Chapter: Questions and Answers 10/10
Author: Beren (aka Didi)
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.
Summary: Harry defeated Voldemort: his act of heroism is famous throughout the wizarding world. He’s trying to finish his final year at Hogwarts in peace, but something peculiar is happening to him, something he never would have expected. It's all rather embarrassing and making his life very complicated.
Author's Notes: This fic has Veela!Draco and lots of other things that appear to have become fandom clichés, which was part of the point in writing it :). I've had great fun with this fic, trying to explore ideas in a slightly different way than I have seen before. It may have Veela!Draco, but it is all from Harry POV in case you were wondering. Thanks go to Soph for the beta. Sorry it's not quite the morning - Soph made me rewrite some of one scene, and boy was she right :).
Chapter 10 Questions and Answers
Harry had never been held as a child and he liked the feeling of arms around him. At first Draco had seemed slightly perturbed when he had not pulled away after they had satisfied their mutual desire, but the Slytherin seemed to have warmed to the idea. They were lying on the bed, half propped up on pillows, with Harry draped across Draco's chest in a very decadent fashion. Draco's arms were wound loosely around Harry's shoulders and they had lain there for a good few minutes in companionable silence.
"Draco," Harry asked eventually as his curiosity from earlier made it back into his mind, "how come there are sex supplies in the bedside table?"
"What else would go in the little drawer?" Draco asked as if it was a very strange question.
"Tissues, soap, writing paper, pens?" Harry offered with a small shrug.
"But what happens if your guests choose to have sex and they require some assistance?" Draco countered in a very reasonable tone. "It would be terribly impolite to leave them in the lurch like that."
The idea of supplying your guest with sexual aids rather scandalised the Muggle raised part of Harry's brain, but he had to admit that he rather liked the more practical approach to sex. It occurred to him that the fact that the Wizarding world had never had a Dark Ages was a good thing.
"You may have a point," he agreed and snuggled closer to his lover once more.
Draco seemed content to leave the conversation there, which was fine by Harry and he settled down to enjoy the silence again.
"Will you teach me to use these wings properly?" Draco suddenly asked. "I tried, but I didn't get very far."
"It's tricky to begin with isn't it," Harry replied with a small laugh. "I use the room of requirement; we can go there when we get back to school if you like. It's not very nice for flying outside at the moment so it might be an idea to wait."
Draco responded with a noise that could have been a yes, or a maybe, but Harry was enjoying their current position too much to worry. For all he knew Malfoy Manor had its own room of requirement and his lover was thinking about using that.
The silence embraced them again, but it was a warm lapse in conversation rather than the angry coldness that had been between them since their first coupling.
"How long did it take you to figure it out?" Draco asked a few moments later.
"About a week for the basics, but I was practising every day for a couple of hours," he replied honestly. "It takes a while to figure out how they feel, but once you have it, everything else is second nature. It's not really like learning to use another part of your body, more a way of thinking."
Draco made another unintelligible noise that Harry did not try too hard to decipher and they lapsed back into not talking. Almost without his volition Harry found himself stroking his fingers up and down his lover's side. Draco had a very nice body; fine muscle tone and a strong frame, especially since his rather abrupt change thanks to their tryst. Harry found he liked to touch and he couldn't help smiling when he found a spot that made Draco shift somewhat. Filing the knowledge away for another time he noted that his lover was ticklish. He felt as if he could stay this way forever.
"Do you mind if I ask you something?" Harry finally voiced what he needed from their meeting.
Sex was good and definitely important to the Seraphim part of him as well as his teenage libido, but what he really wanted was to know his lover. There was a very large knowledge gap in his head with the label 'Draco' and he desperately needed to fill it.
"Okay," the Slytherin replied after a moment's pause and he sounded vaguely nervous.
This was strange for both of them, Harry realised that. They had been enemies so long that opening up to each other was not going to be easy. They were physically intimate, but they were far from intimate on an intellectual level. Running through all his possible questions he realised there was one that was more important than anything else; it was part of what defined them both and it needed to be asked.
