Startled, Draco looked around. The neighborhood he was in wouldn't care less if a house had just exploded. The next house was at the end of the street.
Draco dusted himself off and watched the house continue to flame up. Someone knew a secret of his. And he knew which secret that was. The only person he knew who could know was the person he shagged. But that doesn't provide him with any clue who it was. He forgot the bloke's name and his face.
Frustrated and covered in ash, Draco stands up. Looking left and right he disapparated. He found himself in an alleyway in London. Not the Manor. Not his flat. But somewhere he didn't know. The perfect place to walk around and try to forget everything that had happened in the past few weeks.
Potter. The last person he thought he would ever fancy is dancing around his mind. Taunting him. Draco didn't want to admit but he likes the stupid git. Not caring if Potter didn't have mutual feelings. If only his parents could see him now. A whore who likes Harry Potter. Disowned would be the first thing from his father. His mother would hesitate and agree.
He found himself disapparating once again except this time the London streets vanished in a black pool around him and he saw the Malfoy Manor staring down at him. The high buildings that used to look nice looked more like miserable. Draco knew some house elves still were there.
Potter. Secrets. No longer a secret. Not a secret to start with if the person knew about it. Draco only hoped this was some joke and was waiting for Blaise to jump out and laugh at him. Nothing happened. This was happening. His heart hammered against his chest.
He walked up to the iron gate expecting them to be incased by magic. They weren't. It had been a few months since he had last visited the Manor and having it not been warded anybody could have broken in.
The pathway up to the front door was daunting. The grass was overgrown, weeds covered most of the yard from lack of caring. If someone were to break in they wouldn't find anything. They would think it wasn't worth it just by the look of the shape of the house.
Still, Draco trudged toward the door. Remembering when he would come along the same pathway and stop at the door after a game of quidditch by himself. He would stand by the door for a few minutes before his father or his mother would answer. He never questioned them. His father would be in his study working on Ministry or Hogwarts business and his mother would be up in her room doing who knows what?
He entered the house which looked gloomy compared to the outside. So far he could spot three spider webs. The house elves haven't even minded. All probably gone or dead having not been ordered to do anything for months.
Draco took the staircase up to the second floor. The hallways look abandoned giving an eerie feeling. It's just his home. Though if he was a stranger lurking around this place he would start running. The portraits are all snoozing in their frames. He creaked open the door to his bedroom. The light from outside streaked across his room. His room seemed to be the only house that had been cleaned. The house elves would tidy their only master's room in case he did come back to visit. So they are still here. But where? No sign of life was present in any of the corridors that Draco saw on his way up.
Sitting on his dresser is the old carven Death Eater mask. Only laying there collecting dust. Draco traced his finger across the patterns on the mask. Through these eye slits he saw many people he saw burn or drop dead in front of him. For once he felt proud that he wasn't like his father during the war. He hadn't even killed that many people.
He set the mask back down on the dresser and sighed. This was once the house he loved to be in. Now he just wanted out. He had forgotten why he even came.
To escape his thoughts? They would only continue to stay in his mind. To be calm? There shouldn't be any comfort after what happened and where he's at now. It was all so confusing. The old Draco wouldn't stall and would track down whoever it was who nearly killed him. But Draco didn't have the drive. Who would confess to wanting to kill him?
There are many people who want him dead. But killing someone would put you in a cell in Azkaban. There would be no shame to those who wanted Draco dead. If there were no consequences to killing the only death eater left alive then Draco would be surrounded by a crowd holding pitchforks.
Draco knew how the Wizarding World viewed him as. An orphan death eater. An orphan. The only orphan they will ever like it Harry Potter. Ever since he was a toddler he practically had it out to be some hero. Draco was not a hero. And even if he showed some courageous act it would still be ignored.
Harry Potter, his shagging friend, was back in his mind again. Everything seemed to come back to Potter. He tried pushing all the thoughts away but then there was a soft tapping at his window.
An owl was hovering next to his window with a letter in between its beak. Was it another letter from the person who almost blew him to shreds?
