24 June 2001

When Harry awoke, there was still only dim light outside. He looked at Draco and sighed. He knew it was for the best that he'd gotten Draco out of St. Mungo's, but he honestly didn't know how he was going to be able to hold up, taking care of someone who would probably never get better.

He had dreamed about the final battle again. When he'd come to in the Hogwarts Infirmary, Ron and Hermione had been sitting at his bedside. They'd told him that he'd been out for three days. Harry had immediately asked where Draco was, and felt his stomach sink at the nervous looks on his best friends' faces. Hermione had haltingly explained that something had happened to Draco, but no one was sure exactly what. All they knew was that he was here in a bed at Hogwarts and he was unconscious.

Harry had demanded to see him, but wasn't allowed out of bed himself for another day. When he finally got the chance to go to Draco, he sat down shakily at his bedside. Draco's leg was long since healed, but he lay there as though he were asleep, and no one could figure out why. Frankly, Harry thought they weren't really trying very hard. Even though he'd been on their side for a couple of years now, Draco was still mistrusted by some members of the Order and the Light side of the war.

Harry had vowed then and there that he wouldn't give up until Draco was well and with him again. That had been the start of his daily vigils at Draco's bedside, and they had continued when he'd been moved to St. Mungo's a couple of weeks later. Nobody understood Harry's devotion, but he didn't care. Stealing Draco away from St. Mungo's was just another step in his vow to take care of Draco, no matter what, as far as Harry was concerned.

He turned over and reached for his wand on the nightstand. Casting a quick Tempus charm, he was shocked to see that it was nearly nine pm. He'd slept more than sixteen hours! Harry knew he had been tired, but he'd obviously reached a level of exhaustion that he never had before. This meant that he'd missed at least two doses of Draco's potions.

"Damn!" he muttered as he rolled back over to look at Draco again. "Not doing a very good job of caring for you so far, am I?" he said. He would make sure he kept up the timetable to the minute from now on. He leaned in to kiss Draco's cheek in apology, and then, unable to resist, nestled his nose in Draco's neck as he'd always loved to do. It couldn't hurt to give in for just a moment, could it?

Draco's shoulder lifted up, shocking Harry. "Shtop, Harry…ticklesh," a slurred voice said from above him.

Harry screamed and reared backwards, which caused him to fall completely off the bed. His arms flailed as he tried to keep himself from falling, but to no avail, and he hit the floor hard. He lay there for a moment, stunned, as he tried to decide if he'd imagined that or if he was perhaps still sleeping and he'd dreamed it.

Draco's head appeared over the edge of the bed, peering down at Harry in confusion. "What the hell are you doing on the floor, you idiot?"

"Draco!" Harry gasped, unable to believe what he was seeing and hearing.

"Yeah?" Draco asked.

"You're awake!"

"Yes, generally that is what happens when someone finishes sleeping. They wake up," Draco said slowly. "Honestly, what is wrong with you?"

"Me? You…you're here and you're awake, and God, Draco, I've missed you so much!" Harry said, and surged up from the floor to hug Draco, both of falling backwards to land in the middle of the bed. It was really more of a tackle, if Draco's grunt of surprise was any indicator, but Harry was so overwhelmed with joy he couldn't have stopped himself if he'd tried.

Draco instinctively wrapped his arms around Harry to return the hug, but was still asking questions. "Harry, you're really starting to frighten me now. What is wrong with you? Why are you acting like you haven't seen me in forever?"

Harry released Draco from the hug far enough to look at him. He cupped Draco's face with his hands and leaned in to kiss him passionately. Draco responded immediately, questions forgotten for the moment. Harry was in heaven. Draco's lips tasted just as sweet as he remembered and he wasn't sure how he'd survived for so long without this.

Finally, Harry pulled away and let his forehead rest against Draco's, eyes closed, both of them breathing hard.

"Tell me what's going on. Please, Harry," Draco asked quietly.

Harry opened his eyes to see Draco staring intently at him.

"You've been in St. Mungo's for more than a year, in some sort of coma. So, while I've seen you every day, I haven't talked to you, kissed you, held you, or made love to you in more than a year. I have missed you so much," Harry said hoarsely.

Draco looked stunned. "A year? I don't understand. The last thing I remember was Lupin and Tonks dropping me off at Hogwarts during the battle," he said. His eyes widened in horror. "What happened with the Dark Lord? Is he dead?"

Harry smiled, glad to be able to deliver some good news. "He's dead, for good this time. We never have to worry about him again."