"Why did you do it?" Harry asked evenly. "Why did you turn your back on Voldemort?"
The enquiry drew a sharp laugh from Draco and Harry shifted slightly in his lover's arms to look up at the Slytherin's face.
"Merlin's beard," his companion said and shook his head, "you don't believe in asking the little questions first do you."
For a while Harry was worried he had pushed too hard and that Draco would not answer, but the Slytherin did not change the way he was holding him and he sobered quickly.
"I'm sorry, if you don't want to answer..." Harry apologised when they fell into silence.
"No," Draco interrupted him, "don't be sorry; your direct approach is so thoroughly you I'd be worried if you tried something else. It makes a change from what I'm used to if nothing else."
He still didn't have an answer, but at least Harry knew his lover was not offended.
"I'll make a deal with you," Draco said eventually in a very Slytherin like way, "I will tell you why I did what I did and then you will answer one question of mine: anything I want to know."
It was so typical of Draco not to specify what he would ask and Harry knew it was his companion's way of regaining control. He did not believe that the Slytherin realised that his request was not as frightening as it once would have been; Harry wanted to tell his lover everything. With a nod he agreed and Draco relaxed back with a concentrated expression on his face. Harry did not push and waited for the youth to begin.
"It was the Avesbury massacre," Draco started eventually in a rather distant tone, "you know it was Voldemort's way of testing those he broke out of Azkaban?"
Harry nodded again to show that he was aware of that. The Dark Lord had freed his supporters from Azkaban and then sent them to kill a coach load of school children who were visiting Avesbury, on a holiday just before Christmas. The Muggle news had reported a terrible coach crash, but that had been the Ministry cover up.
"My father came home afterwards," Draco continued quietly, "still covered in blood, and I ran to see him like a dutiful Death Eater's son, only Azkaban changed him. I think it gave him time to think and he had to face things that had never occurred to him before. He went to my mother and fell apart. I don't think he even knew I was there. My dad fell to his knees in front of my mum and cried into her skirt, telling her everything about the massacre."
Draco paused as if the words were difficult and took a deep breath, Harry tightened his embrace slightly.
"I had never seen my father cry before, and I hadn't faced the horrors of war," his lover said eventually. "He told my mother that Voldemort was not the man he used to be and that he regretted how deeply he was involved. It was not a war about purebloods anymore, it was about vengeance and it was wrong. My father actually said what he was doing was wrong, but he couldn't stop. It rather blew my mind. I left then and I never saw him again. It took me days to get past the shock, but when I did I realised that I could not end up like him. I began to plan and when I returned to school I started the coup."
Harry had not known what to expect, but he had not considered that Lucius Malfoy would have had anything to do with his son's change of heart. Suddenly he realised that the Death Eaters were human as well and it was a startling revelation.
"It must have been very difficult," Harry responded quietly; he remembered all too well what it was like to have your belief system completely uprooted.
"What, my father turning out to be fallible, or the coup?" Draco asked a little derisively.
"Both," Harry said honestly.
"The coup was easy," Draco said and Harry did not miss that his lover totally failed to mention his father, "it's in my blood. I've ruled my year for a long time and manipulating them was no trouble. To some of them I think it was a relief."
"It still took incredible courage and resourcefulness," Harry pointed out, unwilling to let Draco play down his contribution to the war
Draco snorted, but did not reply. Harry assumed the Slytherin was thinking, but he did not look up to try and read his lover's features. There was tension in Draco's body that had not been there before and it took a long time to flow away as Harry stroked his fingers along his lover's side.
"My turn," Draco eventually said in a falsely bright tone.
Now Harry did look up and there was definitely a hint of glee in his lover's eyes.
"Okay," he said in acceptance, "you earned it."
"Why did you go after Voldemort by yourself?" Draco's question was simple, but it lanced at a very private part of Harry's psyche.
