Author: Sara Holmes
Summary: "Draco meets Harry's eyes, and Harry has a brief moment to wonder how this suddenly got so serious. All he'd been thinking about this morning was being able to have enough time to get Draco's shirt off, and now they'd been found out by his mother and were having a standoff in the hallway about their relationship and how dangerous it could potentially be, in more ways than one."
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): The F word.
Word Count: ~7000
AN:This was written for the wonderful Glompfest on livejournal, as a glomp for shameful_desire. Thank you to DC for looking over, and to queenie_mab for her epic cheerleading. Without her, none of the five different versions of this story would have been even started. Much love.
The word is so soft that it's barely more than a breath. Harry shivers as he hears it, slipping a hand down Draco's back and curling his fingers around his hip, applying gentle pressure so that Draco obliges and shifts forwards slightly. He arches his back just enough and Harry exhales shakily, leaning in to press his mouth to Draco's, reaching back up to put his palm on Draco's neck, gently stroking his jaw with his thumb. It's rough with stubble; Draco rarely bothers to shave these days, considering he never leaves the house.
They kiss slowly, gently, like they've got all the time in the world. It's warm and lazy and Harry can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon than lying on Draco's bed and just kissing, knowing they could do anything they wanted because the house is otherwise empty, but still they've shut the door and aren't going any further, even though they could.
Not yet, anyway.
Draco's fingers trace down the soft material of Harry's jumper, lingering on the hem before slipping beneath, tips tracing tantalisingly along the skin of his back. Harry inhales sharply through his nose; they've been oh-so -well -behaved so far, and the touch is almost electrifying for all its gentleness. Draco flattens his palm on Harry's side and pushes up under his jumper as they kiss, right up to his chest, his thumb narrowly missing Harry's nipple.
Harry groans into the kiss and feels Draco smile; Draco loves the connection they have, this power they hold over one another. Harry suspects that Draco loves it the most when Harry is in his arms, falling apart bit by bit and wanting Draco so badly that they can both taste it. Harry knows that Draco likes feeling wanted, likes feeling that he's the only one that can affect Harry like this.
Luckily for Draco's fragile ego, it's true.
Harry wraps an arm around Draco and rolls them over, still kissing. When he pulls back, Draco is beneath him and breathing deeply, cheeks flushed and hair a mess from Harry's hands. God, Harry must have the patience of a bloody saint to not push Draco for more right now, because when he's looking like this, unguarded and open, Harry wants him more than ever. When they're together like this, he can almost forget that there's anything wrong with Draco.
Grey eyes watch him placidly as Harry reaches for the bottom of Draco's jumper. Draco lies back and allows it; he knows exactly what Harry is going to do, the actions now routine and as part of their time together as the kissing.
Harry pushes Draco's jumper up, Draco lifting his back slightly to make it easier. Harry shoves it right up so the whole of Draco's stomach and chest are revealed to his gaze. Settling himself down at Draco's side, stretching out the length of his body and propping himself up on an elbow, Harry lets himself look.
This is perhaps his favourite thing about Draco's body, mostly because it's still so unexpected. Every time he lifts Draco's shirt he feels a flicker of the same surprise that he did the first time he clapped eyes on the inked dragon twisting its way up Draco's side, from hipbone to armpit. It's a Muggle tattoo, so the ink doesn't move; the grey dragon etched onto Draco's side just stays exactly where it is, day in and day out. It's beautiful; done in countless shades of grey that make the dragon look as if it's half in shadow. It's not a friendly-looking creature; Harry always fancies it looks protective somehow, claws holding tightly onto Draco's skin and pale eye carefully watching should anyone approach.
Draco always says he had it done because he's way cooler than Harry. Harry knows that Draco really had it done for other reasons, a sober reminder of who he is, and the danger lurking just under the surface of his skin.
"He wants stroking," Draco says, voice low. Harry lifts his eyes to Draco's for a brief moment and then reaches out to put his hand on the tattoo. It feels no different to the rest of his skin.
"Does he want kissing?" he asks, and the corner of Draco's mouth lifts in a smile.
Harry leans over Draco and kisses the tattoo, feeling Draco shift beneath him as he does. His hips lift minutely and Harry feels a thrill run through him, knowing that Draco is feeling just as he is, aroused and needy, not wanting to stop.
