Summary: In the midst of the celebration and mourning after the Battle of Hogwarts is won, Harry happens across a person he isn't expecting to see and he certainly is not expecting to find comfort there. Slash. Works with canon… sort of. Sexual content-that M rating isn't just for show.

Author's Note: I'm on an epilogue compliant kick lately. Though this takes place immediately after the Battle of Hogwarts, it does not necessarily negate the epilogue. But if you prefer that the epilogue doesn't exist, it works with that too. :)

Disclaimer: Don't own it. If I did, this is what would have happened immediately after the battle:

To Feel Alive
By Lady Katie

Sounds of celebration could be heard in every corner of the castle. After spending time in the Great Hall and then visiting the Headmaster's office with Ron and Hermione, Harry had attempted to rest in Gryffindor Tower. It worked for a few hours and when he woke it was night again. Many of the beds in the dormitories were filled with students and those who did not want to return home just yet. Not everyone had gone to bed though. Out on the school grounds the celebration raged on. Singing and cheering was drifting up the road from Hogsmeade and from various parts of the damaged castle. Harry wondered how anyone could sleep with so much still going on. In a bed near his, Ron and Hermione were curled up under a blanket and Harry felt a little flutter of happiness at the thought that his friends had finally figured out their feelings for each other.

Down in the common room Mrs. Weasley was asleep on the sofa, but it wasn't a peaceful sleep. Her brow was still furrowed together in anguish as her dreams replayed her discovery that her son was dead. Ginny had fallen asleep sitting next to her, but Harry wasn't sure where the rest of the family was. Perhaps in the beds upstairs.

In the hall outside the Fat Lady's portrait the noise was significantly louder from the all night party. Occasionally someone would pass him as he crept through the familiar halls, but at this point in the night, the revelers were beyond the capacity to recognize Harry. Without really knowing where he was going or why he soon found himself climbing the stairs to the Astronomy Tower. It was stupid, he thought, there would likely be someone there. But as he approached the door he heard no sounds of celebration, or even of the other kind of activity that often took place on this particular tower after dark.

He opened the door silently, taking care not to let it creak, just in case there were young lovers hidden up there. He stopped abruptly when he saw a figure seated on the parapet. His back rested against the rampart, knees pulled up to his chest, but his head was turned slightly to look out over the grounds and at the activity below. Harry started to turn back around to leave the person alone when noticed the features of his face and paused. Something compelled Harry forward, despite the identity of the person. The tower occupant reached up to his own face and wiped furiously at what Harry assumed were tears. The assumption was confirmed a moment later when the person sniffled.


The man, startled, jumped down from his seat, reaching for a wand that wasn't there. When he realized who was standing in front of him he relaxed a little and sat back down in the gap between the merlons.

"What do you want, Potter?" He asked tiredly.

"Nothing. I was just… I didn't know you were here."

"Go away."

Harry started to turn around, but stopped, remembering Draco's wand, still in his pocket next to the phoenix wand. The Elder Wand had been hidden away until he could find a time to return it to Dumbledore's grave.

"Oh, wait. I have something for you."

Malfoy visibly tensed as Harry reached into his pocket, but when he saw that the wand was not held in a battle-ready manner he relaxed again. Harry felt stupid. Of course Malfoy thought that Harry would hex him. After all, it's what Malfoy himself would likely do if their roles were reversed.

"It's just your wand."

"You're giving it back to me?"

"Why wouldn't I? It's not like I need it anymore. And I only had it in the first place because… well, you know."

Malfoy shuddered at the memory. "Yes, I know." He took his wand back and turned it over in his hands. "Thanks, Potter."

Harry nodded, but now he didn't really feel like leaving. It wasn't that he really wanted to be with Malfoy, but he didn't want to wander the halls or be faced with the depressing reality of all the life lost in the past day. And he really didn't want to be alone.

"What are you doing up here?"

Malfoy looked away from his wand, turning toward Harry's face and scowled. "Keeping tabs on me? Figure you'll hold me until someone comes to arrest me?"

"If that was the case would I have given your wand back?"

The blond looked as if he felt silly for not considering that, but he merely looked away. Harry walked right up to where Malfoy was sitting. The other boy was still facing toward the interior of the tower and had gone back to examining his wand. He pointedly didn't react to Harry's presence next to him and Harry peered down over the parapet. Down below there was music and laughing. Some tents had been set up and Harry wondered how long people were planning on camping out there celebrating.

"Don't they know people died?" Harry said suddenly. Draco turned to stare at him, mouth open. "They've come from all over, even those that weren't here for the battle, and they celebrate. How can we celebrate when so many are dead?"

"They celebrate because one person is dead. The others are heroes, martyrs to the cause. They will be mourned later."

Harry nodded. He still didn't like it, but it made sense. Was that what Draco was doing, mourning? Harry was suddenly aware of just how close they were and stepped away, leaning against the rampart. "I'm sorry about Crabbe."

