Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I've written anything for . Sorry about my long absence. This is a drarry romance, and the rating will definitely go up in later chapters.

Disclaimer: The characters herein belong to J.K. Rowling and this work is not being used for profit.


"It could be worse–"

"Shut up, Potter."

"Well, excuse me for trying to be optimistic."

"You're deluded. There is no way for this situation to be any worse."

"Voldemort could still be alive."

"Well isn't that a cheery thought. I think I told you to shut up."

"Like I'd ever listen to you, Malfoy."

The two hung there in silence for a moment or two. The dungeon where they were shackled, suspended in the air by their wrists was quiet. There was no indication that Draco could see that the kidnapper was anywhere in sight. Draco squirmed, but all this accomplished was a sort of pendulum motion. He couldn't touch the floor no matter how much he stretched his toes.

"This is all your fault," he snarled, to fill the silence.

"If you hadn't been so keen on getting into a fight with me, you'd still be safely at Hogwarts and it would just be me here by myself."

Draco hated it when people pointed out his mistakes.

"How do we get out of here?" he asked, still squirming against the metal shackles. "These are starting to chafe my wrists."

It was a lie. His wrists were bleeding, and he could feel a trickle of warm liquid running down his arm and into his robes. He wasn't about to let Potter know that though. He couldn't feel the tips of his fingers as his hands were going numb.

"How did we get here in the first place? Do you know who kidnapped us?" Potter demanded, glasses askew on his face.

"I have no bloody clue, Potter. Now, do you see any way out of here?"

"No. My wand is missing. I had it in a holster on my arm, but it's not there anymore."

"Mine isn't either." He sighed and tipped his head back to look at the ceiling in exasperation. Then he frowned, not quite believing what he was looking at.

"Potter," he said, concentrating. "Look up."

Potter tipped his head back too, and his adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed.

"There's a key hanging from the ceiling. Why is there a key hanging from the ceiling?"

"Don't question what it's doing there! How do we get it?"

They both stared at the key for a bit, and Draco's neck started to ache. It was hanging there on a tarnished silver chain about halfway in between them, too far away for his chained hands to reach. Draco groaned. There was no way that he could reach it, it was like their kidnapper was mocking them by putting their salvation within a few feet of them.

Or like a challenge...

"Potter, how heavy are you?" he asked, trying to measure the distance with his eyes.

"Not to heavy. Hermione keeps telling me I should eat more..."

"I don't care what Granger tells you. Shuck your trainers."

"What? Why? Being in my stocking feet will not help our situation at all."

"Shut up, Potter, for the last time and listen. Shuck your trainers. Then, I need you to try to get a leg around me."

"Malfoy, now is not the time for weird come-ons." Potter was only too obviously fighting a grin.

Draco closed his eyes and counted to ten. When he opened them, Potter had lost the battle and was openly smirking.

"Not the time, Potter, this is serious. If you can get a leg around me, you can scale my body, get a foot on my shoulder and use me to balance on so that you can snag the key with your other foot."

Potter finally quit grinning and bit his lip, looking seriously at the distance between them, and at the key hanging on the hook above them. After a moment of thought, he toed off one trainer, and then the other.

"Okay, now try and–"

"Malfoy, I got this. Just stay still."

Potter swung his body once, twice, then flung an ankle around Draco's knee, pulling them closer together. Draco, for his part, kept very still, so as not to dislodge Potter's tenuous hold. Potter wiggled his foot, trying to get a better grip. Then, he tried to get his other leg up around Draco's hip. Draco bit his lip savagely, fighting back any sounds indicating how this was affecting him.

It wasn't really fair at all. At the last battle of the war at Hogwarts, the last time he'd seen Potter before coming back for his eighth year, he'd been skinny, pale and covered in soot. Clearly under-nourished, dirty, cut and bruised, the Harry he saw in the war had been unremarkable. Well, in appearance at least. In other ways he was bloody amazing and an honest-to-Merlin war hero.

Not that Draco would ever tell him that.

Nor would he tell him that when Harry returned to Hogwarts, the real reason that he couldn't stop staring at his former nemesis and current savior was because he was incredibly attractive. In the few months it took to return to Hogwarts, he'd changed dramatically. He was clean and healthy for one, which always helped in the looks department. He'd gained back all his lean muscle from their previous Quidditch seasons. He'd even stopped wearing baggy, gross-looking clothes. But mostly, he was confident, happy, and unplagued by thoughts of war.

Then, he'd seen Draco and smiled. Draco's stomach filled with angry, cannibalistic butterflies that raged to sudden, vengeful life.

And just like that, Draco had the most enormously inappropriate crush on Harry Potter.

He'd never live this down. In order to combat his sudden about-face in sentiment, he'd covered it up by being just as sarcastic and snarky as he'd been before the war. Well, mostly. He never said anything about Potter's parents anymore. Or Weasley's money situation. Or about Granger's ancestry. But he did tell Potter everyday just how frustrating he was.

Which brought him back to the argument they'd been having by the lake, where both had blacked out and come to in a dungeon.

Harry's leg was wrapped firmly around his hip now, and his other foot was trying to squirm around his shoulder. This was not how he had envisioned this coming to pass, but feeling the warmth strength of Potter's firm calf against his lower back felt just as good as he'd imagined. Pressed this close to Potter's body, he could smell the musky masculine scent and imagine being held closer and tighter than this.

His heart was trying to battle its way out of his ribcage. He held his breath, not trusting himself not to hyperventilate.

Potter managed to get his foot around Draco's neck.

That certainly distracted him effectively. Potter had to lean a lot of weight on him in order to reach up with his other foot. The extra pull on his already sore wrists was agony. He bit his lip for a different reason now, trying to hold in the cry of pain and managing to keep it to a strangled whimper.

"Sorry," Potter murmured, noticing in spite of Draco's efforts.

Potter's toe found the chain, and unhooked it from the ceiling. He carefully lowered the key until Draco's numb fingers could grasp ahold of it. Once Draco had the key in his grip, he climbed carefully down Draco's body again.

Draco could barely feel the key in his hand, so he had to tilt his head backward to see where the keyhole was on his shackles. He almost thought that he wouldn't be able to get the key in, but after some fumbling, he inserted and twisted.

The shackle popped open, leaving all the weight on only one wrist. He breathed in harshly through his teeth and didn't look up at the damage as he felt renewed warm rivulets running down his arm. He realized that if he released the other shackle, when he dropped to the ground, he wouldn't be able to reach Potter's wrists.

"I need to undo your wrists," he told Harry. "Hold still, okay?"

Potter didn't protest as he caught the back of Harry's knee with one leg, and climbed up him slowly, just so that he could get close enough to reach Potter's shackles. He unlocked one, and when Potter was hanging by one wrist he said, "Ready?"

Potter nodded.