Authors notes: I want to thank my BETAs Koorime and ChibiBecca. I would also like to appologise if people start craving cookies oo; Oh, and this Fic is set in Bath, Wiltshire, my hometown, so sorry if it sounds like a travel brochure at times ^^


Chapter Ten

By Whisper


Harry curled up under his duvet running the experiences of the past day through his head, backwards, for some reason.

Colin Henderson. Bloody weird man. Drill and cat obsessed.

Walking back to the hotel in a daze.

Draco. Kissing him.

He rolled over onto his back and stretched, palms flat against the wall behind his head. That had been, well, a lot more than nice. He had often wondered what it would be like to kiss the Slytherin, but had never thought he ever would. It had always seemed to be one of those unattainable plateaus.

Obviously he had kissed and been kissed before, Cho in fifth year of course, a couple of times, but by the end of the year that had ended, and was now almost forgotten. He had even shared a few moments with Hermione last year, though it ended with them realising they were better off friends and had left him trying to figure something out that only Dean Thomas had been able to help him with.

Dean, only a few months ago, had been a short but rather passionate fling. Together they had learned a few things and could quite safely say they wouldn’t be turning back. Of course, only Hermione and Ron knew of that relationship as neither boy was ready to tell the world what they had discovered about themselves.

Over the past year he had had to put up with advances from girls and boys alike, all after him for a taste of his fame – something that had annoyed him greatly and he tended to send such people packing – some had been interesting and tempting, others downright gag worthy, but none at all had captured his heart in any way. He had found himself feeling quite lonely before Dean.

But when it came to Draco. There was something different there, he could feel it. His kisses were so tender, and there was something unspoken behind them, something deep inside, that Harry found himself longing to explore, something that seemed wanted to be found, set free. Something that was simply waiting for the right moment.

He lay like that for a while, his eyes closed, duvet half wrapped round him, just thinking about the feel of Draco’s lips, wondering if the other boy was thinking the same things. He didn’t really register the noise in the hallway, it was a hotel after all, there were always people moving about in the halls for some reason or other.

He found himself suddenly wondering what Ron and Hermione had thought of the article in the paper this morning. He sincerely hoped they would understand when he got to The Burrow and had to face them.

He rolled over onto his side, lost in thought and the remembered feel of Draco’s lips on his own, a stirring in his heart that he just couldn’t ignore.

He suddenly awoke a while later, startled out of sleep by something – wrong. He opened his eyes and looked around, unable to focus without his glasses.

The hotel was deathly silent and there was no light showing under his door. He was sure that just a second before he’d woken there had been the sound of a quiet thump preceded by a sickly green flash.

He lay still, listening intently, wishing he had his glasses on, wishing, more fervently, that he had his wand, his heart thumping in anticipation of – something.

As quietly as possible, he inched his hand toward the bedside table’s drawer. He stopped when his fingers brushed the handle, listening hard, once satisfied he then slowly drew the drawer open slightly. His finger tips brushed against his wand, and he had it in his hand a second later and his hand back under the duvet.

He heard stealthy movement outside the door and immediately closed his eyes. Panic beginning to rise in the back of his throat, Harry heard the unlocking charm muttered in a rough voice and the door swing inwards with the barest hint of a squeak.

There were the sounds of swishing robes and Harry knew he was dealing with wizarding folk and the only wizarding folk who visited him like this were Death Eaters.

The panic disappeared completely to be replaced with outright rage. How dare these bastards invade his, admittedly rented, personnel space? Again?

He heard a minute intake of breath, the breath taken before speaking, and he knew he had mere seconds to react. Tensing certain muscles, he prepared himself, waiting for what felt like an eternity for the right moment.

“Sopor Impero.”

Harry dodged the spell with his well tuned Seeker reflexes, startling the three Death Eaters he now saw outlined in moonlight. Before any of them could react, he was pushing through them, gripping his wand tightly, and making for the door.

“Lumos!” he muttered, holding his wand forth.

He didn’t know what that last spell had been, but he had decided the split second beforehand that he didn’t want to be around to find out.. He ran, hearing the Death Eaters running after him, to the reception area.

