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.

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.

Author's note: Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed so far! I appreciate it so much, and I promise to respond if I haven't already done so, to all your lovely comments. Once again, a special thank you to Alyssa and feedback makes my day!

Enjoy.


~Without You: Part 2~

"Without you, the hand gropes, the ear hears, the pulse beats.

Without you, the eyes gaze, the legs walk, the lungs breathe.

The heart yearns, the tears dry, without you.

Life goes on, but I'm gone. Cause I die, without you."

~JDL [2]

: : : : :

Draco woke up in a comfortable bed, tucked under a heavy down comforter and with a cool washcloth on his forehead. His head was throbbing, but the pain in his chest and ribs was gone. He ran a hand across his cheeks, realising they were no longer sore and tender from ripe bruises. Even his hair had been freshly washed. What the hell had happened? The last thing he remembered was being held captive in Christian's castle and being beaten and starved. Where was he now?

He sat up slowly and took in his surroundings—a pale blue comforter, faded striped wallpaper and a dusty wooden nightstand. He was in Harry's room at Grimmauld Place. As he closed his eyes, images of wandering around London trying to get to Harry, to Grimmauld Place, came back to him. He was so sure that he had failed; last night had been so cold, much too cold for a fall evening, and he had spent half the night banging on Harry's front door. It had been so late and Harry was already asleep or not at home. He banged and he banged as loud and long as he could, but it was no use. At some point, he must have fallen asleep and the next thing he remembered was waking up on Harry's couch.

Harry.

His pulse quickened at the thought of Harry, his best friend, his first love. Harry must have healed him. He snorted to himself; somehow, Harry was always his saviour. Turning around gradually, as not to further aggravate his recently healed wounds, he leaned over and poured himself a glass of water from the nightstand. Harry always had water by his nightstand for those nights when one of them, if not both of them, woke up with nightmares from the war.

Draco drank the cool water slowly, not wanting to upset his empty stomach. How long had it been since he had last eaten? The sharp churns in protest told him that it had been too long.

"Harry," he called out, finding his throat soothed from the minty water. Smiling to himself, he called out for Harry again, touched that the other man had remembered his preference for water with mint leaves.

"Draco." Harry walked into the room looking a fright; his dark hair was long and unkempt, sticking up in all directions and looking like a family of squirrels had taken up residence in it. His eyes, just as green as Draco remembered them, were blotchy, large bags hanging under his eyes, almost like deep bruises. He was wearing his old red pyjama bottoms—the ones with the Gold Snitches, which Harry refused to part with even if they were two inches too short for him, and an old tattered Weasley jumper with a large 'H' embroidered in the centre. Draco thought he looked ridiculous and ages ago when they had still been a couple, he would have complained for hours until Harry gave in and agreed to change but not today. Today, Draco couldn't help but smile at the dishevelled man in front of him; he was the most beautiful man that Draco had ever laid eyes on, dreadful hair, hideous clothing and all.

"How are you feeling?" Harry asked, his face etched in concern, as he stepped closer to Draco and sat down on the bed next to him.

"Like a Hippogriff ran me over, Potter." Draco smirked at Harry in hopes that he would stop giving him that pitying look.

"Right." Harry ran a hand through his hair, mussing it up further. "I brought you a pain potion."

He handed Draco a small phial and Draco drank the whole thing down without protesting once.

"Wow," Harry said with a chuckle. "Usually, I have to beg you and bribe you with presents and sexual favours before you agree to drink that."

Draco shrugged and avoided Harry's amused gaze. "Things change."

"I know," Harry replied seriously, shifting closer to Draco on the bed. He exhaled loudly and chewed his bottom lip.

Fuck, Draco thought. Here come the questions.

"Thank you, Harry," Draco said earnestly, hoping to sway their conversation. "You saved me again."

"It was nothing." Harry gripped his hand and squeezed it, his fingers warm and trembling slightly. "You can always come to me, Draco. But what happened?" Harry asked. "I want to help you."

Draco sighed and sat up straighter, wanting to have full eye contact with Harry when he told his woeful tale. "Harry," he said softly, "you're not going to like it."

