My sincerest apologies to anyone who might have read this story right after it went up this morning. I didn't realize that FFn erased all of my scene breaks and, as pointed out by a reader, it was very choppy and abrupt without them. There are a lot of different scene changes in this story. Each one is separated by one of these now oOo because, apparently, that is all failfiction will allow. I'm shocked, albeit ridiculously flattered, at the number of people who added this to their favorites even though it flows so horribly without the scene breaks. Thank you all so much.

Title: The Weight of Eternity
Author: venis-envy (on lj: envy_venis)
Beta: bookjunkie1975
Prompt: #337
Gift to: kitty_fic
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Word Count: 20,851 total
Summary: Desperate for survival, Draco takes what he needs from others while avoiding the one he's meant to be with. His newfound compassion will not allow him to trap the one he loves, even if it means his own life is the price paid for Harry's freedom of choice.
Warnings: boysex, heavy petting, couch frottage, church-tongue rimming, and a whole slew of other things your mum won't want you please, oh please, adults only.
Author's Notes: This was fun to write. Never thought I'd venture into the realm of Veela, but here I am. Thanks so much to the ladies of lj do_me_veela community for putting this on and to my sweet friend gypsysuu_au for introducing me to this fun community.
Disclaimer: This piece of fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offense is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.


The overwhelming smell of release is heady in the air around him. Draco is less than pleased with himself, but he rationalises that it's necessary for his own survival. A faint hum of magic and power buzzes through his veins as he drops his head back against the brick wall, blinking up at the stars. It's the same as every other night, a nameless, faceless fuck in the alley behind a club just to keep him going for one more day. But it's never really been a fuck, and lately, it isn't enough.

He grabs the woman by her elbow, gently helping her to her feet. She leans in to kiss him, the smell of his come so potent on her lips that he has to turn his head before she makes contact. He is, as usual, disgusted with himself. A blowjob or a handjob is all he ever accepts, all he has ever needed before. He knows that if he actually has sex with any of these people they will be bound to him for life, but none are the one his heart and soul truly desires. None are the one he is destined to be with. If Draco gives in to carnal desires, he will end up bound to someone who isn't meant to be his mate, which he knows will inevitably kill him.


Since the day he turned seventeen, his health has been fading. His father had explained to him in private something he had never even bothered to tell Draco's mother. Lucius Malfoy had Veela blood running through his veins. It was his dirty secret, which he chose to keep to himself until he saw that Draco had inherited certain traits as well. Lucius had hoped that the last of the Veela gene would be too diluted to affect his child.

The amount in Draco is faint, not enough to bring out all of the physical characteristics, but just enough to cause problems. Lucius had been fortunate enough to find his mate at a young age, bonding with her and eliminating the threat on his life. It had worked to sustain him for four years now, beginning as a slow building need that only required gratification once every few months. Recently though, it had become more potent. Lucius had explained to him that this would happen, that if Draco didn't find and bond with his actual mate soon, he would die.

What Draco refused to tell his father though, was that he had already found his mate. It was no small coincidence that during their time in school together, Draco and Harry could not seem to stay away from one another. The need to be near each other was great even then, though Draco really hadn't been able to understand it. And now that they were older, Draco still felt a great pull toward Harry, even if all he could get was a polite but brief conversation at Flourish and Blotts when they happened upon each other there, or just a brush of shoulders as they passed one another on the streets. Even the smallest bit of contact was soothing to Draco, putting his mind and body at peace for a precious few moments. But how is one expected to bond with someone who once hated them, even if that was little more than childhood rivalry? Especially when that someone happens to be the Saviour of the Wizarding World and the most desired man in the country?


The room above the Graphorn's Keep is cold, but Draco doesn't notice. Not right now, anyway. He had been too weak to make it very far from his flat in Diagon Alley tonight, but he never takes people home with him. He does what he has to do, though.

The over-used mattress beneath him smells of blood and sex, neither of which are his. It's a disgraceful existence, taking pleasure and power from countless strangers for sustenance. He balances on a fine wire between wanting to prolong his life, hoping that something will give him the courage to take what he really needs, and just ending it, letting himself fall into the dark abyss that awaits him in the end.