He moves further over Draco, slipping a knee over one of Draco's legs. Draco spreads his legs slightly and Harry moves a tiny bit further, not wanting to seem like he's rushing. He kisses the dragon again and again, and moves a tiny bit further each time until he ends up on top of Draco, hands sliding down his sides. Draco slowly lifts his hands and threads his fingers into Harry's hair, gentle but encouraging. Harry takes heart from the gesture and moves his head slightly, mouth ghosting over one of Draco's just-visible nipples, wondering if he can get away with it.
"Go on," Draco murmurs, and Harry obliges, pressing his mouth to Draco's nipple. Draco's breath catches in the back of his throat and his body shifts under Harry's.
"Have we got time?" Harry asks breathlessly. This thing between them isn't new by any standards, but it's still their secret to keep, even after all this time. They're not sure that anyone else would understand their strange bond and how it led to this, and they're definitely sure that Draco's mother wouldn't appreciate what they're doing. Harry knows how protective she is over Draco; it took weeks for them to persuade her to let Harry visit Draco in the first place, and even now he's only allowed over when she deems Draco well enough. If she knew what they got up to behind the closed door of Draco's bedroom, she'd never let Harry over again.
"She said she'd be back at three," Draco replies, and Harry takes that as a yes, kissing Draco's chest again and then lifting up and reaching for Draco's jumper. He sits across Draco's waist and carefully pulls his jumper over his head, leaving his hair rumpled. Draco props himself up on his elbows and cranes his neck up slightly, head tilted towards Harry and clearly asking for a kiss.
Harry smiles, brushing Draco's fringe out of his face and then leaning in to kiss him, running his hand down Draco's side, fingers tracing the dragon before settling on his hip. Draco kisses him back, reaching up with a hand to card his fingers through Harry's hair again.
Breathing heavily through his nose, Draco shifts and lies back down, slowly lowering himself onto his back. With the weight taken from his arms he can reach up to pull at Harry's t-shirt, pulling it up over his back and then over his head, throwing it aside with his own. Harry barely has time to appreciate the thrill of being half-naked with Draco when nimble fingers go to his belt, pulling it open. Moments later and his trousers are hanging open, belt buckle jangling uselessly at his hip-
A sharp knock on the door makes them both jump in shock; Harry springs away from Draco with a curse and lunges across the bed to grab their shirts, throwing them both at Draco, who snatches his up, frantically trying to turn it the right way around, only succeeding in tangling it up in his haste. He swears, and Harry manages to get his trousers done back up just as the door opens.
Draco jumps up off the bed, clutching his shirt to his chest and cheeks flaming red. Harry winces and stays exactly where he is, resisting the temptation to reach across the bed and grab his shirt. His stomach has twisted itself up into a knot somewhere in his chest; suddenly the prospect of not being able to waste his afternoons lying by Draco's side looms in front of him, and his body goes cold. He doesn't want to have to give him up, not when he's only just really getting close enough to know him.
"Draco," Narcissa Malfoy says, her voice tight. Draco cringes slightly, then clears his throat as if he's about to speak, and then thinks better of it.
"Mister Potter," Narcissa continues, her voice trembling with fury. "A word?"
"Mother-" Draco interjects, but the look she shoots him kills his next words in his throat. She turns back to Harry, her expression not inviting an objection. Harry hesitates for a moment, and then reaches for his shirt and pulls it on, straightening his glasses. It's a strange feeling, knowing he's in trouble; parental disapproval like this is something he's not encountered since leaving the Dursleys.
He walks over to the door, not looking back at Draco because he knows it'll feel so much worse if he does. He edges silently past Narcissa, waiting for her in the hallway.
"And we will discuss that thing on your side later," she snaps to Draco, before shutting the door in his face. Harry winces once more; he'd forgotten that he was the only one that knew about Draco's tattoo. The dragon tattoo, that was.
"How dare you," Narcissa whispers, and she sounds furious. "How dare you."
"Look," Harry begins, but she doesn't even let him get the sentence out.
"You come here pretending that you want to make amends with Draco," she says, her voice deadly. "You come here telling me that you're here as a friend, and I find you taking advantage-"
"I'm not taking advantage," Harry interrupts indignantly, his voice loud, and then takes a deep breath. He needs to keep his voice down; he knows full well that Draco will be standing on the other side of the door with his ear against it, trying to listen in.
"Look," he repeats, voice low. "I'm not taking advantage. We're not – it just happened."
"How stupid can you be?" Narcissa replies, cutting. "Things cannot just happen with Draco."