He ran across the entrance room and then started, looking wide eyed at the scene before him. “Shit. Oh shit, Oh Christ.” He panted for breath as the panic attempted to engulf his senses.

The expensive looking man had been at the desk this evening, and an old security guard sat by the doors.. They were both dead, one over the desk, staring glassy eyed at Harry, the other slumped in one of the comfy chairs, his eyes thankfully directed at the floor.

His heart pounding in fear, he turned as the Death Eaters entered the reception.

“Come on, Potter.” One of them rasped. “You’re making this harder than it has to be!”

 The voice was unfamiliar – but then, it had been two years now, Voldemort would have recruited more to his side, people unfamiliar to him. Another quietly said, “Silentium,” effectively stopping any noise from escaping the room.

Harry heard another intake of breath and braced himself, mind whirring.

“Morsus Expugno!” shouted at the same time by the third Death Eater as Harry yelled, “Expelliarmus!” The only spell he had been able to think of in such short notice.

The spells collided and did nothing more than spark, lighting the room as if it were daylight, for a moment, despite his lack of glasses, Harry saw the looks of hatred in the Death Eaters eyes behind their masks before the light vanished and, his mind finally working, he again yelled a spell, “Iacio Absenti!”

The lead Death Eater was taken off guard and slammed into a wall, his head hitting the hard and ancient limestone with a resounding crack that set Harry’s teeth on edge. The lifeless body crumpled to the ground as the two remaining Death Eaters rounded on The Boy Who Sorely Wished To Live.

They both cried together “Ligatio!”

Harry dropped to his knees, shouting “Munimentum Declino” at the same time. The Death Eaters’ dual spell was deflected and Harry bounded back to his feet shouting, “Prosterno!”

One of the Death Eaters went down, sliding across the floor into the wall, but the other shouted out “Crucio!” and Harry didn’t have time to dodge.

He doubled up, clutching his stomach, squirming in pain as the spell hit him. He remembered this pain; it was almost an old friend, he’d often had nightmares about it. He  dropped his wand as the pain washed over him, then dropped to his knees as the Death Eater shouted it again and a new, even stronger wave crashed over him.

The Death Eater shouted it again and his forehead hit the rug, but he didn’t notice the slight tearing feeling as the skin split, he knew only the pain that was rising in waves through his entire body.

He curled into a foetal position, clutching his stomach, tears and blood streaming down his face, unbidden and unnoticed, clenching his teeth to stop himself crying out and showing weakness in front of Voldemort’s servants.

Seconds before the pain engulfed him, making him pass out, he heard vague popping sounds as if people were apparating into the room.


Harry opened his eyes. He was lying in a comfortable bed, a familiar comfortable bed, but instead of moonlight, there was sunlight streaming through an opening in the curtains.

He blinked, and without looking, reached over for his glasses, hoping he would be able to reach them. He found them within seconds, picked them up and slipped them on so he could see.

“Do you always do that? Know exactly where they are, I mean?”

Harry looked over to where the voice had come from. Draco was sitting in an armchair in the corner, looking at him, worry etched into the lines of his perfect face. Harry realised where he was, it was Draco’s hotel room.

“You learn to always put things in the same place when you live in the dark for eleven years straight.”

He saw comprehension dawn in those beautiful pale eyes and slowly sat up, “What did I miss?”

Draco stood and moved over to him, sitting on the bed near his knees, “Just as you passed out Dumbledore’s Auror’s arrived. The two Death Eaters still conscious disapparated before they could do anything. The other one’s dead.”

Harry nodded and closed his eyes, then, before Draco could react, leaned his forehead against the blondes shoulder. Quietly he asked, “What else?”

“Moody brought you back here while the others cleaned up the mess. He woke me up, rather rudely if you don’t mind my saying so. He told me what had happened, and by the time we’d got back to yours, everything had been sorted out. I don’t know what they did with the Receptionist or the security guard though.”

