Draco Malfoy, the most evil of bullies to occupy Hogwarts, stood watching his reflection in his 10 foot mirror. Today he felt like a change. Today was his first day back at Hogwarts, for his 7th year, and he would look even more handsome than before. If that was even possible. So he pursed his lips and decided; what would he change in his appearance?

He glanced to the gel he kept on the side table. If there was one thing he gave muggles credit for, it was coming up with his favorite hair product. They were like house-elves to him; working-class creatures who live only to serve him. Or in this case, pretend they don't exist.

Glancing back to the mirror, Draco realized exactly what he was going to change this year. His hairstyle. Usually slicked back and suave, he was going to just let it hang down. He would go for a more relaxed look this year, since he needn't have to bother with keeping up with the family name anymore.

Draco Malfoy, heir to the Malfoy throne and name, has been disowned. It was something that was never supposed to happen. Draco was supposed to become a Death Eater and carry on the family legacy by serving the Dark Lord. Only one problem with his initiation: he refused to kill Albus Dumbledore.

While Draco had never been particularly fond of the old coot, he was certainly not about to end his life. As far as he had heard, Dumbledore had done everything in his power to help his students. And, while he hated to admit it, the thought of killing someone brought bile to his throat.

As far as Draco was concerned, he didn't want to be the deciding agent on whether someone lived or died. So his father disowned him, and the Dark Lord overlooked him completely. He was lucky he wasn't killed, but the Dark Lord couldn't care less. Who he wanted dead was Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore.

Draco felt a lot of pain that his father disowned him, but he was quite relieved that he got to choose his future now. While today was also his last day in the Malfoy Manor, it was also the beginning of his new life. Because Draco could never come back to the place he called home.

While he was still brooding over his separation from his family, he also was celebrating his new found freedom. He didn't have to be a Death Eater anymore. Draco could be anything that he wished to be, like an Auror. So many possibilities opened up for him.

And more importantly, he didn't have to become forced into an arranged marriage. Draco Malfoy, the perfect heir to the Malfoy regime, was gay. An arranged marriage, with a female, made him ill to think about.

Draco took the trunk full of items he deemed he needed out of his room, and left the Manor. His father or mother didn't even come to see Draco off. He had expected as much, but it didn't hurt any less.

He apparated to the train station, making sure to appear in a spot where no one would notice him. Then, casually, he walked through the wall between gates nine and ten.

Platform 9 ¾ was just how he remembered it. And he had a brief brush of nostalgia over all the years that he came here with his 'friends' Crabbe and Goyle. Now, though, no one in his house will be likely to associate with him anymore. Almost all of the Slytherin's follow the Dark Lord.

Through the crowd, Draco couldn't help but spot a familiar mop of hair. Harry Potter had never had tidy hair since the first time he had seen him. It was black and shiny, but no matter how hard Harry tried, Draco knew that it would never be neat.

Harry seemed to sense Draco's stare and turned, his striking green eyes locking with Draco's grey ones. Surprisingly, since Draco didn't glare first, Harry didn't glare either. He just stared at him curiously, with his enchanting green eyes. Much to Draco's chagrin, he felt his heart rate speed up.

Draco would never admit it, but secretly he had always been attracted to Harry Potter. Most of all, his striking green eyes which Draco had heard came from his mother. But more than anything he was attracted to that constant pulse of power the other boy gave off. It was like he was an entire entity all on his own. He was more than human; he was a powerful wizard beyond anything Draco could imagine.

That was the sole reason that he did not want Harry Potter to die. This year, instead of constantly antagonizing him like his father so enjoyed, Draco was going to offer his protection to Harry Potter. He was not nearly as good of a wizard as Harry was, but one more wand on his side was that much of a better chance of winning.

Draco suddenly realized that he was spacing out as he looked around him. It was almost 11 o' clock. Most of the students had filed into the train. Only a few stragglers were left. Harry Potter being among them.

Harry looked away from Draco suddenly and looked around him. He noticed the sparsely scattered students as well. Draco couldn't understand why Granger and Weasley weren't with him, but he couldn't afford to think about it right now when he was on the brink of missing the Hogwarts Express.