He opened the latch on the window letting the owl fly into Draco's room, perching itself on the headboard of the bed. The white snow owl was known to everyone who went to Hogwarts. Harry Potter's owl.
Draco cautiously walked forward to the owl, taking the letter in between its break. Surprisingly the owl didn't bite him instead it continued to look statue like.
I sent the letter to your flat first only to understand that you weren't there. The only other place you could be is the Manor which hopefully you are. I'm just reminding you that we'll leave for the Ministry at 7:00. Since you're at the Manor I can floo.
Draco groaned as he read the letter. Harry was coming here. The house was not in any shape of having any guests over. Without hesitation he called his elf. Helin apparated in front of Draco. She beamed up at him not seeing him for weeks.
"I want you and the other elves to make sure the Manor looks…presentable. And make sure someone could floo here."
Helin apparated at once as if she had been waiting decades to hear that demand. Knowing that someone else would be cleaning up the Manor, Draco left his room and went down to the bathroom.
There had to be some cleaning. It might look unused but there wasn't any dust on the counter. Draco turned the shower on, rusty at first, but after a couple turns he managed to emit water out of the shower head.
The steaming water trailed down his back making Draco gasp. He hadn't had a decent shower or if he had he was thinking of other things. It's been a while since he's been calm during a shower. He closed his eyes but once he did he regretted it. A flashback of having a quick shower with someone who hired him. Draco had to agree to whatever the client said. That client had some kink with shower sex.
After a few minutes Draco got out of shower, feeling better than he had before, and dried off. Harry didn't say when he was coming. Hopefully Helin had cleaned the drawing room up before Harry came.
It took a while for Draco to decide what to wear. His wardrobe stared back at him but none of it looked like something you would wear to a Ministry function. Finally he chose to wear fitted black trousers, a plain white button up shirt, and a black tie. The reflection in the mirror showed someone who looked successful in life and hadn't spent the last two years sucking cocks for money. The person in the mirror looked well groomed. The person looked identical to Draco but it wasn't at all.
There was a knock at the door and Draco looked away from his successful twin in the mirror and fixed his eyes on the door.
"Come in," He said hoarsely.
Helin, instead of Harry, came into his room.
"We have a guest Master," Helin said cheerfully.
Draco smiled and said, "Tell him I'll be down shortly."
The elf nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Draco put on his shoes and with one last look at the mirror he left the room. He took each step downstairs carefully. After what happened earlier he had to be cautious. Almost like every move he made would be lethal.
When he got downstairs he took the familiar path to the drawing room. His eyes looked across the vacant room, trying to seek out Harry. But he wasn't there. Perhaps Helin had gotten it wrong. There wasn't anyone here.
"Don't you look nice," said a gentle voice from behind him. Draco started then turned around facing Harry. Just like Draco he wore handsome clothing.
Draco felt his face flush and he couldn't produce anyone words from his mouth. Amused, Harry stepped forward and closed the space between them with his lips.
Harry's lips were softly pressed against Draco's. Draco was still before wrapping his arms around him, kissing him back. Why did they have to go to a Ministry party when they could stay here at the Manor and do this? The kiss ended shortly after it begun. The green eyes behind the thin glass looked back at him.
Draco wasn't sure how this happened but he wasn't regretting it.
By the time Harry and Draco arrived, the speech was over. Harry considered that luck since he didn't really plan on paying attention to anything related to potions, though Draco might have wanted to. If Draco was upset about missing it he didn't show it. He didn't look exactly happy either.
"What is it?" Harry asked Draco concerned.
Draco looked at him and shrugged, "I don't exactly like these sort of things."
Harry smiled. "Then why did you want to come?"
When Draco didn't say anything and only flushed, Harry smiled and looked away. The Draco during school was somewhere in there. But this Draco was neither outgoing nor open minded anymore. It sort of worried Harry but then again he liked this nice version of Draco better.
Then he saw the two. Elliot and Oliver were sitting at a table talking to two people that were standing next to them. Harry grabbed Draco's hand and started walking, relieved that Draco wasn't restraining.
