Welcome back, everyone! :D
This was meant to be two chapters, but because of the TWENTY REVIEWS my prompts got, I thought you guys deserved something extra. "Something" being an additional five thousand words. All afternoon. Just for you guys.
A big thank-you to all who reviewed! You guys inspired me!
Warning: Well, there's a little of everything here. SLASH. :D
Disclaimer: NOT MINE. There. Happy now, J.K.R.?
"Harry!" Ron burst into the Gryffindor Common Room on a misty, frosted Friday afternoon, panting heavily. "Hermione! You won't believe what's happened!"
"What, Ron?" Hermione mumbled, never lifting her flitting gaze from the hefty textbook in her lap. Harry sat back in his chair, his eyebrows raised in a curious invitation for Ron to explain.
He glanced around, making sure no unlucky first-years lurked nearby, and then leaned close, gesturing for Harry and Hermione to do the same.
"Dad finally dug up enough dirt on the Malfoys to search their Manor, and they found all sorts of incriminating documents and artifacts!"
Harry's gut clenched, and he felt his fingers tighten around his quill, crushing some of the finer filaments.
Unaware of his friend's distress, Ron continued eagerly: "So they're skipping the trial, and the entire Malfoy family is getting the Kiss-"
"What!" Harry's quill stabbed into his palm as it snapped. Ron's head jerked in Harry's direction.
"It's not all that uncommon in times of war, Harry-" Hermione stated uncertainly.
Harry felt sick with dread. "Has it happened? Are they…?"
"Well, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy are definitely Kissed by now, and a dementor just arrived a few minutes ago to Kiss the ferret. That's how I found out about it, Dawlish was…. Where are you going?"
Harry sprang to his feet and dashed from the common room, his heart thudding unevenly. Please not Draco, please, please, please, not him, please…!
A moment of feverish panic washed over him as he realized that Draco could be anywhere, in the castle, anywhere at all-
But a heavy chill in the air was a superior guide to even the Marauder's Map. Harry flew down the stairs and tore open the doors to the Great Hall.
A blast of icy wind ruffled his hair, filled with the reek of old and new carrion, and Harry's wordless scream of horror echoed around the Hall as Draco's form fell from the dementor's arms and crumpled silently on the floor.
Harry bolted upright, his breath coming in unsteady gasps and pants as he struggled to regain his bearings. Dorm room. He was in his dorm room. It was dark, the pitch-black of the pre-dawn hour which invites nightmares and unseen shadows to skulk about.
But it was not the Great Hall.
It was not mid-afternoon.
It wasn't even Friday. It was very, very early on Saturday morning.
Harry collapsed back onto his mattress, staring into the bulk of nothing above his head. It was the third nightmare of the week that had to do with Draco. Or rather, a mix-up in what side Draco belonged to, and his subsequent imprisonment or death.
He shuddered, hugging his chest. The dementors were a recent addition to what was already a horrifying scenario. He never wanted to see another of those black-clad buggers again in his life. Somehow, he doubted he'd be that fortunate.
For the meantime, Harry turned on his side and tried to close his eyes.
Harry stared at himself in the mirror. On a normal Saturday morning, he would be more than content to hop in and out of the shower, drag on his school robes (adding a scarf or coat now that the weather had cooled so drastically), and pulling a comb through his hair once or twice before giving up. But today was different. Today was special.
It was the one month anniversary of the duel that had resulted in all of this mess. Harry had protested the idea of celebrating such an occurrence, stating that they should really have an anniversary on the day that they broke the curse, but Draco had simply suggested that they do both, instead. Then he smiled that impish smile, and his eyes had sparkled, and-
Harry scrubbed his hands over his face, trying to focus on his reflection. Simply put, tonight was their first official "date". They had agreed to dash to the room of requirement right at precisely five o'clock, which meant that if Hermione carried out her threat of making him do homework all afternoon, Harry would have absolutely no time to try to tame his hair, of spell ink off of his fingers, or change his clothes. Which meant that he had to figure out how to make himself presentable, and stay that way.
Charming his hands to repel ink was no walk in the park, but it was still the easiest part of the endeavor. He was rubbish at taming his hair, and getting the ink off without losing some fingers was a tricky endeavor even for Hermione- for Harry, it was downright dangerous.
He had considered asking Hermione for help, but over the past three weeks, though Ron had reverted to his carefree self, he had caught her looking at him askance, as though she had been warned that he might spontaneously burst into flames. It didn't help that whenever they passed Draco in the hall, Harry made a point not to look in his direction out of a fear of blushing or smiling like a loon.
After all, Harry hadn't found the courage to come clean about their relationship to his best friends. He and Draco had met with Dumbledore four times since the plant had been killed by the combined efforts of their teachers, and the three of them had discussed the future of Draco and his family. While Dumbledore had insisted that nobody could know about the change in allegiance, he hadn't explicitly insisted that Harry had to keep it from Ron and Hermione. Harry hadn't asked, but Dumbledore would've sent him some sort of sign to indicate whether he shouldn't tell.
Nearly three weeks had passed, and the winter break was nearly upon them. Harry and Draco had, after some in-depth conversation, each spoken with Dumbledore about staying in the castle over the winter holiday, but Narcissa Malfoy and Molly Weasley had presented disturbingly similar reactions when the idea had been proposed (separately). But Dumbledore had intervened, skillfully not mentioning Harry to Narcissa or Draco to Molly, and the adults had decided that as long as Draco and Harry went home to their respective families on Christmas Day, it would all be fine. Molly had still grumbled as she terminated the fire-call, and Narcissa had seemed even more pinched and forced than usual (in Harry's opinion).
But now, Harry and Draco were going to have time to themselves after what seemed like ages. It had seemed like they could never so much as glance at one another without drawing some type of attention, and they'd barely had a chance to meet inside their Room. Now it was almost like taking a vacation to a foreign castle for Christmas. After all, Dumbledore had told them that so far, no one else had signed up to stay at the school. Everyone was striving for normalcy amidst the chaos and uncertainty of Voldemort's random attacks. Although it was probably safer at Hogwarts than anywhere else, families were trying to stick together.
