"Are you alright Harry?"
Harry swallowed and took a deep breath before slowly releasing it. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'll be fine."
Draco's grey eyes were full of concern as he gazed down at his nervous lover. "You don't have to do this if you don't want to you know."
Harry flashed him a shaky smile. "No, I want to do this. More than anything."
Draco smiled and leaned down to press a soft kiss to Harry's lips. "Alright, just remember I'm right here with you."
Harry nodded nervously as his hands tightened on the shining mahogany broom handle.
Draco stepped back and gently pushed off from the grass surface, floating on his broom only a few feet above the ground; watching Harry closely, ready to move in if required.
Harry licked his lips and took a deep breath. With his heart pounding in his ears he hesitantly bent his knees and pushed upwards, springing off from the damp turf with a gentle push.
Harry's broom instantly rose into the air a couple of feet and then hovered in place, waiting for the next command from its rider.
Harry held his breath, his body trembling slightly as he felt a strange sense of vertigo wash over him. He couldn't see the ground or the broom, but his brain knew that he was perched precariously in mid-air without the aid of his sight sensory to keep him balanced. He felt as though one little breath of wind would knock him off.
The broom seemed to sense his unease and began to shake beneath him.
Draco drifted over and placed a gentle hand over Harry's clenched fists. "It's alright Harry, let your body remember."
Harry nodded tightly and tried to will away his nerves. He relaxed his grip on the broom handle under Draco's warm touch and breathed out, trying to clear his mind, pushing all irrational fears away. He thought about quidditch games from his Hogwarts days and the first time he ever flew. A lightness immediately filled his heart and his body ceased its trembling.
Draco smiled in satisfaction and removed his hand.
Harry swallowed and released another heavy breath before pulling upwards to force the broom in that direction. He leaned over the handle slightly and willed his broom further into the sky. He blinked as he felt the cool wind ruffle through his hair and against his cheeks.
Harry couldn't help but smile as his heart rose with his broom, the exhilaration filling his chest and seeming to explode through his body. He remembered this feeling. He could see in his mind what he looked like; it was as though he were watching a film of himself in his mind's eye and it helped to steady his balance.
Harry's tentative smile stretched into a full-out grin as he levelled off and shot forwards at a much faster speed.
Draco was right there at his side, grey eyes sparkling with happiness to see his lover so full of joy. He kept a careful eye on the end of the stadium so that Harry wouldn't crash into anything. He needn't have worried though as Harry began to slow and then turned back around. Harry stopped and hovered in the air, breathing heavily, cheeks flushed.
"That was… amazing!" he exulted, then laughed, feeling giddy.
Draco chuckled. "You looked amazing," he replied.
Harry laughed again, his laughter ringing out like a bell in the cold winter air. "Let's go back!"
Draco didn't have a chance to answer before the raven-haired man leaned over his broom and shot off back towards the centre of the huge stadium.
Draco laughed and took after him. He could tell Harry wasn't pushing himself too far as the blond caught up to him with ease. He remained on Harry's tail for the next hour as the ex-Gryffindor circled the stadium, trying to memorise the area of it, Draco calling out to him when he'd reached the outskirts on every side.
Harry finally floated downwards towards the ground and stopped a couple of meters away. He turned his head towards Draco uncertainly.
"How will I know where the ground is?" he asked.
Draco chewed his lip as he stopped at Harry's side. "Perhaps you should carry something that you can lower to find it."
"Like a stick?"
"Yeah, maybe one that you can extend to a greater length but that will fit in your robe pocket whilst you fly."
Harry nodded approvingly. "Sounds good," he chirped, still running on adrenaline.
Draco smiled and took Harry's elbow to help lead him back down to the soft turf.
Oliver Wood came running over, a huge grin splitting his face. "Harry that was brilliant!" he cried.
Harry stepped away from the borrowed broom and flashed his friend a triumphant smile. "It felt brilliant!"
"How was the broom?" Oliver inquired, glancing down at the newest model from his company.
"Great!" Harry enthused. "I won't know its true capabilities until I give it a really good run, but so far it feels really good."
"You were probably a bit too distracted to find any faults with it today so I won't get too excited yet," Oliver replied with a wink.
Draco's eyes narrowed a little as he watched this interaction with his boyfriend. While Oliver was a very good friend to Harry, Draco couldn't help but feel that the quidditch player's tone sometimes bordered on flirty.
"Does that mean I've got the job?" Harry replied hopefully.
Oliver laughed and clapped Harry on the shoulder. "Of course mate, you were born for this job. Don't you think so Malfoy?"