"No you're not. He was a fool and he almost killed us all."

"He was your friend."

Malfoy laughed darkly. "Yes. A wonderful friend I had too. A real great guy, who could really stick with you through anything, eh?"

"Still... It's too bad."

"You lost people then? I saw Granger and Weasley, but…"

Harry focused on drawing invisible patterns with his finger on the rough stone. "Ron's brother, Fred, died. Remus Lupin and Tonks too. Their son, my godson, is an orphan now."

"That's… I'm sorry."

Harry back at him. "No you're not."

"I didn't fight against you," he answered defensively.

"I know. You tried to not identify us at your home over Easter too and I appreciate that. And I owe my life to your mother."

"She told me about the forest." Draco looked back down over the edge of the castle wall at the lights.

"Do you know what they're going to do with us? Father said we will stay and face what comes, but… it would be nice to know."

"I don't know. There's talk already that Kingsley will act as Minister. He will make sure that everyone is treated fairly."

"I bet you're enjoying this, the fall of the Malfoys."

"I don't take joy in your pain, Malfoy."

"Then why are you here? Because I really can't figure it out."

"Everyone is either asleep or drinking themselves into a stupor. I didn't want to be alone."

Draco once more jumped down from his seat and walked back toward the door, but stopped half way. "Isn't it better to be alone than to be with me? Do you know all I've done? Do you know what I did on this very tower?" Harry went toward him, not really caring that Malfoy was beginning to yell, nearing the edge of hysterical. "Would you still be so calm standing next to me if I told you that I killed Dumbledore? Right here."

"No you didn't. I was here too, Malfoy. I saw. You wouldn't have killed him. You would have let him protect your family."

"How were you here?"

"I was under my invisibility cloak. He immobilized me so that I wouldn't get myself killed trying to help him. I was laying right over there," Harry finished, pointing.

Draco shook his head. "Don't make excuses for me. It was my fault he died. It doesn't matter whether I would have killed him or not."

That was guilt in his voice. Harry looked Draco straight in the eyes. Could it be that Draco Malfoy was the only person who really understood the weight of guilt that Harry felt? How many times in the last twenty-four hours had Harry told himself that it was his fault the people around him were dying? "I think it matters. A person's intentions and motives always matter. I have to believe that. Otherwise, I have as much blood on my hands as Voldemort."

"What were your motives?"

"It was revenge at first," he admitted. "He killed my parents, made my life hell. But then I just wanted to stop him from hurting people. That motive was pure and I have to believe that the price we paid with human life will be worth it in the end. So many more would have died if he wasn't stopped."

"And your need for revenge? Are you satisfied now?"

Harry thought about that for a moment. Was he? He was feeling many things, but satisfaction was not one of them. Relief maybe. "No."

"Do you think you ever will be?"

"Maybe someday."

Draco looked thoughtful. They stood only a couple feet away from each other and it was so easy to read his face. He looked every bit as exhausted as Harry felt.

"What are your motives right now?" Malfoy asked.

"Now?" Harry shrugged. "I just don't want to be alone."

"Me either."

"And I guess, when I saw you, I was curious, to see how you are."


"I don't know." Harry thought back to all the things that interested him about Malfoy. They used to fight and trade insults and it was so natural. Then that all stopped once the war really got going. Malfoy spent all his time figuring out how to complete an impossible mission and Harry spent his time trying to prove that Malfoy was a Death Eater. Harry had actually missed their normal interaction. He always wanted to know what Malfoy was up to. He wanted to get a reaction. There was something about fighting with Malfoy that just felt like a normal part of life. Then he had his answer. "Because you used to be so alive, but for so long now you just look… dead."

"Maybe I am dead. I feel dead."

"That's… I know that feeling. Whatever differences there's ever been between us, we've both just been trying to survive, so I know what you're going through."

"You seem to think you know so much about me."

"Malfoy, given our mutual obsession with driving each other crazy, we probably know more about each other than anyone else does."

"Obsession," he repeated, looking thoughtful.

"I'm sorry. If you really don't want me here then I can go." Draco looked back at him and quickly shook his head. A moment later he was taking a step closer. Harry's breath sped up. "What are you doing?"

"Are you scared?"

"No." It wasn't the entire truth, but Harry didn't want to show weakness. Harry swallowed thickly. "I never asked; what are your motives, Malfoy?"

"I want to feel alive again," Draco murmured.

Harry was pretty sure his heart stopped at that. Malfoy was looking at him in a way that he had never seen before and could only be described as… hungry. "How to you plan to do that?"

"Only a couple ways I can think of. We could fight, like we used to. That always made me feel better."

"I've had enough fighting this week, don't you think?"

Malfoy was slowly inching forward. "Well then, it will have to be the other way."

