Title: A Deeper Understanding
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione, slight mention of Dean/Ginny
First Time scenario: First time understanding each other on a deeper level.
Summary: By accident, Harry and Draco develop a bond that neither of them can break until they can learn to understand each other better. Through fortune cookies and riddle-solving, of course!
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): A few minor OC's, some bad language
Epilogue compliant? Nope :)
Word Count: ~11,000
Author's Notes: Thank you so much to the mods at smoochfest for setting up everything! This prompt really sprang a whole story in my mind, and I really hope you readers, and the prompter like it :) A huge, heartfelt thank you must go out to my betas/ cheerleaders/ pr0nwriters, v, k, w & b. You four are amazing and I love you so much!
A Deeper Understanding
It's not the same, Harry thought. And, despite what everyone said, it never wouldbe the same.
He sat at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall, which had been brilliantly re-done over the summer, while everyone was off for the holiday. Really, the magic of the castle and the talented people in it had created something even more gorgeous and stellar than the original, and Harry thought that if Dumbledore were alive, he would've been proud.
However, even the castle's brilliant magic could not erase the feeling of death in the air. Maybe it's only for the older kids, Harry thought hopefully as he watched the new first years standing by the Sorting Hat. They were looking around, excited and whispering, sometimes pointing at him and other people in the hall.
Harry laughed inside when he saw a few of the kids near the back trying to shove each other to see Hagrid, who was already beginning on his mulled wine.
"Harry, are you okay?" Hermione leaned over Ron and raised an eyebrow at Harry.
"Yeah, why? I'm fine." For the ten millionth time since the War, Harry added in his head.
"Just...Well, being back here. It's odd, isn't it?" Hermione asked, looking at Ron as well.
"You're the one who wanted us to come back, Hermione." Ron rolled his eyes. "'Let's finish our education together!' And 'think of all the great things we've missed!'"
Harry laughed and nudged his best friend. "Hermione's voice isn't thatsqueaky, anymore."
"Will both of you-"
She was interrupted by a light, tinkling noise and everyone hushed to look towards McGonagall as she stood up, smiling at everyone.
By the time she finished her small welcome back speech-just hinting at the re-build and the War-everyone around Harry was whispering about being hungry and wanting to get the sorting over with.
The first years then began to file into a line and Harry had almost forgotten how much fun it could be to welcome them into the Gryffindor house. The kids seemed so tiny-perhaps having eleven year olds sitting next to eighteen year olds wasn't the best idea, but all of Harry's returning classmates seemed to enjoy the antics of the youngsters.
When the first Slytherin was sorted, Harry looked over to the table, where there was less than half of the usual house sitting; considering what happened last year, Harry thought that the half that came back were quite brave. Harry watched as the new first year, an adorably wide-eyed girl, bit her lip and began to walk towards the Slytherin table, who were clapping, but not as cheerfully as they normally would have been.
Suddenly, Harry saw Draco Malfoy stand up at the end of the table and clap loudly, smiling-Malfoy! Smiling!-and waving his hand towards the girl. She let out what seemed to be a sigh of relief and a big smile, running over to where Malfoy, Goyle and Zabini-the only Slytherin 8th years to come back-were sitting. Everyone watched in shock when the three men grinned at the girl and began talking to her.
After a moment of pause, Professor McGonagall seemed to remember herself and began to sort more kids. Harry kept one eye on Malfoy the whole time, who appeared to be ignoring the rest of the Great Hall staring at him.
"What was thatall about?" Harry asked, looking back at Ron, who simply shrugged.
"I dunno. Did I tell you he came into the shop, one day?"
"What? No, you did nottell me that."
Ron had been working at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes over the summer and had even become the new partner, since George couldn't handle the shop by himself. The man was still suffering from grief, but he told Ron to go back to school, and Ron agreed on the condition that he would come back after their final year and work there again.
"Yeah. He came in, a few days after you sat at his trial, actually. He wandered around for a bit and bought something, then left."
"Huh. Weird. Do you know what he bought?"
Ron shook his head. "Nope. George ran it up. Nearly glared his eyes out too-I think George hates the Malfoys on principle."
"Don't you?" Harry asked.
"I don't think I've really got it in me to hate anyone anymore." Ron shrugged and sighed. "And honestly, as much of a git as Malfoy was-is-he lost his dad, too. And his best friend."
"Oh Ron, that's so sweet." Hermione smiled suddenly, apparently listening this whole time, and held his hand. "You're so forgiving."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I don't hate him either. I just doubt he's changed all that much, though. He's just acting, I bet."
"I don't know, the little girl doesn't seem to mind him," Ron laughed.
Harry looked over again and just hadto agree. The little girl seemed to be gazing starry-eyed at Malfoy, and was sitting close to him, even though several other children had been sorted into Slytherin and were now sitting there as well. Malfoy was apparently telling them something really interesting, because they were all listening intently and staring at him.
"Whatever," Harry muttered. "We'll keep an eye on him."
"You will." Hermione snorted. "Weare not Malfoy-obsessed."
"Excuse me? I-" Harry began to splutter but McGonagall had already started another speech and the food appeared, causing everyone to ignore Harry's vehement denials.
I am not obsessed with Malfoy, Harry thought before digging into his own dinner.
A few days later, however, it seemed that Harry was starting to change his mind about Malfoy. It was as if he had begun some sort of odd metamorphosis. Wherever the man went, he was surrounded by adoring first years, which wasn't that different, but the thing was, Malfoy treated them like equals. He laughed at their jokes as well, and Harry heard rumours of how he tutored them and helped them get adjusted to Hogwarts.
"Harry, seriously, stop staring." Ginny punched him in the shoulder and broke him out of his train of thought. Harry turned to her, holding his books in one hand and shouldering his bag.
"I wasn't staring at Malfoy!" Harry said.
"Right," Ginny said, rolling her eyes. "Then how did you know who I was talking about? And why are you so defensive?"
"I'm not defensive." Harry frowned, walking down the corridor, about ten feet behind Malfoy and his new posse of youngsters.
Harry watched-he wasn't staring, simply keeping a look-out- as Malfoy patted his #1 fan. It was the wide-eyed girl from the Welcome Back feast, now known as Mia Hawthorne. She was apparently Malfoy's shadow, following him around everywhere more than even Harry did during 6th year. She was adorable as hell, but Harry thought she may be a bit more enamoured with Malfoy than was healthy. Someone should tell her how horrible Malfoy could be, regardless of how 'nice' he was acting now.
Over the summer, when Ginny and Harry had the 'talk', he really didn't know how it would turn out. However, he clearly underestimated how well Ginny knew him and they had agreed to take a break while Harry figured things out about his sexuality, and Ginny figured things out with Dean.
Turns out, they bothweren't attracted to each other anymore, and honestly, Harry really loved how easy it was with Ginny. She never cried, and she was always so understanding. She even got him into his first gay club, believe it or not, where her and Luna proceeded to Polyjuice him and thrust him towards other dancing men.