Draco lifted his heavy suitcase onto the train. As he passed by all the compartments, he realized he had waited too long to board the train. Most of the compartments were either completely filled, or filled with first year students. While Draco had turned over a new leaf, he wasn't about to sit in a closed space with a bunch of 11-year-olds. There was only so much his poor teenage mind could take.

Finally he came to a partially empty compartment with someone over 15 years old… but who was in the compartment shocked him a bit.

It was Harry Potter, sitting by himself. Draco was shocked that his minions weren't with him. He was also shocked that the only person in the compartment was Harry, considering the capacity of the others.

Having no other choice, Draco cleared his throat. "Potter." He said with a sneer, not able to break his old habits well.

Harry jumped and swiveled his head towards Draco. "What do you want, Malfoy?" Harry mumbled, almost in a tired way; as if he was too tired to truly deal with a fight.

"Uh. I was wondering if I could share a compartment with you. The rest are full… or filled with first years."

Harry seemed shocked at Draco's civil tone, and after a moment of surprised thought, he nodded. Draco filed in, put his luggage into the luggage rack, and then sat across from Harry.

Harry didn't seem to want to start anything, or deal with bickering, so he went back to gazing out the window. Draco could feel the train move, and realized they departed.

"Um. Where is Granger and Weasley?" Draco asked, curious. Harry tensed up for a minute, before forcibly relaxing and replying.

"They had got together at the end of last year. They hadn't seen each other all summer, so I didn't want to ruin their reunion by being a third wheel."

Draco mulled this over in his brain. "Well, it makes sense that the muggle-loving Weasley and the muggle-born Granger would end up together. I'm not very shocked."

"Don't you mean, mudblood?" Harry drawled in a dry, and rather bitter, tone. Draco flinched on the inside at the word.

"I don't say those types of things anymore…" Draco informed him under his breath.

"And why not, Malfoy? Are you trying to tell me that the Malfoy we all know and loathe has decided he is not all mighty?" The sarcasm in Harry's voice was thick and made the air in the small space seem heavy.

"I wish you wouldn't call me that, Potter." Malfoy finally answered, gently. "I'm not considered a Malfoy anymore."

Harry's jaw dropped as he looked to Draco. "What?"

"You heard me the first time. I have been disowned."

"But…" Harry seemed at a loss for words. "Why?"

"Because I refused to kill Dumbledore." Draco looked out the window.

"You were asked to kill Professor Dumbledore?" Harry choked out, still in shock.

"Yes. And when I refused, my father put me in the dungeons for disgracing the family. He kept me there for three days, and I was whipped frequently. When I saw my own blood, and having all that time to contemplate it, I realized that my blood is not special. It looks the same as any old muggle or muggle-born or pure-blood. I was raised to believe that I was high-class because I was a pure-blood, when really my blood is just as filthy as everyone else's." Draco's grey eyes almost seemed to flatten out and dull with the memory.

"So. There is some good in you after all." Harry realized.

"I suppose so. I didn't know it was there either. But I was taught to respect those with power, the Dark Lord primarily. So when I thought of killing either you or the old man, I couldn't. Because I respect you too much." Draco's face screwed up. "I guess that's the best explanation. I sound like a bumbling moron, don't I?"

"Not at all." Harry assured him, with a dazzling smile that did funny things to Draco's heart.

"Anyways, I wanted to offer my hand again. Like the first time we met, remember? But this time, I want to offer it in protection and not friendship."

Harry's eyebrows almost seemed to shoot up into his hairline. "Why?"

"There's that bloody question again. Like I said before, it's because I respect you. And now that I am not under the bindings of being a Malfoy, I want to do the right thing for once in my life." Draco gritted his teeth. "But I suppose after all this time you would be a fool to trust me."

"You are right. I would be a fool to trust you. So let's say I'm half-fool and you are half-trusted. That way I can work on becoming a complete fool, and you can work on becoming completely trusted. It sounds like a fair trade to me." Harry's intoxicating green eyes focused on Draco and he hitched his breath under their intensity.

"So if I can't call you Malfoy, what can I call you?" Harry asked, his eyes searching.