Harry walked up to the table at the moment the two people left.
"Hello Harry," Oliver said calmly. He glanced at Draco and nodded at him. "And Draco."
"Mind if we join you?" Harry asked.
He saw Oliver stiffen slightly but eventually he nodded. Harry sat down at the round table across from Oliver. Draco settled in the chair between Harry and Elliot looking rather uncomfortable.
Harry tore his attention away from Draco and Oliver and instead look across the room. There were some familiar Ministry faces. He expected to see Mr. Weasley but then again potions weren't really in his interests. His gaze went across two people then he looked back at them. A red head was holding the hand of a bushy haired brunette. Ron and Hermione.
They waved at him. Harry didn't know what to do. They looked happy. If Harry didn't know about them fighting he wouldn't be thinking why they are here together.
Harry was swallowed too much by his thoughts to notice that Ron and Hermione had sat down at their table. What happened when they left Grimmauld Place the other day? He turned his attention away from Ron and Hermione and looked across at Oliver who was staring at him.
Abruptly, Oliver stood up and gestured for Harry to come with him.
Harry knew that everyone at the table was now staring at him. Elliot stared at him with jealous eyes as Harry stood up from the table.
He didn't know what he was going to say to Oliver. And he hoped that Oliver wasn't aware of what he was trying to do. Honestly Harry didn't even know what he was doing. It had taken that moment to realize that all his feelings for Oliver had been washed down the drain. He didn't know what he felt towards Draco now. The realization was like a slap in the face.
The two went to the buffet table where an excessively dressed lady was talking to her friend about something in The Prophet. Harry vaguely caught the words Harry Potter slip past her mouth.
"I didn't think you would actually be coming Harry," Oliver said, making Harry slightly startled.
Harry looked back at Oliver who was staring at him. Just as he was at the table moments before. The almond brown eyes stared down at Harry. Harry recalled the night that Oliver had come clean and all Harry could do was look in the same eyes for the truth. But what he said was the truth. Harry couldn't believe it. All of his lies and his plan were stealthy. He didn't feel like doing anything at all. It was a cruel thing to do. Harry seemed a hypocrite for Harry was lying and fabricating this whole plan with Draco to get Oliver to like him again. Who would like someone so devilish?
"Why didn't you think I would?" Harry finally said.
"I'm not sure," Oliver said dully. "You seemed tense when I gave you the invitation. He's a nice bloke."
Oliver was now looking at their table. At the table Draco sat with his arms crossed while Elliot and Ron talked. Hermione looked like she was on the verge of leaving and taking Ron with her. Harry felt guilty for leaving Draco all alone surrounded by Gryffindors.
"Yes he is," Harry agreed.
Draco was beyond confused. How dare Potter strand him, leaving him alone with a mudblood, a Weasley, and a too nice of a stranger. Draco couldn't understand why he was here anyways. Why he was convinced to come. The thought of getting more of Potter intrigued him but it felt like a door had been slammed in his face or he was on some muggle leash that was tied to this table. This was a good chance to leave. But his body didn't move from his chair.
He wouldn't have minded coming earlier to hear the Watson's discovery. Sitting her alone was more than he had asked for. Harry had left minutes ago with Wood and still hadn't come back. Emotions were stirring inside of him and he only wished that it didn't show on his face. A glance at Elliot told him that he wasn't the slightest bit worried that his current boyfriend was somewhere off with his boyfriend's ex.
Draco was becoming more annoyed and his patience was weary and less tolerable.
"Hey," said Elliot.
So the too nice of a stranger decided to break the barrier. Have a chat with this person who Draco didn't know. Wonderful. Draco only sent a nod in the bloke's direction for he couldn't emit any words from his lips. His mind was sealed off. If Potter thought it so genius to leave him alone then he isn't going to be happy like the person next to him.
"Are you really going out with Harry Potter?" Elliot asked awing. The hint of unconvinced lingered on Elliot's tongue.
