Title: Someone To Share It With
Pairing(s): Harry/Draco, Ron/Hermione
Summary: Harry discovers to be careful what he wishes for.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning(s): Implied sex, creature fic
Epilogue compliant? No
Word Count: 2250
Author's Notes: I hope you are pleased with your gift. I enjoyed writing it.
"Harry, what would you like for Christmas this year?"
Harry blinked and turned from the fire he'd been gazing at to look at Hermione. They were two of only a handful of students who had returned to Hogwarts to complete their aborted Seventh Year. Harry paused to consider his friend's question. It was already December, and he hadn't given much thought to Christmas at all. It wasn't that Harry was boycotting the holiday; he simply didn't know what to ask for. He had spent so much time focused on the battle with Voldemort that Harry hadn't had the opportunity to look beyond. Now that he had survived, along with the majority of his loved ones, he almost didn't dare ask for more.
With Hermione still awaiting an answer, Harry opted to keep things light. "All I want for Christmas this year is a handsome bloke to share it with," he said.
Hermione giggled. "Harry! How do you expect me to wrap one of those for you?"
Harry laughed, relieved that she was able to joke freely with him about a subject that he had been terrified to broach with his best friends. Having come so close to death in the final battle, Harry had decided he was going to live the rest of his life. That promise to himself included taking the risk of revealing he was gay. Reactions to the news had been mixed, but Harry had been pleasantly surprised to find that most people were accepting. Ginny had been disappointed, rather than devastated, which had been a relief to Harry. Most surprising of all, however, had been Ron's reaction. Ron had seemed almost relieved, admitting to Harry that he had begun to view Harry as a potential rival for Hermione's affections.
After sharing a laugh over Harry's Christmas wish, Hermione went on to assure him that there was someone special out there for him. However, she cautioned him to concentrate on his studies for now. Surviving a war hadn't lessened Hermione's zeal for learning, which Harry found comforting. It was good to know that some things hadn't changed, including Hermione's fanatical study habits.
Another thing that hadn't changed was the manner in which Ron and Hermione bickered between themselves. When the three of them left the Great Hall after dinner that evening, Harry was walking ahead of his friends, and he grinned as they stopped to squabble over something inconsequential. A commotion in the corridor ahead caught Harry's attention, and he quickened his pace to see what was going on.
Several students had gathered to form a crowd, but they parted to allow Harry through. As he shouldered his way to the front, Harry heard snatches of whispered conversation.
"...can't bear to watch..."
"...think he's dying..."
Harry's pulse jumped in trepidation as he heard something else over the hushed voices. It was the sound of something in terrible pain, something not quite human. Harry finally reached the edge of the gathering, halting in confusion at the sight that met his eyes.
Draco Malfoy had collapsed onto the floor in one of the castle's many alcoves. He had pulled his jumper over his head, baring his back, but his arms were still tangled in the sleeves. Malfoy was writhing on the floor as if in agony, while distressed sounds emanated from his throat. The muscles across his shoulder blades seemed to twitch and undulate uncontrollably.
"What's wrong with him?" Harry asked of the crowd in general.
"Perhaps he's being attacked by Raskars," Luna opined.
Harry looked over the head of a horrified firstie at Luna's thoughtful expression. "Raskars?" he echoed.
Luna nodded. "They burrow under the skin and cause excruciating pain," she said. "Poor Draco."
Everyone who heard her backed up, except for Harry. He took a halting step forward. "Malfoy?" he whispered. Malfoy turned wild eyes on him, and the fear and pain Harry saw in the gray depths compelled him to rush to Malfoy's side and kneel next to him. "Someone get help!" Harry shouted, reaching out to place a comforting hand on Malfoy's naked shoulder.
Malfoy shrieked and went rigid with pain. The skin across his shoulders seemed to erupt, and something burst free. The other students screamed and ran, and Harry fell back on his arse. He felt no fear or revulsion, but rather a sense of wonder as he realized that Malfoy had sprouted wings.
