DISCLAIMER: I own nothing recognisable...not even the plot!
WARNINGS: Implied slash
YET ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: I adopted this from WynterRae, so that's why it may seem familiar to you. I have her permission to re-post this to my account...honestly!
To his credit he said no at first, but Ron and Hermione's knowing grins told him that he wouldn't get out of this easily. So, with a sigh and a strained smile, he gave in. So, here he was, standing outside a seemingly vacant warehouse, complete with boarded up windows and gang signs. There was a faint shimmer that he couldn't really see around the building. Harry tried to use his own wandless magic to reveal the building but, for once, he was not strong enough. As they stepped up to the door he felt like he had stepped through a curtain. After a few minutes the door opened and Harry found himself thrust forward by two familiar set of hands. While Ron's were eager and pushy, Hermione's were gentle yet convincing. As the dark hall welcomed him, Harry found himself wondering what he had agreed to.
Eventually the dark hall lightened into a deep, ruby red and let him walk on his own. There were doors lining the walls, each had a fantasy or game etched on them; Lost Love, Beast, Regret, Abuse, and even some odd ones that made no sense to him. Harry was not intrigued until he reached the last door...Deepest Wish. Having one in mind, he knocked lightly and opened the door. Inside was a simple layout of a red leather sofa, a king-size bed with black sheets, and an oak door that presumably led to the wash room. Glancing around, he sank into the sofa with a sigh. After a few minutes the soft iridescent glow dimmed down into a candle-like light and soft music began to play.
"Well, this is a first. I've never been this before and never had I dreamed that I'd be it with you." A soft melodic voice whispered in his ear.
Harry knew who it was of course, at least who he was disguised to be. It had been a hidden secret of his for many years. All of his friends - those who were left at least - knew he was gay, they also knew he didn't date; what they didn't know was why. They didn't know how the bickering had turned to snogging, how the hexes had turned into soft kisses, how the punches had turned to caresses, or how the hate had turned to love. They never found his picture, kept in a silver frame beneath his pillow, and they never heard him cry. To this day he still dreamt of his face, his smoky grey eyes that had specks of blue in them, his silvery blonde hair and his smile. Harry shook himself out of his reverie and looked up to see Draco Malfoy smirking at him.
"Hmm- and what will we be doing tonight, Love?" His velvety voice sounded the same.
Harry inhaled sharply and looked 'Draco' up and down. He had on thin grey slacks and a white striped button down shirt. He looked just like the real Draco had before the war.
"I just want to talk."
'Draco's' eyebrows rose in surprise before he shrugged and sat on the sofa. He sat facing Harry with one leg beneath him and the other hanging off; he rested his head on his arm which was folded on the top of the sofa.
"I can't tell you anything personal, not my real name, what I look like, nothing."
Harry nodded, really just wanting his voice. "What got you into this?"
A small flicker of regret entered his eyes. "I started when I was 16. I was getting too close to someone I was supposed to hate and it scared me...so I ran."
"What were you afraid of?"
"My father...he would have had my head on a platter. Then there was the fact that I loved him and he didn't love me back... at least that's what I thought at the time. I thought I was just something to pass the time." He smiled sadly then sighed. "What about you, Love? Why Malfoy?"
Harry chuckled, "Would you believe I love him?"
"Why shouldn't I?" The other man's voice seemed a little tight.
Harry stopped laughing and grew silent. After a moment he sighed.
"Everyone in school thought we were enemies; they never looked past the petty fights and saw the truth. Not many would believe we were even friends."
"Tell me about your time together."
Harry looked at him questioningly, but shrugged in the end...why not?
"It started out simple enough; we were fighting in an abandoned corridor one night..."
"Well, this isn't right." I mumbled looking at the map for the twentieth time.
I was trying to find the classroom that Hermione had told me to meet her in. Unfortunately, she drew her own map instead of pointing it out on mine. Apparently I had taken a right when I needed to go left... and that was a ways back. Sighing I shoved the map into my pocket and rubbed the bridge of my nose. After a minute I looked up and down the corridor and the impulsively went right. After a few yards I came to a dead end and cursed.
