Chapter: 1

Disclaimer – Nothing but the plot is mine.

Warning - This story has flashes if Twilight in it in relation to Vampires. If you don't like it then please don't read.

Immortal Beloved

Chapter 1 – Forever Tainted

Albus looked out over the chattering student body and wondered if the young man would be successful…finally. They'd already visited Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. And last week Moody and Shacklebolt had escorted him to magical schools all over the world in an effort to find the young man's, so far elusive, mate. Idly he wondered if they shouldn't have tried Hogwarts first but Harry had been adamant that the connection was so faint that there was no way his mate was in the same country. And Dumbledore had agreed. The young man had almost inhaled every piece of knowledge pertaining to the inheritance he had been gifted with on his seventeenth birthday only a month ago. They'd tried all the various schools after Harry had seen in his dreams that his mate was surrounded by many other teenagers. He'd only wished the young man could have seen his mate's face. It would have made it far easier for all.

Dumbledore looked up from his musing as he noticed the tall dark form of Kingsley Shacklebolt standing in the doorway. He nodded once and stood up, the hall full of students quieting instantly as he held up his hands. 'Good evening, children.' Dumbledore said cheerfully. 'I trust now that you are well sated you can all give me your attention for just a little bit longer. Tonight we host an extraordinary guest. He has come to look for his mate and I ask that you all stay seated and silent as he searches the hall. We do not know if indeed his mate is here, but Ministry Treaties currently in effect demand that we allow the search.'

Whispers broke out across the hall, most particularly at the Ravenclaw table where they knew that most treaties revolved around magical creatures. Dumbledore held up his hands again and waited till they died away. 'Seated and silent please.' He said firmly before looking towards the door, where Shacklebolt had been joined by Moody, Tonks, Lupin and a tall well developed young man who from the back looked to be in his early twenties. It was only as Albus called to the man and the man turned around that everyone in the room suddenly realized just exactly who it was…and they were so stunned that no one said a word.

'Whenever you're ready, Harry.' Albus called gently.

'Thank you, Albus.' Harry replied, his voice as mesmerizing as the rest of him. Piercing green eyes surveyed the students without seeming to look at them even as every eye in the hall remained on the tall, strong figure that was the reclusive Boy-Who-Lived. Temporary destroyer of the Dark Lord at the age of eighteen months, Harry Potter had apparently been brought to live at the school till the age of eleven, albeit he was never seen by any of the students and only by those teachers that assisted with his training. At age eleven when everyone was expecting him to be in amongst the first years walking nervously into the hall to await their sorting, there had been no sign of the Boy-Who-Lived and Dumbledore and the rest of the staff had been very tight lipped about his whereabouts. Even a summons from the Ministry had produced no results. It was almost as if the boy was under a Fidelius charm on his own body…which was thought to be impossible.

There had been three separate sightings of him by several Aurors of the Ministry within the last two years during battles with the Dark Lord after his resurrection, in which the snake faced man had not come out unscathed, but the minute the battles were won, the elusive Boy-Who-Lived disappeared once again. To see the tall, imposing figure now, after all the stories that had been printed about him, it was easy to see that all had fallen short on their descriptions.

Thick dark green robes covered his frame even in this warm summer's night. His skin was beyond pale, making the ruby lips and liquid green eyes stand out all the more above the aristocratic cheekbones. He stood a little over six foot four inches and as he shifted and stepped forward the cloak opened to reveal black pants and shirt that clung to his muscled form.

'Take your time, dear boy.' Albus gave the young man one of his gently twinkling smiles and Harry nodded back, his face coldly impassive. A number in the room wondered if the headmaster would feel slighted by the lack of gratitude on the young man's face but Dumbledore just continued smiling in encouragement; a fact that made even more wonder if this was the young man's expression most of the time and that you ended up getting used to it after a while.

Harry seemed to glide up one side of each tableful of students and down the other, stopping every so often to take a deep breath before moving on. Several times he stopped and actually bent his head towards someone in particular, causing one fifth year Hufflepuff to faint dead away before Harry revived her with just a touch to her shoulder and then moved on again.

