Disclaimer – Nothing is mine…except perhaps the plot.
Chapter 9- Dreams
The rest of the day passed quickly and quietly and eventually Harry fell asleep on the sofa of their little sitting room with his head in Draco's lap, their friends surrounding them as they completed their homework and talked softly.
'We should go.' Hermione whispered gesturing at Harry. 'He needs some rest. He hardly got any last night.'
'His scar's really bad, isn't it?' Dean murmured.
'I don't ever remember seeing it that red.' Seamus gathered up his books and placed them in his bag; the others around him doing the same, even as they glanced at Harry.
'He usually glamours it.' Draco admitted. 'He doesn't want everybody looking at him.'
Blaise snorted. 'He's the wrong person for that then.'
'Come on.' Pansy scolded softly, smacking the dark haired Slytherin. 'Let's go. Make sure he gets some good rest, Draco.'
Draco snorted softly. 'Yes, ma'am. See you all tomorrow.' He drawled, lifting Harry gently in his arms and disappearing into the bedroom as everyone slipped almost silently out the door.
The night wasn't so peaceful however and Harry barely slept after those first initial hours. His scar burnt continually and images flooded his head so regularly it was alarming. Draco stayed with him, gently rubbing his back and pressing icy cold cloths against his forehead until about three in the morning when he summoned the headmaster by floo.
'Draco? What is it?' The headmaster called through the flames.
'It's Harry, Professor. The Dark Lord won't let up. He's been crying and retching most of the night. I don't know what to do.' Draco stammered out in haste.
Dumbledore's eyes widened. 'Go back to him, Draco. We will join you shortly.'
The blonde nodded, not caring who the "we" reference referred to, and hurried back onto the bedroom where Harry lay, bathed in sweat, blood trickling from his scar, in just a pair of now damp pyjama bottoms. Draco cast another drying charm to get rid of the sweat from them and summoned another cold cloth to place on Harry's forehead.
Dumbledore, Snape and Poppy all swept into the room one after the other. 'Dear boy.' Dumbledore breathed in sadness as he saw Harry's pasty skin and dark circles. Blood leaked down his chin as he bit his lip to stop from crying out. Draco hurried to wipe it away but Harry shot up from the bed and flew across the room into the bathroom, with Draco hot on his heels. The three adults heard retching that seemed to go on forever until finally the two boys reappeared at the door, Draco's arm tightly around Harry's waist as he all but carried the Boy-Who-Lived back to the bed and settled him gently.
Harry let out a groan as he laid back and Draco placed another cold cloth on his forehead. 'Sadistic bastard.' He breathed.
Draco couldn't hide the concern on his face as Snape came to pull him away from the bed so that Poppy would have room to work.
'How long has he been like this?' Dumbledore asked the Slytherin.
Draco looked up at the headmaster, his brow creased with worry.' He had a pretty bad night last night according to Hermione. I don't know exactly how bad. He slept in the tower, but he looked awful this morning.'
'And when did it start tonight?'
'Pretty much as soon as we went to bed.' Draco explained with a shrug. 'He got a bit of uninterrupted sleep out on the sofa after dinner but we'd been asleep probably less than an hour before he woke up screaming.'
They all turned their attention to Poppy as she lowered her wand with a sigh and shook her head at the proffered vial of Dreamless Sleep the potions master held out. 'I can't give him that tonight.' She murmured sadly.
Snape frowned. 'Why not?' The man snapped. 'It's clear the boy needs sleep.'
Harry snorted painfully. 'That may well be, Professor.' He sighed, struggling to pull himself up into a sitting position and smiling wanly when Draco darted over to give him a hand. 'But she can't give it to me tonight because I've already had double what is recommended in the last two weeks. Anymore and I may never wake up again.'
The Boy-Who-Lived gave his lover another wan smile but didn't reply.
'Poppy?' Dumbledore turned to the medi-witch who rolled her eyes.
'I can't tell you anymore than you can guess, Albus.'
The headmaster glanced at Harry whose green eyes were surprisingly clear considering the circumstances. 'He's coming today.' He said softly and the headmaster nodded, even as Draco gasped, his hand over his mouth as he stared at Harry anxiously.
The headmaster stepped up to the bed and placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, looking intently into the green eyes. 'I'd better contact everyone else then. Any ideas on when and how?'
Harry shook his head. 'No, sorry.'
Dumbledore patted the shoulder under his hand and shook his head. 'Just try and get as much rest as you can.'
'What are you going to do about the students, Albus?' Poppy asked.
Snape shifted. 'You cannot send them home, Albus. He will know.'
'I know that, Severus.' Dumbledore snapped.
'Seal them in the Great Hall.' Harry hissed, bringing his hand up to rub at his scar once again. 'It is big enough for them all and the house elves can protect them.' He ground out.
'Hush for a minute.' Draco scolded the now green faced boy, pressing the ice cold cloth once again to Harry's forehead and letting the young man lean back against his chest.
Harry allowed the ministrations for several moments before opening his eyes once again. All could see he was struggling not to throw up again. 'Ask the older years if they want to fight, and keep the DA out too. They will help.'
'But dear boy, they are just school children.'
Green eyes flashed. 'So am I, Albus. But this is our world, our future. Trust me, they will not take kindly to being thought of as children at a time like this.'
The headmaster looked as if he wanted to protest again but was halted by a hand on arm. 'We will do as you suggest, Harry.' Snape murmured. 'Try to rest as much as you can. We will see you at breakfast.'
Harry nodded and closed his eyes once again as Snape all but bundled Dumbledore out of the room with Poppy trailing.
'Harry…' Draco trailed off and Harry opened his eyes and stared up into worried grey eyes, shifting slightly until he could place his lips on Draco's in a chaste kiss.
'It will be okay, Draco. I swear to you.' He whispered.