"Lost, Potter?" A familiar voice drawled.
I pinched my eyes shut and willed the voice to go away.
"Cat got your tongue Potter?"
Sighing I turned around to see Malfoy standing with his hands on his hips and a smirk on his face.
"Let's not do this today Malfoy. I just want to find a way out of here and go to bed." I said, walking towards him.
Malfoy's smirk faltered a bit, "Giving up already?"
I sighed and brushed past him, planning on just walking away. Suddenly I felt a pull at my shoulder and I was whirled around.
"Listen here Potter, I don't care if you survived the killing curse or that your bloody parents died. So when I talk to you, you'd better bloody well answer me!"
Malfoy looked as if he was going to punch me for a minute but then he just backed away. Confused and disoriented, I frowned.
"Hit a nerve did I? No one ignores the big bad Malfoy huh? Well then tell me, what are you going to do about it?" I smirked and turned away.
I only got a few paces before I heard him shout. Immobilus I think it was...
When I woke, I found that I still couldn't move; the Immobilus spell was one that had to be removed, it didn't just wear off. I looked around with my eyes, trying to figure out where I was and where Malfoy had gone to; a slight sound to my right gained my immediate attention and soon he walked into my line of vision. I waited for the usual anger to come to me, but it was conspicuously absent. While I was thinking about that, he sat down and began to gently run his fingers up and down my arm. Now, you have to realise that Immobilus doesn't stop feeling, just movement, so I was now concerned that my arm was being stroked by my worst enemy. Then he decided to speak.
"I'm sorry that I didn't warn you, but you were about to leave and I couldn't have that. No one ignores a Malfoy." I still couldn't speak, so I was forced to listen to him talk. "I'm tired of the fighting, tired of the anger, the hatred. I'm not going to live through this war and I just want to have a little bit of good to remember...until it ends."
I felt my heart clench when he said this; he was so sad, so lost...I wanted to change that. I had a fight with my Gryffindor side; it was telling me that Malfoy was lying and that I was probably going to end up dead in this room, wherever it was. The Slytherin side of me said that this was a side of Draco that very few people, if any, ever got to see; it was telling me that Draco was being honest and letting his mask down for the first time in years.
Harry paused and looked up at 'Draco', sitting opposite of him on the sofa. The expression on the other man's face was interesting...a combination of surprise and sadness, with a little bit of concern thrown in for good measure. 'Draco' very slowly reached across the space between them and twined his fingers with Harry's.
"And from there? How did it progress from there?"
Harry sighed and once again cast his mind into the past.
After that one night of me listening while he talked, our fights slowly began to change. We would start out the same way we always had but, somewhere in the middle, we would stop and stare at each other; like we were surprised to see the other standing there.
The first time anything physical happened, it came as a shock to me because I was the one who initiated it. We were fighting...no hexes or jinxes...just yelling back and forth at each other in a deserted hallway. A feeling came over me and I realised that I wanted to know what he tasted like. I was beginning to explore being gay; because of the war, I hadn't really tried anything other than a few kisses here and there...mostly with girls. That stopped when I found out that I liked kissing other boys much better than kissing girls.
I grabbed the front of his robes and pulled him in close to me; his eyes went wide as he realised what I was going to do. I didn't give him any time to react, I just kissed him; it was like a shock ran through my body...I wanted to keep on snogging him and never let go. After a bit, it seemed like a really long time to me right then, he started to return the kiss.
"That was just the start...over time, other things changed as well. We took to starting our fights where no one else could see or hear them. After a while, I realised that Draco was casting silencing spells whenever we started a fight, so that no one would come to interrupt us."
"Didn't any of your friends ever notice what was going on?" 'Draco' now seemed to be sitting on the edge of his seat, leaning forward with anticipation for the rest of the story.
"No, they were too wrapped up in their own relationship to worry about where I was going."
"Did you ever...erm..."
Harry closed his eyes as he thought about that night...the last night he ever saw Draco. He opened his eyes again, making no effort to hide the tears. "Yes...once...right before he disappeared. That was the last time I ever saw him; I woke the next morning and he was gone. His parents searched all over for him, but they never found him. I looked everywhere at the school before the end of my sixth year. I searched for him for almost four months before admitting that he wasn't coming back to me."
