It was like earlier when Harry had so easily admitted to Malfoy that he thought he was hot. It was like Snape had said earlier; that the little voice that stopped you from saying the first thing that came to mind was basically silenced. You just said whatever was on your mind without any consideration for the consequences... until it was too late.

Harry heard Malfoy give a defeated sign and looked down to find that he'd turned his head to the side, still folded in half with his head resting on the bed between them.

"That looks really uncomfortable," Harry observed.

"I'm pretty nimble," Malfoy said before a smirk spread across his face and he looked up at Harry and wiggled his eyebrows. "I'm very flexible."

Harry barked out a laugh that lasted longer than it should have and Malfoy finally sat up, smiling again as if his earlier meltdown hadn't happened.

"God that's hot. I swear to Merlin that's going to fuel my dreams for weeks," Harry said after a moment of chuckles and instantly felt his face heat up at the admission, and yet, oddly enough, couldn't quite find it in him to regret it.

That look of hopeful awe crossed Malfoy's face again and he gaped at Harry for a moment before speaking. "Really?" he whispered.

Harry gnawed on his lip and found himself grinning and nodding his head before a smile broke out on his face. "Yeah. It wouldn't be the first time, that's for sure... honestly, it used to piss me off. That I'd end up dreaming about you so damned often, even though you were always a git to me. I mean, you'd think my subconscious could pick a nicer bloke to fantasize about..."

"I could be nicer," Malfoy said eagerly, sitting up straighter and scooting a few inches closer to Harry. "I just didn't know how to make the switch. I was sure that if I suddenly started acting nicer to you, you'd just get all suspicious and think I was trying to trick you or something."

"Well, yeah, I probably would have..."

"And, I mean... honestly, I just don't know how to act... nice, I guess... not around Gryffindors anyway. I can act more myself around my friends, but only the close ones that I can trust, you know? It's just... the way I was raised, I'm... I'm not supposed to just be me. I'm supposed to act a certain way in public. I mean, Father, and – and just people in general expect a certain level of, of..."

"Pompous arrogance?" Harry offered, feeling somewhat unhelpful in his suggestion.


Apparently it was more helpful than he'd suspected.

"Aristocratic air, or or... sophistication and um... it's like, my father always told me growing up that if you treat everyone else like they're below you, then they'll realize it's true and treat you with the greater respect you deserve."

"Or they'll think you're a pompous, arrogant, arse."

"Yes, but they'll still show respect in public. They can't just ignore... oh, it doesn't matter anyway. I mean, it gets me what I want sometimes, but it's utterly destroyed the chance that I'll ever get the one thing I really want. If I hadn't acted the way my father expected me to act in public back on the train, and in the entry hall at the start of first year, I never would have pissed you off, and maybe you would have picked me over the damn Weasel."

"You mean that handshake just before the sorting? You still remember that?"

"How could I forget? It was probably the most devastating thing that happened to me when I was eleven. The next worse thing was coming in second to Granger in most of my classes. My father was furious..."

"How would you father know you came in second to Hermione?"

"He's on the board of governors. You know that, right?"

"Oh... wait, so that gives him access to student records?"

"Of course."

"Oh..." Harry paused and found himself gnawing on his bottom lip running his mind over Malfoy's words. "You really... I mean, it was really devastating that I turned down your handshake?" Harry asked, hesitantly.

Malfoy sighed. "Of course... I just... I wanted to be your friend. I didn't get to see a lot of kids growing up, you know. I was home schooled with private tutors, and the only times I ever saw other children my age were at the social gatherings my family attended. Most of the children weren't the same age as me though. The only ones who were my age were Crabbe and Goyle and they're morons, and Pansy, but she was sent to a private primary school for girls so I only saw her a few times a year. I saw Theo a few times growing up, but not much before Hogwarts. His father's not very well off, so he doesn't really frequent the same circles as my family. I'd see Blaise now and then at some social events but my mother doesn't like Blaise's mother..." Malfoy sighed again and ran his hand through his white-blond hair. "We talked in Madam Malkins in Diagon Alley – do you remember that?"

"How could I forget? Did you know you were the first magical kid I ever met?"

Malfoy's mouth fell open slightly but this his face was clearly consumed with confusion. It was actually rather neat seeing all these easily readable expressions on Malfoy's face. Quite a switch, since Malfoy was usually rather unreadable, while Harry wore his emotions on his sleeve.

"Wait, how could I be the first magical child you ever met?"

"I was raised in the muggle world – you know that, right?"

"Yes..." Malfoy said slowly.

"Well, my relatives never even told me I was magical. I mean, they never told me. Hagrid came and rescued me from them. They were stealing and burning all of my Hogwarts letters and refusing to let me see any of them. Refused to tell me the truth. Up until the summer I turned eleven, I'd never heard of the wizarding world, or Voldemort, or any of it. That day in Diagon Alley, at Madam Malkins, was literally the first day that I knew about magic."

"Seriously? That's – that's unforgivable! How could they lie to you lie to you like that?"

Harry snorted and rolled his eyes. "How indeed."

"And I was the first person you met?"

