It wasn't quite what he envisioned. He was definitely in the tropics, but there was also a huge tree house in one of the trees by the beach. That was not his making. The sky was also cloudy, as though it were about to rain at any moment.
Harry was still for a moment before thrusting Draco away from him. Startled, Draco watched him crawl away for a bit before pushing himself to his feet with his back facing him.
"Harry?" Draco asked quietly.
"What?" Harry demanded harshly.
"I don't know what to say," Draco said.
"Then do me a favor and don't say anything."
Draco frowned and looked out at the ocean. This wasn't the Harry that he knew, but he supposed he couldn't blame him. If Draco's secret fantasies had been aired, he'd have been pretty mortified too. But he had to know…
"Were they real?" he asked.
"What?" Harry said, not turning around.
"Those images," Draco clarified, sitting on his heels and staring at the back of Harry's head. "Were they real, or did he create them?"
Harry was silent for long enough to make Draco think he wouldn't reply. But then Harry spoke.
"Yes, they were real," he said in a horribly quiet voice. "Every single one of them. I've wanked to the thought of you for years. I've always wanted you. Is that what you want to hear?" he demanded, turning around and glaring at Draco, who was still kneeling in the sand. "You want me to tell you how ecstatic I was when we were forced to be partners? I'd never been so happy about anything in my life. I knew you hated me, but I'd get to see you, talk to you, interact with you every day. It was more than I could have hoped for."
He turned away again, staring at the waves. "I stored all your facial expressions, fantasized about what you might look like naked. I slept with more men than I can count and pretended it was you. Sickened yet? Horrified? I can't blame you. I'm pretty disgusted with myself."
Before Draco could speak, Harry marched away, toward the tree house. Knowing Harry as he did, he knew better than to follow immediately. He'd need time to calm down, to compose himself. And Draco needed the time to try to put his head back firmly on his shoulders.
But he couldn't. He had this warm, floaty feeling inside him. So what was he to do? The answer was obvious.
The tree house was high. The only way to reach it was to climb a rope ladder that dangled down to the ground. Draco got a firm grip on the rope and began to hoist himself up. The tree house must have been from Harry. Perhaps they built this place together, though they hadn't known it at the time. Maybe that was why it felt so secure. He hardly had to focus on the walls at all at that moment. He and Harry were protecting each other, subconsciously.
The ladder swayed a bit the higher up he went, but he didn't fall. At the top he pulled himself over the wood banister ungracefully. Looking around quickly, he was relieved to see that Harry was nowhere in sight. He didn't want the conversation that was about to take place happen right after he'd lumbered into the tree house like a drunk kneazle.
Draco stepped through the doorway and took in his surroundings. It was oddly spartan, with only a hammock hanging in the corner and a lamp on a table. Harry was standing at the window, staring out at the sea.
"I don't want to talk about it," Harry interrupted. "Let's just… forget everything I said and that you saw. At least until this is over. If you want to not be partners anymore, I fully understand."
Draco couldn't see his face but he felt Harry's utter sadness. It made his heart ache.
"Potter… Harry…" his words trailed off. Harry's shoulders stiffened at the sound of his first name. Draco suddenly didn't have any words. What could he say? At a loss, he simply stared at Harry's back.
Harry turned around, his face serious. "We have to kill him," he said harshly. "Maybe here, in my mind, I can finally kill him right." Draco nodded.
"Perhaps," he said.
Potter began to pace. Draco loved his face when he was planning something. So strong and focused. Like when he was fucking someone, Draco now knew because he'd seen the memories. He shifted slightly. Potter continued to pace, deep in thought. It was very distracting.
Suddenly he realized he didn't need words. Looking away from Harry, he focused on the ceiling.
"I know magic can be done here, in our minds," Harry continued. "We've done it. I guess magic is a part of our souls as well? Not just something we do physically?"
"Mhhmm," Draco said, still staring at the ceiling and focusing hard.
"Right. Well that's comforting. I'll just have to kill him before he can kill me. Either with Avada Kedavra or… Maybe I could use my mind to crush his? But will that make him go away or make him crazy? He's crazy enough and it's already bloody maddening to have a part of him within me. Imagine that turning crazy… No. Never mind. Don't."
Draco smirked but remained silent, still focused on the ceiling.
"Perhaps you could teach me how to… I don't know. Maybe expel him from my mind? But can I do that when there's still a part of him attached to me? Merlin, this is weird. Is he now one person, attached to his soul, or is he still separate? But I can't imagine that he would be. It only makes sense that because he touched me, my mind, he would have molded to himself. Maybe that's why I had such a headache. It was from his own… reunion or something."
"It's just about Christmas time, you know," Draco said conversationally, finally looking back at Harry.
"So maybe if I… wait. What? Christmas? What?"
Harry looked adorably baffled. Draco pointed up.
"Mistletoe," he said softly. Harry eyes went up to the ceiling, where Draco had created a bit of mistletoe to hang down between them. "Mistletoe in the Caribbean."
"I… don't understand," Harry said, staring the plant.
"For the first time in your life, Potter, you're thinking too much."
Draco didn't give him a chance to respond. He stepped forward, grabbed Harry's shoulders, and did what he'd been dreaming about since he was thirteen years old.
Harry's mouth was slack at first, no doubt in shock, but Draco wouldn't release him. Even this awkward contact was incredibly thrilling. Harry tasted so good… musky and male. So much better than anything Draco had ever encountered. Harry shifted and Draco was afraid he was going to push him away, but he didn't. His arms wrapped around Draco's waist and pulled him closer until they were pressed against each other.
Heart soaring, Draco slid his hands to Harry's shoulders and held on for dear life as their mouths molded together. The room felt like it was spinning, or rocking, or both. Had Harry not been holding onto him, he would surely have collapsed. They nibbled each other's lips, delighting in each shudder and sigh. Outside, Draco could hear the soft patter of rain beginning to fall.
Harry pulled back and Draco moved as if to follow but Harry stopped him, a questioning look on his face. "Since when?" he asked, and Draco knew what he was asking.
"Third year," he whispered. Those gorgeous green eyes widened behind his spectacles. Draco felt his face turning red, but didn't look away.
"Really?" Harry asked.
"Yes," Draco replied, his voice almost too soft. "You were my first… well. Everything. First person I had a crush on, first person I had a wet dream about." It was Harry's turn to blush. "I was horrified, of course. But… it didn't go away. Sixth year was the hardest because I had to…"
"I know," Harry interrupted gently. "And after?"
