Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they belong to J.K. Rowling and those she chooses to share them with. I’m just borrowing them for a short time.

Notes: Flashback time…we’re starting the flashbacks partway through 7th year. Much snogging in this part. Ooh baby. I’m not sure about the rating, in the end, but hey.


Part 2

By Ivy Blossom


It must have been close to midnight when Harry heard someone moving at the upper end of the stairs. He was poised on the second step, heading up, and he froze, with one foot barely touching the marble. He was safely hidden under his invisibility cloak, but the darkness was heavy in the large, open, musty stairwell, and he couldn’t make out who it was. Hagrid had been moping; one of his favourite new beasts, a three-tailed African wildebeast, had been ‘liberated’ from his little stone house beside the forest, and was being housed, temporarily, in one of the large upper chambers of Hogwarts. Only until someone from the Ministry came to take him to back to West Africa where he belongs, of course. Hagrid worried that he was lonely, locked away up there, and Harry promised he would bring him the large, rough salt lick Hagrid had forgotten to bring earlier. It was heavy in his hand, pressed against his thigh.

He listened. He could hear frantic pacing, but he couldn’t tell if it was coming or going. He could hear the feet, slap slap, passing away from where above his head to the left. Taking a deep breath, he trotted quickly by silently up the stairs, and made a sharp right turn, and looked behind him.

At the end of the hall behind him he saw a group of unfamiliar-looking, barrel-chested men. "He’s this way." One of them said forcefully. The rest grunted in answer. The first man nodded, and began walking toward Harry.

He felt panicked. Not now, I can’t get caught now! he thought. How could they know that I’m here? He clutched the gigantic salt lick against his leg and shoved himself backward into the first available door, which was slightly ajar, closing it slowly behind him. It made no noise. Moving to the side of the door, back against the wall, he listening intently. He heard the footfalls outside and the heavy breathing of the large, strange men, but also another, softer noise in the room with him. He looked around, apprehensive.

He was in a small, windowless room, more like a closet than anything else. There were several small tables, some stacked chairs, a pair of old Quidditch brooms with most of their bristles gone, and, most strikingly, a small couch with a boy lying on it. It was just to the right of the door, barely two feet in front of him. The boy was lying on his back, one hand nearly touching the floor, the other open on his chest, palm down. He wore no robe, but was dressed all in black; an alternative to the invisibility cloak, no doubt. It was Draco Malfoy.

What on earth is Malfoy doing here? Harry was boggled. It was midnight, and here he was, fast asleep in a closet in the middle of a nearly-abondoned wing of Hogwarts. Before he had time to consider it longer, he heard the unknown other men stop in front of the door.

"Yes, right here." He saw the door open slightly, and a thick-necked head peer in, seeing Draco asleep on the couch. He rolled his eyes. Great. "When Lucius arrives he’ll relieve you of that." The man sounded annoyed. "You can wait for him here." There was a thump of a heavy hand rapping against the door. Draco awoke startled, and jumped up. "Be ready, young Malfoy!" the voice shouted. He looked around, seeming momentarily confused, and then he whole body tensed. Harry couldn’t imagine worse luck; here he was, locked in a room with Draco, invisible, but trapped. He wondered what some secret and probably evil purpose brought the Malfoys together at Hogwarts at midnight, clearly on the sly. Curious as he was to find out, he hoped that when Lucius opened the door and entered, he could sneak out, and leave the Malfoys to their father-son tete-a-tete. But for the moment he was trapped here. He leaned against the wall, hoping to stay as invisible as possible. He breathed as quietly as he could. Draco seemed suddenly to remember where he was, and sighed, sitting back down on the couch with heavily resignation, looking utterly dejected. He leaned back against the couch, head thrown back.