"What-what happened to him?"
Harry shook his head in defeat. "I don't know...he was never found. His father gave up looking long before I did, maybe about a month after he started; his mother kept searching for another month before calling a halt to it. My friends and I started hunting for a way to kill Voldemort after that," Harry noticed how 'Draco' flinched at the name, "but everywhere I went, I kept looking. Occasionally I would see a head of blonde hair and I would think that maybe, just maybe, I'd found him, but it was never Draco."
'Draco' sat back against the sofa and rested his head on his arm again. "Now I know why you only wanted to talk. You really do love him, don't you?"
"Yes, I do, and I don't think that will change. It's been five years since I've seen him and I've never dated anyone else, let alone slept with them. I-I just couldn't stomach the thought." Harry looked up and the surprise on 'Draco's' face made him chuckle slightly. "He was, and always will be, the love of my life; no one can ever replace him and I never wanted to try."
The muted sound of a gong rang through the room and 'Draco' looked up at the ceiling. "Please, just a little bit longer?" The gong sounded again and he sighed in resignation. "I'm sorry...the gong means that your time is up." He almost looked like he wanted to cry.
Harry reached out and ran a gentle hand through the blonde hair and then cupped 'Draco's' face. "I'm sorry, too, but it's been nice talking to you. Maybe...maybe I can come back and talk to you again."
'Draco' nodded and buried his face in his arms, like he didn't want to see Harry leave. Harry stood and pulled himself together before turning to the door and walking out of the room.
He made it back down the hallway and out of the building, passing the wards before falling to his knees. Seeing the 'Draco' in there had almost broken him again; he knew that he couldn't come back or he would risk losing his mind completely.
The man raised his head from his arms and stared longingly at the door; he wanted to follow Harry out of the building, but he had his contract to worry about. True there were only a few more months left on it, but the consequences of breaking it were too dire; he couldn't lose his magic. He wiped the tears off of his face and stood, trying to figure out how he was going to make it through the night.
A door opened up next to the large, unused bed and a tall woman walked into the room. "You want to go to him, hmm?"
The man nodded and his shoulders slumped dejectedly. "I can't, though; I still have time on my contract with you." He raised his head and squared his shoulders. "I may have nothing else, but I still have my pride; I don't go back on my word."
A small laugh escaped the woman. "And your magic would be forfeit if you did." She nodded thoughtfully and smiled gently at him. "You are of no use to us if you are in love. We didn't know this or we wouldn't have hired you on five years ago." With a wave of her wand, a long piece of parchment appeared in her hand. "This is your contract, please read it again; you've missed something important."
The man took the parchment and began to read the familiar terms of his contract. About halfway down the page a phrase was blinking at him in bright red ink:
All terms of this contract shall become null and void when the deepest desire of the undersigned is granted by any means other than their own doing.
He slowly looked up at the woman, hope growing like a seed in fertile soil. "Does this mean...?"
"Yes, you didn't ask for this; your greatest desire has been granted. You have met your love again and found out that he still loves you...your contract is fulfilled." She waved her wand and the man's few possessions appeared in front of him. "Your wages from the last five years have been deposited into a Gringotts account under your real name." She handed him a small golden key.
He took it and gathered his things, all shrunken down to fit into a small rucksack. Slinging the bag over his shoulder he looked at the woman. "Thank you...for everything. You took me in when no one else would have; you have my gratitude."
The woman's laughter rang out again. "Not many people would thank us for making them what you've become, but you're quite welcome. Now, go to him...if I'm correct he's just outside of the wards."
Harry was still trying to get himself together when he heard the door of the warehouse behind him open. He didn't want anyone to see him when he was like this, but he couldn't make himself care; his heart had been ripped apart again and he was still trying to breathe properly.
"Harry?" The voice was the same, only slightly deeper.
He looked back towards the voice and watched as the 'Draco' from the room walked out of the door and passed through the wards. As he did, the illusion of the sixteen year old Draco faded and was replaced by the man's true appearance. His body changed slightly, becoming more broad and a slight bit taller; the blonde hair remained the same, the stormy grey eyes didn't change.