He learned two things that night:
a) Yes, he really was gay, because he actually enjoyed sticking his tongue down that man's throat.
b) He was nota clubbing type person and he probably never would be.
However, it was fun, they got drunk and Ginny and Luna had had a jolly time prancing him around from man to man. Once it was over though, Harry decided he was going to wait to find someone. He'd go back to Hogwarts, maybe snog a few blokes, but he really needed to figure out what he wanted to do after he graduated...
Not that he didn't want someone special for his first time, he just didn't know how exactly he'd find someone, with a big label like Saviour of the Wizarding World on him. Besides, if the press caught wind of his recent switch, the world would probably implode.
No, it was good to focus on his future. Or lack thereof, as of now, since he really didn't know what he wanted do with his career choice yet.
Harry didn't know whatwas going on with the Malfoy. He had been keeping an eye on the man for the last five weeks since school started, but it seemed as if he really wasn't hiding anything. He still hung out with Blaise and Goyle, helped out the first and second years and played Quidditch, as if everything was completely normal.
"All right! I'll make try-outs next weekend, okay?" Harry said in frustration. Ron had been asking about Quidditch for a while, and since Harry was the captain again, he supposed he should show some responsibility.
It was hard though. Most of the time, Harry just felt lethargic and wanted to do nothing but sleep and go out for walks and joke around with his friends. While everyone was studying for tests, doing homework and focusing on impending interviews for their career of choice, Harry was at Hagrid's, having tea or in the Common Room, playing Wizard Chess with the younger Gryffindors. They originally always let him win, but he was getting better at losing on purpose.
To Harry, it was fun and relaxing, but it drove Hermione up the wall. She was constantly getting on to him every time he turned in homework late or got a bad mark on a test he could've done well on. Honestly, Harry just really didn't think schoolwork was very important at the moment.
Harry couldn't believe a month had passed already since school had started. October blew in with orange leaves and preparations for the Hallow's Eve feast, which apparently Hermione was going to be in charge of. Harry and Ron had rolled their eyes when she told them that McGonagall had asked her to plan everything. They knew that eventually, they would be the ones helping her get everything done-as exemplified by the fact that Harry was now stringing various lanterns in the halls of Hogwarts.
Humming a Wierd Sisters' tune he had stuck in his head thanks to Ginny, Harry used his wand to straighten the lanterns in the air, all the while wishing he were doing anything else.
"Stop! Let go of me!"
Harry almost dropped the lantern he was holding when he heard a familiar voice down the hallway. He put down the lantern and gripped his wand, walking down the corridor and turning the corner. He froze when he saw three people arguing at the end of the hallway.
Looking closer, Harry saw that Malfoy and some guy from Ginny's year, Lenny, Harry thought, were fighting. Mia seemed to be hiding behind Malfoy and crying.
Harry quickly walked down the hallway with his wand out, attempting to make sense of the situation. Neither man had noticed him yet, but Mia looked at him desperately, then back and forth between them like she didn't know if she wanted to leave Malfoy all by himself. It was almost cute, except that if the men started fighting with wands or force, Mia would get hurt and Harry would notlet that happen.
Harry moved even closer, but just when he was about to open his mouth, he heard Malfoy say, "Who do you think you are? She's a first year. Why did you even touch her, you creep?"
Lenny seemed to have had enough of the argument, because he chose that moment to take a swing at Malfoy. Malfoy dodged the swing but with Mia holding his robes tightly, he couldn't move fast enough to return the favor to Lenny. Harry ran the last few feet to Mia and Malfoy, grabbed Mia and pulled her away from the two men. That moment Ron appeared around the corner, obviously hearing the commotion from the hallway that Hermione had assigned him to string lanterns in. He dropped his bag by the end the hallway and ran up to the fighting boys, staring at Harry and Mia.
"Ron, can you take her? I'm going to try to sort this out."
"Got it," Ron said, taking Mia's hand as Harry walked towards Malfoy and Lenny. "You're Mia, right?" Ron asked the girl and when she nodded shakily Ron added, "I'm Ron Weasley. I'm in 8th year."
They walked off, and Ron grabbed his bag as they turned the corner. Harry thought he heard something fall, but he was too busy with the fighting men.
When Harry reached Malfoy again, the Hufflepuff, Lenny, had his wand out. "Whoa guys, stop it. Let's sort this out without blows." Lenny looked at Harry and then smirked, obviously thinking that he had an ally there. Malfoy, on the other hand, was just staring at Lenny furiously. Harry thew a Protegoand sent a shield between the two men.
"I think this has to stop now," Harry said slowly, pulling at the back of Lenny's shirt. "How about you go on your merry way?"
"Look Harry, I can take care of Malfoy-" Lenny started to say before Harry interrupted him.
"What do you mean take care of Malfoy?" Harry asked incredulously. "What are you planning on doing to him? You were in the wrong here-what happened between you and that First year?"
"I asked her very kindly to get out of my way, because her and her other snake friends were chattering here and she said a few highly disrespectful things to me-"
"She said 'whatever, jerk'and started to walk away! That's not a 'few highly disrespectful things', she's 11 years old!" Draco said furiously, his cheeks colouring in anger. "This is just that whole anti-Slytherin attitude that's been going on, and I'm not going to stand for it!"
"And I won't either," Harry said through gritted teeth, staring at the Hufflepuff boy. "So, I suggest you leave the Slytherins, and all younger students alone. What's your name, again?"
"What? Going to report me? Come on! He's a Death Eater!"
"I am not, you idiotic bludgeon! I was, past tense, but I am no longer one!" Malfoy snarled and pulled up his sleeve.
Harry blinked in shock when he saw that the dark mark was completely gone, not even a trace of Voldemort's evil left on the pale skin of Malfoy's arm.
"Lenny, right?" Harry said, turning back to the boy. "Keep in mind that if I see something like this again, I willtell Headmistress McGonagall."
The boy threw a disgusted glare at Malfoy before nodding and turning around, walking quickly out of the corridor.
"And you!" Malfoy suddenly turned to Harry. "You think that just because you're a hero now, you can Lord over this school?"
"What?" Harry spluttered. "I was helpingyou!"
"You were playing hero! If you wanted to help me, you would've gone and gotten a professor so that the idiot would've gotten detention or something! You let him off with nothing but a warning!"
"A warning is what people get the first time!" Harry said, his voice sounding frustrated and irritated even to himself. "Everyone deserves a second chance."
"Oh." Malfoy rolled his eyes and scowled. "Thanks for throwing that back in my face."
"Throwing what back in your-" Harry stopped himself, realizing what Malfoy was talking about. He thought Harry was mentioning the fact that coming back to Hogwarts wasMalfoy's second chance. That otherwise, he would be in Azkaban, like his father, or under house-arrest, like his mother. "Oh."