Harry remembered the first time he had laid eyes on Draco in Diagon Alley. He had been so small, eleven years old, fine and delicate, with a sharp face and pale skin. He had striking blonde hair and gray eyes like a thundercloud, so that his presence was constantly underscored with a smoky, almost ethereal glow. If Harry didn’t know better, if would feel that that glow was like a halo. When Draco turned those silvery, stormy eyes at you, Harry thought, you felt it, like a liquid metal hand reaching out and placing its cold fingers on your spine. Now, at age seventeen, Draco was still delicate, still fine boned. He’d grown into himself, filled up the space that waited to claim him, and his ethereal presence was magnified. His still gray eyes were darker, more damp, like thunderclouds about to drop their collective drops of rain down onto your up-turned face, more–

Harry suddenly realized that he was watching Draco cry. His eyes had become dewy, his Adam’s apple jerking up and down rapidly. He made no noise, except for his increasingly rapid breathing. Draco pulled his feet up onto the couch, and laid his chin on his knees, closing his eyes. Tears streamed down his cheeks. Harry noticed for the first time that he had tremendously long eyelashes.

He took no pleasure in watching Draco’s anguish; Harry felt as though he were violating some kind a sacred, private space, as if he had walked right into Draco’s head, and yet he could not turn away. When he heard the one, soft, almost imperceptable whimper, Harry felt his heart melt. No matter how cruel the beast, how could anyone not feel sorry for him when he was so trapped and hopeless? Harry presumed Draco had done something dreadful, or was about to, and steeled himself.

Outside the room, he heard sharp footsteps. Lucius. After some short words outside the door, He stormed into the room with his wand lit and his coat dripping from the rain outside. "Draco," he hissed. "Come here, boy." Draco seemed to shrink, looking painfully frail next to his tall, menacing father. In a flash, Harry saw a swinging arm, heard a dreadful thump, and saw Draco collapse on the floor. He struggled to stand, only to be thumped back to the floor again. Outside, he heard the grunts of the men waiting at the door. "Janus!" Lucius called out. "Wait there, Janus, I need a word with you. I trusted you to bring me this boy…" Eyeing Draco, Lucius hissed through his teeth, "Wait here. I’m not done with you yet." He was still pulling himself to his feet when Lucius hauled back and clubbed him with the full force, throwing him brokenly back to the floor. He stormed back out the room, leaving the door ajar.

For a split second, Harry considered slipping out behind him. He looked at Draco, collapsed and bleary-eyed in front of him on the floor, and he knew, with a resigned kind of knowing, there was only one reasonable option.

"Malfoy." He said, just loudly enough to get Draco’s attention. He looked confused. Harry parted the cloak and revealed himself. "Come here, I’ll hide you." A mixture of emotions passed across Draco’s face in a matter of moments; confusion, anger, embarassment, hope, and then a strange sort of non-chalance.

"You have a cloak of invisibility, Potter? Do you spy on me often? How long have you been here?" His voice was ragged. With his tear-stained face and a bit of blood dripping from his nose, Draco was still trying to maintain his typical pompous air.

"I got here just a moment or two ago. Do you want me to help you, or not?" Harry pulled the large salt lick out of his bag and laid it against the wall beside him. They heard sharp footsteps in the hall again. A spasm of fear crossed Draco’s face, and he moved toward Harry, who was leaning against the wall beside the door. Just as Lucius loomed back inside the room, Harry raised his arms, Draco took a step closer to him, and he surrounded Draco with the cloak.

Harry had his arms wrapped loosely around Draco’s shoulders, clutching the edges of the cloak. Draco’s breath was warm on Harry’s neck, and his hair grazed Harry’s cheek. Draco had one hand on his chest when he leapt into Harry’s cloak, and Harry could feel his elbow on his stomach. Draco’s other hand was pressed against the wall through the cloak just above Harry’s hipbone. Harry was suddenly very concious of both the Draco’s wrist and his elbow with each breath that drew their bodies temporarily closer, and then farther apart.

