Beren (beren_writes) wrote,
Beren
beren_writes

Gold Tinted Spectacles - 22/40 - A Birthday - Re-Edit

Re-Edited 11th February 2004
Title: Gold Tinted Spectacles
Part: 22/40 - A Birthday
Author: Beren (aka Didi)
Email: beren@dtwins.co.uk
Other Story Parts: Link to other parts
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is set post OOTP and therefore has SPOLIERS. If you don't want to know anything that went on in book five do not read this story.
Genre: Slash
Summary: Harry is about to enter his seventh year, and things are not quite what he expected. He is no longer the angry boy who watched his world fall apart at the end of his fifth year, but neither has he completely found his place yet. He is looking for someting, and to his confusion it seems to have something to do with Draco Malfoy.
Author's Notes: Thanks to everyone who posted feedback when I was uploading this in parts and after it was finished. This is the re-edited version which hopefully removes the mistakes that people spotted and improves on the original draft.
As always I have to thank my beta - she re-read this for me to make sure I hadn't edited in any mistakes :).
This is NOT a work in progress, the story is FINISHED.



Chapter 22 A Birthday

Draco woke up slowly as a warm body curled against him and wrapped him in a close embrace. The feeling of perfect safety was so pleasant that he let himself drift just below proper consciousness for a few minutes before he reluctantly opened his eyes. Harry kissed his neck lightly the moment Draco came to full wakefulness.

"Happy birthday," his soul mate greeted warmly and ran his hand over Draco's torso.

It was cold in the castle so they habitually slept in pyjamas, but Draco realised that Harry had already taken his off: his lover was naked.

"How long have you been waiting for me to wake up?" he asked with a laugh as Harry's hands slipped under his nightclothes.

"A little while," his lover admitted with a grin as Draco twisted in his arms so he could see Harry's face. "I'm afraid I unwrapped your first present, but it was that or go completely mad. It's bound to carry out your deepest desires, so all you have to do is say what you want."

Draco let his eyes wander over Harry's innocent expression and then down over the exposed piece of chest where the blankets had been pushed down. His lover really was a fine specimen of the human condition.

"What if I said I wanted breakfast?" Draco asked, matching Harry's innocent expression.

"Then from what's going on in your head I'd say you have a funny definition of breakfast," Harry replied with a completely straight face.

Draco grinned impishly and ran a finger down his lover's nose.

"You're right," he said cheerfully, "I think I want to play with my present first."

Before Harry could react Draco lifted the covers and dived underneath, pushing his soul mate flat onto the bed, half crawling on top of him and pinning him down. It was obviously not what the Hecatemus had expected, but Harry did not resist and relaxed back as Draco began to find his way in the dark under the blankets. Driving Harry to distraction was a game Draco enjoyed playing and he set about his task with relish.

Harry moaned in pleasure as Draco trailed little kisses down his collar bone and onto his chest. Draco The blond wizard could feel the flashes of delight that his ministrations caused in his soul mate and he brushed his lips over one nipple, flicking his tongue out as he did so. He liked Harry's body: it was strong and lean; muscled but not bulky and his lover had a sexiness about him that was all male. Harry reacted with another moan as Draco gently bit the spot he had just licked and he continued to play, moving lower and kissing, nipping and licking as he did so, trying to illicit as many more reactions as possible..

When Harry explored his body, Draco always felt as if his lover knew every inch already, as if he had a map of his whole being in Harry's head. Draco had no such map, but he did have Harry's reactions to guide him and, even after the months they had been together, he enjoyed finding new ways to excite his soul mate. The fact that through their rapport Draco experienced everything as well didn't discourage him at all either.

Draco slowly worked his way down Harry's body, continually running his hands the full length of his soul mate's torso as he did so. The lower he moved the more vocal his lover became, especially when he gently rested a couple of fingers on one of Harry's pectoral muscles and traced little patterns as he used his mouth on the sensitive area below his partner's navel. Draco could feel the arousal coursing through his soul mate and he enjoyed the sensation running through his own body and the challenge of not allowing himself to react to it. He liked to let the pressure build inside himself until he could do nothing but explode: it was a game with himself as well as Harry.

