Recipient's name: For celandineb
Summary: All fairy tales start with 'Once Upon A Time', but Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter never followed the rules....
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and its characters are copyrighted to J.K. Rowling and her licensees, and their trademark belongs to The WB. No copyright and/or trademark infringement is intended.
Note 1: Part of hd_holiday 2006. Written for celandineb. Her request can be found at
"You're late." The accusation was delivered in Draco's best aristocratic drawl.
"You're early, and you look like shit," Harry answered.
"I'm sorry, but searching for an hourglass while hiding said search from an evil Dark Lord isn't my idea of fun. What is your excuse, Potter?"
Harry sniggered. "Never miss the chance to insult me, do you?"
"I thought it was part of our bargain," Draco answered, before sitting – or more accurately slumping down the couch. "Weasley, Granger."
Harry looked at the blond and frowned. "Are you all right?"
Draco nodded. "Just tired. I'd like to go to sleep for the next day or so, but we have work to do. Did you find the locket?"
"We have," Hermione said coldly.
"Good," Draco answered, still looking at Harry. "I think I've found a way to destroy them… without killing you," he finished with an amused smile.
"That is always a good thing," Harry answered. "Are you sure you are all right?"
Draco stood up. "I shan't pass out on you, at least not until we destroy everything."
"Do you know where the hourglass is?" Ron asked.
"The bitch hid it at my house. I swear I could kill her," Draco spat out. "Too bad she's dead."
Harry snapped to attention when he heard the last words, delivered in a much softer tone. "Your aunt?"
Draco nodded. "She hid it in my house, can you believe it? I wrote my mother, and she said that if I got in trouble, we had something in the house, something that my aunt hid. She had told my mother that it was a special gift for the Dark Lord. I went to the house as soon as I find out, and found it." He went into a cupboard and brought out an item, covered in dark velvet. "I don't know who else knows about it."
"Are you in danger?" Harry asked, picking up the undertones of Draco's statement.
"I don't know. If someone knows that it's at the Mansion and it disappears without anyone disturbing the spells around it…"
"That's why you need us," Ron said. "You need us to make it look like someone got into the house."
Draco smirked. "Leave it to you to think of theft, Weasley, although it could work, especially if you left something behind that would convince the Dark Lord that it was the Order. However, there is a simpler way. Take my cousin with you."
"Who?" Harry asked without thinking.
"Nymphadora," Draco answered. "She is still a Black and with no one else at the Mansion she can badger the house elves into letting her in. Either way, I don't care. Please do know that if you touch anything…"
"Don't worry. We'll be in and out, put enough things out of place to give the house elves something to do-"
"Harry, how can you say that?" Hermione asked.
"We need to make it look like we're looking for something. We can't simply go to one room," Ron answered before Harry could. "We need to do this right. Harry should go with Tonks, take Lupin and maybe someone else. It'd look strange if it were Tonks and the three of us."
"All right, then the last thing." Draco took out a piece of parchment from his cloak and handed it to Hermione. "It's the potion for the Horcruxes. It takes a lunar month to make it. I suggest you do a quick run, before the next new moon, to teach him how to make it. Potter must make it, you can't help him. Do you understand?"
"Why?" Hermione asked. "Just because I'm a Muggleborn-"
"Would you shut the bloody hell up? The potion must be made by the person who created the Horcruxes," Draco said in a snip.
"Harry didn't make them," Hermione answered.
"No, but it's the closest we have. That's why I said I 'think' I've found a way; otherwise, I would have said I know how to destroy them." Draco turned to Harry. "You must make it and you must use your blood. No one else can do this. Hopefully…"
"It'll work." The certainty in Harry's voice rang through the room.
"I'm glad you think so. I'll need some for the wand," Draco continued.
"The next new moon is on the 28th of March." Hermione huffed when she saw three pairs of eyes looking at her like she was from a different planet. "I'm helping the twins make the Wolfsbane for Lupin. I need to know these things. Anyway, it won't leave us much time to get all the ingredients. If we can't find them, we'll have to wait until the 26th of April to start."
Harry shrugged. "For the past six years, we've fought Voldemort and his Death Eaters at the end of May, beginning of June and we've won. Why mess with tradition? Besides, we can turn this into Malfoy's birthday present."
Draco's head whipped in Harry's direction. "How do you know?"
"I pay attention, too. Apparition classes, remember?"
"Of course. However, I'll be happy with an early present if you can find those ingredients. I'll wait for you for the wand… oh, Potter, about my father."
"It's been taken care of. You just need to let me know when."
Draco nodded again. "As soon as I know. Good evening."
They watched him Disapparate. Ron was the first to break the silence. "Well, that was a first. Not even an insult. Are you sure that's Malfoy?"
Harry nodded. "I told you he needs our help." He wondered who else was helping Malfoy. That potion hadn't come out of nowhere, but he was willing to let it go if it meant destroying the Horcruxes.