"Draco!" Lucius shouted. Draco cringed, and drew inches closer to Harry, Curling his head down toward Harry’s shoulder. Lucius stomped. "Gavin, you fool!" He shouted. "Get in here! Where is my boy?" They heard another set of footsteps. Draco moved closer again to Harry, who moved his arms tighter around him, closing the cloak safely over them both. Draco was trembling, whether in fear, shock, or pain, Harry couldn’t tell. He could feel Draco’s rapid breathing on his neck, his mouth now so close that he could feel his intake of air as well his hot breath. He felt a drop of liquid hit his collarbone; whether a tear or blood, Harry couldn’t be sure. He was shocked by the tenderness that he felt for Draco; seeing him so vulnerable had made Harry momentarily forget their long and antagonistic history. For the moment, they were two boys, one injured, both shaking and both afraid. "He’s escaped! How could you let him escape? What’s this?" Lucius was right next to them. He found the salt lick. Harry shifted very slightly away from Lucius to the left, pressing himself closer to the door, and Draco shifted with him, silently. He could feel Draco’s forehead touch his shoulder.

"Gavin, what is this? My son has disappeared, or turned into…this? JANUS! Gavin, find me Janus quickly, time is running out I haven’t time to play stupid games, you know the rest are waiting." Heavy steps clomped out of the room, and Lucicus followed softly after him with his sharp, crisp footsteps. The boys didn’t move for a moment, waiting for the footsteps to disappear down the hallway. Finally, Draco lifted his head, brushing his cheek against Harry’s. After another moment, he stepped back. Harry dropped his arms from Draco’s shoulders, freed him from his cloak.

"Well." Draco was red in the face, and fumbled a little. Harry saw that his nose was puffy and red, one of his eyes was swelling shut, and he was favouring one of his legs over the other. He was doing his best to maintain his composure, but was failing badly. Whether from pain, fear, or from shock at Harry’s sudden appearance or his willingness to help him or all of this put together, Harry didn’t hazard a guess.

He sighed. "Let’s get out of here. Best get back under the cloak, until we’re sure we won’t be seen." Draco looked at him gratefully for a moment, and then looked away.

"Yes, I suppose you’re right, Potter. It wouldn’t do for either of us to get caught tonight." His voice was ragged. He clearly was about to start in on another cry, but was withholding it as best he could.

Harry stepped out of the cloak and wrapped it around Draco’s shivering shoulders. "I’ll take the lead. I don’t think you’ll see so well with that eye." Draco went red, and Harry regretted mentioning it. He stood in front of him and pulled the cloak around his own shoulders, He could feel Draco’s body on his back. As he took a step, Draco yelped. "What is it?" Harry whispered. "My ankle," Draco grunted. "I think it’s broken." Harry sucked his teeth. "Well," he said after a moment, put your arms around my neck and lean on me. That should help a bit, but we’ll have to move slowly." Draco hesitated, and then did as he was told. There really weren’t too many other options. Harry felt Draco’s trembling arms around his neck, and momentarily thought about all the duels he and Draco had engaged in, all the spells thrown at each other. He touched the arms at his neck, and said, "You hold on to the cloak then."

He wondered for a moment if Draco would betray him. But how could he? If he dropped the cloak, he would make both of them visible, and he would lose his crutch and fall. And while Harry would get into trouble, he would probably get detention, but Draco would probably suffer far, far worse at the hands of his father. Harry decided that if ever he could trust Draco, it was now, when it seemed that it was his own skin that was at stake.

Together, they snuck slowly out of the room into the empty hallway. They could hear footfalls in the distance, and hurried as best they could. As he walked, he could feel Draco’s arms tighten and release around his collarbone, hands clutching at his shoulders and chest, and could feel Draco’s tired and broken body pressed against his back and his legs. Draco’s breath rasped against his neck. Harry reached a stairwell, unsure of whether to take it. He stood for a moment, thinking, and absent-mindedly stroked Draco’s arm. "We’re almost safe, Draco, just a set of stairs now, careful." One step at a time, with great wincing from Draco, they managed to get down the stairs and into a quiet corridor on the main floor. Sensing Draco’s exhaustion, he turned to one of the doors on his right, finding a quiet study. Harry was relieved to see a large, long couch there covered with pillows. He closed the door behind them and lead Draco to the couch.