As usual Draco was wearing his black silk pyjamas and he moved so the material brushed over the skin of his lover's thigh, next to and on which, he was mostly laying. He was rewarded by a sigh from his bed fellow. Draping himself over Harry further he slowly dragged himself back up along the length of his soul mate. He allowed one leg to slip between Harry's and rubbed himself against his lover's hip as he put gentle pressure on Harry's burgeoning erection with his thigh. The moan that came out of his lover was very gratifying.

The stimulation caused desire to pulse through both of them and Draco had to fight the urge to rub harder: he wanted this to last. Bringing himself under control he moved slowly, drawing moans and wordless mumbles of encouragement from Harry. It felt so good that he almost lost himself in the sensations that ran through himself and his soul mate, and eventually he had to become still and reign his need back in. Draco prided himself on control, but he knew with much more of what he was doing he would it. He moved out from under the covers again and came to rest nose to nose with Harry.

"Turn over," he whispered in his lover's ear as he rubbed himself against Harry one more time.

The Hecatemus felt very reluctant to break the contact, but as Draco smiled down at him and lifted himself away from him, Harry did as he was told. Draco lowered himself back down onto his soul mate, gently pushing one leg between his lover's knees. He moulded to Harry, allowing his own curves to fit to his lover and then he moved slowly up and down the length of him. Harry pushed his face into the pillow and groaned as Draco kept up the contact of silk on skin and kissed the back of his soul mate's neck.

Biting down on the Gryffindor's shoulder Draco caught a moan that threatened to fall from his own mouth: he was not about to give in to the raging passion in his body. Control had always been a Malfoy byword and Draco used it to curb his desire to just keep moving until he exploded. He had a plan and he was going to follow it.

[Spread your legs for me, Harry,] Draco whispered in his lover's mind as he quickly pulled away.

The bedside table was within easy reach and he dipped quickly into the draw for the small pot of lubricant they kept there. Placing it on the mattress he threw the bedclothes over the end of the bed to reveal a completely naked Harry spread-eagled on the bed before him. The chill in the room did nothing to cool the ardour in either of them and Draco moved back to his lover almost as if compelled to do so.

He moved down the bed, slipping between Harry's spread legs. Just for a moment he allowed himself to run his eyes over his soul mate, taking in the beautiful curves of muscle and sinew arranged in perfect surrender. Harry would give him anything he asked and that meant more to Draco than he could ever explain. His erection throbbed hotly as he let his gaze run over the body before him and he felt the sensation echo through his lover. When he finally reached out to touch his soul mate the light contact of his fingers on Harry's buttocks caused the Gryffindor to whimper.

Draco ran his hands all over Harry's backside and down between his legs making his lover gasp into his pillow. Harry knew he was being played, Draco could feel it, and the Hecatemus was loving every second. Harry also apearred to know that he was moaning for both of them and he was not holding back.

As his finger tips danced gently over Harry's balls, Draco moved in with his mouth once more. He nipped at one buttock and tasted freshly washed skin. The fact that Harry must have been awake for quite some time and had carefully prepared himself for when his lover awoke did not escape Draco. How Harry had made it to the bathroom and back again without Draco realising he was gone was not something he was about to figure out now.

Kissing and nipping while running his fingers over the sensitive areas of Harry's lower body, Draco made his lover writhe and twitch before slowly parting his soul mate and dragging his tongue over the revealed orifice. A clean Harry had a very pleasant taste and Draco enjoyed the fact that it was a taste just for him. He heard his name whispered into the pillow as he concentrated on driving Harry to distraction.