"Just go back to your hero-worshippers, Potter. I'm sure they're all waiting for you to open your mouth and say something stupid, as usual." He turned and started to walk away.
"I really don't understand you, Malfoy," Harry said to his back. "You seemed to have changed. Like you were a nice person now. Is it all just an act?"
"You don't know anything about me, Potter," Malfoy said without turning around. He walked down to the end of the corridor and stopped. Bending down, he picked something up. "Looks as if your Weasel dropped his snacks."
Harry came closer and saw that Malfoy was holding two oddly-shaped wrapped-biscuits. "You should have one, Malfoy. It might make you sweeter."
Malfoy rolled his eyes and threw one of the cookies at Harry. "Leave me alone, Potter. I have to go check on Mia anyway."
"You know what, you don't know anything about me, either, Malfoy. And you probably never will." Harry snorted, turning around and walking in the opposite direction.
"Wonderful. Now you're the Angst-Ridden-Misunderstood-Boy Who Lived-Twice."
Harry's lip twitched in a smile, glad that Malfoy couldn't see him.
After another hour of stringing lanterns, Harry's stomach began to rumble, but he knew dinner would not start for another hour. Fishing out Ron's cookie from his pocket, he took off the wrapper and looked down at the folded shape, wondering how to actually eat it. It looked...kind of like one of those fortune cookies that you could get at a Muggle Chinese restaurant, but the shape was different, almost like a W.
He'd have to ask Ron later where he got the fortune cookie from, but at the moment, all he did was break the cookie in half and put it into his mouth. He looked down then, seeing a small piece of rolled up parchment inside the cookie's folds.
He pulled it out and chewed on the delicious cookie as he unrolled the paper and read the inscription.
Mixed signals and unsaid words,
Will lead you to a loss undeserved.
A deeper understanding is what you need,
A way to translate what you mean.
Find the one to whom you are bound
The bond will break when the truth is found
Harry snorted and crumpled the parchment into his pocket. Great, now fortunes are riddles. He stuffed the rest of the cookie in his mouth before stretching and picking up his bag. Maybe he'd grab his broom and go for a quick fly before dinner. Heaven knows he deserved it after the hours spent stringing lanterns.
Later that night, Harry shivered and trembled as the evening came in. He suddenly felt cold and tired as he headed up to his bed, as if he had caught a sudden fever. He changed into his pyjamas and shivered as he climbed under the covers.
"Mate, you okay? You don't look well..." Ron said, raising an eyebrow in Harry's direction as he went to bed as well.
"I... something's wrong. I don't feel good," Harry mumbled, lying down and closing his eyes. "I've never had this bad of a headache before."
"Wanna go up to Pomfrey? She could give you a potion or something."
"No, I'm sure it'll be fine by tomorrow. I just need some sleep, I bet."
He fell asleep soon after that, his dreams jumbling together in a messy weave of pale skin and cool sweat.
When he woke up in the morning, his head felt as if it were about to explode, and he pressed his fingers to his temples in pain.
Oh, where is Mother's headache potion when I need it?
Harry gasped, eyes blinking open in shock. What the hell? That was not my thought. I've never had my Mother's headache potion...
What was THAT?
Harry shook his head, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. It was almost as if someone else's thoughts were in his head. Or at least, fragments of their thoughts.
Who is this? Legilimens? Some sort of weird dark arts curse? What the-
Are you-is this... Malfoy?
It was confusing and odd, but he thought that the thoughts sounded like Malfoy's drawl, as if he were speaking to him in his mind.
Potter? What the fuck are you doing in my brain?
I...I don't know what's going on! Can you hear everything I think?
What? Oh. No, it's like, fragmented. I guess it's not a Dark Curse since you're too stupid for that...
Great. His thoughts are even less astute than what he actually says. Harry could just imagine Draco rolling his eyes.
Shut up, Malfoy! It's 7 a.m., my head hurts and you are in my brain. I can't think straight!
Then stop thinking. Now that was just insane. Harry rolled his eyes.
I can't just stop thinking. It's, like, my brain's job. You know what? Whatever. I can just ignore you.
Ha! I'd like to see you try, you filthy mongrel.
What? Why am I a filthy mongrel? Harry thought, also noticing how weird it was to be having an entire conversation with someone insideyour head.
Because. Because you just are.
Looks like I'm not the only one who sounds dumb in his thoughts.
Well! At least I know how to refine my thoughts before I actually say them out loud. Unlike you.
Harry groaned and sat up from his bed, deciding that he still had to go to class today.
Malfoy, relax for a minute okay? I think maybe if we try to relax our minds and not think too hard, we can avoid each other's thoughts.
Oh, so now you're an expert on mind-bonds? Wonderful.
After that thought, however, it seemed that Malfoy was taking his advice and trying to calm his mind. Harry looked towards all the other boys, getting ready for the day and saw Ron putting on his tie.
"You up, mate?" Ron called. He turned and saw Harry's face. "Whoa. You still don't look well. Let's head up to Madame Pomfrey before breakfast."
"No, I, er, I'm fine," Harry mumbled. He'd have to talk to Malfoy first, before they decided who they would see about this problem.
Potter. Can you hear me?
Yes, I can hear you, you idiot. You're in my brain.
Shut up! Meet me by the flower painting on the second floor before breakfast. We should talk about what we're going to do!
Fine, fine. Harry thought to himself. And to Malfoy. To the general vicinity of his brain.
"Okay, but seriously- you should head over to Pomfrey soon," Ron was saying. Harry nodded and turned, walking over to the bathrooms on the other side of their dorm.
You're such an idiot.
Harry rolled his eyes and headed towards the shower.
Just go back to relaxing your mind so I can take a shower in peace, Malfoy.
Fine. Just don't wank. I'll be able to hear you-ugh.
Thankfully, the thoughts seemed to scatter and fade after that, as if Malfoy were there, but just barely. It was so odd, having someone there, in your brain. Harry hoped to hell they would be able to make this curse or potion go away. If not, who knew how long Malfoy would be there-seeing his every secretive thought?
You're not relaxing, Potter. I can fucking hear every little thing going through your mind!
Harry almost slipped in the shower at the loud thoughts coming to him in Malfoy's voice. He hadn't realized that people could actually yell in their minds. It was somewhat distracting and he had to shake his head to clear it.
"Harry, all the food will be gone if you don't get yourself out of the shower soon." Harry heard Dean say outside of the bathroom and Harry quickly finished showering.
I hate my life right now.
Oh boo hoo. The poor Saviour of the Wizarding world-
Harry thought that there must have been more to that line of thinking, but maybe someone had begun speaking to Malfoy, because his thoughts drifted.
Interesting, Harry thought. It seemed as though when they listened to other people, their own thoughts would go silent. Perhaps, if they listened to music constantly... or maybe if they could get a potion that could silence their thoughts... Harry's mind was running in circles so fast it seemed as though-
Potter! Shut the fuck up! Merlin! You're thoughts are giving me another headache!