"Draco—"

"Just promise me you won't overreact and do anything rash. And then I'll tell you."

Harry frowned, his eyebrows creased deeply marring his handsome face, but nodded anyway. "You have my word."

"It was Christian," Draco said evenly, keeping his voice as steady and emotionless as possible.

"I'll kill him," Harry growled.

"Harry," Draco warned, narrowing his eyes, "you promised and just wait until I finish to ask questions."

"Sorry, continue."

"Christian is not my mate."

Draco paused for a second and eyed Harry warily, waiting for him to interrupt again. Harry furrowed his brow tighter and gritted his teeth, but he didn't comment.

"Somehow, he found out that I was a Veela and bribed the Head of the Department of Magical Creatures to fake our compatibility test. Our magic is most definitely not compatible."

"But why?" Harry asked, no longer able to keep quiet, his knuckles clenched in fists.

"Because whoever his source was didn't give him the complete story. He thought that I had more Veela blood in me than wizarding blood." Draco paused for a second and blew his fringe out of his face. He wasn't sure how Harry was going to react to this part of the story, but he vowed to never lie to him again.

"Christian thought that I could bear children. Full blooded and powerful half-blooded male Veela are capable of carrying offspring."

"Oh my god," Harry said, his eyes wide and blinking rapidly.

"I know. That was my reaction too. The thing is that he was kind at first, romancing me and being a gentle and careful lover." Draco averted his eyes from Harry's at those last words, knowing how painful it must be for him to hear about Draco lying with another man. "But once it was obvious to him that I couldn't get pregnant, he no longer had any use for me. He locked me in a room and starved me, having his men run tests on me...trying to make me fertile. When it came apparent that the experiments didn't work, he would lose his temper and beat me." Draco bowed his head in shame, the tears he had been holding back finally escaping.

Strong arms grabbed him and pulled him close, rubbing calming circles down his back.

"It's okay, Draco," Harry soothed. "It's okay, my love."

They stayed that way for a while, Draco feeling protected and content in Harry's arms. It was as if he belonged there, as if he had finally come home.

"But Draco," Harry asked gently, once he had finally stopped crying. "Why didn't you fight back? I know you, even without a wand you're quite the scrappy fighter."

Draco rested his head on Harry's shoulder as he had done so many times in the past, taking in Harry's sweet, clean smell. "He bonded with me. Used an ancient Master Veela bond rather than a lover's bond. And a Veela can never hurt his Master...no matter what."

"Oh my god," Harry said again, wrapping his arms even tighter around Draco. "I'm so sorry, so very sorry. But—how did you get away?"

Draco closed his eyes and tried to remember how he escaped from his stone prison and that awful dark castle, but he couldn't. His mind was completely blank.

"I don't know," Draco admitted quietly. "The last thing I remember is being in London and trying to get to Grimmauld Place. The last couple of days are one big blur."

Harry kissed him on the forehead. "It doesn't matter. As long as you're here now and safe. I'll never let him hurt you again."

"I know."

Harry released him and grabbed him by the wrists. "But Draco," Harry said, his voice so soft and pained it was almost a whisper. "We have to find your real mate. You need your real mate."

Draco started to laugh, tilting his head back and chortling loudly as he hadn't done in ages. "Oh, Harry," he said, shaking his head, "you're my mate, silly. Can't you feel it?"

Harry's eye widened further and he gaped at him like an owl. "Me? Are you sure?" He stuttered on his words and Draco found it positively adorable.

"Of course," Draco insisted, running a finger up Harry's arm and watching as gold sparks emitted from his tanned skin. "Did you see that? It's always been you, Harry. I've been drawn to you since I was eleven."

Without saying a word, Harry grabbed him and kissed him fiercely; he tasted like black tea and stale biscuits, but Draco didn't care in the least. To Draco, Harry tasted divine. At last, he was reunited with his one true mate.

"I am your mate," Harry panted, breathless from the kiss. His hair was sticking up even further, charged with static electricity as if he had stuck his fingers in one of those Muggle sockets.

"Felt that did you?" Draco asked smugly, quirking an eyebrow at his lover. "I told you not to doubt me."

Harry laughed and pulled Draco in for another kiss.

