This is a story that I lost in the depths of my computer and just rediscovered it. Harry/Draco is definitely my OTP for the Harry Potter fandom, though I'm not really sure what I think of this story. I may rewrite it at some point in the future if I feel so inclined. This does contain some yaoi relationships, mostly Harry/Draco with some hints of Remus/Sirius. If you don't like it, don't read it. Also, some characters may be a bit OOC, especially Draco. And this is an AU because it's set after Order of the Phoenix, but Sirius is still alive and Draco is never marked.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me :'(

The fire crackled merrily in the Gryffindor common room. It was very late at night and only two figures still remained. They cuddled on the warm plush rug by the fire, black-brown hair mingling with silvery-blonde. Silver-grey eyes looked up into the face of the boy who lay next to him.



"Are you awake?"

"No, Draco, I'm answering you in my sleep." His response failed to illicit a response from the boy in his arms. Draco was staring at the fire, absently picking at a loose thread in the rug. Harry was a bit worried now, Draco always laughed at his horrible jokes unless he was really upset. He pushed himself up a bit, leaning on his elbow. "Draco, love, what's wrong?" Draco sighed a little.

"I don't want to go home, Harry."

"Oh Draco…"

"I don't want to spend the holidays hearing about how much of a failure I am, about how bad my grades are and how I am the worst Death Eater in Voldemort's ranks. I don't want to spend my holidays ignored and treated like a piece of worthless dirt." Draco had tears starting to slide down his face. Harry quickly rolled the younger boy onto his other side so that they were facing, wiping away the tears with his thumb.

"Don't listen to them, love. After years of living with the Dursley's, I know how those things can hurt. But don't listen to them. Listen to me. I love you and I care about you and I will never be disappointed with you. You are not worthless or a piece of dirt. You are the most beautiful boy I know, inside and out. Plus your grades are stellar, second only to Hermione's and that is quite an accomplishment. I'm convinced that it's impossible to beat her without cheating." Draco smiled and chuckled a little.

She's definitely something when it comes to color-coded notes and hours of studying." After the chuckles died down Draco got serious again. "Thank you Harry, I needed to hear that. Hopefully I'll be able to get through this break without blowing up and saying something I shouldn't. I know the things they say aren't true but ever since I was little I have always wanted my parents' love and affection. Even now I wish they would care just a little. But Mother is too busy with her parties and Father only cares about helping Voldemort rise to power."

"You know, Draco, its not to late to come with me. The Weasleys invited you to come along with Sirius, Remus, and I."

"I know, Harry. But me father expressly told me to come home and I don't really want him to be any madder than he already is." Harry's eyes darkened at the mention of Lucius' anger. Draco had told him all about how mad his father got and Harry had seen the scars and bruises. It was only through Draco's pleading that Harry had not confronted Lucius already. Draco saw the look in his lover's eyes and pulled the boy down for a kiss, smiling reassuringly as they pulled apart. "Besides, the Weasleys only invited me out of courtesy to you. They're still not thrilled that their precious Boy-Who-Lived is dating the Slytherin Ice Prince, who happens to be the son of a great and well-known Death Eater." Harry sighed, knowing that this was true and hating it nonetheless.

"I know, Draco. They'll come around eventually. I'll make them see reason."

"I know you will, love, I know you will." There were no more words for the rest of the night. The boys just enjoyed their last few hours before they had to leave in the morning. And before they split, there were many whispered promises of seeing each other soon. Then Draco got into his pure black carriage to meet his parents in Hogsmeade and Harry, Ron, and the other Weasleys headed off to get on the Hogwarts Express.

The first few days were fine, both boys missed each other a great deal but they kept in touch via owls and secret floo dates. But it was inevitable that something would go wrong because nothing ever seemed to go as planned where these two were concerned. And a week before Christmas, everything went wrong in the worst possible way. Draco had been enjoying a walk through the gardens of Malfoy Manor, admiring the way the landscape looked with snow laying heavily upon it. As he came back into the house, an elf approached him.