"Why not?" Harry replies, defiant.
"You know who he is," she says, her words fierce and angry. "You know what he can be."
"Yeah, I know. And I still want him," Harry replies, and half of him can't believe that he's just said that to Narcissa Malfoy. "I don't care."
"You have to care," she snaps. "I will not let anything happen to him just because you've decided you want a little danger in your life. I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"No," Harry says stubbornly, and suddenly he feels tired of all this. What he feels for Draco is his to feel, and now it's out in the open he's not going to let anyone take it away from him, not even Draco's mother. "I'm not leaving."
"You will go," Narcissa says, and her hand drifts towards her hip, towards her wand. "You will not come into this house, take advantage of my son and lie to me-"
"I don't want him to go."
Narcissa falls silent, and she and Harry both turn to face Draco, who is standing in his bedroom doorway and looking at the both of them. He looks nervous yet determined, and he still hasn't put his shirt back on. Harry's eyes flick to the tattoo and away again.
"I want him to stay," Draco clarifies, a stubborn tilt to his chin that Harry hasn't seen in a while. "I'm of age; I can decide who I have in my room."
Narcissa looks at him for a long while, and Harry feels a spark of hope in his chest. There's only one person that Narcissa will listen to, and he feels an odd flicker of pride in Draco for standing up to her.
"Draco-" she begins, her voice significantly mellower than before.
"He's the only person who bothered to come and see if I was alright after I was attacked," Draco says, and Harry shifts uncomfortably; having it put like that makes it sound so much more noble than it actually was. "If you send him away, I'll go with him."
"But you can't leave the house," Narcissa says sharply.
"Exactly," Draco says, and folds his arms across his chest, the gesture unmistakably defiant.
"Draco, this is your life we're talking about," Narcissa says in an undertone, stepping close to him and taking hold of his elbow. "Do not throw it away on a whim."
"He's not a whim," Draco says, and his eyes briefly meet Harry's over his mother's shoulder. "This has been going on for months."
Narcissa immediately turns back to Harry, but Draco grabs her wrist and pulls her back around. "Leave him alone," he says. "I came onto him, if that helps any."
Harry bites the inside of his cheek, not knowing whether to laugh or cover his face. Draco's particular brand of honesty is hard to digest some days; he's still not entirely used to it.
"And if we think about it," Draco says quietly, now looking a lot more serious. "It's not my life that's in danger if he chooses to stay, is it? It's his."
He meets Harry's eyes, and Harry has a brief moment to wonder how this suddenly got so serious. All he'd been thinking about this morning was being able to have enough time to get Draco's shirt off, and now they'd been found out by his mother and were having a standoff in the hallway about their relationship and how dangerous it could potentially be, in more ways than one.
"Then that is another reason for him to leave," Narcissa says quietly. "If word got out that you had harmed Harry Potter, there would be no mercy."
"But he might not," Harry says, his first words in a while sounding awkwardly loud. "He hasn't changed in months."
"It only takes once," Narcissa says heatedly. "Draco."
"How is it any different for me to be here with Draco like this instead of as a friend?" Harry interjects. "I spend time with him either way."
"Because you'll want to spend more time with him, and the longer periods of time you spend here, the more likely you are to be here when he does change. We don't know what triggers his changes – what if you make it worse? What if these things you two are getting up to make it worse? We don't know how sexual arousal is going to affect-"
"Mother!" Draco interjects, sounding mortified. "That's enough!"
"You are sick," she snaps at him. "And you have not thought this through."
"I don't think of anything else!" Draco bursts out. "I spend twenty hours a day in that room, and if I'm lucky Harry turns up for one or two of them!"
That silences Narcissa, her angry retort dying on her lips. She looks at Draco for a long time, her expression unreadable. Harry stays quiet, his eyes on Draco too. Draco just watches his mother, waiting for a reply.
"You are all I have left," Narcissa says finally. "I will not let anything take you away."
Draco shakes his head. "But I can't just stay alone for the rest of my life," he blurts out, and Harry see's Narcissa's face pale slightly. "Mother, if he wants me…"
He abruptly stops talking, as if he's only just remembered Harry is there. He avoids his gaze, looking embarrassed. Harry doesn't really blame him; they don't tend to talk much about their feelings and how their relationship works, and here Draco is, blurting everything to his mother. The only bright side is that is seems to have had the desired effect.