"Harry? You coming?" Harry jumped at Ron's voice, startled out of his progressively darker train of thought. "We'll be late for breakfast," his friend added longingly.
Harry took a last look at himself in the mirror. His hair was residing comfortably in its normal, horrendous style, his fingertips were faintly spotty with black and blue ink, and his clothes were average at best. "Yeah," he said, feeling marginally downtrodden. "I'm coming."
Hermione was alarmingly fussy about how tired Harry looked when he and Ron met her in the common room to walk to breakfast together. ("Oh, Harry! You should really try not to worry yourself about what's going on out there… It's not healthy! There's nothing you can do!" And while Harry felt a cold, hard weight drop into his stomach whenever he deceived his friends, he could only picture their faces in his numerous nightmares as they turned against him.)
Breakfast passed in a blur of half-listening to Hermione map out their studying schedule ("Charms for the first hour, and then we'll cover last Tuesday's Transfiguration class- I noticed both of you slacking off, don't think I didn't! – and then Potions for another hour…") and Ron stuffing his face with sausage and eggs and toast.
It was on the way back that Harry ran into trouble. Or, rather, Ginny.
"Harry!" she called, making a beeline for the trio as they exited the Great Hall. "Can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Er. Sure," Harry said awkwardly, watching in slight panic as Ron and Hermione gave Ginny a quick hello and continued to the common room.
"Come on, the Charms corridor is so much warmer than it is here," Ginny chirped, and Harry reluctantly followed her up a flight of stairs and into the hall. Once she was a few paces into the passage, Ginny leaned against a wall, sighing happily. "Much better, right?"
"…right." Harry answered sluggishly. That time, though, it wasn't his fault. Standing in the middle of the corridor, a mere twenty-five paces away, were Draco, Pansy, and Blaise. And naturally, Draco looked impeccable. "So, what did you want to talk about?"
Ginny brightened, her eyes turning vaguely dreamy as she opened her mouth to talk.
Harry tried- really, he did –but no matter how intently he looked at Ginny's face as she spoke animatedly to him, his gaze would drift above her head, where he could see Draco standing a ways away in the hall. He was talking to Blaise and Pansy, and leaning against the wall with such grace and ease that Harry's eyes couldn't help but stray.
"…and so then, it occurred to me how great it would be if this summer, you came straight to the burrow with us instead of going back to your aunt and uncle's house. I mean, it would cut down on the amount of time that you spent travelling, and alone, and you'd be safer, right? And it would, you know, give us time to talk-"
Harry was nodding absently, flicking his gaze from Ginny to Draco and back, trying to be attentive. Every so often Draco would glance up and smile the tiniest bit before turning his attention back to his friends.
"I mean, not that we would have to talk, it's just an idea, it's not even that important-"
Draco said something to Pansy and Blaise, who nodded, and began walking towards where Harry and Ginny were. Draco stayed put for a moment, his stare burning into Harry's, before walking the opposite direction and ducking into an empty classroom.
"Forget it, it was silly of me to bring up, I'll just-"
"That sounds fine," Harry broke in, forcing himself to look into Ginny's eager eyes. "I-I mean, I'll talk to Dumbledore about where I'll stay- for all I know, I'll be going to Snuffles'…"
"Right, of course," Ginny said quickly, flashing a smile and flicking her hair over her shoulder. Her eyes looked slightly dimmer, but it could've been Harry's imagination. "So, where are you headed? Common room?"
"N-no, I need to talk to-" What hallway was this, again? "Professor Flitwick. You go ahead, I might need to wait a while."
She nodded, looking disappointed, and walked in the same direction as Pansy and Blaise.
Harry waited until she was out of sight before hurrying to the empty classroom and clambering inside.
It was dim, but not overly so. Draco was sitting in an enormous plush chair that had the same basic structure as the chairs for each individual desk- Harry suspected that he had transfigured one of them.
Harry leaned against the door slightly, looking at Draco. He was the quintessential Malfoy: perfectly sleek blonde hair, perfectly crisp white shirt (he'd lain his top robes on a nearby, leaving him in his ironed black trousers, shirt, and green tie), and perfectly at ease stance. The only thing missing was his mask- the perfect mask of indifferent disdain that Harry hated so much. In its place was a genuine smile that made an answering one tug on Harry's lips.
"You sure know how to keep a guy waiting," Draco chuckled, leaning back in the lush armchair. "are you going to stay over there?"
Harry shook his head slightly, drinking in Draco's familiar form for another moment before straightening off of the door and stepping closer slowly. As soon as he was close enough, Draco reached out and pulled Harry closer by his belt loops until he was being pulled onto Draco's lap. The blonde's eyes sparked as he reeled Harry in, filling with a recognized mixture of heat and affection. Harry's heart stuttered, and Draco drew him in for a kiss, keeping it chaste for the moment. When they broke apart, Harry drew a breath slowly. "Hello."
Draco smiled slightly. "Hello to you, too, sleepy." He lifted an elegant hand and gently traced the half-moons beneath Harry's eyes with his fingertips. "You're not having nightmares again, are you?"
At Harry's silence, Draco sighed sadly. "I'm sorry, Harry. Do you… want to tell me about it?"
Harry shook his head quickly. "No. No, I'll be okay." The last thing he wanted to do was tell Draco about the dementors.
"Well. If you don't want to talk, then whatever can we do to occupy ourselves?" Draco murmured, lifting his head slightly to run his lips along the side of Harry's jaw, while also pulling Harry's hips ever-so-slightly closer to his own.
Harry groaned in frustration. "I can't," he grumbled. "Hermione's expecting me in the common room, we're supposed to be working…"
"Blow it off…?" Draco offered briefly before latching his lips onto Harry's neck.
