Draco was hot. The fire was everywhere roaring and nipping at his heels. Draco couldn't run there was no place to go. His eyes darted frantically unable to see through the thick smoke that billowed up from every direction filling the room as it's contents were devoured. Meanwhile the fire drew closer so hot the soles of his shoes were melting and sticking him to the ground. The heat was everywhere and this time there was no Potter to save him and Draco was screaming in agony-
"Shhh it's okay, shh just breath." Draco was back in bed and someone was rubbing his back. The consuming heat was gone replaced by a comforting warmth. He pushed closer burying his face against a firm chest. He could hear the dull steady beat of a heart against his ear as he let nonsense words soothe him back to sleep.
Draco woke feeling as though he had slept better than he had in months. He had expected returning to Hogwarts to make his nightmares worse but last night had been almost bearable. Strange but bearable, he'd started out with nightmares but they'd shifted at some point. He swore he'd dreamed someone had come and comforted him in his sleep, it had been so real he'd honestly expected to find someone beside him when he woke. Not that Draco was disappointed or anything to find himself alone. Certainly not if anything he was pleased to have the dorm to himself since no other Slytherin 8th's had returned to finish out the year. He was a Slytherin after all and preferred his own company to that of others.
Draco climbed out of bed and began to get ready. He made a point to face the door as he did so, he hated looking at Vincent's bed if he could help it so he always kept his eyes away from that corner of the room. Once he was dressed he gathered his things, straightened his shoulders and headed to breakfast. He walked confidently into the Great Hall ignoring the whispers and glares that followed them. It was only the third day back and many student's still took issue with the one returning 8th year Slytherin, Draco could only be thankful he'd completely missed last year. As it was the seventh years garnered far more loathing and attention than he did.
Four Slytherin's returned for their Seventh Year and Draco thought it very brave of them. He didn't know if he could have faced the school after having tortured his classmates. Of course he knew they hadn't had much choice. No more than himself they had been locked up here with the Carrow's while he'd been locked up in the Manor with The Dark Lord himself and his mad Aunt Bellatrix. As it was most of the students had nothing personal to hold against him. There were only the few that had been held at the Manor that Draco dreaded facing. So far he had seen the crazy Ravenclaw at meal times, Dean Thomas had opted not to return to finish his schooling.
Draco ate his breakfast with slow measured bites as he always did. Allowing his eyes to wander to Gryffindor table as they always did. The Golden Trio had returned to Hogwarts one red head short this year. Ron Weasley had take the Ministry up on its offer to allow any of age students who had fought in the Battle of Hogwarts to immediately begin Auror training rather than returning for their N.E.W.T.'s. The announcement was largely responsible for the small class size of the 8th year. Gryffindor was almost completely cleared out with only Potter, Longbottom, Granger and Patil returning. The same was true of the other houses though none were quite so gutted as Gryffindor.
So far Potter had not appeared for breakfast but that was not surprising. Draco made a point of being early whereas Potter always scurried in just before Breakfast ended grabbing some toast and munching it on his way to his first class. Granger was already there however, reading a book propped up against a carafe of Orange Juice as she nibbled at her breakfast. He watched her for lack of anything better to do as he waited until he could go to class. Periodically she would glance at the time and frown. The third time she did this she closed her book and began to assemble and bacon, egg and toast sandwich which she wrapped in napkins before leaving the hall.
Draco took this as a sign that Potter would not be appearing so he finished his breakfast and headed toward his Ancient Rune's lesson. He wondered what lesson's he would have with Potter. Their numbers were so small this year they always got lumped together. That was how Draco knew Potter wasn't taking Astronomy or Arithmancy because Draco had had both yesterday and had not seen Potter. His best bet would probably be Transfiguration this afternoon. Not that Draco cared to see Potter at all, because he didn't he just wondered.
Upon entering his Ancient Rune's class Draco was confronted with an unexpected sight. Sitting anxiously next to Granger and stuffing half a Bacon and Egg sandwich in his mouth was Harry Potter. Draco nodded politely to both of them before crossing to sit toward the back of the class. Draco had resolved before the start of the year he would try to avoid fighting with Potter this year. He was on probation after all and Potter had saved his life more then once the year before. Overall the time for petty rivalry had passed which was unfortunate because just sitting there Draco could think of six different and equally scathing insults. Draco's musings were interrupted when he heard Potter's voice drift over to him.