Draco looked around the room. He didn't notice before but there were a few people sending stares in his direction. They tried to make it not obvious, especially when Draco started to look around. The Ministry thought they were so superior than Draco.
The thought weighed on Draco. They weren't officially dating. Draco wished he could take a peek at the thick skull of Harry Potter, but that would never come true. He only wanted a glimpse of his thoughts. Teasing him into some trap was bound to be his plan. Harry Potter couldn't possibly fancy a Malfoy. But Draco was never a fool, yet he had fallen into the malicious trap. Hard. Once again Draco found no words and instead shrugged.
"Oliver told me about you," Elliot said. "I don't need any information though. Everyone knows who you are."
Of course everyone knows who he is. Draco couldn't tell if Elliot meant that as a good thing that everyone knew him. The Malfoy Boy. Lucius's son. The only Death Eater left. Mothers and father of the war would tell their children that there were masked murderous men who destroyed a lot of people and pulled apart family by family. The people hadn't gone extinct. Draco was the only one left and all the hatred from the Wizarding World was waiting for him to go. Waiting for the day where Death Eaters will be extinct. Draco had unofficially exiled himself from the Wizarding World. Only a handful knew of what he was now.
"I'm sorry about bringing up all these questions it's just been on my mind if you know what I mean," Elliot said amused.
"I'm sorry," Draco said, growing rather bothered of this person. "But who the fuck are you?"
"You really aren't good with names are you? Then I should introduce myself again-"
A loud thump from underneath the table interrupted them.
"Stop it Ron," Granger said. "Not now. Not here."
Draco didn't know what was going on across from him and he couldn't care less. Draco took the moment where everyone seemed distracted to stand up and leave. He was not going to sit here and be interrogated by a stranger who isn't a stranger anymore. This was bollocks. Instead of going to the fireplaces that lined the walls, he went to the buffet table.
Maybe just a tiny bit of something, Draco thought. Then I'll leave.
He glanced at Wood and Potter who were standing on the end of the table. Draco scowled when he realized they were standing far too close to each other. Though they were only talking and weren't touching it didn't let Draco get too steamed up. Why should he be jealous over something that doesn't matter?
Elliot hadn't met him before. He was certain of it. He was right though, he wasn't good with names, but he was good with faces. And Elliot's face was unrecognizable. There had to be someone else. Not many people looked like Draco. His white blonde hair was known to everyone, and he was proud to be the only one to be known for it. No one else looked like him. There wasn't a wizard with a face like his. With a reputation like his. Draco dismissed the thought for now. It was rubbish.
Draco picked up a glass pouring himself a glass of wine. One last look at Harry and Wood, and Draco turned with his wine in hand. On his way to the table the stares continued. Draco only stared back. When he reached the table, Weasley and Granger had left and only Elliot sat there alone. Serves him right.
The only thing they shared in common was that their boyfriends, or in Draco's state just a friend who he shags, were talking somewhere. And Draco wished to not talk about them. Not like they had before.
Draco picked up his coat and put it on not even casting another glance at Elliot. All he wanted to be was at his flat. A good night's rest would do him well. If he left he was leaving this relationship with Harry. There were more men to fill his life with. Draco could line up all the attractive gay men in London and point at someone and he would be happy.
None of them would be Harry. Those green eyes that flamed emerald was hard to find anywhere else. The intensity and the low laughter from Potter was going to be hard to replace. Draco would also have a hard time finding someone to suck his cock like Harry had. But if this is what was going to happen, sitting while Harry went off talking with his ex-boyfriend for an hour and a half was ridiculous. Draco wouldn't stand it. And he didn't plan on standing if that was what it came down to.
But he wasn't moving. His feet were planted and the fireplaces were just feet away. He could go. All signs were pointing to leaving as far as he could see. But the slight whisper of a voice in his head was telling him to stay. He had gone over the pros and cons of staying or leaving.
Go. Go Draco Malfoy. Leave.
He could do it. But he wasn't. Instead he leaned against the wall sighing. What was he getting himself into?