Reluctantly, Harry pulled back, placing his hands over Draco's on his hips. "I would if I could," he muttered, "But I'm supposed to be there now. I just ran into Ginny on the way there, and she wanted to talk…"
Draco's eyes narrowed slightly. "She's still hung up on you?"
"No! Well, sort of…" Harry admitted at Draco's incredulous look. "I'm just trying to be nice to her. After all, if she asks me why we can't be together, what am I supposed to say?"
Draco was quiet, lacing his fingers quietly with Harry's. "I just… don't like the way she looks at you."
Harry examined Draco's face for a moment before leaning in and pressing their lips together. It started simple, as Draco remained still, but after a moment, he released a tense breath and kissed Harry more firmly, tracing Harry's lower lip with his tongue before plundering Harry's mouth wholeheartedly until Harry's head was spinning and his breath was coming in short pants. Just when he was warming up to the idea of ditching the study session and staying right there with Draco, his boyfriend pulled back.
Draco's eyes were soft and hungry at the same time. "Go on. Before I keep you here by force."
"I'm not entirely against that," Harry whispered back, trying to lean in again, but Draco dodged, landed a peck on his cheek, and sat back in the chair.
"You're trying my restraint. Get going, or they'll wonder where you've gone off to."
With a rather loud grumble, Harry stole a last kiss and slid off of Draco's lap. "Fine. But you're making this up to me tonight."
"Five o'clock." Draco smirked. "Believe me, I'll do everything within my power to make it up to you. But don't be late. You'll have to pay for every minute you keep me waiting..."
"Looking forward to it," Harry said breezily even as his face flamed. For some reason, he couldn't get used to Draco teasing him like that. And paying for every minute? What did that even mean?
Exiting the room, Harry almost ran smack into Professor Flitwick. The older man looked up at him curiously, and then peered into the darkened classroom beyond him. "Mr. Potter," he squeaked slowly. "Is there anything I can help you with?"
"N-no, Professor," Harry stammered, skirting the shorter wizard and making a beeline for the entrance to the corridor. Behind him, he heard a startled, "Mr. Malfoy!"
Ears burning, Harry didn't look back.
Severus Snape was in a foul mood. At Hogwarts, this was not a terribly uncommon occurrence, as he was constantly surrounded by small, irksome people, but this time his temperament was caused by something else entirely.
Severus knew that he followed Dumbledore's orders first and foremost. And after the Devil's Snare had been neutralized (i.e., killed and burned) Headmaster had adamantly told all of the professors involved that no word of the incident could be spoken to a single soul, especially no one off campus. Normally, this would be fine. Normally, he would just nod, and go back to being annoyed at children every moment of every day.
But there was nothing normal about this.
Severus was almost certain that the Devil's Snare was modified in some way- normally, the tendrils crept slowly, trapping their prey using stealth. This plant was violent, whipping itself into a frenzy as it tried to avoid the fire and sunlight from the faculty's wands. It had nearly taken Trelawney's head off…
And it had something to do with Draco. Dumbledore never said a word, and Severus wasn't even sure if he was meant to know the truth. What he did know was that there was no way Draco's meetings with Dumbledore were entirely coincidental. His Godson's grades were fantastic, his behavior wasn't half-bad (except for that one day of missed class a few weeks back), and Severus had wracked his brains for weeks trying to figure out an alternative. All of them fell flat. Severus, as Lucius' eyes and ears at Hogwarts, was obligated to tell Lucius his suspicions.
But Dumbledore's word was final.
The Potions Professor was rudely awakened from his musings as a second-year dropped a vial of giant squid ink.
"Fifteen points from Hufflepuff," He barked at the terrified young girl. As the class resettled into their quiet chatter, Severus rubbed at his temple in irritation.
Being idle had run its course. It was time for action.
Lucius stared into his fire. Saturday afternoons were always filled with his business associates seeking advice for the coming work week. He tried to enjoy the momentary lull, but his thoughts were murky with apprehension and uncertainty. Though several weeks had passed, he had made no move to contact Dumbledore and arrange a change of alliance. There had been little opportunity with Narcissa's eyes following him after his disappearing act, when he had been at 12 Grimmauld Place. And even if there had been an opportunity, Lucius was… afraid.
Voldemort had been speaking more and more about finding a permanent headquarters for the Death Eaters. He was tiring of flitting from his followers homes. The week he'd spent at the Manor was quite possibly the longest and most frightening of Lucius' life; every move the Dark Lord had made had startled Lucius, had added to his doubts, his misgivings. The Dark Lord, thankfully, had been quite satisfied. Lucius had taken it then as a blessing, but as his master pondered a place for their ranks to safely live, Lucius felt increasingly uneasy, and was becoming certain that Voldemort had his sights set on Malfoy Manor.
If Lucius tried to back out of the Death Eaters now, he would be hunted down and slaughtered like a dog. Then they would go after Draco and Narcissa.
And even if he took the leap, there was no guarantee that Dumbledore would accept him. Granted, the old professor would appreciate having Lucius' knowledge, but Lucius' record was far from clean, and while Dumbledore had mercy on Severus, Lucius didn't think he was that kind to all Death Eaters who came crawling to him.
Voldemort had called a meeting in the Black Forests of Wales, close enough to Apparate but far enough to escape detection.
Lucius and Narcissa Apparated together, but as soon as they arrived, he dropped her hand. He'd barely touched her since his revelation at Sirius'.
They walked silently, listening to the forest wail in the midnight wind. Their path wound through the forest, narrow as a tightrope, and Narcissa grimaced as droplets of dew smeared against the hem of her dress below her cloak. "This had better be worth it," she grumbled. "Who on earth is so important that we have to assassinate them in the middle of the woods, rather than in the comfort of Dolohov's parlor?"
"Hush," Lucius beseeched her quietly, and they noiselessly picked their way through the brush to join the circlet of their fellows in a damp, mossy clearing. Above them, the occasional star peeked through the patchwork cloud cover.
