Title: For the First time
Genre: Romance, Angst, Humor, Adult, Violence, Erotica, Supernatural.
Warning: Flashbacks (skip if you want), no sex, lots of playful talking (cause' now, I'm just over with Angst)
Disclaimer: Property of JK Rowling. Quotes from the book may be repeated in here since time is turning.
Author's note: Okay, so late! lovely. I mean, not lovely. Let's see. Okay, this chapter is a bit since, we have flashbacks of the future (XD haha). And I just wanted to wrap some stuff up, because I'm very sure now that I want to be over with this story as quickly as possible since, now my OTP has changed. I mean, I'll always love Drarry, no question and will continue to read good recs for it, but right now? My fandom has changed focus for the last couple of weeks. So... I don't think I'll continue on so, I'll be departing from this just when the fanfic is wrapped up.
ANYway, any of you in college yet? I love it, but man, it's hard work every step of the way. Ugh.
Seven years ago
Draco stood behind his mother, who sat in an uncomfortable-looking armchair staring at the cackling fireplace with a fierce intensity. The shadows of their profile were pasted on the wall, flickering next to the fireplace, casting their profile like they were a proud prince and queen, instead of the hopeless, fearful mother and son they actually were. It was in the look in their eyes; a dread for the new days, for the changed days.
"Dromeda just fire-called." His mother informed, still staring at the fireplace. Draco fought not to step up and ask what she had said. Aunt Andromeda, Draco's non-existent aunt for his seventeen years of life had promised to tell Narcissa of the war's aftermath or so, his mother had informed him of once they had reached the safe-house. It had been just a night since they had run away from the Battle of Hogwarts and hid in one of the safe houses his father owned far off in the middle of nowhere. Draco yearned to know the result of the battle and waited until his mother spoke: "The Dark Lord has been defeated."
Draco swallowed. "Potter?" He asked, hoping it was true and hoping it wasn't.
Draco could see the corners of his mother's lips turning up in an amusement of sorts. "He survived the Killing Curse a second time. And in the end, he saved us all. I really do agree: he is The Boy Who Lived."
Draco couldn't comment at all to his mother's ironic words; the resentment and envy he always felt when someone praised Potter necessarily or unnecessarily was vague and decayed like an old memory. He supposed it was just a memory, then.
"What will we do?" He questioned. He hadn't slept the night, just tossing and turning, wondering about the consequences of war and of the loss at the end. How could he fall asleep? He knew even before his mother had told him that the Dark Lord had died; he had felt it in the mark on the inside of his wrist just after they had reached the walls of the safe-house. But the fear had remained until the confirmation was met.
The Dark Lord's death should at least, give him a breath of fresh air, but he felt that even still, there was tension in their shoulders and stress in the lines on their forehead.
"It's not over, Draco." his mother said with a sigh, hunching a shoulder. Draco was hardly surprised. "The Aurors will be searching for us."
He knew that already.
"And what will we do?" he repeated his question.
"Well, we won't be leaving like your father had planned for us." she said with a bitter twist in her voice. He gulped, unwillingly remembering yesterday- little snippets of his departure from the middle of war with his mother on his right side and father on his other side. He remembered stumbling, rushing out of the chaos that Potter's surprising not-dead-even-with-a-Killing-Curse-from-the-Dark-Lord had caused, and his father catching his shoulder to keep him on balance. He remembered his mother's concerned, stricken face from the corner of his eyes as she ran alongside him and then, the way she stopped all of a sudden as the rocks crunched beneath someone's foot and Draco whipped his head to look on to the face of Fenrir Greyback. Greyback had a grudge on his father; when he was walking around with no preamble around the Malfoy Manor as if he owned the place, his father had said a few things to him in a burst of pride. Greyback had warned him to back off, but his father had done the patented smug smirk of his and he had festered Greyback's anger. Of course, the were-wolf wouldn't let them leave without making a fuss. Of course.
He remembered only snippets of the beastly man asking mockingly:
"Where you leavin'?"
The animal stench from him was potent; just as potent as their fear at his predatory grin. He remembered the exact moment his father stopped wavering and fearing and had stepped up in front of them in a protective manner, with a staggering proud jut on his chin at Greyback even as his eyes were mixed with fear and nervousness.
And then, he had said:
"Narcissa, leave now."
His mother had shook her head in protest, because Lucius wasn't one to sacrifice himself and they knew his father feared, but the next moment, Lucius Malfoy was turning to look at them and Draco had finally seen the icy determination in his eyes just like his mother had; the one that perhaps, made them both think at the same time: like before- before the Dark Lord had returned. He had been ready even to forgive his father right then and there; and he supposed when Lucius Malfoy stared into his eyes one last time, he knew he was forgiven.
And then, his mother was leading him to the woods, where they would Apparate safely, while his father fought (not dueled. There was no dueling in this war anymore. It was much too ballistic to be a dignified duel with two wizards and two wands) with Greyback.
Draco didn't know if he lost, or if he was still alive, but mum was convinced he was dead. They had waited after reaching the safe-house for father to come or even a message from him, but nothing came and his mother hadn't said anything about his father anymore then he had the will to fight yesterday, nor did he have it today. Perhaps, somewhere in his heart, he knew his father had not lived. When they had been running away, Draco had felt a presence in his mind leave; as if he had been feeling his father's magical presence all this time, but then, it wasn't there. And who better than his wife would know about Lucius Malfoy's demise?
Draco wished it wasn't true, because he wanted to say a lot of things to his father that he wouldn't be able to say if he was dead.
But his wish was benign. Once he and his mother left for the Ministry to turn themselves over, the confirmation he was met with of his father's death was a piece of paper with the names of dead bodies found of the various Death Eaters
The Aurors who had been in charge of them had given them probation until their trail.
On the trail day, Draco and his mother had stood on court and had explained their actions as an act of survival. Some had snorted at the notion, others had remained stern and dubious. It was Potter's confession, of course, at the end that had saved them from any charge, whatsoever. Draco was entirely innocent, because he was "a child" and he had "no choice in the matter"; and his mother was pardoned from her part, because she "betrayed the Dark Lord" and gave Boy-Who-Lived the element of surprise on his side.