"Well, Hagrid was the first magical person I met and he basically rescued me, told me about magic and about Hogwarts, and took me to Diagon Alley. And then I met you and you were all snooty and so confident and you just seemed to know everything, and I knew nothing, and I just felt so insignificant and overwhelmed and and and... like, I just didn't know anything and I was going to be so behind when I got to Hogwarts, all because my relatives had lied to me my whole life. And then you insulted Hagrid –"

"And he'd saved you, so that just pissed you off," Malfoy said, nodding his head in understanding before heaving another sigh.

"I'd screwed up before I even realized it..."

They slipped into silence for a moment, and Harry was about to open his mouth and speak again when Dobby suddenly appeared carrying a try of food. Both boys were instantly distracted by the plate of roast beef sandwiches with au jus sauch for dipping, and a platter of chips that all discussion was dropped.

The tray was placed between them on the bed and both quickly tucked in as Dobby vanished with a soft pop.

"You know," Harry began after finishing off his second sandwich and gaining Malfoy's attention. "I really like this open and honest you. It's really a shame that he'll disappear as soon as the potion wears off."

Malfoy ducked his head slightly. "He doesn't have to disappear... if you like it... I'd like to... I mean.. could you actually forgive me? All the rotten things I've done to you? Could you actually forgive all that, or would I just be wasting my effort?"

"Well, it certainly wouldn't be a wasted effort. And while some of the stuff you've pulled over the years has been really rotten I just... I mean, it's in the past, right? And if you really do regret it, I could... I.. well, yeah. Yeah, I could. Forgive it, I mean. I probably shouldn't, but... I could."

"Really?" Malfoy whispered, looking hopeful again.

"Yeah, sure."

Malfoy nodded his head and refocused on his sandwich, but Harry noticed that a rather pleased smile remained on his face as he finished it off.

"Potter?" Malfoy said after another moment of silence.


"Earlier... when you said that you'd dreamt about me... was that for real?"

"Oh... yeah. I've always had rather, frustratingly vivid, dreams. It's sort of a double-edged sword because I have equally vivid nightmares. Awful nightmares... but then also really um... real dreams."

"Sex dreams?" Malfoy asked, point blank and Harry knew that, if it weren't for the potion Malfoy wouldn't have been so blunt with the question. But he also knew that if it weren't for the potion, he wouldn't have so readily and honestly answered said blunt question.



"I said 'yes', didn't I?"

"Are you gay?"

"Well, yeah."

Well, shit. He'd just... said it. But then again, Malfoy had done the same thing earlier, so he supposed it was only fair, right? Now if only it were that simple to tell people who actually mattered. People who wouldn't use this information against him once the effects of the potion wore off...

"Can I kiss you?" Malfoy asked without missing a beat and Harry almost blanched at the sudden and totally unexpected question. But his mind couldn't find a single reason not to do it. He was fifteen years old and he still hadn't had his first kiss. Four whole years at Hogwarts and he didn't know a single other wizard here that was gay – at least, if any of the blokes he knew were gay, they weren't out, so his options for first-kiss material were pretty slim. And honestly, Malfoy was a nice looking bloke. He could certainly do worse for a first kiss.


Clearly, not willing to waste a moment, Malfoy eagerly scrambled to remove the mostly empty tray to the bedside table and then scooted across the bed closer to where Harry was sitting cross-legged.

He mirrored Harry's position and the two found themselves with their knees touching staring at each other with an eager light flickering behind each of their eyes. Harry felt the tiniest flutters of nerves, but mostly it was anxious anticipation. He was about to get kissed! By another bloke! And a good-looking one, at that. Sure, it was Malfoy, but he'd... well, he'd been a lot nicer this last hour and it had been interesting. He'd actually liked this side of Malfoy and he really meant it when he said it would be too bad when this Malfoy up and vanished with the potion's antidote. Although, this Malfoy was a bit... weepy? Well at least he wasn't such an arrogant git, and that was nice. He could really enjoy spending more time with this Malfoy...

Malfoy leaned in slowly and his hand came up, seemingly on impulse. He paused and glanced over at his hand before looking back at Harry with some minor hesitancy. "Can I touch you?" he asked in a barely-there voice.

"Yeah, sure," Harry said with a quick nod of his head.

Malfoy grinned and resumed his movement. Harry found himself unconsciously mirroring Malfoy's forward movement as he brought himself closer as well. Malfoy's hand found the side of his face first and his fingers threaded into Harry's unruly black hair and it was so nice... It was such a light, gentle, caressing touch. And Malfoy's palm cupped the side of Harry's cheek and jaw while this thumb pad gently brushed against Harry's cheekbone.

So lost in the feel of Malfoy's gentle touch on his face, Harry was almost startled when Malfoy's lips touched his own. The touch was hesitant at first. Just barely there, but then the touch increased in pressure and Malfoy's lips slid slightly against his own.

Malfoy's lips were smooth, like silk. Much smoother than Harry's chapped and bitten lips; gnawed at as they were from nerves and habit.