"Sir, your father requests your presence in his study."

"Thank you, Pinkley, you may return to your duties." With a crack, the house-elf disappeared and Draco made his way to Lucius' study. His father was standing by the fire, staring contemplatively into the flames. A nearby table had a scattering of papers. As Draco came closer, he recognized the writing as Harry's. But before he could even contemplate turning to flee, he heard the doors close and lock quietly.

"Please have a seat, Draco." Draco sat abruptly, watching as his father turned around to face him. Now he was backlit by the fire and his emotionless face was terrifying. "What are these papers that I found in your room?" Draco knew that his father already knew these answers but it was in his best interest to answer them truthfully.

"They are letters, sir."

"Letters to who, Draco?"

"To Harry Potter."

"Why are you receiving letters from Potter? What kind of relationship do you have with the boy that you are important enough for him to spend time writing such loving things to you?" Draco knew that this was the moment where he would lose any chance of his father loving and respecting him. But he could not knowingly deny what was in the letters without betraying Harry, and that was far worse than clinging to some childish dream.

"First, Father, you should know that I am gay. Harry is my boyfriend and we have been dating for a number of months now." Draco had no time to prepare before his father's fist connected with his face. He topped to the ground with a cry.

"No son of mine is going to be a fag." Each word was accentuated by a kick to the gut that left Draco curled into a tiny ball, gasping for breath. "Ah well, perhaps you will not be a total waste. I'm sure you have some knowledge of the Boy-Who-Lived and the Order's plans. And once we have that information, perhaps the Dark Lord will have an idea of what to do with you." Draco glared defiantly at Lucius.

"I will never tell you anything about Harry and the Light side."

"Well… you may change your mind sooner or later."

Three days before Christmas, Harry was sitting in front of the fireplace at the Burrow. Ron, Fred, and George were gathered there with him.

"I'm really worried about him… I haven't gotten a letter in days and he missed our last floo date."

"Well what do you suggest doing, Harry? The wards around Malfoy Manor are too powerful for anyone to sneak in there and check on him. The Order would never allow it anyway, since that's one of the places where they suspect You-Know-Who may be hiding now."

"I know, Ron. I just can't shake the feeling that something is seriously wrong."

"Well just wait for your regular time tonight and then if he doesn't answer your call, we'll go from there."

"Thanks Ron… I know you don't like him very much so it means a lot to me that you're so understanding."

"I may not like the git very much and I have no idea what you see in him but he makes you happy, mate, and that's the most important thing."

"Thanks again… that means so much to me." So now Harry sat alone in front of the fire. The rest of the Weasleys had gone to bed although Harry thought that Ron, Fred, and George might be staying up to make sure he would be okay. But it was now long past when Draco should have called and Harry was very worried. He knew he was risking exposing the other boy but he just felt like something terrible was happening. Nothing would prepare him for what he found on the other side though.

As his face floated in Draco's fireplace, Harry realized someone was lurking in the shadows.

"Hello?" Harry called out to the startled person. "Who are you?" There were a few long moments of silence and Harry was just about to call out again when the figure detached itself from the shadows.

"Harry Potter?"

"Narcissa Malfoy?"

"Harry Potter… what are you doing in my son's fireplace?"

"I'm worried about him… I haven't heard from him in a long time." Narcissa looked skeptical.

"Why would a great hero like you be worried about a pathetic failure of a Death Eater like Draco?" Harry could hear the mocking, bitter tone of her speech and knew that she was trying to bait him, but he kept control of his emotions and answered calmly.

"I love him, Mrs. Malfoy… I have for quite some time now. And he loves me as well." Narcissa sighed.