"Are you sure about this Hermione?"
"Harry I already told you! If you're not sure you want to be an Auror you need to broaden your horizons." Granger responded her tone exasperated.
"I know it's just other then this summer I haven't studied Runes at all. I'll be completely lost!" Draco smirked. He rather looked forward to Potter being completely lost, even if he was going to be friendly to his face didn't mean Draco wouldn't relish the chance to watch Potter flounder in Ancient Runes. Granger sent Potter a rather scathing look reminiscent of Professor McGonagall before answering him.
"Do you honestly think I'd let you come if you weren't ready? Trust me Harry you know everything you need too. Besides this way all our classes are together except Arithmancy." As she spoke Draco noted the way her hand was gripping Potter's arm. She was holding so tightly her fingers had turned white but Potter didn't seem to mind at all. He patted her hand gently.
"Of course I trust you." He responded simply and Draco watched curiously as the fingers relaxed and began to regain color. Apparently he wasn't the only one with issues from the war.
This time it wasn't Draco's nightmare that woke him up. It was the gasping terrified moans of someone else. He jolted from his dream to find himself in bed next to someone who was shifting and mumbling it was too dark to see anything he could only sense the other person there. Unsure what to do he reached out and his hand found the curve of a muscular arm. He shook it.
"Hey wake up, it's just a dream." He got no response so moved closer and tried to remember how he had been comforted before. He remembered the hand on his back so moved his own and gently began to rub a gentle circle slowly the movement and noise subsided until he could hear only the occasional hiccoughing breath from beside him. Slowly Draco felt the stranger turn but was still surprised to be pulled into a strong embrace.
"Thank you," the stranger whispered as he wrapped Draco tightly into his arms. Draco wanted to struggle to demand answers but the stranger was so warm and he could feel the heat emanating from beneath thin cotton Pajamas against his face. Somehow he'd managed to burrow back against that firm chest, the smell of the other man washed over him leaving him relaxed and comforted. This was the man from his dream, therefore this had to be a dream too. With this resolution Draco allowed himself to cuddle deeper into the stranger and drift back to sleep.
It happened three more times before either of them acknowledged that something was happening. Normally they just comforted each other and then fell asleep huddled close together. This time after Draco had calmed down and was pressed firmly into that same warm hard chest it rumbled with a soft chuckle.
"We've got to stop meeting like this." The voice was tinged with amusement and Draco shifted hoping to see his face. Of course he couldn't he never could, it was always so dark that facial features were impossible to identify.
"This is my dream, we'll meet however I say," Draco responded despite his growing suspicion that this wasn't actually a dream at all. The stranger shifted so Draco was no longer pressed to his chest but didn't loosen his grip where his arm was wrapped around Draco's side much to his relief.
"I don't think this is a dream." He said softly and Draco realized his face must be right next to his because he could feel his breath against his cheek.
"No I'm beginning to suspect the same thing. Why do you say so?" Draco asked.
"Well I always wake up in my own bed but the other night my roommate asked me where I'd snuck off too after he went to sleep. Apparently he got up to pee and I was gone but I don't remember leaving."
"Well maybe that's because it's my dream and not yours." Draco responded receiving himself another chuckle.
"That doesn't even make sense." The other boy responded and then as though hesitant he felt a hand trailing through his hair. "You have soft hair. I wish I knew what it looked like"
Draco shuddered slightly at the caress as well as the complement and the hand began to draw away.
"No don't stop!" Draco exclaimed before he could stop himself, as soon as he said it he flushed with embarrassment and tried to pull away but the stranger just pulled him closer and returned to stroking his hair. Draco waited for some sort of comment about his needy behaviour but when none came he sighed and allowed himself to enjoy the attention.