"Well, we have our entire lives for you to prove me wrong, Malfoy." Harry smirked at him, his green eyes glittering mischievously.

"I'm never letting you go again."

"That better be a promise."

Draco rested his head on Harry's shoulder and sighed contently. For the first time in ages, he could breathe easily. Finally, things were back to the way they were supposed to be. For once, he was happy to be a Veela and have a mate.

: : : :

That night Draco woke up snugly wrapped in Harry's arms, head resting on Harry's firm chest; it was his favourite position in the entire world. They had spent the rest of the day, spooning together in bed and reacquainting themselves with each other. Unfortunately, they hadn't had sex yet because Harry wanted to wait until Draco had his full strength back before shagging, but for once Draco had been content with just stealing sweet kisses from his lover.

He turned his head around and studied Harry's appearance. For years, he had loved watching Harry sleep. It was a secret pastime of his that he would never admit to unless he was under Veritaserum. Thankfully, Harry hadn't changed much in the long months since Draco had seen him last. Perhaps he was a tad thinner, but not by much. His Auror career always kept him in great shape and ravenous when he came home. The lines in his forehead had become more pronounced and faint stress lines had formed between his brows. It didn't matter though, Draco thought the lines made Harry look more distinguished, and no matter what, Harry would always be beautiful to Draco.

As he pressed a soft kiss to Harry's faded scar, a deep pang started in his chest, burning and clawing beneath his skin as if it were propelling him off Harry. Draco bit down on his tongue, sharply, in an attempt to avoid waking Harry. But as the pain deepened, even his stifled whimpers became louder and woke Harry.

"Draco, what is it?" Harry asked anxiously, sitting up straight and rubbing his tired eyes.

"Nothing. Go back to sleep." Draco tried his best to keep his face neutral.

"No, you're in pain," Harry insisted, opening his eyes wider and leaning forwards to feel Draco's chest.

"It's nothing just a little chest pain." Unfortunately, this time he couldn't keep the discomfort off his face.

Ignoring Draco's protests, Harry removed Draco's shirt and hissed at what he saw in front of him, at what Draco already knew was there.

"That mark...it wasn't there earlier." Harry motioned to the black cross on his chest that was now glowing red.

"I know. It's his mark. It only shows when he calls," Draco explained. "He branded me when we bonded, so he could keep track of me—as if I were no better than a prized pet," Draco sneered, his voice venomous.

"Fuck. So he's summoning you? Who does he think he is sodding Voldemort?"

Draco scoffed. "He's not quite that bright, but yes, the mark works in a similar manner."

Harry ran a shaky hand through his hair. "Is it permanent? Do you think he'll come for you?"

"I don't know," Draco replied honestly. "I know that Veela magic has a certain healing property to it...that a Veela can heal its mate if he or she is gravely injured. I don't know if the reverse is true."

Harry grabbed Draco's wrist, almost mutilating it with his tight grip. "I will not let him hurt you again, Draco. I promise you. How do we this? I know I can heal you."

Draco closed his eyes and exhaled loudly. Harry had his determined face on again, and from years of experience, he knew it was no use to argue with him. "I think you need to cut it out of me, Harry, remove his poison and magic from my body."

"Okay," Harry said after a beat. "I can do that. And how do I heal you?"

Draco smiled at him sadly. He loved how confident Harry was about this, how he always thought he could fix everything, but this time it might not be enough. Draco had hoped that he was far enough away from Christian that his hold on Draco would no longer work; it appeared that he might have to go even farther.

"Afterwards," Draco said slowly, "you fuck me, Harry. Fuck my brains out and seal our new real bond. If that doesn't work, nothing will."

"It will work," Harry insisted. "Trust me."

Harry jumped out of bed like an excited toddler and ran for supplies. He said something about using clean, aseptic technique and went to look for a special knife. Draco didn't particularly care as long as Harry didn't use Sectumsempra on him again.

: : : :

Harry returned with a large knife, a scalpel, and several disinfectants as well as huge roll of gauze. Several years ago, he had found a miniature surgical kit in Regulus' old room and held onto it for an emergency. He didn't want to imagine what Regulus had used it for, but today it was a lifesaver and he had thoroughly disinfected it various times.