"I must start on this," Hermione said, going through the list of ingredients once again. "It won't be easy to get these things and we have less than two week."
Ron kissed her cheek. "Don't worry, Hermione. Like Harry said, it can wait until next month. We need to do this right rather than fast."
She sighed and looked up. "You're right, I know you are, but I want this over."
"We all do; we all do." Ron looked over at his best friend and they exchanged a look of understanding. Harry smiled, but there was no feeling behind it. He wasn't sure if he wanted to get it over. Another month of life might not make a difference, but he would take what he could get.
They didn't find the ingredients by the end of March. Harry hadn't decided if that was a good thing or a bad one, but he didn't have too much time to worry, since Hermione was forever sending them to different places to locate some of the rarest ingredients, and when she wasn't, she was drilling him about how to make the potion.
In the midst of their preparations, they received a letter with the date of the attack: Easter Sunday, twelfth of April. The Order was warned. McGonagall spoke personally with the Minister, who guaranteed that there would be Aurors present. Tonks would be one of them. She was responsible for getting Lucius Malfoy out of there the moment the attack started, leaving both the Ministry and the Death Eaters unaware of his whereabouts, while he would be safely held at Hogwarts.
The attack started at sundown, and it lasted only minutes. The Death Eaters were heavily outnumbered and they had lost the element of surprise. When they recognised that they could not prevail, they Disapparated away, or tried to. Most were caught by the Anti-Apparition Jinx. Some were smart enough to run outside and Apparate from there.
To celebrate the astounding victory, Arthur suggested an impromptu party. Soon after that, the Burrow was filled with people, food, alcohol and general chaos. It was in the middle of the party that Harry saw Malfoy's owl.
He took some food and walked out. "What is it?" he asked, worried. It was too soon after the attack to be any good. He fed the bird without even looking at it, his attention to the parchment. He unrolled it with one hand, and stared at it.
He turned the parchment, but nothing. No matter how much he looked, there were only those words, written in a shaky manner, almost illegible, very different from Malfoy's precise handwriting. Harry looked back at the house; he could see Ron and Hermione standing a little too close, touching and talking. He didn't want to bother them, besides Malfoy wouldn't like it for them to be present. Just like that, the decision was made, and Harry Apparated to the only place he and Malfoy had met.
He traipsed into the drawing room, looking around for any danger, but his eyes fell on the couch and Draco's limp form. "Malfoy, Malfoy, are you all right?" He got closer and saw the cuts on Malfoy's body. His robe was ripped in different places, the black fabric darker and coarser with the dried blood. He studied the wound, they were random, nothing like the Sectumsempra spell. "What happened?"
"He wasn't happy."
"You weren't even there," Harry said affronted.
"No…" Draco's voice cracked. "Not many of those came back… had to punish the rest. The cuts… I tried to stop the bleeding, but… do you know how to heal them?"
Draco shook his head and winced. "Never seen this spell. It's like… like a whip hitting you, only with magic. Can you?"
"Heal them? I think so," Harry said. "I watched Snape when-" When I almost killed you, he was about to say, but instead he took his wand out. He traced each cut, murmuring the spell over and over, until he healed all of them. "How do you feel?"
"Like a dragon landed on my head after using me for target practice…. He was rather creative tonight. He finally has understood that he can't use the Cruciatus for too long without damaging his followers. So now, he's expanding his repertoire."
Harry studied Draco for a moment. "You know there is a bed upstairs. It's dusty, but it's better than staying on the couch. I can levitate you there."
"I can walk." Draco sat up, trying to prove that he was fine, but he squeezed his eyes shut until the wave of pain subsided. He reopened them and looked defiantly at Harry. "I can walk."
"So you said. I'll Apparate us upstairs." Harry stretched his hand. There was a moment, when they looked at each other, and he expected some sort of reply from the Slytherin, but Draco stood up and moved close.
"Don't splinch me."
Harry laughed. "Don't worry. I'm pretty good at this." He wrapped his arms around the blonde. There was no reason for being so close, standing toe to toe, looking straight into each other's eyes, but he found that he rather liked it.
With his wand still in his hand, he Apparated them both to the second floor. Draco was quicker and cast a Lux spell. The room was a mess. The curtains were half ripped over the boarded windows. The canopy over the bed had more holes than fabric. "I told you it was dusty," Harry said apologetic.
"Not your fault."
Harry blinked. Had Draco just passed up the opportunity to insult him and his choices? He had to be sicker than he was letting on. "Here, let me." He cast a cleaning spell, then another, and then repeated both of them until the bed was somewhat decent. "You can rest here."
Draco nodded. "I wasn't planning on going back anyway. I couldn't have explained…." He waved his hand over the healing cuts.
"Why didn't Snape help? Wasn't he supposed to protect you?" Harry asked, the venom strong in his voice.