It would have been so easy to let the arousal run free in his body and just reach for orgasm by the fastest route, but Draco could be very patient. He reached blindly for the small jar where he had left it as he continued to tongue Harry enthusiastically. The cap came off easily and he dipped his fingers inside enjoying the slick feeling of the lube and then in one swift movement he drew back his mouth and replaced it with one slick finger, slipping it inside Harry straight away. That caused an explosive moan and a momentary tensing of all of Harry's back muscles.

It was surprise rather than any discomfort that caused his lover's reaction and Draco smiled to himself in achievement. Even in this state with their bodies echoing each sensation in the other, he could still surprise Harry if he kept him distracted well enough. Harry soon relaxed again and Draco moved his finger in a little further and then out. A grunt greeted the removal of the intrusion and Harry moved to try and recapture the sensation at which point Draco bent back down and bit his lover's behind hard. Harry yelped and turned startled green eyes to look at him.

[My present,] Draco said in a petulant tone and pouted, [my rules.]

That drew a grin from Harry and the young man relaxed back onto the bed again.

[One request,] he replied as he buried his head in the pillow once more, [I'd like to be able to sit down when you're finished.]

In response Draco reinserted his finger at which point all coherent thought fled from his lover's mind with a moan of pleasure. Draco had to bite his tongue as the arousal in Harry threatened to take away his own lucidity and reduce him to a desire filled heap. Harry was tight around his finger, but his lover's muscles were slowly relaxing as Draco moved gently. He could feel the mirror of Harry's reactions in his own body and he easily felt the moment his soul mate passed the point where he was ready for more. In reply he pulled his finger out slowly and then slipped in two. Harry's knuckles were white on the edges of the pillow and Draco could feel the strain as his lover tried to hold himself still in accordance with his previous intent.

[You can move, Love,] Draco told him silently and placed a kiss on the same spot he had bitten before, [let yourself go.]

Almost instantly Draco felt Harry push back on his hand and his fingers slipped in as far as they would go to the sound of the Gryffindor moaning into the bed.

[Do you like that, Harry?] he asked even though he already knew the answer: he could feel it. [Do you want more, Love?]

Harry groaned in reply, ever vocal, but strangely bashful about speaking.

"Tell me, Harry," Draco said aloud, "I can feel it, but I want you to tell me."

"More, Draco," his lover almost begged, "please more."

Harry's voice was heavy with arousal and the words sent strange thrills through Draco. He didn't hesitate as he felt the need growing within both of them and he gently pushed in a third finger against the tight muscle. Slick and slippery he slid his digits in slowly, waiting for the resistance to ease and having to concentrate to prevent himself pushing back on the ghostly echo of sensation in his own body. He could not resist rubbing his erection against Harry's leg and it almost sent his lover over the edge as the thrill this caused ran through them both, but Harry clung on to his arousal doggedly.

"Draco, please," Harry did beg this time, "I need you."

Draco had intended to play for longer, but he recognised the slight desperation in his lover and the resonance of the same sentiment in himself. Neither of them was going to last through any more games and he did not want this game to end this way. He pulled his fingers out in a smooth, gentle movement and pulled down his pyjama bottoms without ceremony. There was no doubt that he was as ready for this as Harry.

Harry raised his hips slightly and Draco positioned himself quickly at his lover's slick entrance. There was slight resistance when he first pushed in and he paused, allowing Harry to adjust before sliding in a little further. The tightness surrounding him and stimulating his nerve endings almost made Draco lose his precious control but he held on, just, even though Harry was biting on the pillow to stay on the edge with him and it was almost impossible.

Moving slowly, he pulled out almost all the way and drew a desperate whimper from his lover. They were both staring into the abyss and Draco knew there was little time left. Firmly he took hold of Harry's hips and with one strong, gradual movement, he pushed back in until he was buried in his soul mate to the hilt, and he found exactly the right spot as he sunk in. Harry yelled Draco's name into the pillow and shuddered uncontrollably as the sensation tipped him over the edge into orgasm. Draco had no choice but to follow his soul mate and spasmed into Harry with a cry of his own as he spilled his seed into the man he loved.