"Here," Harry said, turning and removing the cloak from Draco’s hands, running his palms up Draco’s arms to his shoulders. The cloak dropped to the ground, and the two boys clutched each other. "Sit down here a moment. Let me see how hurt you are, maybe we can fix it for now."

Draco obeyed, eyeing Harry curiously. He lay down, propped up on a series of velvet cushions, half-reclined. Harry first looked at Draco’s ankle, tracing the swelling gently with his fingertips. It was badly swollen and turning a deep, angry colour that Harry could see spreading even in the half-light on the room. Draco flinched. "Sorry," Harry said. "It doesn’t look good at all. You’ll have to go to the hopsital wing." Draco’s shot him a look. "Not yet." He said. "Not until my father leaves. He have to leave shortly to apparate back for the meeting before 3am. That’s what always happens." He was getting his wits back now, though one of his eyes was swelling and crying incessantly. Rather than ask about this meeting, Harry shifted toward him, took out a hankerchief from his pocket, and began daubing at Draco’s eye. Draco looked at him calmly and steadily.

"What do you want for this, Potter?" He said this softly but matter of factly, as though Harry were not wiping his tearing eye, sitting on his heels in front of him. "Want?" Harry asked. Draco snatched the hankerchief and moped the blood from his nose. "Why was your father so angry with you?"

"Come on, Potter. What will it take to keep you quiet?" Just as he said this, they heard someone running down the stairs. "Harry, Quick!" Draco whispered. He motioned to Harry to grab the cloak. Harry nodded, and climbed, delicately, over and beside Draco, who threw the cloak over them both.

Harry found that he was face first into a pillow, one leg between Draco’s, in an attempt to avoid his bad ankle. He had one arm under a pillow, the other curled up on against Draco’s chest. He turned his head to breathe, and found that his lips brushed against Draco’s. He hesitated, feeling that cool, damp skin on his. One moment, two. Neither boy moved. Suddenly he felt Draco’s lips careful grab onto his lower lip, his tongue tracing a delicate line across it, and then let go.

Now, what, Harry wondered, was that about? He would have jumped up if he didn’t hear footsteps in the hall and angry shouting. But at the same time, he wasn’t sure, he just wasn’t sure. He barely moved at all.

Suddenly they heard the door open, and a light entered the room. Suddenly they could see, if only a little, under the cloak. They were both staring at each other. Draco’s good eye didn’t blink. His bad one was still crying. The light disappeared again, bodies wandered out of the room, and the door shut. Harry moved his hand up Draco’s chest and touched his face, wiping away those incessant tears. After a moment, Draco’s lips enclosed Harry’s, his tongue probed his mouth, twisting around his tongue, teasing his lips. Draco tasted of rich things, pumpkin juice, cloves, and the metallic taste of blood. Harry followed suit. Draco’s hand rested on the back of Harry’s neck, fingers in his hair, while his other hand landed on the bare skin of his hip. He slid his hand slowly up under Harry’s shirt, across his back. Harry broke out of the kiss, gasping at the sensations. Draco breathed into Harry’s neck, trailing his lips on that delicate skin, and laying small, wet kisses on his collarbone.

Harry had stopped thinking. He slid his hand down Draco’s shirted chest, across his stomach. Finding bare flesh, he traced his fingers up over Draco’s bare stomach, which quivered under his hand. Draco had smooth, soft skin, the way Harry imagined a girl’s skin would feel. His chest was hairless and heaving, his nipples hardening under Harry’s hands. Draco, lost in the Harry’s neck made a small, barely perceptable noise, a moan, and Harry was reminded of that sad, hopeless boy crying on the couch. He tugged Draco’s shirt up, and Draco wordlessly agreed and helped Harry pull it off over his head. Harry ran his hands over Draco’s torso, licked his nipples, then grabbed on to Draco’s lip with his teeth. Draco unbuttoned Harry’s shirt and pushed it off his shoulders, pulling Harry on top of him. Draco kissed Harry deeply, hungrily, burying his fingers in his hair, shifting his legs to bring Harry closer to him, and cried out in pain when he knocked his ankle against Harry’s knee.