Harry blinked into the mirror as he put his clothes on. Wow, Malfoy. You're thoughts are so much less...formal than you usually are.
Harry tried to clear his mind, closing his eyes and listening to the soft sound of showers running and his mates talking behind the doors. It seemed to help calm his mind, and he knew that Malfoy had listened to him as well, the silence being a clue. He finished dressing quickly, heading out and downstairs to the common room. He grabbed his book-bag, which he had forgotten underneath the couch, and slung it over his shoulder.
Tapping his foot as he waited for Hermione with Ron-who had come down and was now was slouching near the wall-Harry had to fight to keep his calm state of mind. He could do this. He could force himself to keep a calm, relaxed state of mind and not think of things too specifically so as not to connect the mind bond and-
Not working. You're thoughts became too specific. Gryffindork.
Harry sighed at the return of Malfoy's snarky thoughts and then stood up straight when he saw Hermione come downstairs. All three of them left, and when they finally reached the first floor, Harry lied and told them he had forgotten something upstairs. He left them then, taking the stairs two at a time, until he finally reached the flower painting at the end of a deserted corridor.
When they caught sight of each other, it seemed to...electrifytheir thoughts.
He doesn't look all that pointy anymore...
How does he walk out of his room with that hair?
Why is his clothing always immaculate?
Why can't he wear less baggy clothing?
"Stop!" Harry yelled suddenly, pushing his fingers to his temples again. The headache returned in full-force; it felt as if a rampage of thestrals were beating against his skull.
"Sorry," Malfoy said and Harry looked up, eyes widening in surprise. Did Malfoy just apologize for something?
Malfoy's face flushed pink in the next moment and Harry almost punched himself, remembering that Malfoy could hear what he was thinking.
"This is terrible!" Malfoy suddenly whinged. "I've never felt so confused and bewildered in my life!"
"I know," Harry said, shaking his head again. "I don't know how to notthink, though."
"What could it possibly be? I've never heard of a potion or dark arts curse like this!" Draco pulled at his hair slightly, looking frustrated.
Harry looked up at the blond hair, usually immaculate but now mussed. His hair...
"My hair, what, Potter?" Malfoy stared at him, eyes narrowed.
"Nothing. I, er, should we tell Pomfrey? Or McGonagall maybe?"
"What if they blame us for it?" Malfoy asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Why would they blame us?" Harry asked. "We didn't do this to ourselves!"
"Well, I get blamed for a lot I didn't do, Potter!"
Harry stood there for a moment, almost surprised by Malfoy's reaction. I suppose he does often get blamed for a lot of what his father has done.
I hate being blamed for my father's idiotic choices.
"Okay. Let's just go to McGonagall," Harry said slowly. "We can tell her the truth and I'm sure she'll believe us."
She'll believe you, for sure. Malfoy rolled his eyes and walked in front of him.
They walked in silence towards the Headmistress' office, their thoughts mixed into a confusing whirl.
"So, when exactly did you two notice this-this mind-bond?" McGonagall asked, peering at both Harry and Malfoy from the other side of her desk.
"This morning, Headmistress," Malfoy quipped. "I woke up with a splitting headache and began to hear someone's voice in my head. It turned out to be Potter."
"Yeah," Harry said unnecessarily, crossing his arms as he heard several more thoughts slip in from Malfoy's mind.
I can't believe Dumbledore's portrait is so small. He seemed so much larger in life. And Snape's is small too! What, are they running out of space in here?
Shut up, Malfoy! Harry raged in is head. The needless stream of constant thoughts from Malfoy had brought on another dull headache and Harry was also getting antsy from the fact that both Dumbledore and Snape were actually sitting there, staring at him. It was so oddto see those men, who were so pivotal in his own life and were now simply paintings on a wall. Admittedly, moving paintings-he watched as Snape flipped a page in a book and Dumbledore knitted what looked like a weirdly shaped scarf.
I think the scarf looks nice.
Harry looked over and raised an eyebrow at Malfoy, who winked-winked- at him. Where the hell did that come from?
Learn to take a joke, Potter. Merlin, you are the Angst-Ridden-
"All right. I'm going to need you boys to write down everything you've eaten in the past two days. I'll have Professor Slughorn go over the potions that could possibly do this and our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher would most likely know if any curse could have done this."
Both Harry and Malfoy let out a small groan at the thought of the new DADA professor doing anything worthwhile. The woman, Agnes Coggshall, was really rather horrible at teaching. She was getting on in her years, so her hearing and walking ability was not quite up to snuff. The students all had to shout to be heard and were quickly driven to boredom in her mundane classes. She was surely a good witch, but she was not teacher material.
McGonagall had obviously chosen to ignore their annoyed groans, because she continued on, handing them pieces of parchment and quills. "Go on, get to writing. Make sure you be as specific as possible! The house-elves' food is very unlikely to be poisoned, because they use their magic to make sure the food is safe before giving it to the students."
"Perhaps it was a snack-some sweets that you both ate?" Dumbledore suddenly said, putting down his knitting for a moment. Harry swallowed and looked up at him, his heart thudding as he saw the usual twinkle in those blue eyes.
I would never share my sweets with Potter of all people, Draco's thoughts practically scoffed.
"I wouldn't share my sweets with you either!"
Everyone in the office, including all the portraits, turned to stare at Harry, who flushed brilliantly. He had accidental spoken it out loud instead of simply thinking it towards Malfoy.
This is going to be a nightmare,Harry thought as he picked up the quill and started writing down everything he'd eaten.
Finally, Potter. Something we can agree on.
Harry and Malfoy both handed in their lists to Headmistress McGonagall who accepted them and smiled. They watched as she read over the lists, and Snape peered over through his painting and let out a "hmmmm..."
McGonagall rolled her eyes. "Yes, Snape?" She called behind her.
"Oh, nothing nothing... It's just... don't you think it's rather odd that Mr. Potter and Mr. Malfoy here bothate fortune cookies yesterday?"
McGonagall raised an eyebrow and looked up at them.
Fuck. That cookie. The Weasel's cookie!
Harry's heart hammered in his chest. It wasn't Ron's... It was George's. Damn. Could it be the newest Wizard's Wizard Wheezes project?
Malfoy's eyes widened and he looked at Harry in shock. Floo him right now, Potter. Tell him to fix this, or I swear to Merlin I will-
Shut up, Malfoy. I can't just Floo him right now! If McGonagall finds out she'll be really angry with Ron! For bringing those into the castle!
McGonagall had turned around and was speaking quietly with Snape about something.
Do I look like I CARE about what happens to Weasel?
I refuse to allow Ron to get in trouble. Harry scowled at Draco, who rolled his eyes. Besides, as 8th years we're allowed to Floo call from our common rooms!