Draco had fallen asleep again, his pale chest rising slowly in even breaths. It was such a shame to have to wake him, since Draco looked so peaceful, the pain from that bastard Christian's call finally letting up. Still, they needed to get this over with before Draco felt any more pain and more importantly, before Christian came looking for Draco. On the one hand, Harry wanted Christian to come here and try to take Draco back, so Harry could tear the monster limb by limb. On the other hand, however, he had promised Draco that he wouldn't overact and go after Christian. Deep down, he knew that Draco was right, but the thought of what that vermin did to his Draco made Harry want to kill the prick without a second thought. Revenge could wait for later though. He could easily send some of his Auror spies to take care of Christian without it ever being traced back to him. Draco had never said anything about someone else murdering Christian, but there would be plenty of time to plan. Right now, he had to focus on helping the sleeping angel in front of him.

"Draco," Harry whispered, shaking Draco's shoulders, "wake up. We need to get this done as soon as possible."

Soft grey eyes met his and Harry was overwhelmed by the amount of love and emotion reflected in them, so opposite of the listless eyes he had seen in his nightmare. He smiled at the adorable blond, who was rubbing his eyes and yawning. Harry couldn't believe his good fortune that somehow after all the pain he had suffered in his life, all the hardships he had been forced to endure, he had still been given the most precious gift of all—the chance to be the most beautiful wizard's in the world's mate.

"Mmm...okay, Harry. I'm ready," Draco mumbled, still yawning.

Harry smiled again and vanished the covers off their bed. He was quite fond of that duvet and didn't want to get blood all over it.

"I'm sorry that this is going to hurt, love." Harry bent over and kissed Draco on the forehead. "But it's going to hurt me more than you."

Draco had explained that it was probably safer if he didn't use magic during the procedure, so instead Harry poured some hydrogen peroxide over Draco's black mark, hoping that it would be enough to keep the wound sterile.

"Just do it," Draco croaked, his eyes firmly shut and arms gripping onto the bed's wooden headboard.

"I'm sorry," Harry said again, closing his eyes for a second and steadying his nerves. He had to this for Draco. Please let it work.

Gripping the scalpel in his right hand, he brought it down to Draco's chest, which looked even paler than it had this afternoon. The chest pains must have taken more out of him than he admitted. With a deep breath, he pressed the blade firmly against Draco's chest, making sure to cut deep enough to remove the entire top layers of Draco's skin without cutting into muscle and bone. He gasped at the amount of blood that flowed out of the wound, trickling down his lover's skin like a river of tears. Draco was being so brave, holding completely still and only whimpering lightly through gritted teeth. Harry figured that he was biting down on his tongue, probably through it to cope with the pain, and Harry would have to heal it later. Hopefully he wouldn't split it in two because Harry wasn't sure how to mend a halved tongue.

Harry kept cutting, as carefully as possible and outlining the revolting, black cross as best as he could. He knew that Draco was vain and if this worked, he didn't want to hear him complain about scarring for the rest of their lives the way he always did about his Sectumsempra scars. As he got closer to edge of the cross, the mark hanging on only by a small sliver of skin, Harry started tearing it, and Draco jerked upwards, no longer being able to keep his cool or his screams in.

"It's okay, love," he soothed, stopping for a second and running his left hand through Draco's hair. "I'm almost finished. Just another minute or two. You're being so brave. So very brave."

Draco groaned and let out a stream of profanities that even made Harry blush, but then he tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and declared that he was ready for Harry to continue. With his hand trembling, Harry finished cutting and removed the hideous mark completely. Draco's skin was so raw underneath, but somehow it wasn't bleeding as profusely as it should have been. Perhaps it was a Veela thing. He cleaned the wound carefully, ignoring Draco's screams of protest and bloody murder, and finally bandaged it tightly.

"All done," he said, wiping sweat from his forehead and letting out a deep breath. The procedure had taken a lot longer than he had originally thought, but so far everything looked good. The wound was still bleeding, which Harry could see through the bandage, but only lightly. If they started right away, Harry should have enough time to make love to Draco and heal him before he started losing a dangerous amount of blood.