The only people he had ever spoken to about his reasoning were Hermione, Ron and Poppy; not even Dumbledore knew why. By now the tale of how the Boy Who Lived had apparated alone into the presence of Voldemort and vanquished the dark wizard with one spell was legendary, but few knew exactly how or why he had done it.
"I flipped," Harry said with a stark honesty that surprised him. "I hadn't been very stable since my godfather was killed and Voldemort pushed me over the edge. You probably didn't know him, but Colin Creevey, the boy who used to follow me around with a camera all the time had a brother, his name was Denis. He never came back after Christmas that year, he was killed in the Leeds bombing. That was when I realised that I was going to end up watching everyone die if I didn't do something."
He paused to gather his thoughts.
"The prophecy said one of us would die by the other's hand and we couldn't live while the other was alive. Without the worry of being sane I had a revelation," Harry continued slowly. "Voldemort and I were connected from the moment I survived as a baby and it occurred to me that we were two halves of the same magical entity, so I looked up spells for transferring magic from one half of something broken into the other half. There're several of them in '100 housekeeping spells for the magical family'."
Draco took hold of his chin and made him look at his face, the Slytherin appeared shocked.
"Are you telling me you defeated the Dark Lord with a housekeeping spell?" Draco sounded amazed, offended and incredulous all at the same time.
Harry gave a little shrug.
"Um, yeah I suppose I did," he replied, although he hadn't actually ever thought of it like that. "I had to adapt it, but that was basically what it was. Anyway, do you want to hear this or not?"
Draco nodded and let him go so he relaxed back into his original position. Now that he was speaking he found his did not want to stop.
"I asked Hermione to teach me to Apparate since she was the only one who I thought could manage it," Harry returned to his story. "I told her it was because I was having nightmares about being chased and not being able to escape. I don't think she's ever forgiven me for that. No one seemed to notice I'd gone off the deep end, which probably doesn't say a lot for my mental state before that. When I had learned how to Apparate and knew my power moving spell I walked to Hogsmeade and used my connection to Voldemort and Legilimency to focus on him. It was easier than I expected and I Apparated straight to him. He was so surprised that he never even tried to defend himself; I grabbed him, cast my spell and sucked him dry. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up two months later."
Draco did not say anything for a very long time and Harry did not feel like reiterating any of his explanation, so he remained silent.
"That is the most foolhardy, ridiculously brave, completely Gryffindor thing I have ever heard," the Slytherin said eventually. "You had no idea if it would work; you did something I can barely comprehend when you Apparated; and it could have killed you anyway. What were you thinking?"
"That if I won no one else would have to die," Harry replied quietly, "and if I lost I wouldn't have to watch all of my friends being killed."
The words slipped out with brutal honesty and caused silence again.
"What was it like," Draco asked after a few moments, "killing him I mean?"
"Horrible," Harry replied openly. "I've told the others that I don't remember much after I cast the spell, but it's not true; I remember every second 'til the moment he died. Only Poppy knows that and you now of course. He tried to fight me, but the power he transferred to me as a baby called to his power and he couldn't stop it. It hurt and I thought I might explode. Poppy says in a way I almost did, but when he died everything just stopped. I wish I could forget it, but I can't, so I keep it locked away and I dream of it sometimes. Is there anything else you want to know?"
When Harry had first explained what he had done to Poppy a few days after he had first woken up, he had cried and sobbed, but now he spoke calmly, keeping the memories distant with practice efficiency. Occlumency was a useful talent to have learned.
"I think I've heard enough for now," Draco said after a moment and he sounded a little shocked.
They lapsed into a rather awkward silence and Harry did not know what to say to break it. Maybe it had been rather a heavy conversation for their first real exchange.
"Oh, bloody hell," Draco said suddenly, "I refuse to lie here with a completely naked Gryffindor and get depressed. There are better things to do."