"He wasn't there," Draco said curtly. He walked to the bed, and turned his head to glare at Harry when he felt a hand under his elbow, supporting him. "I can walk."
Harry smiled. "Do we need to start that again?" He didn't let go until Draco was lying in bed. He lit his own wand, when Draco put his away. Harry walked around, and lay down next to Draco.
"What do you think you're doing, Potter?" Draco asked, his eyes widening in surprise.
"I'm not leaving, so you can stop the outraged outburst. I've never cast this spell before, and I want to make sure you're really all right. So go to sleep, rest, and tomorrow you can write this off as a bad nightmare," Harry said.
"I ought to kick you out," Draco said.
"Of course." Harry rolled to his side, and watched Draco for a few moments. "You really are a prick."
Draco laughed. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it," Harry answered, but he couldn't stop the smile from forming on his face. "Go to sleep."
"Under duress…." Draco closed his eyes. "Good night, Potter." In the dark, he didn't see Harry's grin.
There were some people who could open their eyes and just wake up. Harry used to be like that, when lingering meant angering uncle Vernon, but six years at Hogwarts had changed that, and he enjoyed those moments when Morpheus slowly walked away bringing about a new day.
He sighed happily as the warmth of another body- Another body? Harry's eyes snapped open to find himself face to face with a sleeping Draco Malfoy, his warm breath caressing Harry's lips like a gentle kiss. That wasn't helping with his morning hard on. It was a natural morning reaction, he told himself, because he wasn't gay. No matter how many times he had joked with Seamus, he'd never found another bloke attractive.
Draco shifted, and his own erection pressed against Harry's hips. He moaned in his sleep, and then began rocking his hips, humping Harry, who was suddenly turning as red as Ron's hair. Ron. Ginny's brother. Even that didn't help with his hard on. "Malfoy… mmm, Malfoy… Draco, wake up," he said, shaking him.
"Severus… I was dreaming," he murmured.
Harry made a face. "I'm not Snape. Malfoy, open your eyes."
Harry's words or maybe his voice reached Malfoy, who blinked the sleep away. "Did you call me Draco?"
"You were just-" Harry could feel the heat rising in his body, settling in his face.
"I was just?" Draco shifted and his crotch pressed against Harry, who let out a strangled groan. "Oh, that? Relax, Potter. It's natural."
"Well, I've never-"
Draco smirked. "You've never had a morning erection? You've never got off with another bloke? You've never had another person get you off?" he asked as his hand moved toward Harry's erection.
Harry swatted Draco's hand away. "Why are you doing this?" he asked angrily.
Draco frowned, and his hand stilled. He propped himself on his elbow and stared at Harry. "What do you think I'm doing? I'm hard; you aren't. You don't need research to draw the obvious conclusion. You… you really haven't… with anyone…." It wasn't a question, but the words had a sense of hesitation.
"Why? Have you?" Harry shook his head. "I'm sure Parkinson would love to know that."
Draco sat up, and glared. "One, she dumped me. It seems that being a wanted fugitive cramps her social life. Two, she knew about it. Three, it means nothing: two blokes giving each other a hand, quite literally at times. I was not doing anything wrong, not that your bourgeois little mind could ever comprehend that, so why don't you go back to your sweet girl friend and see if she'll help you out?"
Harry looked up at the ceiling, focusing on a dirty spot. "I broke up with her. It seems that being close the Chosen One shortens one's life."
"I'm hoping that being close to him lengthens it." Draco lay back down on his side. His fingers went to the button of Harry's denims. "Stop being such a stuck up prick."
Harry snorted. "Look who's talking." However, he didn't stop Draco.
"I'm not the one getting his knickers in a twist over something that feels so good." Draco unzipped the denims and pushed the lapels open, Harry's unreasonably baggy trousers made it easy for him to slip a hand under the flimsy boxers, and his fingers closed on the other boy's erection.
"Shhh, stop thinking so hard," Draco whispered, his lips brushing against Harry's neck. His fingers began to move, cautiously at first, touching and twisting, seeing what Harry liked. He traced the ridge with his thumb, and Harry arched off the mattress, his cock thrusting into Draco's fist. "You like that, I see," he said amused.
"Talk too much…oh…" Harry started panting. Nothing had ever felt so good, and he didn't think he could ever think again.
"I like to talk during sex."
Draco let out a throaty laugh. "True, but usually I couldn't say how gorgeous you look so flushed, how hard your cock is, how big… never thought we'd been doing this." He rested his forehead against Harry's temple. He rocked harder, his hips moving in time with his hand. "I loved watching you lose control, but I never thought… fuck, this is good."
Harry nodded and moaned. That would have to suffice, because words escaped him. This felt more intense than when he jerked off; he didn't know why. It was still a hand. They weren't kissing or even touching, and why weren't they? He turned his head, and brushed his lips against Draco's. "Oh God… oh…. Merlin…." Just like that he was coming, wetting his boxers and Draco's hand. Only moments later he saw Draco close his eyes, and then warm come seeped through Draco's robe and his denims.