Harry found himself brushing his lips from side to side, stroking Malfoy's lower lip between his lips, storing away the sensation in his mind. Memorizing the feel of it. He wanted to know this feeling. To keep feeling it. Malfoy's lips pinched his upper lip between them experimentally and Harry grinned slightly. This was... nice.

Malfoy continued to move his pursed lips against Harry's for another minute before they suddenly parted slightly and Harry felt Malfoy's tongue dart out slightly and wet his lips. Following some spontaneous impulse Harry pursed his lips around the tiny bit of tongue protruding from Malfoy's mouth and sucked on it gently.

A small gasp escaped Malfoy's lips, that parted them further open, and just as suddenly as Harry had decided to suck on Harry's tongue, Malfoy stuck his tongue further into Harry's mouth. Both moaned, simultaneously into each other's mouths and the kiss deepened. Malfoy's tongue began to stroke Harry's and the feel of it was so new and different and unexpected and he just wanted more.

Malfoy's hand had slid further into Harry's hair and Harry found himself raising his own hand and gripping at the base of Malfoy's neck, his fingers playing gently with the wisps of blond hair that feathered a bit down there.

Both boys held tight to the sides of each other's heads and necks and found themselves rising up onto their knees without breaking apart their lips that were quickly becoming more insistent and more fevered against each other. Tiny little whimpers were escaping form deep in Malfoy's throat and Harry couldn't help but moan quietly into the other boy's mouth as those wonderful little noises sent sparks of pleasure and desire straight to Harry's groin.

Malfoy was making those noises for him. Because of him. And that was amazing.

Their heads turned sideways slightly and the kiss deepened as their tongues danced and explored each other's mouths, mapping them out and exploring the new sensations and experience for the first time. Harry came to the determination that Malfoy tasted incredible. He also decided that kissing was utterly brilliant, and kissing Malfoy was incredible and he would very-much enjoy doing it again and again.

Malfoy and Harry were both up on their knees now and Malfoy made a few somewhat awkward movements as he scooted several inches closer to Harry, closing the gap between them, while continuing to refuse to break their lip-locked state.

Air, however, was a necessity and they broke apart with a great gasp, however neither moved their hands from the sides of each other's heads. They stared into each other's wide eyes with a mixture of shock and awe before their lips crashed back together.

Malfoy's other hand came up and he was suddenly feverishly combing his fingers among Harry's raven tresses. Harry's other hand came up, but instead of going to Malfoy's head along with his other hand, this one retreated to Malfoy's back and he pulled him closer. He wanted more of this. It was incredible. And who knew how long it would be before he got to do something like this again.

Malfoy suddenly moaned loudly and his hips jerked forward, brushing against Harry's pelvis, causing him to gasp.

"Oh god, that was brilliant," Malfoy gasped and Harry found himself fervently nodding his head in agreement. Harry scooted his knees closer to Malfoy and the pair found themselves pressing against each other from chest to thighs, and Harry could feel every glorious bit of Malfoy against him through the thin material of their hospital robes. Oh Merlin, he could feel everything. Harry bucked his hips unconsciously, brushing his incredibly sensitive erection against Malfoy's and the pair almost instantly moaned out.

"That feels so good," Harry whispered as his head fell back on his shoulders.

"Kiss me," Malfoy said in a hoarse voice, thick with desire, and his hands found their way into Harry's hair again and he pulled him back up, crashing their lips together. Harry made a surprised, yet, pleased sound and they quickly resumed what they'd been doing earlier while Harry unconsciously began to roll his hips in a circle around Malfoy's.

It was brilliant, and the pair became completely lost in the motions and the feel and the pleasure coursing through them thanks to their mutual movements. Harry realized at some point that he was legitimately snogging Malfoy. It was far more than just a 'kiss', but he certainly wasn't about to complain because it was brilliant.

After, who knew how long,the two parted lips and found themselves panting heavily and completely out of breath. Malfoy rested his forehead against Harry's and stared into his eyes with a bright, happy glow.

"I could do that forever," Malfoy said in a breathy voice.

"Yeah. Definitely," Harry panted through his own wide grin.

"This is like a dream. A wonderful, amazing dream that I never want to end..."

"Yeah," Harry whispered through a smile.

"Can I call you Harry?" Malfoy whispered uncertainly.


"Can I? I mean... if you're not okay with it, I understand, it's just –"

"Yeah, sure. Can I call you Draco?"

Malfoy pulled back slightly and beamed at Harry with such an intense joy. "That would be amazing."

Harry laughed. "I don't see how me calling you by your name would be particularly amazing."

"I've always wished you would call me Draco," Malfoy said as he leaned back in, but instead of kissing him again, he nuzzled into Harry's neck and made a happy humming sort of noise.

"Draco..." Harry said, testing the name out on his tongue and finding that he rather liked it. "Draco, Draco, Draco... You know, that really is a cool name..."

"You really think so?" Malfoy asked, not removing his face from where it was nuzzling into Harry's neck. A shiver went down Harry's spine as he felt Malfoy's lips brush against his neck.

"Yeah. Remember back on the train before first year when you said your name and Ron snickered?"

Harry could feel Draco's lips form into a frown and he nodded his head slightly.