"I didn't see you for a few years and then we were Aurors," Draco continued, wrapping his arms around Harry's neck. Harry still hadn't released his waist. "There you were, all tall and manly. I didn't know what to do. And then they wanted us to be partners… I almost protested. Being with you every day, seeing your face and hearing your voice, but knowing there was no chance…"
"I thought you were straight. Ginevra Weasley… you two made a very convincing picture. You played straight very well, I had no idea."
"Huh. Yeah, I thought… huh."
Harry looked amused, no doubt at their shared stupidity. Draco grinned and kissed him again.
"What did we create?" Harry asked, looking around the jungle surrounding the tree house. They'd left the haven of the tree house to have a look at their shared vision. It was still softly raining, though it felt calming. More like a gentle mist than actual rain.
"A safe place," Draco replied. "I think we had the same idea for the same thing at the same time and since our minds have been linked together for so long, we just melded our two visions together into one. It's quite safe here, though."
"Yeah, I feel that, too," Harry said softly. "I mean, I feel that other presence out there… somewhere… but it's like it can't touch us here."
Draco smiled. "So what's with the tree house?"
"Oh," Harry grinned. "When I was little I'd imagine somewhere that I could go to escape from my family. The idea of a tree house was always interesting to me. When I was being punished, I'd sit and think about how it would look, what would be inside. What I'd do there. It's probably why it's the clearest thing I've made so far. And you? Why the tropics?"
"I wanted somewhere that wasn't obvious," Draco said with a shrug. "I saw a picture in a magazine years ago and the image stuck. I think Voldemort has to find us before he can attack, and how would he even think to go looking for a Caribbean getaway? It's never been foremost in my mind, just something I've randomly pondered."
"Yeah, same thing with the tree house," Harry said. "I haven't thought about it since I was a kid."
They were silent for a moment. Harry reached out and held Draco's hand as they stared out at the beach. It made Draco's heart lift and stomach drop pleasantly.
"I could stay here forever," Harry whispered.
"Me too," Draco replied. "But we can't, Harry."
"Always the optimist," Harry said wryly.
"We need to kill him. Soon. I have all the faith in the world that you can, Harry. And then… we can wake up and see…"
"I want to keep seeing you," Harry said in a rush. He turned his head and Draco looked into his eyes. "Now that I've kissed you, especially. I'm not letting that go."
Draco smirked. "Well. I can't blame you."
Harry stepped closer and took Draco's other hand so that they stood on the edge of the beach facing each other.
"I've wanted you for so long," Harry murmured. Draco's hands tingled and he reflexively tightened his hold on Harry. "Being able to say it now, to look at you and know I'm permitted to feel… what I'm feeling… It's so liberating and… Well. I've never been happier than right now, actually. Even knowing I'm about to face Voldemort again, I know I have you as well. Wanting to see what happens is what is going to help me defeat him. I have to know what happens with us next."
Unable to speak, Draco nodded. Harry leaned forward and kissed him softly. The misty rain continued to fall as they held each other and kissed for many long moments before Harry finally pulled back with a slight groan.
"Merlin, you're distracting," he said scrubbing a hand through his hair and flinging water everywhere. "We need a plan so that we can go home and do this for real!"
"Right," Draco said, taking deep breaths to clear his foggy head. "I don't think he'll be expecting us to attack him."
"Offensive strike this time," Harry said, suddenly businesslike, though one of his hands still held Draco's.
"Yes. There's still something I don't understand…"
"What is a Horcrux?"
Harry's hand twitched and his face hardened. "It's a vile thing. When you kill someone, it rips your soul up. A Horcrux is when you take that piece of soul and put it into an object. Voldemort did it seven times."
Draco gapped at him. "What?"
"Yeah. It's… horrible. He spread his mangled soul all over the place in Horcruxes and we had to find them and destroy them. I thought we got them all… but I didn't realize that when the curse rebounded on him when I was a baby a piece broke off and planted itself in me. Merlin… It explains so much!"
He dropped Draco's hand and began to pace along the beach, talking almost as if to himself. Draco watched, curious.
"The connection! Why I could feel him, why he could access my thoughts! Why he can find me, always find me when we Occlude and create these visions! And now, you and I, Draco, are connected subconsciously through this whole thing which is why he can read your thoughts as well. I can kill him. I have to, or else this will just keep going. He'll keep coming back. I'm going to kill him.
"I'm going to Avada him," Harry said. Draco raised an eyebrow.
"Do you think… you have the capability of that?" he asked. "Knowing the kind of emotion that takes?"
"Well I have to try," Harry said with a weak smile. "It's the only thing I think can work. I don't know what he's up to, but he needs to die, Draco. I need to kill that part of soul that remains. The one inside of me, the one he's reunited with. It's the only way."
"I know," Draco said, stepping closer. "Are you ready?"
Draco heard the panic, saw the fear in his eyes, but Harry tucked it away as quickly as it appeared.
"Why wait?" Draco said. "I want this over. And then I want to take you home."
Harry looked blank for a moment before it dawned on him what Draco meant. His cheeks turned pink and Draco grinned.
"Right. Yeah. Now. Let's go."
"Focus, Potter," Draco said, smirking.
"Focus on what we're about to do, not what happens after." Harry rolled his eyes, but nodded. "I'm here with you this time. I'll help in any way I can."
Harry took a deep breath and framed Draco's face with his hands and kissed him hard. It wasn't a farewell. Draco knew it was a promise. For what was about to happen, or for their future, Draco didn't know. But he took it and kept it. It gave him strength against the fear that was beginning to eat away at his heart.
"On three?" Harry asked against his lips.
"Yes, then push away the projected image and wait," Draco replied. "He'll find us."
Harry nodded. "Someday we can go to the Caribbean for real."
"I think I might have seen something, somewhere, where you can even rent tree houses."
"Perfect," he said with a grin. It slipped away, however. It was time. "One," he said, pulling out his wand. "Two," Draco grabbed his own wand and stared at Harry hard, memorizing that face because he was pretty sure they wouldn't be looking at each other in the minutes to come. "Three."
It was harder than expected to push their shared image away. Their haven had been safe, secure, and a place of discovery for each of them. Now, knowing what they were about to face, Draco felt slightly melancholy about letting their vision go. He refused to look away from Harry's eyes as the image melted away. He could see the ocean blur and then vanish in his peripheral vision. Soon they were left in the sheer blackness of nothing. He could see Harry perfectly, as though a light was trained on him, but there was nothing else around them.