Harry felt Draco’s arm move and then a slender fingered hand rest gently on his back, “They asked me to stay with you until you woke up. They even packed all your stuff for me to carry. Apparently you’re staying at my place from now on because the Death Eaters don’t know where I am.”

Harry nodded into Draco’s shoulder.


Draco gently lay Harry back down again as the boy closed his eyes, falling into much needed sleep. He pulled the duvet up and over the boys shoulder and then sat, silently watching him.

Over the past week or so he had nearly forgotten Harry was wanted by Voldemort and his followers, last night had served to be a particularly frightening reminder. Last night Harry had had to defend himself against three Death Eaters, and had killed one while doing so.

Draco had seen the dead man’s face when they pulled off the mask. He had been relieved, as he didn’t recognise the man. The Death Eater was obviously a new recruit as he hadn’t been much older than Tonks, but despite this, and even in the stiff, frozen, dead face, the hate had been evident.

Draco had found himself remembering such looks on his father’s features, often in conjunction with rants about the boy currently lying asleep in his bed.

For a long time afterward he had been sickly, even when carrying Harry’s meagre belongings, he had been in a slight daze. Moody had carried Harry the short distance, muttering all the while in his harsh gravely voice.

Once they were back at his hotel Moody had taken Harry over to the bed and tucked his unconscious form in as he put Harry’s things in the wardrobe. When he had turned, it was to find Dumbledore standing in the middle of the room, hands tucked into the voluminous sleeves of his light summer robes.

He had been quite shocked to find his headmaster standing there, but Dumbledore had only moved away, towards Harry, looking at him closely, one hand held out over his prone form before turning round and giving him a warm smile.

“He will not wake till late morning. Thank you, Mister Malfoy, for allowing this imposition upon your rooms.”

Draco had nodded, unable to think of anything better to do or say to the man standing only feet away from him, smiling once more, slightly gravely, before continuing, “Harry may be upset once he awakens, can I trust you to explain things to him?”

Again, he had nodded.

“I would ask one more thing of you. Keep an eye on him for me. We have given the hotel some protection, so you will be free of any danger within its walls, but I know Harry well enough to know that he will want to be up and out of here after he is recovered. It is at this time that I ask you to keep an eye on him for me, to attempt to keep him out of too much danger.”

Draco had stammered that he would, all questions on why the hell they were letting Harry stay in Bath after such an attack in the first place leaving his mind. He had watched Moody and Dumbledore for a second, preparing to leave, and as Dumbledore stopped, a strange smile on his face.

“If you can, please try and make him stay in bed for the rest of the day.”

Then they had both disapparated and he had slumped into the armchair in the corner.

And there he had stayed, watching Harry as he slept.

He looked down at Harry now, sleeping peacefully, and realised for the first time that there was blood on the taller boys face. How had he missed that? How the hell, after hours of simply looking at him, had he missed the trails of blood down his cheeks?

He stood, shaking his head at himself, and went into the bathroom. He dampened a flannel, grabbed his new pot of Healing Salve and moved to kneel beside the bed, near Harry’s head.

He put a hand on Harry’s shoulder and gently turned him onto his back so he could reach the wound on his forehead with greater ease. He began to clean the blood from the sleeping boys face, slowly and gently, until the wound itself was revealed. The gash turned out to be quite small, and he marvelled at the amount of blood, the flannel was covered in it.

When done he opened the healing salve and dipped one finger into it, it made his finger tingle, he closed the pot, placing it on the bedside table and then applied a thin layer of the salve to the wound. 

Harry frowned slightly in his sleep as Draco gently smoothed the salve into his torn skin, but he didn’t wake, and the frown soon vanished. Draco sat back on his heals; satisfied that Harry’s flawless skin was now back to normal.

After a moment he cleared everything away and sat back down in the armchair in the corner with a book. His long legs folded and tucked into the comfortable cushions as he settled himself. He glanced once more at the sleeping boy in his bed before opening the book.


Harry woke a long while later; feeling slightly refreshed, and looked blearily around. He wasn’t wearing his glasses, but recognised where he was nonetheless. He reached out and automatically and instinctively found his glasses then slipped them on as he sat up, running a hand through his tangled hair.