"Is that the last?" Voldemort called, making Lucius and several others stiffen as the tall, pale figure entered from the opposite side. "Are we whole?"
"Indeed, my Lord," the cloaked figures rumbled.
"Wonderful." Voldemort made a signal to someone behind him, and the congregation shifted eagerly as Wormtail appeared, dragging behind him a bound figure with a black bag over his head. Muffled wheezes and grunts could be heard every time the prisoner was jostled, and he let out a stifled shriek as Wormtail threw him at Voldemort's feet.
"Now, then," Voldemort began to pace back and forth behind the trembling figure. "I'm sure you're all rather curious as to why I've brought you to this place in the dead of night. I assure you, it was necessary to ensure that we could properly dispose of this vermin," he spat, landing a sudden sharp kick to the victim's back- he shrank further with a gasp. "without being interrupted by the Order. You see, I'm actually doing them a favor, really. This pathetic man cannot walk the streets without being persecuted, cannot go with his fellows and try to raid us. We have lifted his burden from the shoulders of the Order, and yet they're still tearing Wizarding Britain apart, searching for him. Perhaps his charisma has helped him thus far. But I doubt we will be swayed by his charming face…"
At another gesture, Wormtail ripped the black burlap from the captive's head.
Lucius felt the earth drop out from beneath his feet.
Narcissa's hand latched onto his arm, vice-like, before he'd even realized that he had stepped forward. He half-turned to her, wide-eyed as the Death Eaters around them jeered and crowed with laughter. Her eyes were stony and harsh. "You brought this on yourself," she seethed. "You should have just stayed away from him. His blood is on your hands now."
Lucius was reeling. Across the clearing, Sirius, his dear Sirius, was lying still, bruised and bleeding. His dark eyes stared hopelessly upwards.
"And now," Voldemort called softly, and silence descended immediately. "We will rid the Order of their burdensome, wretched Sirius Black."
Lucius stood frozen helpless, watching the wand lift and point itself, hearing the incantation screeched, splitting the night, cleaving his heart-
Lucius bolted upright, shaking like a newborn kitten. In his fireplace, Severus Snape's head was looking at him with a mixture of curiosity and confusion. "Lucius? Did you honestly fall asleep in that old chair?"
Lucius stared into the fire, his heart rate slowly returning to normal. "Just resting my eyes," he muttered, scrubbing at his eyes. His hands came away damp. Crying in his sleep wasn't very Malfoy-like, but after that dream…
"I have to go," He said abruptly, talking over whatever Severus had fire-called to say. His friend's eyebrows scrunched, and his eyes narrowed.
"This is very important, Lucius-"
"I'm sorry, Severus, but so is what I have to do. I'll be back tomorrow morning; you can call before your morning classes." Already Lucius was reaching for his travelling cloak, patting his wrist to make sure his want was still up his sleeve.
Snape looked downright frustrated. "But it has to do with-"
Lucius was already leaving the office, wiping the last of the moisture from the corners of his eyes. "Tomorrow, Severus!"
Striding down the main hall, Lucius counted silently to himself. He had exactly four hours before Narcissa returned home from the afternoon gathering that Gloria Nott was hosting, four hours to get this done.
Gritting his teeth, Lucius opened the front door, stepped onto the stoop, and Apparated.
Staring into the empty office, Severus swore. "It has to do with Draco, you flighty bastard."
Harry was beginning to fear that he would never make it to the Room of Requirement. Oh, no- he would die of boredom first.
"…And after the Goblin Revolts of 1482 caused a rift between the muggles and the wizards, the Wizarding Council signed a pact with the Veelas and Vampires, and promised to support one another. Of course, Wizards blatantly disregarded the treaty, and ended up killing off most of the Vampires… Are you two even listening to me?"
Ron gave a slight snort as Harry jabbed him in the shoulder with a quill. Up until that moment, he had been drooping onto his collar, slumped into his chair, dead to the world.
"Oh, honestly, Ron!" Hermione chastised. "I'm trying to help you! If you only paid attention in class, and you didn't try to use your textbooks as pillows-"
Harry yawned rather spectacularly, and tried to peek at the clock mounted on the opposite wall. His heart thumped unsteadily. It was a quarter to five. "Well, Hermione, you only have fifteen more minutes to instill in us the wonders of our teachers' lessons…"
"What!" Hermione whirled around, gaping at the clock. "That can't be right! We'll have to keep working until we've gone through all of the classes!"
"Oh, come off it!" Ron growled. "We agreed to study until five, and then we get to run away from you and hide."
Hermione went slightly red. "Well," she snapped. "I apologize for trying to help you-"
"Hermione, he didn't mean it. We're just a little tired. Go on?" Harry intervened carefully, relived when Hermione shot him a surprised but grateful smile.
"Alright, where was I? Oh, the Vampires…"
Harry settled into his chair, staring at the clock. He had a feeling Ron was doing the same.
His mind drifted, quickly wandering a familiar path: Draco. He had insisted on the Room of Requirement for their first date, only smiling deviously whenever Harry asked why. Harry had thought back to the bath, when they had first devised the idea. Draco had talked about several hobbies… would Harry get to see them all firsthand?
But, Harry thought wryly, remembering their parting statements in the Charms room, the night would almost certainly end well.
Harry jumped as Ron exploded out of his seat with a shout. Sure enough, the clock's hands were gesturing lazily to five o'clock. Hermione's face looked sour for a moment, but as she watched Ron dance his way around the common room, drawing the stares of several third-years, her expression softened, and a small smile crept across her face.
"I'll- er- see you guys later?" Harry offered, eyeing the clock and inching to the door as he remembered Draco's words for the umpteenth time that day. Already it was one minute past the hour.
"Oh, right, your meeting with Dumbledore," Hermione nodded towards the door. "Go on. You don't want to be late."
