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Only in Hopes of Dreaming

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It was much darker this time, death.

There was no King’s Cross Station, no Dumbledore, no peace. There was only darkness, and pain.

So much pain.

He tried to scream, tried to stand, tried to do something, but his body appeared to be working against him. Death, he assumed, was the only logical conclusion. There was to be no last chance this time, no opportunity to live long enough to right the wrongs that still existed in his world. Hell, there were no wrongs these days, not compared to Voldemort and the war. There was merely his job at the shop, his cramped flat, his Wednesday dinners with Ron and Hermione, and Sundays at the Burrow. How had this even happened? How did he die?

“Mr. Potter.”

He jerked. The voice sounded far away, distorted like its owner was underwater. He tried to respond but what came out when he opened his mouth was little more than a dusty croak.

“You’re going to be all right, I promise. You need to calm yourself.”

He tried again. “Wha –“

“Deep breath.”

After sucking air into his lungs, Harry moistened his lips. “Dead?”

A low chuckle sounded, somewhat more clearly. “No. You aren’t dead.”

“Water?”

“Yes. Lift your head. I have a pain potion for you as well.”

A glass was guided to his lips and he began to drink in greedy gulps. “Thank you,” he rasped.

“You’re welcome. Here, the potion.”

“I – I shouldn’t…”

“I’m not attempting to poison you. You’ve my word. This part is the most painful, and the potion will help.”

With a jerky nod, Harry opened his mouth to accept the potion. “What’s happening to me?” he whispered.

“It’s… complicated.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m a friend.”

His mind was beginning to fog, and his eyelids felt strangely heavy despite his lack of vision. “No, no… I feel… don’t want…”

“Hush, now. The potion will make you sleepy, but when you wake you’ll feel better.”

“Will you…” Harry yawned and clutched the cool sheets beneath his hands.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Sleep claimed him, and he dreamed of pale skin and paler wings.

~~~

Draco pulled the duvet up to cover Harry to his waist, then ran a hand lightly over one of the budding wings protruding from Harry’s bare back. He sighed and moved away from the bed.

It had been years of waiting, never knowing which would be the one to change his life. To change Potter’s life. July 31st came and went four times, but the fifth had brought the anticipation to its end.

Potter whimpered in his sleep, and Draco laid the cool back of his hand against the other man’s feverish cheek. It was surreal, having his school rival in his bed, but dread alone filled Draco’s chest as he watched Harry’s limbs twitch.

The passing years had offered no solution, no reasonable way to handle the situation at hand. Inevitably Potter would wake and ask his questions and Draco would not be able to put him off any longer. Potter would demand to know where he was, why he couldn’t see, and why he was something more than human. Draco would take full advantage of the temporary blindness and voice-changing spells as long as he could, but eventually Potter would have to know the truth.

God and Merlin help him when Draco had to confess that it was all his doing.

~~~

“Young Mr. Malfoy.” The Dark Lord’s sibilant voice made Draco want to shudder, but he remained still.

“Yes, my Lord. You summoned?”

“You failed me. You understand that, don’t you, Draco?”

Draco swallowed. “Yes, my Lord. I am very sorry, I-“

“Excuses are for the weak and pathetic. Like yourself, and your father. Do you think I have any reason to spare your pitiful life, boy?”

“I – I would like another chance to –“

“Do you think I have any reason to spare your life?” The Dark Lord stood.

“No,” Draco whispered.

“Good. I’m glad you agree. However… I have discovered something for which you might fulfill a purpose.”

Relief flooded him. “Anything, my Lord.”

“Immortality, Draco. That is my wish, and my demand. I’ve taken steps to achieve it, but I’ve missed one very important step. When your father wished to carry on his legacy of pathetic fools, he sired you. The next in the incompetent Malfoy line.”

Draco clenched his teeth. “Yes, sir.”

“Be quiet. I wish to do the same, except my offspring will rule beside me with power comparable to my own. And do you know what I recently learned?”

Draco remained silent, unsure if he should speak.

“I learned that male Veela can become pregnant. Did you know that, beautiful Draco?”

The Dark Lord reached out and ran a fingertip down Draco’s cheek. Draco’s groin flooded with warmth as he pissed himself. “I… I did,” he croaked.

“Then you might understand why I have use for you.”

Deciding he would sooner kill himself than mate with a monster, Draco nodded, a single, jerky motion. “As you wish.”

“Don’t be a fool,” the Dark Lord hissed. “You couldn’t possibly think I’d wish my child to inherit any of your inadequacies.”