Harder still was not creating another image to protect them. Leaving the mind completely bare was wrong to Draco, but he knew he had to do it. There was no way of finding Voldemort if they kept running and hiding. Draco kept his mind carefully blank while seeking out that putrid presence that had haunted them from the beginning. It was there, in the darkness. Draco tried to catch it, to force it to show itself, but it danced just out of reach.
The vision was so abrupt that it made Draco dizzy. One moment they were floating along in darkness, and then they were standing in a field. The tall green grasses flirted with Draco's legs as he took a few staggering steps.
"We're in Hogsmeade," Harry muttered, looking around. Draco heard the screams before he saw anything. His stomach heaved when he looked over in time to see someone's face cut open by a hex.
"You're in my mind now," said a dark, sibilant voice. "You're in my visions, my hideaway."
"Is this what you think about?" Harry demanded, looking about and trying to find their tormenter. "Is this where your twisted mind goes?"
"Yes," the voice said simply. "I've thought quite a bit about this day. Where it went wrong. But now I know how to fix it."
Voldemort appeared before them, materializing from nothing. It was his dream. He could do as he pleased. The thought frightened Draco, who didn't know how to counteract it. But Harry appeared confidant. He raised his wand without a quiver.
Around them the battle slowed and then froze. Flashes of light were caught mid-air. People were completely still in poses of battle. The bright sunlight seemed at odds with such a violent image.
"There's nothing to fix," Harry snarled, raising his wand with the intent to strike.
"I wouldn't do that, Harry," Voldemort said with a smirk. "If I die, you die. I am a part of you now. When you let me in, when I reconnected with that bit of soul, I got a hold of your mind."
"Then what is the point of this?" Harry asked with a shake of his head. "Why are you here still? In my mind? Why haven't you left to get your body back?"
Voldemort tilted his head, as though mildly surprised. "Why, you haven't figured it out yet, have you?" His scarlet eyes strayed to Draco who, instead of cowering at his gaze, forced himself to stand straight and proud. "Neither of you understand yet?"
"Why do you talk so much?" Draco demanded, raising his own wand. "I've had enough!"
"If you do that, you'll kill us all," Voldemort said sharply. "You kill me, we all die. You're connected to Potter right now, just as I am. I told you, Draco Malfoy; you are free to leave at any time. But you won't. You've refused so far. All you need to do is wake up and this was all a bad dream. But if you try to kill me, you'll destroy Potter's mind because I have a firm hold on it."
"And if I kill you?" Harry asked quietly. His eyes… something was wrong.
"It's the same thing, Harry," Voldemort replied. "You kill me, you destroy yourself. But if I kill you, well. That's different."
"How?" Draco suddenly realized what was wrong. Harry looked defeated.
Voldemort smiled and it was vile. "You have no hold over me. I doubt you even know how. So instead of all of us dying, it would just be you. And Draco, of course, if he hasn't decided to leave by then. I don't need another presence in the mind of my new body."
"No!" Draco cried. "No! That's… no."
"Yes, I see you finally got there. Imagine all that I could do, could accomplish, from the body of Harry Potter. You see, I wouldn't be strong enough to be resurrected once more to my real body. Instead I'll just take the one that part of my soul has gotten comfortable with. It took me years to get here. It took careful planning and consideration. I had to possess a child, but it was worth it."
"Madeline," Harry whispered. "You used her."
"I jumped to you when you touched her," Voldemort said gleefully. "Would you like to know the best part? Had young Mr. Malfoy not come barreling in, it would never have worked. Due to your weakness towards him, I've now won. There's no way you get out of this alive, Potter, even if you do kill me."
His insane laughter rolled across the fields and battered Draco's mind. There had to be a way, somehow there had to be a different answer. They needed time. He'd take them back to their paradise, just for a little while, just to plan. He began to gather himself, tuning out Voldemort, who was still laughing, focusing on Harry.
But it wasn't working. Instead of feeling closer to Harry, he felt a distance, a breaking of their connection.
"Harry! What's happening?" Draco cried, reaching from him. Bricks began to appear between them.
And Harry did nothing.
"HARRY!" They piled up, one on top of the other, next to each other, growing into a wall. Draco pushed against it, but it held firm. "Harry, what's going on?"
"I'm sorry," Harry said sadly. "I can't let you die for me."
"I won't! We can go back to our place, we can plan! Stop this!"
"No," he said softly. Behind him, feet away, Voldemort stopped laughing but still had a smirk on his face. He watched keenly as the wall grew. "There is no plan, Draco. There is no other way to end it."
"You're not going to let him win!" Draco gasped.
"Of course not," he replied, a hint of his old stubbornness appearing before sliding away. "But I'm not going to let you stay."
The wall grew faster. Soon it would block out the field, Harry, and Voldemort.
"Harry, I don't understand! Let me help you!"
"You can't help, not with this."
The bricks stopped appearing at shoulder height. Harry approached and reached over the wall, touching Draco's cheek. Panicked, he grabbed that hand tight. Over Harry's shoulder Voldemort's smirk grew, but he did nothing.
"He's letting me make you leave," Harry said softly. "You're nothing to him. He wants it to be just him and me."
"I'm begging you," Draco said, his throat tight. "Don't make me leave. Let me stay with you."
"There's no point in you dying."
"We won't die! I refuse to believe that!"
"Goodbye, Draco. I'm sorry I didn't have the courage to make a move sooner."
Draco cried out in denial, shoving against the wall physically and mentally trying to break it down. But Harry had finally found the focus to keep it strong.
"I'll hate you as long as I live if you do this to me!" Draco yelled.
"The point is that you'll live."
Bricks began to clunk into place again.
Harry's sad eyes watched as Draco threw himself against the wall, but he didn't move. There was one last moment where Draco could see his face, long enough for him to see Harry mouth the words, "I love you," and then there was only the wall.
Coming back to his physical body was like waking from a falling dream. His heart stuttered in his chest and his senses tingled slightly.
Granger's voice cut through his throbbing head like a serrated knife. His eyes watered in shocked pain. The light of the room was so bright…
"What's wrong with him?"
"I don't know! Draco? Draco, are you alright?"
No. No, he was not alright. His head hurt like a bitch and his body felt like it was being jabbed by pins and needles. And there was a vague feeling that he should be remembering something… Perhaps from his dream? But that wasn't a dream…
Harry. Voldemort. The wall.
"No!" Draco groaned, forcing himself upright and squinting into the room. "No, Harry!"