"Draco will work just fine, Potter."

"Well if I have to stop calling you Malfoy, you have to stop calling me Potter. Getting called by Potter by Snape is already annoying enough."

"So, Harry then?"

"Sure." Harry looked out the window again, alleviating Draco from the nervousness caused by his stare. "So what will you do now, if you are disowned?"

"Well… I don't really own much of my own stuff anymore. So I have to start from scratch. I have a bit of personal money saved up that'll last me for a while, but really as soon as I move out from Hogwarts I'm on my own. I have to find my own place and a job, because I can never move back to Malfoy Manor." Draco's voice was saturated with worry and anxiety.

"That sounds tough. I have to do the same though, but my parents left me enough galleons to last me until I die." Harry gave Draco a sympathetic look.

"Well, it's not all bad really. Now I get to choose my career path, unlike before. Before I was destined to only be a Death Eater, working for the Dark Lord until I died. Now I can be whatever I want to be. And now I don't have to marry a girl I barely know. That'll be nice. I don't want to get married. Ever." Draco laughed nervously. He hated pity, so he wanted Harry to stop pitying him.

"Why don't you want to get married?" Harry ventured, his green eyes now locked on Draco with curiousity.

Draco felt a furious blush creep across his cheeks. He could tell Potter everything else, but he couldn't possibly tell him he was gay. Draco would lose any ground he gained with Harry just now. He had enough experience with others to know that as soon as the secret is out, the other person starts acting oddly.

And more than anything, Draco refused to admit that he was attracted to Harry Potter.

"Mal… Draco?" Harry asked, obviously concerned by the amount of time it was taking him to speak.

"Oh. I uh… don't believe in marriage." Draco finally got out. It was the best excuse he could think of.

"Well… why not?" Harry ventured.

"Um. I think that marriage is something society created so that people could somehow prove their undying love for each other. I feel that if you love someone, your actions alone with prove you will do right by them, not some ceremony and certificate." Draco wasn't really lying. He did think all of those things.

"So, you are a romantic deep down, huh Draco?" Harry had a grin on his face and it made Draco's blush somehow deepen. But then Harry became serious. "But I do agree with you. Marriage isn't offered equally to everyone. I think that if you love someone you should be able to tie yourself to them if you wish to. If they allow gay marriage, I may decide to get married."

"Potter… I mean Harry… are you gay?" Draco asked, soaking in the implications of what Harry just said. Harry's eyes widened and he turned his head to the side, as if hiding his expression.

After a long pause, he nodded. "You were the last person I wanted to find out, but I don't want to lie about something so important to me."

An awkward silence filled the compartment. Draco tried to process the information he had been given. Harry Potter, whom he had been attracted to, is also gay. Maybe there was a chance that things could turn in a different direction than Draco once thought. That is, if they can find it within themselves to get along.

Draco's thoughts were interrupted by a groan from Harry. "You aren't going to start acting all weird on me now, are you? I knew I shouldn't have owned up to it. I didn't want everyone to know, especially not Ron and Hermione, but now I guess it's too late. Now you probably think I'm a freak… well more a freak than before."

"No." Draco cleared his throat. "I don't think you are a freak at all. I have to apologize, because I have lied to you during our conversation. The reason I don't want to get married is that I am also gay."

Harry's shoulders seemed to relax, and then his stunning eyes searched Draco with a new type of interest, and it made him shudder. "Well, why didn't you just say so before?"

"Because every time I have admitted my… sexual preferences… things get all weird. So I didn't want that to happen again. You forget, a common trait of a Slytherin is self-preservation, so I will do the thing I feel will do right by me the most. I'm no Gryffindor, so I'm not too brave."

Harry seemed thoughtful. "When did you first realize… you know… that you were gay?"

Now that was a question that Draco really didn't want to answer. But alas, they were already too far into the secret sharing to go back now. He cleared his throat awkwardly before he began. "Well, I never had much of an interest in girls. I just thought that I was a late bloomer. But then, I found myself attracted to males when I reached Hogwarts. By my third year, I was actively following my attractions."