Malfoy slumped back onto his fours, panting and shaking. His pale wings hung limply at his sides while sobbing breaths escaped him.
Harry reached out a trembling hand to touch Malfoy's feathers.
Hermione succeeded in pushing her way through the throng of fleeing students. She skidded to a halt and yelled, "Don't, Harry!" Her warning came too late.
Harry's fingers brushed Malfoy's damp wing with a sense of awe. Malfoy's whimpering halted, and he shivered and pressed closer to Harry.
"Harry, no," moaned Hermione, sagging back against Ron.
He glanced up at her in surprise. "What's wrong?" Malfoy didn't appear to represent a threat at the moment.
"Malfoy must be a Veela, Harry," said Hermione, indicating Malfoy's drooping wings. "They reach maturity at age eighteen and a half."
"What aren't you telling me?" asked Harry. He seemed to remember that Malfoy's birthday was in June, which would make put him at the right age for Hermione's Veela theory. Harry had wrapped one arm around Malfoy's waist and was absently stroking Malfoy's hair with his free hand. Hermione's worried expression, however, was certainly a cause for alarm.
Hermione tracked the movement of Harry's hand before she raised sorrowful eyes to Harry's again. "Veelas normally go off by themselves before they mature," she said. "They're incredibly vulnerable, both physically and emotionally, when their wings first manifest. If someone touches a Veela at that pivotal moment, the Veela will imprint on him or her."
"What does that mean?" Ron asked her.
"It means that Harry and Malfoy are now bonded."
"What have I done?" mumbled Harry, words muffled by the fact that his face was buried in his hands. "What will I do?" He was seated on the sofa in front of the fireplace in the Gryffindor common room. Hermione sat next to him, while Ron hovered anxiously nearby. Harry didn't remember much after Ron had pulled him away from Malfoy. He recalled being hustled through corridors and up staircases by his friends until they reached the safety of their common room.
"You'll need to spend some time with Malfoy," Hermione said hesitantly. "After all, the two of you are now a bonded pair."
Harry shuddered, and Ron bleated out a protest. "He does not have to spend any time with that git!"
Harry ignored Ron's outburst and looked at Hermione. "Spend time, as in have dinner with him or study together?" he asked, hoping it could be that simple.
"Spend time, as in have sex, Harry," she said matter-of-factly.
Ron groaned and collapsed onto the other end of the sofa.
"Ron, stop being so melodramatic," scolded Hermione. "It's not like you have to sleep with Malfoy." She turned to Harry. "You're bonded now," she said. "You may as well be married to Malfoy."
"Isn't there anything that can be done to reverse the effects?" tried Harry. He was supposed to have his entire life ahead of him to do what he wanted, and the prospect of having that snatched away from him was disheartening.
"I'm afraid not," said Hermione, giving Harry's shoulder an awkward pat. "It won't be all bad, however," she added. "The bond will cause you to find Malfoy attractive, which will make the sexual aspect more appealing."
Harry had nothing to say to that. He already found Malfoy attractive, but that didn't mean he liked him. While the thought of shagging Malfoy was enticing, Harry didn't want to be burdened with the arrogant git for the rest of his life. Harry exhaled and slouched back against the sofa. "When do we...that is, when should I...?"
"Consummate the bond?" Hermione supplied helpfully.
Ron whimpered, and Harry's pulse jumped. Before Harry could say anything more, however, Dennis scurried up to him.
"Harry, the Headmistress wants to see you in her office."
Harry trudged up the stairs to the sixth floor, feeling Malfoy's glare boring a hole in his back the entire way. McGonagall had called both of them into her office to discuss the new dynamic of their inadvertent bond. Harry blushed anew at the memory. There was nothing quite as embarrassing as having the Headmistress explain that she had set aside a private room for them. McGonagall's face had been pinched and disapproving the entire time, giving her the appearance of someone who had just bitten into a particularly sour lemon.