"Thanks… Have fun tonight," He called over his shoulder as he climbed through the portrait hole. The second it closed behind him, he dashed off in the direction of the seventh floor corridor where Draco waited. He took the stairs two at a time, sprinting through the corridors, grateful for the cold drafts that kept the rest of the castle in their dorms and out of his path.
Too many minutes later, he ended up in front of the empty patch of wall where the Room of Requirement waited. Quickly, he focused his mind on what Draco had described to him, adding a where Draco is, what Draco asked for, for a good measure.
The door took forever to appear. It was almost like it knew Draco was sitting inside with a stopwatch and an evil grin. What am I thinking? Of course it knows.
The handle popped out of the door with a slight click, and Harry immediately grabbed it, and jerked it open. A blast of cold air greeted him, and all thoughts of any punishment scattered like desert dust in the wind.
The only thing about the room that he had correctly anticipated was Draco, sitting in a luxurious chair similar to the one he had transfigured in the Charms room with a small, round watch. The rest of the room was astounding.
The ceilings soared, reaching at least thirty-five feet in some places, with chandeliers like bushes of spidery silver light placed here and there. Off to one side was the more practical side, with a bed and bath. Of course, "practical" was only relative to the rest of the room. The bath was enormous, enough for a small family of elephants to frolic in, and the bed was the size of a squashed SUV, piled high with pillows and duvets. The area was one big room, and that was only a fraction of it. On one side was an art studio, complete with an easel and a large, white wall and floor for a still life. A little ways from that was a medium space partitioned with intricately carved dividers and decorated in dark, soft tones. In the middle of it was a small table, already set with candles, napkins, and silverware.
The rest of the large expanse was entirely made of ice.
"You mentioned that you wanted to skate," Draco said quietly, examining Harry's face, looking for a reaction. "But I heard today that a few Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are staying behind. I knew we couldn't be seen, and skating at night would almost certainly be too dangerous…. And don't worry, I already practiced making it disappear, so we won't freeze tonight. So…" He paused, meeting Harry's awed gaze. "do you like it?"
Harry gaped wordlessly for another moment before snapping out of his daze. "My God, Draco, it's amazing! It's perfect!"
Relief washed over Draco's face, and he immediately stood and strode forward to slip his arms around Harry's waist. "You mean it?"
"Absolutely!" Harry breathed, staring into Draco's delighted eyes.
"That's good," Draco responded quietly, excitement brimming in his voice. Without another word, he leaned down and closed the distance with a kiss. After a moment, Harry stood on his toes slightly, trying to get closer, and wrapped his arms around Draco's neck. The pair swayed slightly for a moment, pressing close and deepening the kiss for long, trickling moments before Harry managed to find the willpower to pull away. "Let's not get too carried away too soon," He murmured, pressing his forehead against Draco's and sighing quietly in contentment.
Draco smiled and made a sound of agreement. "Yes, we have lots to do."
Harry pulled back far enough so that he could pointedly look around the room again. "Yes," he laughed a little, his breath coming in little white puffs. "I can see that."
"Care for a tour?" Draco offered with a smile, making a sweeping gesture towards the more elaborate half of the room.
"Certainly," Harry said, picking up the same mock-formality that Draco had momentarily donned. They grinned at one another, and Draco led Harry towards the art studio, skirting the edge of the glassy, smooth surface.
"I told you I draw," Draco spoke with that same tinge of excitement, "And I figured tonight would be nice for a demonstration. Daylight is always better, but I figure we'll have plenty of time for that over the break. Candlelight is good, too, after all," Draco sent Harry a quick look. "And just so you know, I haven't forgotten about your tardiness. I'm just biding my time."
Harry flushed deeply at the silky quality of Draco's voice. Whenever it dipped into that timbre, it promised of things both terrible and wonderful that were to come. But Draco continued as if nothing had happened. "I'll just use charcoal or pencil, for now." Harry found himself being steered towards the black wood partitions. "I already spoke with Dobby, and he'll be here to bring dinner around seven. I considered cooking, but…" Draco ran a hand through his hair sheepishly. "I didn't think you'd be interested in pasta and burned toast…"
Harry snorted. "I doubt you're that bad. Don't worry; next time I'll cook for us. Since I actually know how."
"I'll hold you to that."
Harry glanced at Draco's smile. "What's the schedule? I assume you've planned everything out perfectly."
Draco went a little pink. "I'm not that obsessive," he grumbled, and completely negated the statement by then saying, "Like I said, dinner's at seven, so we have two hours now. We can skate, or I can sketch you, or we could have a raucous pillow fight…?" Harry snorted again. "Well, what I'd thought was that we skate now and I'll sketch you later, so w don't get cold during dinner, but if that's not what you want then-"
"That sounds excellent."
Draco turned quickly, to make sure Harry meant it, and then beamed. "Then let's do this."
Several minutes later, Harry found himself staring at a mound of pillows that Draco had summoned from the bed. They had satin pillowcases that shimmered slightly in the light from the dozen or so candles that Draco had set out carefully.
"Make yourself comfortable," Draco suggested. He was seated on a large cushion that he had conjured, with a large sketchbook in his lap. "It won't take the whole two hours, but if you want it to look good, I do have to spend a rather large piece of time on it, so you should pick a position that doesn't make you sore at all."
"…been here five minutes and you're already making me pick a position," Harry growled playfully. Draco laughed out loud.
"I think I've corrupted you, Harry," Draco told him, still chuckling. Harry thought about easing himself into the mountain of pillows, and decided against it, instead taking a running start and diving into the pile.
His glasses were crooked, biting into his nose, but with the pillows surrounding him on all sides and Draco's laughter ringing in his ears, he felt ridiculously happy. He wiggled around until he could see Draco, and turned on his back to lounge.
"Comfortable?" Draco asked, amused. At Harry's confirmation, he selected a piece of charcoal from a box and pressed it to the paper. "Let's begin. You can talk to me as long as I'm not doing your face, you know."