"I know, Harry… that's what gotten us into this situation in the first place." Harry was surprised to watch all the fight drain out of Narcissa Malfoy and she weakly slumped against the far wall. "Come through the floo, Harry, I'll open up the wards to let you in. But Draco will need you here to help him after I tell you what has happened." Harry backed out of the fire, suspicious of Narcissa's cooperativeness but now overwhelmed with fear for his lover. He quickly threw more floo powder into the fire and called out, "Malfoy Manor." Stepping through the green flames with a twirl, Harry found himself in Draco's bedroom. Narcissa still sat in the same place, watching Harry with an expression he could not decipher.

"Alright I'm here. Now tell me what's going on."

"You have to promise me, Harry, don't leave and do anything foolish until I have finished my story. You will need all the information I have in order to accomplish anything." Harry wanted nothing more than to rush out of the room and find Draco without a moment's delay but he knew that Narcissa was right. He needed her information. So he sat down on the edge of Draco's bed and waited.

"Alright, I'll listen. But you have to promise not to interfere with anything that happens afterwards. I need to make sure Draco is safe, and if that involves taking him away from this house then I want to know that you will not fight me. Will you do this?"

"If it means that my son will be safe, then yes I will. I only want what is best for him, despite the way I may seem to be." The last part was said with a bitter undertone that convinced Harry that Narcissa meant what she said.

"Very well then. Tell me what is happening." Narcissa told Harry everything that had happened since the beginning of Christmas Break. She had known about the letters and the floo-calls and had done her best to help Draco keep them a secret. But a couple days ago, Lucius had decided to go get a paper from Draco's desk, and in the process he unearthed the letters that had been sent back and forth. He had confronted Draco, who had remained strong and unyielding in his commitment to the Boy-Who-Lived. But Lucius had wanted information about Harry, and the Order, which Draco had been unwilling to provide. Now Draco had spent a long time with Lucius, locked away where Narcissa could not help him but could still hear his screams and cries.

"That is what has happened, I will show you the way to the dungeons where Draco is being kept, but I cannot help you after that. My bonds to my husband make it difficult for me to defy him, but this is for the good of my son, which is worth the pain." Harry was shocked and appalled at what had happened to his dragon while he had been safe and happy with the Weasleys. He desperately wanted to destroy the entire house, and Lucius Malfoy, and take Draco far away. But he had made promises and so he controlled himself, held his magic back from destroying everything.

"Thank you for telling me all this, Mrs. Malfoy. I will be eternally grateful for your assistance." Narcissa smiled sadly.

"Such a polite boy. I am so glad that Draco has someone like you to protect him and love him. He certainly needs all the love and care he can get." She stared dreamily at Harry for a moment, obviously lost in thought, before bringing herself back to the present. "Now then, if you will follow me, I will show you the way to Draco."

Harry held himself back as he followed Narcissa through many twisting hallways, through various doors and down many staircases until they reached a dead-end. Narcissa reached out and pressed her hand to the wall, whispering words until a door suddenly materialized where none had been before.

"This is all the further I can take you, Harry. Through this door you will find Draco. I do not care what happens to Lucius, but make sure you take care of my baby please. I failed in taking care of him; I was not strong enough to protect him from Lucius and the Dark Lord. But I know you can do this and so I am asking you now, as a mother, please keep him safe." Harry turned for a moment and pulled Narcissa into a tight hug. When he released her, she stepped back, stunned for a moment.

"Don't worry, Mrs. Malfoy. I will take good care of Draco. I love him too much to let anything happen to him." Harry took a deep breath, opened the door, and stepped into the darkness that awaited him. After waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dimness, Harry could see that he was in a long narrow hallway, with one door at the end of the hall.

Quickly opening the door, Harry found himself in a large round room, well lit by torches, with more doors around the circumference. Opening the door closest to him, Harry found a small empty jail-cell, complete with shackles on the wall. Harry went around, opening each and every door. Finally, behind the last door, he found what he was looking for. Unlike all the other rooms, this one was not empty. Draco was there, hanging by manacles from the far wall so that his feet barely swept the ground. He was naked from the waist up, and his chest and back were covered in horrible cuts, welts, burns, and bruises. There were obviously broken ribs from the way that Draco breathed in gasping shallow breaths.