Halfway down the last table he stopped abruptly, his eyes widened and he turned to look at a group of seventh year Slytherins that had remained as silent as the rest of the hall but had all turned to face him as he had walked past. Harry glided two steps closer and stopped again, folding his body as he bent down, his nose scant inches away from a pale throat and he took another deep breath but this time his eyes closed and he felt a thrill rush through him.

This was his mate.

He pulled slightly away to stare into silver grey eyes and held out his hand. 'Hello.' He whispered softly. He watched as the boy swallowed and lifted his hand to place it in Harry's, gasping as he felt just how cold the skin of the Boy-Who-Lived was.

'Hi.' He breathed and Harry gave him a gentle smile and lifted the hand lightly to brush his lips over the knuckles. As he did so he smelt something that seemed off and he frowned. He could feel the other gently trying to extricate himself from Harry's hold but the Boy-Who-Lived held firm. He felt out with his magic and suddenly his eyes darkened as he flipped over the boy's wrist and shoved the sleeve of his robe up to the elbow before the other boy could realize what he was doing. Gasps rang out around them and both the headmaster and Harry's escort hurried towards them as the young man reared back from the Slytherin, looking for all the world as if he'd been punched.

Moody and Shaklebolt had their wands trained on the Slytherin who was staring wide eyed between them and the headmaster in horror. Harry hadn't taken his eyes off the black tattoo until Dumbledore finally grasped Draco Malfoy's arm and pulled him gently to his feet even as he pushed the Slytherin's sleeve back to down. Those around them could easily see what had happened but whispers started up at the other tables as the students all craned their necks trying to see what was going on.

'Harry?' Tonks murmured softly and the blank green eyes flicked to her.

'Harry?' Tonks said again but the Boy-Who-Lived seemed unable to respond. At that point Snape joined them from up at the head table and all expected them to take charge of the seventeen year old Slytherin whilst the Headmaster tried to sort out what ever had just happened. Most had guessed by now that Draco Malfoy had followed in his father's footsteps and that he was Harry Potter's mate. All wondered just what would happen now.

Snape instead, after a nod from Dumbledore, stepped past them and approached Tonks and the dark haired young man. 'Harry?' he said more gently than any of the students had ever heard him, even his Slytherins. The rest of the hall watched dumbfounded as the two seemed to stare at each other for several minutes before Harry visibly straightened.

His eyes darkened till they were almost black and his jaw set. 'It doesn't matter.' He said firmly. 'I don't need him.'

Snape seemed to raise an eyebrow before snorting softly. 'Liar.' Was all he said before wrapping an arm around the young man's shoulders and steering him from the room with the rest of the odd group following. The hall naturally burst into heated conversation the minute the door closed behind them.

'Take it.' Snape murmured softly as he held the open vial in front of Harry's face. The Boy-Who-Lived glanced at the potions master before his eyes flicked to Draco, who was sitting nervously across the room still at the wand point of Moody and Shacklebolt.

'I don't need it.' Harry ground out turning away once again.

The sigh that escaped the older man before he could repress it was heard by all.

'Potter, do as you're told.' Moody growled and Harry scowled at the mangled Auror, grabbing the vial and downing it before handing it back to the potions master and stalking across the room to the window, his back to all of them.

Draco watched as the adults in the room seemed to have a silent conversation until all but one set of eyes turned to him. 'When, Mr Malfoy?' Dumbledore asked quietly as he settled himself in his chair.

Draco swallowed, glancing at the angry expressions around him. 'The day after the last day of term.' He said quietly.

'Explains why the connection was faint. It was overpowered by the Mark.' Kingsley said quietly.

'Why in Merlin's name would you be so stupid?' Snape burst out suddenly and Draco's eyes almost fell out of his head.

'B…but…' Draco trailed off, his eyes flicking nervously back and forth between Snape and the two ex-Aurors.

Harry let out a snort but didn't turn around as Snape pinched the bridge of his nose. 'I work for Dumbledore you foolish boy. Or I did.' Snape added in a mutter.

Draco's eyes widened so far it looked as if they may fall out of his head as several moments later he realized what Snape actually meant. 'You're a traitor.' He breathed.

Far faster than was humanly possible Draco found himself lifted out of his chair and slammed into the bookcase behind him, Harry's hand at his throat, and those fire filled green eyes seeming to pierce his very soul. Moody and Shacklebolt both still had their wands pointed where Draco had been moments before but it was Snape that moved, albeit not nearly as quickly, to place his hand on Harry's arm.