“I don’t understand…”

“Of course you don’t.” He slapped Draco then, hard enough to cause Draco to stumble. “I am aware that you came into your heritage recently, despite your mother’s attempts at hiding it from me. And though your body would likely provide a pleasurable fuck, you don’t deserve my seed. I require two things from you – your blood, and your brewing abilities.”

Draco’s head was beginning to pound. “I will… I will do whatever you require.”

“So you’ve said before. And this time, if you fail, you will die.”

“I will not fail.”

“I hope not. This task is less… taxing than the last. There is a potion that will turn a human into a Veela, and I need for you to brew it. It will require the blood of a Veela, which you will provide. Severus tells me you were his most competent student during his years teaching Potions, and as he is otherwise occupied at Hogwarts he will not be able to give his full attention to a complicated brew such as this will be. You will remain here and prepare the potion, and then you will find a way to ensure it is ingested by my intended target.”

Draco took a breath. “I will see it is done. Might I ask who will be receiving it, so I may begin to formulate a plan?”

The Dark Lord ambled toward the window to gaze outside. “I’ve been hasty in my desire to exact revenge on Harry Potter. He can, and will, serve a much greater purpose.”

“Potter?”

“He will be captured and held once he’s taken the potion. It’s not certain how long the draught will take to have the desired effects, but once he’s gone through the change…” His voice took on a dreamy quality. “I will fuck him, young Draco. Perhaps, as a reward for your success, I will allow you to watch as I take him and fill him. And he will bear my child, my children. Why stop at one? Imagine – the second most powerful wizard alive, my very own broodmare.”

Tears unexpectedly began to prickle at Draco’s eyes. “That is an inspired plan, my Lord. Shall I get to work, then?”

“You may. Do not disappoint me, Draco. Your failure will mean your death, and that of your parents.”

Draco nodded and turned to leave.

~~~

Harry’s head throbbed as he woke, and the world remained dark. “Hello?” he mumbled.

“I’m here.”

It was strange to feel so relieved at a stranger’s presence, and by the gentle fingers that touched his sweaty forehead before blotting it with a moist flannel, but the circumstances left him incredibly vulnerable and the man had only shown him kindness thus far. “Can you help me?”

“Yes. Would you like a headache potion?”

“How did you know I have a headache?”

“I remember my own transformation quite well. Here, open up.”

Harry’s lips parted obediently. “Transformation?” he asked once he’d swallowed the vial’s contents. “I don’t understand.”

“I’m a Veela, Po – Mr. Potter. And now, so are you.”

“What?” Harry struggled to sit up and cried out. Pain lit his nerve endings from head to toe, and his back ached with a peculiar burn between his shoulder blades.

“Calm down. Be still – you’re in no condition to move just yet.”

“I can’t be a Veela. I’m not a woman.” Harry curled into a ball and tried to breathe through the pain.

“There are male Veela too.”

“How could I be… my parents, I…” Harry trailed off when a hand began to stroke his back, but not exactly his back… he didn’t understand the feeling, but the ache faded a bit more with each motion.

“Partial Veela are often the product of recessive genes, sometimes for multiple generations. For example, my great-great-grandmother on my father’s side was a Veela. No one has been since, until me, but lineage is very important to my family so I was tested when I was very young and found to possess the gene.”

Harry’s brow furrowed. “But… I guess I wouldn’t be able to find out, then. I don’t have any of my family’s genealogy. I don’t have much of anything from my family.”

“I’m sorry.” The man sounded genuine, and his hand didn’t stop moving.

“What is your name?”

“I am… I am Drake.”

“Drake.” Harry sighed. “Thank you. I don’t understand why this is happening, or how I got here… where am I?”

“You are in my home.”

“I don’t recall much of what happened before I woke up here.”

Drake cleared his throat. “What is the last thing you remember?”

“Er… I’d finished at the shop and met Ron and the others at the Leaky. It’s my birthday, or was… I don’t even know what day it is.”

“Your birthday was two days ago. It’s Sunday afternoon.”

“Fuck. I need to get word to George that I won’t be in tomorrow. I was off the weekend, but… and Hermione will be worried, I’m always at the Burrow for dinner on Sundays. What will I tell her? They’ll think I’ve been kidnapped. Have I been kidnapped? I still don’t know why I’m here, or how…”

“Calm yourself, Mr. Potter. I assure you, you are free to go at any time, but you may find I can provide the information you need.”

He did his best to relax, truly, but it was difficult with more questions than answers. “I’m sorry. I’m trying.”

“Perhaps you could send a Patronus to your friends. You could dictate a letter to them, but they might be unnerved by an unfamiliar hand, and they might detect a handwriting charm. There would be no question with a Patronus.”

“That’s a good idea, but what will I say? Do I have my wand? Did they see me leave? We were talking about what I remember from that night – I remember a bloke buying me a drink and then pulling me toward the men’s for a snog, and Seamus was laughing… and then nothing until I woke up here. Why can’t I see, Drake? Does being a Veela cause blindness? Are you blind?”

“One thing at a time. First, no, I am not blind, and you won’t be either. This is temporary. Second, perhaps you could tell your friends you’ve decided to take a spur of the moment trip. Another birthday has passed and you’ve realized you’re not getting any younger. Tell them you’re planning to be back by the end of the month.”

“Will I need to be here that long?” Harry cried.

“You don’t need to be here any longer than you desire to be, but I am not certain how long your transformation will take. The later in life it occurs, the longer the process. You are not my hostage, Mr. Potter. I merely want to help you in any way I can, one Veela to another.”

“Harry. You’ve opened your home to me, so you may as well call me by my given name.”

“Harry, then. Now – why don’t you send your Patronus off with a nice, cheerful message, and I’ll prepare a meal. You’ll need your strength.”

Harry swallowed and gripped his wand when Drake pressed it into his hand. “Thanks. For the story, too… I don’t generally run off on impromptu holidays, but I don’t want to tell them about this until I understand it myself.”

“That’s reasonable. After you’ve had something to eat, we’ll talk about everything, all right?”