Fine! Let's go then. We'll do it in the dungeons.
Do it in the dungeons... Harry started to snicker before he realized that Malfoy could hear what he was thinking and was now raising an eyebrow at him. I mean...let's do it in the tower. He snickered again and Malfoy shoved him in the shoulder.
You're so immature, Potter. Malfoy sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Fine. I suppose the Gryffindors are less likely to kill me than the Slytherins would be to kill you.
That caused Harry to pause for a moment before Malfoy was speaking smoothly to McGonagall.
"Headmistress?" Harry was somewhat disarmed by the charm in Malfoy's voice, but thankfully Malfoy didn't hear him thinking that, because he was too busy talking. McGonagall turned around. "We're both extremely late for our classes, and we've both decided-in our minds, I mean- to go to class and figure this out later."
"Right." McGonagall nodded. "You can't fall behind in your classes... Professor Snape and I have been speaking about your dilemma, and he believes that there is no potion to 'un-bind' your minds, but don't fret. We'll figure out something!"
She smiled at them in a way that said she was trying to be cheery, but she didn't actually know what to do. Harry appreciated her attempt.
"Thank you, Headmistress," Harry said, knowing he didn't have half the charm as Malfoy did.
You think I'm charming?
Harry blinked and turned around quickly, feeling his face heat up. So, to the tower, right?
Right, Malfoy sounded slightly amused in his thoughts. Do you think I'm good-looking as well?
"Shut up, Malfoy. Merlin! You're the most annoying prat in the world!" Harry huffed, walking further ahead away from Malfoy's elegant slow walk.
And you think my walk is elegant as well! My oh my, Potter, I'm blushing!
I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life.
Hating it doesn't make it any easier. Trust me! Malfoy practically sang in his mind.
Harry closed his eyes and took slow deep breaths, noticing for the first time that his stomach was rumbling since he had skipped breakfast. He opened his eyes and carefully counted the floor tiles instead of thinking about Malfoy at all. It worked because Malfoy was quiet as well, until-
"Potter! Do you have the strip of parchment?" Malfoy suddenly said. "The one that came in the cookie, with the riddle on it?"
"Yeah. Did yours have one as well?" Harry said, turning around to look at Malfoy and reaching into his pocket. He pulled out the furled tiny piece of parchment and unrolled it. Malfoy walked up to him with a similar strip and they both traded it to read each others.
"It's the same one," Malfoy said, pursing his lips.
"What do you think it means?"
"It's a riddle, so we'd have to decipher its real meaning. If Weasley doesn't tell us how to fix the problem, that is."
"Right," Harry sighed as they began to walk again. "I hope he doesn't say something like 'you ate it, and now you're stuck with the fun!'"
Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "And what are the chances of that happening?"
"With George- the chances are high."
Harry went back to counting the floor tiles again and he could hear Malfoy strategically planning his assault on George in case he said no to helping them. They made it to Gryffindor tower without Harry further embarrassing himself with his thoughts and the Fat Lady raised an eyebrow when she saw a Slytherin coming near, and Harry groaned. By this time tomorrow the entire castle's portraits would know that Harry had invited Draco Malfoy back to Gryffindor tower.
It's okay. Rumours are just that-rumours.
Merlin, I'm starving, Harry thought as he saw several sweet wrappers sitting on the coffee table in the middle of the Gryffindor common room. He supposed the elves hadn't made it in yet, but it reminded Harry again about his missed breakfast.
You're not starving, and quit complaining.
"Here," Malfoy said suddenly, handing him several sweets from his bag.
Harry rose an eyebrow in sheer disbelief. "Why are you giving me sweets?"
"Because I can hear your stomach from here and it's annoying," he said, rolling his eyes. "Some of us think ahead enough to grab food."
"Well some of us don't have mothers who send us baskets of sweets every week," Harry said, slightly shocked by the bitterness in his voice. He had never acknowledged that bitterness before, why now?
Malfoy shrugged and walked towards the fireplace. "Do you have any Floo powder?"
Harry nodded, turning left and running up the stairs towards the eighth year boy's dorm. He opened his trunk and pulled out the jar of Floo powder that he and Ron shared for calling the Weasley house.
He went back down, stopping short when he saw Malfoy kneeling next to the fireplace. Malfoy turned his head and smirked at Potter.
Are you imagining me kneeling for something else, Potter?
"What?" Harry blurted out, feeling heat on his cheeks once gain. "I wasn't thinking about anything like-like that!"
"Potter, relax, it was just a joke. Merlin," Malfoy said, shaking his head.
Trying to change the subject, Harry quickly threw some Floo powder into the fireplace and called out "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes". They waiting a few moments before a woman's face appeared in the fire.
"Mr. Weasley's office, how may I help you?"
"Hi, can you possibly get George for me? Tell him it's Harry."
"Yes sir, give me just a moment." She disappeared and Harry knelt next to Malfoy, trying to keep at least a foot's distance away from him.
I won't bite, Potter.
I'm not so sure about that, Harry couldn't help but think. Thankfully, he was relieved from Malfoy's response thought because just then, George's head appeared.
"Harry!" George grinned at him. "What a delightful surprise. And who's that you've got with you-Malfoy?"
Malfoy rolled his eyes and looked sideways at Harry, who flinched slightly.
"Hey George," Harry said quickly. "Malfoy and I have a serious question for you. Did you send Ron some sort of test product? A fortune cookie or something?"
"Why is Malfoy in the Gryffindor common room, Harry? Why are you sitting next to him?"
"George, please, we need your help with this!"
George glared at Malfoy for a bit longer before looking at Harry. "Yeah, I did. The test versions of our new product. Why?"
Harry cleared his throat. "Er, well... they fell out of Ron's bag and Malfoy and I each ate one-"
"And now something is wrong with us!" Malfoy cut in. "We're hearing each other's bloody thoughts!"
George looked back and forth between Malfoy and Harry and suddenly burst out laughing.
"Oh, this is priceless!" He laughed, turning pink. "I didn't think they'd work! What did your riddles say?"
"You should know! You wrote them, didn't you?" Harry said, slightly irritated by the man's laughter, but it was better than a glare.
"I did, but I wrote a lot of them, and they magically tailor themselves to whoever opens them. Which ones did you two get?"
Harry pulled out the riddle and read it aloud to George, who nodded and let out another chuckle.
"That was a good one." He grinned, looking at Harry. "Well, let me know how you two solve it."
"What? You have to help us solve it!" Harry said quickly. "Just tell us what to do to fix it."
However, George simply shook his head. "I can't. The whole point of eating those cookies is to discover something about someone else. Walking in each other's shoes?"
"But we can't just listen to each other's thoughts all the time! I'll go insane!" Malfoy suddenly burst out.
George raised an eyebrow at Malfoy and shrugged. "You shouldn't have eaten the cookies then. This isn't myfault."