Draco was in Harry's hospital room on a bed that appeared to have been rolled in next to Harry's. Harry was still asleep. He looked exactly the same as the last time Draco had seen him thus. His mouth was even still open.
Draco tried to launch himself up and over to Harry, but hands grabbed him and held him down.
"Draco, calm down!" Granger cried. "You have to calm down! You've been asleep for days!"
That statement caused Draco to pause and look up at her in shock. "Days?"
"Yes," she said with an emphatic nod. "You tried to look into Harry's mind and then blacked out. You've been unreachable, just like him. What happened?"
"It was… I don't… There's no time! I have to go back!"
They were interrupted by Harry's heart monitor. Where seconds ago it had been slow and even, it suddenly beeped loudly, erratically. There was a little red light that was flashing above the monitor.
Harry began to shake. Draco cried out, forcing himself onto unsteady and sharply painful legs to grab Harry's shoulders, but he kept shaking. It got more and more forceful until Harry's head was whipped back and forth like a doll's.
Dimly he heard someone say, "Get Snape! Get a healer! Get somebody!"
Draco was about to seize his wand and jump back into Harry's mind when Harry fell limp. The silence of the room was deafening. Draco's own heart stopped beating. It was so quiet that it felt like there was pressure on his ears, his head, his chest, growing stronger and stronger - and then there was a faint beep. The monitor showed one little blip, where there'd been a heartbeat. And then another. Draco breathed again as it felt as if his heart started working once more, with much more force than before.
"He's okay…" Draco whispered. Harry must have defeated Voldemort! He must have killed him! And he won! He was still alive! "Harry," Draco murmured, leaning over Harry's face. "Harry, you can wake up now."
"Draco," Granger whispered.
"Not now, Granger," Draco replied impatiently, not looking away from Harry's pale face. He would wake up any moment…
"Draco, look at the monitor."
"I did, and his heart is beating now! He's fine! He's…" But Draco now saw what she meant. Harry's heart was beating normally. But there was another monitor above the one for his heart. The one that measured brain patterns. Before, Harry's mind had been working diligently and the monitor showed fluxes and dips. Now there was nothing.
"What happened here?"
Draco looked over his shoulder at Snape, who stood in the doorway next to one of the healers.
Weasley's voice was oddly rough as he replied, "Harry had some sort of weird… seizure? Yeah, it looked like a seizure."
The healer came to Draco's side and was trying to pepper him with questions. Are you alright? What happened? Do you feel any pain? But Draco ignored him, turning back to Harry. The healer gave up as another came in to check Harry's vitals.
"He's physically fine, once more," the healer said, though her face was drawn. "But now I'm not getting any sort of brain activity."
"You mean… what do you mean?" Granger sounded scared.
"He's essentially brain dead," the healer replied.
Granger and Weasley both gasped. Draco just stared at the healer. Brain dead? What had Harry done? How could this happen?
"Draco, you need to tell us what happened in there," Granger said quietly. She'd come closer behind him and then he felt her hand on his shoulder.
Turning his gaze back to Harry's face, he told them almost everything. He started at the beginning, with Harry in the Quidditch Pitch. He told them about how Voldemort had used Granger's image to get in, how they'd had to keep jumping from vision to vision just to stay ahead of Voldemort's presence. He left out the personal things, and their tree house. He figured it was none of their business. When he got the part about the Horcruxes, however, he turned to Granger.
"Voldemort said that there was still a part of himself within Harry, and that was how he'd survived even though Harry had gotten rid of all the Horcruxes."
Granger's face paled and she looked at Weasley. "We thought we got them all… Oh my. And that's how he got into Harry's mind?"
"Yeah," Draco replied. "He planned on killing Harry's consciousness and taking over his body."
"No!" Weasley lurched out his chair and approached Harry's side. He shook Harry's shoulder, smacked his face.
"Ron, stop!" Granger cried. Draco leaned over Harry protectively and shoved Weasley back. Weasley didn't even seem to notice. Granger grabbed Weasley's arms. "That won't do anything!"
"I won't have that bastard take Harry!" Weasley yelled. "I'll kill him myself!"
"Wait!" Draco snapped. "Just wait. I don't think he did. He'd have woken up by now. No doubt to monologue."
"But then what happened?" Granger asked, still keeping Weasley at a distance from Harry.
"Voldemort said something about how Potter couldn't kill him because he, Voldemort, had a hold of Harry's mind. But that he could kill Harry just fine. I don't really understand."
"Let me guess," Snape murmured. "Potter threw you out? Refused you entry to his mind any longer?"
"Yeah," Draco said, frowning. "He built up a wall. He wouldn't let me help."
Snape flexed his jaw and looked down at Harry with contempt. "Of course. How very… Gryffindor."
"What does that mean?"
"It means, Mr. Malfoy, that he knew Voldemort was right. He made you leave so that he could do the noble thing, sacrifice himself to defeat evil, without killing you as well."
Draco felt suddenly hollow. "Voldemort… was right? But Harry's not dead! His heart is still beating!"
"And his mind is gone," Snape replied. "No brain function. Potter killed himself, to kill Voldemort. Voldemort is now gone for good, but so is Potter. All that is left is a shell."
"No!" Draco screamed. Granger, Weasley, Snape, and the remaining healer all took a step back. "No! No no no! He's not that stupid! NO!"
Draco lurched to his feet unsteadily and grabbed his wand. His thoughts, his focus, all turned to Harry.
"Draco, there's no point-"
"SHUT UP! There is a point! He's still there! He has to be!"
Granger looked hopeless but Draco ignored her. Raising his wand, he pointed right between Harry's eyes.
Nothing happened. Draco stared at Harry's face in shock.
"Draco, maybe we should-"
"NO! Legilimens! Legilimens!"
"Malfoy, there's nothing left."
Even Weasley was ready to give up. But Draco would not. Focusing as hard as he could, he tried once more.
There was no barrier this time. One moment Draco was in St. Mungo's, and then next his was in a huge white room. Large picture frames were mounted on the walls. They looked like they were old fashioned, but covered in white paint. There was no color anywhere.
He stood, frozen. What was he supposed to do? Where was he? Unsure of himself, Draco took a step and it echoed hollowly. There was a sound, so soft he could barely hear it, and movement out of the corner of his eye. He looked over sharply.
The portraits lit with color, all showing something different as hundreds of voices all started saying, "Harry?"