"I really didn't get what he had to snicker about. I thought it sounded like a cool name." Harry admitted and he felt Draco's lips return to that happy smile of earlier and press against his jugular. "You're named after a constellation, right?"

"Yeah, how'd you know that?"

"Well, it's a Black family tradition to name their children after constellations, right? For years I thought your name was just a reference to, er... dragons, really, but I guess it was just this summer that I realized it was because of the constellation 'Draco'."

"How do you know about the Black family's naming tradition?" Draco asked, pulling back and looking at Harry quizzically.

"My godfather told me about it."

"Your godfather?" Draco echoed incredulously, looking confused for several minutes before his expression shifted into a worried frown. "Isn't your godfather Sirius Black?"

"Yeah, that's right."

Draco's eyes widened and it took Harry a moment to realize the cause of the fear he saw in those silver-gray eyes.

"It's alright, it's alright!" Harry quickly reassured. He's not after me. I mean, he wasn't the one who betrayed my parents to Voldemort like everyone thinks. He was innocent and left in Azkaban to rot without ever getting a trial. I... well, I stayed with him for part of the last summer to get away from my relatives. He showed me the Black Family tapestry and told me about the naming tradition. That's how I found out about it."

"But you're really sure that your safe? I mean... he's not really out to kill you?"

"No, he's not out to kill me. He's... he's great, really. I really like him."

"And you're sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure," Harry replied, slightly exasperated, but also oddly touched the Draco seemed legitimately worried for him. It was oddly sentimental, especially considering it was Draco's teasing back I third year that made Harry first realize that Sirius was his godfather.

"Hmm.. well if you're sure," Draco mumbled against Harry's neck before he slowly began to trail his pursed lips up and down the column of Harry's neck. Harry was about to say something, but a shuddering breath was all the escaped his mouth as Draco opened his mouth and sucked on his neck, just behind his ear.

"Oh... oh that's... that's nice," Harry breathed.

Draco hummed in response and Harry could feel the smile on his lips as he continued to place open-mouthed kisses up and down Harry's neck. He clearly learned quickly because it was only a few minutes before Draco was focusing most of his attention between two spots – one just below Harry's ear, and the other on the curve right where Harry's neck met his shoulder.

The second seemed to get Harry the most excited and the raven-haired boy was quickly gripping at Draco's back and hair again and rolling his hips and rutting against Draco. Draco, of course, was eagerly rutting right back, and he was moaning against Harry's neck when Harry managed break them apart. Draco was about to pout at Harry for separating him from Harry's neck but didn't have a chance because Harry captured his mouth in a hungry kiss.

The two lost themselves in another long session of snogging that left them breathless and shuddering when they finally pulled apart again.

"Everything about that is so brilliant," Harry breathed in a thick heavy voice that actually made Draco moan slightly and go in for another quick kiss on the lips before retreating back and nodding his head enthusiastically.

"It's so much better than I'd ever dreamed," Draco said with a bright smile.

Harry laughed and nodded his agreement. "Yeah. Definitely better. I thought my dreams were vivid, but... wow. Doesn't compare. The real thing... definitely better."

"Had you ever kissed anyone before?" Draco asked, suddenly and Harry shook his head.

"No, no one."

"I'm your first kiss?" Draco asked with a glowing elated look in his eyes.

Harry smiled and shrugged. "Yup. How about you?"

Draco's face suddenly scrunched up into some sort of mixture between annoyance and disappointment. "No," he admitted with a rather dejected expression. "But it shouldn't count anyway."

"Who was it?" Harry asked, feeling curious.

"Pansy," Malfoy said with a sigh.


"The one and only."

"But you're gay, right?"

"That's why I say it doesn't count. I took her to the Yule Ball last year. You know that, right?"

"Yeah, I recall that."

"She was pestering me like crazy all night to just give her a proper kiss. I finally gave her a peck on the lips at the end of the night."

"Well, that hardly counts," Harry said, rolling his eyes.

"Exactly!" Draco exclaimed and the two smiled and laughed at each other.

The two slid down onto their bums so they were no longer up on their knees. Harry slid back into a cross-legged position while Draco just tucked one leg under him while letting the other dangle off the edge of the bed.

"So how long have you fancied me for?" Harry asked, suddenly feeling incredibly curious about the answer.

Draco sighed and shrugged. "Well, I suppose I finally realized the nature of my feelings for you after I watched you fight that damned dragon. I was so terrified that I was about to watch you get roasted to death and I didn't want to see that. I didn't think I could take it. Just imagining it left me with this crushing despair in my chest... but the intensity of it really shocked me. But I would say I fancied you for a long time before that without really being aware of how deep it ran. I think that part of me has felt drawn to you since the moment I met you, but I was too young at the time to know what it really was. I tried to hate you for a long time... but I think I was mostly just really angry with myself for fancying a boy."

"Angry? How come?"

Draco scoffed weakly and sighed. "I'm the last male Malfoy. I can't be gay. When my father finds out, he'll be so disappointed... So angry. He might even disown me for it."

"For being gay?" Harry asked incredulously and feeling rather angry at Lucius Malfoy on Draco's behalf.