They lay there, watching each other. "Draco…."
"Don't, Potter. It doesn't mean anything, okay?" Draco took his wand, and cleaned them with a spell.
Harry grabbed his wrist. "It might not mean anything to you, but you are the first person to touch me, and you might be the last considering-"
Draco cut him off. "You won't die. You wouldn't give me the satisfaction."
Harry smiled for a moment, but it was short lived. "Maybe, maybe not, regardless, it means something to me, Draco. I'm not asking for anything, I'm just saying… thank you."
Draco let himself fall onto the mattress, lying shoulder to shoulder with Harry, staring up as well. "You expect too much from people."
Harry snorted. "You expect me to save you, keep you out of Azkaban, protect your family and fortune. Do you really think I expect too much?"
"Yes," Draco said softly. "You can do all those things."
"And you can be human. I know; I've seen it despite how well you've tried to hide. You can fool everyone else, but not me." He turned his head, and grinned. "Ron says I'm obsessed with you, so I would know everything there is to know about you."
"Weasley might be right this once, not that I'll ever tell him." Draco leaned closer and kissed Harry gently. "I have to go."
"I'll see you soon, yes?" Harry asked hopeful.
"I can't stay the night."
Harry shrugged. "We can talk in the evenings."
Draco sniggered. "Talk? I never heard sex being called that." He sat up and gripped his wand. "Goodbye… Harry." This time he saw Harry's smile as he Disapparated away.
Harry and Draco continued to meet at the Shrieking Shack. Their meetings became more and more frequent. They wouldn't even send messages anymore, but simply Apparate at the Shack when they had nothing else to do.
Harry was lying on the bed that now sported finer sheets, thanks to Draco, when he felt another body settle on top of his back. "You're late, is everything okay?"
Draco kissed Harry's neck. "Yes… no…." He rested his forehead against the back of Harry's head. "He wants to get inside Hogwarts again."
Harry tensed. "We removed the cabinets."
"He wants to make a statement. He wants us to… just go in." Draco gave him another kiss, and then rolled off. "Snape is trying to stall. We don't have enough people; the Horcruxes are still at large; the new recruits aren't ready."
Harry propped himself on his elbow, and traced Draco's lips. "We'll be ready if he decides to attack, but you'll have to be careful."
Draco smirked. "I always am." He pulled Harry's shirt. "Let's leave the discussions for when we know more."
"Do you have anything in mind?" Harry asked, teasing.
Draco pushed Harry until he was lying on his back. "You know, there are moments when robes are much more convenient. This is such a moment."
"It takes you five seconds to open them," Harry said, raising his hips so that Draco could push down his denims and pants. His cock seemed to know what was to come, because it hardened the moment Draco licked his lips. "It takes you longer to do something."
"And you waste no time in blushing." Draco looked up at Harry. "It's good that I like you like this," he said before dipping his head, and licking Harry's cock. "Taste good, too."
"Draco," Harry whined.
Draco didn't answer; instead, he took Harry's cock into his mouth, worshiping it, his lips sliding over it, enjoying every moment, tasting every drop of precome that wet his tongue. Each time they were together was a little more intense than the previous encounter, a little more desperate as the danger grew nearer.
Harry had to feel the same, because he was pulling on Draco's robe, asking, ordering, begging for Draco to turn around, and Draco wanted to reply about patience and finesse, but he had neither, leaving him no choice, but to turn around, and moaning when Harry's lips closed around his leaking head.
Draco remembered Pansy's naïve romance stories where sex was filled by words and long sighs. The truth was very different, a lot messier and less romantic. He couldn't decide if he should go down on Harry or push back to drive his cock into Harry's mouth, and in his indecision Harry's cock popped free, and somehow Draco's cheek got wet with saliva and precome, and Harry was making those noises that warned Draco that if he pushed any further, Harry would gag.
It was so terribly unromantic, but they were both young and horny, and Draco sucked a little hard and a little faster, and the how and why didn't matter anymore, because Harry was coming into his mouth, and he tasted so good, and Draco couldn't remember why he was thinking about Pansy anymore. In fact he couldn't remember anything as his orgasm travelled through him, leaving him breathless.
After a moment, Draco moved, lying down next to Harry. They never cuddled or talked. Instead they lay there, watching a dirty ceiling, trying to regain control of their breathing.
Harry pulled up his denims and sat up. "I have to go."
"One of us is always saying that," Draco replied.
Harry smiled. "The potion needs me. Almost done, Draco. Another week and it's over. One way or another, it's the end."
Draco sat up and kissed Harry's shoulder. That was new. They didn't usually kiss, and they never kissed after sex. "Another week, and you'll kill the bastard, and we'll spend the night celebrating."
Harry leaned his head against Draco's. "You're right."