"My mother," Draco said, his eyes filling with tears. Harry had to remember that for Draco, losing Narcissa had happened only a few hours ago. "My mum is dead," he whispered.

"I know. I know, and I'm so sorry," Harry said, pulling Draco into a hug once more.

Draco cried quietly for a few minutes before he sat back and took a deep breath, visibly trying to calm himself.

"All right, we need to figure out what's happened here. People don't just fall into comas by themselves, so obviously, someone did this to me on purpose. Have you been trying to find out who might have wanted to harm me? Or maybe someone wanted to split us up?"

Harry was flabbergasted. And a little ashamed. It had never even occurred to him that someone might have purposefully put Draco into a coma. Draco gave him an exasperated look.

"I can see by your expression that you are still a Gryffindor and had no clue that this was malicious."

"I just, I mean, the staff at St. Mungo's never said that it was…of course, they weren't really trying to heal you either, I don't think," Harry realized with a frown. "I guess it's a good thing I got you out of there, but I wish I'd done it sooner. I'm so sorry, Draco!"

"Wait, what do you mean, you got me out of there? Where are we anyway? This isn't Grimmauld Place," Draco said, casting a look around the bedroom.

"I sort of kidnapped you," Harry said sheepishly. "I overheard a conversation between some of the nurses at St. Mungo's that made me worry you might be in danger there, so I brought you here. I bought this house a week ago just so I could take care of you."

Draco grinned. "Well, maybe you do have a little Slytherin in you after all." He noticed the numerous potions bottles sitting on the desk across the room. "What are all those?"

Harry turned to look where he was pointing. "Those are the potions I took from St. Mungo's. They're supposed to be used for your care."

"Well, that's a good place to start. That would be an easy way for someone to sabotage my recovery."

He swung his legs around and started to stand, but sat back down on the bed as he swayed a bit. "Whoa! Might not be ready to be on my feet yet."

Harry had moved quickly to steady him as he sat back down and looked at Draco worriedly. "Maybe you should just stay here and I'll bring them to you."

"Good idea," Draco murmured, closing his eyes. "Urgh, head still spinning."

Harry hurried over to the desk and gathered the potions bottles, as well as the list he'd made of all the spells that had been used on Draco while in hospital, and brought them over to the bed. He watched as Draco went through them one by one, opening each vial, smelling it, inspecting the liquid inside, and muttering things to himself. Then he looked over the list of spells carefully.

He shook his head when he was done and said, "It doesn't make any sense. All of these potions and spells are perfectly normal things that would be used on a person in a coma, but none of them are for putting someone into one. To have lasted more than a year, it has to be either a spell that had to be renewed periodically, or a potion that had to be administered repeatedly. Are you certain this is everything?" he asked.

"I asked Morag about the daily routine, because I knew that I would need to do it myself. She never mentioned anything else," Harry said, as he gathered the potions vials and put them back on the desk.

"Hold on. Morag? Not Morag MacDougal?" Draco said, a horrified look crossing his face.

"Yeah?" Harry said uncertainly.

"Holy fuck! That bint was practically stalking me for all of seventh year! She had visions of being the next Lady Malfoy and wasn't very willing to take no for an answer. I spent half my year just dodging her. It cannot be a coincidence that she was my nurse at St. Mungo's."

"But she was always so kind. I can't believe that she'd want to hurt you," Harry said, sitting down on the edge of the bed beside Draco.

"Trust me, Harry, what you see is not what you get with that one."

"I'm such an idiot! I'm so sorry, Draco, I've done everything wrong from the beginning of all this," Harry said miserably, hanging his head in shame.

"Don't get so down on yourself, love. She is a Ravenclaw and terribly clever, though she evens that out by being a total bitch." He caressed the back of Harry's drooping head with one hand, before leaning in and kissing his ear. Harry shivered and tilted his head towards Draco, hoping for more.

"It occurs to me, that if I've been asleep for a year, that means I've gone without fucking you for just as long. And that's plain criminal, Harry," Draco whispered. "Think we can remedy that?"

"Are you sure you're feeling well enough for, um," Harry asked, while frantically hoping that the answer would be yes, because he positively ached to get naked with Draco, as soon as possible.

"I don't know about 'um' but I will always be feeling well enough for sex, Harry," Draco teased.

"Prat," Harry muttered, right before Draco kissed him. Harry sighed in contentment at the glorious feel of Draco's tongue against his after so long. The kiss grew heated and more intense, and soon, wasn't nearly enough. Harry's hands moved to unbutton the top of Draco's hospital pyjamas. He bumped into Draco's hands, which were trying to pull at the bottom of Harry's jumper to get it off.