Narcissa shuts her eyes for a long moment, breathing out through her nose. When she opens them, she looks calmer. "How do you feel?" she asks Draco, who nods.
"Fine," he says. "I feel fine."
She nods. "Come and speak with me somewhere more civilised. You too, Harry."
Harry notices the change in his name back to Harry, and is grateful. Narcissa turns on her heel and sweeps past him, not looking at him at all. Harry doesn't mind; it could really have been much worse, and at least he's not still Mister Potter.
He looks up to see Draco retrieving his shirt from the bedroom, pulling it over his head as he walks back towards him. He meets Harry's gaze tentatively, and then says something he doesn't normally like to. "I'm sorry."
Harry leans in and gently kisses him. Draco stays close, and Harry knows that he means it. At first, when he'd accidentally ended up in this thing with Draco, he'd thought that Draco had used his mother as an excuse to keep Harry at bay. He'd quickly learned that it wasn't an excuse in the slightest. Now, Harry knows that Draco wants him just as much, isn't afraid to trust Harry any longer.
"Would you want me to stay?" Harry asks against Draco's mouth, running his fingers through the short hairs above Draco's ear, as if tucking an imaginary lock behind his ear.
"I wouldn't want to hurt you," Draco says with difficulty. "But yes. Yes, I want you to stay. I always want you to stay, but-"
Harry kisses him again. "Come on," he says. "We'll talk her round."
"Not bloody likely," Draco mutters and Harry laughs softly, pushing Draco forwards with a hand in the small of his back.
"Come on," he repeats. "Or do you want to stay here?"
Draco scowls and moves instantly; he hates being locked up but has grown accustomed to it. When Harry had first visited Draco, he had been so angry, tightly wound and upset, unable to accept what had happened to him. As they've grown closer Draco has grown calmer, and now often doesn't voice his frustrations. Some days, Harry isn't sure if he's grown up or simply given up.
Narcissa is waiting for them in the small parlour, not the most comfortable room but the one closest to Draco's. If he changes they have around a minute to get him back to his room and locked in; he'd once changed whilst he was out of his bedroom and he'd nearly burnt the entire house down. Since then Narcissa has spent hundreds of their galleons on making the entire place fireproof.
"I spoke to Healer Anderson today," Narcissa says lightly as Draco and Harry enter the room. Draco goes to sit in his usual spot on the low sofa, and Harry joins him, sitting close but not touching. "He thinks that maybe a few more sessions of charms therapy may help pinpoint what causes the changes."
"No he doesn't," Draco says flatly, rubbing his face. "He thinks it's a waste of time. He thinks it's a potion that did it, anyway."
Harry hadn't known that. Draco never says much to him about his treatment; Harry thinks he likes to pretend he's normal when they're together.
"That's not what you want to talk about anyway," Draco says. "Don't do that."
Narcissa doesn't acknowledge that she's heard him. She just continues to gaze out of the window. "How long have you had that thing on your side?" she asks absently. Harry's disconcerted by the lack of vitriol; she'd been angry enough a few minutes ago for Harry to have worried he was going to be hexed.
"It's called a tattoo," Draco says, and Harry frowns reproachfully at his tone. Draco loves his mother, but Harry thinks that some days he sees her more as his jailer than his mother, and the resentment slips out far too easily. "That last day I was allowed outside. After the first change."
"When you said you'd ran away to go and find Pansy," Narcissa says. "I remember that. I never thought you'd-"
"Stop it," Draco insists. "Just say it."
"I think this is a terrible idea," Narcissa says bluntly. "I don't think you've thought this through at all, and I don't think this thing between you two can go any further."
"Why not?" It's Harry who gets there first. "Who says so?"
"You're being deliberately obtuse," Narcissa says. "You cannot ignore what Draco is."
"No, I can't," Harry says. "But I'm not going to let it control what happens between me and Draco."
"It controls everything that happens," Narcissa says, her voice rising and trembling. "People could die if it doesn't. You could die."
"Mother, stop it," Draco says fiercely. "I am not going to kill Harry-"
"It wouldn't be you that did," Narcissa replies, her expression hard. Draco blanches, and Harry reaches out for him, a hand on his shoulder.
"I know you wouldn't-" he begins, but Draco shakes his head slowly.
"She's right," he says, brow knitting in a frown. "I wouldn't, but when I change, I'm not me."
"But you're you ninety-nine per cent of the time!" Harry says, frustrated. "How can you give that up?"