Potter was quite convincing; Draco hadn't thought he would have gotten out of his crimes even if he was "just a boy" if it hadn't been for the shocking fact that Potter had been present the day Dumbledore died at the Astronomy tower. It was his words that had cleared up the Malfoy name.
Draco had met Potter's eyes across the court, to see through the apathy and find some smugness, mocking cruelty hiding beneath, but turned out that Boy-Wonder didn't want anything in return for his help. He was just a very good boy, as his mother had proclaimed unbelievably.
Later, after the trail, his mother had walked up to Potter and his friends and he had followed as she gave her gratitude and Potter accepted it awkwardly, glancing at Draco for some sign of a reaction, but Draco only looked away; he hadn't the words. He didn't want to thank the Boy-Wonder and yet, he did in some twisted way.
When they returned to the Malfoy Manor did Draco's breath of relief leave him. You-Know-Who was dead, he wasn't charged excessively like other Death Eaters, and he was alive, standing in his home.
Aunt Andromeda had visited them the next day, chatting with his mother and Draco in a polite tone before she broke down into sobs in between and Draco found that she had lost her daughter and her husband in the cruel war. She had her daughter's son, Teddy; he was all she had left and she cried and cried while mum comforted her. Draco figured his mother and her sister were having a sort-of reunion and left after a while.
Then, Andromeda would always visit them and tell them about all the little things that happened behind their backs. Like the fact that Potter was Teddy's godfather and that, he had been baby-sitting Teddy the first day Aunt Andromeda had visited. She had praised Potter non-stop, describing his relationship with Weaslette, and then, she had brought Teddy with her for a visit. Draco had once asked his mother if she was turning into a blood-traitor too and she had given him a stern look before she had said:
"By now, you should have already realised that if we want to survive in this society; we need to cultivate relationship between the ones that you were raised to hate and dislike."
"Yeah." Draco agreed. He had seen the result of their discrimination, he didn't any more of that hatred to fester either. "But it's almost as if you enjoy your time with her."
"She's my sister." was all his mother had said about the matter and Draco knew what she meant; family was everything to them and Aunt Andromeda was all they had left in their family.
Things were starting to become normal; constant and months later, the day came when Draco was asked to come back to Hogwarts.
Draco evidently refused to go, but his mother and Aunt Dromeda convinced him anyhow.
Draco's eighteenth year was spent in a rebuilt Hogwarts as a special eighth-year. Some constructions to Hogwarts were still to be made and Granger had made an extra-curricular club that was in charge of helping and assisting in the rebuilding. Draco wanted no part of it; he only came here to pass his N.E.W.T.S, he told himself.
But Granger was rather bossy. And Weasley mocked him for becoming one of her man-servants with Potter laughing aloud in the background when he had in the end, come to help her like all of the other eighth years had been doing.
Somewhere along the way, the people around him had softened up to him and there was a sort of camaraderie in their playful insults as they worked together on projects and studied together for the N.E.W.T.S. He wasn't saying that it was all easy; he got into fights, but the Golden trio had matured in more ways than one and Draco felt exhausted when listening to others accuse him of things his mother had said weren't his fault. He took their words and their nasty attitudes, because he saw the sorrow of the war in their eyes. Eventually, that spark of fire had died down; he suspected the trio had something to do with it, but never commented on it, because he was grateful to be left alone.
But when it came to Granger; he had found himself immersed in Advanced studies for their N.E.W.T.S exams with her while Potter and Weasley begged for tutoring help as their brains were roasting over the difficult subjects (it had almost seemed like a lively scene out of a happy fairytale, but Draco didn't deny himself the moments). There were other Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws, and a few Slytherins (Pansy, Greg) who joined them in these study group meetings and all the remaining eighth year students had gotten to know each other a bit better. All Houses had united and even if they weren't friendly at first, they found that each of them had something in common with each other.
On Potter's nineteenth birthday, they were invited the summer after graduating from Hogwarts. Potter and him hadn't had any private conversations; just outward social discussions in which Weasley and Granger were around somewhere. They didn't share any pain of theirs in these united projects; just convenient friends who would soon go their separate way. Even as Draco went to Grimmauld Place for Potter's birthday for that last farewell, he hadn't any idea that he had any feelings for Potter.
Perhaps, he had noticed the appeal of the Boy-Who-Lived long ago, but instead of admiring it like his heart did, he had chosen to be repulsed by it.
Then, Potter had come up to him during the party.
"Thanks, Draco. For coming." He said, taking a sip from the Butterbeer in his hand.
Draco had grimaced. "I'm starting to regret it, Potter. If you only have Butterbeer in here, I don't think I'll be staying long."
Potter smiled. "Don't worry, there's whisky too. Somewhere." He looked around the living room and shrugged. "Hermione did say she had them somewhere. I don't where they are, but you should ask her."
Draco shook his head exasperatedly. "Potter, you complete nutter." Potter didn't look so surprised at the insult. By now, it must sound like an endearment to him. "You have all that money, couldn't you have hired a few waiters and maybe, a hall. Cause' this place looks like a haunted mansion than a house."
Potter snorted. "It kinda was, before. There was a portrait of Mrs. Black with a permanent sticking charm right here and she used to scream all kinds of ugly words and even if you told her to shut up, she didn't." He smirked. "Hermione had this brilliant idea just a few days ago and fortunately for you now, this house looks so much more normal than it used to be. So, be thankful, Malfoy. At least, I did you a favor. Trust me, you wouldn't want to hear her scream. She could go hours."
"I'm sure I don't." Draco said dryly, looking around at the place and then, frowning at Potter who stood beside him, chugging his butterbeer and smiling all cheerily. "What are you here for anyway, Potter?"
Potter detached the glass of Butterbeer from his mouth. "Oh yeah." He said like he just remembered something he'd forgotten. He turned to Draco with a friendly expression. "I've decided to clear all the really bad air between us so, that I don't come back somewhere in the future and think, 'oh wait, I had a rival and I think we made friends, but I don't know. He still insulted me so, I'm sure he hates me even now-"
"Potter." Draco interrupted and added huffily: "You're making no sense."