"It's just not done in my world, Harry," Draco said with a quieter, dejected voice. "Blood lines and heirs are incredibly important. I have to have an heir. There has to be another Malfoy. I have to carry on the line. But if I take a man as my lover – no children. No heir. I'd disgrace the family."

"I'm guessing that there's no weird magical way, or a fancy potion to let a bloke get preggo?" Harry chuckled weakly.

"Don't be stupid," Draco snorted as he rolled his eyes.

"Whut?" Harry exclaimed with a mock affronted expression. "I've seen magic do some insanely weird things over the years! I'm at the point where just about nothing surprises me. What about using a surrogate mother to get an heir?"

"I have to be married to the mother of my child or else the kid would be nothing more than a bastard," Draco groaned while shaking his head.

"And I assume that adopting wouldn't be sufficient?" Harry offered weakly.

Draco leaned back against the headboard again and sighed. "There are ways... they're not looked upon very kindly in modern day society, but they were practiced in the past... It would still be frowned upon by... well, everyone, really."

"What do you mean?"

"Blood adoption rituals make an adopted child biologically yours. When the ritual is done, the child's features are even altered. Their very blood is changed to reflect that they are your heir. It was used by families who were unable to have children when there was fear that the line would die out. Like, if the wife turned out to be unable to bare children. Divorce just wasn't done, so unless you were going to try to find a way to kill her off without getting caught, you were basically stuck with her no matter what. So blood adoptions were sometimes used instead. But eventually things were changed so that 'unable to bare an heir' was considered a valid reason for divorce and the blood adoptions reduced in frequency."

"Well there you go then. Do a blood-adoption thingy."

Draco snorted. "Like I said, it's not exactly looked upon very kindly anymore. The kid would still basically be considered little better than a bastard heir by the community. Plus blood magic is considered Dark magic."

"Why? Do you have to sacrifice someone for it or something?"

Draco sighed. "No, of course not. It's just the fact that your'e using human blood in the ritual that's frowned upon."

"Well, that's stupid."

"Yes it is."

They were quiet for another minute after that and Harry found himself with his eyes lulling closed as he listened to Draco's breathing. It was nice. Rhythmic and soothing, and he could still smell Draco all over him and it was delicious.

"Wanna snog some more?" Draco asked out of nowhere and Harry found his lips curling into a big smile.

"That sounds absolutely brilliant!" He exclaimed and Draco laughed freely and looked incredibly happy. The two were just about to scoot towards each other again when the door to the Hospital wing opened suddenly and both boys' attention was drawn to the dark, imposing figure of Severus Snape as he stalked smoothly into the room sneering down at the pair of them.

His entrance must have triggered Madam Pomfry's alarm because she appeared from her office a moment later.

Harry glanced over at Draco and when their eyes met, Draco made this adorable little pout face that made Harry snicker.

"I guess that means no more snogging," Draco whined quietly and Harry dissolved into giggles, almost instantly followed by Draco and the two collapsed onto each other.

Snape spun around from where he'd been quietly speaking with Madam Pomfrey a moment earlier and looked at Harry and Draco, sitting beside each other on the same bed, giggling.

Harry managed to look up from where he was burrying his face in Draco's shoulder to look at Snape and the utterly gobsmacked expression on the man's face only set his giggles into extreme overdrive.

After a very stunned moment Snape managed to pull himself away from one of the most bizarre sights he'd seen in a very long time and return his attention to the matron who was looking at the two boys with some sort of mix between confusion, shock, and amusement.

"As I was saying," Snap drawled, trying to block out the fits of boyish giggles filling the room behind him, "the antidote should take effect within seconds of being ingested. I've already separated it into two doses; here." His hand disappeared into the inner breast of his robes and came back out a moment later with two vials of yellow-greenish potion that appeared rather syrupy, judging by how it clung to the sides as it was jostled about.

"Alright then," Madam Pomfrey said as she accepted the vials and walked over to the pair of teenagers. "Get up," she said in a stern, commanding tone that normally called total attention to her.

The two boys seemed to be trying to stop and sit back up, but it was clearly not an easy task as they each fought against their giggles.

Snape came up behind her and glared down at the pair with his normal furious glower, but this only seemed to marginally speed up their progress. About two minutes passed before both boys managed to sit up on the bed, now side-by-side and facing forward with their legs hanging down over the edge.

"Are you quite done?" Madam Pomfrey asked in an exasperated tone and the two boys managed to nod their heads while only a few tightly restrained snorts escaped their tightly closed lips. "Good. Now drink this, each of you," she said as she shoved a vial of the green slime into each of their faces.

Harry took the vial and turned it from side to side watching the green-ish potion slide around inside and grimaced. "Eww... I don't want to," he whined.

Draco was making an equally disgusted face but he at least popped the cork out of the top and sniffed it before making his refusal.

"You. Will. Drink. It. Now." Snape bit out in a slow, deadly voice that had both boys looking at him wide-eyed.

"Do I have to?" Harry whined again.

"Yessss," Snape hissed as he lowered his face towards Harry's and sneered.