"I'm always right." Draco kissed him gently. "Go save the world, Harry."
"Let's try finishing a potion first. Goodbye, Draco." Harry held him tight for a moment, and then Disapparated.
The potion was indeed ready in a week. The locket and the hourglass were submerged by the bubbling liquid that rendered them innocuous. Harry wasn't sure, but Hermione checked and rechecked, and finally Harry had to accept that it had worked.
The next part was trickier. Harry delivered Draco part of the potion, and then worked out a plan. Draco would destroy the wand on the 29th of May. When he was done, he would owl Harry, who would get the Order ready for the final attack at Voldemort's hideout. Draco had snorted, saying that that wasn't a plan, but usual Gryffindor recklessness, but those plans had worked for Harry in the past, and he wasn't about to change things.
On the fateful day, the entire order was present at Grimmauld Place, waiting for the owl. The library and kitchen were overcrowded, but no matter where Harry went, he seemed to find a Weasley trying to wish him well.
"Mr. Potter, a word," McGonagall said, taking him out of Molly's arms.
"Oh, yes, I'll leave you two alone," Molly said, before leaving.
"She is very fond of you," she said after Molly had left.
"I know. She's hugged me about ten times already," Harry said with a grin.
"Restraint isn't something the Weasleys like to practice," McGonagall said, her lips thinning into a pale smile. "There really is something we need to discuss. You asked me about the Headmaster's last year, and I haven't been able to discover much, but in the past week objects of his have began to appear."
A week, since all the Horcruxes save one had been destroyed. The Headmaster had probably found a way to charm them as to tie their reappearance. "Was he really dying?"
McGonagall looked at him. "How did you know?"
"I didn't, not until Draco Malfoy told me. He's the one who's been helping me, the one informing me of the attacks, the one providing me with a very rare and complex potion needed to destroy Voldemort. I promised him that in exchange the Order would keep him safe and help him clear his name."
"I'll find a way to convince the Ministry. We don't abandon our allies," she answered without even thinking. It's what Albus would have done.
"I was counting on that, but there's more… that potion, there is no way he could have come up with that by himself. The things he's helping me with? Only the Headmaster knew about them. He couldn't know about them, but he did." Harry took a deep breath. "I think Snape is helping him, just like Snape was keeping the Headmaster alive. I know there is something we don't know, and we can't let the Ministry go after Snape until we find out the truth."
McGonagall smiled. "I thought you hated Severus."
"But the Headmaster trusted him, and I know there is something we haven't learnt, and… and…."
"And you trust your gut instinct. I think we've established that." She nodded. "I never could understand why Severus did what he did. It's time to find out."
"I agree, and then we can give him to Scrimgeour if my instinct is wrong," Harry said, without keeping the spite and resentment out of his voice. There might have been a reason, but he would never forgive Snape, and he certainly would never like him. However, he'd be fair, or he would be exactly like Voldemort. "If you'll excuse me, Headmistress, there are a few things I still need to do."
"Of course, Mr. Potter, and… good luck, today," she added.
"Thank you." He left her side, searching for the other people he needed. The first one he found was Remus.
"Molly finally left you alone," Remus said with an amused smile on his face.
"I don't know for how long, and I need to speak with you. In private. Can you wait for me in the drawing room?" he asked, while looking around the library for Hermione. "I'll be there in a moment."
"Of course, but you should be quick before another Weasley kidnaps you."
Harry laughed, but he knew that it wasn't farfetched. He squeezed Remus's arm before walking away in search of her friend. He spotted Hermione talking to Ginny. Harry nodded at her to follow him, before slipping out of the library.
Hermione entered the drawing room only minutes later. She looked around and frowned when she saw Remus sitting in one of the armchairs. "Is everything all right?"
Remus smiled gently. "I'm sure Harry will tell us soon enough."
"Nothing is wrong, but I need you two to help me," Harry said.
"Oh Harry, you know we'll be there fighting with you," Hermione said.
"See… that's the thing. I don't want you to be. No, wait, before you start, I need both of you do something else. Snape and Malfoy, they need to be taken out of that battlefield before it starts." Harry turned to Remus. "You are the one who can best recognise Snape and drag him here without his cooperation. I also know I can trust you to keep him safe."
"Harry, are you sure?" Remus asked.
"Trust me on this, Remus."
"All right, but-"
"I'll explain right after. Hermione, you have to do the same with Draco. Take him to the Shrieking Shack. He'll complain, but tell him it's part of the agreement we have." He handed her a piece of paper. "Show him this, and you'll be able to bring him into the house."
"Harry… I should be there."
"I know, but I'm trusting you with him. I don't trust anyone else. If something happens to me-"
"Don't say that," Hermione said.
Harry raised a hand. "If it does, you have to let everyone know that he's been helping us all along. McGonagall knows too, but I know you can keep him safe. I promised him."