The power that other witches and wizards emit in the heat of passion is intense, incredible even. When Draco first learned that all he had to do was use a bit of Veela allure to attract them in order to feed off of their magic, he thought it would all be so simple.

Draco straddles the man's chest, his cock sliding easily into a warm, waiting mouth. The lack of energy and weakened magical power has caused him to grow increasingly desperate lately. A dull ache is growing inside him despite the fact that he now has two sets of strong and skilled hands on him, a pair of men he picked up at the club below on Knockturn Alley.

Draco uses what little magical power he has been able to cull from them so far to project more of his allure. It's a dangerous game he plays and he knows this, but he needs them to be as aroused as possible in order to fulfil his own need. Using any allure could be harmful in the presence of two men, especially when Draco is too feeble to fend them off should they decide they want more than what he is offering.

The second man kisses Draco's neck, inhaling the fragrance there before dragging his lips across Draco's jaw. His breath is hot and reeks of cheap firewhiskey and raw desperation. Draco is here for one reason only. Mutual release is his desire—the sexual energy of climax that pushes power and magic right into his waiting hands. He isn't making love, so he sees no reason to allow anyone to touch him more intimately than necessary, and when the dark-haired man in front of him tries to kiss him, Draco distracts him. Pushing his fingers into the man's hair, Draco tugs his head back, dragging his tongue up the smooth column of his throat. The skin there is salty, bitter and vile and Draco has to forcibly close off the part of his mind that tells him this is wrong. Wrong numbers, wrong place, wrong person. When the man jerks his head out of Draco's grip, raking his cold gaze across him, Draco notes that his eyes, too, are wrong; hazel in colour with flecks of green and gold. He wonders if there is any way he can close his own eyes and pretend that this dark haired man is the one he longs to be with. The one he needs.

A calloused hand traces a rough path up Draco's thigh. He shifts nervously, hoping to dissuade the man's further advances. When he feels the pressure of a rough fingertip against the sensitive skin behind his balls, anger flairs within him. He had made his limits clear before bringing the men here tonight. With a hot hand, Draco grabs the man's wrist, pulling him away from his most intimate area.

The man in front of him offers a sleazy grin. "You sure 'ave a lot of rules, eh?" he asks, irritation and impatience clear in his tone.

Draco narrows his eyes at the man in warning, grateful that his glare still holds some sway, even if his strength is too weak to back it up. His hips shift rhythmically as he fucks one man's mouth while the other rises to his feet. The dark-haired man strokes himself until Draco takes his cock into his mouth, focusing all of his thoughts and energy on drawing on the power emitting from the men, drowning out the reality of his situation.


His vision swims in and out of focus as he makes his way down the cobble stone street. The sun is shining brightly in the sky above, warming the chill of death that he feels under his skin, but only just. He's weak and fading fast despite his activities of last night. There is nothing more he can do but Apparate home to die in peace, but he thinks he might even be too feeble for that.

There is pain, so much pain, but Draco cannot pinpoint exactly where it is. It's everywhere and somehow nowhere at all, under his skin and working its way out at the same time that it penetrates his very soul. His vision goes red as the sunlight shines upon his closed eyelids and suddenly he feels himself falling.


"Look, mummy! That man has wings!"

Draco is able to open one eye just enough to see the red stain of blood pooling beneath his aching cheek on the sidewalk. In his last moment of lost strength and control, his wings must have come out and now all he can hear is the faint hum of magic and gasps from the people surrounding him.

He closes his eyes, welcoming Death as he wraps his chilling fingers around Draco's biceps and pulls him into Hell.


Voices echo within the darkness of Draco's mind and he is unable to tell if any of it is real or merely the resonating sounds of the afterlife. The pain is mostly gone, but weakness and confusion remain.

"Let him go," he hears his father say. "We can't keep him any longer. Just...let him go." He sounds exhausted, defeated. Two things Draco rarely associates with his father.