Draco's days blended quickly to weeks and life carried on. He was sleeping better than he ever had before and working very hard not to think about the reason for it while he was awake. He was smart enough to know by now that they weren't dreams. Dreams didn't feel like that, dreams aren't real but his nighttime visitor definitely was. Somehow breaking the silence between them had initiated a new level of intimacy and Draco found his hands caressing firm abdominal muscles and running through sleep mussed hair on a regular basis.
Each was very pointedly not questioning the whole situation and Draco wondered why. In the daylight it seemed mad and Draco would resolve to demand answers next time the stranger wound up in his bed. Somehow when he was in bed with him it became impossible to ask. It seemed so irrelevant compared to firm muscles and comforting warmth. It was too good to last.
Draco had just been woken and comforted when his stranger decided to break their delicate peace.
"So nightmares huh?" There was no use denying they only ever slept together when one or the other of them was having a bad dream.
"Yeah, I think everyone probably has them. After last year. . ." Draco didn't elaborate. He didn't need to as the stranger just nodded and held him closer. His face was pressed into the skin of the stranger's neck and he felt the other boys chin rested against his hair. Even now his hand was making lazy circles against his back.
"I wish I knew who you were. I feel like I know you so well but really I don't even know your name." Draco pulled back from him trying fruitlessly to see the other boys face. Once he thought they were about eye level he spoke.
"I think it's better this way. Neither of us have to be embarrassed about our dreams and no one can judge us."
"I wouldn't be embarrassed or judged besides it's not like we have to tell people this has been happening. I'd just like to see your face you know?" his voice was pleading and Draco did the only thing he could think of to comfort him. He leaned forward and kissed him or tried anyway. He ended up kissing his nose, somehow he'd expected the other boy to be taller. A huff of laughter brushed against his lips.
"Let's try that again." the stranger said and taking Draco's chin firmly between his fingers led Draco's mouth to his own. The kiss was slow and curious as if the other boy wasn't really sure he wanted to be doing this. Then a tongue swept against Draco's lips and with a whimper he let them fall open only to have his mouth plundered by a questing tongue. They kissed and kissed for what felt like ages, hands caressed Draco as well slipping gently under his pajama top to lightly caress his abdomen and chest.
Eventually they must have drifted back to sleep while still touching and kissing because later Draco woke alone and for the first time since arriving at Hogwarts he could admit he felt lonely.
"I don't really know what to say. I've already said its not a big deal. You can stop apologizing anytime,"
Draco heard the voice down the hall and for a moment he thought it was his stranger. He almost turned around and walked the other way before he realized that even if he knew the identity of his stranger the other boy wouldn't know him. So he was disappointed to turn the corner and find only Potter and Longbottom conversing.
"I don't believe you Harry! It's not healthy to bottle up animosity. I did something unforgivable Harry! The least you can do is punch me in the face in front of everybody!" Longbottom looked legitimately agitated as he addressed Potter who looked a mixture between confused and exasperated.
"It's not unforgivable Neville! We weren't even together, we're not together now! Really it's not a big deal!"
"Harry you don't understand! I stole the girl of your dreams out from under you! You were off fighting evil and what was I doing? Romancing your girl! I deserve a punch in the face Harry! Heck I deserve worse I'm a terrible person!" Draco cast a quick disillusionment on himself unwilling to be caught eavesdropping but even less willing to miss the rest of the exchange.
"Look Neville! First off Ginny was never and is not the girl of my dreams. We dated for like two months over a year ago. Second I'm not even sure I would have got back together with Ginny anyway. I've been going through some stuff and I had already begun to think she wasn't right for me. Something I am now certain of and finally I was not the only one fighting evil last year. You're a hero stop putting yourself down."
"Please Harry! Just punch me and we can put this whole thing behind us! If you bottle up your feelings of anger toward me they could explode at anytime!" Potter sighed.
"Look Neville if this is the only thing that will make you feel better I'll punch you." He raised his fist but the other boy quickly put his hands up.
"Not here Harry! I deserve public humiliation!" Potter sighed again.
"All right at some point when there are witnesses I promise to punch you in the face. Now can we go Hermione's gonna kill me already for being so late to study."
"Be sure not to bottle anything up either Harry. I want you to say all the things you're normally too nice to say. I really want you to get it all out so we can put this whole thing behind us and become friends again."