The great hall was ominously quiet that morning when Harry and Draco finally walked in. All the students had obviously been spoken to by their respective Heads, probably in their common rooms as all of the younger students had pillows and blankets with them as well as extra books and games to keep themselves occupied tucked under their chairs.
Members of the Order of the Phoenix were grouped in one corner all talking softly with looks of determination on their faces. All nodded solemnly at Harry when he walked in but made no move to speak with him.
Several large groups of fifth, sixth and seventh years from all the houses and the DA were sitting together at the far end of the Gryffindor table no matter what house they were from.
The small amount of talk stopped completely as they walked in and everyone got a good look at Harry's scar, which he hadn't bothered to glamour over that morning. It was quite clear to all that the day had come.
Hermione and Pansy hurried over and guided them to the Gryffindor table, knowing Harry would need to speak with the DA before he did anything else.
He shrugged off Draco's arm and squeezed his hand before letting go as the rest of the DA shifted up to make room for the others. Harry's eyes widened at the sight of Ginny sitting there with the other sixth years and raised an eyebrow in question. Ginny raised one in reply and Harry knew that she felt coming battle was far more important than any squabble she hay have had over who Harry had chosen to love. 'Good morning.' Harry said quietly, keeping his voice low but loud enough for most of the hall to hear anyway in the silence. 'Well, we knew this day would come. I want to thank you all. I know you could have chosen to stay safe in the castle with the others but you haven't.'
'There is no choice, Harry.' Neville spoke up. 'This is as much for us as it is for you.'
Harry smiled and nodded. 'Good, you need to have an interest in the outcome above and beyond one person. This is about us. This is our time. This is our future. We will destroy Voldemort.' He smiled inwardly when no one around him flinched. 'And we will do it together, as friends, and as family, because together we are far stronger than anyone can know. We have all trained hard for this day and now it's here. Dum spiro, spero.'
'While I breathe, I hope.' The fifty odd members of the DA repeated the Latin phrase back to him in English, startling the other occupants of the hall who hadn't known the motto held by the club. Harry smiled at the group who stared back it him with such conviction, such loyalty, in their eyes until he found he had to look away.
His eyes sought out his teachers who had grouped together at one end of the head table and were murmuring softly, or they had been until the DA had spoken and were now all looking towards them. 'Excuse me.' Harry said softly, nodding his head deferentially to the DA before kissing Draco's cheek. 'Stay here.' He whispered before moving around the Gryffindor table and striding up the hall.
The group of teachers and Aurors surrounded him and the rest of the hall just watched as he talked softly with the group. The whole school had known Harry had been training full time since October but it was the first time anyone other than Harry's friends had seen his teachers. They watched as one by one, Harry accepted the weapons from Carragan and Worthy and strapped them about his body, replacing his usual robes with a specially made set of Auror's robes that Moody handed him.
The sword went around his waist, three daggers into the scabbards on his arms and left leg and the staff into the holster across his back.
'He's so tiny.' Hermione whispered, unable to keep the tremor out of her voice. And it was true. Surrounded by his teachers, all of whom towered over him, even Tonks, he looked like a second year. More students around the hall than would care to admit were also wondering just how such a diminutive figure could possibly defeat the darkest wizard of the age. Each of his teachers shook his hand and the headmaster hugged him tightly before releasing him and saying something so softly no one could hear.
Harry nodded, lifting his sleeves and murmuring a further glamour charm to reveal a thin silver band covered in runes on each wrist.
'What are those?' Blaise asked but Pansy just shrugged as Draco looked confused.
Harry lifted his head and closed his eyes and suddenly the bands dissolved and power flooded the great hall, leaving most feeling breathless. Harry swayed heavily until Snape grasped his shoulders to hold him steady.
'Limiters.' Hermione breathed. 'He had limiters on this whole time.'
'Bloody hell.' Blaise found himself suddenly having to sit down as they realised that what they'd seen Harry accomplish two weeks ago was only the tip of what he was capable of. Draco couldn't help the smile that broke out on his face. He now knew that Harry would be okay.
They entire hall watched as the potions master kept hold of Harry until he was able to stand on his own before releasing him. Harry said something that caused both men to glance over at Draco before the potions master nodded. Harry gave him a grateful smile and turned back to his teachers before bowing low.
'Thank you.' He said to all of them before turning on his heel and striding back towards Draco. The Slytherins and the rest of the DA just stared dumbfounded as Harry came towards them. The sheer weight of the power that surrounded him was almost tangible. Harry stepped right up to Draco and kissed him soundly. 'Promise me you will stay by your godfather's side?' He pleaded softly.
Draco looked up to see that Snape was watching him intently. 'Harry.'
'Draco, please, just do this for me. I would feel more confident knowing Snape is watching your back as well as the others. No offence.' He said, giving Hermione and the others a sheepish glance.
'None taken, Harry.' Hermione chuckled.
'Yeah, Snape's bloody scary. I know I'll be sticking close to him if I can.' Seamus added and the rest of the DA just laughed.
Harry smiled. 'I need to know you're safe, Draco. Otherwise I will be looking for you instead of concentrating on the task at hand.'
'I promise.' Draco said quietly. He had no concerns about Harry looking after himself any more. Harry's magical presence was overwhelming, it flitted along Draco's skin like a comforting embrace, so powerful it completely eroded any doubts his small stature may have raised.
Suddenly an alarm sounded and everyone looked towards Dumbledore. 'And so it begins.' The headmaster said over the noise.
Harry fought his way down towards the lake. One Death Eater after another fell to his magic and his weapons. Student, Order member and teacher alike fought along side him and he could see Hermione's bushy hair and Snape's tall black form on either side of his blonde lover and returned his attention to the black robed figures in front of him.
He could see the tall ship in the middle of the lake and a part of him cursed Albus for forgetting the small break in the wards that must have been left open after the departure of the Durmstrang students back in his forth year. He didn't though, as the look of shame that had flashed in the headmaster's eyes had been enough.