"Yesssss... yesssss... sssssss," Harry echoed before snorting and beginning to giggle again. "You sound like a bloody snake :Yessss, yessss.: All hissy and stuff. :Hissy.: Harry snorted, not entirely aware, but mostly just not caring, that he'd just shifted in and out of parseltongue.

"Oh Merlin!" Draco moaned. "Do that again!"

"Do whut?" Harry asked, turning to him and looking bewildered.

"Parseltongue. That was parseltongue, wasn't it?"

"Huh? Really? Oh... yeah, I guess I did. You want me to speak in parseltongue?"

"Yes! I'd –"

"STOP THIS NOW!" Snape bellowed and both boys instantly returned their attention to him. "Drink the potion NOW!"

And just like that, without any hesitation, both boys brought their vials to their mouth, tipped back their heads and downed the potion.

Both grimaced with disgust at basically the same moment. It took an additional thirty seconds before an expression of utter shock and mild horror dawned on their faces.

"Better," Snape sneered. "Now, are either of you feeling the urge to start giggling madly for no apparent reason?"

Both boys quickly shook their heads in the negative.

"Good. Now for your punishments. One night's detention for each of you. Potter, I expect you in my office Friday night at eight o'clock. Draco, I expect you to assist me Monday evening, same time."

Harry had a brief moment of relief as he realized he could still make it for the Quidditch tryouts that night.

"Tonight, I expect the pair of you to be in the potions lab directly after dinner to rebrew your botched potion," Snape continued, dashing Harry's hopes, instantly. "Am I understood?"

"Yes, professor," Harry grumbled under his breath. This was entirely unfair.

"I also expect the both of you back in my potions lab now so that you can clean up the mess you left behind."

"Right now?" Harry asked.

"Yes. Right now."

Harry sighed heavily and began to stand up but found he was sort of caught because Draco was sitting a bit on his hospital robes. He glanced over at Draco for the first time since the potion had worn off and was startled by the expression on the other boy's face. He looked... broken. Sort of devastated or something. Harry had never seen Malfoy look like that.

"Draco, you okay?" Harry asked softly, and with a sudden jerk, Draco's head shot up and he looked at Harry with wide, stunned eyes.

"What?" he whispered hoarsely.

"You just looked... I don't know, really. But are you okay?"

Draco gaped at him for a long minute before he wet his lips and gave him a jerky nod.

Snape was looking down at the two boys with curious, narrowed eyes but didn't say anything.

Harry looked back up at Snape and Madam Pomfrey with a questioning look then, "Um, can I go change into some clean robes before heading down to the dungeon?"

Snape rolled his eyes. "Yes, Potter. Go get changed, but I expect you down in the dungeon in ten minutes."

"I've got Defense during last block, sir," Harry said as he began to stand up.

"Well then you'd better hurry up, shouldn't you? Your free period is almost over," Snape drawled.

Harry turned away from Snape just enough to roll his eyes and looked back at Draco with no small amount of worry. The blond Slytherin still looked rather out of it.

"Mr. Malfoy, are you sure you're well?" Madam Pomfrey asked, apparently also taking note of his current state of emotional unrest.

"I'm fine," he said after apparently swallowing a thick lump in his throat. He stood up rather jerkily and went behind one of the curtains to change. Madam Pomfrey had cast charms to remove all traces of the potion from their school robes, but they were still a bit funky and neither students were keen on wearing them any longer than necessary.

Moments later the two fifth years were changed and out from behind the curtains. Snape made another snarky remark before leaving and after casting a few diagnostic charms, Madam Pomfrey cleared them both to leave the hospital wing.

Harry intended to pull Draco aside as soon as they'd left the infirmary to talk with him, but the second they were out of the room, Draco took off as if his life depended on it. Harry felt an oddly uncomfortable knot form in the center of his chest at this and frowned at the retreating form of the boy he'd spent the last hour and a half laughing with, sharing his innermost secrets with, and snogging.

Finally, Harry heaved a frustrated sigh and began to make the trek to Gryffindor tower. He had to go all the way up to the seventh floor, get changed, and then get all the way down to the dungeons, and he had only ten minutes to do it. No doubt, if he were late, Snape would jump at the chance to take away house points. Harry knew the only reason Snape hadn't taken points away for the potions accident was because he would have had to remove points from both of them, which would have meant taking points from Slytherin house – which Snape just didn't do.

Precisely eleven minutes later an out of breath Harry raced into the potions lab to find Malfoy already over by the store cupboard and a gleefully smirking Snape standing there glowering down at him.

"You're late, Mr. Potter. Ten points from Gryffindor."

Harry only just managed to catch himself from rolling his eyes and settled for glaring up at the miserable potions master.

"Get to work Potter. If Mr. Malfoy has to do all of the work on his own, I'll be forced to remove even more house points."

With that, Snape spun around and exited through the back door again to disappear into his private brewing room.

Harry sighed as soon as the door shut; relieved that Snape wouldn't be breathing down his neck as they did this, and especially thankful for the opportunity to talk to Draco alone. He hurried over to the blond who was already by the spill, pouring some solvent over the mess and directing a scrub brush with his wand.

