A/N: This is the first fanfic I'm proud of. You know what they say: You're your own worst critic. But this one I'm proud of. And I don't normally write Harry/Draco. Updates will not be regular, or even that substantial, but they will come.


Chapter One - The Mark

By Green


The whole situation was extremely amusing, Hermione thought. She felt like breaking down into a fit of laughter every time Harry entered the room any more. His attempts at hiding it were rather pathetic, once you knew what was really going on. And Hermione certainly did.

She'd discovered the truth when Harry came down to the Common Room one morning before breakfast. Hermione had been waiting there for her friends, wandering aimlessly around the room when she heard Harry's heavy footsteps on the stairs. She'd looked up just as Harry passed through the door, finishing buttoning up his shirt. And Hermione had seen it. Had seen the mark just where his neck met his collarbone, a spot of flushed skin, dark against the rest of his chest. But he had covered it up quickly, fastening a tie around his neck.

"Morning Hermione," He'd said, eyes a sparkling emerald and lit up by his smile.

"Morning, Harry...." She eyed him curiously. He didn't appear any different than normal. But there was that mark on his chest that made all the difference in the world this morning, made everything not normal. She ignored it for weeks, watching carefully. Saw that he retired early every night, as he had been doing so for a year and a half now, and rose early too. She made pointed digs about his love life, which he ignored. Or very skillfully deflected. And yet it seemed like this whole masquerade was rather clumsily pulled off.

She finally realised that this could not go on. Harry had been tiptoeing around the subject for far too long. Well, he hadn't been tiptoeing so much as deftly side-stepping the issue. She was amazed at his powers of deception. Anyone who hadn't seen the mark wouldn't have known anything was wrong. Not wrong, exactly, just...not right.

He was happy, Hermione saw, extremely so. Much more than he had been two years ago. His eyes sparkled again, she realised, and his laugh came easily. There were moments when he would become somber and depressed and the tears would rise to his eyes-how could there not be? But on the whole, Harry was happy. And that was what made Hermione hesitate.


They were sitting around the common room one night, just the three of them, drinking pumpkin juice, half-studying and half-joking around, when Hermione decided that enough was enough. Harry was sitting with his head thrown back against the top of the sofa, smooth white column of his throat exposed. His eyes were closed, and a smiled rested on his face. With his head tipped back like that, she could see the start of a red mark, more vivid than the other she had seen all those weeks ago. It was stark against the perfection of his skin.

She reached out and undid his tie and unbuttoned his collar. He brought his head up and stared at her.

Ron's eyes were fixed on what he had not yet seen. It was clearly a bite mark, the impression of small, straight teeth clearly imprinted on Harry's chest. And a spot of flushed skin just next to it, that did not come from teeth.

Hermione raised her eyebrow, but Harry just stood, grabbed his tie out of her hand, drained his glass of pumpkin books, and walked away, up the stairs to the dormitory. Ron was still staring. "He lied to us," he said softly, and Hermione winced.

"No, he didn't lie to us..." She folded her hands on her lap, and forced herself to look straight at the redhead. "He refuses to tell us the truth."/


When Harry came down to breakfast the next day, he was fully dressed, and smiling. "Morning Hermione," he said, and linked his arm through hers as they traipsed down the hall with Ron. The other two exchanged glances.

At supper, Ron leaned over and whispered into Hermione's ear, "He's pretending nothing happened."

"He's not pretending, Ron." She looked over at the other boy, who was chatting with Seamus. "It didn't happen. He's in denial."

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