"Finally," Draco groaned, trying to sit up and lean against the headboard.

"No, just lay back. I'll take care of you, tonight. Please."

Draco scowled and looked like he was going to complain, but then closed his eyes and laid back. His face was pale again and Harry knew that he must be in a high amount of pain to give in so readily. Harry kissed him on the lips chastely, and then propped a pillow underneath his back, trying to make him as comfortable as possible.

"Do you want me to get you a pain potion?" Harry asked, trying to mask the concern on his face.

"No, nothing magical. Just to be safe."

"Fine." Harry sighed and pulled off his shirt and pants in record time. He had never been so desperate to get sex over with before. His last shag had been a one-night stand the night he received Christian's letter. It had been a long fucking time for him, so he was more than ready to do this.

Harry propped himself up over Draco and bent down for a deep kiss. Kissing Draco had always been his favourite thing to do in the world, and now that Draco had come into his Veela inheritance, kissing Draco made his entire body tremble and a low hum purr in his ears.

"I love you," Harry said, "so much."

"I love you, too," Draco replied in between kisses. "So fucking much, Potter."

Harry laughed and shook his head at Draco's snide comment. Back in school, he despised Draco's snark, but now he adored it. He started trailing kisses down Draco's chest, carefully avoiding the bandage and working his way down to his groin.

"Mmmm," Draco moaned in appreciation, which caused a tightness in Harry's own body. He had missed this so much and the mere act of undressing his gorgeous lover had his prick completely hard and ready to go.

"Harry," Draco panted as Harry continued to tease him with him kisses and now starting to massage his balls. "So good. But just do it. Just fuck me."

Harry scoffed but obliged his lover anyway; tonight was about Draco. If Draco just wanted a quick shag, then that's what he would get. He needed to be inside Draco, to claim him as his own, and cleanse him of that bastard Christian. He cast a wandless stretching charm and worked a finger into Draco's arse, first slowly and then gradually quickening the pace. Once he was sure Draco was enjoying himself, he added a second and then a third finger, his own cock throbbing as he watched Draco's head tilt back, his face flushing in pleasure.

"Harry. Please." Draco was whinging now, writhing beneath him desperately.

"Alright, but I'm not going to last."

"I don't bloody care, Potter. Just get on with it before I bleed to death."

Harry snorted and positioned himself at Draco's entrance. Fuck, he had dreamt of this moment for so long. So many times over the past few months, but this wasn't a dream. This time, it was real. He pushed himself into Draco's tight hole and groaned at the contact. It was so tight and hot, even tighter than he had remembered it.

"Draco—" he panted, needing all his self-restraint to stop himself from moving. Before he moved, he needed to know that Draco wasn't in pain.

"Move," Draco demanded, wrapping his legs tightly around Harry's waist and jerking his hips upwards. "Now."

So he did.

Harry didn't need to be asked twice as he thrust in and out of Draco, each time deeper than the last. He arched Draco's body as best as he could, hoping to reach Draco's prostate more easily. When he heard Draco cry out loudly, he knew that he had hit the spot, so he kept his hips in the same exact angle and tried for it again—this time pushing harder than he had before. When he heard Draco cry out again, in a high-pitched trill, his whole body began to tremble. Fucking Draco had always been amazing; he was pliable, tight, and quite vocal as a lover, but this time something was different. Harry's skin was on fire, every nerve humming along with Draco's trill; his beautiful song grew louder and fiercer with every thrust that Harry made, ramming deeper and deeper into his gorgeous lover's arse, becoming captivated by his mellifluous song. In all his life, he had never heard such a beautiful melody, and each note pushed him closer and closer to the edge.

Usually, he slowed down and offered Draco some kisses and nibbles throughout their shag, so it would feel more like love making than a quick fuck. Today that was impossible; he couldn't stop thrusting faster and harder into Draco if his life depended on it. His heart was pounding, hammering so fiercely against his ribs that he was afraid it would explode. And Draco, Merlin's beard, Draco was writhing and moaning so wantonly beneath him—his pale skin flushing and glowing almost ethereally under the faint light. Without a doubt, he was the most beautiful creature that Harry had ever laid eyes on, and Harry couldn't believe that he was given the opportunity to love him and be loved in return.