By the time they had made it out of the castle and sealed the other students in the great hall the lawn was swarming with Death Eaters. Harry had launched in and began carving a path through the black robes towards the lake. He knew that was where he would find the Dark Lord. He couldn't use his elemental skills until he was closer as there were too many students in the way. Finally he managed to pass the rest of the DA, and his teacher's sent the others students towards the Death Eaters coming across from the Quidditch Pitch before they surrounded him, watching his back, as Harry conjured wave after wave of water as if from nothing. Group after group of Death Eaters were swept into the lake as he finally made it onto the bank and waded in up to his ankles, surprised as the water warmed around him.
Student, Order member and Death Eater alike stopped momentarily and stared as columns of water shot into the sky, spinning and twisting before seeming to throw themselves at the ship that still stood in the middle of the lake, far too far away for a spell to reach it.
Harry concentrated on blasting the thing to millions of pieces as water rained down on him, wishing the Dark Lord was inside but knowing he wasn't. 'No escape now, Riddle.' He hissed under his breath as the ship finally exploded just as he felt as if he'd been punched in the gut. He staggered backward to land on the muddy bank and didn't notice as Dumbledore crouched beside him. The battle came to a shuddering halt as a chilling cry, one that had Harry's eyes lifted instantly, rang through the air around them.
'Draco.' He gasped, catching sight of the Slytherin on his knees, a blade sticking out of his now rapidly blood covered chest as Hermione stared at him in horror. Snape was prone on the ground, face down beside them and Harry knew that he had but minutes.
It was with a scream of sheer anger and dread that Harry leapt to his feet, tearing himself from Dumbledore's arms and sprinting across the grass towards the group. He barely noticed the Dark Lord standing a few feet away as the killing curse flew from his hand without thought, striking the Malfoy patriarch who stood over the fallen form of his biological son, throwing him almost thirty feet.
'Harry…' Draco gasped as Harry threw himself to his knees beside the boy and banished the blade before pulling him close, not caring about the blood that covered Draco's chest.
'Draco.' He whispered, concentrating hard on closing the wound. 'Shit.' He breathed.
'I think you'll find that won't make any difference, Harry Potter.' Riddle hissed from several feet away. Harry spun, holding Draco protectively to him as he eyed the snake like figure.
He felt Draco breath getting softer on his neck and his eyes filled. Riddle sneered at him. 'See what love brings you, Potter. It brings you defeat. It is a weakness, one you will regret for all eternity.' He hissed, raising his wand.
Harry saw red. No one could ever tell him that love made him weak. Love had given him a family, love had kept him safe, and love had shown him life and given him courage. 'You're wrong.' He hissed, closing his eyes and lifting his chin.
Suddenly a huge ball of water shot so quickly at Riddle it was almost impossible to see, encasing the red eyed wizard and lifting him off the ground, spinning faster and faster. Student, teacher and Death Eater alike just stared as water seemed to pour into Riddle's mouth and nose and eyes, swelling his body until it was an impossible size before it imploded with an enormous bang that threw everyone nearby to the ground.
Screams sounded across the grounds for almost a minute. The Death Eaters everywhere began clawing maniacally at their left arms as the Dark Mark drew on their magic before going after their life. All across the grounds those on the side of the light stared wide eyed as the Death Eaters just dropped dead around them, leaving the grounds quiet except for the sound of sobbing that was carried on the softly blowing breeze.
'Draco.' The word was barely discernable as Harry buried his face in the now dead Slytherin's neck and hugged him tightly, rocking back and forward. 'Oh god, Draco.' The lake nearby began to boil causing many students and teachers to stare in wonder and no small amount of fear. The water hissed and bubbled, in spite of the cold, and several of the Order were casting freezing charms in an effort to slow down the effects from reaching the Merpeople.
'Harry!' Hermione didn't hesitate to sit beside her friend, wrapping an arm around his shoulders even as tears stared dripping down her face. The other seventh year Syltherins and Gryffindors all but sprinted across the grounds from where they'd been fighting; rushing to get to Harry before he did something he might later regret.
'Minerva, get the uninjured students back to the castle. Filius, please help Poppy with those who are injured. Kinsgley will take care of the others.' Dumbledore bellowed as he hurried towards where Harry sat.
The two professors didn't hesitate, casting a sad glance at Harry before doing as they were asked. 'Merlin, Harry.' Blaise gasped out, unable to stop his voice from shaking as the other seventh years surrounded them together with Harry's teachers.
Harry continued to ignore them and it was only as Snape, now revived with a huge cut on his temple that continued to ooze blood, placed a hand on his shoulder that he looked up. 'I failed, Harry. I'm so sorry.' The potions master said, with far more emotion than any had ever heard previously.
Harry's eyes were full of pain and he shook his head. 'No, you tried. I just wasn't strong enough. I should have made sure he stayed away.' He stammered out as he turned back to Draco. 'You should have stayed in the castle.' He cried. 'But no, you always think you know best. Don't you. Bloody Slytherin, how could you leave me like this?' He finished, unable to speak for a moment as a sob stuck in his throat. Hermione and Pansy were both crying even as they tried to comfort their friend.
But Harry found himself unable to feel anything and didn't try to stop Snape when the potions master carefully extracted Draco from his arms and Hermione wrapped her arms around him again. Harry's grief was palpable, his emotions swirling around him, made worse by the strength on his magic. All around him were now crying, even old hands like Moody and Timbre. Suddenly Harry broke away from Hermione and launched himself at Draco.
'You bastard, you aren't allowed to leave.' He screamed, grabbing Draco's shoulders and shaking him forcefully. 'You promised you wouldn't, you swore to me you wouldn't.' He continued shaking him even as Hermione and Neville moved forward to stop him and Snape tried to shield Draco's body to him. Pansy just stared at Harry, unable to hide her shock.