She nodded. "I'll take care of him until you come back."
Harry smiled. "Thank you." He nodded toward the owl outside the glass. "I think it's time."
Hermione ran to him and hugged him tight. "You'd better get back safely or I'll… I'll find a way to yell at you."
Harry laughed. "Can I at least read the message before you start with the warning and the threats?"
"Well, if you must." She stepped back, and let him go to the window. There was nothing else that she could say, though. They all knew that one simple owl would mean the end of a war that had started two decades prior.
Draco moved away from Hermione the moment they arrived at Grimmauld Place. He shouldn't be here; he ought to be near Harry making sure that he did what he was supposed to. He certainly shouldn't have had to endure Granger's arms around him. He shivered at the thought.
"I know the house looks bad," Hermione said misreading his reaction, "but it was worse." She opened the door and motioned for Draco to go in. She followed him inside and closed the door. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
Draco turned around and stared at her. "Right now, our entire future is being decided, and you want to make tea, are you daft?"
Hermione put a hand on her hip and glared at the boy. "My boyfriend and my best friend are currently risking their lives; I've always been right next to them, and that's where I should be now, but Harry wants me to baby sit you, so don't you dare talk to me like that," she finished walking away.
"Fine. It's probably best if we don't talk," Draco muttered. He followed her past blackened portraits and troll legged umbrella stands, and finally they entered what looked like a drawing room. He froze when he saw who else was in there. "Severus? Why are you here?"
"Not because I want. Lupin seems to think that he can only control me if he ties me up. Be a good boy and free me."
Draco didn't even think, so used he was to obeying Severus. He took out his wand, but Remus stopped in front of him. "Move away." Beast, he mentally added.
"The only way to ensure that he doesn't leave is to have him magically bound," Remus said.
"Why should he stay here? Merlin knows I don't want to be here." With a Mudblood and a werewolf, but again, he didn't say that aloud.
"Harry wants him here," Remus continued politely. "That's all we know. If you have more questions, you will have to ask him."
Draco hesitated. He didn't know what Harry was planning, but everything, his entire future was based on trusting one person. He sighed and lowered his wand. He stepped around Remus and sat on the couch next to Severus. "Please, you have to trust him."
"Potter is an idiot," Severus snapped back.
"Yes, but he's an incredibly honourable one," Draco replied.
"He'll get himself killed, the imbecile. Seventeen years I worked to defeat the Dark Lord, and now Potter decides to play the martyr," Severus said, anger fuelling each word, his tone getting louder and louder. "I won't let a fame seeking Gryffindor with no good sense destroy what I've done."
"You have no choice," Draco said softly. "We both knew it would come to this."
"I was planning to be there, you dunderhead. I never planned on sending that… that no brain, immature, irresponsible, out of control, asinine dimwit out there by himself."
"Did you plan to kill him?" Hermione asked affronted.
"No, you slow witted girl; I planned to keep him alive." He rolled his eyes. "Gryffindors, no common sense the lot of them."
Draco chuckled. "What else did you expect? However, there must be a reason Harry wants you here."
"He wants to protect Severus, although he hasn't said why," Remus said.
Draco looked from the werewolf to Severus. "He suspects, has been for a while. He asked so many questions about the potion… please promise me to stay, and I'll untie you."
"Fine, but-" Severus doubled over in pain, just as Draco let go of his wand and gripped his arm. A burning sensation erupted where the mark was, spiking through their bodies, and then….
"It's over; he's dead," Draco said, in a whisper. "Harry did it."
Harry blocked the killing curse with a shielding charm, and the curse rebounded, hitting Voldemort. This time there was no reprieve, no hidden soul to protect him. In the midst of a green light, Voldemort died forever.
After that, the world seemed to move quicker around Harry. All the Death Eaters stopped at once, their wands abandoned in favour of protecting their arms. Some fell onto the ground. Some slumped against the wall. No one fought anymore.
It spurred the members of the Order into action. A magical net was cast around them, and an Anti-Apparition Jinx was placed. Tonks personally went to Auror headquarters and returned with reinforcement.
Harry found himself being hugged by a very satisfied Minister of Magic, and then taken in front of the Ministry where journalist of different dailies and the wireless were already gathering.
"It is my pleasure to inform the wizarding world that it is safe. You Know Who is finally dead," Scrimgeour was saying.
Harry couldn't really concentrate on the words. It was over. Voldemort was dead and he hadn't even killed him. He hadn't turned into a bloody killer. Voldemort was dead and his friends were safe. His friends? Harry blinked. Yes, that was Ron pushing through the crowd, making room for McGonagall.
"Headmistress, can I help you?" Scrimgeour asked with a strained smile.
"No, but there is something I can help you with." She opened her hand, revealing a small golden ball, a bright light emerged, and soon the face of Albus Dumbledore appeared high above her.