He looked over and saw Draco was sitting in the armchair, asleep. His head was nestled on his shoulder, an open book on his knees.

Harry smiled to himself, this was the first time he’d seen Draco asleep and he liked it, the other boy looked somewhat younger, gentler, his oftentimes cruel mouth was parted slightly to ease breathing, long eyelashes resting on his pale skin, his fine hair falling over his face as it would never have done while the boy was awake.

He rubbed his eyes behind the glasses, remembering the events of the previous night, remembering that he had killed a man and injured another. The hairs rose on the backs of his arms as he remembered the familiar pain that final Death Eater had inflicted upon him.

For a moment he buried his face in his palm, his glasses digging into the bridge of his nose, his eyes watering with unshed tears. He fought back the emotions that were stirring within him and gasped a breath, his shoulders shaking slightly with the tension of keeping it all in.

He squeezed his eyes shut with the effort of making it go away and then let his hand flop into his lap. He looked up and realised Draco had woken and was watching him, his head slightly tipped, as if he was trying to figure something out.

Harry watched as Draco stood up, crossed the space between them and sat on the edge of the bed. Harry sighed as Draco gathered him into his arms and he rested his head in the crook of the blonde’s neck. Like this, with Draco’s arms tight around him, Harry could almost forget everything that had happened the night before.


He took a breath and spoke, “How long was I sleeping?”

He felt Draco’s arms loosen slightly, but they didn’t move. “About three, four hours. You were knackered.”

Harry nodded and felt Draco move, “Dumbledore wanted you to stay in bed for the rest of the day.”

Harry’s eyes snapped open. “Dumbledore was here?” he pulled out of Draco’s arms and sat up, staring at him. Draco nodded, frowning slightly. “Yeah, he – well, he asked me a few things, made sure you were ok, and then told me to try and make you stay in bed today, before he and Moody disapparated.”

Harry blinked, stunned that Dumbledore had shown up. Of course, in some ways he wasn’t surprised by this fact at all, Dumbledore often did turn up to make sure he was safe after such attacks as last night’s one, but he was mostly surprised by the fact that at this time, Dumbledore had taken himself away from his duties.

He couldn’t figure it out; Dumbledore was too busy at the moment, why had he come to Bath? Harry ran a hand through his hair again, not quite ignoring the look on Draco’s face, trying to figure it out.

“I can’t believe Dumbledore came here. What was he thinking? He’s got way too much on his hands what with The Order and-” he checked himself suddenly, fearing that he had said too much already, and was acutely aware of Draco as the blonde stiffened.

He looked up into the silver eyes of one of the people many members of The Order still hated. He saw Draco’s eyes were a dark, shadowed colour he hadn’t seen before and sagged slightly as the suddenly cold boy stood up and crossed the room, running long fingers through hair that was normally perfect, currently mussed.

Harry silently watched him a moment, inwardly tormented by his sudden coldness, trying to figure it out. He stared down at his hands for a moment, looking at his open palm as they rested in his lap. He quickly realised Draco’s apparent mood swing was his fault, the other boy had obviously realised that Harry had stopped himself from saying something quite important and probably now felt that, after everything, Harry still didn’t trust him.

He looked back up, clenching his hands into tight fists as he did so.  Draco had his back to him and was standing in front of the mirror, applying a liberal amount of gel to his hair, sticking it back in place.


He swung his legs off the bed, tangling himself up in the thin duvet and coverlet. Draco didn’t respond, so he spoke while attempting to disentangle himself from the bed linen now firmly tangled round his legs and lower torso.

“Please don’t take it personally, Draco. We’ve been sworn to secrecy, I shouldn’t even have mentioned it. You know I’d tell you if I could.”

He felt the tension in the air lesson and saw Draco turn slightly, one eyebrow raised.

“He said stay in bed, I suggest you do so.”  The words were not unkindly; Draco’s pale blue-grey eyes were looking at him out of the mirror.