Faint sobs fill his ears before his mother's broken voice becomes clear. "Don't you dare!" she says frantically. "Don't you let my son die!"

He is unable to move, even to open his eyes. Draco feels a gentle brush against his inner wrist. It's surprisingly comforting, seeming to settle his frayed nerves for a brief moment before the warmth is snatched away again.

"I don't plan to," says another familiar voice before the silent darkness takes Draco again.


"His vital signs seem to respond to touch," a man's voice says; that same familiar voice that Draco barely recalls from before.

His hand is on Draco's wrist, sending warmth and security pulsing through his arm until he releases him again.

"I'll do it then," his mother says, this time closer and Draco feels another brush of skin against his other arm. This contact is neither comforting nor safe at all and sends a ripple of agony through Draco, the likes of which he has never felt.

A small noise escapes him and it takes all of his strength and will to flinch away.

"Narcissa, wait," his father calls from somewhere farther away and his mother removes her hand quickly. "It isn't just simple contact that he requires. There's more to the Veela inheritance that I haven't told you. More than just wings and allure."


The pain is coming back, as is the light on the other side of Draco's closed eyelids. He groans in agony as he forces his eyes to flutter open, but heavy lids seem too difficult to hold up and as soon as he takes in his surroundings, they fall shut again. He seems to be in a hospital room, bright fluorescent lights in rows across the ceiling and the sterile smell of chemicals and potions thick in the air.

"Draco? Draco, can you hear me?" His mother is so close that he can feel her warm breath against his cheek as she speaks. He wants to move away again lest she touch him, but he is still too weak. "He opened his eyes, Lucius...Mr Potter, please."

Draco feels pressure against the side of his face, but it is not uncomfortable this time. It is soothing and sends a spark of pleasure and borrowed life through Draco. He turns his face to press his lips to the warm palm, breathing in the scent that the Veela part of him recognises to be that of his mate.

"Harry," Draco rasps. He wants to ask for more, to plead with the man to keep his hand there forever, but his voice is scratchy from disuse and all that comes out is a choked sob. Draco reasons that it is probably better that way. He doesn't want to ask for anything from anyone at all, least of all Harry Potter. Harry does not move his hand though. He simply begins to speak and Draco finds that even his voice is soothing.

"Draco, can you hear me?" he asks.

Draco nods, breathing in a ragged lungful of air against Harry's palm.

"You collapsed in Diagon Alley and were brought to St Mungo's. I'm your healer. Your parents are here as well and we're trying to help you the best we can."

"Only you," Draco whispers incoherently, and even he cannot discern the meaning of his words as he drifts into a comfortable sleep this time.


Upon waking again, Draco has no problem opening his eyes. His head is pounding, but it is a welcome pain in comparison to that of before. The room is dark and silent but for the faint beeping and buzzing of magical monitors beside him and the audible drip of purple liquid in an IV bag that's feeding into his right hand. Draco feels stronger now, and it only takes him a moment to realise that this is because Harry's hand is still pressed against the side of his face.

Embarrassment washes through him as comprehension dawns. Harry must be aware of Draco's need for him now, even though Draco himself has never told anyone. He turns his head slowly toward the warm pressure against his left arm. Harry is sitting in a chair beside the hospital bed, asleep with his head resting upon Draco's forearm.

Draco squeezes his eyes shut, relishing in the soothing power that penetrates his skin where Harry is making contact. It isn't enough to heal him entirely, but he feels that it could sustain him for a while longer. Draco isn't sure what the point of that is though. Why prolong the inevitable?

He raises his hand to the one Harry has pressed to his cheek and brushes his fingers over the smooth skin, savouring the feel before slowly moving Harry's hand away. Gently, he extracts his forearm from under Harry's cheek, noting how soft his inky dark hair is as Draco's fingers pass. The discomfort that he feels at the loss of contact is almost instant, cold and raw, but he knows it's for the best. He cannot expect Harry bloody Potter to sacrifice his life and freedom of choice to save Draco. He can't expect him to stay by his side constantly, always touching him just because Draco is too weak to stand on his own without him. He doesn't want Harry's pity, or anyone else's for that matter.