Feeling proud that he had successfully avoided what he didn't want to tell Harry, he smiled. "What about you?"

"When I fell in love with Cedric Diggory." Draco swallowed his spit wrong in surprise and started coughing. Harry looked out the window. "He's dead now."

"God, I'm so sorry, Harry. That's terrible." Draco has stopped coughing, and was looking at Harry sympathetically.

"I didn't tell you that so you could pity me, Draco." Harry gave him a soft smile and locked onto Draco's face with his enchanting green eyes. Draco thought that his heart skipped a beat. "It's nice, though, to meet someone else like me. To be able to talk to someone else who understands."

"Yeah…" Draco kept his eyes locked with Harry's, then let his eyes drift down the bridge of his nose and settle on his lips. They looked so soft. And so pink. And so… kissable. So he asked the first question that came to mind, to continue the conversation. "So. Harry. Have you ever been kissed?"

As is knowing where Draco was looking, Harry's lips parted ever so slightly, sending a pang of desire through Draco. "Yes. But I don't count it. It was by a girl and it wasn't enjoyable."

"So never by a guy?" Draco continued. Nervous, Harry swiped his tongue along his bottom lip. Draco nearly moaned. Why, of all people, did he have to want Harry Potter?

"No. You?"

"I've never been kissed. There aren't very many willing gay participants at Hogwarts." Draco was entranced by Harry. Right now, more than the Dark Lord had ever been, Harry was his master. And he would do anything that Harry asked him to.

"Want to try?" Harry propositioned, on a whisper. The words barely processed, making Draco's heart thud.

Before he could respond, Harry had stood up and walked over to him. He sat lightly on Draco's lap, and Draco was shocked that he was so light. So fragile. Harry threaded his fingers through Draco's hair, and it was all Draco had just to stifle a moan.

"I like your new hairstyle. It looks so soft… and it makes me want to thread my fingers through it."

Draco noted to himself to keep his hair like that. Gently, Harry tugged on his hair. Draco tilted his head back instinctually, but nothing could have prepared him for what happened next.

Harry pressed his lips to Draco's gently. Draco sucked in a breath from the soft warmth of Harry's lips on his own. Then Harry moved his lips, capturing Draco's bottom lip in his own and sucking on it lightly before releasing it. This time Draco couldn't stifle the moan of pleasure that came from his throat. This seemed to spur Harry on and he kissed Draco more urgently.

Although Draco had never been kissed before, his instinct more than told him what to do. He moved his lips against Harry's, stroking them, sucking them, and nipping them. The sensation of Harry was almost too much for the sensitive skin of his lips to endure, and he held his breath with the pleasure.

The world around Draco and Harry seemed to disappear, and Draco only felt Harry. Only smelled Harry. Only tasted Harry on his lips. He could keep going forever, never stopping, the sensation was so good.

And then Harry's tongue slid across the seam of Draco's lips. Draco gasped at the feel of the wet, soft tip gently brushing his sensitized lips. Harry used the gap caused by the gasp to plunge his tongue into Draco's mouth. Draco moaned again, especially as Harry pulled on his hair to tilt his head back better.

The feel of Harry's tongue on his own was like an explosion and –

A knock sounded on the compartment door. They bolted apart, Draco gasping for air. "Candy Trolley!"

Harry cursed under his breath, got up from Draco, pulled his robes around his middle as if to hide something, and walked to the door. Draco barely had enough sense in him to sit up and straighten his own robes. Harry's hair always looked messy, but Draco knew that his was messy too. If Harry and him weren't both male, someone probably would have guessed what they were doing.

"I would like a pack of Drooble's Best… a bottle of pumpkin juice… a couple of blood pops, and a chocolate frog. Anything for you, Draco?"

Shocked to be addressed, Draco looked to Harry and nodded. "Uh… yeah. Just get me a chocolate frog, a bag of Bertie Bott's and a pumpkin juice." Draco reached into his pocket for money, but before he could get it out, Harry had paid the woman and was closing the door, treats in hand.

"You didn't have to pay for me, Harry. I have plenty of money." Draco frowned and considered paying Harry back. Harry, obviously sensing his thoughts, shook his head at Draco.