And with that Harry found himself rolled onto his back and pinned to the bed by Draco's body. He just about had enough time to breathe before his lover covered his mouth and began to kiss him passionately. He gave in easily and wound his arms around Draco, very willing to surrender to desire rather than having to think.
It was not until a good few hours later that Draco dragged Harry out of bed and showed him to an en suite bathroom that was bigger than the prefects' bathroom at Hogwarts. Here he left him, telling him that he'd be back with some clothes once he'd cleaned up himself. Draco had also mentioned something about meeting his mother, which had sent Harry into nervous fits, making the whole process of bathing that much more important.
Somehow in his mind Harry had never factored Narcissa into the equation of himself and Draco, and he really did not know what to think. The only memory of the woman he had was of the Quidditch World Cup where she had been cold, not very nice, and a little scary. That he had fundamentally altered her son and single-handedly destroyed any marriage plans Draco's family may have had for him, was at the forefront of his mind as he walked back into the bedroom in nothing but a towel. He found Narcissa Malfoy sitting on the end of the bed in the one spot where the covers had not been rucked up by what he and Draco had been up to, and he thought his heart might stop.
His hand automatically went to his waist to check that the towel was completely secure and then he just stared because he had no idea what to say.
"Good afternoon," Draco's mother greeted evenly, "I apologise for intruding, but I wished to speak with you without my son, and Draco would be unlikely to leave you alone in my presence given a choice."
That begged the question 'why?', but Harry didn't want to think about that too closely.
"Hello," he returned politely, wondering if there was any way to escape.
"Draco probably believes I wish to curse you from the manor," the regal-looking woman continued calmly, "and although earlier today he may have been correct, I have decided to reserve judgement. He is remarkably protective of you given that he professes not to even like you; however, I believe that has changed as well."
The woman looked at him with the same steel grey eyes Draco possessed and they pinned him down just as well, although with Narcissa it was for an entirely different reason. Harry tried very hard not to squirm.
"Before today I was willing to make you pay dearly for what you have done to my son," Narcissa said openly, "he has been miserable from the moment he came home, but I believe I understand at least part of that now. I have not seen the look of joy on Draco's face which graced his features as you collapsed on our doorstep, since before his father was killed. For that I am willing to forgive a great deal. I also took it upon myself to listen to your conversations today."
The heat filled Harry's face instantly as he realised what Draco's mother must have also heard, but Narcissa appeared to be tactfully ignoring that for now.
"I have one question and one question only," she said pointedly: "Did you mean it when you told him you wished to learn to love him?"
In that moment, in Harry's mind, Narcissa went from the wife of Voldemort's right hand man, to a mother worried about her child, and it had the most remarkable effect on his psyche. He walked forward and looked the mother of his mate straight in the eye.
"Mrs Malfoy," he said slowly and firmly, "I would do anything."
Narcissa stood up and crossed what was left of the distance between them. She was a tall woman not that much shorter than Harry and at that moment he felt something akin to what he always felt around Molly Weasley; although he was the bigger in stature he felt the smaller presence.
"In that case, Mr Potter," she said, never letting his gaze go, "please call me Narcissa."
Harry was, quite frankly, stunned and it must have shown on his face because Narcissa smiled slightly before turning to leave.
"Harry," he managed to stutter, just as she reached the door.
Turning back, the poised woman inclined her head in a slight nod.
"Harry," she said and walked through the door.
For a long moment Harry was not sure if he was going to ever recover from the trauma of meeting Draco's mother wearing only a towel and he just stood there. In fact he was still standing there when Draco came charging through the door looking very worried.
"Harry?" the Slytherin asked somewhat hesitantly.
He turned and blinked at Draco, trying to sort out in his brain what exactly had just happened.
"Mum didn't hex you or anything did she?" Draco actually looked as if he thought this was a real possibility.
Harry opened his mouth, not sure what to say and closed it again.
"Harry?" moving a little closer the Slytherin now appeared very concerned.
"She told me to call her Narcissa," Harry eventually found his voice.