Harry shook himself out of his stupor; he had time to completely evaluate all of his lover's injuries when they were safe. That was his first concern. It would not help Draco at all if Harry were captured because he was too shocked over the state of his lover to do anything. He quickly moved up to Draco, releasing the shackles and catching the smaller boy in his arms before he could hit the floor. Gently, Harry lowered them both down so that he could look over Draco quickly, to be sure that moving him would not do any additional serious damage.

Draco groaned and began to squirm as he tried to fight off his perceived attacker. Even with all the injuries, he was like a scared and injured animal, pushing himself away from Harry and curling up in the corner, attempting to protect himself. Harry's heart ached as he watched his whimpering, broken lover trying to get as far away from him as he could.

"Shhhh… Draco… it's me, Harry…. remember? Remember right before you left for Christmas, we sat in front of the fire and talked all night? I told you I would protect you if anything happened. I'm here now, let me in, Dray. Let me help you, love." Harry didn't know if it was the words themselves, the calming soothing tone he had used, or just the sound of his voice that got through to Draco but soon the other boy was looking at him with eyes that were much clearer than they had been a moment ago.

"H… Harry?" Draco's voice was rough and scratchy from days of screaming. Harry desperately wanted to hurt the person who had done this but knew he had to take care of Draco first.

"Yes, Draco. It's me… It's all right now… I'm here and I'm going to take you away from here to somewhere where you'll be safe." Harry could see the recognition light in Draco's eyes and then tears started to well up there. Again, using strength he should not have had, Draco picked himself off the ground and flung himself into Harry's arms, clinging desperately to his love, seeking comfort and safety. Harry held him back just as fiercely, though careful not to press on injuries too much, offering exactly what Draco needed.

"Well, well, well. Isn't this a touching reunion? The two lovers, finally together again." Harry gently released Draco and pushed the other boy behind him, guarding him from the figure in the doorway. Harry didn't understand how he didn't sense the one standing there.

"Lucius Malfoy… I knew Draco would not be safe here around you." Lucius smiled, an evil smile that made Harry shiver.

"That didn't stop you from letting him come here."

"I never thought you would be capable of hurting your own son this much." As he spoke, Harry saw something change in Lucius' eyes.

"Draco is no son of mine. He has disgraced me, his mother, and the entire Malfoy line by being a fag, running after the Boy-Who-Lived, and turning his back on those who raised him and taught him. He is a failure who does not deserve to live." Harry felt Draco stiffen at those words and his wrath began to stir. He reached a hand back to grasp Draco's and gave it a reassuring squeeze before turning his attention back to the elder Malfoy.

"Do not talk about Draco that way. He has done absolutely nothing wrong. You are the one who is a disgrace; hurting a child who has done nothing more but follow his own path in life. A father should support his child in what he chooses, not punish him with torture and interrogation for breaking away and consorting with your so-called enemy."

"It will not matter soon enough. I will kill you, Harry Potter, and then be exalted by my master and become his right-hand man. But Draco, well I will have no more use for him, perhaps he will make a fun toy for the Dark Lord to amuse himself with for a time." Draco shivered and tried to press himself further into Harry's side, whimpering softly as he thought of what his father said. Harry turned to Draco, leaving a portion of his awareness trained on Lucius but pushing him to the background for the moment.

"Draco, don't listen to him. I won't let him kill me and I won't let him hurt you anymore. But I need your help. I need you to stand with me, and lend me your power." Draco shivered for a moment more, then pulled his emotions under control and nodded once. Harry smiled gently at him and nodded back before standing, pulling Draco up with him and supporting the other boy. They stood there, facing Lucius, who began to laugh.

"Do you truly believe that two mere children can defeat me? I am a Malfoy, a full-grown dark wizard with power you cannot even imagine. I will destroy you both where you stand." Harry could see that Lucius was preparing his first attack, and smiled.

"Ready, Draco?" Draco shifted his weight so that he stood more on his own two feet, not relying on Harry as much.