'Let him go.' Snape murmured gently. 'He is just a child, Harry.'

Harry's eyes closed and his shoulders trembled at the warmth he could feel in the body pressed between the wall and his own.

'You don't want to hurt him, Harry. Let him go.' Snape repeated.

Harry swallowed, his jaw clenching. This was his mate, the other half of his soul. He couldn't help but breathe in slowly and let the scent wash over him…but the taint was still there and he tore himself away from the other young man and raised his wand.

'Harry no!' Dumbledore yelled and Harry spun to face him, ignoring the Slytherin who was still frozen up against the bookcase, watching Harry in fear.

'He needs to be obliviated and then we can all just pretend this never happened.' Harry snapped.

'Harry, you have to get past this.' Dumbledore said firmly. 'He is your mate and you need him.'

Harry folded his arms aver his chest and all but glared at the headmaster leaving Draco to wonder just how close the two were. 'He stinks, Albus.' Harry whispered darkly. Privately Draco thought the tone of that whisper was far more terrifying that the snarling he'd been doing moments before. 'He reeks of darkness. Every time I breathe in I can smell it on him.'

The headmaster came around the desk and grasped Harry's upper arms, looking up into the now expressive green eyes. 'He is yours, Harry.'

Harry swallowed and shook his head. 'He may have been once, Albus.' He murmured sadly, looking away. 'But he has been tied to another now.'

Harry pulled away from the headmaster and stalked gracefully to the doorway.

'Harry?' Albus called after him.

The Boy-Who-Lived stopped momentarily. 'I'm going home.' He whispered. 'I don't care what you do with him.' He added in a voice filled with pain before he disappeared out the door with Tonks and Remus in pursuit.

'Cub, please, just talk to us.' Remus pleaded softly, his eyes glancing at Tonks who sat on the other side of the bed staring down at the young man who had been such a big part of their life for so long.

'Remus, I don't want to talk about it.'

There was a silence that lasted for several moments. 'You know that Albus will bring him here, don't you?' Tonks asked carefully.

Harry's jaw clenched tightly but he didn't remove his eyes from the canopy of the bed. 'Over my dead body.' He ground out.

No one said a word after that comment and eventually Harry glanced at Remus who raised an eyebrow at him pointedly and let out a snort.

Harry scowled further before sitting up, wandlessly summoning a piece of parchment and an always inking quill and quickly, albeit elegantly, scrawling a note before closing his eyes. Remus and Tonks exchanged a curious and surprised glance as Fawkes suddenly appeared on Harry's shoulder.

'Hey boy.' Harry murmured, the phoenix's presence soothing him more than he thought possible considering the circumstances. 'Can you take this to Albus?' He asked softly. The Phoenix trilled softly, soothing Harry further before disappearing with another pop as Harry summoned a blue filled vial and swallowed it before Remus could stop him.

'Harry, we haven't finished discussing this.' The werewolf said sternly.

Harry looked at him, the cold impassive expression back on his face. 'Yes, we have.' The words were blunt and to the point and moments later he lay back down and closed his eyes.

Remus shook his head, a slightly annoyed expression on his face. 'I hate when he does that.' He muttered and Tonks laughed, conjuring a blanket and laying it over Harry before standing up.

'Well he doesn't have the usual excuse anymore.' She chuckled. 'A potion to put him to sleep is the only way he can stop you from interrogating him about how he feels.'

Remus rolled his eyes. 'Shut up, Dora.'

'Shall I summon Amelia, Albus?'

Dumbledore shook his head and gestured for the other adults to sit down. 'Mr Malfoy isn't going anywhere at the moment, are you.' The question was rhetorical and Draco knew better than to say anything else. The entire evening had been incomprehensible to him. The only thing that had been uneventful was the ride on the Hogwarts Express. The appearance in the great hall during the welcoming feast of none other than the Boy-Who-Lived had been incredible and the realization that he was the young man's mate had been staggering. When the stunning figure had stopped and bent down, Draco could feel the man's cool breath on his neck and he couldn't help the rush of blood that suddenly ran through him. He'd stared into those liquid green eyes and he'd been lost. And then Harry had said hello and Draco had barely been able to breathe. All he could see in his mind was the expression on his father's face when told of the latest development.