Draco is careful not to jostle the bed too much as he slides his legs from under the blankets to get up. Carefully, he tugs the IV from the back of his hand, blood beading up and dripping down his wrist immediately. He sways slightly as his head swims with dizziness. He notices that he's shirtless, wearing only a pair of loose pyjama bottoms, but it will have to do. He can't waste any more of his sparse strength in search of clothing. With some small measure of luck, Draco hopes that he will be able to walk outside of the hospital's wards and Apparate himself back to his flat. He needs this to be over. Too long has the pain and uncertainty gone on.

He allows for one more glance at Harry, so beautiful and peaceful as he sleeps leaning over the hospital bed. Draco wonders if there would ever be a possibility, perhaps in another life time, that Harry might actually give him the chance he's always wanted. His fingers involuntarily twitch toward Harry, aching to caress his smooth skin. Draco resists the urge, and before his strength has run out again, turns to leave.

"Mal–Draco, wait." Harry's voice is smooth, completely lacking the sharp edges it used to carry when they were younger. A tingling sensation rushes down Draco's spine at the very sound of it.

He turns slowly, not wanting to, but entirely unable to stop himself as the draw of his mate calls to him.

"I can help you if you'll let me," Harry says, his green eyes dancing in the dim light of the moon that shines through the window.

"You can't. I don't have some magical malady that can be cured with potions and spells. Even by you."

"I know. " Harry rises to his feet, reaching a hand out for Draco. "Your father explained to me what this is, and I can help you."

Draco laughs mirthlessly. "You don't know what you're offering." Harry, always trying to save the world and never considering what he might need or want for himself. Draco used to pretend not to notice this when he was a boy. Easily influenced by outside sources such as his father and Severus, Draco had allowed himself to believe that Harry was the opposite, always in need of attention and praise, underachieved and over appreciated. But in the time following the Death Eater trials, the time in which Harry had testified on Draco's behalf and pleaded with the Wizengamot to spare his father's life and sentence him to time in Azkaban instead, Draco had seen a side of Harry that he never thought existed. It was the side of him he heard only rumour about but never believed to be true. Harry really was—and still is, it seems—a compassionate, do-gooder, bloody Gryffindor.

"Then tell me," Harry whispers, moving closer now, slowly, as if he's afraid of scaring Draco.

Draco feels his body weakening again as he wars with himself internally before stretching his hand out to take Harry's. The invisible pull is too great, and as soon as their skin touches, Draco feels a rush of energy, albeit not a lot.

"Your father says you need me, but he told me it isn't his place to say any more." Harry guides Draco back over to the bed and urges him to sit down. "What is it you need from me, Draco?"

"I don't know," Draco replies weakly. It's a far cry from the truth, but much easier than telling someone who doesn't even consider him a friend that he needs everything, all of him, that he needs Harry to be in him, surrounding him, consuming him, that Draco's very survival depends on it.

"Well, this seems to help," Harry says, taking both Draco's wrists in his hands and moving to stand directly in front of him. "I'm just going to check your vital signs, all right?" The fingers of one hand move smoothly to Draco's pulse point while the other flicks his wand, casting Tempus Secundum. "How are you feeling?"

Draco laughs dryly, shaking his head as he looks down at Harry's fingers around his wrist. He isn't sure how to answer that question without making Harry feel uncomfortable. "I I'm still alive," he says finally. It's a vague variation of a truthful answer.

Harry looks up, meeting his eyes for a moment as if he's searching for more. With the wave of his hand, he turns the overhead lights on dimly. The expression on his face is stern, though not unkind, as he gently pushes Draco back into a lying position on the bed. Harry waves his wand over Draco, casting several spells that are meant to monitor heart rate and body temperature.

"I'm not sick," Draco says peevishly.

Harry doesn't seem to hear him, or rather, chooses not to listen as he continues to cast diagnostic spells, all the while maintaining his gentle grip on Draco's wrist.