"Careful." Harry whispered. He traced Draco’s face with his hands, ran his fingers through his hair, listened to Draco’s rapid breathing. What was he doing? He wasn’t sure. He didn’t know why, but Draco’s body was calling to him. He wanted to know it, to touch it, he wanted to comfort Draco, and know him like this, vulnerable, strong, daring, and afraid all at the same time. He wanted him, and didn’t recognize the feeling. He traced Draco’s delicate collarbone, kissing the bones where they jutted out, swirling his tongue in the hollows. Underneath his left nipple, Harry found the first slim, white scar. His traced it, kissed it, wondered where it came from. He ran his fingers over the boy’s body as he never had any body before, exploring where muscles rose and feel, where the resistance of ribs met soft, giving flesh, where skin creased, folding into hip, dipping into navel. He explored Draco’s body with his fingers, his tongue, his lips, his skin, and everywhere, more slim scars. When he found the seventh, eighth, ninth, and then began to lose count, he realized what they were; they were signs that Draco had been innocent once too. There was a time when in his innocent blood had been powerful. Harry had one famous scar, a scar that saved him, reminded him, marked him. Draco had dozens of secret scars, and each one had stolen away what innocence he had left. Harry touched each one tenderly, convinced, at least for the moment, that he could give back was had been stolen away from Draco with just the right touch.

Draco moaned as he felt Harry’s tongue, lips on his flesh, and felt his eyelashes, long eyelashes he had admired from the first time he saw Harry in Diagon Alley, brush against his stomach. He felt Harry finding his scars. He wondered if he knew, and realized that there was no way he could know, really. He remembered the first, the first he had a memory of, standing naked at midnight in front of a bonfire, a crowd, his father with a sliver knife slicing him quickly on his chest, catching the blood, his own scream, and tears. He was four years old. His blood mingled with the tongues of fire, which turned maroon and rumbled. He had realized then, and continued to realize, that his body was valuable, and that people he trusted, people he loved, would hurt him when they need him. But Harry needed his body too, Draco sensed that. But this need was different. He felt Harry’s response to these scars, when he began to realize what they might be. He was touched, charmed. Damn, Draco thought. Harry’s tenderness, his concern, his mere innocence in not knowing about these scars, not having them, broke Draco’s heart. Harry had a depth of innocence that had never been tapped, never could be. Recognizing it, he was not scornful; he was participating in it, he bathed in it, he felt regenerated in it. He made him tremble with a feeling he had no name for. Harry stroked Draco’s thighs through his trowsers and kissed him just above the buckle of his belt.

From outside, they heard steps again. Harry froze, looking down and realizing he was half out of the cloak. He sat up, pull off the cloak and readjusted it. Draco sat up too, shivering a little. Harry could see his form in the moonlight, his skin looking blue and rain-streaked like the window in the darkness. Shadows covered most of his face, and his mussed hair fell over his forehead. Harry grabbed up their clothes from the floor and stuffing them under the cushions. The footsteps, still at a distance, sounded as though they were approaching from the right. Harry took Draco in his arms and wrapped them both in the cloak, urging him to lie back.

The footsteps got closer. They could hear voices outside. "Gavin!" It was Lucius. Harry could feel Draco’s skin turn cold. That night he had begun to understand why Draco might be so afraid of his father. He loosed a hand and ran it through Draco’s hair, down his jaw, Draco’s earlobe between his lips. "Gavin, that boy has escaped me AGAIN. Lord Voldemort will be very angry, do you know what that means?" Harry took a sharp intake of breath. Voldemort? "If there’s no Malfoy child in the new Death Eater ranks tonight, Voldemort will question my loyalty! That fool! That traitorous boy!" The footsteps passed them in the corridor outside, and disappeared somewhere toward the front hall of Hogwarts.

Draco felt limp in Harry’s arms. After a few moments, he sighed heavily. "He’s gone to Hogsmeade to apparate now," he whispered.