Draco went from worried to dumb-founded in under a second and dropped the clothes he was holding over one arm.
"Bloody hell," was the Slytherin's distinct opinion and then he smiled. "Mum's known people for twenty years who still call her Mrs Malfoy."
Then his expression became worried again.
"What?" Harry asked, not liking the look on his lover's face.
"She's probably planning the engagement party," Draco said and Harry went white.
By the time Harry had pulled himself into the very nice clothes Draco had appeared with, and his lover had straightened him out to a point where the Slytherin would be seen anywhere but the bedroom with him, Narcissa was nowhere to be found. Draco mentioned something about his mother being in her private quarters and since the doors were closed visitors were likely to find themselves in the lake behind the house, and so dragged Harry into the dining room. There Draco called up a pleased looking house elf and ordered more food than Harry thought they could possibly eat.
Two slices of game pie, a huge mountain of bubble-and-squeak, a selection of pickles, fours slices of turkey and three cups of tea later and Harry still wasn't finished. It seems that flying in a thunderstorm took a lot out of a Seraphim and he needed to replace the energy. Draco had been sitting watching him with what appeared to be interest since the Slytherin had finished a more normal amount of food.
Luckily Harry had not learned his table manners from Ron, so even requiring the calories did not lead him to shovel mode. Draco seemed quite happy to just look and the Slytherin smiled slightly every time Harry glanced up, but he couldn't quite tell if his lover was amused at him or simply enjoying the moment. He'd never seen Draco this relaxed and it was a little odd.
It was thoughts about exactly what he was going to say once his mouth wasn't full anymore, which kept his mind distracted and caused him to almost fall out of his chair when he heard a familiar voice.
"Oi, Harry," Ron was the last person he expected to encounter in Malfoy Mansion, "what were you thinking disappearing into a bloody storm?"
"Ron!" was about the most sensible thing Harry could find to say.
"I would have asked the same question, Weasley," Draco said, his usual disdainful tones back in place, "but we've been rather busy."
"Draco," Narcissa's calm tones came through the door, closely followed by the woman herself and the rest of those who had been at the Burrow, "please be polite to our guests."
Draco appeared shocked for just a second and then his mask was firmly in place; Harry did not like the separation he suddenly felt. Without thinking about what he was doing he scooted out of his chair and walked around to beside his lover. Having Ron and Draco in the same room was never a good thing and Harry was feeling strangely protective.
"Harry, Love," Molly Weasley came bustling over as if everything was perfectly normal and virtually the whole Weasley clan and a werewolf were not standing in the Malfoy dining room, "at least you look like you're in one piece."
Then she wrapped him in a hug before he could do anything about it and he found the breath being squeezed out of him.
"Don't your ever do that again, young man," Molly said sternly as she finally pulled back. "Twice in a mother's life is quite enough to see one of her children disappear into danger."
If he had been anywhere but where he was, Harry might have burst into tears at the emotion that welled up in his heart at Molly's words. He knew the woman looked on him as almost one of the family, but she had never said it quite like that before. Even after his brush with Voldemort she had had time to calm down by the time he woke up, and although she had given him a stern talking to Molly had not quite used those terms. As it was he managed to grapple with his feelings and kept some semblance of calm.
"Okay," he said in a rather tight voice, "I promise."
"You look like a right ponce, mate," Ron broke the mood completely with his forthright opinion.
It was the wrong thing to say and Molly spun on the spot.
"Ronald Weasley," the woman said in a tone that would have frightened Voldemort himself had the man not been six feet under, "how dare you. Harry looks lovely, and you will be polite while we are under this roof."
Ron went rather pale.
"Yes Mum," he said in a sheepish tone.
Draco could not keep the smirk off his face, but Harry didn't really blame his lover since Ron did deserve it.
"Harry," Remus said, walking into the room properly, "I was so worried. Are you okay?"
Now the guilt started inside him and Harry had to admit that he had done something very stupid by taking off into the storm. Rational thought had not had a lot to do with his actions, but now that logic was back in play he could not help but feel dreadful about putting everyone through so much worry.