Harry pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath, hearing a stream of angry thoughts coming from Malfoy's mind.
"Okay, okay. Look- is there anything we can do to speed up the process to make it stop?" Harry asked, practically pleading.
George seemed to pause and think. "Er, well, I don't really think there's anything to speed up the process. You literally just have to do what the riddle says.
"What is it talking about then?" Draco asked, pulling out his own parchment with the riddle on it.
"That's not for me to tell you." George shook his head. "It's not something I can explain, it's an experiencethat envelops you and changes you...makes you feel differently towards each other."
Harry and Draco looked at each other and then away; their thoughts were along the same lines.
How could he ever feel differently about me?
How could we ever get past our differences?
Harry shook his head weakly, standing up and still looking into the fireplace. "Thanks for talking to us, George. We'll let you get back to work now."
"Yes," Malfoy said, standing as well, patting the dust off his knees elegantly. "Thank you for your nonexistent help."
George simply shrugged. "Look—just bear with it, okay? And don't kill each other. The one that survives will most likely go clinically insane and I'd rather not have to pay for the St. Mungo's bill."
With that, George pulled his head out of the fireplace and the connection broke, allowing the fire to die out.
"Well," Malfoy said in a dry tone. "What are we supposed to do now?"
I think I have a charm that will convert my mp3 player into working here, Harry was thinking back to when Hermione had given him that book on converting Muggle electronics to magic.
Malfoy stared at him blankly, and Harry realized that he didn't understand what Harry was thinking.
"An mp3 player is this Muggle device…here, let me show you." Harry walked up the stairs to his dorm again, this time with Malfoy following him.
"And this…device will cause you to not think?" Malfoy asked, behind him.
"No, no." Harry shook his head and opened his trunk, highly aware of Malfoy being in the Gryffindor dorm room. "It's a music player. See?"
He held it out, remembering during the summer, when he had been staying at Grimmauld Place after the War with Luna and Xenophilius (Harry had offered the house to them, since theirs had been, well, a pile of dust really). He had gone shopping with Luna, who wanted to see what a Muggle shop was like. They had bought many things, including a new mp3 player and computer for Harry, who quickly learned how to download music onto it.
"I don't hear anything." Malfoy frowned, putting the player up to his ear.
Harry smiled slightly and pulled out the book from underneath the clothes in his trunk. He flipped forward, and Malfoy tilted his head, obviously nosily reading along with him. I am not nosy!
Harry found the page he was looking for, on music playing devices, and read the charm aloud, waving his wand over the small silver device. After that, Harry pulled out the headphones, plugged them in and pressed 'play'.
"You put this in your ear, see?" Harry put one of the buds into his own ear and watched as Malfoy did the same with the other bud.
"Merlin!" Malfoy seemed so shocked when music started to play from the tiny device—some classic rock that Harry had found on a website. "I can hear it!"
He grinned and Harry was struck by the charm in that smile. Malfoy had really straight teeth…
Harry suddenly blushed, wondering what Malfoy would say when he heard Harry thinking that. However, the man was too busy listening to the music and fiddling with the small device to listen to Harry's thoughts.
"Perfect," Harry said out loud.
"I know! How do they get the music inside this tiny thing?"
Harry laughed and shrugged. "Technology. Muggle technology can do a lot. However, I was saying it was perfect, because now we won't hear as much of each other's thoughts. When you listen to music actively, I can't necessarily hear what you're thinking."
"Oh," Malfoy said slowly and blinked. "Yes, I can't hear exactly what you're thinking. Wow, I'm impressed, Potter—you had an idea that just may work."
Harry rolled his eyes at Malfoy's smirk. "Yeah, but we can't listen to music during our classes—the professors would be angry."
"Well… we'll have to suffer then. And what about when we go to our separate dorms? To sleep and study?"
"Hm, you're right," Harry pondered. "We'll trade off each night until we solve the riddle? What do you think?"
Malfoy shrugged. "I suppose. Anyhow, we should really be getting to classes now, considering we already skived off Charms and Transfiguration. I have Potions next…"
"But I have Herbology," Harry sighed. "You can take the player for now."
"Tha-" Malfoy stopped himself and then looked away. "Thank you."
Harry raised an eyebrow at that and then pulled out his ear bud. Malfoy put both buds into his ears and they picked up their bags, heading out of the Gryffindor tower in relative silence.
"So… I suppose we'll begin researching in the library, after classes?" Malfoy said once they reached the first floor. "Trying to decipher the riddle?"
"Okay," Harry agreed. "I'll meet you in the back of the library around…five?"
"Right. Well… see you then, Potter."
"See you, Malfoy."
Harry turned and walked out of the castle, glancing behind him once at Malfoy's broad back, thinking about how it would feel to touch those straight shoulders.
Bewildered by his thoughts and thankful that Malfoy was too busy listening to music rather than his thoughts, Harry mentally slapped himself and focused on what he would say to Hermione and Ron once he got to Herbology.
"So you can hear everything he's thinking?" Ron's face seemed to pale and he stared at Harry in a mix of pity and wonder. "How are you still okay? He must be picturing your death a million times over!"
Harry let out a small chuckle and Hermione's eyes widened even more than they were before. "It's not that bad." Harry shrugged than grimaced. "It's what we get for eating something without asking you."
"Well yeah, but you can't blame yourself," Ron said, shaking his head. "It came from my bag, you thought it would be safe."
"Still, we go to a magical school," Hermione cut in, pulling her knife closer to the flower's petals. "Harry should really be more wary of eating or drinking anything. Especially with his past!"
"I know—I really wasn't thinking." Harry bit his lip. "But, really, I mean once we figure out the riddle everything will go back to normal. Or at least, I hope so."
"George wouldn't tell you anything else?" Hermione asked.
"Not really… he basically said we needed to figure it out on our own. Something about learning more about each other or something."
"Great, you two are going to kill each other," Ron laughed.
"Ron, this isn't funny!" Hermione snapped. "Harry and Malfoy's minds are connected and George is right—if something happens to either of them, the other will go insane, most likely. Harry, you need to keep yourself calm and work with Malfoy to clear your differences."
Easy for her to say. She doesn't have the blond's thoughts running through her mind.
For someone who doesn't care about looks, you mention mine a lot, Potter.
Harry jumped slightly, causing the knife to slip slightly and cut his finger. Fuck! Malfoy! Don't do that!
You better not bleed to death, Potter. I'm not going insane for you.
Hermione rushed over to Harry's side of the table and began healing his finger, alerting Professor Sprout, who came over to see if everything was okay.
"I'm fine, Professor…just an accident."
She raised her eyebrow and walked away, noticing that Hermione had already healed it and gone back to cutting the petals up.
"Harry, what if…what if the spell causes you to…you know?" Ron asked slowly. Harry stared at him blankly, not understanding what his best friend was trying to say. "To fall for him?"