Harry frowned. "You were supposed to become a Death Eater tonight?" It was a question, but he already knew the answer. Draco had always made it clear that he was in support of Voldemort; it was only him and his friends who cheered Voldemort on when he had returned, after he had almost killed Harry. There was no question that Lucius was a Death Eater; no one had expected anything less from his son.

"I was supposed to get my Mark." Draco said this quickly, cockily, not keen to discuss it. "Aren’t you pleased, Potter?" His voice went cold and he sat up, shaking Harry off him. "I betrayed my father, I avoided him twice, he wants to take me from Hogwarts before I finish the term, but I don’t want to. I ran from him like a coward just now and I won’t be at his side with Voldemort tonight." He moved to touch his ankle, grunting unhappily at the pain.

"Draco." Harry put a hand on his shoulder. Draco shuddered and closed his eyes. "What, Potter? What more do you want from me? Wasn’t this enough to keep you quiet? What else do I need to do?"

Harry’s jaw dropped. He sat back in the darkness, suddenly feeling very cold and very naked. Did Draco kiss him blackmail him? To keep him from talking? He felt sick to his stomach. What kind of spell was he under? Why did he want to kiss him in the first place? Malfoy is a guy. He slid his hand off Draco’s shoulder and dropped it limply into his lap. What is happening to me? Why did wish he hadn’t spoken?

Draco rolled his eyes at himself, keenly feeling the loss of Harry’s hand. He had always admired Harry; even as he hated him, he had admired him. He knew Harry didn’t respond to him in order to take advantage of his weakness, his sadness, his injury; he knew it, if only for a few moments. He was even starting to understand that Harry simply wasn’t capable of using him the way that Draco himself had used people, the way he had been used. Harry seemed to believe that beautiful things, intimate things, couldn’t be corrupt or corrupted. Draco, on the other hand, was only too aware of the innate corruptability of everything, especially beautiful things. Sex could be a means to an end, a tool, a method of exacting a price. He had learned this long ago. His own physical response, his own desire to be touched had been used against him, and he had used it against others. But this, this was different.

The last few minutes (how long had it been?) had been intense; if Harry had asked him, chin on his belt buckle, the taste of his scars in his mouth, if he needed him, wanted him, even if he loved him, Draco would have been truthful. He had felt it when he saw Harry appeared in a flash of emptiness; he had felt it when he could feel Harry’s stomach pressing into his elbow under the cloak; he felt it even more profoundly when he clutched at Harry’s chest, his human crutch. When Harry’s lips brushed his, his body so close, Draco became lost in this strange, powerful, completely foreign sensation. He forgot–temporarily–that it could be any other way. Now, distanced from that intimacy Draco felt scared, suspicious. He didn’t want trust Harry anymore. He didn’t want to have to depend on him. He didn’t want to look into those eyes and hope that he saw something in them that he recognized in himself. He wasn’t grateful. He’s seen me cry, Draco thought. How humiliating. Now here he was, half-naked in front of his enemy. I hate him.

"Draco," Harry repeated firmly, sadly. Draco swallowed his feelings of disappointment, of longing, of sadness, of guilt in his familiar way as he felt Harry leave the couch. "You’re going to leave me here now? How’s that play with that Gryffindor honour, Potter?" Draco snapped. He felt far more wretched than he sounded.

He heard Harry sigh heavily, and looked up at him. The moon was gleaming through the window, projecting a silver-blue rain pattern on Harry’s skin. He is beautiful, there is no question. When Draco looked at him, he saw himself all over him; his fingers in that mussed hair, his lips on that neck, his tongue on those lips. He watched Harry stand in the moonlight, looking through the long, narrow, leaded window behind them, and shiver a little in the cool air. Harry stood there, covered with Draco’s fingerprints, his marks, his skin held this memory of him, but Draco was painfully aware that Harry was not his, and not under his control. "No," He said, in that same sad tone. "I’m not going to leave you." He paused, balling his shirt in his hands. Draco watched his muscles moving in his chest. He tried to stand up, but, finding his ankle increasingly worse, he failed. "Tell me, Draco." Harry stated simply. "Do you really think…" he didn’t know how to word the rest of his sentence.