"At least you weren't unconscious for two months this time, Harry," either Fred or George tried to lighten the mood.
"I'm sorry," Harry said quietly, "I had to do something. Thanks to Narcissa I'm fine."
Surprisingly he felt a hand on his arm and he looked up to find Draco observing him calmly and giving him support in a very Slytherin like way.
"My mother is a fair healer," Draco said politely and turned towards those in the room as if they were now worth his interest.
As several eyes turned to Narcissa she smiled modestly and moved to the table.
"Now that everyone is here," she said pleasantly, "why don't we have something light to eat."
With a clap of her hands everything on the table disappeared and the same house elf who had served Harry and Draco appeared. Narcissa bent down and talked quietly to the small creature that bobbed up and down excitedly before disappearing again. It was not long before the table was covered in even more food with settings for every person in the room. Everyone sat down eyeing each other awkwardly and Harry tried very hard not to squirm every time someone looked at him.
Quite frankly Ginny was the scariest since each time he caught her gaze she went misty eyed and smiled at him. It was most disconcerting to have one of the most feared chasers in the school Quidditch cup going all girlie on him.
"Please, help yourselves," Narcissa invited them all, "the house elves will be most upset if we don't at least eat something."
You did not have to tell a Weasley male twice and all the red heads dived in, although under their mother's watchful eye their table manners were impeccable.
"This is a wonderful spread, Narcissa," Molly said cheerfully, "it was awfully nice of you to invite us to lunch."
Draco looked even more stunned than he had when the Weasleys had appeared as Molly used his mother's first name. The Slytherin almost dropped the slice of meat he was putting on his plate and Harry reached over to him and squeezed his lover's knee in what he hoped was a supportive gesture. Too much culture shock in one day was getting to Draco.
"Not at all," Narcissa replied with a smile, and Harry would have sworn she and Molly had been friends for years if he had not known better. "Admittedly I was a little surprised to find Harry on our doorstep, but once the situation became clear I could not leave you all wondering about him. There is always so much food in the house at Christmas time that I thought a luncheon would be the perfect opportunity to meet everyone properly."
"Absolutely lovely," was Arthur's comment on the matter.
It was so difficult to tell what was the mask and what was genuine sentiment when it came to a Malfoy, and Harry knew so little about Narcissa that he simply gave up trying to read her at all. He was sure she would do anything for her son, and this seemed to be part of that.
"Mrs Malfoy," Remus said in his quiet, unassuming tone.
"Now, Mr Lupin," Narcissa replied, "I thought I asked you to call me Narcissa."
"Narcissa," Remus acquiesced politely, "and please call me Remus. If I do not appear too rude, I must say you are taking this remarkably calmly."
Narcissa smiled and nodded her head once.
"I will admit that when my son returned to me thoroughly depressed I had thoughts of keeping him here with me until he was recovered," the regal woman said, causing Draco to put down his fork and stare at his mother. This was obviously not something a Malfoy usually talked about. "However, then Harry arrived and it became quite obvious why Draco was so cowed. They simply cannot be apart."
As Harry watched, Narcissa's eyes glanced around the table before she looked back at Remus.
"I had a choice," she continued calmly; "reject any notion of Harry having anything to do with my family and see my son descend into misery, or accept Harry and all that this entails and allow the future to find its own course. I am finding this course of action to be far more pleasant than I was ever led to believe."
Harry let a smile slowly spread on his face. It took a lot to stun the Weasley clan into silence, but Narcissa had done so triumphantly. In truth she had done so to the whole table, including Draco, but Harry definitely gave her more points for his surrogate family. There was just a possibility that this madness might work.
"So, Draco," Ginny launched into the silence much to everyone's relief, "that last Quidditch game was incredible; so close, don't you agree?"
A Quidditch discussion between Gryffindors and a Slytherin; now this was going to be interesting and Harry felt his own darker side coming to the forefront as he sat back to watch then all try and be polite about it.