~~~

“How did you find me?”

Draco took the empty vial from Harry and sat in the chair beside the bed. “Well, I was at the Leaky that night, as it happens. A Veela can sense other Veela, and one who is preparing to transform… it’s a unique scent. I hadn’t experienced it, until you, but I knew what was happening. I knew just as clearly that you did not.”

“How?”

“Had you known what you were, you’d never have gone out,” Draco said simply.

“I don’t understand.” Harry grimaced as he tried to change positions.

“Most Veela undergo the change at age seventeen,” Draco explained. “I did. When you’re aware of your heritage, you are generally prepared. For instance, my mother was with me during my transformation because we knew it would be painful and difficult. Knowing what was to happen since I was a child ensured I would be ready.”

“So why didn’t it happen for me at seventeen, then?”

Because it wasn’t supposed to happen at all. Draco closed his eyes. “It’s hard to say. Sometimes it doesn’t. You’ve been under a great deal of stress in your life, have you not?”

“Yeah, I suppose you would know who I am,” Harry mumbled.

“Perhaps some of that had something to do with the delay,” Draco offered. “It’s not always understood. But, at any rate, had you known… you probably wouldn’t have gone out. If my change hadn’t happened on my seventeenth birthday, I’d have been watching for signs on my eighteenth. I wouldn’t want to be out someplace when it began.” This was, at least, true. The books Draco’s mother had given him as a teenager had indicated that in some cases a transformation could be delayed by a year or more. In Harry’s case, though…

“I had a headache all day.” Harry touched his temple as though remembering the pain. “I couldn’t shake it, even with a potion. I wanted to go home and go to sleep, but Ron and the others were excited… we always go to the Leaky for my birthday. George brought me along and I got caught up, I suppose.”

“Right, with the bloke dragging you off.”

Harry chuckled. “Yeah. I hope he’s not disappointed he didn’t get the snog he was after. Or maybe he did, I can’t exactly remember, can I?”

“He’s not disappointed. He didn’t get the snog, but he didn’t actually drag you away for that – it was merely a ruse to get you into a more private place.”

“What?”

“You were about to pass out or start screaming, one or the other, and I didn’t imagine your friends would have appreciated a stranger taking off with you in that state, so I pretended to hit on you and got you into the loo before I Apparated. We made it just in time.”

“Oh.” Harry scowled. “Figures.”

Draco raised a brow. “What’s that?”

“Turns out I’m some sort of creature, and the handsome bloke I thought I’d get to snog didn’t even want me. Happy birthday, Harry.”

Draco reddened, absurdly pleased at the compliment despite the fact that he’d used Glamours to mask himself. “Being a Veela isn’t bad, Harry. Not once the initial change is done. And I may have had other reasons, but…” He leaned over and brushed a ghost of a kiss over Harry’s lips. “That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have enjoyed the snog.”

Harry’s throat worked convulsively and he raised a hand, reaching toward Draco. “What was that?” he breathed.