Harry opened the door to their assigned room and stepped inside for a look around. There was a fire lit in the small hearth of what appeared to be a sitting room, and a comfortable sofa was set in front of it. Bookcases lined one wall, and their school books had already been placed there. A battered table was placed in one corner with two mismatched chairs, one at either end. A few pieces of artwork hung from the walls to provide ambience.
A door led to what Harry deduced was the bedroom. He moved through the sitting area for a look. Harry held his breath as he opened the door, then expelled it on a curse as he saw there was only one bed in the dorm room. Their trunks had been delivered, and Harry was both amused and alarmed to see how many trunks that were apparently Malfoy's. After all, he only owned the one. Another door was on the far side of the room, presumably to a bathroom.
Harry backed out of the dorm and closed the door quietly behind him. He turned to watch Malfoy, gauging his reactions to their new quarters.
Malfoy was wandering the sitting area, and he trailed his fingers over the scuffed surface of the table. "Isn't this cozy?" he sniped.
"It's not bad," Harry said quietly.
Malfoy sneered. "I suppose it's quite luxurious compared to a cupboard."
"Don't take your frustration out on me," snapped Harry. "It's your own fault we're in this situation."
"How is any of this my fault?!"
"You were supposed to take yourself off somewhere private when you matured," said Harry. "Hermione told me that's what Veelas do to avoid accidental bonding!"
"I had no idea I was a bloody, buggering Veela until this evening!" shouted Malfoy, pacing the room in agitation. He whirled to face Harry. "And you," he spat. "You just had to go and play the hero one more time, didn't you? It's comforting to know some things never change," he added sarcastically.
Harry clenched his hands into fists. "You haven't changed either, Malfoy," he snarled. "You're still a self-centered, pretentious little snob who refuses to take responsibility for his own actions!"
Malfoy was in Harry's face in the blink of an eye. "How dare you?" he seethed. "You have no idea what I've been through, and now on top of it all, I'm stuck with you for life!"
Harry grabbed two handfuls of Malfoy's jumper and crushed their mouths together. He had intended only to shut Malfoy up, but at the first contact of their lips, Harry switched from punishing mode to passionate. Malfoy struggled briefly in Harry's grip, but he quickly surrendered with a shuddering sigh and sagged against Harry as they kissed.
Harry broke off to draw in a ragged breath before diving in once more. This time, Malfoy welcomed him with a moan and a questing tongue. Harry's hips jolted forward, frotting against Malfoy in search of some relief. Malfoy responded in kind, pressing his own hardness to Harry's. Barely aware of moving, Harry walked Malfoy backward, and they tumbled onto the sofa together.
"What became of your wings?" Harry murmured, stroking Malfoy's bare shoulder. They were twined together on the sofa in intimate repose.
"We studied Veelas in Care of Magical Creatures in Fourth Year, remember?" asked Malfoy. Harry simply shook his head, and Malfoy said, "I suppose you had other things on your mind that year, yeah?" He went on without waiting for an answer. "Veelas' wings manifest at maturity, and then vanish. However, I'll always have the marks on my back from where they appeared."
The two of them were silent for a time, basking in the warmth of the fire. Harry found himself petting Malfoy's hair again. "What about this?" he asked, indicating the private room with a jerk of his chin. "What about us?"
Malfoy grimaced. "I still don't like you, Potter," he said.
"I don't exactly like you either," Harry countered, voice tetchy.
Malfoy chuckled and shook his head. "At least the sex was adequate."
"Adequate?!" cried Harry. "It was brilliant!"
One blond brow rose. "You think so?" asked Malfoy. "I may need further convincing."
Harry realized Malfoy was actually flirting with him, and he grinned in response. "Convincing you will be my pleasure," said Harry, shifting to crouch over Malfoy. He was delighted when Malfoy parted his legs in welcome. Harry lowered his head and his hips, and his last coherent thought was, Christmas came early this year.