"If you can see this, then it means that Harry has been successful in destroying Voldemort. I'm sure this was a long journey for such a young man, and everyone should be proud of him.
"However, I am certain that he was not alone in his journey. There are many supporting him, but there is one person that will have done anything in his power to help him, and that person is Severus Snape.
"In the past year, professor Snape has done his best keeping me alive, knowing that my death would be imminent. However, while doing that, he was under orders to kill me if the situation necessitated it."
There was a murmur of voices rising through the crowd. Harry couldn't blame them; he still couldn't grasp the fact that Snape had had a reason for doing what he had.
"It became clear before the school year had even started that I would not survive long," the image of Dumbledore continued. "It was clearer that I could not survive even a week without the potions made for me by professor Snape. I needed to make a choice. I was disposable, while Severus's role as a spy was crucial to the survival of every wizard and witch in this country. The choice was easy, and I ordered that he kill me if it became inevitable.
"If you're viewing this, then I'm dead. I know that my death would have come at the hand of my closest friend, the person I trust the most. I hope you appreciate what a great sacrifice Severus had to make. I certainly do."
The image disappeared, and McGonagall closed her hands around it. "It starts at regular intervals," she said loud so that all could hear her. "Professor Dumbledore also left papers and records to support what this says."
"Why didn't you make this known sooner?"
McGonagall refrained from rolling her eyes. "Even if I had known about this, I wouldn't have been able to tell anyone because of Severus's critical role. Second, the evidence has appeared only after the Dar- Voldemort's death."
"Nonsense, Professor. We all know that you were friends with Snape," Scrimgeour said.
Harry finally woke up from his dream. He pushed Scrimgeour aside and took centre stage. "I knew about it. Professor Dumbledore ordered me to hurt him while working to destroy Voldemort. The Headmaster was ready to sacrifice his life, and he expected us to do what we had to. Professor Snape isn't the only one who has helped. The Malfoy family has been a great source of help."
Scrimgeour turned red. "Lucius Malfoy-"
"Lucius Malfoy has been at Hogwarts since Easter. It was necessary to protect his son's role as a spy." Harry turned to Scrimgeour and smiled. "Unlike you, they risked their own lives to protect everyone. In addition, they were not by Voldemort's side during the final battle. I hope that tonight, when everyone celebrates the death of Voldemort, people will remember that this was a collective task, and Snape and Malfoy were part of this effort, and now, I need to see my friends."
Harry stepped back and leaned closer to Scrimgeour. "Don't ever try to use me again to gain popularity or I'll make sure we have a new minister." With a last smile, he went toward Ron and the Headmistress. "I'll go to headquarter. Ron?"
Ron nodded. "Let's go. Hermione will kill us if we waste more time."
"Harry, Ron." Hermione ran to them and hugged them at the same time. "You're all right, aren't you? You are, right?"
Harry laughed. "Yes, we're all right."
"But you can kiss me and make it all better," Ron told her.
Hermione threw her arms around him, and kissed him soundly. "We can do a lot more than kiss."
"Please, refrain from acting upon your hormonal teenager tendencies, Miss Granger. Some of us might get sick just from watching," Snape said, and then glared at Harry. "You're still alive. I'm amazed that you can be so lucky, because it's certainly not ability or intelligence to keep you alive."
"I hate you, too," Harry answered without thinking. Snape always had a way to make him lose his temper.
"After this loving declaration, you don't mind if I go," Snape said. "Everyone here seemed intent in waiting for you before deciding."
"You can, if you'd like, but I wouldn't. Not yet. We need to make sure that Scrimgeour doesn't try to go after you, but after Dumbledore's speech I doubt it," Harry said.
"Dumbledore." Snape grabbed his shoulders, and shook him. "What are you saying, boy?"
Harry looked at Snape's hands and waited in silence until the man took the hint and released him. "Dumbledore left a recording saying that he ordered you to kill him, saying that he couldn't survive without your potions, and that it was his life versus the survival of the wizarding world. He was very convincing."
"And if that weren't enough, Harry spoke up for you, and-" Ron waved toward Draco, who'd been standing in a corner, afraid to make a move. "And Malfoy. I still can't believe you spoke in favour of Lucius Malfoy," he said with disgust.
"He's been in Azkaban for two years, he hasn't participated in any attacks. I know he would have if he had been free, but he wasn't, and…" Harry smiled at Draco. "I made a promise. The same one that professor Dumbledore had made. I have every intention to keep my word. Anyway, you're both welcome to stay here for the next few days."
"Don't worry, Potter," Draco spat out, "we won't bother you for more than a few days."
"Well, I had assumed that you wanted to go back to your house, see your parents-" Harry rolled his eyes. "You really are a prick."
"Of course I am. That hasn't changed in the past here," Draco answered, smiling.
"Yeah, I know," Harry said, smiling back.
Draco pushed himself from the wall and finally went to Harry. He reached up, and it let his arm fall, his fingers brushing against Harry's arm. "I told you, you could do it."