"Always when I stand with you, love."


"Expelliarmus!" It was impossible to determine who fired their spell first, Harry or Lucius, but it didn't matter since both the spells were deflected with hastily thrown up Protego charms. The multi-colored flashes of spells, both defensive and offensive, Ministry-recognized and Unforgivable, lit the dungeon cell. Draco was able to hold back enough power to keep himself moving, while his wandless magic took care of casting shield charms and hex deflection spells, leaving Harry free to focus on the offensive spell work. Pulling from his own power and the strength of the bond he shared with Draco, Harry was able to cast spells that were faster and more powerful than those Lucius cast.

It was not long before the elder Malfoy found himself backed into a wall, desperately pushing all his strength into a shield charm, trying to hold off the hexes that flew fast and strong. But Harry's spells were backed by his anger, hatred, and love. Finally they broke through the shield, hitting Lucius with at least one Petrificus Totalus, a Stupefy, and a Jelly-Legs Jinx. Lucius fell to the floor, completely unable to move a single muscle. Harry stood a moment, panting from the exertion of flinging so many spells. Behind him, Draco collapsed to the ground, nearly hitting his head hard on the stone floor. But Harry quickly caught him, supporting the smaller boy and propping him up on the wall before turning back to Lucius.

"Now Lucius, what will you do? You can't move, can't defend yourself against whatever I decide to do. At this point, I could easily kill you for all the pain you've inflicted on Draco." Harry could see the fear begin to flicker behind Lucius' eyes as the truth began to sink in. "But I'm not going to do that. I don't believe in unnecessary killing and I don't believe in revenge. However, if you ever come near Draco or I again, I cannot say that I will be able to stick to my morals and restrain myself."

Harry whirled away, returning to Draco's side and scooping him up into this arms, mindful of the injuries that decorated nearly very inch of skin. He left the room without another glance at Lucius, striding down the hallway away from the hellish dungeons. Soon he was back in the main part of Malfoy Manor, where Narcissa was waiting for them. Draco's injuries had finally gotten the better of him and he was now unconscious in Harry's arms. Narcissa sighed when she saw her son.

"Thank you, Harry. I was so afraid for him. I know it doesn't seem like it. I've never shown him any affection or really taken notice of him at all. But I do love him. I have always loved him." Harry just watched her with dark, thoughtful eyes. She stepped closer, running one hand through Draco's long blonde hair and pressing a gentle kiss to his head. "Take care of him, now that I will not be able to. Take him away from here and never bring him back. Take him to a place where people will show him the love and care that he needs."

"I will Mrs. Malfoy. You can count on that. Draco will be as safe and loved as I can manage." Narcissa lingered a moment more, still staring at Draco, before raising her eyes to meet Harry's.

"Tell him that I care about him, that I love him. But I won't be able to show him, if indeed I ever see him again. Tell him that I'm sorry, that I never wanted this to happen. But I cannot go against Lucius, the pureblood marriage vows won't allow me to."

"I understand. Don't worry; I'll explain everything to him. But I will not allow you to have any contact with him, never while Lucius is still around. Draco doesn't need that stress now."

"That is what I expected. Now I think you need to leave. Take the Floo out of Draco's room again; I trust you know where it is. I must go free Lucius now, and pretend to know nothing of what has happened." Harry looked concerned for a moment.

"He won't hurt you, will he?" Narcissa smiled bitterly.

"No more so than he has already hurt me by hurting my son. But do not worry about me, I have already provided myself with an alibi for today. He will not know that I had anything to do with this. Now hurry and go!" Harry needed no further urging, hurrying back through the twisting hallways towards Draco's room. He found the Floo connection still open and quickly stepped through, holding Draco tightly to prevent him from getting pulled away in the whirl of flames.