Draco gasped in utter shock at the sudden noise and chaos of color. One portrait showed Harry on the Quidditch Pitch and the crowd chanting his name. Another showed Weasley's mother calling out her back door for everyone, including Harry, to come back inside. They were all like that – people calling Harry's name.
It was completely disorienting and Draco had no time to try and puzzle it out before it all melted away. The visions and the voices together died off. The paintings went blank once more.
The silence was almost as shocking as the noise had been. Completely bewildered, Draco just stared at the closest blank frame. What was he supposed to do? What did this all mean? Obviously Harry was still here… somewhere… He took another step.
Another noise broke the silence, the same noise he'd heard when he'd first arrived. Louder now, Draco could finally figure out what it was. It was giggling. Coming from nowhere, yet everywhere, was a child's sneaky laughter. It made Draco want to smile. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something hurry past. He turned just in time to see the back of a little boy with jet black hair before he vanished like a puff of smoke.
"Harry," Draco said again, readying himself for another onslaught of noise, "it's Draco."
The noise was staggering. The portraits showed Draco at all ages, from when he was in Hogwarts to when he was made an Auror. All were Harry's view of him. He watched himself smirking from across a Potion's classroom, calling out insults from the back of a broom, holding a wand on Albus Dumbledore, conjuring mistletoe in a tree house. And there were other things. Harry in bed with his cock in his hand murmuring Draco name. A couple of images were of Draco magically blocking a child's bad memories, or holding back their excess magic.
The portraits went blank once more and the voices died out. Draco shook his head, baffled.
Draco spun around, his heart in his throat. This voice was not echoing from the walls, but came from inside the room itself. A few feet away stood Harry, but he could only be eleven years old. He looked exactly like he had the first time Draco had seen him in Diagon Alley; short, scrawny, wearing ridiculous round glasses and clothes that were much too large for him.
"Yes?" Draco replied, his voice oddly high.
"Draco… the boy from the robe shop?"
Draco smiled but then the boy vanished like smoke. Draco was alone again. Panicked, Draco called out again.
"It's Draco! I'm Draco, your partner!"
Draco saw himself in the portraits once more. He was tying together two men accused of raping a child, found a few years ago. He was doing paperwork in their shared cubicle, the end of his quill between his teeth. He was teaching Harry how to create dreams…
Harry was thinking about him and touching himself in the shower.
Draco spun around to face the new visitor, standing close by and shrouded in his habitual black robe. He looked like a splotch of black ink on a piece of white paper. But was he real?
"Snape? Is that really you?"
"What the hell?" Snape gasped, his one eye looking around in alarm.
The portraits were now featuring Snape in various ways. Sitting at the head table, both eyes whole and uncovered. Stalking around the Potions classroom. In his office at Hogwarts, pointing his wand at Harry and performing Legilimency. At the top of the Astronomy Tower, green light flashing and Dumbledore falling. In a field of tall grasses, his face hit by a curse and pouring blood.
Then everything faded once again.
Draco and Snape looked at each other for a long moment. Draco shrugged. Snape opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted.
"Snape?" The child version of Harry was back. Draco and Snape watched him in silence. "Snape… scares me…" The vision shifted, growing several inches and then it was the Harry Draco knew. His heart leapt. "Snape… saved us…" And then he shrank slightly and Draco's hope died. This wasn't… quite Harry yet. "Snape…" the teenaged version of Harry said. "Snape… is a git."
And then he vanished.
"How very… peculiar," Snape said. He looked a little irritated.
"Do you know what's happening?" Draco asked hopefully.
"His mind is ripped to shreds," Snape replied. "I'm not sure there's any hope."
"I have to try."
"I love him."
The portraits appeared once again. They showed many different people who Harry knew. Granger, Weasley, Lupin, Sirius Black, the whole Weasley family it seemed. All of whom were smiling, laughing, giving Harry hugs and slaps on the back. And then there was the tree house.
Draco made a shocked noise, almost as if he were in pain. The portraits melted, shifted, and became something else. Harry was in the Hospital wing at Hogwarts grimacing in pain and holding his right arm, he was bitten by a huge snake, he was being Crucioed by Voldemort in a cemetery. Images of pain, because Draco had made a pained noise.
The images faded and Draco was glad. "Do you understand any of this?" he asked Snape.
"All might not be lost… there are threads, which is more than I had anticipated. They're just not connected to each other."
"How do I fix it?"
"That I do not know," Snape said with a shake of his head. "I don't know Potter like you and Granger do."
Draco bit back his disappointment. Around them images of Granger filled the portraits. Being called to the Sorting Hat, conjuring a silver otter, dressed for the Yule Ball.
"Would you send her?" Draco asked. Snape raised a brow, no doubt insulted at being asked to play messenger. Draco huffed. "Maybe she and I can come up with something. She's supposed to be smart."
"If I can't figure this mess out…"
"Please?" Draco asked again.
"Fine." He was gone before Draco could thank him.
Draco remained silent as he waited. The room stayed completely blank. No sound. No movement. It was almost as if it needed a push in order to act, like Harry needed someone to feed him lines. But when there was silence, nothing could happen.
Granger appeared after a few minutes with Weasley in tow. Draco raised an eyebrow at the addition.
"What happened with Snape? He left after…"
Draco's eyes reflexively snapped to the portraits. Snape was blowing apart bushes in the garden at the Yule ball. He was prowling the halls. He was limping with a bloody bite mark on his leg.
"What on earth?" Granger whispered.
"I'd hoped you could tell me," Draco replied. "Why'd you bring him?" He gestured to Weasley, who frowned.
"Ron is Harry's friend too," Granger said.
An eleven year old Harry and Ron were seated on the Hogwarts Express together. They were opening presents in their dorm. They were flying a blue car. Weasley was being dragged by a great black dog toward the Whomping Willow. He was wearing horrible dress robes and looking miserable. He was trying pull what looked like brains off of himself. He was writhing on the floor of Slughorn's office with foam pouring from his mouth. He was at Harry's side during the final battle, facing Voldemort and showing no fear. He was helping Harry move a couch into a flat.
"It's like this," Draco said. "Everything's blank until you say something."
The images and voices saying 'Ron' were beginning to fade. Granger pursed her lips for a moment and then said, quite forcefully, "Hermione!"