"And you want believe what he said!" shrieked a woman. Draco wasn't sure if it was her laugh or a high pitch bird's laugh.
"Yes it was on the front cover of The Prophet! And they're here tonight! Who would have though? A Death Eater and Harry Potter?" said the woman.
No one was the answer to her question. Draco counted himself lucky, even though it took a while to realize that. There ought to be thousands of witches and wizards fawning over Harry. And here he was about to walk away from that.
So his feet trudged towards the table. This time though he sat across from Elliot who stared at him. If any word was uttered from the man's mouth Draco would personally do the favor of kicking him in the arse. It was enough to have heard that he had been on the cover of The Daily Prophet. There were many reporters and photographers trying to capture every second of the night. Draco thankfully hadn't had a single flash of a camera directed at him nor had anyone ask him any questions if he didn't count Elliot.
Moments later Harry and Wood returned to the table. They didn't look smug nor did they look miserable. Harry slung any arm around Draco's shoulders. The touch sent some feeling throughout Draco.
Suddenly everyone was talking, and Draco found himself chatting along with them. Thoughts about Granger and Weasley leaving were abandoned and all that Draco could focus on at that moment was trying to talk to Wood about how the quidditch games have looked this season and the hand trailing down his thigh.
Harry returned to Grimmauld Place late. He was grateful to Andromeda for watching Teddy while he was away. More thankful when Andromeda decided to take Teddy instead of leaving him for another two days. The last thing that Harry needed was to pay attention to a toddler.
He threw himself onto the couch. The night had been dreadful from literally being interrogated by Oliver about Draco. There wasn't much to tell. Why they were together all the way down to why Draco.
It had took almost an hour to squeeze out every detail about a three day relationship with someone who you grew up hating. If Oliver had an jealousy from hearing Harry talk it was not seen on his face.
He thought he had imagined Ron and Hermione come. They had left while he was talking with Oliver. His friends being there added to Harry's esteem but having them leave degraded him. Not to mention hearing the lady at the buffet table say he was on the cover of The Daily Prophet with Draco. Everyone had been congratulating him but Harry didn't know what for. For lying to someone? To liking someone on accident? The thoughts were all jumbled together in one and Harry felt a headache coming on.
His bed was waiting for him upstairs. Harry didn't move from his spot on the couch. He curled up blanketing himself with the fine soft quilt and laid his head down on the pillow.
When Harry awoke he had to be still for a moment. The house was quiet. No children crying, no couples fighting, and no portraits yelling insults. It felt like he was still in a dream.
He stirred and stood up from the couch finding out that he had a crook in his neck. Groaning, Harry was just about to go upstairs when he heard a faint knocking at the door. Harry didn't need a mirror to let himself know that he looked dreadful at the moment. But his feet padded against the cool wooded tiles towards the door. He peeped through the whole hoping to Merlin it wasn't another reporter. To his surprise it wasn't Draco, Oliver, or even a reporter. Harry unhooked the chain on the door and beamed at her.
Ginny smiled back her ginger hair cascading down across her shoulders.
"You don't look so good Harry," she said simply.
Harry cracked the door open more allowing her inside. Once she was inside he closed the door. He was still in his clothes from the night before, his hair looking more of a bird's nest than any other day, and he was hungry. This wasn't the time for visitors but he wasn't going to shoo Ginny away.
When Harry turned and walked back to the drawing room, Ginny had already settled herself on one of them velvet red arm chairs. It had to be mid-morning and she looked fully awake.
"I came to ask you about Malfoy," Ginny said abruptly.
Harry stopped walking towards her. It seemed everyone was pulling him aside to question him about this relationship. He suspected it to be a secretive thing but that was the opposite of what had happened. The Prophet had to get their hands dirty by digging through Harry's personal life. The Chosen Boy who was surely going to be Head Auror and eventually Minister of Magic hasn't shown his face in public in a while. And when he finally does it's with a Malfoy.
He didn't want to hear it from anyone. But Ginny wasn't told. He feared that she found out by the papers instead of him or Ron telling her.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Harry finally said, pulling the words from his thoughts to reality.