"Well." Potter said with a small pause in which he looked to be searching for the right words and when he got them, he looked up at him with a wide, refreshing smile. "You've been a right pain in the arse, Malfoy and now, I relieve you of it." When Potter looked really proud of what he just said, Draco raised an eyebrow in a questioning way. "It's an apology." explained Potter, gulping his Butterbeer really fast until it was all gone.
"You're really drunk, aren't you?" He asked and when Potter gave him a look of annoyance, he snorted and said: "I believe I owe you an apology too then, Potter. I apologise that you were and probably still are a dumb prat."
He found nothing wrong with his way of apologising or Potter's for that matter. It was just them; they couldn't go all soft-hearted to the other- that would just be weird. So, they did the best other thing than actually being nice to each other.
Potter blinked owlishly at him, mouth turned down in confusion before his eyes cleared up and he smiled and said: "Whatever you say, Malfoy." He waved Malfoy off and turned around, ready to leave to meet back with his girlfriend.
Draco watched him in a moment of indecision before he called out: "Potter." Potter turned around, curiousity burning beneath the green in his eyes. "Happy Birthday." He smirked at the boy as Potter blinked slowly as if what he just said made no sense whatsoever.
Then, when it processed to him that Draco was wishing him a 'happy birthday' he gave a weird look over at Malfoy, because they both knew they weren't the type to wish each other anything. Still, he found some humor from the wish and grinned widely. "Yeah, it is a happy birthday. Thanks, Malfoy." He shook his almost empty glass at Draco's direction and stayed that way for a moment before Draco made a shoo-shoo gesture at him and he chuckled before turning away for the last time and left for Ginny Weasley who stood near the dancing crowd in the supposed living room.
He found he couldn't take his eyes off of Potter as the boy whispered something to his red-headed girlfriend and she laughed at whatever humorous thing he had informed her of. He watched as she grabbed at Poter's cheek and smiled widely, pecking the Boy-Wonder on the cheek when he gave an adoring yet long-suffering look.
An ache started deep in his chest then and Draco turned away from the sight, walking to Granger to ask if they had any vodka with them.
Later, in the same party, Potter would get up on the old red couch of the living room and announce his engagement to Ginny Weasley in an excited and drunken slur. People would applaud and congratulate him, but Draco would not. He would stay back as the ache became much too evident in his chest and he would find himself unable to handle the pain, because the realisation that came with the pain struck too hard; too fast.
He turned away when his legs could move again and rushed out of the party and never again did anybody see Draco Malfoy's face again. Because just a few months later, Draco had chosen to leave London.
Dreams of the Past
"It's a bit confusing, yeah. I mean; it's not everyday that I get to see-" Harry paused, wondering how he should describe Draco's extraordinary two-soul bit, but he supposed Hermione and Ron understood, by the way they were looking at him. Well, Ron was just looking part-horrified and part-confused, but that was good old Ron; wondering how things could get any more impossible than they already were. Hermione, on the other hand, nodded understandably and tried to help him:
"A prat whose doubly annoying?"
Harry nodded, stifling a smile. "Well, yes. Quite." Hermione smiled and he grinned with Ron shakily joining himself. "He's not that bad though." He defended Draco's non-existent goodness, but perhaps, he was saying this, because just a while ago, he had been shagging the prat well to the ground and enjoying it. In fact, he could feel the heat on his groin just remembering it- but that hardly was the point. The point was that after Harry had found Hermione and Ron sitting in the Common Room, he could not hold back all that he wanted to tell them. He didn't discuss the illicit facts during his discussion with Draco, but did cover the part about Draco being not so pure-blooded, after all.
Ron had hardly seemed surprised at that bit, but once he had found out about the Alliuds, he had just snapped his mouth shut and stared in horror or was it fascination? Harry could not tell.
Harry turned to him after telling them everything he thought he knew about Alliuds. "Have you heard of them, Ron?"
Ron shook his head. "Not really, but- things with such- such power should have been gone over a century ago. I don't understand why even a half-" He paused, his mouth opening and closing as he searched for the word and said: "-Alliud would still exist."
Harry shrugged, tired of thinking through the baffling facts. Nothing ever made sense in his life. "Don't know, mate." He said, frustrated and confused.
Hermione, though, had a thoughtful look on her face. She leaned in, and said: "Pomfrey did say they are secretive creatures and with the power they have, I can imagine they can easily hide from us without being noticed."
Harry smiled. Trust Hermione to try to rationalize it.
"Perhaps." He agreed half-heartedly. All he really wanted to do was to go to his dorm, lay back on his bed and think about the arousing or substantial details of his time with Malfoy. Because all he really wanted to do was think through what happened with Malfoy. When he had entered the common room though, he had noticed the worried looks Hermione and Ron shared and felt guilty for hiding things from them.
Malfoy was right; he couldn't keep it in when it came to his best friends.
So, with great precision, he told them and of course, they were hardly surprised. Lots of unnatural things had happened since Harry's first year and they didn't believe anything was implausible anymore. Although the idea of Draco being a part of some extinct, special breed did cause some apprehension and unease, his friends found it more comical than anything.
"I mean, who would have thought? Malfoy being some half-breed? That's bloody brilliant." Ron got some sort of twisted pleasure from the information when he had gotten over his shock. "I would've preferred him to be part-ferret, but still, this is as brilliant as it gets."
Hermione had been unable to hide her amusement as she shook her head exasperatedly and snorted, her shoulders shaking with the effort of holding back laughter.
Harry just stared at them with a thin, wide smile that he couldn't have stopped from forming even if he had tried.
"Well, that explains so many things." Hermione said after getting over the urge to laugh. She sighed. "I mean, I'm relieved that Malfoy acting weird and changing alliance wasn't You-Know-Who's plan or something. I'd hoped for the best, and while this may not be the- the very best scenario; it isn't bad."
Harry noticed that she did sound very relieved; as if she had worrying about it all this time. Harry rolled his eyes at overlooking this information and softened his eyes as he gave her a scolding yet affectionate look.
She looked sheepish and looked at Ron as he still kept grinning in a silly way. "So," She said loudly, which made Ron jump and gave her a haphazard look as she said: "Now that we know that Malfoy isn't much of a threat, except for his Alliud-descent, I think we should focus more on our studies now. We've harassed Malfoy enough anyway." she gave Ron and Harry a pointed look.