"Looks like you've already got things started. What do you need me to do?" Harry asked.

"Surely, Potter, you've had more than enough experience cleaning up potions accidents to know what to do," Draco snapped, not meeting his eyes.

Harry frowned and stood there awkwardly for a moment, torn as to what to do.

"So we're back to Potter, now, huh?" he said in a quiet voice and he couldn't quite mask the disappointment in it. He really shouldn't be disappointed, he supposed. Before the confusing revelations of the last few hours, he's been totally convinced that he despised Draco Malfoy. So why did it suddenly feel like there was a lead weight on his chest to think the boy was just going to go back to treating him like dirt?

"You... you would still be okay with me calling you Harry?" a shockingly quiet and unsure voice whispered from Draco's lips. He was still turned away from Harry, refusing to meet his gaze at all and Harry could tell from the blond Slytherin's body language that he was incredibly uncomfortable and probably feeling more insecure than he ever displayed in public.

Harry felt a tentative smile begin to work its way onto his face. "Only if I can still call you Draco. I'd like that a lot, I think," Harry said softly.

Draco turned slowly and finally Harry was met with a pair of silver-gray eyes filled with a mixture of fear and hesitant hope.

"You're not disgusted with me?"

Harry frowned in confusion. "Disgusted? Why would I be? Draco, I'm gay too. I'm not about to be disgusted with you because you're gay, that would be rather hypocritical of me, don't you think?"

"No, not because of that," Draco groaned and turned away, running his hand through his still gloriously disheveled blond hair. Harry saw the movement and felt a wave of gleeful pride, knowing that it's unruly state was entirely his fault. Draco huffed out a frustrated sort of noise and turned back to face him, but kept his head bowed slightly and his gaze trained on his shoes. "Disgusted because... because I'm such an epic failure. I'm pathetic. I've treated you like shit all because I was insecure with my own sexuality and also because I was too much of a coward to put myself out there and just tell you how I actually felt. And even after I realized I fancied you, I just... I choked. I've screwed up everything."

Harry shrugged. "Well, you definitely could have gone about things better, that's for sure. And don't think that I'm just going to straight up forgive you for every stupid stunt you've pulled but... well, I suppose I can understand your motives somewhat. They're illogical and gittish, but they do sort of make sense. You made a mistake, but that doesn't mean I can't give you a second chance."

Draco looked up with wide, shock-filled eyes. "A second chance?" he echoed in a whisper.

"Yeah, I mean..." Harry shrugged awkwardly, feeling kind of weird and stupid for the words that were trying to vomit from his mouth. "I mean, I'll give you a chance to... you know... treat me better, I guess." Merlin, he felt like such a girl.

"So, if I can... treat you better... prove to you that –"

"That you can be a reasonably nice bloke and not such a git," Harry offered after a bit of a pause filled the air.

Draco nodded and grimaced slightly. "Yeah, that. So if I can do that... you'll... what?"

"Um... I dunno... date you maybe? I guess? I really don't know what sort of um... protocol or whatever there might be. I mean, I don't see the normal dating routine working much for either of us. Neither of us are out to anyone, or at least, I know I'm not and I got the impression that no one knows about you, right?"

"Right. No one knows."

"Yeah, so public dates might be a bit um... difficult."

"Wait, so you're telling me that even Granger and the Weasel don't know?" Draco asked suddenly.

"About me? No! No one knows," Harry said shaking his head quickly.

Draco frowned and his brow scrunched up slightly and Harry had the oddest urge to reach his finger up and smooth it out, but refrained.

"Why not?"

"Why not, what?"

"Why don't they know? I mean, don't you tell those two everything? The golden trio and all that rubbish?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "I don't tell them everything. Just about everything, but... I mean, everyone has got their secrets," Harry finished with a shrug.

"Yeah... secrets," Draco echoed and looked away with a pained expression.

"Yeah, so – I suspect that any sort of public relationship would be... hard. I mean, we'd have to keep it quiet if we, you know... dated." Harry said, feeling his face heat up with mild embarrassment.

Draco looked up slowly as if he were having some sort of dawning realization. "You would really be willing to date me?" he asked and Harry noted a tinge of hope in those words.

Harry ducked his head, feeling annoyingly bashful and almost wished he were still under the effects of the potion because it was so much easier to just admit things without a care in the world. Because, honestly? Yes. He was totally willing. The idea was both intriguing and tempting. And a very big part of him wanted to just start snogging with Draco right then and there because that had been simply brilliant.

Finally Harry managed to dig his courage up from the pit in his stomach that it had sunk into and squared his shoulders as he looked up and met Draco's hopeful eyes. He gave a determined nod and a small smile. "Yeah. Yeah, that would be... that would be brilliant."

Draco looked stunned, but the brilliant smile that slowly filled his face was quickly wiping away the nervous twisting in Harry's chest. "You've got to be mad. Accepting me after all I've done," Draco said around his glowing smile.

Harry chuckled and shrugged. "Well, that's what the papers are saying about me, yeah? That I'm stark raving mad? Besides, you screw up too badly and I'll drop you."

"You're not worried that I know your secret? That I know you're gay?"

