Title: Without you

Author: icicle33

Pairing: Harry/Draco

Rating: M

Word Count: ~7500 + (Part 1/2)

Disclaimer: This piece of art or fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.

The beautiful veela art in the banner of this fic is by o-k-go on dreamwidth. I don't claim the art as my own and no harm is intended toward the artist. Check out more of her work as she's very talented.

Warnings: creature!fic (if that wasn't already clear), some blood for the extremely squeamish, male/male sex, mentions of past violence, and so much fluff it will hurt your teeth. You've been warned.

Summary: Harry is devastated when Draco comes into his Veela inheritance and leaves him for his mate Christian. Harry assumes that Draco has found his happily ever after with his mate. Until one morning, he finds an unconscious Draco Malfoy on his front doorstep.

Author's note: This fic was written for the Do Me Veela Valentine's Fest on Live Journal. The prompt was Draco has been tricked to mate with someone who is not his real mate. This person uses and abuses him. This story is complete and I will be posting part 2 shortly. A special thank you to Alyssa for her last minute beta job, and as always, feedback makes my day!

Enjoy.


~Without You: Part 1~

Without you, the ground thaws, the rain falls, the grass grows.
Without you, the seeds root, the flowers bloom, the children play.
The stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly, without you.
The earth turns, the sun burns, but I die, without you.

~JDL [1]

: : : : :

He was walking down a long, empty corridor, his feet bare but warm against the lush, red velvet carpet that adorned the long corridor, contrasting sharply with the grey stone walls. A faint trill hummed against his ears, soothing him and calling out to him. He ran his hands against the wall, cool beneath his fingertips, walking closer and closer to the faint light at the end of the twisted hallway and towards the beautiful song. As he reached the end of the curved passageway, his fingers slightly numb, he came across a green flame torch. He pulled the torch off the wall and continued walking down the twisted corridor, diverging left and following a set of winding stone stairs that went on for what felt like ages, a cold shudder running up his body through his bare feet. Still, he didn't turn back and the trill was getting louder; it was as if an invisible force was propelling him forwards, not allowing him to turn around until he finally came to the bottom of the stairs and an menacing, wrought iron door.

The majestic song had stopped, but somehow he knew that it was coming from behind that door. He pressed down on the large door with his left hand, watching it glow bright green and open. The room was dark, almost pitch black and made entirely of slate with a leaky ceiling. The only source of warmth came from a fire that burnt in the corner, the flames grey. And it was cold, so cold that his entire body trembled. For a moment, he thought the room was completely empty until he shone his torch on a crumpled figure in the corner. It was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen—pale, milky skin, long, blond hair so white that it gleamed silver in the firelight, and large, delicate feathers, diverging into two magnificent white wings, but one was twisted and broken. He gasped and reached out to touch the stunning wings, softer than silk and humming between his fingers. This beautiful creature, this angel, was drenched in silver blood. How had he not noticed? Turning him over as carefully as possible, a sense of dread filled his gut, a twisted déjà vu flashing through his mind. When pained grey eyes met his, he screamed dropping the torch and accidentally lighting the already damaged wings on fire.

Draco. No. No. It couldn't be. He held the unconscious angel in his arms and watched as the roaring green flames spread, encroaching the entire room around them.

: : : : :

Harry woke drenched in sweat again, his entire body trembling and a deep pang in his chest. This was the third time this week that he was having these nightmares and each time they got worse. Today was the first time he had seen the angel's face though; the first time he had stroked the angel's soft, silvery locks and whispered small comforts in his ear as the flames approached them.

It was Draco. His stomach knotted at the thought of Draco's crumpled body and lifeless eyes. It was only a dream, a nightmare. That was all. Draco was far away and happy, living the life with his mate and life partner, Christian. Harry was the furthest concern from his mind as he should be. He didn't want to stand in the way of Draco's happiness. And Harry needed to get over this, to stop obsessing over a man he could no longer have, an ex-lover that would never return.

: : : : :

It had been six months since he had seen Draco; six months since Draco had left him and broken his heart.

After the war, Harry and Draco made their peace. It just seemed silly to continue their schoolboy rivalry after all the horrors they had witnessed and saving each other's lives. Draco had changed in the time he spent unwillingly in Voldemort's service, matured into a decent bloke. Gone was the loud mouthed, attention seeking schoolboy Harry had once despised, and in his place was a quiet, softer, and fiercely intelligent version of the boy that Harry had grown to love almost immediately.