Harry didn't notice as Neville forcefully grabbed at his shoulder. 'You gave me your word, god damn it.' He yelled, smacking Draco's body hard across the cheek.
Suddenly Draco sucked in a shuddering breath, an action that had everyone gaping and Snape almost dropping him. Harry's eyes were so wide they looked as if they might fall out of his head and the lake suddenly settled.
'Draco?' Harry's incredulous plea barely carried across the dozen inches between them but it was enough.
'Harry?' Draco breathed before coughing violently, blood spattering the ground around him.
'Merlin's beard.' Timbre voiced what everyone was thinking.
'Draco?' Harry whispered again, pulling away from Hermione and Neville and crawling until he was but inches from the other boy, looking intently down at the Slytherin. 'Can you hear me, Draco? Please, say something.'
Draco coughed again, his breath slightly wheezy as he breathed out. 'Did you have to smack me?' He groaned softly, lifting a hand to his reddening cheek.
Snape actually did drop him then but it didn't matter as Harry had his arms around him and was hugging him tightly as he placed kisses all over his face.
'I don't believe it.' Tonks sniffled, watching to two boys.
The other seventh years had rushed forward when it was clear that Harry and Draco weren't going to pull away, all but shoving the potions master out of the way and surrounding the two. They were crying and laughing and hugging each other as Dumbledore helped Snape to his feet. It didn't seem to matter what house they came from.
'How in Merlin's name?' The potions master questioned as the six other adults moved away from the students to stand nearby, each silently asking the exact same questions.
Dumbledore just watched the group of teenagers, his blue eyes twinkling fondly. 'That we may never know, Severus, but I suspect the bond between Harry and Draco might be stronger than first thought.'
It would only be later the next day, once Harry and Draco had finally surfaced and agreed to actually see people that all would realise just what an understatement that was.
To say that the rest of the school was stunned at the sight of a walking, talking, albeit blood covered, Draco, would have been an understatement. Neither boy took any notice however; even Poppy Pomfrey was waved away quite hysterically by Harry when she came too close. Harry looked like death, quite literally. His face was almost white, his eyes wide and slightly dazed and his hands shook even as they clutched Draco to him almost possessively.
It was quite clear to all that the Boy-Who-Lived would not cope with much more. The amount of magic he had wielded throughout the battle, and the shock of losing Draco, only to have him back again was just too much, and when Draco felt the Gryffindor stagger in his arms he quickly leant over to whisper into Pansy's ear. The Slytherin witch nodded and quickly repeated the phrase to those nearby and they hurried to bundle the two boys out the door and down towards Draco's rooms, Crabbe and Goyle standing as some sort of guard at the great hall in case any should try to follow them..
'Seal the door after us, Harry.' Hermione said looking into his eyes. Harry just stared at her, his green eyes glazed and uncomprehending. 'You have to stay in here together, to rebuild the bond.' She tried to explain but Harry just continued to stare blankly at her.
Draco removed his arms from Harry's waist and replaced them at his shoulders, turning him until his face was in Draco's chest and pulling him closer. 'I think I understand, Hermione.' He murmured. 'But I don't know how it could have happened.'
Hermione shrugged and glanced at Pansy. 'I don't know either, to be honest, but there has to be one. Nothing else can explain it. You were dead, Draco, and for several minutes.'
Harry started trembling violently in Draco's arms and the Slytherin glanced down to see the young man's eyes squeezed tightly shut as he whispered no over and over again. 'I think you'd better go.' He said softly. 'Just throw as many locking charms at the door after you leave and I'll have Harry put another up once he settles down. In fact, talk to Severus. He will understand.' He added to Blaise.
Blaise nodded and slowly backed out of the doorway. Pansy hesitated, looking as if she wanted nothing more than to throw her arms around her friend. Draco smiled and nodded to her. 'I'm okay, Pans. I'll see you in a little bit, alright?'
Pansy nodded and bit her lip, but allowed Hermione to tug her gently from the room and close the door behind them.
Draco didn't say anything but gently unwound one arm from Harry's shoulders, tugging him through to the bedroom and closing the door behind them before cupping his chin and lifting his head until he could meet those glazed green eyes. 'I'm here with you, Harry.' He murmured. 'I'll always be with you.'
'You left me.' Harry whimpered.
'I came back.'
'But you left.' Harry didn't seem to understand.
'But I came back.' Draco said again, gently stroking the pale cheek. 'I came back because I love you so very much.'
Harry studied the silver eyes intently and Draco watched as they slowly cleared. 'Draco…please.'
The Slytherin didn't hesitate, lowering his lips to Harry's, pouring everything he had into the kiss in an effort to make sure Harry understood that he needed him just as much as Harry did.
Clothes were all but torn off and lay where they were thrown. The bed was forgotten as Draco lifted Harry and pushed him against the door, the Gryffindor's legs wrapping around his waist as Draco's mouth carved a path down Harry's throat.
'Charms.' He breathed in Harry's ear as he moved his mouth back to the others. Harry didn't even blink, kissing Draco back just as hard, even as he raised his hand and threw out a locking and silencing charm that a squad of Aurors couldn't have broken.
'Draco.' Harry cried as he was breeched. The feeling of Draco inside him, with him, very much alive, was too much and it didn't take long before he was coming, screaming and crying and gripping Draco so tightly he would leave bruises.
The Slytherin followed quickly, Harry's power pulsing through him so strongly he almost blacked out and he fell to the floor, Harry still wrapped tightly around him as black crept into the edges of his vision.
They lay there for several minutes panting heavily until Draco could actually feel his body once again. It was then that he noticed Harry was still trembling. He picked up the Gryffindor, who had yet to let him go, ignoring his pained muscles and carried him to the bed where he quickly began trailing kisses across his chest once again.