Little stars danced in front of Draco's eyes as he half collapsed over his lover, losing his grip on Harry's hips and placing his hands either side of the sated Gryffindor while remaining buried deep within him. The trembling in his muscles did not stop for some time and Draco was breathing hard by the time he gathered his wits. Harry was relaxed and still beneath him as they stayed joined and allowed the after effects of their encounter run their course.

Only reluctantly did Draco break their contact and Harry signalled his equal discontent with a low growl, but did not try and stop him. When he collapsed onto the bed, his limbs felt as if all the muscles had been atrophied and all he could do was lay on his side and watch as Harry slowly turned to face him. His soul mate's pupils were dilated and a small smile played at his lips as he reached out and ran his hand down Draco's face and neck.

[One day you are going to have to teach me how you do that,] he said, his smile growing.

[Do what?] Draco asked as he tried to put his thoughts back into some kind of order.

[Hold everything in until the last second,] Harry replied and, after placing a kiss on Draco's nose, rolled onto his back.

The Slytherin laughed and decided that staying in the position he was in was probably a better idea than trying to move until he had some sort of sensible motor control.

[You're a Gryffindor, you should know all about being stubborn,] he replied lightly.

[Ah, but this is a whole new form of obstinacy,] Harry assured him cheerfully, [it must have taken years to learn.]

[It's inbred,] Draco told him and decided to risk moving and, although his arm shook when he lifted himself onto his elbow, it held.

Leaning over, avoiding the now messy bottom sheet, he planted a kiss on Harry's lips.

[Thank you, Harry,] he said with a loving smile, [I really like my first present.]

====

As far as Draco was concerned, one way to describe Harry since his rather radical life change was 'sex maniac'. After their early morning tryst, the couple had retired to the prefect's bathroom to clean up and had not reappeared for three hours. Draco was wondering quietly to himself how things were still attached as he pulled on his clothes and noted that a healing charm or two might not go amiss if he wanted to sit down without squirming for the next couple of days.

It was not that he had not enjoyed himself: he had had the time of his life; it was just that Harry gave a whole new definition to the term 'sex slave'. His lover had played up to Draco's every desire, only, when the desires were being picked directly from your mind, he had found that control was a relative idea. Draco's thoughts and needs had driven the entire experience as if he was the master, but he smiled to himself wryly as he decided that somehow Harry had been in charge.

When Draco moved to stand up, he couldn't help it: he groaned as various muscles and a significant portion of his behind complained loudly. Harry was by his side instantly a sheepish apology in his eyes.

"Sorry," his soul mate said as if the whole thing was his fault.

It was not as if this was something new: they had had marathon sex sessions before, only the ones of this length had been while they were still in the hospital wing and moving had not been a requirement afterwards. By the looks of things, Harry was having a little problem walking normally as well and Draco couldn't help himself: he laughed.

"We make a right pair," he commented lightly, "if we go anywhere right now everyone is going to know exactly what we've been doing."

"They'll know anyway," Harry replied cheerfully. "Look at it this way, at least we're the only prefects staying for the holidays so no one was banging loudly on the door while we were actually at it."

That drew another laugh from Draco: three hours would have been a little over the top when waiting for a bath. He bent over to reach for his hair brush and wished he hadn't as another groan escaped his mouth: Quidditch aches and pains had nothing on the after effects of sex with the seething mass of hormones that Harry was these days.

"How are your healing spells?" he asked and gingerly sat back down on the bed. "If I'm going to walk straight for my test tomorrow I think I may need some help."

Harry sat down next to him and the grimace he gave mirrored the one Draco had made earlier. Draco couldn't help but smile: they had given each other some things to remember.

"I think I can manage something," Harry replied with a grin, "but would you like your other present first?"