Granger was fixing Harry's glasses, she was covered in fur, she was lying completely still, petrified, in the hospital wing, she was pulling what looked like a gold necklace out of the neck of her robes and spinning it, she was teaching Harry how to Summon things and they were surrounded by cushions and books, she was being hit by a curse and going limp, she was crying in Weasley's arms during a funeral, she was bringing Harry a sack of food in the Auror department with a smile and telling him to remember his own lunch next time, she was sitting on a couch with a crying Harry who was telling her he was gay…
Weasley made an inarticulate noise, staring at the portrait of Granger and Harry on the couch. He then coughed, scratched his head, and shrugged at Granger. "Why didn't he tell me?"
"I don't know," she replied, shaking her head. "Now shush. What does all this mean?"
Weasley looked back at the portrait, bewildered but not upset. Granger began to pace and Draco watched her with little patience. While this whole scenario was interesting, it was also maddening. The voices were exasperating, though the latest round was fading away. He found it hard to think here, where Harry's thoughts had no connecting thread.
"It's like he needs us to be able to have brain patterns," Granger murmured, almost as if to herself. She continued to pace. "These memories, these thoughts, have no link to each other. How on earth do we connect them?"
The portraits all showed the same thing – some sort of game where a very young Harry was dropping red and blue coins into slots. Granger smiled.
"Connect-Four," she said. Draco raised his eyebrows in question. "A Muggle game," Granger clarified. "He can understand us, in a way. Harry?" she called.
Harry was being called to the Sorting Hat, Draco's old house-elf was at his bedside in the Hospital wing, Snape was tormenting him in Potions class, the Goblet of Fire was tossing his name out for Dumbledore to catch, Voldemort was taunting him in a graveyard, people were calling out to him in the grasses of the field outside of Hogsmeade. And through all these images, these many portraits, was Draco. Draco smirking, smiling, laughing rarely, working.
Weasley shifted. "He seems to think a lot about-"
"DON'T say my name!" Draco warned. The last thing he needed right now was to deal with Potter's friends if they found out about Harry's fantasies or about the tree house too soon.
Weasley shot Draco his middle finger, but remained silent. The giggling came back. They all looked around until – there! The eleven year old Harry was standing before them.
"He's usually eleven," Draco said softly. "Last time he grew and shrank, but he always starts eleven."
"Of course!" Granger said, sounding triumphant. "To him, that's when his life truly began! When he found out who he was! What he was!"
Young Harry looked at them all with his brows furrowed for a moment before his face split into a wide, happy grin. "I love you!" he said joyously, but then his face fell a bit. "I think."
"Yep," Weasley said. "He's cracked."
Granger ignored him. "Who do you love?" she said to the boy.
Harry grinned once more. "All of you!" And then, again, it faded. "I think."
Weasley snorted. "Even Draco?"
Draco's heart fell as young Harry vanished and the portraits came to colored life once more. Most were of Harry watching Draco at work or in their cubicle. But then there were those other memories of Harry wanking, of his fantasies of Draco. Draco felt his face flush as Weasley jumped, his eyes darting everywhere.
"AH!" he yelled. "AAAHHH!"
"Oh, Ron-" Granger tried to grab his arm but Weasley was wheeling around, looking horrified.
"AAAHH! I DON'T NEED TO SEE THIS! TURN IT OFF! AAARRRGG!"
Granger made a motion with her arm, a shove in Weasley's direction, and he vanished. The portraits were suddenly full of scenes of Harry's friends screaming. Granger, Weasley, Lovegood, Ginny Weasley. They were screaming in fear or pain. The sounds collided together, forming a horrible symphony.
"No, Harry, think of Draco! DRACO!" Granger yelled.
The portraits became Draco once again. His own name was murmured over and over. Draco didn't know whether to be relieved or mortified.
"What is the tree house?"
The scenes shifted to just the tree house. The falling rain, the hammock. Draco conjuring mistletoe.
"It was a mental safe place for him as a child," Draco said. Then, feeling she had best have the whole-ish- story, he haltingly continued, "It was there where we… finally talked about… how we felt about each other. We conjured a safe place together to hide from…him."
He didn't want to say Voldemort's name. He didn't want to see all of Harry memories of him, painted out for them to look at.
"Oh," Granger said in a small voice. "You know, I think you'd be the best person to handle this situation."
"Well… we are technically in the mind of a child, I guess. Even if it is Harry."
Draco ignored the portraits and voices. "But this… I've never seen anything like it! I deal with excess magic (magic…magic…magic…), with blocking unwanted memories. This is something totally different! Harry was the one who dealt with the emotional aspect."
"Try. You have to try. You're the only one who knows his mind, the only one who's been invited in. You'd understand him better than all of us."
"Yes, but I…"
The voices faded, the portraits were blank once more, and the giggling returned. Young Harry ran happily through the middle of the room, almost as if he was playing hide and seek with an invisible friend. It reminded Draco of Harry and the Christmas tree. So rarely did he see his partner actually happy, joyful. It was only through his memories that he got to see it fully.
Harry's memories. Draco's heart began to pound as realization began to sink in. The portraits were Harry's memories. Then what was the boy? Not a memory… Something else. A part of Harry. Harry's consciousness? Was it that simple? Young Harry ran around and around, laughing the whole time. Not a care in the world.
"Harry?" Draco called, stepping toward the child, but he vanished and the portraits reappeared, showing memories of Harry's name being said or called. The voices filled the room, echoing over and over. Granger looked about to say something, but Draco shook his head. Together they waited as the memories, the voices, faded, leaving the room bare once more. They stood in the silence, staring all around, but nothing happened. Draco took a step and his movement seemed to trigger the giggling once again. The boy reappeared, running between Draco and Granger. Reflexively, Draco reached out and grabbed young Harry by the arm, bringing him to a halt.
Cautiously, Draco said, "Harry?"
"I'm Harry!" the boy said standing tall. Then he seemed to deflate a bit. "I think." The portraits, the voices, didn't come back. "What?" Harry said, looking at Draco's hand. "Are you going to prank me? You do that, don't you?"
Once I did, Draco almost said, but now wasn't the time. If it worked out like he hoped, Harry would simply remember. He shifted his grip down so that he could take Harry's hand in his own.
"I want to show you something," Draco said, guiding Harry to a portrait. Granger watched silently. "Look at the portrait, okay? Now watch. Hogwarts!"
Draco said it loudly, prompting whatever kicked Harry's memories into action. The blank stretch in the frame suddenly showed Hogwarts, the corridors, the classrooms, Harry in classes, running through hallways, pushing aside tapestries. The hold on Draco's hand became slack. Young Harry's face was avid as he watched himself in school.