Harry closed his eyes and leant back against the strong pale chest as the warm water lulled him into a light doze. He could feel Draco's hand in his hair, running his fingers through the wet strands as the other arm held him tight against the taller boy.
'Harry, are you alright?' Draco asked hesitantly.
They'd been in those rooms together for almost two days, not eating, barely sleeping, just continually holding and kissing and loving. They were exhausted but both could actually now feel the bond between them, humming happily.
'When do you think it started?' Harry asked softly.
Draco frowned for a moment before he realised what Harry was talking about. 'I think…I think it was Christmas Eve.' He murmured tentatively, unsure of how Harry would take being bonded to him without even knowing.
Harry turned and stared at Draco with such intensity that Draco found himself unable to look away. 'I love you so much.' Harry whispered.
Draco studied the suddenly vibrant green eyes and his heart lifted. He couldn't help the smile that broke across his face. 'As do I.' He said softly.
'Are you ready?' Draco asked, reaching up to tuck several stray strands of hair behind Harry's ear. The Gryffindor nodded and smiled, raising himself onto his tip toes to place a gentle kiss on Draco's lips.
'Yes. Let's face the music then.' He chuckled. Harry dropped the locking charms, not even blinking as he felt the other seventh year's and his teacher's eyes fall with them, obviously having broken through their own charms quickly. Harry idly wondered just how long they'd been waiting for them to emerge.
'I hope we haven't kept you all waiting to long.' The blond Slytherin drawled as he tugged Harry over to their armchair and down onto his lap.
There were several snorts from the other teenagers and a grimace of mild disgust from Snape but most of the other teachers just looked between them curiously. Dumbledore's piercing blue eyes studied them intently as if looking at the bond between them.
'My word.' Dumbledore breathed as he, as the only one in the room capable of actually seeing the bond, watched the power swirling and melding between them.
'Yes, Albus?' Harry asked with a wry little smile.
The headmaster's eyes flicked up to theirs, seeing the bright green and grey eyes with matching expressions. 'When? And how?'
Harry leant back against Draco's shoulder. 'Best we can gather, it was Christmas Eve.' He offered.
'Best as you can gather what?' Moody asked gruffly.
For once, Dumbledore didn't just jump in and start talking, obviously wanting to let Harry and Draco decide just how much they wanted to share with everyone.
Harry glanced up at Draco before looking back at the grizzly old Auror. 'Draco and I have bonded. Accidentally. But bonded all the same.'
'What sort of bond it is? And how did you do it without witnesses and things?' Hermione immediately began asking questions causing all of the Gryffindors and most of the Slytherins to roll their eyes exasperatedly.
Draco snorted and Harry just shook his head. 'I think…I think it's a Will Bond.' He said quietly, quickly silencing any further noise in the room.
'Harry, do you know what is involved in casting a Will Bond?' Worthy asked carefully when it became clear that most of the rest of the room were too stunned to speak.
Harry blushed to the tips of his ears, even as Draco grinned smugly to himself. 'Yes, I know, Nick. Thank you very much for pointing that out.' He said surprisingly calmly even as Draco snickered into his neck.
'And just how in Merlin's name did you manage to exchange blood while you were exchanging …well…other things.' Pansy started the sentence strongly but faded off at the end with a bright blush on her own that was almost unheard of for the Slytherin girl.
Draco's smug grin turned into a smirk. 'Do you really want to know, Pans.' He drawled.
'Yes.' Blaise, Hermione, Pansy and Dumbledore all said simultaneously.
Draco snorted again and Harry blushed further. 'We didn't exactly exchange blood.' Harry murmured. 'My scar was bleeding and Draco kissed it at the same time as…you know.' He finished, finally showing his discomfort past just the blush when he turned and buried his head in Draco's neck.
'And I take it Draco was playing the more dominate part.' Dumbledore asked bluntly. Harry didn't look up so Draco nodded, a slight pink tint to his cheeks.
The adults in the room exchanged pointed looks as Hermione's eyes studied the two intently. 'But you can't create a Will Bond from one side. There must be a clear exchange.' She insisted.
'That would depend on the strength of the will…among other things.' Snape murmured, speaking for the first time since they'd started the conversation.
Everyone turned to him, even Harry looked up.
'Did you take any potions or drink any alcohol in the forty-eight hours before that night?' The potions master asked.
Harry looked thoughtful. 'Dreamless Sleep, Painkilling, Calming Potion and…actually, there were two Calming Potions. And of course we celebrated that night.'
Eyes were wide around the room. 'Did Poppy know just how much you were taking?' The tall austere man questioned sharply.
Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Of course. Who do you think gave them to me?' He asked sarcastically. 'Look, I know what you're going to say, but I've been taking that crap in those sort of dosages since fifth year so don't start in on me. The bastard was in my head alright, and it bloody hurt.' Harry finished, glaring at the occupants of the room as if in challenge.
Draco pulled his disgruntled lover back against him as Neville spoke, shifting in his spot on the floor. 'Aren't we getting a little off topic here? Remember some of us are useless at potions. What will those potions change about the fact that Harry once again did something no one else ever could?'
Harry scowled. 'How do you know I did anything? It could have been Draco.' He muttered.
The Slytherin holding him chuckled. 'Fraid not, lovely. It's all you this time too. I hadn't known about the Calming Potions otherwise I would have told you yesterday.'
'Told me what?' Harry snapped, clearly upset. The Gryffindors knew why, the others just looked on in confusion.
Draco cupped his cheek and turned his head so he could kiss him gently. 'This doesn't make you any different then you were before.' He said softly. 'Your power, your will, fuelled the bond. The combination of the excess of arrowroot in your blood from the Calming Potion, and the alcohol from the firewhiskey Blaise gave you, caused a reaction. I completed the reaction when I kissed you. Nothing is impossible, Harry.'