Draco immediately shrugged off his negative behaviour and smiled. Anyone who brought this much happiness to Harry was no enemy of his, especially since the young man's moments of true happiness were still few and far between.
Draco knew Harry was still healing from his horrible past but he was confident that the self-assured and happy Harry Potter he remembered from school would return one day.
"Yes, he's a born flier," Draco replied honestly.
Harry beamed at the compliment and held the broom out for Oliver to take.
"No, take it home and come back whenever you want," he said, pushing the broom back towards him. "Just let me know when you've written up your report and we'll get started on the modifications."
"Alright, thanks," Harry accepted with a smile. "Ready to go?" he asked, turning towards Draco.
"If you are." Draco took Harry's hand and began to lead him towards the exit.
Oliver accompanied them back out to the Apparation point just outside the huge professional stadium where Oliver played all of his home games.
"What are you two up to tonight?" he enquired.
"Off to Hogwarts for dinner and more experiments," Harry replied facetiously.
Draco chuckled; glad to see Harry in such a good mood. Sometimes Harry's willingness to visit Severus was not quite so easily achieved.
Oliver grinned and said his goodbyes before disappearing with a loud pop.
Draco held onto Harry's warm hand as he Disapparated the two of them home to get ready for their trip to Hogwarts.
. . . .
"Good evening Draco, Mr Potter," Snape greeted with a solemn nod as the two young men stepped through the fireplace and into his lounge room.
Harry shivered in the cool air of the dungeons. Snape's fire was always roaring but didn't seem to actually emit any heat.
Draco lightly held onto Harry's elbow as he directed him to Snape's black leather couch and sat down beside him.
Snape sat behind his desk finishing some paper grading before turning his attention to the other occupants of his quarters.
"Mr Potter," he said, putting aside the neat stack of papers, "I have concocted a new potion that I wish for you to try."
"Goodie," Harry muttered sarcastically under his breath.
Draco nudged him in the ribs with his elbow, causing Harry to smirk.
Snape rose and unlocked the dark cabinet just behind him. He removed a box and turned to place it on the surface of his wide desk. The potions master carefully lifted off the lid and Draco craned his neck to have a look inside at the contents. There were four rows of glass vials sitting in a tray. The vials were full of a dense, dark purple liquid that looked as thick as corn syrup.
"What is it?" Harry asked aside to Draco.
"Purple potions," he instantly replied. "About twenty of them in small glass beakers."
"Purple this time," Harry responded with raised brows. "Are they grape flavoured?"
"I am not in the habit of adding ridiculous flavouring to my potions to suit the whims of adolescent brats," Snape sneered, lifting one of the precious vials out.
Harry rolled his eyes, causing Draco to snigger quietly.
"If you are quite finished Mr Potter, would you please sample this potion?"
Harry stood up with a sigh and walked towards Snape's voice, Draco watching protectively from his position on the couch.
Snape pressed the vial into Harry's outstretched hand after uncorking it for his ex-student.
"Here goes nothing," Harry murmured to himself before downing the full contents of the small vial. Harry made a face and coughed once as the sour liquid slid thickly down his throat.
"Ugh what's in there?" Harry asked in disgust, smacking his lips to rid his mouth of every last vestige of the horrible potion.
Snape took back the empty vial. "Many ingredients that would be far beyond your limited knowledge and comprehension Potter," he replied with practiced condescension.
Harry took a steadying breath and bit back the sharp reply that was on the tip of his tongue, trying to remember that the despicable man was trying to help him - in his own convoluted way.
"Is this a course of potions?" Draco interceded, knowing Harry's tolerance of Snape's acidic tongue would only last so long.
Severus turned to his favoured student with a nod. "Yes, he will need to take one morning and night for the next six weeks. If the potion is to work then he will experience a marked difference in that time."
Draco nodded, filing the instructions away in his mind.
"Can we go now?" Harry asked tiredly, tilting his head towards his partner.
"Of course," Draco replied instantly, slipping an arm around Harry's waist and pulling the shorter man in against his side. "Is there anything else we need to know?" he asked, turning back to Severus.
"No." Snape replaced the lid back on the box and pushed it towards them. "Inform me the minute his condition changes."
Draco nodded and tucked the box beneath his right arm, keeping his left firmly in place around his exhausted lover. It had been a long day for Harry; overcoming his fear of flying on a broom again and then having to return to Hogwarts to try yet another of Snape's concoctions.
Harry silently followed Draco to the fireplace and stepped in, laying his head down on the blond's shoulder and closing his eyes.
Draco smiled fondly and placed a kiss atop the head of dark unruly hair.