"Oh. What do you want to talk about?"
As it turned out, they talked about what seemed like everything. Draco told Harry about his fascination with music of all sorts, even some Muggle bands, but his complete inability to dance or sing. ("Dad tried to teach me to waltz once," he said, shaking his head and laughing, "but he gave up because I bruised his toes so badly!"). Conversely, he loved to draw, but had very little interest in other art that he had no personal investment in.
Harry went on for a bit about the Dursleys, but rather than dwelling on the darker bits, he told Draco about the accidental magic he had performed. Draco nearly laughed until he cried when Harry animatedly recounted the story of the vanishing glass in the zoo, and he seemed entranced by Harry's adventure of saving Buckbeak and Sirius. The moments slipped by easily, marked only by the faint whisper of Draco's charcoal.
"And- finished!" Draco said suddenly, with a last stroke of the charcoal. "Now I can finally do what I've been waiting for…"
Without any further warning, Draco leapt into the pillows.
Harry gave a rather unmanly squeak as he suddenly found himself staring into Draco's sparking grey eyes. He crawled closer in a prowling move so animalistic that Harry couldn't help the shiver that went down his spine.
"I hope you hadn't forgotten about your punishment," Draco whispered, his voice dripping with danger. Harry froze as Draco leaned in close to his throat. His breath was warm on Harry's skin, and Harry trembled, jumping slightly when Draco's lips closed on the base of his neck.
Harry's breathing hitched as Draco licked a stripe across his exposed collarbone. The blonde nipped and sucked at the skin until Harry's entire body felt flushed, occasionally laving his tongue against the spot until Harry shuddered.
At last, Draco pulled away. Harry stared up at his wicked face, his lips slightly reddened as they split into that smile.
"One down," he purred, undoing the first button on Harry's shirt and leaning forward again, "Six to go…" At Harry's surprised noise, Draco paused, looking up at him languidly. "Didn't you realize, Harry? You were seven minutes late."
Harry could do nothing but squirm as Draco worked his way down his torso. One love bite was craftily placed beneath his right nipple, another at the base of the left side of his ribcage.
Just as Draco was lowering his head for a fourth, there was a sharp Crack!
Harry jumped as Dobby appeared a few feet away, looking unsteady beneath the large trays of food and drink. "Dobby's apologies, sirs," he squeaked, "But the food was ready ahead of schedule. Do sirs wish for Dobby to wait?"
"No," Harry coughed, "No, now's fine, Dobby."
"Wonderful!" Dobby chirped. He vanished around the corner of the partition, still teetering slightly. Draco shifted, laying a quick kiss to Harry's jaw before pulling back and standing. "Don't think this gets you out of your punishment," Draco murmured.
Harry swallowed, accepting Draco's offered hand. He stretched slightly as he stood; his muscles were a tad stiff from being still for so long.
The two of them rounded the partition as Dobby set out the last of the plates. There were two plates of what looked like ravioli, buttered bread, and a small salad off to one side. Two goblets of pumpkin juice sat by each plate. "Unless Masters Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy need more from Dobby, Dobby needs to be in the kitchen, helping with dinner."
"We'll be fine, Dobby," Draco said. "Thank you for your help."
With a low, enthusiastic bow, Dobby vanished.
"Dinner tonight," Draco began, pulling Harry's chair out for him, "Is a mushroom-cheese-ravioli in a marinara sauce, with French buttered bread and a salad with romaine lettuce, croutons and Caesar salad dressing." Draco seemed oddly pleased as he sat across from Harry. He took out his want and lit the tall, white candles that sat between them. "I remembered that you mentioned you liked Italian food, so I thought it would be nice."
"It is," Harry agreed, putting his napkin in his lap and picking up his fork. Draco watched anxiously as he speared a ravioli and lifted it to his lips. The marinara sauce was perfectly spiced, mixing with the fresh parmesan and the delicate bits of mushroom. He made a noise of strong approval as he chewed, and Draco visibly relaxed. "It's excellent," Harry said after he swallowed, and Draco beamed.
The two of them dug in. As with the sketching, they exchanged stories. Harry howled with laughter when Draco described the time when he accidentally vanished his mother's apparating license, and the two of them had been taken down to the M.O.M. offices by a ministry witch patrolling Hogsmeade. Draco listened soberly to Harry talk about second year, when everyone had suspected Harry of being the Heir of Slytherin. Then they talked some about their father figures.
"I never thought that dad saw anyone before mother," Draco confessed, playing with what was left of his pasta. "The way she told it, they were high school sweethearts. I mean, she was two years older in school, but still."
"Sirius never said a word," Harry added, shaking his head as he reached for his pumpkin juice. "I don't know why he would've, but the way he reacted when I asked him… It was obvious that he knew exactly what I was talking about."
"I wonder how it started," Draco mused. "Sirius was nowhere near dad in school, right? There's at least a five year difference. So what happened?"
"We won't know unless we ask," Harry sent Draco an amused look. "It's your turn to ask your dad."
Draco spat out the mouthful of pumpkin juice he'd been about to swallow. "Bloody hell, no!" He coughed. "Do you have any idea what he would do? If his reaction is as serious as Sirius' was, he could have a heart attack or something! And then, once he comes back from the dead, he'll try and get me to tell him how I found out."
"Fine, you don't have to. But I'm not saying anything to Sirius again unless I'm forced to. We haven't had a chance to talk since… the incident, so I'm not sure if he's angry at me, or what."
Draco shook his head. "From what you've told me about him, I doubt he'd let something like that get in the way of your relationship. He's probably just busy."
Harry thought for a moment about the big, empty house where Sirius spent his days, and felt a little pang in his heart. Somehow, he doubted that was the reason, but he didn't say so.
"I wonder how it ended," he said abruptly a moment later.
Draco's brows furrowed. "We don't even know when it ended. And we've already established that we can't go up to them and ask."