It had only been a minute later that that everything had fallen apart. Draco had been too taken in with the green eyes to notice the frown marring the other teenager's forehead and seconds later his forearm had been exposed for the first time in more than two months.

He chanced a glance at the four adults around the room to see them all looking back at him with expressions of distaste, disappointment and concern. It went to show just how well Draco knew his head of house that he realized the concern lurking deep in the potions master's eyes was not for him, but for the stunning young man who had left not minutes before.

Remembering that he was a Malfoy he drew in a deep breath as he sat back down on the chair he'd been in previously. 'What now?' He asked as confidently as he could under the circumstances.

Another one of those glances and Snape folded his arms over his chest as Dumbledore leant forward in his chair, his blue eyes pining Draco where he sat. 'What do you think happens now, Mr Malfoy?' He asked quietly.

Draco would have shrugged if he hadn't been taught since birth practically that Malfoy's do not shrug. 'I imagine that you'll call the Aurors, the proper ones.' Draco cast a glance at Kinglsey and Moody. 'And then I get carted off to Azkaban until my father manages to sort it out.'

Severus let out a derisive snort. 'There is no sorting it out, Draco. Lucius will be lucky if he doesn't land himself in Azkaban with you.'

'Shut up, Severus. I don't talk to traitors.' Draco growled. Moments later Snape hand shot out and backhanded the seventeen year old across the face before leaning down and placing his hands on the arms of the chair in which Draco sat so that he could glare at the boy from only inches away.

'Do you have any idea of just how much trouble you're in? Can your little brain even comprehend what you've done? You're a pitiful child trying to be a man. If I had anything to say about it you would be in Azkaban reliving every nasty memory you have.'

'Severus!' Albus cut in and the potions master tore himself away, turning his back to Draco as he stood visibly fuming. The headmaster gave him a concerned glance. 'Perhaps you should speak with your house, Severus, and then return to Godrics Hollow for the night.'

The others in the room heard Snape's teeth grind together before the man nodded curtly, spinning on his heel and disappearing out the door as Dumbledore turned back to Draco.

'Can you answer me one question honestly, Mr Malfoy?' He asked politely and Draco nodded, removing his hand from his now red cheek. 'Was it your decision?'

Draco opened his mouth to answer automatically but hesitated a moment. 'I don't know.' He said finally.

The headmaster frowned. 'Could you possibly explain that answer for me.' It wasn't a question.

'I'm not sure.' Draco swallowed. 'I always knew that I would join…Him. I've known since I was a child. It was just expected of me I guess and I didn't question it. I didn't expect it to be so soon though…and I'm not sure if I consciously made the decision. I guess, in a way, I did, as I never said no. Everything just happened so fast.' Draco trailed off and looked down at his hands in his lap as the three adults watched on in silence. 'What happened tonight? With Harry Potter? What is he…why was he so upset?'

'You mean aside from finding out his mate is a slave to the same man he is destined to destroy.' Moody sneered and Albus held up a hand to stop him.

'Mr Malfoy, you must understand that Harry has had barely any exposure to the outside world. I have probably done him a great disservice in keeping him so isolated during his life.'

'Why did you? Why didn't he come to Hogwarts?'

Dumbledore sighed heavily and sat back in his chair. 'A prophecy was made several months before Harry was born. I won't tell you what it was, only to say that Harry was vital to the future of our world, to its safety. I knew even then that Tom Riddle, the wizard you know as the Dark Lord, would become a menace to supersede any and all Dark Lords that had come before him and I knew Harry had to be trained. He had to be ready to do what he was destined to do.'

This time it was Draco who frowned. 'But couldn't he have been trained here? With all of us? Why did he have to be hidden away?'

The Slytherin glanced up at Moody who let out a huff. Clearly thinking this was none of the seventeen year old's business but Dumbledore went on, exchanging a small but obviously proud grin with the two ex-Aurors.

'Harry had finished all of the Hogwarts coursework by the age of eleven. There was nothing left in the curriculum for him to learn at that point. That is why he did not start when he should have.'