His soul mate was bubbling over with anticipation and for a moment Draco considered teasing him, but then decided that they'd teased each other enough that morning already. He nodded and then on impulse leaned over and gave Harry a light kiss before the Gryffindor could stretch over the bed to the cabinet on the other side and retrieve a parcel from inside. The firm curve of buttock in black jeans that was presented as Harry did this was almost irresistible, but Draco managed to restrain himself from smacking, fondling or doing anything else to it.

When his soul mate sat back up, Harry presented Draco with a neatly wrapped, rectangular package in green and silver striped paper. Draco took it with a small smile and then calmly fondled the present to see if he could figure out what it was before he opened it. It was about a quarter of an inch thick and pliable in most directions except along one edge.

"It's a book," Draco said cheerfully as he felt round the edges. "So what can it be?" he continued to ramble as he began to undo the paper. "One hundred and one sex tips? Possibly the magical Karma Sutra?"

Harry laughed at that and shook his head fondly.

"Contrary to your favourite opinion I do occasionally think of things other than sex," the Gryffindor said with mock indignation.

"When?" Draco asked and put on his most angelic expression.

"Just open your present," his lover replied with another laugh.

Smiling broadly Draco went to work on the parcel in earnest, quickly revealing a brown, leather bound book. The back cover was facing him and he flipped it over quickly and then stopped dead. There on the front was the most beautiful dragon inlaid into the leather in silver and beneath it were the words "Volumen Medicatus". As Draco touched it the dragon reared and breathed silver flames over the inscription before returning to its original position.

"Now you can create your own spells and keep them safe," Harry said quietly as Draco ran his finger over the words on the book.

Wizards under the age of seventeen were prohibited from creating their own spells except under supervised conditions such as in a classroom; you could poison yourself with potions to your heart's content, but spells were not allowed. It was another stipulation of the underage wizardry laws, and a traditional coming of age gift in pureblood families was a Volumen Medicatus: a personal spell book. Draco could not begin to express what the gift meant to him.

"It's beautiful," was all he could find to say.

"It's charmed to you," Harry said hesitantly, "and, um, me in case of emergencies. Oh and it should never run out of pages because it'll keep growing more unless you tell it not to."

Harry was rambling because he was nervous, which was typical Harry. Even though his soul mate could tell what he was feeling, Harry was still anxious about the gift and it made Draco look up at him and smile.

"I love it," he said firmly and reached out to take Harry's hand, "it's perfect."

Only then did Harry actually relax.

"So what happens if someone who's not supposed to tries to use it?" Draco asked, intrigued by the protection on the book.

Personal spell books were often charmed to prevent people stealing them, but he could tell that this one was a very fine example of the craft and he suspected the protection would be something special as well.

"It'll look blank to anyone but us," Harry began to explain cheerfully, "and if they try and charm the answers out they'll end up temporarily blind, deaf, mute or any combination of all three. If anyone tries to write in it their quill will catch fire the first time and they'll catch fire if they try again. You can add people to the protection spells either permanently or for a given period of time so you can share it if you want to."

"Cool," Draco couldn't help himself and the terribly inelegant expression jumped to his lips. "I've been spending too much time with Gryffindors," he concluded as he realised what he'd said.

Harry smirked at him and the Slytherin made a face, but he soon smiled again. Then he leant over and rewarded his lover for his thoughtfulness with a deep, passionate kiss.

"Thank you," he said genuinely as he sat back.

It was as Draco relaxed again that his body reminded him about the earlier topic of conversation.

"Now about those healing charms," he continued with a small frown.

====

They wandered to lunch in companionable silence and Harry couldn't help but admit that he was glad Draco was good at charms. Sitting down and walking without taking great care were no longer an issue, which made life so much easier. As they approached the great hall, he glanced at the spell book that Draco was proudly clutching.

[I still can't believe you wrote in it already,] Harry commented cheerfully.

[Needs must,] Draco replied with a grin, [and I thought the combination of the anti abrasion charm and the muscle relaxant spell was pure genius.]