It was decided that Harry should spend the rest of the holiday at Malfoy Manor, to which news Ron has reacted rather badly. However, after Remus had taken Harry's best friend aside and had an undisclosed little chat, Ron had seemed much calmer about the idea. Harry could not say he thought Ron liked the idea, but his best friend did seem to support it. There were bound to be many conversations once they were back at school, but hopefully they would not be shouting matches.
So it was that Harry spent the next week with Draco trying to get to know the somewhat difficult Slytherin. What really surprised him was that under the cold exterior, which Harry was beginning to realise more and more was a mask of necessity, Draco was quite a normal human being. The blond Seraphim had some unusual habits, like colour coordinating his wardrobe, and spending twenty minutes each morning straightening out Harry's clothes before he would let him out of his room, but Harry could live with those.
It was not all sweetness and light of course; they had been rubbing each other up the wrong way for so long that they were bound to keep doing it every now and then. They had a huge, screaming row before the first day was out and stopped speaking to each other for three hours until Harry had searched out Draco, pounced on him, kissed him senseless and then said sorry, since in that instance it had been his fault. Extracting an apology out of Draco was like drawing blood from a stone, as Harry had found the next day when the shouting had been all Draco's fault, but then he didn't expect miracles. Draco seemed to express more by action than words at such times, and Harry chose to accept that as well as the mind blowing sex.
Harry learned a great deal about his mate in that week. He learned that Draco liked his tea dark with only a dash of milk in the mornings, and dark with a lot of milk later in the day; he learned that they would never agree on the pureblood vs Muggle-born issue even if Draco did not hold with his father's extreme beliefs; he learned that laughing at Draco's bed hair resulted in a tantrum on the part of his mate (they had given up the whole separate rooms idea on the second night); he learned that Draco had the most adorable pout when he wanted something from someone he did not consider an enemy; he learned that he was not the only one scarred by a childhood over-shadowed by Voldemort; he learned that Draco's extreme dislike of werewolves came from a violent near-miss when he was only five and it would take a long time for his lover to accept Remus; he learned that his mate was far more complex than he had ever given him credit for; and most importantly he learned that the need to be close to Draco was not the only motivating factor in his heart.
Harry was not well experienced with love; he had had little as a young child and his teenage years had not been easy either. He had loved Sirius in an instant when he had understood what his godfather had done for him, he had no doubt he loved Hermione and all the Weasleys, and he knew he loved Remus, but with Draco it was different. This would not be a love of brothers, or family, or friends; this would be a fiery love of passion, and a love that would shape every moment of every day. In a way it was a frightening love, but he could feel its beginning around his heart.
Harry had told Draco he needed to know him to love him, and he did not know everything yet, but he knew enough to understand that it would not be long before he did.
Draco had made a couple of rules the moment they had talked about going back to school. The Slytherin did not care what Harry wore when they were alone, or apart, but Harry was going to have to wear proper Wizarding clothes when they were to be seen together. This had resulted in a shopping trip two days before going back since Harry had plenty of Muggle clothes and school robes after having to re-kit himself from the growth spurt, but he owned very little to do with Wizarding attire.
In some way the clothes were not that different, but it seemed to be important to Draco, and the Slytherin did have a point that Harry wanted to be taken seriously by the rest of Slytherin house. Harry had countered that Draco would need to at least make an effort with the Gryffindors and had bought his lover a pair of jeans and a silk shirt for occasions where Draco was the one that needed to blend.
They were, however, very much in Wizarding attire when they were dropped off at King's Cross. Muggles might have thought they appeared a little old fashioned, but Harry knew, thanks to Draco's coaching that he was wearing an outfit that was all the rage in Wizarding circles. Harry felt a little over dressed, but Draco had assured him that that was impossible; underdressed, yes, but overdressed was simply a matter of attitude.
"I'll push our trolley," Harry said after one of the Malfoy house elves had stacked it for them.