Harry dropped the petals of the flower he was holding, closing his eyes and waiting for Malfoy's thoughts.
Potter, how do you turn this music player off? I don't know how and it's playing in my bag and starting to attract attention!
Harry smiled slightly, imagining Malfoy panicking about the small device he was so new to. Just hold down the black button and slide the silver button on top. It'll hold it closed. When you want to open it, slide the silver button and then press the black button.
Why the hell is this so complicated? Muggles…
Don't forget, Malfoy. Those Muggles are helping us more than magic right now.
Malfoy's thoughts drifted back to Potions in an attempt to resist Harry's thought and Harry laughed to himself as he cut up the plants. He knew Hermione and Ron were shooting him worried looks, but he tried to ignore them. Being mind-bonded to Malfoy wasn't quite as bad as he originally thought it would be.
The rest of the day passed in much the same way, and during lunch, Harry looked over at the Slytherin table towards Malfoy, who was listening patiently to Mia's ramblings.
If I didn't know any better Malfoy, I'd think you had a heart.
Harry watched as Malfoy looked up and those grey eyes rested on him at the Gryffindor table. He smirked.
How do you mean, Potter?
You seem to really care about those youngsters. As if you had a heart.
You'd be surprised, Potter. I like children, and I'm not the horrid villain you think I am.
I'm beginning to see that.
Harry let the conversation end there, turning towards Ginny and speaking with her quietly about upcoming Quidditch practices. He felt Malfoy's eyes on him repeatedly during lunch, but he didn't look over.
Later on, after classes, Harry made his way towards the library, hearing Malfoy's irritated thoughts already.
Bloody Gryffindor. Did I not say five? It's five thirty. Late like a barbarian. Does he think I don't have a life? I have studying and other things to do!
Don't get your knickers in a twist, Malfoy. I'm on my way. I had to go turn in my Transfiguration essay.
I don't care. Hurry up.
Harry rolled his eyes and quickly walked into the library, spotting Malfoy at the last table in the back, looking down at something. He walked up to the table and dropped his bag, sitting down across the table from him.
Several people in the library stared at them with increasing wonder. They were most likely wondering why Harry Potter was sitting with Draco Malfoy, of all people.
You can tell them I'm tutoring you in potions, if you'd like. Malfoy smirked without looking up from his parchment and quill. Harry sighed and looked over, seeing that Malfoy was copying out the riddle neatly with spaces in between line.
"Okay," Malfoy said as he finished writing. He looked up and pushed the parchment closer to Harry. "I was thinking we could decipher it line by line… maybe come up with several theories of what each means?"
"Yeah." Harry looked over and began to read the poem again.
They sat for hours, getting through most of the riddle and also researching several Occlumency tricks, trying to get past the spell's thick defences. While they were successful in deciphering the riddle, they couldn't find any Occlumency spells to help them.
"So...now what? We finished deciphering the riddle, but I still don't really understand it." Or feel closer to understanding you.
Draco sighed and fiddled with his quill, a habit that Harry had noticed the Slytherin doing before. "I think...maybe we need to actually..."
"What?" Harry asked, wary of Malfoy's answer.
"Maybe we need to spend time...together? The riddle is saying we need a deeper understanding. And, well, if we don't really talk to each other, we can't really understand each other, right?"
Harry closed his eyes, knowing that Malfoy was completely right. "Yeah, I get what you mean. But, what if we can never work past our...past?"
"Well. You're a Gryffindor and I'm a Malfoy-we have one thing in common. We're not going to give up, right?"
Harry looked up and smiled at Malfoy, feeling for the first time a sense of kinship with his former rival. "Okay, sounds good," Harry said, leaning over and holding out his hand, "Draco."
Draco blinked at him and stared at his hand before taking it. Harry was surprised at how soft his hand was. "Harry."
Harry's lip twitched and he let go, seeing Draco smile slightly before picking up his books. "Well, I suppose you can have the music player tonight, since I had it today."
"No, you can keep it tonight, too. I'll have it tomorrow," Harry said. They walked out of the library together, and Harry didn't really even care that people were gawking at them. Now that they were...friends? They'd have to get used to it.
Don't get all Gryffindor-ish on me, Draco thought, and Harry laughed.
As long as you don't run to the Prophet to tell them any secrets you might hear in my brain.
If I thought they'd believe me, I might even consider it. He shook his head and let out a chuckle.
I suppose I'll see you tomorrow then? Maybe we can...go flying or something? To understand each other more?
Right. After classes, perhaps. And remember, no wanking! No matter how brilliant you think my arse looks.
Harry blinked, and Draco switched on the music player, turned and walked towards the dungeons. And damn it all if Harry didn't watch his arse for a few moments before smacking himself mentally. Damn, Malf-Draco, putting thoughts into my head.
But as he walked back to Gryffindor tower, he had a smile on his face.
Harry knew that his feelings towards Draco were changing, but nothing quite highlighted them until about three days later. They were in their Defense Against the Dark Arts course, and Harry and Ron were duelling in front of the class, as per Professor Coggshall's instructions. They were making somewhat of a joke of it, throwing hexes that they both knew how to easily defend themselves against.
Show off, Harry heard Draco think and turned to see the blond standing in the back of the classroom, smirking at him.
Why don't you come try then? Harry thought, deflecting another hex and shooting one back.
Well I would, but Coggshall would throw a fit, Draco thought, coming closer towards the duel. You better be careful, Weasel looks like he's really going for it now…
Harry looked back at Ron, who was turning slightly pink with exertion and threw a smile at him. You know, for all the time you talk about Ron, I'd think you were jealous.
Jealous? Of what? Draco thought, and Harry thought he heard a trace of anger there. Of the fact that he doesn't have to be in your brain? Yes, I am jealous of that.
Shut up, Draco, Harry rolled his eyes and turned to the side so Draco could seehim rolling his eyes. Just then, he heard Draco think:
Harry! And suddenly, Draco was there—jumping in front of him, and blocking a hex that Harry hadn't seen. Draco quickly turned and eyed Harry, thinking, you daft bastard, what if you'd gotten hurt?
Harry's mind swam with thoughts. Did he block that hex just so he wouldn't go insane if I got hurt or...?
Is that really what you think? That the only reason I would help you is for my own personal gain?
Aware that the rest of the classroom was staring at them, Harry simply shook his head, thinking, I'm sorry, let's just, talk about this later, everybody is staring at us.
Fine, Draco thought shortly, turning and picking up his bag. They waited for class to be over and then Harry followed Draco out to a disused classroom on the second floor. Harry winced slightly at the thoughts emanating from Draco. Jerk. He's the only hero in the world, isn't he? I can't possibly be a nice, selfless person. All Slytherins are just pure evil.
Draco, I really am sorry, Harry thought, hoping it came out as soft as he meant it. I don't know what I was thinking, I know you are a nice person now...the way you treat Mia and the other first years... I just,
"I'm sorry," Harry said out loud, wanting to make sure Draco knew he was serious.