Draco covers his eyes with his hand. "I fucking wish this had never happened," he says.
Narcissa shoots him a sharp look. "Language."
Draco laughs, the sound broken. "Or what? You'll ground me? Never let me see my friends? Fuck, fuck, fuck. Do as you fucking will. The only thing you can take off me now is my bed."
Narcissa stares at him, and then gets to her feet. "I will not talk to you when you're like this," she says, and goes to leave the room.
"Good," Draco shouts after her. "Wait 'til I next change and then try to talk to me."
Harry grabs him by the shoulders and roughly pulls him around. "Don't," he says, and gives Draco a shake. "Calm down. "
"I don't want to," Draco says. "She's not going to let you visit anymore and I just can't- "
Harry cuts him off with a hard kiss, not wanting to hear it. He's grown to need the time he spends with Draco; the only thing he can rely on to stay the same, to be there every day. Even as his friends move on with their lives and Harry stays stuck, trapped by his fame and circumstance, Draco is still there alongside him.
Draco is breathing raggedly into Harry's mouth, his hands coming up to clutch at his shoulders as Harry slips a hand onto the side of his neck. He wants Draco so badly, needs him more than he can explain.
The kissing abruptly slows, and Harry feels Draco's jaw go slack under his fingers. Frowning, Harry pulls back to see Draco has his eyes shut and lips slightly parted, sitting completely still as if he's fallen asleep where he's sat.
"Draco?" he says cautiously. Draco's face flickers in a confused frown, and then he opens his eyes with what looks like considerable difficulty, lids slowly lifting and his head lolling slightly on his shoulders.
Harry lets go of him like Draco has burnt him, feeling wildly panicked. The left side of Draco's face has gone slack and his eye has turned a malevolent yellow, shining dully from under his eyelid, pupil just visible as a single slit in the centre.
"Fuck, Draco, don't you dare do this now," Harry says desperately, grabbing Draco's head in his hands and looking into the one remaining grey eye. It seems unfocussed, like he can no longer see through it. "Draco, come on Draco – Narcissa!" Harry shouts over his shoulder, shaking Draco hard. "Narcissa!"
Draco's eyes slip shut as Harry shakes him, his body limp like a rag-doll. "Don't you dare," Harry says loudly, roughly reaching out to hold Draco's head up. "Don't you even-"
Draco's eyelids snap open again and Harry's stomach lurches as two dull yellow eyes fix on him, gaze cold and reptilian. The pupils quiver and then dilate, focussing-
"Fuck!" Harry grabs Draco and wrenches him up off the sofa, heaving one arm across his shoulders. He half-carries half-drags Draco out of the room, his heart pounding in his chest and panic filling his veins. He gets him halfway along the corridor and then Draco jerks violently in his grip, tumbling to the floor. Harry goes to grab him but Draco kicks out, catching him hard in the thigh and sending him sprawling backwards. Gasping, Harry lunges forwards and grabs Draco under his arms, trying to pull him towards his room but Draco's whole body has gone tense, his heels and shoulders digging into the floorboards as his back arches grotesquely.
"Narcissa!" Harry yells again, desperately trying to pull Draco along and get him into his fucking room before he completely goes, and he can feel warm skin turning into cold, hard scales beneath his hands, can see the skin of Draco's face turning mottled grey.
He drags Draco across the threshold of his bedroom, just as Draco screams. Harry drops him and staggers backwards towards the door, unable to look away as the bones in Draco's back twist and morph, bat-like wings bursting from his shoulder blades. Draco screams again as his face starts to change, scales rupturing from his skin, claws appearing from nowhere-
"Harry!" someone screams. "Harry, run!"
Harry turns to see Narcissa running towards the room, wand in hand and expression terrified. He takes a step towards her, mouth open to call back-
A burst of magic explodes from Draco's prone form, knocking Harry off balance and slamming the door with a crash. Harry scrambles to his knees and lunges for the door, wrenching desperately at the handle, trying to get out because if he can't he's going to be locked in a room with a changed Draco, a Draco who doesn't recognise him, a Draco who could easily kill him.