They had nowhere near as much luggage as at the beginning and end of the year, but there was still a significant amount, especially with Harry's new wardrobe.
"Don't be silly," Draco said dismissively, "Fussy with deal with that."
That explained why the elf had been looking at him worriedly then; it was the one he had fallen on only a week ago.
"Draco," Harry said patiently, "remember the talk we had about Hermione, and house elves, and not being entirely rational on the subject?"
Draco lifted one eyebrow and just looked at him.
"Well Hermione will be on the station," sometimes he thought Draco did it deliberately, actually on reflection; he knew Draco did it deliberately. "Now I wore the clothes, but I will not risk a row with Hermione on the first day."
For a moment his mate appeared undecided and Harry thought they might be headed for a shouting match, which would be a great start, but eventually Draco nodded.
"Just don't expect me to lug anything around," the Slytherin said and turned towards the entrance.
"Wouldn't dream of it," Harry said and couldn't help but smile.
It was then that Narcissa chose to climb out of the luxury car. Draco's mother was still a bit of a mystery to Harry, since she was a surprisingly busy woman and had been engaged in social events most of the week. It seemed to be a Malfoy tradition to have a meal together in the evenings, which Harry had become part of, but the conversation was never particularly deep or personal.
"Well, my darling boy," Narcissa said, taking her son by the shoulders, "I am glad to be sending you off to school in better spirits than you arrived home. Make me proud, Draco."
As Harry watched, she pulled Draco towards her and kissed him gently on the forehead. It was the most emotive Harry had ever seen the two and he could not help feeling a warm glow at how deeply Draco was loved. He had also come to realise that Malfoys were not expressive people when it came to the softer emotions, but they were there.
It was when Narcissa turned to Harry that he was rather shocked. She walked over to him, took his shoulders in exactly the same manner as she had done with Draco and kissed him on the forehead.
"Look after him, Harry," she said very quietly and before he could gather his stunned mind she turned and climbed back into the car.
When Harry looked at Draco his mate was looking thoroughly pleased with the whole situation. Harry still didn't really know how to react and took hold of the trolley in an attempt to ground himself.
The wizard's entrance to King's Cross was much closer to platform 9 3/4 than the Muggle one and they bumped into very few people on the way. Since Narcissa had said her goodbyes at the car it was just the two of them as they walked through the barrier. Harry pushed the trolley into line to be loaded onto the train and then walked back to Draco.
By the time he had completed this simple task something very odd had begun to happen on the platform. The usual bustle was coming to a grinding halt and every eye, parent and pupil was firmly on both of them. It seemed that Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy standing together could bring Platform 9 3/4 to a complete stop.
"I didn't quite expect this," Harry said very quietly, not sure exactly what to do.
He had dealt with silences when he walked into a room before, but this was on an entirely different scale. The story of Harry's heritage and his assignation with Draco had been all over the Prophet, but it seemed that no one had expected to see them standing side by side ever again.
"I believe," Draco said as his eyes wandered over the crowd, "it may be time to make a statement."
"Statement?" Harry wasn't sure that was a good idea; he really wasn't good with words off the cuff. "You'll have to do it," he added quickly; "I'd probably mess it up."
When his eyes darted back to Draco from where they had been nervously dancing across the crowd there was a dangerous looking smile on his mate's face.
"If you insist," the Slytherin said and then Harry found himself dragged toward Draco by the front of his robes.
It took him a moment or two to realise that his lover had in fact just smothered his mouth with hot, needy lips, and then he acquiesced to the kiss and forgot everything as his hormones rose to the occasion.
The way Ron described later what the crowd saw on that platform was "The hottest, most bone melting kiss known to Wizarding kind. You could have been doing it beside the train as far as anyone with a sex drive was concerned." Harry spent the entire journey with a smile on his face, even when he had to go and sit with the Slytherins. That kiss was one thing he did not mind going down for in 'Hogwarts A History'.
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