Harry knew what Malfoy was about to do and he had plenty of time to do something about it. Malfoy was purposely giving him time, giving him a choice. Harry could walk away or he could let Malfoy make his move. Or he could…

With little warning Harry sprung forward the remaining few inches and grabbed Malfoy by the shoulders, mashing their lips together. As soon as they touched a sort of frenzy set in and Harry realized just how much he needed this. He needed this human connection, this heat. Fuck, he needed to get off. Malfoy was right about needing to feel alive and Harry hated him for it, but at this moment Malfoy was the closest source of what Harry needed. It didn't matter that they were enemies, or even that they were both boys. He'd have plenty of time for a sexual identity crisis tomorrow. Right now they were both just lonely and broken people who needed this.

Malfoy pushed until Harry's back hit the tower wall, still kissing hungrily. Harry growled into Malfoy's mouth, pushed the blond off of him and turned them so that it was Malfoy pinned to the wall. If he was going to do this it was going to be on his own terms. Malfoy responded by biting his lower lip hard enough he thought it might bleed. Harry pulled Malfoy's robes off his shoulders, letting them fall to the floor, while Malfoy's hands worked their way under Harry's t-shirt.

Harry pulled away from Malfoy's lips and immediately attacked his neck, biting and sucking. Malfoy let out a low moan and his hands momentarily stilled on Harry's chest before resuming their ministrations. As Harry sucked at the base of Malfoy's neck, his own hands made their way down to the blond's trousers, fumbling with the belt buckle for a moment.

"Hurry up, Potter." To emphasize his need his hands abandoned the inside of Harry's shirt and grabbed his ass, pulling him so that their hard cocks rubbed up against each other through the layers of clothing.

"Fuck," Harry gasped. He renewed his efforts to unlatch Draco's trousers. After finally succeeding, he reached his hand inside, grabbing Draco's impressive cock. "We both have too many clothes on, Malfoy."

"Uh-huh," Draco responded absently, his head dropping back in pleasure.

Seeing this, Harry removed his hand, pulled his t-shirt up over his head and went to work on his own trousers. Malfoy growled in frustration at the loss of Harry's hand, but rather than complain, he began unbuttoning his shirt and stepped out of his trousers. Harry paused briefly seeing Draco standing completely naked in front of him. He really did have a beautiful body. No doubt Malfoy already knew that though. He looked around, for the first time feeling a bit self conscious. If someone saw them now… But no one would. The tower was empty and the revelers on the ground couldn't see them in the distance and dark. Still, Harry pulled out his wand and put a locking charm on the tower door—just in case. When he turned back around, Draco was attacking his lips once more.

Harry's arms wrapped around Malfoy's waist and pulled him closer so their bodies were flush against each other. Harry moaned as their bare cocks rubbed against each other. It felt amazing and for this time, nothing else mattered. Were dozens of people dead? Were there Death Eaters who still wanted to kill him? It was all gone, replaced by raw energy and pleasure. So Harry did it again.

"Fuck, Potter," Malfoy murmured against his lips.

"Turn around, Malfoy." Before Draco could comply Harry roughly pushed him around so that he was facing the school grounds. Without even being asked Draco braced himself with both hands on the wall, bending with his legs spread slightly, ready for Harry. He wasn't completely sure what he was doing of course, but he had the general idea. He spit on his fingers and lowered them down to Draco's hole. They were so close; he could feel every twitch, every tremor in Draco's body. Every breath. In the moon light he could see the muscles tense when he touched the blond. Malfoy let out a little gasp and his head dropped between his arms.

"You okay?"

"Keep going, you idiot."

"You sure you want to call names considering your current position?" Harry emphasized his question by twisting his finger slightly inside Draco. Whatever he did must have been good; Draco gasped again.

"Sweet Merlin."

Harry chuckled, trying to sound more confident than he actually was. He withdrew his fingers. This was insane, his mind told him. He was going to fuck Draco Malfoy?

"Wait, Potter. There's a charm for lube."

He picked up his wand quickly and performed the charm. Instantly an oily substance coated Harry's fingers. He tried to catch Draco's eye, but the blond kept his gaze purposely averted. With his free hand he stopped Draco from turning back around. He waited until finally their eyes met, asking silently if Draco was certain he wanted this. He wasn't, at least no more than Harry was. But just like Harry he needed it. Draco's gray eyes held the same fear and pain and helplessness that Harry himself felt. If they were two of a kind, they could take comfort in each other just for tonight.

"Turn around," Harry finally said, though less demanding than he had before. As Draco resumed his stance Harry spread the lube over his dick. Finally he was ready and positioned his cock at Malfoy's entrance.

"Do it," Draco growled. "Now."

Harry took a deep breath and pushed inside of Malfoy, gasping at the intense heat and tightness. He was holding Malfoy's hips so firmly he would surely leave bruises. For some reason the thought of Malfoy seeing the black and blue marks in the mirror for days to come excited him more. He would leave his mark on Malfoy.