Harry studied the grey eyes intently for several moments. 'I don't care.' He whispered finally. 'I don't care how or why. All I know is that that bond held you here, stopped you from leaving me, and that's all that matters.'
'Here, here.' Seamus piped up, rubbing his arms distractedly.
'Hey, Professor.' Blaise gave the potions master a slightly demented grin. 'If Draco and Harry are bonded, that means that Harry's a Snape now, right?'
There were any number of amused looks in the acerbic man's direction, even as he closed his eyes and let a slow breath of air out his nose before opening them again. 'Yes, Mr Zabini, I believe that is how it works.' He ground out and those around him snorted.
'It's alright, Professor. I won't hold you to it. I can just use my own name.' Harry said honestly.
Snape raised an eyebrow as he stared down at Harry. 'I think not, Harry.' He replied quietly by firmly. 'You are a strong, proud, brave young man, and you will use the name if that is what you wish to do.'
Harry stared at him, even as Draco beamed at his godfather. 'Thank you, Professor. I would be honoured.' Harry said softly.
Dumbledore's eyes were blinding. 'Marvellous, marvellous. Well then, how about some dinner. You two boys must be terribly hungry as the house elves told me haven't eaten anything since the day before yesterday.'
Harry blushed brightly again and ducked his head as those around them laughed. 'Come on, lovely, you need fattening up anyway.' Draco chuckled as he stood up, taking Harry with him and settling him gently on the floor. 'Those hipbones are digging into me again.' He added, smirking wickedly.
'Shut up you great prat.' Harry smacked him hard on the shoulder as several of the boys let out wolf whistles around them. 'Yes, yes, bloody funny, now get out.' He told them.
'Aww, but Harry.'
'Out, Finnegan. We'll meet you up there shortly.' Harry scolded, pointing to the door.
The Irishman rolled his eyes but soon all of the seventh years bar Draco had left and Harry turned to the headmaster, his other teacher's watching him curiously. 'Can you please put them back on?' He questioned, raising his hands in front of him and holding his wrists out.
'But Harry, why? You don't need to hide it anymore.' Dumbledore stared over his half moon glasses at the boy.
Harry sighed but didn't lower his arms. 'Yes, I do, Albus. It's too much. It makes people uncomfortable.'
'Harry, you don't need to do this.' Draco cut in.
The others watched as Harry's jaw clenched tightly. 'Yes, I do.' He repeated. 'You are all used to that level. The students aren't. Didn't you notice how Neville kept shifting as if he was nervous, or Seamus kept rubbing his arms as if he was itchy, or even that Pansy kept pinching the bridge of her nose as if she had a headache. And that was only sitting in the same room with me for less than an hour. I have four months left of school, and I refuse to let me being here distract the others from their studies. It's not fair.'
Dumbledore glanced up and stared at the others. Moody was the first to nod, Worthy and Carragan quickly followed and soon all the teachers were in agreement. 'You do realise it is dangerous to continue to use these much longer?' The headmaster questioned.
Harry nodded, ignoring the gasp from the Slytherin behind him. 'Yes.'
Dumbledore eyed him, his blue eyes no longer twinkling. 'I will only agree to this if you agree to take them off completely for one entire weekend a month. You can stay down here the entire time if you wish, but you will let you magic run free. I'll not let you put everyone else before yourself to the detriment of your health yet again, Harry. Do we have an agreement?'
Harry bit his lip before nodding slowly. 'Yes, Albus. I agree.'
Dumbledore smiled brightly and raised his wand.
'What? No wizard's oath this time?' Harry drawled, sounding so much like Draco that both Tonks and Shaklebolt couldn't help but laugh. The potions master just smacked him up the backside of the head as the other adults exchanged glances, none having any idea of what Harry was talking about.
'No, Harry. Not this time. This time I trust you will keep your word.' The headmaster gave him a pointed look and Harry blushed again, obviously Narcissa had mentioned his moment of indecision at Christmas.
He didn't say anything though just held his wrists out, sucking in a quiet breath as the headmaster intoned the ancient words as he drew the runic symbols over each wrist with his wand. Draco must have felt a loss through the bond and quickly stepped forward and wrapped his arms around and over Harry's as if to keep him warm.
'You really didn't have to do that.' He murmured as he tried to quell the shivers running through his lover. 'The others would have gotten used to it.'
Harry shook his head. 'Why should they have to?' He replied, lifting a hand and summoning a thick winter cloak and shrugging out of Draco's arms to put it on. 'Come on, I'm starving and if we don't get up there soon Hermione and Pansy will come looking for us.'
This time it was Draco who shuddered and grabbed Harry's hand, heading for the door. 'Merlin forbid.'
'Bye.' Harry called out to the adults who were looking after them in amusement.
Celebrations of the destruction of the Dark Lord Voldemort lasted for many weeks. Harry was invited by Fudge to press conference after press conference but Harry refused them all, citing his upcoming exams as more important. His denial to speak with the wizarding public only made things worse until the daily bombardment of owls became too much even for the house elves to manage and the Hogmeade weekend before Easter turned into a farce of epic proportions. Hundreds of reporters from around the world descended on the students as they exited the gates and entered the town, desperate for news of Harry and Draco.
Small first and second years were getting crushed and the bigger years rushed to try and hold back the mass of witches and wizards. Children were screaming and the DA members began stunning some of the adults, which most quickly took offence at, until Harry came stalking down from the castle, his face like thunder and froze everybody were they stood. It was currently his weekend without the limiters on and it was quite clear just why he'd defeated the darkest wizard of the age.
'ENOUGH.' Harry bellowed after casting a wandless sonorous. 'Enough. You people are out of control. Once I release you, you will move to the left and allow the students to pass. It is their weekend and they should be allowed to relax. Not be made to put up with leeches like you. Do you understand?'