Draco sighed, leaning back. "Don’t make me get sensitive, Potter." His voice sounded softer and more apologetic when he had intended to sound sarcastic, but watching Harry like this, seeing his phantom self entwined with him, broke down his nonchalant guise. Harry’s face turned toward him. Draco was shocked at how nervous he was, being looked at. He pretended to look down at his ankle.

Harry sat down again, so close his was almost nose to nose with Draco. His eyes held a question, but he said nothing. If you don’t want this, Draco, he thought, then don’t respond to me. Don’t kiss me, and then this will be over. He brought his hand to Draco’s chin, forced him to look him in the face. Harry looked into Draco’s stormy grey eyes. He looked all at once defiant, pleading, and afraid. He closed his eyes, unable to bear Harry’s intense, honest, sad stare. Harry leaned into him, his lips less than an inch from Draco’s, slightly parted, breathing slowly. Draco felt that breath, he could feel the warmth of those lips but not could not taste them. Part of him broke. He moved that crucial inch toward Harry, kissing him violently. Well. Harry thought. Now I know. Draco lies when he’s afraid. He kissed him without rebuke.

Harry dropped his shirt to the floor, enveloping Draco in his arms. "Harry," he whispered, softly, gently, a tone Harry had never heard him use. His voice, without malice or deceit behind it, was musical, careful, grave. That moment was like crystal, and Harry was afraid to break it. He laid one careful hand on Draco’s stomach, caressing him gently. Draco shuddered. "Lie down, Harry," he said raggedly, sadly, desperately. Harry looked into his eyes. They were clear, open, afraid, certain. Draco had remembered how much he did not hate Harry Potter.

Harry lay down, as Draco shifted himself (carefully, wincingly, and with some help from Harry) on to his side, propping himself up on an elbow against the couch. "I am full of grace, am I not, Harry?" he whispered. Harry smiled at him. "Am I not a vision of beauty?" he said out loud, pointing at his eye. Harry almost laughed. "You are, indeed, Draco," he said. "You are indeed." His joke turned genuine, and Draco knew it. He is so good, even to me. He kissed him softly, playing with his free hand over Harry’s chest, his stomach, feeling Harry’s heart beat faster, his body swaying with his hand. Draco moved his head down, and took one of Harry’s nipples into his mouth, sucking at it, licking circles around it, teasing its sensitive tip. Harry moaned, and Draco smiled into his skin. He felt the tight smoothness of Harry’s flesh, clean of marks and scars, like a newborn.

"Don’t be afraid now," he whispered, perhaps more to himself than to Harry. While he toyed with Harry’s nipple, Draco ran his fingers delicately over Harry’s body, watching him tremble. For a boy who had spent most of his life in acts of cruelty, Draco had a surprisingly gentle touch, and now, lying beside the Boy Who Lived, he enjoyed the incredible responsiveness of Harry’s body. Like every other time in Harry’s life, he responded with his entire self, with a gravity and honesty that Draco found humbling. You make me feel so brave and so scared at the same time, he thought. How do I say goodbye to you?


They stood under the invisibility cloak in front of the hospital wing. "What will you tell her?" Harry asked, looking down at Draco’s purple, swollen ankle.

"I’ll tell her I kicked the bedpost and fell out of bed," said leisurely. "And you? What are you going to tell Weasley?"

"He won’t notice any difference. I was supposed to be delivering something for Hagrid tonight anyway." He shurgged. He wondered if he answered the right question.

Draco turned and looked at him, pulling off the invisibility cloak. He rose up to his full height, wincing on his broken ankle, looking Harry in the eye, embarassed, sad, scared, haughty, and proud all at once. Harry smiled, and covered himself in the cloak. Draco beckoned to him with a short motion of his hand, and Harry approached him, invisible, meeting Draco’s lips in one last lingering kiss. Draco stroked his cheek, broke away, and limped into the hospital wing. "Madam Pomfrey!" he shouted. Harry waited until he saw her arrive at the door, tut-tutting. Then he slipped away, back to the Gryffindor tower.

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