"Right" Potter replied with a nod before turning to head back toward the library and away from Longbottom. Draco waited until the hall was clear before dropping his charm and proceeding on his way.
Draco waited in the Great Hall with no small level of anticipation. Neville Longbottom looked like he was doing the same. He was tensed on the the edge of the bench all the better to stand and meet Potter when the showdown began. He was the only person in the room watching the door with more focus than Draco himself. His girlfriend the Weaselette seemed uninformed about what was planned if only due to the fact that instead of watching the door she was watching her boyfriend watch it with increasing irritation. Draco had to wonder if this whole thing had less to do with Potter letting out his anger then with Longbottom taking a punch for love.
Draco had heard all the gossip about their courtship already just from sitting in the Slytherin common room within earshot of various girls. The Weaselette had a bit of a hero fetish it seemed because as soon as Longbottom starting taking Crucios she started dropping her knickers. Or so the gossips of Slytherin said. Potter must have been informed some time in the summer but miraculously it had never made it into the papers.
Draco couldn't help a smirk sliding onto his lips when the Great Hall door flew open. Potter strode in with a fearsome scowl on his face. Longbottom visibly paled at the sight of him apparently even when he knows its coming Harry Potter is one scary guy.
"Neville!" Harry cried his tone instantly ruining the illusion for Draco. It was somewhat wooden and sounded pretty rehearsed. Draco was something of an expert on pissed off Potter so he could tell the difference. "You girlfriend stealing git! Come over here and you'll get what is coming to you!"
As soon as he finished speaking he glanced back at Granger who had entered the hall behind him and was waiting by the door. She gave him an encouraging smile but Draco realized he was the only one to see other then Potter everyone else was too transfixed by Longbottom who stood and approached Potter bravely. As soon as Neville was in front of him Potter gave him a questioning look and Draco was perhaps the only one who recognized the tiny nod he gave back for what it was. Potter curled his hand into a fist and punched Longbottom. Hard. Apparently Harry Potter doesn't pull punches even the fake ones.
The sound of fist hitting face echoed across the hall followed shortly by the thwap as Longbottom falling backwards to the floor. Next came the shrill angry screech of the Weaselette as she rushed to Longbottom's aide. So discreetly that only Potter (and Draco because he was watching for it) saw Longbottom gave Potter a Thumbs-up.
When Draco woke to the sound of moaning he promptly moved into the now familiar position to sooth his stranger's nightmare. It quickly became apparent however that he wasn't having a nightmare.
"Oh. . .God oh yes. . ."
Draco reached over and grabbed the stranger's hand and shook it. Before he could speak however the other boy pulled hard on his hand and rolled them both over so Draco was underneath him. Draco stiffened for a moment wondering if the man was doing this in his sleep or still dreaming. Just then the stranger thrust his hips downward rubbing his own erection against Draco's and causing the most amazing friction. Draco groaned and reached up to tangle his fingers in the other boys hair and arched his hips up pulling a moan from each of them.
They continued to rub against each other and the other boy kissed with such purpose he knew he was awake. Draco moaned deeper as fingers questing underneath his shirt found his nipples and gave them a gentle twist. Draco shivered and shook in pleasure as his stranger kissed him while rubbing their cocks together it was so overwhelmingly good that it wasn't long until Draco was arching and almost weeping as his orgasm tore through him. They lay cuddled together as they came down from orgasm.
"I'm all sticky now." was the thing to break silence. Draco laughed and reached up under his pillow for his wand.
"Here I have my wand. I'll cast a cleaning charm." He cast the spell even as he spoke and the stranger shivered at the sensation.
"Wait! If you have your wand cast lumos! I want to see you!"
Draco swallowed heavily. He'd thought a lot about who his stranger might be and what would happen when the truth was finally exposed. He knew from things the other had said that he had likely fought in the final battle. He was a hero and Draco could only imagine what would happen when the other boy realized he'd been snuggling up with the Evil Death Eater Draco Malfoy. He'd accepted that this would have to end eventually but with what had just happened it wasn't ready to give it up just yet.