Draco's eyes almost fell out of his head again as he gaped at the headmaster. 'Merlin.' He breathed and Dumbledore's eyes twinkled like mad. Millions of thoughts ran through Draco's head and he realized that he had no hope. He had no idea of what would happen or his part in it. 'What now, Professor?' He asked again, this time his voice was cowed and his eyes downcast.

There was another sigh and Dumbledore shifted in his chair. 'I gather you felt the temperature of Harry's skin when he touched you?' Draco nodded. 'And you obviously had an especially good look at him up close?' Draco nodded again. 'And you felt the pull when he looked at you?' One more nod. 'Can you guess what he is?'

Draco hesitated a moment. 'But how?' He questioned without answering the actual question.

Dumbledore glanced at Shacklebolt. 'That was my partly fault.' The dark skinned Auror murmured sadly. 'We were on a training exercise that I was in charge of when he was thirteen and were caught by a coven of vampires. Harry was bitten. He managed to hold the venom in his core for several years but it escaped during his coming of age and he turned.'

Several things flashed in front of Draco's eyes as he turned that explanation over in his mind. 'But what of the treaty you mentioned. Vampires as magical creatures don't have treaties with the Ministry. Only the lighter creatures like elves, veela, selkies., and the like. Why would the Ministry have insisted on it? Was it just because he's the Boy-Who-Lived?'

Dumbledore studied Draco intently for several moments. 'No, it wasn't because of who he is. There is one coven of Vampires that are essentially light, Mr Malfoy. Or at least they worked with the light. Harry was bitten by a member of this coven.'

Another frown crossed Draco's face. 'But there hasn't been any Regalis Vampires for over six hundred years.' He insisted after several moments of thought. 'Just where in Merlin's name was this "training exercise" anyway?' Draco's voice contained a hint of incredulity and even a touch of indignation and Moody let out a bark of laughter.

'Oh, about six hundred and thirty years from here.' He chuckled.

Draco's mouth dropped open. 'How?' he breathed.

Dumbledore gestured for Moody to settle down and allowed a small smile to cross his face. 'There are many secrets contained within these walls, Mr Malfoy and that is just one of them. I trust now that you see our dilemma.'

Draco sighed. 'No, not really. You heard Potter. He doesn't need me. So I suggest you call in your Aurors and I will face the mess I have created for myself. I have to admit that I was hoping not to have been found out so soon but I guess I do not need to graduate from Hogwarts if I am going to be spending the rest of my days in Azkaban, now do I.' He added bitterly.

'That is not true, Draco.' Dumbledore said softly, startling the Slytherin with the use of his first name. 'Harry does need you, more than he will ever admit. And you are not the first Slytherin to be drawn into making such a mistake.'

Draco studied the intense blue eyes before looking away. 'Severus.' He murmured softly and Dumbledore nodded.

'I have a proposition for you, Draco, if you are willing.' The headmaster went on, waiting for Draco to lift his head before continuing. 'I cannot in all good conscience let you remain at Hogwarts. Too many students saw what happened tonight and I imagine that there are several owls winging their way to the Ministry as we speak, or at least they will be the moment the feast is finished. If you truly wish to be free of Voldemort then I offer you sanctuary.'

Draco returned the stare. 'And in return?' He asked eventually.

'You will be moved to Harry's home, where you will help him as much as you can. He says he doesn't need you, but he does. We all know it, and he must be made to realize it also.'

Draco opened his mouth to answer but suddenly Fawkes appeared and dropped a piece of parchment into Dumbledore's hands before going to his perch. The headmaster raised an eyebrow and unrolled the missive, his eyes taking on a fond glint before he chuckled softly. 'Well that does make it more difficult.' He muttered and Kingsley held out a hand to see the note also.

If you bring him here, I will kill him.

The ex-Auror snorted also. 'I say we bring him anyway.' He suggested. 'You and I both know that'll never happen.'

Dumbledore and the two older wizards exchanged glances before the headmaster handed Draco the elegantly written death threat. 'That is your choice, Draco.' Was all he said.

Draco reread the note several times, his hands shaking slightly. He really had no choice. It was either Azkaban for life, or take the chance that Harry Potter wouldn't kill him as Shacklebolt seemed to think. After several silent minutes Draco looked up again to see Dumbledore watching him closely, no trace of the previous twinkle in his eye.