"I know that too." Harry brushed his fingers against Draco's and finally took hold of his lover's hand. "Come on. Let's go to my room. There's thing we need to talk about."
Draco laughed. "It's that what we do? Talk? Of course, let's go and talk."
During the next six weeks, Draco and Harry spent a lot of time in Harry's bedroom, but there was very little talking involved. The lack of discussion followed them outside the bedroom. Neither of them acknowledged that they shagged on a regular base. Draco went so far as not to touch Harry unless Harry started it, and even then it was nothing more than holding hands.
One night, they lay in bed together. The room smelt of sex and sweat, and even charms were not enough to clean it. Draco had his head on Harry's chest, and the hair tickled Harry's nose. One of Draco's arms was wrapped around Harry's waist, tightening when Harry moved as if to remind him that in this room, he belonged to Draco Malfoy. In this room, they could be happy together. "You should live here permanently," Harry said suddenly.
Draco raised his head, and then he sat up. "What are you on about? We're getting the mansion back in a few days, and Mother will return then. Father will be free soon after that. Why would I stay here?"
Harry propped himself up on his elbows. "If you go to the mansion, it will still be your parents' house. Your father is still the head of the family and all that rot. You'll go back to being his son, doing what he wants. Here… here, you're free, and even though we don't say anything, people talk, they link us together. That ought to help with whatever you want to do in the future, even more than being a Malfoy. Besides, this house belongs to the Blacks. It's right at least one Black descendent should live here. See, plenty of reasons why you should live here."
The speech had been delivered with a quiet assurance. There had been no hesitation, no uncertain, and that was when it clicked. "Sweet Merlin and Morgana, you rehearsed that, didn't you? Worse, you didn't even come up with that. You would never think of my father, or how I'd act with him. You certainly don't give a rat's arse what people say or think. In fact, you've been very vocal about people's need to stop discussing anything related to you. What have you done? Asked people for suggestions?" Draco's anger rose when he saw Harry blush. "Good God, you did, didn't you?"
Harry closed his eyes. "I might have asked Ron."
Draco stood up, and found his robe, holding it tight in front of him. "I don't know what game you're playing, Potter, but I will not be the subject of your humiliating schemes, whatever those might be."
Harry's eyes snapped open. "Humiliating schemes? You are paranoid, that's what you are. I was talking to Ron about us, about… I didn't know what to say, and he suggested that if I told you the benefits, you'd accept. I mean it's what Slytherins do, don't they? But maybe we were both wrong, and I should have asked differently."
"Ask? You haven't asked anything. You told me that I should live here because my Father doesn't like me or value me, because my name isn't as worthy as yours." Draco shook his head. "At least I know what you really think. Thanks for the suggestion, but I think I'll be going now."
Harry scrambled out of bed, and grabbed Draco's robe, stopping him from wearing it. "No, that's not… I didn't mean it like that. What I meant is… would you move in with me? Not just the house, but here, with me."
"Why? So that I'm free from my parents?" Draco said with scorn. "Weasley really is shit at strategy." He let go of the robe, and stared at Harry. "Tell me, why do you want me here?"
"Because… because you've been part of my life since I was eleven, and I can't imagine not having you around; because I don't want to pretend anymore. We've been together for months. Just sex my arse. This isn't necessary or convenient anymore. The war has ended, and you're free. You're a hero; you could have had anyone, but you're still here, and I… I'm not interested in anyone else. I want you here, because I want to touch you and kiss you when we are outside this room. Because I want you, that's why."
Draco carded Harry's hair, and pulled him closer, their lips smashing together. The kiss was brutal, just like some of their fights, a fight for power, just like their relationship, but above all it was filled with emotion, just like everything they did. When Draco pulled away, he rested his forehead against Harry. "Next time, don't listen to Weasley and just ask me what you want, okay?"
Harry nodded. "Does this mean you're moving in?"
"It means that I'm Draco Malfoy and I'm entitled to what I want, and I want to be here with you."
"You're a right pain in the arse; that's what you are," Harry answered with a grin.
"If you think I am, wait until my father learns that we're living together." Draco smirked. "After all, this is the Black house, it wouldn't do not to have a feud or two."
Harry groaned. "Remind me again why I'm involved with a Malfoy."
Draco pressed the heel of his hand against Harry's crotch. "Let's go to bed, and I'll remind you. Again."
Fairy tales end with 'Happily Ever After', but their story never did. They have continued to banter and insult each other through the years, driving friends mad with their antics, leaving everyone confused as to why they'd still be together. If you have any doubts, you should ask Hermione. She'd tell you that it's inexplicable and illogical, she should know, she's read every book about love and fairy tales for an explanation.
Draco and Harry, on the other hand, don't care. A hundred years later, they are still together. It's not 'Happily Ever After'; it's life, but it's a happy life.