Draco was one of the few people, who didn't cater to him after the war, so Harry found himself in the other boy's presence often, especially since Hermione and Ron had left England to promote house-elf rights across the world. Harry thought that he would never survive without his best friends, who were more like his family, but since they had just gotten married, he wanted to give the new couple some space, some much deserved happiness without him tagging along as a miserable third wheel.

Thank Merlin for Draco. He made those first months without Ron and Hermione tolerable. And after only a few short months of friendship, Harry had fallen head over heels for Draco, who had somehow reciprocated his feelings. They had been inseparable ever since and Harry had foolishly assumed that he finally found his place in the world—until Draco's twenty-fifth birthday. That was when everything changed.

Shortly before his twenty-fifth birthday, Draco had taken ill. He was deathly pale and ran a constant fever, his pale skin blistering all over. Draco just brushed it off claiming that he must have been overworking himself and kept telling Harry to stop making such a fuss.

Harry had been at the end of his wits, especially because he was completing his final Junior Auror training assignments overseas and couldn't come home without forfeiting all the hard work he had put towards his career. If the very best Healers at St Mungo's had not assured him that everything was under control and Draco was fine, he would have been home in record time. But Draco wasn't fine and everything was not okay. In that long month that Harry had spent on assignment in Norway, his entire life had fallen apart without any warning at all.

By the time Harry returned home, Draco was gone. He had taken all his belongings and moved out. Harry had been frantic with worry, afraid that his boyfriend had been kidnapped or was in some sort of trouble. It wasn't like Draco to leave without a word. Even if the blond had been furious with him for not being there during his illness, he would have at least exploded at Harry, hexing him and verbally abusing for days as he had done so many times before. He would not have left without a note or even telling his friends where he was going. Of course, Harry assumed the worst.

Since he was now an official Auror, no longer in training or a junior Auror, he asked for every favour in the book, even using the weight of his name to find out what had happened to Draco. For weeks, he had every available Auror in England searching high and wide for his missing lover and even a few in France since he knew Draco liked to hide out there at times. But it wasn't enough. When the entire Auror squad had failed to locate even a trace of Draco, he was about to give up or at least move onto using foreign intelligence. But then, he received a letter from Christian Navarro, Draco's mate and fiancé, which caused Harry's entire world to explode.

The letter explained that Draco had taken ill because he possessed dormant Veela genes from both the Malfoy and Black family. Both families, being of ancient and noble houses, made sure to keep the existence of the dormant Veela traits hushed up; however, since Draco had inherited Veela blood from both of his parents, he was more than a quarter Veela, which manifested itself on his twenty-fifth birthday. Since he wasn't a full blooded Veela, he wouldn't sprout wings or talons, but he was required to find his mate and bond to him or her immediately. Not only for his own protection, but also for the protection of those around him that would be affected by his Veela magic. Once he was mated, his mate would have control over him, so his Veela allure would no longer work on others. Apparently, Christian had been visiting family in St Mungo's and accidentally stumbled onto Draco, feeling the connection to the Veela at once. The Head of the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures had tested their magic and deemed it compatible, so Christian had whisked Draco off to his family's castle in Spain, paying off the Ministry and the staff of St Mungo's to keep their secret.

Harry had been devastated when he read Christian's letter, and he still kept it in his night stand—sometimes, still believing it was just a nightmare that he hadn't woken up from yet. His Draco, whom he adored more than life itself and had been planning to ask for his hand in marriage on Harry's twenty-fifth birthday, which came and went, was now gone—lost forever. Draco was no longer his and was in actuality a magical creature. If he hadn't been so distraught by Draco's departure, he would have laughed at the irony of Mr pure-blood poster boy actually having magical creature blood in his own veins. However, nothing about Draco's disappearance was funny.

It wasn't hard to believe that Draco was part Veela; he certainly was beautiful enough with his long, silky hair that had turned more silver over the years, and his chiselled features that had softened greatly since the war. In the last year, Draco had also sprouted up another four inches making him a good six inches taller than Harry was, now standing at an impressive 6'3. They had joked that Draco's growth had been stunted with the stress of the war. He always expected to be tall since Lucius was so tall, but Harry should have known that something was wrong. It wasn't normal to grow four inches when you were almost 25 years old or have your appearance change so drastically.

Oh well, it didn't matter now. He couldn't go back and change the past, and even if he could, it still wouldn't change the fact that no matter how desperately he wished it to be true, he wasn't Draco's true mate, his other half. No, he had only been a place holder for Christian. And that was what hurt the most.