'I will come with you.' He said finally.

Harry woke well rested, not that he actually needed to rest anymore but the Dreamless Sleep still worked on him even as a vampire and it came in handy when he was trying to avoid Remus and his never ending questions. He got up and showered, making sure to shove the memories of the evening before away behind a barrier he vowed never to remove. He headed down to grab some breakfast before his first training session of the day with Kinsgley, Tonks, Remus and Moody. It was still very early, barely light really but there was soft murmuring already heard from the kitchen as Harry padded softly in.

'Morning, dear boy.' Albus said cheerfully.

Harry let out a snort. 'Morning Albus.' He replied automatically, helping himself to some fruit.

'Still can't stand toast then?' Severus voice was full of amusement and Harry glanced up and gave the man a look that obviously did not require words before sitting silently down at the table and beginning his breakfast.

'How are you feeling, Harry?'

'Fine.' Harry's answers were curt but then they were like that usually so it was difficult to tell what he was thinking. Harry felt a subtle tickle on the edge of his mind and hesitated momentarily before taking another bite out of the peach in his bowl, chewing and swallowing before he answered. 'Albus, you haven't been able to get into my mind in more than six years, you are unlikely to succeed now.' He said bluntly.

'I was just trying to see if you were alright, my boy.'

Harry's jaw clenched. 'And I already told you that I'm fine.' He finished, pushing the bowl away from him and standing up. 'I'll meet you out there.' He added bluntly before taking off through the back door of the house before anyone could stop him.

He darted across the backyard and into the forest so quickly he was but a blur. This was where he felt at home. The stress of the last twenty four hours had been enormous and Harry just wished everything would go back to normal. He knew that it would take him enormous self-control to survive without his mate but he vowed that he would do it. His discipline was practically incomparable anyway. If anyone could do it, he could.

Half an hour later he arrived back in the large field to the right of the house. It was an area so heavily warded that even keyed into the wards it was hard to overcome the confundus charms that tried to turn all away from it. Moody, Shacklebolt and Tonks were all waiting for him, warming up as Dumbledore sat idly sipping tea in an armchair nearby as he talked softly with Remus.

'I hope that's outside the dueling lines this time, Albus.' Hary said quietly, startling the three ex-Aurors who hadn't heard him arrive.

Dumbledore smiled and nodded, knowing the boy still felt slightly guilty for the curse that had hit the headmaster several training sessions ago.

'Where is Severus?'

'He's coming. Perhaps you should begin.' Dumbledore gestured to the four teachers who were now waiting for him.

Harry's eyes swept over the elderly wizard before nodding once and turned to face Moody. 'Today?' He questioned.

'Rushing.' Moody said briskly and Harry nodded. Rushing was used to develop his speed and dodging skills. Harry would run from one side of the field to another, dodging the spells sent by the others. He had to anticipate and stop almost instantly and change direction. It was one of his most difficult tasks and took huge concentration as bit by bit the edges of the area grew smaller, even with his vampire speed.

Harry stalked gracefully across the field until he reached the middle and stopped, waiting for the onslaught of spells to begin. Seconds later the field lit up with flashes of bright light. Harry rolled, dodged and conjured shields to rebound spells for more than an hour. The wards around the area were set to also rebound the spells so that it was as if he was duelling far more people than just four. He saw the black cloaked figure of Severus come out of the house and join Dumbledore. Minutes later a soft breeze wafted across the field and Harry stopped moving for just an instant but it was enough time for three spells to hit him and fling his body back thirty feet into the wards.

'Merlin's beard.' Shacklebolt immediately cancelled the wards and the group rushed over to Harry who was already picking himself up off the ground and dusting off his now ripped shirt. 'Harry, are you alright?'

Harry's eyes were dark in anger as he finished dusting off his hands and looked up. 'Fine.' He bit out as he was joined by Snape and Dumbledore.

'Harry, what happened?' Albus asked curiously.

Harry's eyes narrowed further. 'I think you know exactly what happened.' He snarled, moving to walk past the group and back to the house.

'Harry.' Albus tried again but faster than anyone could blink Harry had stepped around Snape and wrapped his arms around what seemed to be thin air. He could feel the warm body held tightly to him trembling from fear and he bent his head slightly to inhale where he knew the throat to be.