Harry widened his eyes in innocence while Ron protested: "But- but, I finally have something on the jerk!"
Hermione rolled her eyes at him and glared. "I think Draco's had his deal of taunts for a whole lifetime, don't you think?"
"No." Ron remained persistent, jutting his jaw.
Hermione stared at him incredulously as Harry let out a laugh. Then, she looked away with an annoyed expression.
"Fine." She huffed, smiling thinly at Ron. "Do whatever you want."
Harry stared curiously as Ron's face faltered, noticing the glance he gave Hermione as if guilty for his protests. Huh.
This was strange.
It almost looked like Hermione expected Ron to do that; as if she had something in her hands to boss him around with.
That never happened. Ron and Hermione always fought for dominance in their bickering, never giving in to one another's suggestion. Harry had thought that the day the two would agree on something would be the day the end of the world commenced; but it seemed the end of world was coming much too soon.
What exactly had happened the day Ron and Hermione had been late for the meeting at the Room of Requirement? Because after that, they seemed to act strangely towards one another.
Harry grimaced. He really didn't want to know.
"Ah, yes, Poppy. Come in." Dumbledore greeted from his desk as she appeared at the doorway to his office. She nodded and stood behind Sirius Black who was seated on the chair next to Serverus Snape.
Minerva McGonagall smiled as Poppy's gaze roved throughout the room and landed on her. The Head of Gryffindor stood with her arms crossed, leaning on the wall lateral to their position and nodded at Poppy Pomfrey in greeting.
"So, what news do you have, Poppy?" Dumbledore questioned, his eyes twinkling in the way they always did as he looked up at her.
"I have noticed a fluctuating from the reading spell I had administered on Mr. Malfoy's body before he left the nurses office, but I'm worried, Albus." She informed, her features distressed. "If this is the beginning, I shudder to think what will be the end."
"And you cannot do anything for the boy?" The headmaster asked, his expression rueful.
She shook her head. "Except for comfort? No. He has to tolerate this much pain, at least and then, when it gets worse, I might be able to give him things to soothe down his pain."
"Are you afraid of intolerance?" Snape spoke up, taking her by surprise.
She jumped and stared at his dark grey eyes as they pierced through her. "Yes. Yes, I fear that if he takes the remedy for pain now, he will build tolerance of it in his system in the long run and this is the best medicine I can give him at the moment that will not affect his magical alteration whatsoever."
"Well, that's tragic." Sirius commented indifferently.
Serverus turned to give him a hard glance and averted them so he could glare at something with vehemence without being pointedly obvious. "I've suggested this before and I will suggest again: he should be admitted to the hospital wing for the transformation."
Serverus noticed Black rolling his eyes and felt a black coil of distaste for the wizard. "And we've already told you why that can't happen, Professor Snape. We don't want people noticing anything different about him. Remember? He's our secret weapon against Voldemort."
Snape gritted his teeth together and looked to the Headmaster. "I ask again, Headmaster, that you reconsider your decision. Do you want a child-" Black snorted. Snape gritted his teeth and continued on: "-to suffer through the pain without assistance?"
"That is why we have Harry looking after him." Dumbledore replied, his smile regretful yet assuring. "We cannot interfere with the process if we don't know how it can be controlled. All we can hope is that-"
"Forgive me, Headmaster, but I find the idea of ignoring such a significant change abhorrent." spat Snape. "It is disgusting that we'll have to wait throughout the process while Potter, an ignorant child who knows nothing try to assist him." His sneer was nasty and full of poison.
McGonagall who had been quietly observing them from afar took a step in and said: "I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Serverus. I do find it just a bit wrong that a child- a student of ours is suffering and we sit with our hands on our laps. It doesn't seem fair for the boy."
Snape didn't seem to look grateful for her rooting for him, instead he glared daggers at the ground, knowing her agreement wouldn't save Malfoy from his suffering.
"You are right, Minerva." Dumbledore said, deeply upset. "We should not." A pause and then: "But as Poppy has informed us; we cannot do anything for the boy, except for a few pain remedies when the pain turns excruciating, we are of no use to him. All we can do is comfort him and staying in the hospital wing would hardly take away that pain."
"What about his classes?" Poppy couldn't help, but question. She only knew about the boy as far as his condition, but outside the hospital wing, she didn't know anything else. She knew the Malfoy boy had to go, since they couldn't raise suspicions with Malfoy suddenly not taking interest in his classes when he was a Prefect.
"All the teachers have been informed that Mr. Malfoy is fragile at the moment and going through a tough cycle. They have all been sworn to secrecy and more than ready to help Malfoy through his rough patch."
"Anyone's bound to notice, Albus." Minerva interjected, looking nervous. "We will assist as best as we can, but- but-"
"But what about Quidditch? What about Malfoy's ranks? His father will notice something is wrong, if Draco starts to fall on his studies and extra-curricular activities." Snape snapped, irrational anger building up.
Poppy gave a grimace and said: "Well, we're hoping the pain will only bloom when he is sleeping. If it happens other times, we can only cover it up as best as we can."
"So, that's our brilliant plan?" Snape asked.
Sirius relaxed back in his chair. "It's better than nothing." He murmured, noticing the sour look pasted on Snape's face and secretly pleased by it.
"It's not going to work." Snape stated, his tone knowing.
"Who knows? It may as well." Poppy said optimistically. "I have to wonder how all the other Alliuds and that girl, Alice were able to hide their identity. It should be hard to not notice with their magic changing; but somehow, nobody has any idea about Alliuds. You have to wonder about that."
"Or perhaps, people knew like us, but didn't say." Sirius shrugged.
"Maybe." Poppy nodded in agreement and murmured under her breath: "Or maybe not."
A mystery; that's what it was.
Draco was dreaming of the past; of seven years ago when the war had been over and people had grieved over their loss and people had laughed to cover up that pain. He had formed unusual friendship with certain people back then, most unusual being the trio itself. The dream continued in a chronological sequence until he was seeing the last of the dream; he had told his mother that he was leaving for Berlin for a year or two and his mother had been confused, angry. Since their banks had been released and his mother had taken father's job, she didn't need him for a while and Draco wanted to leave- to go away from all the joyful weddings until the ache could be dampened and forgotten.