Draco then said, "Quidditch." Harry was on a broom and chasing a Snitch, he was at the Quidditch World Cup, he was trying to escape a rogue Bludger. Harry dropped Draco's hand, watching himself with wide eyes.
The vision of Harry didn't disappear this time when Draco prompted the memories. He simply stood and stared as Granger, Weasley, Lovegood, Longbottom, Lupin, Black, and Hagrid appeared in the frames. All the portraits showed someone different. Harry backed up to the middle of the room, staring avidly. His face was changing. He was growing taller. Heartened, Draco continued.
Auror trials, chasing Dark Wizards through alleys, their cubicle, hugging children, receiving letters from all the kids he'd helped. Harry began to walk, slowly at first, and then faster to see as many portraits as possible.
Draco almost didn't want to say this one, but it was a part of who Harry was. First came the visions of Harry's horrid Uncle, Aunt, and cousin, but they soon became replaced with the Weasleys, Granger, and Lupin. Family dinners, games out in the garden. Hagrid tossing laughing and smiling people off a dock into a pond.
Harry continued to grow and mature. He ran from frame to frame, watching himself, watching his friends. Granger gave Draco a smile, an encouraging nod, and then she vanished. Draco continued to prompt Harry with words, making different images appear. Harry watched them all eagerly, but he seemed to have forgotten Draco himself completely.
Draco continued with words, whatever popped into his mind. He lost track and was sure he repeated himself. The voices were driving him spare. He couldn't tune them out. But he didn't want to stop. Was he doing this right? Was this helping? It looked like it – it appeared that he'd managed to get Harry's memories and consciousness tied together once more, but what if he was wrong? What if he stopped and suddenly Harry reverted completely?
His heart sank. What if there really was no way to get Harry completely back so that he could think on his own? The only way to see was to stop talking…
He went quiet. At first, Harry continued to run from frame to frame, but the memories soon began to fade. Panicked, Draco was on the verge of speaking once more when Harry spoke first.
"Friends," Harry said.
The portraits popped back into colored life, showing Granger, Weasley, Lovegood, Hagrid, Longbottom. Even Draco.
"Work," Harry said next.
Draco watched, stunned and elated, as visions of their cubicle, of their raids and rescues, all started to appear. Harry appeared delighted and started to prompt himself. He hurried around the room, taking it all in, talking excitedly to himself. All the time, Draco watched.
Harry then came to a halt, watching all the portraits with a smile on his face, but then it faded.
"I'm forgetting something," he murmured. Draco felt sudden alarm. He's already forgetting? But Harry continued. He was talking to himself, like he didn't realize Draco was there. "Friends, work, school… family. Family… family has… oh!"
The white walls seemed to shove themselves back. The floor beneath their feet dropped swiftly. There was a roaring in Draco's ears as the walls and floor zoomed away. Where there had been pure white, now there was sand, a clear blue sky, bright green leaves on exotic trees. In one of those trees was a child's dream tree house. Draco stared at it.
They were in their paradise. Not looking at a portrait of it, but actually there.
"Families have love," Harry said softly. Draco turned his head. Harry was standing beside him, looking straight into his eyes. "I have love. For you."
Utterly speechless, Draco could only stare. Harry came closer, reaching his hand out to touch Draco's arm. His eyes were clear, calm. He seemed totally at ease.
"You…" Draco cleared his throat and tried again. "You… utter….complete… ASSHOLE!"
Harry blinked. Draco launched himself forward, smacking Harry over and over in the chest in a fury.
"Hey!" Harry cried. "HEY! Cut it out!"
"I can't believe you!" Draco yelled. "You left me! You shoved me away! HOW DARE YOU! You go off to kill yourself, leaving me behind to what? Wring my hands and KNIT? You say you love me and then force me away? You… you... stupid… GRYFFINDOR!"
"I couldn't let you die!" Harry said, grabbing Draco's hands to stop his hitting. "I couldn't bear the thought of you dead!"
"WHAT ABOUT ME?" Draco screamed. "What about what I could bear or not? I've loved you since I was eleven years old!" Harry's hands went slack with shock. Draco wrenched himself back a few steps, chest heaving slightly. "Life without you? I… I couldn't do it. Even if you were just my work partner, you were there. And now that I know how you feel? Knowing it but never seeing you again… I…"
His anger was now completely gone. Harry was standing right in front of him. Perfectly fine, his mind whole once more. And they were arguing? No. The time for that was later.
He shocked Harry once again when he shoved himself forward but instead of wanting to beat the living tar out of him, he pulled Harry close and kissed him hard. Harry made a noise, somewhere between a gasp of surprise and a groan. Draco felt his arms wrap around his back and he was pulled even closer.
Harry pulled back just long enough to murmur, "I'll never do it again." And then they were kissing once more.
Back in his own body, breathing real air into his real lungs, Draco looked up at through the branches of the Christmas tree in pure contentment. Harry was right – the lights looked even more beautiful when your vision was blurred. They'd used an Obscuro charm to make his vision fuzzy before climbing under the tree together. Now, lying side by side and holding hands, they watched the blurred fairy lights dance from branch to branch. Harry's glasses were safely in Draco's pocket.
"I don't know whether to like your friends, or kill them," Draco said after a while. Harry squeezed his hand.
"You'll get used to them," Harry said.
"Especially those twins," Draco continued.
Harry laughed and replied, "They just voiced what everyone was thinking."
The Weasley family had been cautiously welcoming of Draco when Harry had dragged him to their house. Draco and Harry had woken that morning and had been dismayed to find that it was Christmas Eve. Weasley wasted no time in telling Harry to come to the Burrow and had only raised his fiery brows when Harry invited Draco. He'd wanted to refuse – a day surrounded by people who didn't like him? – but Harry had insisted.
"We'll explain it to them," he'd said.
"Explain?" Draco had replied. "Explain… about us?"
"Yeah," Harry said with a shrug. "They'll be fine."
"But don't they think you're dating their daughter?"
"Oh yeah. Well, we'll explain that too."
Ginevra Weasley had been only too happy to shake off her fake identity as Harry Potter's girlfriend. She gleefully told her stunned family that she was only pretending to date Harry because he'd needed protection from diehard fangirls. And it had been helpful to her as well – no one in the Quidditch league would mess with the love of Harry Potter's life. She seemed so relieved that Harry had been slightly offended.
"Being your girlfriend is hard, Harry," she'd said. Her sparkling brown eyes had gone to Draco then and she'd winked.