'You'd think after all this time you'd realize that a simple scent masking spell won't work.' Harry growled causing the body in his arms to tremble further. He glanced at each of his teachers, seeing the slightly sheepish looks on most of their faces and the concerned one on Snape's and sighed inwardly. 'I told you if you brought him here I would kill him.' Harry went on, swallowing heavily once again as Draco's scent washed over him, even tainted as it was. 'Do you have any idea of how easy it would be for me to snap his neck?'

Draco let out a soft whimper that clenched at Harry's heart and he suddenly shoved the other boy away causing him to trip over the edge of the cloak and tumble to the ground. The cloak came off to reveal a terrified Draco Malfoy who was staring up at Harry, a fearful expression on his aristocratic features.

Harry glared at him…glared at them all. 'Get him out of here before I return.' He spat, the "or else" left unspoken as he shot off across the field and back into the forest.

'He must remain, Albus. You know this.' Snape continued pacing before the fireplace as the rest of Harry's teachers watched on from chairs around the room.

'I know this and you know this…but how do we get Harry to realize it.' Albus sighed.

Draco was seated near the window, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. Watching Harry train had been eye opening, but feeling the vampire holding his life in his hands had been terrifying. Right now, he was just numb. He knew his life as he knew had ended and now it was up to him to try and make a new one for himself.

'Let me talk to him.' He said softly and suddenly all eyes were on him.

'I'm not sure that's such a good idea.' Remus began but Dumbledore waved him off.

'You do understand what Harry could do to you, Mr Malfoy.' He said sternly and blue eyes pinned Draco where he sat.

The Slytherin nodded. 'Yes, Professor.' Draco whispered. 'But it might be the only way.'

'I don't like it.' Snape hissed, stopping his pacing and folding his arms over his chest as he glared at Dumbledore. Draco wondered absently just what the relationship was between his Head of House and the Boy-Who-Lived. He knew it must have been strong. To have given himself up as a spy the evening before when, instead of taking charge of Draco, he'd comforted the saviour of the wizarding world meant that it must be deep and long lasting. He realized that Snape must have known Harry since he was but a baby and he could only imagine just how Snape knew the amount of pain Harry had feeling in that moment for the potions master to actually have done such a thing, particularly as the war continued to ramp up daily and his ability to bring back information from the Dark Lord would have been of unparalleled worth.

'Harry won't hurt me, Professor.' Draco murmured and the potions master's glare fixed on him as the man himself let out a derisive snort.

'Do you think I'm really concerned with you, you foolish boy. If Harry lost control with you he would never return from it, despite what he says otherwise. We wouldn't have to worry about the Dark Lord, Harry's grief alone would raze half the country to the ground.' The potions master spun on his heel and glared angrily at the empty fireplace, his jaw tightly clenched.

'Mr Malfoy, can you honestly tell me that you are ready for this. For whatever Harry may do to you, accidental or otherwise.' Dumbledore studied the seventeen year old intently.

'Albus.' Shacklebolt cut in but hesitated when Draco stood up, placing his barely touched tea on the table beside him.

'Yes, Professor. I understand. I will try my best to speak with him and help him, I swear to you. If he…' Draco swallowed. 'If something happens please don't…hurt him.' He added, unable to stop the fear that ran through him at the thought of what this group of people would need to do to stop a grief stricken vampire. Particularly one of Harry's skill.

Snape let out another huff but didn't turn around as Dumbledore nodded, his eyes twinkling once again. Draco gave the man a hesitant smile before he crossed to the door and slipped out into the corridor. He didn't know where to find the other boy so he wandered slowly outside and down towards the field behind the house, sitting himself down under an oak tree in the corner and leaning back against the truck. He sighed again. He couldn't believe the last twenty four hours. Yesterday he'd been on the Hogwarts Express, looking forward to his final year of school. Now his life was essentially over. If he didn't managed to convince Harry then he would either end up in Azkaban or worse.

Draco picked a piece of grass and began tearing it slowly into smaller pieces as he waited. The weather was wonderfully warm and he could sit still for hours, days if necessary. He didn't care how long it took.

He would wait.

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