"Narcissa!" he yells, banging on the door with his fist, and behind him he hears a terrible shuddering noise, a great rattling breath and the scratch of claws on the floor-
He flings himself to the side, throwing his arms up over his face as a burst of flame streaks across the floor, scorching the boards and the door, leaving charred black wood in its wake. Harry hits the wall painfully, jarring his shoulder and catching his knee, and he scrambles to his feet, looking around wildly for somewhere to go, his organs all displaced and too tight because there's no way out-
He presses himself back against the wall, and feels genuine fear course through him as he stares at the creature towering above him, eyes fixed malevolently on his form, wishing he could stop cowering and just think, think what to do without hurting Draco, who's still in there somewhere-
The dragon rears up, wings scraping the ceiling and knocking pieces of plaster loose, scattering dust as it moves. It spreads its wings as far as they will go and roars, the sound vibrating in Harry's chest and making his stomach churn. Harry's yelling as well, but he can't even hear his own voice, and his hands are clamped desperately over his ears. He only stops and draws in a shuddering breath as the dragon drops back down onto all fours with a thud that rattles the windows, snapping its jaws towards Harry. It's an off –grey colour, pale and mottled, scars criss-crossing its flank. Its left forearm has an ugly black scar on it, and through his fear Harry notices that the dragon limps as it comes forwards, still snapping its jaws angrily, wings beating jerkily and with enough force to easily break a limb.
Draco isn't large by dragon standards, but right now that's not the fucking point, and Harry realises that there are tears on his face, because how could he have ignored this, ignored the danger that lives in Draco's veins, somewhere in his skin? God, Narcissa was right; he'd made light of Draco's curse and now Draco was going to kill him. His Draco, who isn't Draco anymore, cursed to change into something he's not, something with no control and no humanity.
The dragon's back arches, its shoulders go back. Harry knows what that means, and as the dragon lunges for him with jaws open, he screws his eyes shut and waits for the inevitable-
Long seconds pass, and nothing happens. Breathing heavily, Harry opens his eyes and sees with a jolt that the dragon's snout is no more than a foot away from him, perfectly still. Its jaws are slightly open and Harry can see rows of razor -sharp teeth.
He stares at it, holding his breath. The moment seems to last forever.
"Draco?" he whispers.
The dragon blinks, and in a fraction of a second its eyes flicker from yellow to grey and back again.
"Draco," Harry croaks, and his knees give out. The only thing stopping him from falling flat on his face is the dragon – Draco – who swiftly ducks his head, pressing gently against Harry with his snout, keeping him up against the wall.
"Oh god, it's you," Harry manages to choke out, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand and struggling to stay upright. "Oh my god."
He can't believe it. They were wrong; Draco is still Draco in there, and how that's happened he doesn't even know. Does it mean the curse is lifting? Is the treatment working? He doesn't even care because he's still alive and Draco recognises him, knows that it's Harry standing there with him.
"Draco," he says again, not wanting to stop, still fearful that Draco will lose himself again and turn on him. Draco pulls back, his wings gently flapping once, and he sits back on his haunches. His gaze is still cold and reptilian, devoid of any emotion, but that doesn't stop Harry edging forwards towards him on shaking legs.
"How have you done that?" he asks, voice trembling. "How-"
Draco abruptly ducks his head and butts Harry, hard enough to send him sprawling back onto the floor. Winded, Harry draws in a breath, coughing slightly. "What the fuck?" he gasps, trying to push himself up. He's barely on his knees when Draco shoves at him again, roughly pushing him with his snout. Harry makes a noise of protest and then realises that Draco is trying to push him towards the door.
"Stop it," he shouts, shoving back ineffectually at Draco's snout. "If that's you in there I'm not going anywhere! I said I'd stay with you so I fucking well will!"
That stops Draco. He pulls back, tail swishing agitatedly. He makes as if to bend down and push Harry again, but Harry has his wand in hand and points it right at one of Draco's eyes.
"I'm not going anywhere," he says fiercely. "Stop it."
Draco stays perfectly still for a long time, form perfectly poised. Somewhere in Harry's head he can't quite comprehend he's shouting at a bloody dragon, but this isn't just a dragon anymore.
Green eyes meet yellow, and then slowly, so slowly, Draco moves. He steps back, and then lowers his head in an unmistakable gesture of submission. His eyes close, and then open long seconds later, patiently fixed on Harry. His movements seem almost careful, and as Harry watches his eyes flicker grey again. Heart beating madly against his ribcage, Harry steps forwards, away from the wall.
Draco's wings flap once, quickly, and Harry freezes in place. Even though he knows that it's Draco crouched before him, he doesn't know if Draco can keep control of his mind or if he will succumb to the base desires of the dragon that have controlled him so far.