Their eyes met, and the idea blossomed between them simultaneously. "But," Draco went on slowly. "We can ask-"
"Dobby!" Harry called, making Draco jump slightly in his chair.
A moment later, the elf popped into existence a few feet from the table. He blinked happily at the pair. "Master Harry needed Dobby?"
"We… er… we had some questions about Sirius Black and Lucius Malfoy." Draco said carefully.
Dobby cocked his head to one side expectantly.
Harry cleared his throat. "When did they- I mean, when did Sirius stop… visiting?"
Dobby tapped his chin with a long finger. "Dobby is not remembering exactly… The last of Master Black's visits was around the time when Dobby needed to redecorate the bedroom."
Harry glanced over at Draco in confusion, and Draco asked quickly, "Why did you need to redecorate? Was moth- Narcissa Black coming?"
Dobby shook his head so that his ears flopped. "No, Mistress arrived a few months later. Dobby needed to redecorate because Master Malfoy ruined everything."
"Could you explain? Ruined how?" Harry asked.
Dobby fidgeted. "Master seemed very upset. Dobby saw through the crack in the door, yes, he did, Dobby saw Master destroy it all. The bed, the desk, the chairs, even the carpet, all blasted apart-"
"What?" Draco looked astonished. "That couldn't have been dad. No way he'd lose control like that."
Dobby looked at the floor. "Master seemed very sad. Elves and wizards alike do things most unlike ourselves when we are sad."
Harry stared at Dobby. Then he slowly looked up to meet Draco's eyes. He saw a similar realization in the dove-grey. "You don't think it was because…?" Draco breathed.
"It fits," Harry said slowly. "It fits…"
Dobby's timid voice broke in. "Dobby is needed in the kitchen, sirs, if you aren't needing more assistance…?"
"Yes, yes, thank you, Dobby," Draco said absently, staring blankly at his plate. "You may go."
Dobby quickly gathered their finished plates and silverware and disapparated with a sharp crack.
Harry and Draco stared at one another silently in the wake of his departure.
"Shit!" Harry yelped, clutching Draco's arm in a death grip as his feet threatened to slip out from under him. Draco held him up patiently, a small smile on his face. "How are you so damn steady?" Harry growled.
"It comes naturally to Malfoys," Draco said haughtily, then winced as Harry nearly went down again. "Unless you want to leave me crippled, you may want to let me keep both my arms…"
"I don't know how to skate!" Harry exclaimed.
"You have to glide, Harry, gently. Go slowly at first, like this," Draco began to slide his feet forward, one at a time, "and push," He sent them forward smoothly. "Come on, baby steps. I didn't learn in ten minutes, either."
They had decided to leave the topic of their father figures alone for the time being, instead lacing on their skates and taking to the rink. Approximately two seconds into their adventure, Harry had started swearing loudly as he learned that the ice really was as slippery as it looked.
Now Draco was doing his best to teach him how to skate.
"Push and glide, push and glide, that's it- no, don't stop! You need momentum!"
"How the hell do you make it look so bloody easy!"
"I told you, years of practice. Now, come on. Right, left, right, left…"
And so it went on and on until some of the feeling finally returned to Draco's fingers. Harry's fingers were unclenching slightly as he settled into a rhythm, and Draco flexed his hand in relief. "See? You've got it. You never even fell down," Draco kissed the side of Harry's head, guiding them in a wide arc around the rink.
"That's only because you held me upright. And let me strangle your arm."
Draco smiled to himself. "It was worth it. See?" Careful not to jar Harry, he gently took Harry's hand off of his arm and placed it in his own.
Harry glanced over at Draco, a warmth rising in his chest. They were ice skating, hand in hand. It was just so… couple-y. A little cliché. But it felt right. Like this was where he was meant to be in the world, right there, holding hands with Draco.
Then he tripped.
Harry went sprawling, dragging a helpless Draco along for the ride. They skidded for a slightly painful, icy moment before sliding slowly to a stop. Harry's eyes were wide and surprised as he looked over at Draco, who snickered at the expression on his face. "You didn't think you were immune to falling down once you got the hang of it, did you?"
"Hush," Harry grumbled, trying to get to his feet. Immediately, Draco was upright and offering him a hand. "Easy, there. Getting up is a pain in the arse."
"No kidding," Harry snorted, accepting the offering.
"We'll have other chances to practice," Draco brushed some ice from his sleeves, "But do you want to maybe call it a night?"
Harry was suddenly very aware of how cold and wet he was, and he looked down, noticing large wet patches on his front from where he'd skidded on the ice. "Yeah. Let's warm up… Does can we conjure a fire place?"
"I've just about mastered the way the room works. Come on- if you don't want to freeze in your sleep, we should get rid of this rink. And we can't do that if we're standing on it."
Together, they skated awkwardly to the edge of the rink near the bed and gingerly stepped off. Harry started taking his skates off of his numb feet, watching Draco, who finished more quickly than he had. His boyfriend closed his eyes, and as Harry watched, the room shifted. The wall that had the art studio and dining area suddenly seemed to speed towards where Harry sat before molding into a simple peach-toned wall with a fireplace large enough to roast a cow . Before Harry's eyes, the entire space that had been filled by the ice was overlapped by the rushing wall. Wood appeared in the fireplace and flames erupted from them with a roar.
Draco opened his eyes, his face relaxing into a satisfied smile. "Let's get closer to the fire to warm up," he suggested, picking up a few of the pillows that littered the floor and pulling the edge of the topmost duvet, gesturing for Harry to do the same.
Together, they constructed a nest of a dozen or so pillows and three heavy, soft blankets. Harry plopped down in the middle of it and tugged at Draco's hand until the Slytherin did the same. Harry started to get cozy, but Draco stopped him with a smile. "Don't you want to get out of those wet clothes?" He asked craftily.
"Certainly," Harry responded, and then gasped as Draco pushed him down in the downy nest. His chilly fingers warmed slowly in the heat from the fire as he undid the buttons of Harry's topmost robes, and then his school shirt. Draco momentarily pulled Harry up to pull off the layers and toss them away. Harry was left in his trousers.