"No" Draco finally replied after a long contemplative silence.
"I don't want you to know who I am. I don't want to know who you are. Whatever it is we're doing is working so why change it?"
"Because we just got each other off and I don't know anything about you! For all I know you're really a tall muscular fourth year who I've just violated!"
"I'm not a fourth year. My favorite color is Green. My favorite subject is Transfiguration. I like to fly but I'll never be a pro. I had a pet crup when I was seven but it got loose somehow and got hit by a muggle automobile. You know me! Just because you don't know my face or my name doesn't mean we don't know each other!"
"What if I want more?"
"More what?" Draco demanded even though he thought he knew.
"More you! I want take walks with you and go on dates and introduce you to people! I want you to be my boyfriend! But I can't do that if I don't know your name! I can't even tell anyone about you because everyone would think it was some kind of creepy magic thing but I know it's not! I just want you!" Draco had to work hard not to give in. He had to remind himself that this boy thought he was just some random student. If he really knew he'd feel differently.
"That's impossible I'm sorry." Draco heard a sharp intake of breath and when his stranger spoke his voice was dull.
"You already have someone." It was spoken as fact and part of Draco wanted to correct him wanted to swear it wasn't true but he didn't. Instead he rolled over and closed his eyes. He heard a sigh behind him before he was pulled into comforting arms and nestled back into a firm chest.
The next few nights Draco couldn't sleep and because he couldn't sleep he also didn't have any nightmares. That wouldn't have been so bad except then it was Christmas break.
The fire was everywhere Draco had climbed as high as he could. It was so hot he felt the burn through his entire body. Below him an ocean of flame devoured everything it its path sending up huge billowing plumes of smoke. Draco coughed his eyes scanning for any sort of exit the fire was at his feet licking at his toes. Suddenly Potter was there hovering above him looking cool and calm.
"Tell me your name Malfoy," he calls laughingly as he dives are soars around the flames unscathed.
"You know my name!" He yelled furiously back even as the flame began to burn up his shins looking down he could no longer see his shoes only flame and he thinks of Joan of Arc that poor confused squib who'd been burnt alive so many years ago.
"Come on what's your name? I'll save you if you only tell me." Potter calls again hovering on his broom next to him.
"You know my name!" He cried again reaching desperately but Potter was just out of reach.
"Your pants are on fire Draco! I think you must be lying." Potter turned and flew away and Draco screamed as the flames devoured him.
Draco woke panting heavily and sweat pouring over his body. It was the first time all term he's had to sleep through an entire nightmare. His stranger had not appeared and Draco can only assume that much like the rest of the school he has returned home for break. Draco lay back down staring up at the ceiling for the rest of the night.
The moment Draco felt someone's arms around him he woke. He'd been having a nightmare but the realization that his stranger was back was enough to take his mind off it. Draco twisted in his arms and kissed him. He heard a groan as the arms around him tightened possessively.
"God I missed you so much" the stranger whispered as he pulled back to reign kisses all over Draco's face. Draco pressed in closer.
"I missed you too. I forgot how lonely it gets here." he whispered earning him more furious kisses.
"I'm sorry I shouldn't have left you. I didn't realize you'd be here over Christmas."
Harry Potter was watching him. Draco didn't know why but it was impossible to ignore. Draco was intimately familiar with the sensation of being watched by Potter since it had happened throughout sixth year but this was different. Different mostly because Draco wasn't actually up to anything at the moment. Still ever since returning from Christmas break those eyes seemed to follow him everywhere. It was a bit annoying and made Draco want to break his streak of good behaviour to hex the git.
Even now as Draco sat in the library studying quietly and generally minding his own business Potter was there two tables over pretending to study. Draco could tell he was pretending because he was doing the same so the signs were unmistakable. Draco sent him a glare and Potter flushed and returned to his book. Draco smirked but couldn't help but wonder what all the blushing was about.
That night it was his stranger having a bad dream but once they were nestled comfortably together Draco relishing the feel of the other boy petting his hair he began to question him ruthlessly.
"What's your favorite animal?" The stranger asked.