Of course everyone wanted to know what had happened to Harry – what happened in the dream state. Together they'd explained, each filling the holes so the story came out pretty much as it had happened – minus certain private details. Everyone had been predictably horrified to find that it had been Voldemort behind it all, but they'd assured everyone that he was truly gone this time.
"Are you positive?" Molly Weasley had asked, her face pale and hands clasped together tightly.
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley," Harry replied. "I made sure of it."
He explained how he'd killed himself to kill that piece of Voldemort's soul that was left. Draco could see general confusion so he explained how he'd pieced Harry's mind together again – bringing consciousness and memories together by showing the consciousness the portraits.
"I don't get it," Arthur Weasley had said with a frown.
"I'm not sure I do either, sir," Draco replied with a weak smile.
"Well that's all well and good," one of the twins said, "but when did the snogging happen?"
Draco's jaw had dropped and everyone's eyes had turned to him and Harry expectantly. When neither of them would explain, good-natured ribbing commenced. The rest of the evening passed with good food, wine, and a general feeling of family. Having not seen his own family in many years (his mother and father had moved to Italy after the war and wouldn't set foot on British soil and Draco's work usually kept him home during holidays), it was a nice feeling. But soon it became apparent that Mrs. Weasley was melancholy every time she looked between Harry and Draco. Unable to stand it anymore, Draco had approached her.
"I swear," he'd said quietly, "to be good to him."
"Oh, I know dear," she'd replied with a smile, reaching up to pat him on the cheek. Seeing his surprise, she'd continued. "I was just so looking forward to having him as a legal part of the family."
"I don't think he cares about the legal part," Draco replied, glancing over to where Harry was seated with Ron and the twins, who were guffawing loudly. "When I was helping him remember who he was, I said family at one point and all of you appeared to him. He already thinks of you as his family."
Mrs. Weasley's eyes filled with tears. "Oh. Oh, well that's just… lovely. Thank you for telling me. Merlin knows Harry never would. He's too…"
"Yeah, I know," Draco said with a grin. She'd hugged him then and it reminded him so forcefully of his own mother that he'd had to extricate himself and grab more wine, otherwise he would have ended up bawling like a five year old. Not the best impression to make on people.
As the night had started to come to a close, it was apparent that both he and Harry had imbibed quite a bit of the wine. Well, so had everyone. But Mr. Weasley offered to let them stay, since Harry was coming back the next day anyway. When it was learned that Draco was planning on spending his Christmas alone, he was told quite forcefully by Mrs. Weasley that he was more than welcome to stay as well. Draco took the hint and knew it to mean that leaving was not an option. Harry was delighted.
"But I don't even have presents for anyone," Draco had said.
"Oi," Weasley (Ron, he was supposed to call him Ron), said gruffly. "You gave us Harry back. I think, for this year, that's enough. Next year though…" He trailed off and lifted his eyebrows meaningfully.
He and Harry had been offered the couch, which they'd expanded to fit them both. Draco wasn't used to such… acceptance. Being gay wasn't necessarily a bad thing in the Wizarding world, but never had he seen such tolerance.
Now, under the tree and watching two blurred shapes of fairies dancing together, he thought about it again. Mrs. Weasley had been so sweet, conjuring blankets and pillows, hugging them both.
"They were so… accepting," Draco said finally. "It's weird.
"They're just nice people," Harry replied and Draco felt his shoulders move in a shrug. "All they care about is happiness. They accept everyone. I was really lucky to have met them."
"She thinks of you as a son, you know that right?"
"Yeah, I do. And I think of her as a Mum."
"I almost expected her to demand to know my intentions."
"And what are those intentions, Mr. Malfoy? I think I have a right to know."
Draco grinned. "I intend, Mr. Potter, to have you."
"Have me, you say? And how do you mean, Mr. Malfoy?"
"You're absurd, Harry."
He heard Harry's deep chuckles and they trailed off into silence together, watching the lights. It was oddly mesmerizing.
They both jumped in alarm and looked out from under the tree. His vision obscured, Draco could only make out four figures with flaming red hair grouped in the doorway leading to the living room.
"Nope, they're still dressed," came the voice of Ginevra (Ginny, it's Ginny).
"Too bad," sighed one of the twins.
"Oh how cute!" said the other. "They're holding hands and cuddling under the Christmas tree! How old are they, anyway? Ten?"
"Bugger off," Harry said with no heat, settling under the tree once more.
"Come on," said Ron. "Let's leave the lovebirds."
"You get any stains on anything and you get to pay to have it cleaned."
"George!" Harry cried, hitting his head on a low branch.
Laughter met their ears as the intruders left once again. They settled down, looking back at the lights, but the magic of the moment was gone. Draco couldn't help but smile, though. He figured that this was what having siblings must be like. It was fun, in an infuriating way.
"Come on," Harry said in irritation. "Let's go to bed."
"Clothes on or off?" Harry looked at him in shock. Draco laughed. "Joking, Harry. Come on."
They got under the covers and slid together almost automatically. Harry laid his head on Draco's arm, then wrapped his own around Draco's middle. It was… perfect. The couch was surprisingly comfortable. But soon he realized that Harry was stiff as a board.
"What's wrong, Harry?" he asked, looking over into Harry's wide green eyes.
"I'm almost afraid to go to sleep," he whispered, looking a bit ashamed.
Draco tightened his arms around him. "I'm here this time. I'll watch out for you. I won't let anything happen to you."
Harry smiled, took a deep breath, and relaxed. Draco watched his eyes close and soon Harry was taking deep, slow breaths. He was asleep. Draco reached for his wand on the table beside the couch. Concentrating, he whispered, "Legilimens."
It took some work, because last time he'd simply been pulled into Harry's mind, but this time, because there was no threat, he had to consciously leave his body behind. It was a very odd feeling. But, after a few moments, he managed.
Harry welcomed him into his mind easily. The dream was so familiar, so perfect, that Draco felt completely content. The tree house was exactly as it had been before, with one addition. A Christmas tree was in the corner. It looked exactly like the one in the Burrow. Looking over, he spotted Harry a few feet away, watching him with a soft smile on his face.
"I told you we'd get back here eventually."
Draco grinned. He reached out, pulled Harry close. With his other hand, he conjured more mistletoe above their heads.
"Happy Christmas to me," Draco murmured.
"Happy Christmas to us," Harry replied with a grin before giving him a smacking kiss.
The next morning, Christmas morning, they woke easily, and together, to the smell of Mrs. Weasley's excellent cinnamon buns.