 Draco’s voice was lightly amused, there was no sarcasm or old malice in his words as Harry had been half expecting. He gave up trying to remove the duvet and coverlet and just sat there, looking at the other boy as he continued with his hair. Harry had never seen anyone be so meticulous over a hair style before. He found it vaguely fascinating.

“You should leave it down, your hair-” he stopped, mildly embarrassed, and looked at his feet. He pulled his legs back up onto the bed, finally managing to untangle himself, then brought his knees up and hugged them. He looked up when he heard Draco muttering a spell under his breath.

The blonde had his wand pointed at his hair, and a second later the gel was gone, leaving his hair neat, but completely loose. He’d just undone all his meticulous work in a matter of seconds.

“I suppose, just this once, I could leave it down,” he said quietly, his eyes once again looking at Harry out of the mirror.

Harry hugged his knees tighter and smiled into them, knowing that, in his own way, Draco had forgiven him.

Both boys were silent as Draco turned his hand to dressing and tidying the large room, they were both perfectly comfortable with the companionable silence that had descended upon them. Draco worked almost as meticulously on tidying as he had on his hair.

 Harry watched for a while, the house slave in him itching to get up and help, then squashed the feeling and Accio’d his new book and settled down to read, his back against the tall headboard.

The blonde was soon finished and ended by kicking Harry’s small suitcase under the bed and then sitting heavily at the foot. Harry watched silently as Draco reached over and lifted the book slightly so he could read the title.

‘Occlumency and its Most Recent Developments’

Draco’s eyebrows rose slightly, “Didn’t know you were into that sort of thing.” He broke the long silence with his old leisurely drawl.

Harry smiled, turning the page, “You didn’t think I was really taking remedial potions, did you?” Over the past year Occlumency had become a large part of his life and when he had spotted this book in Arcadia, he hadn’t been able to help himself and bought it on the spot. He laughed lightly at the look of astonishment on Draco’s face; evidently he had thought he was actually taking remedial potions with Snape for two years straight.

He closed his eyes, and the book, and leant his head back against the headboard. “I’ve been taking lessons in it from Snape since about halfway through fifth year.”

He felt Draco move further up the bed. “I didn’t take it as seriously as I ought to have at first; it’s what led to the attack on the Ministry. It’s my fault, if I hadn’t rebelled against Snape that year, the attack never would have happened and Sirius-” he paused, swallowing, and opened his eyes to glare accusingly at the ceiling, as if it had forced him to act in such a stupid way back when he was fifteen.

He felt Draco move again, the bed creaking in protest as he sat down next to him, so close that Harry could feel the heat radiating from his old adversary’s body. He glanced over and met the pale eyes as they looked at him questioningly.

“Sirius. As in Sirius Black?”

Harry nodded, “My Godfather.” His eyes filled with grief, a grief he thought he had overcome long before now. He blinked and looked back at the ceiling again. He couldn’t really figure out why he was telling Draco all of this, maybe it was some lingering guilt over his earlier mistake.

“I watched him die during the attack. I couldn’t do anything. It was over before I even knew what had happened.” He felt Draco turn to look at him and answered the unspoken question, “No, it was Bellatrix Lestrange.” As he spoke he glanced over in time to see a wave of recognition and mild horror pass over the normally neutral features of the blonde boy sitting so close to him.

“I’m sorry.” Draco’s voice was tense, filled with resigned grief.

Harry raised an eyebrow, “What for?”

The blonde looked at him and quite suddenly Harry found himself wanting to reach out and touch the beautiful, pale boy so close to him.

“For everything I and my family ever put you through.”

He gave in to the impulse at that moment and reached out; gently touching Draco’s left cheek with his right hand, brushing his finger tips lightly over the perfect, unblemished, pale skin. Almost imperceptibly Draco leaned into the touch and Harry saw him close his eyes.

He stroked his thumb over Draco’s lips, then moved his hand up and touched his impossibly soft hair, letting it fall through his fingers. He didn’t move when Draco moved closer, catching his hand in his own long fingered one.

A moment later their lips met in a slow kiss.

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