You better not do that again, Potter. I worked hard to change myself over the summer...
I'm glad you did, Draco, Harry smiled, trying to show how much he appreciated Draco's new attitude.
Thank you. I like your attitude too, I suppose. He smiled and Harry had to look away to count the tiles again.
Over the next few days, Harry slowly developed a strange liking for the man he was mind-bonded with. He found Draco to be rather funny and his strange habits made him slightly...fetching in a way. He would colour-code his wardrobe and he had an obsession with ties. The man had more ties than Harry could count, in various shades of black, green, silver, as well as the regular Slytherin striped ties. Harry had teased him about it, but Draco acted like having so many ties was completely normal.
They were already becoming rather close, after spending only a few evenings together. They had study sessions almost every night, and as loathe as Harry was to admit it, the git did help him a lot with his homework. He was smart and well-read, and Harry was impressed by the fact he could speak two other languages (French and Gobledegook) and wanted to work for Gringotts.
Harry could tell Draco was surprised that Harry didn't really want to be an Auror, but he didn't say anything rude about it. He simply said Harry should do whatever he wanted to do. Which of course, surprised Harry as well.
A week after the spell had started, they were sitting next to each other outside, leaning against a tree and laughing at the snitch flying in between them. It was fun taking turns catching it when it flew too far away from them, and Harry wondered how they had become friends so fast.
Because you stopped being an idiot?
Or maybe you stopped being such an arse?
Draco laughed. Admittedly, that could be be part of it.
They had gotten rather good at communicating with each other and calming their thoughts in order for everything to not sound so jumbled and confusing.
Plugging the music player in to avoid Draco hearing his thoughts, Harry pulled out his potions book and started to read as Draco continued to play with the snitch with one hand. Harry suspected Draco knew of Harry's attraction to him and was using it to his amusement. He pulled out a sugar quill from his bag and sucked on the tip as if he were actively trying to seduce Harry.
Just as Harry paused the music to play a different song, a thought slipped through from Draco. Why can't he just like me already?
Startled, Harry looked over, the music was still paused and his heart was pounding so hard, he couldn't hear much else anyway.
Draco's eyes widened and he stared at Harry in shock. Did you just...hear that?
Yeah. Did you mean it?
They stared at each other and Draco's thoughts became a mess of jumbled words, until Harry heard one full thought: Yes.
Harry didn't even wait for a moment before leaning in and laying a small kiss onto Draco's mouth. Their lips touched and Harry's mind went blank-for what seemed like the first time in years-and Harry felt a shock run through them.
They pulled apart in surprise and Harry felt Draco's sugar quill fall onto his lap and he let out a sudden laugh.
Sticky, huh? Harry thought, waiting for what Draco would think next. However, everything seemed slightly... silent.
"Harry?" Draco asked shakily and Harry looked up into his eyes and Harry blinked.
"I can't hear your thoughts," they both said at the same time and then broke out into conjoined laughter. Harry watched those grey eyes fill with warmth and he pulled Draco closer, kissing the corner of his mouth, and holding the side of his face.
"George is going to be happy-his spell works." Harry smiled when they pulled apart.
"Or he could be angry since an evil Malfoy is with his Saviour." Draco smirked.
"With?" Harry breathed, his thoughts whirling, but all his own.
"Well yes." Draco laughed. "Now that I've tasted you, I'm not letting you go."
"Oh really?" Harry grinned. "I suppose I don't mind that."
"Besides, the riddle only worked because...what was it? Ah yes, the bond will break when the truth is found," Draco said, entwining their hands together. "Isn't a kiss the truth of how we feel about each other?"
"For the first time, I'm really happy I ate that cookie." Harry smiled, leaning in to kiss Draco again.
A few weeks later, Harry found himself naked and wrapped up in Draco's warm embrace. They were curled into the blankets and pillows while they talked about where they were going to live after they graduated.
"I'm glad you decided not to be an Auror, because I don't think I could handle coming over to a bruised and battered Potter all the time." Draco smirked, running the tips of his fingers down Harry's back, leaving goosebumps in his wake.
Harry bit softly at Draco's bare shoulder in response. "Come over? You mean come home."
"Ah, so we'll be living together, then? Is that what you want? To live with a Gringotts employee in a cozy little cottage somewhere?"
"I'd like that, yes." Harry grinned, kissing pale skin. "Do you have a problem with that?"
"I suppose not, as long as Weasels don't constantly terrorize my life, of course."
"Oh, they will. Hermione and Ron like you now, remember?"
"Wonderful," Draco grumbled, but Harry knew he was secretly pleased. Besides, it wasn't as if Blaise and Draco's other friends wouldn't be over all the time as well. Harry had made pretty good friends with them, actually. Blaise was funnier than he would've expected.
"Besides... I've decided to apply for a position in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office," Harry said, sitting up and looking down at his boyfriend. "I think it'll be good for me, you know? And then I'll see Mr. Weasley all the time, since he's the Head of the department now."
Draco shook his head but smiled. "You would be good at it, I must say. With your enjoyment of Muggle electronics."
"Hey, you got the word right!" Harry laughed. "Usually you say electrickons or something else ridiculous."
"Yes, well, I'm smart andhandsome. You're lucky you have me."
"That I am," Harry said softly, leaning over to kiss him. Just then, a knocking sound could be heard on the door of the Room of Requirement, where they had been holed up for the last few hours. A lovely, lazy Saturday.
"How can people knock on the door of this room?" Draco asked, sitting up. "I've never seen that happen before."
"Hmm, I'll get it." Harry moved to get up, pulled on his trousers and his school robe, and then walked over to open the door. Suddenly, an owl flew in and Harry watched as it circled around the room for a bit before landing on the table next to Draco and holding his leg out.
Draco took the note and the owl flew out, allowing Harry to close the door behind it.
"Who is it from?" Harry asked, walking over and taking his robe off.
"It's from... George Weasley. For both of us."
Harry looked over and read the letter.
I know everything worked out okay with the mind-bond, and I just wanted to let you two know that I won't be selling that product. However, if you two wanted to come in to test more Weasley products, feel free to!
"He's so odd," Draco said and shook his head.
"I think maybe he was trying to let you know he doesn't hate you anymore," Harry said, still staring at the letter.
"Okay, we'll see about that," Draco laughed, tossing the letter onto the side of table and leaning over to straddle Harry. "But first, we should get back to understandingeach other."
"Ah." Harry smiled and watched Draco pull down his trousers. "And what kind of understanding did you have in mind?"
"The kind where we fuck until I can't think any longer?" Draco blinked innocently.
"Oh, yeah sounds like that deeper understanding we were talking about earlier," Harry managed to gasp out as he felt Draco's lips on the most sensitive parts of his skin. He didn't think life could get any better than this.