The other man nodded hesitantly, as if afraid of Harry's reaction. Harry stood up and, trying to calm his racing heart, lifted a hand to cup Draco's cheek; Draco's eyes closed and he leaned into the caress. Slowly Harry traced the lines of the much loved face in front of him, learning the contours anew.
"Where have you been? I looked everywhere for you, but you had disappeared. Where did you go?"
Draco's eyes opened and Harry was startled by the depth of the sadness in them. "I had received a letter from my father; we weren't as careful as we thought we had been, someone saw us and informed him about our relationship. His letter told me that I needed to break things off with you or he would personally hand me over to the Dark Lord. I had no choice, I had to leave."
"Have you been here the whole time?" Harry took one of Draco's hands into his.
"Yes, this was the first place that I found where I didn't have to be Draco Malfoy, heir to the Malfoy fortune; I could just be some nameless person that no one really knew. Since the contract I signed basically emancipated me, I didn't have to worry about underage use of magic." He stared into the green eyes he had dreamed about so many times. "Did you really mean it...when you said that you love me?"
"I always have, ever since things began to change between us. When you left, I thought that I'd done something wrong and you were disgusted with me."
He was stopped by the frantic shaking of Draco's head. "Never! I didn't want to go, but I had to. If Father had come for me, and found that I hadn't ended our relationship like he wanted..." Draco paused to take a shaky breath. "He would have killed you and taken me to the Dark Lord. I wasn't about to risk your life that way."
Harry opened his arms and Draco dove into them, shaking with both tears and emotion. He was back in his Harry's arms...right where he belonged. If Harry had his way, and he would, Draco would never leave them again; for the first time in five years, he felt complete. He had found Draco and, together, they would forge into the future. He felt Draco stop shaking suddenly and he looked down into the eyes he had had to look up into five years ago.
"What is it, Love?"
"My father...what if he finds out about us? I won't risk anything again!"
"Draco, Love, listen...your father can't touch us anymore; didn't you get news in that place?"
Draco shook his head. "No, we had to go off of what was in the client's mind; we weren't allowed to get newspapers."
"Bloody Hell! How many people are in that place? No, never mind, we'll talk about that later. Draco, I am sorry to have to tell you that your father is dead; he was sent to Azkaban, where he got Kissed."
Draco started to shake again, but this time it was from relief. "He's dead?"
"Well, not exactly, but close enough that it doesn't really matter. I defeated Voldemort four years ago; your father was sentenced right after that."
"And...and Mother?" Draco was afraid to hear that his mother had also received the Kiss.
"Permanent house arrest; she can never leave Malfoy Manor again. You were cleared of any charges that might have come up; you never took the mark."
Draco stretched up slightly and planted his lips firmly on Harry's, winding his arms around his neck. Harry had just freed him from the life he had been hiding from for the last five years. "What about the estate?"
"It's been held in trust for you...the Ministry knew you hadn't died. That's why I never completely gave up hope of finding you; your life force globe was still glowing."
"How did you come to be here?"
"Ron and Hermione. They knew something hasn't been right since sixth year and they were determined to get me to face it, so that I could move on." He lifted a hand to trace Draco's cheek again. "They don't know that I don't want to move on...I'm right where I need to be."
Draco smiled and returned the caress. "We're going to have to thank them, you know that, don't you?"
Harry nodded, chuckling. "Yeah, however, I don't think that you're going to be what they expected me to find in there."
Draco kissed him gently, drawing it out until both of them were barely aware of their surroundings. "True, but we both got what we wanted from the place...You got your Deepest Wish to see me again; I got my Deepest Desire to be with you again."
Harry laughed out loud and picked his love up, swinging him around in a circle. "I do love you, Draco Malfoy, you know that, right? Now that I've found you again, I'm never letting you go."
"I'm counting on that, oh Chosen One. Hmm...I wonder if the press could give you a new name...The Man Who Loved?"
The sounds of their laughter followed them as they walked away from the abandoned looking warehouse; after all, it's not every day that you are granted your every wish and desire.