[I just didn't expect your first spell to be for repairing damage caused by too much sex,] Harry said and laughed. [Call me old fashioned but the idea never crossed my mind.]

[There is a huge gap in the market,] his lover told him in the most delighted fashion. [With a little more thought I could make a stunning career out of these types of spells.]

Harry gave his soul mate a look that caused Draco to smirk contentedly and then they walked into the great hall. There were no more than twenty students staying for the holidays and hence they were all on the one table with the members of staff who also remained. Dumbledore looked up and smiled warmly as the soul mates wandered in and took the seats that had become their place at the table over the holiday so far.

"Good afternoon, Gentlemen," the headmaster greeted cheerfully, "and may I be the first here to wish you a very happy birthday, Draco. I do hope you are enjoying it so far."

"Can't complain," the Slytherin replied and sent Harry a very suggestive look which caused him to feel a blush begin to rise up his face.

Harry sat down and reached for some food to cover it at which point he locked gazes with an unimpressed looking Snape. The dour wizard raised an eyebrow at him and then went back to his plate.

"There were several owls for you at breakfast, Draco," Dumbledore continued conversationally, "I took the liberty of keeping your mail for you until such time as you chose to join us today."

Harry watched as the headmaster delved into his voluminous robe and produced two small packages and two letters.

"Thank you, Professor," Draco said politely and piled the post beside his plate, "that was very kind of you."

The old wizard's eyes sparkled with delight and Harry couldn't help smiling. As a fair percentage of the school had discovered since the pair had bonded, when Draco was not playing the role of Death Eater he had impeccable manners.

His soul mate did not immediately open any of his post, but instead mirrored Harry's act of loading his plate with food. The initial adjustments to their bond had worn off somewhat, but when they missed a meal they still knew about it and as Harry set about eating he was very glad to fill the hole his stomach had become. The Hecatemus reckoned that he could put away at least twice as many calories as most of his fellow seventh years without even coming close to putting on any weight, as could Draco, although it was no longer a requirement for remaining upright.

It was only after they had both demolished enough food for a small army and Harry was chatting about Transfiguration with the sixth year Ravenclaw beside him that Draco picked up the smaller of the two packages.

[No return address, no tag,] the Slytherin commented and calmly began to open it.

Harry rounded up his conversation quickly and turned curiously to see what his soul mate had received, just as Draco pulled a small, felt-wrapped bundle from the brown paper.

[Feels very solid,] Draco said thoughtfully and placed it on the table.

As Harry watched his soul mate calmly pulled out his wand and cast a quick revealing charm on the object. The little cloth-covered shape gave off a faint blue glow.

"Charmed, but not dangerously so," Dumbledore said with a benevolent smile and Harry had the feeling the headmaster had probably already checked the gift for booby traps.

Putting his wand back up his sleeve Draco picked up the bundle once more and carefully unwrapped it. What he revealed looked to Harry like an ordinary Muggle penknife, until that was, Draco moved it so that the front side was visible. Curled on the silver coloured surface was a small gold snake in exquisite detail and as it was scrutinised it lifted its head and opened clear blue eyes.

"Master," it hissed as Draco stared at it and almost instantly he looked to Harry for an explanation.

[It called you 'Master',] he translated straight away.

[Ask it what it's for,] Draco requested as he looked into the crystal eyes.

Before he did as he was asked Harry let his mind sink closer to his soul mate's and opened his perceptions to Draco.

"What is your purpose?" he hissed at the enchanted object in parseltongue. [And it's a he,] he told his lover calmly.

He couldn't help but notice that the entire table was watching him, but Harry felt this was rather important.

"To decorate and protect," the snake replied and turned his eyes on the Gryffindor. "You are my master's mate, I was told about you. I will not bite you, only those who try and steal me."

Since Harry heard English when listening to Parseltonge and Draco was as good at using the Hecatemus' ears there was no need to translate. The pair shared a look.

[Ask him who sent him,] Draco said thoughtfully and Harry did.