And then, the dream had faded and the burning had encompassed him and he had crossed off from the memory in his dream (which had been painful) into a nightmare (which was too much pain to not be real); where nothing made sense. He clutched his chest, crying and tried to breathe, but it was hard and- oh god, he couldn't breathe. He rolled over in his frustration and fell off his four-poster bed, landing with a thud on his back and hitting his head in the process.
"Ow!" Draco grabbed his head with one hand and tried to sit up with one of his elbow settled on the ground. He looked around as the inside of his chest seared through like a slash of a knife and he could feel something coming up, trying to reach his throat. He opened his mouth hesitantly and saw rather than feel his magic leaving him in one breath.
What the bloody hell?
"Lovely, isn't it?" Draco's eyes widened as the familiar voice echoed in his ear and he found himself staring at a pair of feet. He looked up slowly, to meet the face of Alice, the half-Alliud who had been the instigator to all this. His eyes widened in shock as she smiled, kneeling down in front of him. "First, half of your magic leaves and then, the structure of your magic changes as a new magic is procured inside of you. It's like having a baby." she had a cheeky smile on her face.
Draco's lips were dry as he licked them and spoke through the shock, his words coming out stale, instead of dry: "Sounds fun."
Her smile was open, lighthearted and he remembered all the conversations they used to have over drinks. She was so familiar and so real.
"Why are you here?" He asked, swallowing down the magic that was insisting that it get out. Draco didn't know why he was resisting when he knew it was inevitable, but he felt like a part of him was leaving with his magic.
"You didn't ask how I got here." She pouted. He glared at her and she snorted. "Right, I forgot; you already know."
Draco's lips thinned as he looked down. "I really wish you would stop." when he talked, the golden particles that were his magic left him again.
"Stop what?" She asked, stilling.
He glared openly at her. "Stop acting like you're a friend." He winced as the golden filled his vision when he exhaled.
She looked surprised at that and gave a sad smile. "I am, Draco."
Draco snorted bitterly, looking away. "You've been torturing me. I didn't ask for this. I've told you, I didn't ask for this and you still-"
"Didn't you?" She interjected, looking sober now.
He gave her a harsh look, breathing fast and shallow. "I never did." He snarled, the pressure was leaving and so was the heated pain as the golden, magical particles swirled around him and left after a while of sticking by him.
"No need to get angry at me; I was doing you a favor." She snapped, making him gape at her. "You were in love with Potter and he was married." She explained with a long-suffering sigh like it took a lot out of her. "You couldn't, for the life of me, ever try to start an affair with Potter even if you just realised that he was the one thing you really wanted, from the deepest part of your soul. And I saw no future for you, without Potter." She looked really unsettled with the last part, and so was Draco as he stared at her.
"What do you-" He was interrupted as she said:
"I mean that without Potter, you lost yourself." He stared at her, disbelieving and she explained earnestly: "I can see the future, Draco. I'm not a Seer, but basically, I can go in the future and see your whole life. I saw no reason why you would want such a repressed and miserable life. I only did you a favor." she looked thoroughly dismayed at his incredulous look. "Believe me, I wanted to keep you to myself; I wanted to possess you, coddle you, and take care of you every time you fell." Her jet-black eyes were intense as she leaned in towards him. "I wanted you so much to be mine. But you could never be. You. Could. Never. Even. Try."
Draco stared back at her as she smiled and leaned away. "You're strong, Draco and I wanted to take my chances by sending you here. Yes, the future could change drastically with such a shift in reality, but I took my chances. All Alliuds have to."
Draco gulped, the pain that had been brimming beneath the surface had vanished. He touched his sternum, fingers lingering on his throat. "What happened?"
"I only came here to help you through it." She said, beaming. "The right amount of your magic's successfully left your body now, without much pain. I thought you would have needed help with that, since without me, it would have lasted a week or so."
He stared at her with widened eyes.
She nodded. "Yes, I know." She gathered her hands over both his cheeks and he could feel the coldness in them. "I never meant to torture you, Draco. Trust me."
Draco breathed in and out before he nodded, sitting more properly on the floor. "Thanks." He croaked and looked at her carefully. "I guess."
She gave a fast smile and tilted her head. "So, how's it with Potter now?'
The dull ache lingering still from the memory of his past in his dream and the panic, fear and pain after that dream were replaced by a feeling of almost relief. "Er."
"Pretty well, by what I can tell." Her voice had the hint of a smirk as he felt his cheeks warm up in embarrassment, because somehow, she knew; she knew the depth of his feelings for Potter and it was all he needed. "You'll be fine, won't you?" she asked, looking genuinely concerned for him as she smiled softly; reassuringly.
He nodded. "I think. Yes." He stared at her and her warm black eyes and smiled tentatively.
"Then, it's time for me to leave." She tutted and smiled as she stood up, helping him up as well. "Just remember; the next stage of this I can't help you with."
"What was the next stage?" He questioned, frowning as he stood in front of her.
She gave a dubious once-over at him and bit her lip. "Change of magical structure. It's gonna be a pain."
He looked at her worriedly and she smiled, patting his arm.
"But you'll be fine." she said and he nodded, not feeling so sure of himself, but somehow, Alice's words sounded reassuring. "Oh and before I forget-" He blinked slowly as she turned around again. "My real name's Astoria Greengrass." Draco blinked slowly. "Just thought you should know now that you know what I'm all about." Draco's mouth had opened all the way as she gave a painful grimace at him before waving at him. "See you later."
Astoria- what the-
Draco was about to call out for her, but he watched with wide eyes as her silhouette vanished right in front of him.
Draco had a moment of disorientation and then, some before he was walking out of his room and into the Slytherin common room.
Slytherins were getting ready to leave, dressed up in their uniforms; gathered around the common room, or walking off outside together. Draco noticed some of them giving him a passing once-over at him, but he ignored them, finding Daphne Greengrass sitting on one of the sofas in the common room chatting with a few girls. He went to her, glancing around to search out the small figure of Astoria anywhere as he walked. She wasn't anywhere on sight.
"Draco!" Daphne said cheerily as she noticed him approach. He nodded in acknowledgement and sat opposite her as she blinked at him. "What's wrong?" she queried, studying him more carefully.