"Move, Potter. For Merlin's sake, move."

Harry pulled back and pushed in again slowly, loving the sound Draco made. Draco pushed back on Harry's cock. As Harry established a rhythm Draco reached down to stroke his own cock. Harry squeezed his eyes shut and tuned out the outside world for just a little while. Everything else was gone.

"Fuck, Malfoy." Harry leaned forward and bit down on Malfoy's shoulder. He was getting close. Just… a few… more…

Malfoy grunted out a string of profanities as he came all over the stone wall and his hand. A moment later Harry came inside him. Draco collapsed forward, using his elbows to prop himself up. They were left looking out over the school grounds at the celebration. Those people continued on, despite death and destruction. Despite the fact that Harry Potter, their hero, had just fucked Draco Malfoy. Nothing had changed.

Harry eased his softening prick out of Malfoy and leaned against the wall next to him. Both out of breath and sweaty, the only sounds for several minutes were heavy panting and the music from the grounds below. Malfoy made the first move to clean up, casting a cleaning charm and grabbing his trousers. Harry watched him for a moment, wondering when or if he would start regretting it, because right now he felt bloody fantastic.

Harry reached out and put a hand on Draco's shoulder. Draco immediately dropped the trousers and turned to kiss Harry again. Draco's arms were around Harry's neck in an instant and Harry kissed back eagerly. Whatever this was, it wasn't over yet. Draco pulled back and just for one disappointed moment Harry thought he was leaving, but Draco spread his black robes out on the stone floor and pulled Harry down onto it. On their knees now they began kissing again. This time Harry let Draco dominate him, pushing him down onto his back. Draco climbed on top of him and smiled sadly.

"Do you know how many times I've wanted you to be this vulnerable?"

"So this must be like Christmas morning for you," Harry answered.

"I never pictured it quite like this. What would your adoring public think of this?"

"They'd think you hexed me into compliance."

Draco frowned. "And they'll never know… They all want a piece of you right now, their savior, but you're mine."

There was something about the way Draco said that. It stirred Harry's cock once more.

"So what are you going to do with me, Malfoy?"

In answer Draco dipped his head to Harry's chest and ran his tongue over Harry's nipple. Harry groaned, arching his back slightly. As they continued Harry realized that Draco's tongue really was a miraculous thing. After seeing to Harry's nipples, he worked his way up Harry's chest, shoulders and neck, leaving little love bites. It didn't take long for Harry to get hard again and he noticed Draco was too. He reached a hand between them and stroked both their cocks. Draco began to rotate his hips, creating more friction between them. He continued to suck and bite at Harry's neck as the friction built. Draco moaned into Harry's neck as he got closer to climax. Harry came first this time, spraying semen over both their chests. With just a couple more thrusts Draco came too before he collapsed down on Harry, panting.

After a few moments Draco reached for his wand, cleaned them and rolled over onto his back next to Harry. "No one can ever know," he said finally.

"No one would ever believe it."

Harry reached for his clothes and reluctantly pulled them on as Draco did the same. When they were finished Draco approached him with his wand out. Harry felt a little tingle of magic over the bite marks on his neck and realized the Malfoy had the presence of mind to hide the evidence. Next Harry did the same, cleaning Malfoy's neck of all bruises. Malfoy lifted his shirt then, examining the marks on his hips.

"Leave those," Harry said. Draco looked up with a mixture of alarm and amusement. "No one will see them anyway."

Draco nodded and smoothed his shirt down before slipping his robes back on. "This doesn't change anything," he said, though it sounded more like a question.

"Why would it?" Harry asked. "Just because we've swapped bodily fluids?"

Draco laughed. "You'll go on with your life and I with mine. This… was stupid."

"Yes, it was." After all, Harry couldn't argue with that. Draco turned to go, lifting Harry's locking charm. "I don't regret it."

Draco turned back around and offered a small smile. "Me either."

Harry nodded and let him go. It had worked. He didn't want to be alone, they'd only wanted to feel alive for a little while and they did. Now that it was over though, Harry felt just as sad as he had before. His friends were still dead, the party still raged on in the castle. Everything was just the same as it had always been. Except he'd had sex with Draco Malfoy. The knowledge wasn't as changing as he thought it should have been. In fact, it almost didn't matter at all.

Now and then, Harry thought of Draco and wondered what Draco's life was like. He considered that night they spent together when he was feeling especially lonely and wondered if Malfoy did too. He didn't see Draco often over the years, but when they crossed paths in Diagon Alley or Kings Cross they would nod politely. For just a moment their eyes would meet and a mutual understanding would pass between them: the secret was still safe, they still remembered. And Harry would thank the gods that no one else noticed the slight blush on his cheeks when he remembered that one night so long ago.