The kiss broke as they looked at each other and grinned at their mutual eagerness.

"Let me first," Harry whispered. Draco nodded and dropped his hands. Harry made quick work of the pyjama top and tossed it away, before pressing one hand against Draco's chest, giving his nipple a quick tweak. Draco shuddered and arched his back.

"My turn," he said and swiftly pulled Harry's jumper over his head. "Ridiculous hair," he said as he ruffled one hand on Harry's head, where the jumper being pulled off had caused it to stand on end even more than usual.

Harry ignored the jibe and leaned in to kiss Draco again. Together, they fell backwards onto the bed, holding each other close as they continued to kiss. Their bodies strained towards one another, desperate to be as close as possible after being apart for so long. Harry's hand trailed down Draco's back, curving around his buttocks and pulling their groins into contact.

Draco moaned and thrust his hips into Harry's. He slipped one hand in between their bodies somehow and stroked Harry's cock. Harry broke the kiss because he couldn't stop himself from throwing his head backwards and crying out.

"Fuck, Draco!"

"Hopefully, we're getting there," Draco said with a chuckle, as he moved forward to bite at Harry's neck.

"Yeah, we're definitely getting there. These need to be off," Harry said as he pulled at Draco's pyjama bottoms.

"Mmm, yes, you do have the most wonderful ideas," Draco said. They rolled away from each other just long enough to rip off the rest of their clothing, deciding mutually that this first time was too badly needed to take the time to do anything slowly.

Less than a minute later, they were drawn together again like two magnets. They scooted to the middle of the bed, Harry covering Draco's body with his, their hard cocks rubbing and sliding against one another. Harry couldn't get enough of the taste of Draco, after starving for him for so long. He licked and sucked at the juncture of Draco's neck and shoulder. Draco shuddered, sighed, arched his back to get as close to Harry's mouth as he could.

After a few minutes, neither one of them could wait a moment more.

Draco grabbed the hair on the back of Harry's head and pulled his mouth away from his neck to kiss him harshly. Pulling back just enough to talk, he hissed, "In me. Now!"

"Yeah. Need you so bad," Harry gasped. Without conscious thought, he held up a hand and his wand came flying into it. He quickly muttered the spells to prepare Draco, and then tossed his wand, not really caring where it landed. He shifted his weight, raising himself up on one hand as he took hold of his cock with the other. Draco eagerly lifted his legs, pulling his knees towards his chest. Harry didn't waste another second before he was sliding inside Draco, coming home. It was marvelous, and Harry was so overwhelmed for a moment, that he couldn't move.

"Harry. Please!" Draco said, his voice close to whimpering, though Harry knew he'd die before he ever admitted that.

But Harry couldn't wait any longer either, and began to thrust, driving as deeply into Draco's body as it was physically possible to go. Draco welcomed every plunge enthusiastically, grabbing onto Harry's arse, encouraging him with his body and his words to give even more.

Harry looked down at Draco, feeling a rush of pride that he was able to make his lover feel so good. Draco opened his eyes and looked up at him, a smirk curling the corner of his lips as he mouthed for Harry to 'fuck me harder'.

God, Harry had missed this so much! He honestly had no idea how he'd managed to survive the last year without Draco. He wished that he could just stay inside Draco forever. Harry would give up Auror training, magic, even food and air, if he could just stay right where he was for eternity.

Before he was ready, Harry could feel his climax approaching. Part of him needed to come right now, to feel that ultimate moment while buried deep in Draco's body, while another part of him wanted to make love to Draco for the rest of his life.

But he could hold it off no longer. Harry gasped and threw his head back as his orgasm rushed through his body. He was barely aware that Draco was fisting his own cock, his eyes gleaming with desire as he watched Harry reach his peak. Moments after Harry finally finished spurting deep within Draco, his stomach was being covered with Draco's come.

Harry settled carefully down on top of Draco, nuzzling into Draco's neck, inhaling his scent as he loved to do.

"I love you," Harry breathed into Draco's skin.

"I love you, too," Draco answered as he ran his fingers through Harry's hair.

"Never leave me again," Harry said.

"Never," Draco promised.

Harry knew they had a lot to discuss, especially what to do about Morag, but right now, he just wanted to lay with Draco and dream of better days to come.

25 June 2001

Harry had to force himself not to turn around and run as far away as he could from the Ministry of Magic. He could be halfway across the atrium before anyone would be able to even think about stopping him. He would grab Draco, who was under the Invisibility Cloak just behind him, and the two of them would make a great escape.