With his heart bursting with unyielding adoration for the Veela beneath him and his entire body vibrating, perfectly in tune with Draco's trill, Harry came—screaming out incoherent declarations of love, louder and harder than he had ever come in his entire life.

"Bloody hell," he cried, as he pulled out of Draco and plopped down onto the bed besides him. "That was, you were..."

"Brilliant?" Draco offered helpfully, moving over to lay his head on Harry's chest.

"I was going to go for mind-blowing but yeah. Will that always happen now?"

Draco blushed and looked up at the ceiling. "No, that's the first time it's happened. It's my song, our song. I don't know...it just poured out of me. I've never done that before and I'm not sure if it'll happen again."

"Well, whatever it was...it was amazing. I'm the luckiest bloke in the world."

He turned Draco's head up to face him and kissed him.

Draco laughed, that deep chuckle of his that Harry adored. "Fuck, Potter, stop being such a Hufflepuff. We don't even know if it worked yet."

"Right," Harry said, chewing on his bottom lip. "Let me check."

With tremulous hands, he unwrapped Draco's bandage, praying that their love was enough, for another miracle. He traced his fingers over where Draco's wound had been just minutes earlier and exhaled sharply at what he saw—the black cross was gone, no trace of it at all. The wound had completely healed over and in its place was fresh healthy skin. The biggest shock, however, was that right above where that awful cross had been, there was now a small, silver mark in the shape of a lightning bolt.

"I-I" Harry blinked incredulously, his voice catching in the back of his throat.

"Did it work?" Draco asked, pushing Harry's hand away.

"I-I" Harry stammered again.

"For god's sake, Potter, just step aside and I'll check for myself. You sound like a blithering idiot."

Draco leaped off the bed, graceful as ever, and ran over to the full-length mirror that Draco had insisted Harry install in his room once they had gotten together.

"Salazar's balls, Potter," Draco spat, shaking his head and tracing the lightning bolt mark. "Why must you always scar me?"

"I-I...sorry." Harry shrugged his shoulders and looked down at the floor.

"Do you really think I'm an idiot?" Harry asked in a small voice after gathering his thoughts.

Draco sighed loudly and walked back over to the bed, resting his hands on Harry's shoulders.

"Yes, I do. You are the most idiotic, stubborn, and reckless man I have ever met."

"Oh."

"But you're my idiot, Potter. And you saved me again." He threw his arms around Harry's neck and pulled him into a deep kiss.

"I love you, you twat. And now you're really stuck with me for life."

Harry laughed and returned his kiss, a huge besotted grin on his face. He would have no problem spending the rest of his days just like this, wrapped in the arms of the most beautiful creature in the entire world. He was a lucky man indeed.

~ Fin

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EDIT ADDED 3:38 P.M. EST on March 5th: I've had quite a few comments about wanting to see Harry kick Christian's arse, so even though this story is complete, I'm considering writing an epilogue with Harry confronting Christian. Would anyone like to read that? Let me know.


Author's note: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed the ending because Harry and Draco got their much deserved happy ending. I was definitely happy and thankful for the number of reviews I received for part 1, but I was AMAZED at the number of people that added this story to their story alerts and favorites. So...*hint hint* I'm hoping you were just waiting until the end to share your thoughts. = )

Either way, thanks so much for reading and I hope you'll consider checking out my other H/D stories.

Have a great week everyone!

[2] Once again, the lyrics at the beginning of this chapter come from the song "Without You", from the Musical Rent and were written by Jonathon D Larson. They do not belong to me.

~Icicle


Review Responses:

I responded to all the signed reviews by PM, but I wanted to let the users who left anon reviews that I read and appreciated them as well.

Sun: I'm so happy you are loving the story so far. I hope you enjoy the end as well.

Starkidwhatmore: Superawesomesauce...lol. You're comment amused me. I hope you like the end too.

Kittyq: Thank you! I'm glad you are intrigued by the story. Luckily, you didn't have to wait too long for the ending. Here you go.