"Dragons" Draco replied simply because after all they were his namesake. The other boy chuckled.
"What do you drink in the morning? Tea or Coffee or Pumpkin juice?"
"I'm an englishman. I start my day with tea." Draco replied trying to sound affronted.
"How do you keep your hair so silky?" He asked. Draco shrugged.
"About five different hair potions."
"Are you on the Quidditch team this year?"
"No. Why are you asking so many questions. I can think of better ways to use your mouth."
If his stranger had more questions he decided they could wait as his mouth descended and began kissing Draco in earnest. Just as Draco was falling asleep that night Draco could have sworn he saw a flash of light and a shimmer of green.
The Gryffindor's were up to something. He could tell by the way they kept shifting and whispering together. It had been happening all day, even the first years were crowding with older students whispering furiously. Things didn't really start to get weird though until Dinner.
The second year girl was so short Draco could only see her bow above the table until she climbed up onto the bench across from him. Draco gave her a look that would have sent a seventh year Hufflepuff running unfortunately Gryffindor's are made of stronger stuff so the girl just grinned at him. She reached into her bag and removed a single flower.
"It's so romantic!" the girl said "The apple blossom represents a promise."
"What? What are you talking about?!" Draco demanded but the girl only smiled and skipped away. No sooner had the girl returned to her table leaving the flower behind that a sixth year boy stood and approached. He came to a stop before Draco and thrust out a white flower.
"The Gardenia represents a secret love." he said and when Draco didn't take the flower he dropped it on the table and walked from the hall. Next came a violently blushing Longbottom. He held a single red rose.
"The red rose represents a passionate desire." It seemed the dam had broken because a queue was starting to form behind Longbottom. A fourth year Girl gave him a Purple Hyacinth (for forgiveness), a second year boy gave him a heliotrope(for eternal love) and so it continued until Luna Lovegood approached. She held what looked like a potted plant.
"He wanted me to bring a flower but Artemesia is a symbol of Dignity." Draco noted with some surprise that at the moment she sounded completely lucid. She moved to walk away but Draco caught her hand.
"Who?" she smiled at him but before she could answer someone else spoke.
"Me" Harry Potter stood in front of him. He held a bunch of white lilacs. "The white lilac represents the first dream of love. I thought since you came to me in my dreams that they were appropriate."
Draco stared at him.
"I don't understand." He finally said. Potter smiled at him.
"I thought you'd figured it out already." and just like that Draco did.
"How?" He asked not even sure what he meant. Potter didn't need more however because he quickly launched into an explanation.
"At first when you didn't want to tell me who you were I assumed it was because you already had someone. I missed you like crazy over Christmas and spent the whole holiday trying to figure out who you could be. Then you gave yourself away. You probably didn't realize but you were the only person above 3rd year to stay over. All the older students went home this year." Draco could only stare at Potter as he babbled "So then I was so confused I told Hermione everything and she said you probably thought I wouldn't want to go out with you once I found out who you were. So then I decided I needed to do something big to tell you."
"Tell me what?" Draco asked his voice hoarse sounding as he forced it from his mouth.
"I'm Crazy about you Draco Malfoy. I want you to come to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow and after that I want you to be my boyfriend."
Draco looked from Potter to the huge pile of flowers in front of him and found he couldn't speak. Potter looked gorgeous standing before him his hair askew, his eyes wide and anxious on Draco. As time ticked by Potter began to flush and chew his lip nervously. It was this more then anything that gave him away. If this were a joke Potter would be eager not nervous. Which means it is not a joke. With that realization Draco nodded still unable to speak.
Potter smiled at him then leaning over the table grabbed Draco by his robes and pulled him over the table to kiss him firmly. Draco didn't notice the cheers of the Gryffindors or the shocked gasps of the Hufflepuffs even the knowing looks of the Ravenclaws were lost on him because all he could focus on was the soft lips against his own. So familiar and at the same time so marvelously new.
Author note: So this is my little Drarry to overcome writers block! I heard a song on the radio about only having tonight and being alone in the morning. I don't know what it was called(if you do let me know). But anyway it inspired this story. Please REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW! I love to hear your thoughts!