Ginny shrugged and put her hands down in her laps, resting them on her skirt. She fumbled with them for a second until she looked up at Harry.
"I know you're sorry Harry. But we're all so confused. Me and everyone else. We are your friends, you are free to tell us anything."
By all of us she meant the Weasleys and Neville and Luna. A feeling of guilt spread through him. He had no right to be not guilty. But he didn't need everyone peeking into his life. He was never an opened book and still isn't. Right now whole Wizarding community was craving the answers that Harry wouldn't give.
His friends weren't the press though. They weren't the enemy at the moment.
"Once again I'm sorry Ginny," Harry mumbled. "I wasn't thinking-"
"We all suspected that. I mean you and Malfoy? Who in their right mind would date someone as absurd as him?" Ginny said smiling only a little.
There was nothing to smile about. Over the week Harry had grown to like the bloke who he once thought was the most arrogant person. But his feelings had grown from that. Maybe it was when he had a drink with him or when he shagged him, but his feelings came to surface. He felt something towards Draco.
Everything seemed to be happening fast. And Harry had no control to stop it. He was being tugged in different directions. Draco on one side and his friends on the other. Hermione and Ron hadn't talked about Draco with him yet. He only hoped they would glance over it like a minor detail.
Ron would have exploded but being cooped up with his own problems he wasn't going to yell at Harry.
"Ginny he's changed," Harry said honestly. "He's not the prat he was at school. He's grown from that. And you should too."
Ginny tilted her head as if looking at Harry at that angle would justify what Harry had said.
"Don't you see what he's doing Harry?" Ginny asked.
"What are you talking about?"
Ginny smirked allowing her hair to fall behind her back. "He's manipulating you. This is just another game and you're some pawn in it. He has been barricaded by hatred since he took that stupid mark. Who else but you would give him a ticket into the limelight? Malfoy's are all about attention," Ginny paused, looking at Harry mentally challenging him to speak. When Harry didn't she continued. "He hasn't insulted you because if he did you would abandon him. Trust me Harry; he's still the same prat at school. We might have grown from our immature acts from school but he hasn't. Just the same old Malfoy."
Harry didn't know what to say. Everything she had said was untrue. All of it. Complete rubbish. Malfoys were all for attention, Harry knew that, but Draco was getting all the attention he wanted every night. He might even be with some bloke right now. That thought made Harry tense. Jealousy was carving into him with a sharp knife. Jealous of someone who might be with Draco?
Thinking back to what Ginny had said. Draco wasn't the one who was forming some plan. It was Harry. Or it was Harry. They have changed. All of them have. He thought they did. It seemed Ginny was the one who had a grudge not Draco.
"You have it all wrong," Harry replied.
Draco woke up late. His surroundings were unfamiliar until he urged himself fully awake. He was in his old bedroom at the Malfoy Manor. The morning sun shined through the window. The brightness was too intense this early. Draco turned his head away groaning.
His head felt swollen. He hadn't had anything to drink last night. Nothing intoxicating at least. But it felt like he had drunken a galleon of whiskey. He sat himself up and groaned again. The clothes from last night were scattered in front of the bed.
After he stretched he got up on his feet and started to pick it up. Every muscle in his body ached and he ended up sitting back on the bed.
"Helin!" He called. Immediately she appeared out of thin air.
"Clean up these clothes and wash them," He said, bringing his hand up to cradle his pounding temple. "And bring some of my hangover remedy in the supply cupboard."
Helin nodded and began to gather the elegant clothes. The ones that made him like desirable last night.
"Master there is a note in your coat pocket, "Helin said holding a napkin. "Does Master want it?"
Draco furrowed his eyebrows. He nodded and took the napkin out of Helin's knobby hands.
He unfolded the creases that made it look like it had been from weeks ago instead of from last night.
'This is not over Malfoy. I will have you. Perhaps you will learn a lesson. Don't leave your glass unattended. Burn in hell.'
Draco had been poisoned.