He sighed heavily and poured himself a glass of water from his night stand, closing his eyes and letting the cool water refresh his throat and calm his entire body. Once he drained the entire glass, he lay back down and closed his eyes, thinking about Ron and Hermione, the Weasleys, his godson, anything else as long as it wasn't Draco.

Somehow, he would get past this and forget about Draco. He just had to.

: : : : :

The next morning Harry roused early; it was barely half past six and he had tossed and turned for the rest of the night. He knew that he should try to go back to sleep, but he was wide awake and a voice inside his head was pushing him to get out of bed. He put on his dressing gown and slippers and headed over to his front door, hoping that his morning newspapers had already been delivered. When he opened the door, he gasped loudly at the sight in front of him. Lying on his front stoop, dressed in tattered robes and covered in blood was his Draco.

"Draco!" Harry cried, bending down to shake him gently.

When he didn't respond, Harry's heart starting hammering against his chest and his knees wobbled. "Draco," he tried again, his voice filled with desperation and tears threatening to escape his eyes.

This time when he didn't receive a response, he scooped up Draco in his arms and brought him inside. Draco had always been thin, but Harry was in shock at how light the other man felt in his arms, barely skin and bones. Quickly, Harry kicked off the cushions and clothes on his messy couch and placed Draco down on it. His long hair, much more silver than he remembered it, was knotted in clumps around his head and tainted with streaks of blood. His pale skin a ghastly shade of grey and his face, his beautiful face, was covered in deep gashes and bruises. Harry's heart clenched at seeing his Draco, his first love, in this broken state.

After checking for a pulse and letting out a deep breath he didn't even realise he was holding, he cast a weak Enervate on Draco, praying not to further aggravate his injuries. When it didn't work, he cast the spell a second time, stronger than before, and this time, pained grey eyes flew open and met his.

"Draco," he whispered, not wanting to startle the other man. "What happened?"

Draco opened his once pink lips, now bruised and covered in dried blood, and tried to speak.

"I-I," he rasped, moving his lips but struggling to form coherent thoughts.

"It's okay," Harry said, squeezing his hand in an attempt to reassure him. "You're safe now."

Draco grimaced and attempted to sit up, clearly in a large amount of pain.

"Don't. Just lay back. Where does it hurt?"

Draco bit down on his bottom lip and motioned to his chest; from the looks of it, he probably had at least a couple of broken ribs.

"No Healers," Draco mouthed, his voice barely a whisper. "Plea-se."

"But Draco, you're really hurt. I don't know if I can heal all your injuries," Harry reasoned. "It's better if I have a professional look at them."

"No!" Draco's voice was more forceful this time and Harry could see the pain it was causing him.

"Okay, no Healers," Harry agreed, absently stroking Draco's hair. "I promise."

Draco nodded in gratitude and closed his eyes, too exhausted to continue the conversation.

"Let me get you a pain potion," Harry said, removing his hand from Draco's hair and stepping away from the couch. As he turned away from his patient though, he heard Draco's shaky voice again, so different from his usual lazy drawl.

"Not...real...mate," Draco said, his voice trembling on every syllable. "Christ-ian li-ar."

"What?"

Harry whipped around to face Draco again, but he was already out cold again; the Enervate must have worn off. Harry sighed and shook his head. It was probably for the best, so that Draco wouldn't feel any pain while Harry healed his extensive injuries. He would just have to wait to get any real answers.

What did he mean? He couldn't possibly be implying that Christian had lied and tricked him into thinking he was his mate. Could he? No, the Ministry had tested their magic compatibility. But Ministry officials could be bought, a voice in the back of Harry's head mused, especially with Christian's money.

No, he scolded himself. He wasn't going to jump to any wild conclusions until he spoke with Draco. Right now, he needed to tend to his patient, to his friend. Draco needed him and that was all that mattered. Questions would just have to wait until later.

Still, if it turned out that Christian did this to Draco, beat him halfway to death, then Harry was going to kill the heartless bastard, wizarding nobility or not.

To be continued...


Author's note: Thanks so much for reading! What do you think so far? Will Harry and Draco be able to get past this? I promise to post Part 2 in the next few days.

Until next time,

~Icicle

[1] The quote at the beginning of the story comes from the song "Without You" from the Musical Rent. It was written by Jonathon D Larson and doesn't belong to me.