He takes a tentative step forwards. Draco stays motionless, eyes fixed on Harry and blinking every now and again. Feeling as if he's in a dream, Harry takes another step then another, and soon finds himself close enough to touch.
Trembling, he kneels down and puts a shaking hand on Draco's snout. It's cool and hard beneath his touch, and completely smooth. He swallows thickly and pulls his hand away, overwhelmed with emotion and adrenaline and fear and something else that just wants Draco back-
He stands up and makes to step back when Draco moves, shockingly quickly. He lunges forwards and his jaws open, and Harry lets out a strangled yell as Draco's jaws close around him and pull, sending him sprawling backwards and his wand rolling across the floor.
Dazed, winded and shocked, it takes him a moment to realise Draco hasn't bitten him in half. Draco must have managed to grab hold of the back of his shirt – how fucking close does he need to get ?! – and has pulled Harry back close to him. Harry barely manages to sit up before Draco is shoving at him with his snout, pushing him backwards with considerable force.
He ends up pressed against Draco's side, bruised and scraped and winded. Draco curls around on himself so Harry is dangerously close to being squashed between his front and back legs, and then curls his neck around and, startlingly gently, places his head on Harry's lap, the weight heavy on his legs.
Understanding, Harry laughs, the sound thick with tears. He reaches out with both hands to rest them on Draco's snout, and tears fall from his eyes, running down his cheeks. "Alright, I said I'd stay so I'll stay," he says, and Draco makes a noise that sounds oddly like a purr, a rumble deep in his chest that Harry feels rather than hears.
He runs his hand down Draco's head, between his eyes and along his nose. Draco's nostrils flare and his eyes close, so Harry repeats the motion and feels another rumbling purr vibrate through his body. He feels dazed, almost in awe of being so close to such a creature, able to see every scale and tooth up close. The fear he felt is fading away; this is Draco he's near, and he knows Draco would never hurt him.
He leans forwards, draping himself over the top of Draco's head and resting his cheek against flat, silver scales, placing one palm against Draco's jaw and the other near his own face atop Draco's head. Draco's head moves minutely and the rumbling noise in his chest continues, now oddly comforting.
It doesn't take long for Harry's legs to go numb from the weight resting on his thighs. He weighs up his options, wondering what to do. He still feels shaky and emotional but can now at least think clearly.
"Draco?" he whispers, but gets no response. He experimentally pulls one of his legs back and Draco appears to sleep on, eyes closed and breathing even. Holding his breath and with considerable difficulty, Harry manages to pull his legs free. Draco settles his jaw on the floor without waking up, so Harry curls up in the crook of his neck, much more comfortable.
A soft click and a thud draws his attention, and he twists his neck around to see Narcissa open the door, wand clutched tightly in hand. Her eyes go wide and she takes a step back as she sees Draco, her worst fears written all over her face.
"Narcissa," Harry calls, voice low. She visibly jumps in shock, pointing her wand at Harry, her eyes fixing on him. She stares, mouth hanging open and her hair askew, falling into her face.
"It's okay," Harry says, and feels more tears welling up. He laughs thickly. "It's Draco. He knows it's me."
Tears mirroring Harry's fall from Narcissa's eyes, barely brushing her cheeks. "How?" she whispers, her chest heaving in a sob. Her hand clutches the doorframe. "My boy."
"I'll stay with him," Harry says, and they both look to Draco as he rumbles again, wings twitching. "He wanted me to stay."
Narcissa nods, and slowly sinks to the floor, just outside the room. She leans back against the wall, looking exhausted. She doesn't say anything more, just watches them with tired yet bright eyes, wand held loosely in her fingers.
Harry doesn't say anything more; there's no need. He carefully stretches out on his side, resting against Draco's neck. It's not exactly comfortable, but he's with Draco and that's all that counts. He watches Narcissa watching Draco for a while, and then feels his eyelids start to grow heavy. Draco's deep and even breathing next to him is lulling him to sleep, and it's just ridiculous: he's curled up with a dragon and yet he's feeling safer by the moment. He can't even begin to comprehend what this means, that Draco has changed yet is still in control. The possibilities seem like distant dreams; for now he can just sleep next to Draco, and worry about the morning when it comes.