"Your father says you have a small amount of Veela blood in your line. Of course, he didn't need to tell me that since you actually had wings when you were brought in. I like to think I could have come to that conclusion on my own."

Draco says nothing as he stares up at the ceiling, focusing instead on the relief that slowly pulses through him from Harry's delicate contact.

"Do you have any idea why you respond to my touch, but when your own mother puts her hands on you, your vital signs drop dangerously low?"

"I'm not the healer," Draco answers.

Harry laughs and shakes his head. "Well, this is the Department of Spell Damage, and clearly that isn't your issue."


"Turn over onto your stomach," Harry commands.

Draco does, silently enjoying the solace of Harry's touch as his hand slides to Draco's back, never breaking contact. He deftly removes bandages, smoothing his hands over Draco's back soothingly.

"You may have some scarring here. I couldn't use Dittany because I wasn't sure how that would work on skin that is meant to break open that way, and we couldn't get a specialist in for a few more days. Apparently a male Veela isn't common at all. You stumped quite a few healers that I've consulted with here."

Draco remains silent, simply enjoying the feel of Harry's hands on his skin. He hears a soft laugh escape Harry and wonders briefly what he could possibly find so amusing.

"I used to wish I had wings when I was younger," he says. "Plenty of times I wanted to fly away."

Draco hadn't really expected Harry to be anything but clinical when speaking to him—he certainly didn't expect him to be friendly. "Mine aren't good for anything but decoration. If I had more Veela in me I'd be able to fly but, as it is, they aren't really strong enough. I prefer a broom anyway."

Harry laughs softly. "Me too. I did get a kite one year when I was seven. It was the closest to flying I ever thought I'd get; the wind whipping through my hair as I stared up at it from the ground below. Of course, it was my cousin's before it was mine, which meant it was patched together with tape and gum. Didn't take long for the breeze to rip through it again and send it crashing down."

Draco felt a pang of sorrow for Harry. He had heard rumour before of a horrible, loveless childhood. He'd even read a book that was released shortly after the war that supposedly took an inside look into Harry's youth. But to hear a bit of it from Harry himself, to know that such a small thing brought the young boy a great measure of happiness for a few short moments, Draco's heart ached for him.

"How often do your wings come out?" Harry asks, his voice laced with genuine curiosity.

"They don't," Draco answers simply.

Harry sighs, his hands ceasing their movement but remaining on Draco's back. "Obviously they do,"he says with a small bit of forced patience.

Draco doesn't want to be rude to him any more than he already has been. He wishes he had a simpler explanation for all of this. But even more so, he finds himself wishing for the simplicity of death that he would have found had he not been brought to St Mungo's in the first place.

"I'm usually able to control myself, keep them restrained. I was too weak, though."

"And this weakness doesn't occur often, I take it?"

Draco would really rather not explain to Harry that he is weak because he is dying from not being mated yet. "How long have I been here?" he asks, avoiding Harry's question entirely.

"Two days."

"Where are my parents?"

"They left for the night. I'm sure your mother will be back early in the morning, though."

"Why are you still here, Potter?" Draco asks, finally feeling a bit more himself. He has a vague memory of waking up several times to the sound of Harry's voice, and he knows just by the fact that Draco himself is still alive that Harry hasn't left yet.

"I'm here, Draco, because of this." Harry lifts his hands from Draco's back and instantly his skin goes cold, a dark emptiness creeping through him. Harry replaces his hands before the pain takes root and Draco almost moans with the relief that comes with his touch.

With one hand still on Draco's back, Harry pulls the blanket up over him and extinguishes the lights. "Get some rest. We'll sort this out."

Considering Harry's previous mention of a specialist, Draco feels a sharp spike of panic shoot through him amid the calm hum of Harry's touch. He can't see a Healer who specialises in Veela care. A specialist will certainly recognise Draco's need to bond with his mate and there would be no hiding the fact that that is Harry. In fact, anyone who knows a single thing about Veela would be able to recognise this for exactly what it is.

Draco feels Harry settling into the chair beside the bed again. "Potter," he says meekly. "How many healers have been in here?"