Harry snorted and shrugged. "Mutually assured destruction."


"It's a muggle term. I think it was coined during the cold war when America and Russia were at each other's throats because they both had a mountain of nukes trained on each other. Basically neither were willing to attack the other because they knew if they did, there would be instant retaliation. They'd both end up dead. You know my secret, but I know your's too. If you run off to the papers informing them that the Boy-Who-Lived is a poof, I can do the same."

Draco snorted and rolled his eyes. "Muggles," he muttered. "Yeah, fine. I suppose that's logical."

"Besides, I'd like to think I can trust you with this," Harry said in a softer voice. "That's part of forming a relationship, right? Forming trust and all that?"

Draco looked down and Harry saw his adam's apple bob as if he'd just swallowed something huge. "I really wouldn't know," Draco said in a quiet whisper.

"Yeah, well neither would I really. I guess we can figure it out together, right?"

Draco gave a shaky smile and nodded his head. "I'd like that."

Harry smiled back widely. "Me too."

The two grinned and chuckled bashfully as they stole glances at each other before looking away like the two inexperienced teenagers that they were. Harry suddenly found himself smirking and he focused his gaze on Draco who almost instantly looked wary at the shift in Harry's posture and expression.

"So," Harry began, his smirk growing lopsided. "Wanna snog?"

Draco blinked at him dumbly for several beats before he began to laugh, and Harry quickly followed behind. It was strangely reassuring to know that Draco could still laugh freely like that, even when not under the effect of the inhibitions potion. It gave him real hope for this weird... thing, that had grown between them so unexpectedly.

"Morgana, can you imagine if Snape walked in on us snogging in his storage cupboard," Draco said between his breathless snickers.

Harry barked out a laugh before dissolving to snickers again. "Oh man, it would give him a bloody aneurism!"

"He'd probably keel over right then and there."

Harry nodded, chuckling. He pulled himself out of his amusement rather suddenly as his eyes locked on the mirth-filled face of Draco as he laughed. Merlin, he was a beautiful boy. Oddly angelic when he looked like this. It was like there was this halo of light radiating from the blond. Not literally, it was just so different to see him so honestly happy. Harry realized in that moment that he wanted to be the cause of this honest happiness more often. He wanted to get to know this other side of Draco Malfoy. This side that he hid from the rest of the world because he'd been conditioned by his father to only ever show a cold, unfeeling mask of superiority.

And without even the slightest inkling of hesitation, Harry leaned in and kissed him. Draco started with surprise for a second, but melted into Harry's kiss a moment later. He made a contented humming noise as Harry's hand threaded into Draco's hair and Harry did much the same as he felt Draco's hands come up and wrap around his shoulders.

Mustering up his legendary Gryffindor courage, Harry tentatively parted his lips and trailed his tongue across Draco's lips, silently asking for more. Draco eagerly opened up and this time it was Harry's tongue in Draco's mouth rather than the reverse that he'd experienced earlier. He could taste the Slytherin so much more directly now and he was delectable. Sort of a peppermint flavor to the back and Harry suspected it was from his mouth wash, or maybe the result of a fresh breath charm.

Their tongues danced together and Harry found himself absorbed in the act of stroking his tongue along the surface of Draco's, relishing in how new and different all of this was. The two were probably kissing for several minutes before they broke apart panting heavily.

"That is seriously brilliant," Draco panted and Harry grinned, nodding his head in enthusiastic agreement. "Definitely want to do that more often," Draco continued and Harry chuckled and nodded again. "But right now, I suspect we'd ought to clean this mess up before Snape comes out here and finds that we haven't done anything and gives us even more detention.

Harry gave an exaggerated sigh but pulled away. "Yeah... you're probably right."

"Of course I'm right. I'm always right," Draco said, in something closer to his old snooty voice, but there was a tinge of self-mockery in there and a moment later the two of them were chuckling again.

They managed to get the mess cleaned up in about ten minutes after that and Draco volunteered to get Snape and inform him that they were done. Once he grudgingly approved their process he told them they could go and Harry had to run in order to make it to Defense on time. He did manage to get in a discreet hand-squeeze with Draco before he had to bolt, and the blond at given him a smile in return.

As Harry ran up the stairs, heading towards the second floor and the Defense classroom, he couldn't help but wonder at how odd it was that he wasn't particularly perturbed to know that he would be missing out on the Quidditch try-outs that evening since he'd be spending it with Draco instead. Granted, they'd be brewing a potion and the fact that Harry was rubbish with potions hadn't changed at all over the course of this profoundly life-altering day. But he was still looking forward to it.

– – –

AN: So there it is. 34 pages, and that's probably it. I mean, I could totally keep going and make some sort of longer romance-fic out of it – honestly, I've even got a few scenes for later-on in the story in mind, but I don't honestly think I could make a legitimately interesting story out of it – not really. Nothing new. It's basically just DM/HP ship drivel. And while there are loads of romance-only fics that are plenty good reads, I'm probably am better off not trying to write one.

So it's a one-shot, unless I get some sort of powerful inspiration to write another chapter or two at some point.

– – – –