Author's Notes: Thanks go to my beta and to all those who sent feedback about the original draft of the fic at schnoogle or on my LJ. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Gold Tinted Spectacles
Chapter 39 - An Ending
The exams were over, the term was almost at an end and there was nothing to do but relax. It felt good to have absolutely nothing to worry about for a change and just for a while the seventh year pupils tried to forget that they were going out into a world at war. The Wednesday before the leaving feast found a large percentage of the Gryffindor seventh year (plus their very own Slytherin) sprawled on the grass in the grounds of Hogwarts. Ron and Neville were playing wizard's chess while Seamus unhelpfully pointed out moves, Hermione was reading a book and Lavender, Harry and Draco were enjoying the warm sun.
Draco was leaning against a tree with Harry's head in his lap and his finger's absently running through his lover's nearly black hair. His soul mate had fallen asleep a few minutes earlier, but Draco was not about to let any of the other's know because Seamus would undoubtedly do his damnedest to wake him up. In the Slytherin's opinion Seamus was an idiot, but at times he could be an entertaining idiot so Draco put up with him, however, today he was not going to let anyone disturb Harry.
The incident with Blaise had opened a few old wounds for The Boy Who Lived and he had woken both of them up twice since with nightmares. Draco was still having dark dreams of his own thanks to Lucius' treatment, which meant over the last week sleep had been in short supply. If Harry had managed to put everything aside and fall asleep in the sun there was no way Draco was going to let anyone wake him up.
"So what's everyone doing for the Summer before we go out into the big wide world?" Seamus suddenly turned from watching the game of chess and asked the group loudly.
Harry shifted on Draco's lap, but did not wake completely and the blond youth glared at the Irish pupil.
"Sssh," he hissed quietly, aware that his plan of inaction was no longer viable, "you wake him and I'll hex you."
"Ah, is little Harry asleep?" Seamus said little aware of how close he was walking to a fine line.
Only one person had been stupid enough to ever test to see if Draco was serious when he issued his threats, and the Irish seventh year did not seem to have learned from his last experience. Boils and Jelly legs at the same time could not have been pleasant, but Seamus did not appear to remember. Draco narrowed his eyes at the Gryffindor and had begun to formulate a plan of attack when someone made it there first. There was a dull thud as Hermione's book hit the Irish youth on the shoulder.
"Stop being a prat," the young woman said in a low tone, "Harry needs all the sleep he can get."
From the glare Hermione sent Seamus, Draco was pretty sure that the walls of Gryffindor tower had not been quite thick enough before the two soul mates had begun to habitually put up silencing spells around their room at night.
"Sorry," Seamus said in a much softer voice, "the sun's getting to me."
Draco bit down the retort that came to his mind: the last thing he wanted right now was an argument. Harry had relaxed completely again and that was all that mattered.
"But anyway," Seamus continued in the same quiet tone, "is anyone doing anything nice when they go home?"
"My parents were talking about going to Crete," Lavender said in an equally hushed voice as she turned over and leant on one elbow, "but with everything that's been going on Dad might not be able to get away."
Draco let the conversation roll over him, not really listening to it as he relaxed with his lover. Harry's sleeping mind was calm and although Draco could not reach out and touch his soul mate's thoughts when he was not awake it was still comfortable to feel them flowing along gently. The young man put his head back, closed his eyes and let himself drift in a half doze barely aware of what was going on around him. He was brought back to the present by the sound of his name. Draco opened his eyes again and found Hermione looking at him questioningly.
"Sorry, I wasn't listening," he admitted quickly.
"We were just wondering what you and Harry will be doing after term ends," the young woman said quietly. "Is it back to the Dursley's?"
Draco opened his mouth to reply and then realised he didn't actually have an answer. The last two months had been so incredibly crazy that just making it to the end of term had seemed like a dream at times and they had not thought about what came after it.
"I don't know, I doubt the Dursleys would have us back, and the Manor wouldn't be safe," he replied eventually, "surviving to the end of the year seemed like such an unlikely idea that we forgot to plan for after that."
If it hadn't of been true it would have been funny.
"I expect Dumbledore will have it all worked out," Draco continued with a small shrug, "I have a feeling he has our lives planned out until the day we die. It's not as if either of us can exactly head straight into the workforce."
"You can always come and stay with us," Ron said generously, "Mum loves guests."
At one time the idea of spending more than a few seconds in a house full of Weasleys would have made Draco shudder, but now he smiled.
"I think I'd rather share Lucius' cell," he said just to keep up appearances, but the genuine smile had rather blown that comment out of the water.
Ron just grinned, obviously taking the non-verbal signals from Draco rather than the words that came out of his mouth.
