A/N: So... this is my newest story...I debated about starting to post this, but alas, I chose to do it. This story is going to be a creature type fic :) I hope that you guys will enjoy it. I know I'm enjoying it so far. Anyway, the first couple chapters will be setting it up, but it will get even better as it goes along. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: He's Changed
Pounding footsteps sounded through the office area that Draco Malfoy was working in. He glanced up from the pile of paperwork, that he was looking through, to see what the commotion was all about. Running through the office was none other than Hermione Granger, soon to be Hermione Nott and she looked extremely excited. She stopped directly in front of Draco's desk, a big smile on her face.
"He's coming!" she cried out happily.
Draco lifted an eyebrow at her exuberance. "Who's coming?"
"Harry, you dolt! He's coming to the wedding! Oh my gosh! I can't believe he's actually coming!" she exclaimed as she sunk into the seat in front of Draco's desk. She stared past him, a pleased smile on her face.
"Not sure why this is something I need to know, Granger," he pointed out.
She leveled him with a glare and then smirked. Draco didn't like that look. "Because you're coming to the wedding of course and I figure that you should know that Harry will be there and you wouldn't possibly ruin the most important day, in my life, over a petty issue with my best friend," she reasoned.
"And why would Potter being there possibly make any difference to me?" he questioned in a bored tone.
Hermione frowned. "He's changed, Draco, a lot and well, I think you should be prepared for that," she said carefully.
This piqued Draco's interest. "Changed? Changed how?" he asked curiously.
"Well, Theo and I saw him about two months ago and he was really different. I don't know, he was just different. Anyway, I have a million things to do. Come over tonight. Harry will be there. Oh, I just can't believe he's coming!" she exclaimed excitedly once again and jumped up to leave.
"You're just going to leave me hanging?" he called after her retreating form. She raised her hand in a wave and disappeared.
Draco looked at the stack of papers in front of him and frowned. His face brightened when he thought of who he could talk to that would tell him just how Harry has changed. He reached for the phone (they had installed these muggle like contraptions throughout the ministry after the war) and called over to the Ministry of Magic division to speak to Theo.
"Theo Nott, secretary to the Ministry of Magic, how may I help you?" Theo answered on the second ring.
Draco snickered into the phone and cleared his throat. "Yes, Madam, I mean Mister Secretary…" he trailed off when Theo huffed into the phone.
"Har, har, Draco. What's up?" he asked, his voice no longer a business tone.
"So, I hear that Potter is going to the wedding and will be at the shindig this evening?" he mentioned as if it didn't matter to him.
"That is correct and no I am not going to tell you how he's different. Now if that is all Draco, some of us have to work around here," Theo responded in a joking tone.
"Come on, tell me!" Draco whined petulantly.
"Good-bye, Draco!" Theo sing-songed before he hung up on him.
Draco huffed as he hung up the phone. He looked around his cubicle with a frown, deep in thought about just how much Harry could have really changed in five years.
Draco was bursting at the seams to get to Hermione and Theo's to see the "changed" Harry. It took all the strength he had to relax until 7:00 when he could finally apparate to their place without seeming too eager.
He arrived outside their home and looked around, wondering if Harry was already there. He had been imagining all sorts of things like he had grown his hair out in a long shag which caused him to upturn his nose at the possibility of that. He also wondered if he had gained tons of weight and was now portly like Crabbe or Goyle had been. He wondered if he'd died his hair blond or something or if he had simply changed his hair a smidgen and left it at that.
Draco took a deep breath before he waltzed up to Hermione and Theo's house and knocked on the door. He lifted his chin confidently and waited. After a few moments the door opened and he was greeted by Neville Longbottom.
"Good evening, Longbottom," he said genuinely. He smiled at the boy who returned the smile.
"Hey, Malfoy, come in. We're all in the sitting room," Neville greeted. He gestured in that direction and Draco followed off behind him.
Draco was suddenly very nervous. He had been trying to be calm and rational with his thoughts about Harry, but knowing that he could be there already was making him very anxious. He had hoped that enough time had passed that they could be cordial to one another. He took a deep breath before rounding the corner and coming into the sitting room. His eyes scanned the room quickly. They settled on a figure that was across the room that had their back to him. He looked the person up and down slowly. They had short dark, spiky black hair with a well built, lithe muscled body. They were wearing head to toe black. The black jeans were fitted and worked perfectly with the person's body and the shirt was loose, but nicely fitted as well.
"Harry!" Someone called out from across the room. Draco's eyes lit up and he watched as the person he had just been checking out turned towards the voice. Draco's eyes widened as he saw Harry's shoulders tense and he saw his head turn towards him. Draco's mouth dropped open and he felt a flush to his cheeks as Harry's bright green eyes settled on him. Draco felt a shock rip through his system at the way Harry's eyes stood out against his tan complexion. Then, to make him feel even more hot and bothered, Harry lifted his lips into a smirk and turned away. Draco instantly felt the absence of his look and had to reach out to grab something. It turned out that Neville was still standing by him and Draco was gripping his shoulder to keep himself upright.
"Alright, Malfoy?" Neville asked in concern. Draco nodded dumbly, his mouth moving to speak. "Um, maybe you should sit down. Let me get you something to drink," Neville said as he moved Draco to the nearest seat. Draco sat heavily and continued to stare at the spot that Harry was at. He couldn't look away. He blinked his eyes slowly and saw a cup of water in front of him. He reached out to take it, but Neville would not let go. He looked at the hand that was holding it and then followed it up the tan arm, black sleeve, and finally to the stubble on said person's face. It most definitely was not Neville. He looked up further and once again he was looking directly into intense green eyes that were no longer hidden behind round-rimmed glasses.
"Are you alright, Malfoy?" Harry asked in a tender tone.
Draco stared at him, blinking his eyes slowly. "I don't know," he croaked. Draco took the cup after Harry let go and sipped eagerly at it. He tensed when Harry sat down next to him, turning his body so that their knees were touching.
"How have you been? It seems like ages since I last saw you," Harry asked quietly. Draco glanced around the room, but no one was really paying him much mind although he felt like someone was staring at him intensely. Harry was.
"It's been five years," Draco responded. He glanced sideways at Harry who was still staring intently at him. He squirmed under the gaze and sipped his water.
He heard Harry let out a breath and felt his gaze turn away from him. "Yeah, I was going through some stuff after the war," he replied absently.
Draco turned towards him with a frown. "Such as?" he questioned.
Harry shrugged and looked back at him. "Dealing with the war, the losses, some other stuff."
Draco nodded. "You needed to go away for that?" he asked, his voice sounding almost hurt or confused.
Harry turned to him fully and stared at him. Draco looked up and their eyes met once again. As before, Draco felt the look deep within him and could not look away. Harry reached out with his hand, but then brought it back. He flexed his hand, making a fist, several times before he released it and answered his question. "I didn't have much choice."
Draco lifted an eyebrow in question, but Harry didn't elaborate. Draco was about to ask something else in order to get an answer to his question, but Hermione had called out to Harry and he excused himself and got up. Draco watched him leave, curiosity filling his mind.