Harry drifts slowly into consciousness, steadily becoming aware of a dull pain in his back and his neck. He shifts sleepily, uncomfortably, finding himself wrapped around something warm, limbs tangled with his and warm breath on his neck-
He remembers in a flash the events of the night before and his eyes fly open. He feels like he could cry in relief when he sees Draco nestled in his arms, head on Harry's chest and sleeping peacefully, back to his normal self. He's completely naked, his clothes having been ruined as he changed the night before. He's on his side so Harry can clearly see the tattoo on his ribs, and his eyes wander down Draco's body, across his hip and down his legs. He knows that if he shifts just a little bit to the left he'll be able to get a full eyeful of the rest of Draco, but for now that's not important. Instead, he pulls Draco closer, and presses a kiss to his forehead.
He glances over and sees the door is closed, Narcissa nowhere to be seen. The scorch marks on the wall and door are still visible, yet to be charmed away. He kisses Draco's temple again and feels him shift against him, a long leg slipping over one of Harry's.
"Harry?" he whispers, voice hoarse.
"Yeah, I'm here," Harry whispers back, feeling a swell of some unnamed emotion in the back of his throat. This is his Draco in his arms, safe and sound and completely perfect.
"What happened?" Draco asks, trembling. "I – I remember not being able to talk, and you were shouting my name-"
"You changed," Harry told him, holding him tight, his mouth brushing Draco's temple as he speaks. "And you recognised me. Didn't hurt a hair on my head."
It's not strictly true, but Draco doesn't need to know that. He pulls back and stares at Harry, looking dazed. He blinks slowly. "I did what?"
Harry laughs and pulls him close for a brief moment. "You changed, but you were still you. I've been with you all night," he says, and pushes himself up onto his elbow. Draco sits up shakily as well, and then seems to realise he's naked, pulling his legs up as his cheeks turn blotchy pink.
"Where's Mother?" he asks, valiantly avoiding eye contact. "Is she okay?"
"She's fine," Harry says, and climbs to his feet. He holds out a hand for Draco, who looks at it for a moment and then takes it, letting Harry pull him to his feet. Harry looks around and spots his wand over by the bed, which is miraculously intact. Draco is unsuccessfully trying to cover himself with his free hand without being obvious about it, so Harry takes pity on him and doesn't prolong the embarrassment. He tugs gently on Draco's hand and pulls him over to the bed, pushing the covers back and indicating for Draco to get in.
Shivering, Draco does, sliding beneath the sheets and lying down without a protest. Harry bends down to pick up his wand before leaning over to pull the covers up around Draco, tucking him in. He looks exhausted.
A soft tap at the door makes Harry look around. "Yeah," he calls, and Narcissa comes in, eyes on Draco. She smiles weakly, eyes shining with tears.
"Hello, Draco," she whispers.
"I'm okay," Draco replies, and Harry sees his adams-apple move in his throat as he swallows thickly. "Don't look like that."
She nods, staying in the doorway. "You need rest."
Draco nods back, eyes already fluttering closed. He forces them open again. "Can Harry stay?" he asks, voice a whisper.
Narcissa looks from Draco to Harry then back again, and takes a deep breath. "Yes," she says. "Yes, he can stay."
"Thank you," Draco mouths at her, and then turns his eyes to Harry. "Stay?"
Feeling his heart slowly lifting and rising in his chest, Harry nods, and sits down on the edge of the bed, reaching out for Draco's hand. Draco pulls it up to his face, eyes fluttering shut as he breathes in and out deeply. Harry looks back over to Narcissa, who has her forehead rested against the edge of the door. She senses Harry's gaze and looks back at him.
"Just get in," she says with a wan smile, pushing away from the door and turning away. "Before I change my mind. He needs you."
Harry laughs softly, turning back to Draco as Narcissa leaves, shutting the door behind her. He watches him for a moment and then lets go of his hand, before sliding under the covers next to him. He takes his glasses off and carefully puts them under the pillow before lying down.
"So I know what I need to do next time I want to get my own way," Draco murmurs sleepily, and it takes Harry a moment to realise he's making a joke. He shakes his head and pulls Draco close, slipping his hand onto his waist, palm resting against the dragon on his side.
"He wants kissing," Draco murmurs, tucking his head under Harry's chin and gently kissing the hollow between his collarbones.
Harry smiles, wrapping an arm over Draco's shoulders. "Later."
"Promise?" Draco asks, and he's almost already asleep again, pale and calm and peaceful.
Harry holds him close, breathing him in and shutting his own eyes.