There's a long pause before Harry finally responds. "Just my trainer, Healer Fairtree. She only stayed long enough for me to get you settled in and for you to come to and retract your wings, though."

Draco nods against his pillow. It is as he suspected. No one has seemed to be able to overlook the Dark Mark on his forearm since the war. Most people claim to be afraid, but Draco knows from personal experience that sometimes it is just primal hate that causes them to treat him as they do. He is more than a little surprised that they'd even allowed him into the hospital in the first place. Things are so different since the war. So much has changed, and yet many things are still the same. One isolated prejudice was replaced with another more widely spread one.

"Why didn't you just let me die? All of the others would have. How did I end up in the care of the one person who doesn't know how to accept defeat?" Draco turns to look at Harry.

"You obviously don't know me very well. I don't always win, Draco. But I refuse to give up without trying." Draco is captivated by Harry's gaze, green eyes shining like emeralds so brightly that Draco has to close his own eyes against their brilliance. It's as if Harry can see through him, look into his soul and know all of his secrets.

There was a time when all Draco had known of life was self preservation, no matter how cunning or underhanded. Part of being a Malfoy meant that no one was more important than one's self. Much to his father's dismay, Draco has long since abandoned these selfish beliefs. Now that he is so very aware of what it feels like to be cast aside by the greater society, he has found some semblance of humanity buried deep within him.

There was even a point in time where Draco had fully intended to follow through with his bonding to Harry. He had met him in a café in Diagon Alley and, by Harry's invitation, sat for coffee. It was easy talking to him, being with him. The only thing that prevented Draco from asking Harry out on an actual date was the fact that, an hour into their lukewarm conversation, Ginny Weasley had walked in and stolen Harry's attention away.

At the time, Draco knew very little about Harry save for what he had read in the Prophet, but one thing he was certain of was that Harry had always intended to have a family of his own. It pained Draco to know that he could never provide that for Harry, and that all he would ever be able to do was hinder Harry's chance at happiness, normalcy. So Draco had walked away with scarcely even a word of goodbye.

He still sees Harry frequently; they live so near one another. And the small smiles and stolen glances they share from a distance offer Draco a variable amount of comfort. He hasn't seen Harry with the Weasley girl in years and wonders if that could possibly mean anything. Perhaps Harry has given up on his ideas of marrying her and having children. Or perhaps she's given up on him.

"Harry," Draco opens his eyes again only to find that Harry is still watching him intently. Whatever Draco had planned on saying is entirely lost the moment he sees Harry's sleepy gaze and feels his fingertips gently brushing back and forth against Draco's back in what seems to be an unconscious gesture of comfort. "Thank you," he whispers, knowing the full truth of how grateful he is for even just a few stolen hours with Harry may never be known to anyone but himself.


"His temperature has finally regulated. I may be able to allow him to be discharged today." Draco's mother is standing in the corner of the room, far from Draco as Harry checks, for what seems to be the hundredth time, vital signs and temperature. He has only left Draco's side for a few moments at a time to use the toilet or get a drink of water. Draco hasn't even seen him eat, which only causes more guilt and discomfort.

"Where is Father?" Draco asks his mother, his eyes fixed on Harry's hands as he watches him work to reinsert the IV. He notes, with a small measure of interest, that Harry does not wear a band on his finger, nor does his skin bear marks of one at all.

"Lucius isn't comfortable being here. He thinks you may have a better chance at efficient care if he does not come back for the time being."

Draco knows his father is less concerned with his well being and more concerned with the fact that his son has turned out to be such a disgrace to the Malfoy name. He knows that Lucius has deduced that Harry is meant to be Draco's mate, and standing by idly watching his only son sacrifice his life to keep his secret is probably more than he cares to witness.

"Draco," she says, drawing his focus to her finally. Her face is more pallid than usual, dark circles under pale blue eyes, and he wonders when last she slept. "I know what it is that you need. Your father told me everything, and if you don't tell Mr Potter, I shall."