Harry tone of voice left no room for argument, and once he'd received enough nods in acquiescence he lifted a hand and removed the sticking charm he'd placed on everyone's feet. There was some grumbling from the adults but when Harry's eyes narrowed they quickly did as he asked.
Hermione and the others looked reluctant to leave him Harry shook his head. 'Draco's almost here.' He murmured.
They looked behind him and sure enough the blonde Slytherin, his stern godfather trailing, was only about twenty yards away. 'How did you do that?' Daphne squeaked and Harry smiled.
'Let's just say he has a noticeable aura…at least to me.'
Pansy grinned and grabbed Hermione's arm. 'Come on, Madame Malkin's has some new dress robes I'm just dying to try on.'
Hermione rolled her eyes but allowed herself to be dragged towards the village with the rest of the Slytherins and Gryffindors in pursuit.
Harry waited until the two joined him, gifting the potions master with a grin and accepting the kiss Draco placed on his temple. 'I gather you heard.'
Draco shook his head. 'Felt it. Ruined a perfectly good sleeping draft too.' He chuckled.
Harry glanced up at the potions master once more. 'Explains the look on your godfather's face then.' He replied earning himself a sneer without any real heat behind it even as the potions master placed a calming hand on his shoulder and gestured to the still silent mass.
Harry snorted before turning back to the waiting reporters who had moved until they were crowded around him although slightly lower down the hilly laneway as if a little afraid to approach him.
'Mr Potter, can we ask.'
Harry cut the man off with a single motion of his hand. 'To begin with, it's Potter-Snape.' He said bluntly, feeling the older man squeeze his shoulder gently. 'And secondly, no. You can't ask me anything.'
'But we've been waiting.'
Harry's eyes flashed and once again the offender was silenced. 'I don't really care how long you've all been waiting. You already know all the details of what happened. Professor Dumbledore and Minister Fudge have explained it many times. I do not see why you need to come out here, scaring children and ruining what little free time they have.'
'But we want to know about Draco Malfoy.' Said another, who was also quickly silenced, but this time by Snape as Draco grabbed Harry's hand and shifted to stand in front of him.
'There is no Draco Malfoy.' He snarled. 'My name is Draco Snape. And what happened to me is none of your business.'
'But is it true you died?'
'Harry no!' Draco gasped as he felt Harry power up behind him.
'Draco, take him back to the castle.' Snape ordered.
'Yes, Draco. Do that. It is only another month or so and then you won't be able to hide behind Hogwarts walls any longer. We'll find you both and you will tell us what we want to know.' A short balding man with a violent orange quill sneered at the blonde.
Draco felt Harry's rage grow and wrapped both arms around the young man, all but shoving Harry's face into his neck as he drew on their combined magic and apprated them away with an enormous crack, leaving the Hogwarts' potions master glaring down at the group with a look that promised pain.
Draco staggered as they landed, the effort to push through Hogwarts wards taxing him greatly, even with the use of Harry's unique magic.
'Bastards.' Harry hissed, shoving Draco away and pacing across the room towards the fireplace and back again. 'Bastards the lot of them. You're not dead. You're perfectly fine. I would have thought that would have been bloody obvious. But no, they're all too stupid. Merlin help me, it took so much not to just set them all on fire and be done with it.'
By the time his rant was finished he'd ended up almost toe to toe with Draco, who cupped Harry's shin and lifted it, and amused blonde eyebrow arched elegantly. 'Set them all on fire?'
Harry squirmed slightly. 'Well, maybe just stun them then.' He admitted.
Draco snorted and wrapped an arm around his waist, tugging him right up against his chest. 'I think we need to find a far better outlet for your anger than stunning a group of wizards not worth our time.' He murmured into Harry's ear before trailing kisses down his neck.
'Snobby git.' Harry gasped as Draco bit down on his collarbone. 'Okay. Anything else is good.' Harry quickly changed his mind as Draco's mouth moved back up to his and his hands found their way through his robes and up his shirt. Who was he to care anyway?
'Oh my word, Dragon. There are some things a mother really shouldn't see.' Narcissa's usually calm voice was quite shrill as she stepped out of the fireplace several hours later and caught sight of the two boys still entwined on the sofa.
'Merlin's beard!' Draco swore, desperately trying to reach for the throw rug on the arm behind him without uncovering any more than he already was. Harry helped by summoning their quilt from the bed and covering them both, even as he buried his head in Draco neck, snickering loudly at the mortified look on his lover's face. Things had really changed between Narcissa and her son and his lover in the two months since Riddle and Lucius' death.
Narcissa raised a perfectly sculptured eyebrow. 'Really Dragon, don't you think you should confine such things to the bedroom?'
'Don't you think you should wait to be invited before flooing in?' Draco snapped back before groaning as Harry shifted under him.
'Now, if you're quite finished?'
Harry shifted again and Draco hissed. 'We aren't, as you can quite plainly see. Now will you please just get out before I have Harry throw you out?'
Narcissa snorted elegantly and grabbed a handful of floo powder, giving Harry a wink before she tossed it in the fireplace. 'Perhaps some warding charms in the future, Harry dear.'
'Yes, Narcissa.' Harry couldn't help but snicker again as the woman stepped into the now green flames and was pulled away.
'Now, Harry.' Draco growled thrusting harshly into the body beneath him. Harry let out a breathy groan and flicked a ward over the fireplace before Draco returned his mouth to the Gryffindor's chest.
'You know she was probably just worried about you after what happened this morning.'
Draco bit hard down on the nipple in front of him and Harry gasped. 'It was you she was worried about, lovely,' He said firmly as he moved his mouth back to Harry's. 'And if you bring up my mother again while I'm inside you like this there will be consequences you aren't going to like.'
Harry snorted and Draco pulled out and flipped the smaller boy over before thrusting in harshly again. 'That wasn't a joke, Potter.' He hissed nastily, even as his hands gently traced Harry's sides. 'Do you really think I want to even remember I have a mother when I here doing this to you.'