He gave a quick smile and said: "Have you seen your sister anywhere?" He winced mentally at his bluntness, but he really needed to know.
"Yeah." Queenie answered warily, still staring at him, waiting. "She was heading to the Great Hall with her friends. What's wrong?" she repeated.
Draco fidgeted with his hands and stopped, looking down at them carefully. "Nothing. I just wanted to know-" he leaned in, eyes curious. "Has your sister ever acted weird? You know, a bit loony?"
Queenie glanced around her at the girls gathered around her and told them with a beaming smile to leave ahead of her. The girls nodded, looking curious, but backing off and walking away, their eyes straying to where Draco and Queenie sat and then, turning away.
"Why do you want to know? Is Astoria in trouble or something?" She asked, leaning in towards him as well.
"No, not that I know of. No." He chuckled. "I've made you misunderstand." when Queenie raised her brows in question, he decided to be a little more clean-cut with lying. "I just have this condition- illness, you can say and-"
"Is this about the fainting?" she questioned, looking worried now.
"Yes." He nodded. "Yes, it's about the fainting and other symptoms that Madam Pomfrey thinks is showing up on Astoria's uh- body check-ups too."
"I don't know about any check-ups."
Draco tried not to sigh. Queenie was being utterly unhelpful right now.
"Let's just ignore Pomfrey's check-ups for now. Would you please tell me if there's- if you think there's something wrong with her?"
She seemed surprised and thought for a moment before she replied. "Well, she's always been more of a freak. She cries a lot, which, I think matches with you in many ways." Draco glared at her and she snorted. "She does talk to herself though. Think that's a symptom?"
Draco's mind was turning fast at this knowledge, but he quickly smiled for Queenie. "No, not really. Any other supposed-symptoms you can think of?"
"Well, she has a very bad personality." complained Queenie, looking annoyed and not suspicious anymore. "Sometimes, she's perfectly fine with you and next, she's all cranky like she has a stick up her arse." she shook her head and sighed. "Sisters."
Draco cracked a smirk. "And she's a pompous arse who likes to steals your things and get you in trouble for her faults?"
"Exactly." Queenie quickly agreed and made a face. "And sometimes, she just keeps crying. It's annoying."
Draco raised a brow, wondering what Queenie's real feelings for her sister were. "Sounds fun." he deadpanned.
She rolled her eyes. "Tell me about it." Then, she focused on him. "So, anything else?"
"No. No, I think I've got it." He said, standing up.
She frowned. "Kay'. Whatever you say."
"I'll see you." Draco said and she nodded before he left for his bedroom again. He needed to get ready for his classes; he was already a bit behind on them.
After Defense Against Dark Arts class, Harry took a long time packing his books up and Hermione noticed, but when he waved them away and said he would catch them later at the common room, she nodded and walked away with Ron. When he was sure they left, he stood up straighter, leaving his bag on the desk and walked to where Sirius was sitting at the front desk, checking some papers.
"How are you, Harry?" Sirius asked without looking up, catching Harry by surprise, but he covered that up well and replied:
"Good." He said.
It was then, that Sirius looked up at him, with that strange and knowing look in his eyes and Harry knew Sirius understood what Harry was here about. "Good." repeated Sirius with a certain well-meaning tone to it.
Harry stared at him for a bit and spoke. "I know you know about Draco."
Sirius' eyes crinkled kindly. "Yes." he answered. "I do."
Harry looked into his eyes and knew the truth of it. "Pomfrey intended to tell me about Draco's er- situation, but I wouldn't hear it. I was tired that night."
"Ah, yes." Sirius looked not a bit surprised nor conflicted. He was entirely too casual, which gave Harry some preamble to talk openly.
"I was wondering what's going on with him right now." Harry glanced over his shoulder at the empty seat where Draco had sat. He had been at the class, but nothing essentially was wrong with him. He was quiet; just as he was these days, but nothing strange. Harry hadn't been watching him the whole time, since his obvious staring would be cause for questions; still, some glances could pin-point that Draco was going to be the same as he always had been since his travel back from time. Harry didn't know why he thought otherwise, but he had noticed changes in Draco's expression when- when they had been together.
"Well, if you want to know that; you should go to Poppy. She's been keeping check on Draco's situation, as we call it, and-" Sirius looked confused for a minute there. "And well, I don't know much of what's going on with the boy, to be honest." Harry raised his brows questioningly and Sirius sat up on his chair, looking serious. "Poppy informed us in the morning that Draco was suffering from- well, from the first stage of Alliud transformation. His magic is starting to leave, now that his souls have merged and it takes some time to get rid of the magic that's been attached to your soul for quite some time."
"What do you mean?"
Sirius looked up and stared at Harry. "I mean that Draco should be suffering or showing signs of pain at the very least, but he was- he was very apathetic."
Harry thought about it and then, spoke: "Pomfrey told me that she didn't know much about how this transformation went through. She said there were some loopholes."
"Oh, there are, Harry." Sirius replied, sighing. "But as far as the research went." He shook his head and said: "If the only facts that Pomfrey has gathered are not true then, the boy is doomed."
"Well, maybe, his souls haven't merged yet." Harry tried to reason.
"They have." Sirius said with quite the confidence. "Pomfrey has been able to see two souls for some time in Draco's body and just yesterday, in the evening after the last classes were finished, she noticed that they-" He smirked knowingly then. "-collided together."
Harry blinked and wondered if Sirius knew what he and Draco had gotten up to yesterday and held the urge to panic. "Oh." He gulped, couldn't help himself. "Well, that's great then."
"Not for the Malfoy boy." remarked Sirius, shrugging.
"Right." Harry agreed. Sirius was never one for subtlety, if Harry had to guess and the look Sirius gave Harry told him that it was his responsibility to check on Malfoy now, because as it was, he knew Harry's ambiguous relationship with the Slytherin boy. Of course, he did. Harry didn't know why, but he was guessing that Madam Pomfrey was checking far more of Draco's life than just his body.
"So, any other questions?" Sirius asked with a wide smile.
"Oh no. Not at all." Harry stepped back, smiling a bit at Sirius and noticing the twinkle in Sirius' eyes, he turned away.