"Consider it a gift for entertaining me this train ride. And uh… letting me snog you." Harry handed Draco his sweets and juice before sitting down. "I'm really sorry about that. I don't know what came over me."

"Don't be sorry…" Draco whispered.

"What?" Harry frowned. "I didn't quite catch that."

"I said, don't be sorry." A blush crept over Draco's cheeks. "I enjoyed it. So don't be sorry."

Harry grinned. "Then I'm not. Let's do it again sometime."

An awkward silence filled the car as Draco studied Harry, and Harry studied the scenery. Draco found that his heart rate increased as he looked at the other boy.

It seemed to Draco that he made a right proper mess of things. He offered his protection to Harry, but gave him his lips instead. It seemed like a bit of an unprofessional start to their new relationship.

"Uh… we won't… mention what happened to anyone, right?" Draco inquired.

"Why? Are you ashamed that you snogged me?" Harry's voice became dark, and it was apparent to Draco that he still didn't trust his change in behavior. If Draco were in Harry's position, he wouldn't be so trusting either.

"No. It's not that. It's just… well I think this year I'll already have a hard enough time getting along with my house-mates. They are liable to try to kill me for refusing the Dark Lord's request. I can only imagine what they would do if they found out I am gay… and worse, that I snogged the Dark Lord's greatest enemy."

"Understandable. I don't really want Ron and Hermione finding out yet either. So…" Harry made a motion of zipping his lips closed. "I won't tell if you won't."

"Thanks, Harry." Draco smiled softly.

It was a long train ride and Draco nodded off, and he wasn't sure for how long, until Harry's voice woke him up.

"Heads up, Draco. We are almost to Hogwarts. It seems the trolley lady hit us last." Harry shoved his juice and treats into his bag for later.

Draco nodded in acknowledgement and straightened his tie, then put his treats in his bag like Harry did. He felt the train slow and heard the brakes squeal as they neared the station.

"It's evening already, eh?" Draco spared a glance out the window and the sky was indeed darkened. "It didn't seem like that long of a train ride."

"You were sleeping." Harry said in an amused voice as he stood up and held out his hand. "Until later then, mate?"

Draco took his hand and shook it. "Until later."

"I always knew you would have a firm grip." Harry smiled wryly, before grabbing his trunk and opening the compartment door.

Much to both of their surprise, both Hermione and Ron were standing outside the compartment door, obviously looking for something. When the door opened, they swiveled their heads and stared straight at Harry. It would take a fool not to notice that they were holding hands.

"Harry! There you are! We were scared that perhaps you missed the train!" Hermione released Ron and gave Harry a huge hug.

"No. I'm right here, Hermione." Harry hugged her back. Draco felt a bit awkward intruding on their reunion and hung back in the compartment, hoping for them to leave.

Ron wasn't going to be fooled, though. He looked straight across Harry and Hermione and locked his eyes on Draco. A furious scowl lit his features and he turned on Harry.

"What's he doing here, Harry? Don't tell me you actually shared a compartment with him!" Ron sounded positively scandalized by the thought.

"Well, he needed a place to sit and as long as he didn't start anything with me I didn't see a problem with it." Hermione had released Harry and was now staring openmouthed at Draco. Draco shifted on his feet nervously.

"And you just let him sit with you?" Hermione said, appalled.

"Well, I didn't see a reason why not." Harry seemed to be getting defensive.

"Harry, if you were seen conversing with a Slytherin, the worst of the Slytherins, to be precise, your motives would be questioned by all the Gryffindors!" Ron acted as if it were going to become a huge issue. If he really knew what just happened, he would freak out more.

"Ron! Hermione!" They both quieted at Harry's booming voice. "I chose to sit with Draco and that's just it! Nothing happened, and we even agreed to let bygones be bygones. I'll explain it all to you later, but at least let us clear the way! We are congesting the walkway!" Ron and Hermione grew silent for a while, and nodded.

As soon as they started walking, Draco heard Ron say, "And since when do you call him Draco, not Malfoy?"

Draco could already tell that this year was going to be very, very long.