Harry arched up into the strong body above him. 'Probably not.' He breathed as Draco pulled him tight to him and began moving far quicker, taking Harry in hand and tugging firmly.
'Definitely not.' Draco snapped out before he screamed as he came, Harry following quickly thereafter.
'Definitely not.' He whispered much more softly as he carefully pulled out of Harry and manoeuvred himself around so that the other was on top of him.
They lay there together as they waited to regain their breath, Harry tracing idle circles on the pale chest underneath him. 'I love you, Draco.' He whispered.
Draco smiled and stared into the stunning green eyes that were pinned on him. 'I know. I love you too.'
Draco stared at the young man he'd grown to love more than any other. 'I love you, Harry, more than you can ever imagine, more than you will ever know. Every day I wake up and thank Merlin that when my eyes open you're there, and every night I go to sleep I hope to Merlin that you will be there the next day. I don't know what I did to deserve someone like you but I know I will spend the rest of my life, our life, making sure you know just how thankful I am. Our life together will be the life of dreams, Harry, but they will be our dreams, and we will share them together.'
Harry's breath hitched and he could hear sniffles from many around them. 'My Draco.' He said softly. 'You are my life, my love, my family. I never thought I would find someone who would see me for me, and if they did, would actually love me. I too can't believe how lucky I am when I wake up next to you every morning. My heart lifts every time I see you, and used to clench in fear that one day I wouldn't. But I know that's not going to happen now. I almost lost you once, but now I know you will be with forever, for always, and that is what I thank Merlin for. I thank Merlin for the dreams we will share and that in spite of the past, we will have a future. A future together.'
Narcissa, sitting nearby actually dropped her aristocratic persona and burst into tears, Molly leaning over from the other aisle to hand her a tissue.
'Harry, Draco.' Dumbledore looked to each of them. 'You two were bonded long ago, you just didn't realize it. Now that bond is complete in the eyes of the Ministry, and before those you both call family. You have exchanged rings and words, all that remains is to exchange your love. Go ahead.'
Draco stepped forward, letting go of Harry's hands, which had been clasped tightly in his, and cupped his cheeks, grey eyes studying green intently before he closed them and closed the distance between them. The kiss so passionate it had several in the hall blushing hotly.
As they pulled away the family and friends let out a loud cheer and the two now eighteen year olds were surrounded by well wishers.
More than twelve months had passed since that fateful day when Harry had killed Tom Riddle and almost lost the love of his life. So much had changed since then. The seventh years had all graduated and moved on to bigger and better things.
Neville had apprenticed to Professor Sprout and had been dating Daphne for several months. Daphne herself was training as a healer at St Mungos and would floo from the little house she shared with Millie in Hogsmead each day.
Crabbe and Goyle had actually been accepted into the Auror program of all things and were completing the training with far more ease than any would have given them credit for.
Mille had taken a job at the local junior school in Hogsmeade, shaping the very young minds of the next generation of Hogwarts students.
And Pansy had taken the role of raising her two younger sisters quite seriously. Teaching them their letters and numbers for several hours every morning before spending the afternoons trying to sort out the messy Parkinson estate that her parents had left when they'd both keeled over and died that fateful day.
Parvarti and Lavander had opened a shop in Hogsmeade, which Harry owned and rented to them at a ridiculous price. Not that they knew that. They sold beads and other glass jewellery they made as well as some unusual robe designs that Pansy came up with in her spare time.
Seamus began working for the Falmouth Falcons as a chaser in their second division and everyone had made sure to attend the three games he'd played so far, all cheering the Irishman on.
Dean had gone on to wizarding university to pursue his art, and had already been taken under the wing of an old witch who had a studio above Ollivaders in Diagon Alley.
Nearly all of the Slytherins had lost at least one parent and most had lost two, but just like Draco, they refused to let the weight of family expectation rule their life. Draco's display of just what Harry had meant to him that day in October had shown them that there were more important things in life than expectations. And it was a lesson all had taken to heart.
Blaise was the only one whose parents remained, both having been neutral in the war, and he spent his time like you would expect a young, good looking, Italian playboy to spend it, chasing anything and everything. Well, that was till he set his sights on Hermione, and then nothing else would come close. He stopped the partying and took on a job with one of his father's real estate companies, quickly making a name for himself.
The witch in question continued to ignore him, at least in public. Spending her days at muggle university as she studied management and political science, and her evenings studying hard for the double course load in her little flat just off Diagon Alley. At least that's what she wanted everyone to think. Harry and Draco had apparated in on the two of them far too many times for it to be coincidence however, even though both stayed quiet, under threat from the witch herself. As Harry put it. 'She's bloody scary when she wants to be.'
Much to the displeasure of the reporters of the wizarding world, Harry and Draco had remained behind those imposing Hogwarts walls, Draco apprenticing under his godfather and Harry taking over as the DADA teacher, his NEWT marks in the subject far outstripping anyone in the history of Hogwarts. He'd studied hard over the summer to gain his teaching accreditation and had been quickly approved by the School Governors.
The year had passed quickly and classes had just been completed for another year, Ginny and the majority of the original DA had now left and Harry knew it would take some time build a loyal force like that again. Of course he always then remembered, usually with a small smile on his face, that one was no longer needed. Unheard of peace had reigned throughout the wizarding world and all were happy to have lived to see it.
Draco and Harry would leave tonight on a whirlwind trip that none bar Severus and Dumbledore knew the details of. Harry would finally do all that he'd hoped to, and he couldn't wait. He was so glad his family were so settled, so comfortable and happy with their lives. Occasionally, and it was usually only when surrounded by the rest of the Weasleys, he thought of Ron.
Ron was still in St Mungos, where he still ranted about Harry and Draco, and the healers still refused to let him go.