Instead he allowed his wand to be weighed as usual. He didn't have to give it over as he had when he was a Hogwarts student. Because he was in Auror training, he was allowed to keep it. After all, they couldn't learn how to defeat Dark Wizards without their wands, could they?

He didn't dare try to communicate with Draco while in the lift because there was always someone else on there at the same time. He felt Draco's hand briefly caress his back, and relaxed just a little. They were going to make it through this.

Ron and Hermione had certainly been shocked when Harry had firecalled them last night. They were lucky that Draco had reminded him to get dressed before he did so, or they would have been even more shocked. Hermione had suggested they contact Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister for Magic and John Dawlish, Head Auror, after she scolded him for acting so recklessly, of course.

Kingsley, as a member of the Order of the Phoenix, was familiar with Draco and everything he'd done for the Light side of the war. He'd never been particularly warm towards Draco, but he was an honest man and would make sure that nothing untoward happened. Dawlish had to be brought in as Head Auror, but luckily, he had a good relationship with Harry and was willing to give Draco the benefit of the doubt.

Their plan was haphazard, having been thrown together late last night, but at least it was simple. It was also helped along by Draco's absence having been reported by the St. Mungo's staff, so there were no questions when the witches and wizards that worked in the Janus Thickey ward were brought in to the Ministry to be interviewed.

Once they were sitting in an interrogation room, Harry tried to relax. It was still hard for him to believe that Morag might have done this to Draco, and he almost thought that it would come out that she had nothing to do with it. Of course, in that case, they had a serious problem on their hands, as they really had no other suspects.

Harry, Kingsley, and Dawlish sat on one side of the large table, with Draco still under the Invisibility Cloak beside Harry. The St. Mungo's staff were brought in one by one and questioned about what had happened yesterday.

In between a couple of the interviews, Draco poked his head out from under the cloak and winked at Harry.

"You really are part Slytherin, Harry. You pulled this off without anyone seeing a thing! I'm so proud."

"Get back under the cloak, Malfoy," Dawlish said with a sigh as Harry blushed. "And stop snickering!" he ordered as Draco flipped the cloak back over his head.

The tension in one half of the room raised noticeably as Morag MacDougal was led in to sit on the opposite side of the table. Harry consciously tried to relax, but if she was responsible for this mess, he was going to have to keep himself from hexing the hell out of her.

"Hello, Harry. I'm so sorry for all this. You must be devastated," Morag said, giving him a sympathetic smile.

"It's been difficult, but I'm holding up. Thanks for coming in. The sooner we find out what happened, the sooner I can get Draco back."

"Yes, he needs to be back in St. Mungo's as soon as possible. His condition is so fragile."

Harry felt Draco tense beside him and imagined he was having to restrain himself from diving across the table. Harry dropped his hand out of sight, and reached over to squeeze Draco's knee, reminding him to be patient and letting him know he wasn't alone at the same time.

"Ms. MacDougal, you were working at Hogwarts during the final battle, were you not?" Dawlish asked.

"Yes, I was," Morag nodded. "I was more than happy to volunteer my services in the only way I could."

"Did you happen to hear or see anything about how Mr. Malfoy got cursed in the first place?"

"No, unfortunately not. We might have been able to bring him out of the coma, if only we'd known what kind of curse he'd been hit with."

"Were you and Mr. Malfoy friends while you were at Hogwarts?" Dawlish asked.

"Not really," Morag said, and Harry noted that a shadow of suspicion drifted over her face, so quickly that he thought he might have imagined it. "We were in the same year, but different houses, so we knew of one another, but I wouldn't have called us friends."

"And how did you feel about Mr. Malfoy once he became your patient?"

"The same as I feel about all of my patients. I care about them, naturally. It's easy to become somewhat attached, especially in a long-term care ward like Janus Thickey. But I didn't care about him any more or less than my other patients."

"So you routinely took extra shifts to provide care for your other patients in the same manner that you did for Mr. Malfoy?" Dawlish asked, his gaze sharp.

"I'm not sure what you mean," Morag said, her voice flat. Harry's jaw tightened as he saw the nervous fear in her eyes now.

"I have here all the logs for each of the residents of the Janus Thickey Ward in the last year. You were Mr. Malfoy's nurse almost every day. The other staff rotated the patients' care, but you were assigned to Mr. Malfoy almost one hundred per cent of the time you were at the hospital. And you say that you had no special feelings for Malfoy? I'm finding that hard to believe."

"I-I may have been a little drawn to him because he was my age, and I knew him in school, but it's not like I'm in love with him or anything," Morag said, her desperation showing clearly now.