Okay, so now pretty much half the staff of Hogwarts knows about Draco and me. Brilliant.
Harry urgently put all his books in and waved at Sirius, not able to look on his face and trying to not show his embarrassment as he left the classroom in a rush.
"Harry!" Hermione called and Harry turned on his way as he was out of the classroom. She was waiting by the wall, looking a bit guilty and determined. Harry never liked both combination on her and half-groaned at the sight.
"Hermione." He greeted as she came up to walk alongside him. "So, I'm guessing you listened in on us."
Hermione reluctantly nodded, looking a bit ashamed. "Sorry."
"Where's Ron?" Harry asked, looking around.
"He went with Seamus and Dean ahead of us. They had a bit of chess match for the day." Hermione replied. She looked at him out of the corner of her eyes and looked up at the ceiling. "So?"
"So." He was trying to ignore that she had eavesdropped on him and Sirius' conversation and wondering if she caught on to the message Sirius was relaying when he was talking about Draco's souls merging.
"Sirius knows, huh."
"Knows what?" Harry asked a bit defensively, stopping in the middle of a corridor.
Hermione's eyes were wide as she stared at him and he looked away to walk again when she grabbed his arm. "Harry, wait." He couldn't drag his arm out of her grip; that would make it obvious that he had no wish of talking about any of it. Yes, he had told Hermione and Ron about Draco's Situation, but not what Harry had gotten up with Draco while they were discussing Draco's Situation. "I have to confess something."
Harry's attention perked at this as he turned to look at her. "What?" He asked.
She was looking anywhere, but at him. "I might have made a deal with Draco." Harry stared at her and she fidgeted. "Er. Remember that time when we didn't turn up at the Room of Requirement like Draco told us to?"
Harry narrowed his eyes at her, saying slowly: "Yes."
"Well, Draco told me not to."
She closed her eyes, pink tinting her cheeks as embarrassment overwhelmed her. "For Ron." Harry was baffled. "It wasn't black-mail, nothing as evil as that." She hastily added before Harry could jump to conclusions. "I just- he just-" she sighed and then, in a rush, admitted: "He knew how I felt about Ron and gave me tips."
Harry gaped for a moment, before asking: "What kind of tips?"
"The sexual kind." She confessed.
Harry's jaw unhinged and remained there as he stared at her as if he didn't even recognise her anymore. Hermione? Hermione getting tips from Draco Malfoy on how to seduce Ron?
It was ridiculous.
"Why- I- I don't understand." Harry was more than confused now.
Hermione took a deep breath, nodding. "I knew you wouldn't understand. I mean, it's not me to try and get some guy's attention by trying to snog him or whatever. But that's basically what I did."
"You snogged Ron? While I was with Draco?" Harry asked. Things were starting to make more sense and less of a sense.
"Well, yes." she admitted, looking awkward and tortured. "Ron took it pretty well."
"So what? You're dating now?" if they were, he hadn't exactly got a memo.
Harry quirked a brow curiously. "Why not? I mean, you snogged him-" He paused and added: "-and he liked it."
"Draco- Er, Ron, well, you know how he's a bit stubborn and-" she paused and gestured with her words wordlessly and said: "Draco told me to- to play with him."
Harry stopped thinking for a moment about Ron and Hermione and thought about Draco instead. "Well, I'd say." He could now see it from Draco's position. Those moments when he would appear vulnerable for a moment and the next, he would appear unaffected. Harry had been running around in circles for that snarky prat and the prat had been planning it from day one!
"So, he told you pretty much what to do to keep Ron on his toes." Harry guessed.
He wasn't even looking at Hermione anymore. He was staring right past her and into the big empty corridor where not a single footstep sounded. The students were probably having a good time in their dorms, with their House-mates and here he was listening to the reason why he was always felt so frustrated and behind everything that Draco put against him. He knew; of course, he had guessed by then that Draco was playing some subtle and stupid game as all Slytherins did to keep Harry guessing, but it had never become so clear.
Draco's idea of getting to a person's heart was through manipulating that person until they gave in. It was perfect and it worked. It so utterly worked, because now, all Harry could think about these days was Draco, Draco, Draco.
And the problem was, Harry didn't even know if what Draco did with him was actually for Harry to reciprocate his feelings or to mess with him.
A tinge of anger started up at the thought, but it was soon pushed down when Hermione called his name. He looked at her in surprise and it seemed like she understood what he was thinking just that moment.
"What?" He asked, lost and confused.
She gave him a sympathising look. "Believe me, Harry. Draco isn't- he's not screwing with you. If he's done the same things that he's advised me to do, then it's just his way and you shouldn't think that he doesn't have feelings for you." Her gaze was unwavering as she spoke. "I wouldn't help that person if I knew his feelings weren't anything, but genuine. I wouldn't let him hurt you."
"You're my remedy, you know that?"
Harry smiled once that memory flashed past. "You're right. He wouldn't do that." Harry sighed, thinking about his past encounter with Draco confessing his feelings in his own twisted way.
"It's disgusting. He likes Potter, can you believe that? He got fucking turned on when Potter beat him to a pulp."
"I think I've hurt him far worse though." Harry admitted.
"You have to stop doing that." Malfoy whispered suddenly, voice low and full of warning. Harry leaned in to hear him better, reaching a level where he was able to see Draco's pink cheeks real close.
"What?" He asked, baffled.
"Staring at me."
"You're right, it's a ridiculous notion to love a Gryffindor who, I claim to hate for their idiocy, their complete ineptness, and naivety. I hate him. I hate everything he stands for. Too innocent, too fucking righteous."
"So, you hate him? What, then, Malfoy? Why do you love him?"
"Just one of those things, ain't it, Potter? Just as much as I hate him, I love him twice as much. Perhaps, I'm fond of him."
"I- I think I should-" Harry couldn't find the words, but thought Hermione understood. "I'm-"
"I'll see you later." Hermione said and Harry looked at her gratefully.
"Yeah. I'll see you in a bit." He said. Hermione smiled and he nodded, turning away from her and walked off to the Slytherin dorm. He had his Invisible Cloak with him and as he turned a corner, he took it out and covered himself with it. Then, he left to visit Draco again.