"Gran hardly lets me out of the house," Neville complained quietly. "She thinks You Know Who is going to turn up and kidnap me at any moment."
The group went back to chatting and Draco went back to relaxing. He had not been joking when he told the others he thought Dumbledore would have his and Harry's Summer planned (and then some) and for once he could not be bothered to try and out think the old man. The year was ending far better than he could ever have thought when he started it and that was as far as he was willing to think it through just then.
It was about ten minutes later that Draco felt a change in Harry. His soul mate's unconscious mind had gone from a nothingness flow to something that much more resembled waking thoughts: Draco knew that Harry was dreaming. At first he did not think anything of it; sleeping and dreaming were usual bed partners and he let his mind continue to drift, but gradually he began to realise that Harry was not just having any dream. Small shots of alarm and then fear began to permeate his soul mate's mind and Draco opened his eyes to look down at his lover. A little frown had developed on Harry's sleeping features and with a sigh Draco knew that his soul mate was entering a nightmare.
"Harry," he said gently and shook his lover by the shoulder.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw Hermione look over and he gave her a don't worry look. Harry was a light sleeper these days, it came with the territory of nightmares and he stirred as soon as Draco nudged him. The Hecatemus' green eyes opened and he blinked up at Draco still sleep dazed.
[You were dreaming,] he told Harry in explanation.
[Oh, thanks,] his lover replied moving slightly and glancing over at where the other Gryffindors were talking. [Did I miss anything?]
[Lavender might be going to Crete this Summer,] Draco replied irreverently, [but that was the most earth shattering news that was revealed whilst you were asleep.]
Without really considering what he was doing, Draco started running his fingers through Harry's hair again. His lover had silky hair even if it was thick and unruly and the blond youth enjoyed playing with it. In fact it seemed to be a shared habit: Harry always seemed to end up with his fingers in Draco's hair as well, not that the blond wizard was complaining; Harry had very dexterous fingers. In response to his ministrations his soul mate made a small sound of pleasure and closed his eyes again.
There was a flicker of movement from their group of friends and Draco looked up to see Seamus quickly looking away with a slightly pained expression on his face. The others were still talking and no one else seemed to have noticed. A small smile tugged at the corners of the Slytherin's mouth as mischief entered his head. With cheerful abandon Draco set about making sure Harry continued to express his enjoyment. The rest of the group did not appear to be paying attention, but every time Harry made a sound Seamus shifted slightly. The couple of times the Irish Gryffindor glanced in their direction Draco schooled his face to appear as if he was not remotely interested in anything but Harry.
[I know what you're doing, you know,] his soul mate's voice pointed out cheerfully in his head.
[You don't seem to mind,] was Draco's response.
[What can I say,] Harry said lightly, [I am a slave to your whims.]
Draco had to try very hard not to laugh out loud. The grin that appeared on his face seemed to be the last straw for Seamus.
"Would you two mind?" the Irish youth said a little desperately.
"Mind what?" Draco asked innocently, an expression that hadn't worked with anyone who knew him since he was eleven, but still came in very useful at times like this.
"Can you not keep your hands off each other for five minutes?" Seamus complained mournfully. "Or at least tell Harry to shut up."
The Slytherin affected a look of mild shock.
"I don't know what you mean," he said and felt Harry trying not to break into a fit of giggles.
"I'm begging you," Seamus said, obviously aware that he was being teased, "some of us don't have special dispensation and hence haven't been laid all term. The vocalisations are not helping."
The rest of the group were looking amused rather than sympathetic. Draco looked down at Harry who opened one eye and peered up at him.
"He thinks that was vocal," he said with an unrepentant grin. "That wasn't vocal," Draco continued, looking up at Seamus, "now vocal is why we put up the silencing charms for when ..."
"Do you have any shame at all?" Seamus sounded rather desperate and Harry finally broke out laughing.
Draco pretended to consider the question for a few moments and then said in a very reasonable tone, "No."
The Irish Gryffindor groaned and several of the other's laughed.
"Give up, Seamus," Harry warned good-naturedly, "he's a Slytherin; you will lose."
Draco ran his hand through his lover's dark hair again just to underline the point. Seamus threw up his hands in surrender and then much to Draco's surprise Harry sat up looking at his watch.
"Hell, I'm late," the young wizard said pointedly, "sorry guys, gotta go. Draco, I'll see you later."
And then with a peck on the cheek for his lover the great Harry Potter was gone in a flurry of robes.
"Where's he going in such a hurry?" Ron asked with genuine curiosity.
"I have no idea," Draco admitted openly, "and I promised not to ask."
That made him the centre of attention.
"It's the closest we can get to a secret," he said calmly, "I've no idea what he's up to, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to find out soon."