Draco stumbled backward. The kiss – barely substantial enough to qualify – had sent a jolt through his body like nothing he’d felt before. “I don’t know what you mean,” he managed. “I think you’re tired, that’s all. Sleep, now, and I’ll see you in the morning, all right?”

“But…”

“Good night, Harry,” Draco whispered.

He made his way to his study on shaking legs and pulled out the book his mother had given him. Even after finally retiring to bed, it was a long time before sleep came.

~~~

Draco read the instructions over for easily the twentieth time. It was a straightforward brew; time-consuming to be sure, but not overly difficult for someone with his educational background. He wasn’t sure how he would deliver the potion to Potter, but that would come over time.

He closed his eyes, imagining the horror he’d first envisioned when the Dark Lord had detailed his plan. That… that monster driving into him, using his body until he achieved his goal… and then having to endure a pregnancy he didn’t want, only to give birth to the most evil of spawn. The innate innocence of a child surely would not matter once it was raised by the most disgusting creature in existence.

Somehow, though, his mental picture shifted and he replayed the scenes over again. Black hair and green eyes appeared – eyes filled with misery and betrayal. Potter being raped, Potter heavy with the Dark Lord’s child… it nauseated Draco. How could he do that to another person? How could he do that to Potter, the one man he needed? If Draco wanted this all to end, and oh, he did… Potter had to live, and Potter had to win.

The final paragraph of the recipe caught Draco’s eye, and he took a deep breath. If he was to do this, alter the potion, it had to be added now. The finished potion would not appear any different, visually, and the Dark Lord wouldn’t know what he’d done. It could buy him time, could buy Potter time… or it could result in death for them both.

Still, it seemed to be the only option, the only way.

With a deep breath, Draco unfastened his trousers and pulled out his cock. The vision of Potter, spread out naked while the Dark Lord violated him, returned unbidden and Draco bit his lip. He pushed the bastard aside in his thoughts and imagined himself, instead, and Potter’s lips curved into a smile when Draco took over and began to devour him. His hands ran over Potter’s form, tracing muscles and jutting hipbones, and he bent to take Potter’s cock into his mouth.

The image was powerful, causing Draco’s prick to fill quickly as he stroked it. He imagined Harry bowing beneath him and coming down his throat, body pliant and relaxed afterward. Draco licked his lips and sped his hand, picturing Harry’s body opening to him as he pushed inside and began to fuck him with slow, sure strokes.

His imaginary lover was so responsive, so beautiful, and Draco’s orgasm approached quickly. He stepped onto the stool to allow his cock to clear the cauldron – the instructions were clear on the sample being delivered directly from the source – and as he imagined himself pounding into Potter’s arse he came, aiming spurt after spurt of pearly release into the brew. When the final drop had escaped his slit and came into contact with the golden potion, the entire surface began to spark and turn to a brilliant purple. Draco moved away quickly, tucking himself away and peering into the cauldron. His spunk dissolved and the liquid bubbled before returning to the proper color.

Draco exhaled. It was done.

~~~

Harry yawned and opened his eyes. The darkness was still present, and he wanted to weep. “Drake?”

Footsteps reassured him that he wasn’t alone. “Harry. You slept well?”

“I did. I… I need to go to the bathroom.”

“All right. Would you like me to use the spell again, or would you like to do it?”

Harry made a face. “I don’t like the way it feels. I was hoping I could get up.”

“You can try. I’ll help you, but if it’s too much…”

“Then we can go with the spell. I need to move, though, please.”

“I understand.”

Harry groaned and allowed Drake to pull him up slowly. It was painful, but far more tolerable than the day before. “I think… I just need a moment.”

“It’s fine. Sit here, all right?” The bed dipped as Drake sat down beside him, a bracing arm around his shoulders, and Harry leaned into his side.

“I always feel better when you touch me,” Harry murmured. “Why?”

“I… perhaps because your body senses I am a kindred creature, I suppose.”

“What is that? On my back? It feels like you brushed something, but your arm didn’t move.”

“No, you did. Your wing, Harry. It touched my elbow.”

“I have wings?”

Drake laughed. “You’ve at least seen Veela, haven’t you?”

“No, I know. That was stupid. I just…”

“It’s all right, Harry. You can’t see yet, and it’s a lot to take in. I understand.”

“Why can’t I see?” Harry gripped Drake’s knee. “Are you certain my sight will return?”

“Mmm. Baby birds are generally blind when born. Not all species, but more than not. In that way, Veela are blind when they transform. It is not permanent – in fact, my vision improved. I needed reading glasses before, and now I don’t.”

“Maybe I won’t need glasses anymore, either.”

“Perhaps. Would you like to try and stand now?”