Snape shook his head with disdain at the display of affection. He could see that Draco was completely in love with the Boy-Who-Lived but the same level of affection was not returned. Harry still looked lost, and if Snape's potion did in fact cure his blindness then the Gryffindor hero would quickly grow restless and unhappy in the forced bond that the two now found themselves in. The future could only hold disaster and unhappiness for both parties involved.
Not that he cared.
Snape turned back to his work with a sigh, pulling another pile of essays towards him and sitting down.
. . . . .
Harry collapsed into the soft plush couch in the lounge room as Draco carefully set the box of potions on the kitchen bench-top before returning to Harry's side.
"One of these times it'll be poison in those vials," Harry said with a tired smile.
Draco snorted as he laid his head back against the headrest and closed his eyes. "He's not that bad," he said.
"Not that bad?" Harry repeated incredulously. "The man hates me. He's always hated me and he always will hate me."
Draco couldn't help but smile. "Harry, he wouldn't be trying to help you if he hated you. He works tirelessly on your elusive cure."
"They're probably all placebos," Harry returned grumpily. "I think he hates me even more now that I'm bonded to his favourite godson. He must think that I'm going to taint your Slytherin sensibilities."
Draco laughed and opened his eyes, turning his head to see Harry's sour expression. "You can't taint a Slytherin Potter, I may taint a proud Gryffindor like yourself but I can not be influenced in any way."
Harry smiled reluctantly. "Alright, but you have to admit he treats me like I'm the dirt on the bottom of his boots."
"He's just being consistent. He can't treat you any differently now then he did back at Hogwarts now can he?."
Harry laughed. "Yeah, I might have a heart-attack. Can you imagine him smiling or laughing?"
Draco chuckled. "No, and that is a disturbing image Potter."
Harry laughed and then closed his eyes with a sigh, leaning back into the surrounding pillows.
Draco watched him for a moment before sitting up and stretching his arms over his head. "Well, it's been a long day, I think I'll head off."
Harry mumbled something unintelligibly, remaining where he was and keeping his eyes shut.
"Come on," Draco simpered. "I'll carry you."
Harry snorted before reluctantly getting to his feet with a groan. "My muscles are sore already, I hate to think what I'll be like tomorrow."
Draco fell into step beside him as they walked down the hall towards the bedroom.
"How about I take you for a nice long massage tomorrow?" the blond suggested.
"Mmm…" Harry smiled sleepily as he headed for the closet and removed his pyjamas from the shelf. "That would be heaven."
Draco smiled to himself as he undressed by his side of the bed. He would've loved to give Harry a massage himself but knew that it would make Harry uncomfortable, not to mention that it would be slightly frustrating to have his hands all over his love without anything else coming of it.
Draco glanced up at Harry thoughtfully as he slipped out of his trousers and pulled on a pair of cotton boxers.
They had been sharing a bed for the past week, with Harry hardly using his own bedroom across the hall anymore. Draco saw that as definite progress, but it was clear that Harry wasn't ready for anything more. Draco cursed the few times they had been intimate before as it had obviously set back Harry's healing process dramatically.
Draco had even spoken to Severus about it on several occasions. It was clear that Harry needed to disassociate sex with payment or gratitude, he needed to want it for pleasure's sake. Harry needed to want to be with Draco on every level possible; to burn from the inside out and desire Draco's touch.
As far as Draco could see, Harry was no where near ready. Harry was still controlling his emotions and shying away from a lot of physical attention.
Draco stopped to watch Harry confidently pull on his blue pyjama pants before neatly tossing his discarded clothes into the clothes hamper, knowing instinctively where it was located – sight or no sight.
The Slytherin had to smile. He was so fond of his partner that sometimes it seemed too great an emotion to contain. He hadn't told Harry that he loved him since that night so long ago, knowing that it would upset Harry when he wasn't ready to say it back, but he still loved him just as much now if not more. He felt very protective of him, something he'd never felt before, about anyone.
Harry climbed into their large bed and tilted his head with a frown. "Draco?" he called out uncertainly.
Draco shook himself and quickly slid beneath the cool sheets next to him. "Right here," he said reassuringly. "Goodnight Harry."
Harry smiled and lay down, curling up on his side.
Draco lay down beside him, watching as Harry snuggled down into the pillow and closed his eyes. He smiled and tenderly touched one finger to Harry's cheek before turning away and closing his own eyes.
Draco's grey eyes flew open with a start a few minutes later as a pair of arms slipped around him and a warm body pressed up against him from behind.
"Goodnight Draco," Harry mumbled sleepily, sounding as though he were stifling a yawn.
Draco felt a jolt of happiness as he closed his eyes, falling asleep with a very content smile on his face.
It seemed Harry was affecting his Slytherin sensibilities after all.