It had been going on since just after they had recovered from the kidnapping and Draco honestly did not know where Harry disappeared to every so often.
"And that doesn't bother you?" Neville sounded genuinely surprised.
"No," Draco replied honestly, he trusted Harry completely and the fact that his soul mate was going to the effort of trying to conceal something from his was actually quite alluring. "By the way, Longbottom, check mate in three moves," he pointed out, cutting off the subject firmly.
In six hours there would be the leaving feast where Dumbledore would announce the winner of the house cup and then they would eat and it would all be over: their school career. When Draco had finally asked the headmaster if he had plans for him and Harry, Dumbledore had simply said that it was in hand and not to worry. Surprisingly he was trying to do just that; he was determined to enjoy this last celebration.
When Harry had entered the Gryffindor common room almost glowing with excitement Draco had been pretty sure that whatever his soul mate had been up to over the previous weeks was about to be revealed. Harry had dragged him upstairs to their room and was now standing in front of him looking animated and nervous at the same time. He appeared to be trying to figure out how to do something.
"Well we can stand here in silence until the feast begins," Draco said with a laugh as his lover failed to speak, "or you can tell me why you're wound like a spring."
"I've been researching something," Harry finally said, the excitement he was feeling spilling down their bond like as invigorating stream.
Draco raised an eyebrow at his soul mate: he had known that something like that was going on. Harry took the hint.
"I wanted to know if there was anything we could do to make sure it never happens again," the Hecatemus was not being particularly clear, but from the stab of remembered pain that went through Harry as he spoke, Draco knew what he was talking about. "I didn't know if it was possible, but I found it and they all helped me and it's done."
The last part was too much to work out for even Draco's sharp mind.
"Harry," he said with an amused frown, "you're making less sense than usual; how about from the beginning?"
For a moment Harry looked as if he would start talking again, but eventually he fished in his robes and brought out a small box. The Hecatemus felt like he was about to burst with anticipation as he handed the object to Draco.
"Open it," he said.
Draco could feel the magic around the box before he even opened it, but he did as he was told. His mouth let out a small 'Oh' at what he saw. Sat on dark green satin were two rings, each made out of what looked like silver and carved with intricate designs. One showed a dragon chasing its own tail around the ring and the other was a leaping lion; they were exquisite.
"They're charmed," Harry said quietly and moved so the two lovers were only inches apart, "a protection charm. They shield against Dissaepio Iugum: the magic is woven into the metal."
Draco didn't know what to say: he was completely overwhelmed by what his soul mate had done.
"You made these?" he said quietly, half stating and half questioning.
Draco didn't need to see Harry's nod to know the truth: these rings felt like his lover. Harry had poured himself into the metal and Draco could not express how that made him feel.
"The Professors helped," Harry felt as if he was overcome with a sudden need to explain, "Dumbledore found the metal for me and Snape purified it; McGonagall helped me with the Transfiguration spell, but yes I made them. Couldn't do the last bit with a wand; the spell was designed by a Hecatema so only we could do it. McGonagall's been letting me use her office in case I blew anything up."
Draco put out a finger and silenced Harry as his lover spoke nervously.
"They're beautiful," he said, showing Harry exactly how he felt and feeling the love he sent mirrored in his soul mate. "So are you going to put mine on for me then?"
For a moment Harry was still as he held Draco's gaze and then he picked up the lion from the box. Taking his left hand gently Harry slowly slipped the ring on Draco's third finger.
[I will love you forever,] Harry's voice said sincerely in his mind, [and I will never be parted from you again.]
Draco took the dragon ring from the case and held Harry's hand. The silver band slipped onto his soul mate's finger easily and then Draco looked into his lover's eyes.
[Forever,] he echoed Harry's words.
Draco felt the magic run through his body the moment the exchange was complete and it occurred to him that if felt incredibly like the first time he had touched Harry when they bonded.
"Harry," he said as his vision blurred suddenly, "did your research mention anything about after effects?"
"Um, I don't think so," the Hecatemus replied as Draco felt the disorientation mirrored in Harry and they made a grab for each other.
Draco's legs went first and he sank towards the floor followed quickly by Harry who was having similar trouble and could not support Draco's weight as well as his own. The magic was coursing through both of them and Draco knew it would do no good to resist it.
[If we miss the feast because you forgot to read the last paragraph,] he said as everything but Harry blurred out of his vision, [I will kill you.]
[I'll help,] his lover replied and then Harry's green eyes rolled up into his head.
Draco knew they were both collapsing onto the floor but there was nothing he could do to stop it and the best he could manage was keeping a hold on Harry. He absently noted that the stone was cold and then his conscious brain shut down.
End of Chapter 39
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