When Draco and Harry had had sex - because, let's face it, they did, it was no use trying to ignore the detail and deny it - Harry hadn't wanted to talk about their feelings; perhaps, because he wasn't ready and Draco was just a bit too bizarre to talk with when he had two different voices talking in his head. So, now that he knew that Draco's souls had merged, he was ready to talk. Whatever they wanted to, he would brave upon it with great Gryffindor tactics. He wasn't a coward; he wouldn't run away and he had seen Draco's feelings, so what really was he afraid of?
As he told the Leprachaun Portrait the password and it opened to let him in, Harry had been determined, confident and what-not. Once he entered and the door shut behind him, Harry wasn't so confident anymore.
Draco was lying on his back on his four-poster bed, reading a thick book with far too much interest. It was like watching Hermione, but definitely not her because she would be reading in a comfortable way with a desk and a seat to sit on and Draco was reading it in a strange yet endearing manner.
Harry really had to stop admiring Draco's physique and attitude; because as much as Harry had been denying his attraction to the boy, it was turning to mush against Draco's strangely phenomenal actions.
Draco slowly took the book out of his eye-sight and took a look around the room as if expecting someone and when he saw nobody, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion before they raised. "Potter?" He questioned.
Harry licked his lips as they were dry with nervousness and took the cloak off. "Hey." He greeted.
Draco raised a brow and said softly: "Thought you weren't coming back."
Harry stared at him and stepped forward. "Why would you think that?"
Draco shook his head and raised his voice. "Oh, I don't know, maybe cause' I'm far too strange a creature and you just keep coming back for more of me." He tilted his head sideways. "Is that a kink of yours, Potter? Do you like strange things? Magical creatures who exude sexual pheromone do anything for you? Thought you were a bit of on the ordinary side? You know, you chose Cho Chang, who is pretty ordinary."
Harry was startled at the sardonic comments and put away his cloak as he bided for time. "What about Cho?" He didn't know what Draco was playing at; his eyes looked far too dead for Harry to take him in a playful manner.
"Oh, you know, your obvious crush on her since third grade. Boy-crush, but it told me just how much you like tom-boyish, tough Seekers."
Harry decided to ignore whatever Draco was trying to say, for they were too mind-boggling for him and instead, chose to ask: "What did you say about sexual pheromones again?"
Draco shrugged slightly. "Apparently, Alliuds exude sexual pheromones. Can you guess?" He rolled his eyes and lay his head back on bed. "And I was hoping that it was because of my perky nipples that you were attracted to me. Turns out, I'm just like a Veela." He said this very bitterly.
Harry looked at him and knew what Draco was saying was right. God, he didn't even think about that- that maybe, he was getting influenced because of Draco's magical ability to exude sexual pheromones. That was... far more possible than this. Really. That should be the end of it for Harry.
But no. Not really.
After all, he was far more interested in the misery on Draco's face than his body at the moment; which didn't exactly mean that he wanted to gloat at the suffering on the prat's face- he actually wanted to erase all the insecurities and bitterness from Draco's face. Which should give him a warning that he was far too into this thing they had going on than he would like.
"I suppose that that means, I'm your mate now." he said this very jokingly. Draco turned to give him a look and Harry grinned. "Hey, it's not like you're not sexy yourself. I mean, you're... gorgeous."
"You trying to make me feel better about myself, Potter?" Draco asked with a quirk of his brow and Harry knew he was feeling better even if he wasn't showing it.
"Obviously. I mean, we're mates, right?"
Draco rolled his eyes again, turning his head on the bed so he was staring at the tapestry above his bed. "Haha."
"I see you get my reference then." Harry added.
"Where did you hear this shite from anyway?" Draco demanded.
"I was sneaking around in the girls' dorm one night and caught them talking about Veela romances."
"Why were sneaking around in the girls' dorm?"
"I was searching for Hermione." Harry amended. "I swear, it wasn't anything else."
"Oh, okay." Draco said and then, furrowed his brows. "Wait, did you just try to defend yourself to me?"
"Well. We are boyfriends now, aren't we? I should defend myself." Harry snorted, couldn't help but smile.
Draco glared at him. "It's not a joke, Potter. I'm ashamed; I thought I would catch you by my own sexual prowess, but it was just the pheromones that were working for you. Great. Just bloody brilliant."
Harry walked to the bed and sat at the edge, looking down at the cranky look on Draco's face. "I'd still fancy you."
"You?" Draco repeated, looking doubtful.
"Oh, come on." Harry punched him playfully. "Thought you Slytherins were more confident in yourself even when people hated you."
"Except, Potter that we felt good about ourselves because we had something with us; pride, money, fame, family. Stuff that mattered. We didn't need love, respect or sexual confidence if we had all those things."
"Yeah, I still think you Slytherins are far too confident in your sexual life than any other House ever would be."
"And you would know because?"
"Because you're such a great teacher." Harry said this a bit bitterly, smirking.
"I am?" Draco looked cautiously at him.
"Hermione told me about your method so, she could manipulate Ron's interest." Harry admitted. "I kind-of understood that you are or were some kind-of player in another world."
"Or in the future."
"So. You were a player in the future?"
"You been with many blokes?" Harry asked innocently enough. He wasn't even thinking about the answer.
"Jealous, Potter?" Okay, maybe he was. Harry just continued on with the innocent act.
"No, just wondering. I need to know stuff about you now that we're kind-of in a relationship."
"Right." Draco said dryly and looked away. "Yes. I had many conquest back in the days." He admitted.
"Not me?" Harry asked slyly.
Draco snorted sadly and said: "You're weren't anywhere near me, Potter. You were married to a woman. You were straight and hot and so straight."
Harry looked at him and wondered if that was the reason why Draco's plan was so well-planned. There was no er, no error as far as he knew.
"Well, for the record, I'm still straight." Harry informed.
"Brilliant." said Draco in an edgy tone.
"I still want to shag you."
Draco opened his eyes and stared at him silently. "So, why don't you?" He invited blatantly. Harry turned to glance at his body as the shirt rode up and revealed Draco's pale skin beneath and couldn't take his eyes off it.
"You asked for it." Harry murmured and then, bent down to capture Draco's lips in his.