Soon enough, he stumbled out into the Weasley's living room. However, he had not been expecting the room to be filled with people, as the entire house had been asleep when he left. But there were Remus and Sirius, pulling Draco out of his arms and leading Harry over to a chair. Now that he knew they were both safe, the night's events were catching up to Harry and he was in shock. He stared down at his hands, covered in Draco's blood, and simply could not organize any of his thoughts.

"Harry… Harry… Harry!" Ron's voice finally broke through the fog around Harry's mind. "Harry, I need you to come back, pay attention. Draco needs you now."

"Ron? What…"

"Harry… I need you to concentrate on Draco right now." When Harry heard Draco's name, he started to panic.

"Draco? Oh god, Ron. Where's Draco? What happened, did I bring him back with me?" Suddenly Ron was replaced with Sirius' hands, holding tightly to his arms and giving him a quick shake.

"Harry, calm down. Draco is here; you brought him back safely. Remus and Mrs. Weasley took him upstairs, to one of the bedrooms. They're trying to treat him but we need to know everything you know about what happened. He'll be fine now, we can treat his wounds and he can rest here in safety. Don't worry, Harry… everything will be fine now."

"Sirius…" Harry looked like he would break down again but with some effort, he pulled himself together and pulled himself up in the chair, evening his breathing while he got control of his emotions. Sirius and Ron waited until Harry finally sighed and nodded, ready to begin his story. He told them everything he remembered, from the moment he looked through the Floo.

Looking at the clock sitting on the mantle, Harry realized that he had only gone looking for Draco an hour before. It seemed like a lifetime ago he had been sitting by the fire, waiting for his boyfriend. When he had finished the story, Ron got up and went to find his mother, so everyone would have some idea of what was happening. Sirius also got up and left, but came back shortly with a towel and a bowl of water to clean the blood from Harry's hands.

"Harry…" The boy in question startled when Sirius addressed him, having sunk back into his thoughts. "I'm proud of you, Harry. You knew something was wrong and you acted on it. You probably saved Draco's life today."

"I should have gotten to him earlier, I should have kept him from ever getting hurt."

"Do you really think you can do that, Harry? Draco is not a fragile little thing. He will insist on following you anywhere, regardless of the danger."

"How can I stop that? I can't let him be put in danger."

"If you really think you need to prevent him from staying by your side, then I think it is time for you to leave him."

"Leave him? Why would I do that? I love him."

"Then you will let him make his own decisions. He knew what he was getting into when he decided to be with you. He knew things like this could happen, and you knew that too. This is his choice to make. You have to trust him to know his own limits."


"Believe me, Harry, I know how you feel. I have to watch the man I love be torn apart from the inside every full moon. It is agonizing for me to watch that happen again and again, but there is no place I would rather be. Draco is the same way. No matter the pain he must endure, he wants to be by your side. And he knows that you will be there to protect him. Just don't try to shelter him, or treat him as a fragile, breakable thing. That's not what it means to love someone." Harry sighed.

"Thanks, Sirius. It's going to take me a while to learn how to let him face things like this. But I know you're right. I would never want him to do that to me if our roles were reversed."

"Don't worry, Harry. It's a difficult journey, but worth it in the end." They sat in silence as Sirius continued to wash his godson's hands, turning the previously clear water red. Soon enough, there was no blood left on Harry's hands and he was left staring at the clean, tan hands.

"Can I go see Draco now?" Harry went to stand, and Sirius watched in horror as his eyes rolled back into his head, and he collapsed into his godfather's outstretched arms.

"Harry? HARRY?" Remus came running down the stairs just then, coming to stand next to Sirius.

"Relax, Sirius, it's okay. He's been running this whole time on pure adrenaline, and everything just caught up with him. He'll be fine once he rests a bit. Help me carry him upstairs, we'll leave him to rest with Draco." After the two men carried the boy upstairs and settled him into the bed with Draco, everyone left the room to allow the two boys some rest. Right before he left, Remus smiled gently as he watched Harry roll over and wrap his arms around the blonde-haired boy, who tucked himself into Harry's body so that barely an inch of space existed between them. At that moment, he knew that everything would be just fine.