"Draco," she cuts in sternly. "I will not watch you die out of sheer stubbornness."

Draco can feel Harry's gaze on him, practically burning through his skin. He holds his breath as he casts his mother a warning glare. She excuses herself, letting Draco know that she will return in the afternoon.

"What's going on?" Harry asks as soon as the door closes. "What is it you aren't telling me?"

Draco is unable to meet Harry's eyes as he searches his mind for the right words. "I need you," he whispers almost inaudibly.

"Excuse me?"

"You," Draco says, looking up to meet Harry's gaze finally. "Just you, and I will quite literally die without you. How's that for a fucking predicament?"

Harry shakes his head. "I don't know what you mean. I'm here. I told you I'd do everything I can."

Draco laughs, but the sound is quite foreign to him. "I don't need you to be my healer, Harry," Draco interrupts. "What I need from you is far more than I'd ever dare to ask. More than you'd be able to give me." He doesn't know where these words are coming from, or why. His mind is foggy, drunk with need, and before he can say more, something inside him decides that perhaps showing is easier than explaining.

Fraught with desire so powerful it nearly steals his breath away, Draco cannot stop his hands from acting of their own accord. Tentatively, he brings them up to Harry's unshaven jaw. He does all that he can to reign in any amount of allure he may be inadvertently projecting, but his mind is laden with desire—the desire to finally bond with his mate, the desire to taste the sweetness of his lips, the desire to simply survive—so he cannot be certain whether it is Harry's own will or pull of the allure that coaxes him into meeting Draco's lips with his own in a delicate, soft kiss that sends currents of pleasure and magic pulsing through Draco's veins. His whole body hums with relief as his tongue slides between Harry's parted lips. The feel of Harry's mouth on his is indescribable, like nothing he's ever experienced before. None of the gratifying sexual encounters of his past could ever compare to a single kiss from his mate.

As his stolen power increases, he becomes more aware of himself and his allure and reluctantly pulls away. He can't help what he's done, and he wants to apologise, but all his mind and body can agree on is his incredible need.

They stare at each other in stunned silence for a moment, Draco's hands sliding down into his lap as he tries desperately to regain control before acting further upon his urges. A different kind of ache settles into his chest this time as he sees Harry's eyes dart briefly to his lips before meeting Draco's own gaze again.

Harry's lips move soundlessly as though he's searching for words that elude him.

"I'm sorry," says Draco, finally finding his own voice.

Harry shakes his head, his expression laden with guilt. "That wasn't very professional of me. I'm the one who should be apologising."

"I have to leave, Harry. I can't be here any longer." Draco's words are barely registering in his own mind. He is torn between wanting to use his new found strength and power to pull Harry down atop him and take what he needs, and to run far away, never looking back. He's quite aware that he isn't himself at the moment, and he fears that his instincts will win out over reason if he doesn't put some amount of distance between himself and Harry.

"Will you be all right if I let you go home today?" Harry asks. He is still standing so close that Draco can feel his body heat emanating from him.

Draco nods, swallowing hard against the lump in his throat.

"Will you be staying with your parents in Wiltshire? Will you have someone to take care of you? And will you come back in for me to check you in a few days time?"

Draco smiles in spite of himself. He doesn't want pity, but Harry's concern is heartening. "I'll be staying at my own flat. In case you hadn't noticed, my father and I aren't exactly on friendly terms anymore." The surge of power from the continuous contact with Harry over the last couple of days ensures Draco that he is strong enough to get through the next week or so without needing anything else. Perhaps in that time, he can find the words needed to properly explain to Harry what it is that must be done. Outside of the hospital, they are no longer Healer and patient. He hopes that Harry will be able to listen to him without the full weight of responsibility upon his shoulders, though Draco is fairly certain Harry doesn't even know how to do that.

"Please, Harry," he pleads with him. "You can come to my flat and check on me. I promise I won't do anything stupid. I just need time to think before I can talk to you about this."



Tempus Secundum - Latin for time and seconds, or fraction of time. Since Harry wasn't just checking the actual time there, it was necessary to come up with something else.