"So you didn't kiss him inappropriately, as one of the other staff told us they witnessed?" Dawlish asked, leaning forward as if going in for the kill.

Then all hell broke loose, as Draco suddenly whipped the Invisibility Cloak off his head and screeched, "You did what!?"

"Draco!" Harry and Morag shouted at the same time. Kingsley and Dawlish jumped in surprise. Morag stood from her chair, and it looked as though she was about to go across the table to get to Draco.

Luckily, the two Aurors who had been standing guard behind her, grabbed her by the arms before she could move.

"Are you fucking kidding me? You kissed me? While I was in a coma?" Draco said, disgusted.

"I couldn't resist, Draco! You were so beautiful lying there. The spell I used was so clever, too. It kept you in a form of stasis so that you'd be just as beautiful when I woke you up, as when I put you to sleep," Morag said, still struggling against the Aurors' hold. "You have to understand, I did it for us, so that we could be together!"

"I don't want to be with you, Morag! I never have, because I am gay! It wouldn't have mattered if you weren't crazy, I still wouldn't have wanted you," Draco said. He took Harry's hand in his and held them up so Morag could see. "This is what I want. And I'm lucky enough that he wants me back, so you never stood a chance."

Morag switched her gaze to Harry and her face became ugly with hate. "You! This is all your fault! If you'd just gone away and left us alone, I was going to wake Draco up so we could be together. You've ruined everything!"

"I think we've heard enough, Andrews," Kingsley said to one of the Aurors holding Morag. "Get her out of here."

They dragged Morag out of the room, though they could still hear her screaming curses at Harry and insisting that she and Draco belonged together for several minutes before she was abruptly quieted, probably from a silencing spell by a no doubt nearly deaf Auror.

"I still can't believe she did that to you. She was always so nice," Harry said, in a daze.

"Apparently, I am irresistible," Draco said, with a wink at Harry.

"And apparently, you are incapable of following orders. You were supposed to stay under the cloak, Malfoy," Dawlish said irritably.

"Bah, I'd heard enough. And so had you. You knew it was her, or you wouldn't have had all that evidence against her," Draco said with a negligent wave of his hand.

Dawlish looked like he was about to give Draco a lecture, and Harry knew from experience that those were never fun, when Kingsley interrupted.

"Either way, it's all over now. Harry, I would suggest you and Mr. Malfoy take the rest of the day off to recuperate. But I'm sure John will be expecting you back in training bright and early in the morning."

"Actually, we'll probably need at least a week to recuperate," Draco said, somehow making that sound lascivious.

"Draco!" Harry whispered, scandalized at his lover's boldness.

"I don't think-" Dawlish began.

"Fine, a week then. But you'd better be ready to go next Monday," Kingsley said sternly, but when Harry looked at him in surprise, he winked. "I'd get going before I changed my mind, if I were you."

Dawlish threw his hands up in exasperation, but didn't say anything else as Draco stood and dragged Harry from his seat, the Invisibility Cloak held firmly in his other hand.

Once they were out in the hallway heading towards the lifts, Draco dropped Harry's hand.

"Hey!" Harry said in protest.

"Well, you don't want anyone to see, do you?" Draco asked, seeming uncharacteristically unsure for a moment.

The lift doors opened and they stepped inside. There were a couple of people on already, but they didn't pay too much attention to the two young men who'd just gotten on.

"Why would I care if someone saw?" Harry asked.

"I just thought you probably don't want the publicity and the hassle," Draco said, his voice barely above a whisper.

"I love you, Draco. You're worth any amount of hassle that anyone decides to give," Harry said firmly, and noted that the older man behind them raised one eyebrow and was definitely eavesdropping now.

Harry took Draco's hand in his and held on. What's more, he held it all the way through the busy atrium of the Ministry. When people realized that it was Harry Potter holding the hand of Draco Malfoy, a buzz of whispers started running through the crowd.

"See, it's starting already. Are you sure you're ready for this?" Draco asked.

"I'll show you how ready I am," Harry said.

In a move that was talked about in the Wizarding World for years to come, Harry Potter stopped right in front of the Floos and grabbed Draco Malfoy by the shoulders, pulling him into one of the most passionate kisses ever seen. One elderly witch swooned and had to be caught from crashing into the floor by her poor husband, who wasn't quite as strong as he used to be, so she ended up hitting the floor anyway.

When Harry ended the kiss, he looked at Draco and was thrilled to see a brilliant smile on his face. Elated, the two of them joined hands again and walked proudly out of the Ministry and into the rest of their lives.