"My maker sent me," the snake said and swayed a little more off the knife, "but I do not know who asked him to create me. I was shown my Master's likeness and instructed to obey him in all things. I am beautiful, am I not?"

"[Yes you are very beautiful,]" Harry replied with a slight smile: it never hurt to compliment a snake, even when it wasn't a real one.

"May I sleep now, Master?" the snake asked, looking back at Draco as if it knew he understood what it was saying. "You may wake me whenever you like by calling my name."

[Tell him yes, he may sleep,] Draco offered quickly, [and ask him his name.]

The sibilant language rolled from Harry's mouth like it was his native tongue and the snake bobbed its head as he spoke.

"Thank you, Master," the enchanted creature replied. "My name is Calonis."

Then the snake wound itself back onto the penknife and was once again nothing more than a gold decoration.

"A beautiful and intriguing gift," Dumbledore commented as Draco began to investigate the various blades and other gadgets on the knife.

"Who sent it, Mr Malfoy?" it was Snape who came straight to the point.

"I don't know," Draco said, seemly unconcerned that his house master had asked what could have been construed as a rude question, "there's nothing on it at all and the snake doesn't know."

Harry could tell that Draco was curious, but he was also aware that his soul mate was not worried. If one of the most devious people on the face of the planet was not worried, Harry decided that neither was he.

"An anonymous admirer then," Dumbledore said cheerfully and Harry found himself looking at the headmaster.

For some reason, he had the distinct impression that Dumbledore suspected something. The headmaster smiled blandly at him and gave no proof one way or the other, but Harry couldn't help but wonder. Draco finished examining the penknife and placed it reverently on top of the spell book Harry had given him. Then, under Harry's curious gaze he moved on to the second parcel.

Very quickly that produced a chocolate frog and a packet of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans with a note from Hermione and Ron wishing Draco a Happy Birthday. One of the cards was from Remus wishing Draco many happy returns in his usual understated way and then the Slytherin moved on to the last envelope. By this time, the whole table was openly watching and Draco peeled the covering off what was another card extra slowly to make them wait. Harry had long since come to terms with the fact that his soul mate liked to torture people although Draco confined himself to mundane methods these days.

The card had "You're only 17 once" emblazoned on the front in large cheerful letters and as Draco opened it a chorus of voices yelled at the top of their lungs "Happy Birthday". Shock lanced through his soul mate and hence through Harry and the Slytherin dropped the object on the table and just stared at it. Around a large "Happy Birthday" that was giving off little fireworks were lots of short greetings and signatures. At a quick glance Harry could tell the entire Gryffindor house had signed the card.

A quick look down the table at the other Gryffindors sitting at lunch showed Harry people looking very pleased with themselves. Draco didn't appear to know how to respond and he felt a little over awed. When Gryffindor adopted you they really adopted you and until that moment Harry was pretty sure his soul mate had not realised this.

[They sent me one over the Summer, too,] he decided to try and help his lover regain his composure with camaraderie, [it's a McGonagall tradition for coming of age.]

[But I'm a Slytherin,] Draco replied, still staring at the card.

[I hate to break it to you,] Harry said and rested a hand on his lover's knee, [but you are officially Gryffindor's Slytherin. There's no escape now: you're stuck; trapped for life; marked for good...]

Draco thumped him on the arm to make him shut up, but he was grinning wryly.

[I get the idea,] he said with mock petulance, but picked up the card to read it anyway.

Harry sat back and shared a smile with the other Gryffindors and Dumbledore: at the beginning of the year he never would have imagined that he'd be sitting beside Draco Malfoy commiserating with him about being adopted into Gryffindor. Sometimes the current state of affairs simply amazed Harry.

End of Chapter 22

Tags: category: slash, ch_story: gold tinted specs, fandom: harry potter, fictype: 10-30kwds, fictype: 30kwds up, genre: creature fic, pairing: harry/draco, pairing: hp - harry/draco, rating: r to nc17, type: chapter listing
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