"Mmm," Draco hummed contentedly, looking at the purple marks marring the surface of Harry's skin. "It's good to know you're mine."
Harry flushed slightly, watching Draco's face in the light from the fire. It had that familiar hunger, but also a contentment. And then a flash of naughtiness as Draco's hand found the button of Harry's trousers.
In a flash, Draco had undone the button and zipper, and the pants and underwear were flying through the air to land in an obscure corner of the room. It didn't matter. What did matter was that Draco was nowhere near as naked as he should be.
So, naturally Harry would need to help him out… right?
Sitting up, Harry pushed Draco's coat from his shoulders and then moved on to Draco's tie, and then the buttons on his shirt. But when he reached for the button of Draco's pants, the blonde batted his hand away and stood, undoing them himself and kicking them away. "On your stomach," Draco ordered in a sultry, insistent voice. Harry was more than happy to oblige, his half-hard erection pressing into the pillows. He felt Draco's eyes roving over him, and then Draco's mouth descended on Harry's shoulder blade. The punishment, Harry remembered, squeezing his eyes shut as each lick and bite went straight to his cock.
The fourth bite went on his shoulder blade.
The fifth on the skin at the small of Harry's back.
The sixth on the oh-so-sensitive skin under Harry's left arsecheek.
Bracing himself for the second, Harry gasped as Draco flipped him over and parted his legs roughly. With an evil grin, Draco honed in on Harry's inner thigh, drawing a heady moan at the first bite. The next minute had Harry squirming against Draco's hold and letting out gasps every time Draco bit down. His erection was fully hard, twitching slightly in time with Harry's moans.
At last, Draco pulled away, licking his lips. "Mmm…. Were you wanting something, Harry?"
Harry groaned. It was going to be one of those nights where Draco made him spell out everything he wanted. "Draco, please, just-"
"…hmm? Just what?"
Harry writhed slightly on the satin pillows. "Please touch me," He gasped.
Draco smirked. "Oh, I'll do better than that. I owe you from this morning, remember?"
Before Harry could process it, Draco swooped in and took Harry's cock into his mouth, pressing his hands to Harry's hips to negate the bucking he knew was coming. Above him, Harry wailed, trying to adjust to the warm, wet heat surrounding his cock and the laving of Draco's tongue against the underside. After being subjected to the torture of Draco's mouth elsewhere for so long, Harry knew he wouldn't last. Whines and endless words tumbled from his lips, and as Draco sucked gently on the tip, he felt the familiar tightening of his testicles. "D-Draco, I'm-"
He cried out as he came, fisting his hands in Draco's pristine hair as he trembled. Draco didn't let a drop spill
Once he'd ridden the waved of pleasure, Harry went limp in the cocoon of satin, breathing heavily. Below him, Draco released his cock with a lewd pop and a satisfied smile.
"Don't you dare fall asleep, Harry. It's our anniversary. We're not done yet. Accio Lube!"
Dimly, Harry heard a cap being unscrewed, but he didn't think too much of it until a finger slid inside his entrance.
Harry gasped, his eyes fluttering open as he clenched down on the finger. Draco paused for a moment, watching Harry's face as he wriggled the finger back and forth. Harry groaned, feeling the stirring in his groin for the second time that night.
Draco slipped in another finger, and another too soon after. Before Harry could voice any discomfort, Draco's miracle fingers managed to locate that magic spot inside him, and Harry found himself pressing back against the intrusion. "Come on," he demanded.
"Fine, fine. But don't expect me to do all the work."
Harry gasped as Draco tugged him upright, and guided him on his knees so that he hovered above Draco's erection. He had just enough time to see how beautiful Draco looked in the firelight, with his hair mussed and his cheeks flushed and his eyes devouring every inch of Harry's body. Then he let out a long groan as Draco guided him onto his cock and lowered Harry until his butt brushed Draco's thighs. Both of them took a moment to catch their breath, and Harry braced his hands on Draco's shoulders to brace himself.
He lifted himself slowly, using his handholds and his legs, and he gritted his teeth at the feeling of Draco's cock moving inside him, slowly. He reached a certain height and let go, slamming back down with another loud cry. Draco's hands tightened on his hips, helping him find a rhythm. They looked into each other's eyes, and Draco leaned forward, kissing his way along Harry's jaw to his lips and swallowing Harry's whine as Draco's cock massaged his prostate. Angling his hips, Draco started to regulate the slow thrusts, aiming for Harry's sweet spot every time. From the sounds Harry made, he was succeeding.
Then Harry said the magic word.
And what could Draco do but oblige?
Pushing Harry down on his back, Draco parted the Gryffindor's legs wide and plunged in to the hilt. Harry's head rocked back, and he let out barks of pleasure with every thrust. Draco managed to hit his prostate every time, and Harry felt his second orgasm of the night approaching rapidly. He surged upwards, kissing Draco with lips and teeth and tongue, and with a final thrust, they came together, pressing close and gasping as one. Shivers of pleasure wracked Harry's body, and Draco laid him down gently in the pillows, draping his own body over him.
"Happy anniversary," Draco murmured, kissing the skin below Harry's ear before laying his head on Harry's shoulder.
Harry smiled drowsily to himself.
Yes, it was.
Behind his enormous desk, Dumbledore re-inked his quill and began scrawling the last line of a letter to an old colleague. He placed the final period and paused, listening to the not-quite-silence of the castle at midnight. He smiled to himself, and stood a half-moment before there was a firm knock on the door to his office.
Opening the door, he examined what it had revealed and beamed. Widening it, he beckoned with a few fingers. "I was wondering when you were going to visit me."
I hope you all enjoyed it! It's now time for bed. You've all seen the power of reviews, so toss me a few words! :)
P.S.: This is twice as long as longest thing I've ever posted. XD