“All right.” Harry hissed as he stood, Drake’s presence never wavering, and shuffled along with a hand out. “Don’t let me run into the wall.”

“I won’t. This way. You, er… you might want to sit down.”

“Where?”

“The toilet, Harry. Not many seating options in the loo, really.”

“I know, but I don’t have to… I mean, I just need to…” Harry felt his face heat. The man, kind as he was, was still something of a stranger and Harry didn’t fancy explaining his bodily functions to him.

“I understand that, but as you can’t see your target and I prefer people refrain from pissing all over my bathroom, your options are to allow me to aim your dick for you or to sit down.”

Fairly certain he was crimson by now, Harry fumbled with his denims. “Right. I’ll sit,” he muttered.

“Good. I’m going to bring some pajama bottoms in for you, all right? And while you’re up, you’re welcome to have a bath.”

Unable to stop the groan from escaping, Harry squeezed Drake’s arm. “That sounds heavenly.”

“All right.” Drake turned Harry by the shoulders. “One step back and you’re at the toilet. Give me a moment to start the taps so the bath can fill, and I’ll leave you to your business. Call when you’re finished and I’ll help you into the bath.”

“Oh. Right. I’ll be sort of, you know, naked.”

“As most of us are while we bathe, yes.”

“You aren’t going to look, are you?”

“Harry, seriously?”

“Sorry, I know you won’t. I’m being a child. This is just really awkward.”

“I know it is. And just so you know, I’m a gay man with a rather attractive bloke right here in my bathroom. Of course I’m going to look.”

“Drake!”

“But I promise not to touch. All right, I’m leaving – call when you’re finished.”

Harry waited until he heard the door close before he laughed.

~~~

Draco definitely looked.

What man or woman, sexual orientation completely aside, wouldn’t take the opportunity to ogle Harry Potter’s bits and arse, even just for a moment? And as Draco’s body had always responded favorably to Potter’s form – even poorly clothed and scrawny as it was in its earlier years, and even when his mind preferred to detest Potter rather than desire him – it was no hardship to enjoy the view now.

Draco was not a saint, and at least he would have one pleasant memory when Potter had him tossed in Azkaban.

It was a toss-up, really, as to whether the best view was coming or going. The arse, for its part, was muscular and high and edible. Truly, Draco wanted to sink his teeth into it and tug. And when Harry bent over to test the water, the briefest glimpse of a wrinkled pink pucker nearly caused Draco to moan aloud.

Then there was his cock.

Uncut, a nice length even while flaccid, and joined by a heavy sac that Draco had a sudden and very intense desire to lick… Harry Potter had grown up quite nicely, and Draco was fairly certain that he’d feel quite the same even if the additional element didn’t exist. What he had done to the potion… he’d known it would change things, but he hadn’t realized exactly what it meant until he’d kissed Harry.

He was well and truly fucked, no matter the outcome.

“This feels so good,” Harry sighed as he settled into the water.

“I’m glad. I should let you get to it, then.”

“No, stay. Please?” Harry asked, voice hesitant. “Would you? You could tell me more… there’s so much I still don’t understand.”

“All right.” Draco sat on the small bench near the door. “What would you like to know?”

“What happened to me next, after you took me from the pub?”

“Yes. I pulled you into the loo, as I told you, and I could see the change was coming rapidly. I brought us here and it began just after we arrived. It was fascinating to watch, because I’ve only experienced it from your side. It was terrifying.”

“I don’t really remember anything other than waking up afterward, but that was pretty terrifying.”

“I imagine,” Draco agreed. “I remember when I came to the next morning. I knew what to expect and it was still very frightening, but my mother was so calm… it must have been torturous for her to watch, but she never let on.”

“Just like you. You were calm, too, and it helped. What do I look like, Drake? I have these wings now… I was lying on my side in the bed, but I can feel them when I rest against the side of the tub. It’s so strange.”

“It takes some getting used to. But in the coming days you will learn to retract them, to control them. They won’t be out all the time.”

“Do I…” Harry raised his hands to his face. “I don’t have a beak or anything, right? Feathers?”

Draco chuckled. “No. You’re still the same as you were, other than the wings. You will have feathers there, but nowhere else. Your pinfeathers are starting to come in, and within a few days your plumage will be fully grown.”

Harry reached a tentative hand over his shoulder to touch a wing and gasped. “It’s so strange.”

“Yes. At first. But they are lovely.”

“Will you show me your wings? When I can see again?”

Draco’s heart wrenched a bit. He’d have to use a Glamour when Harry’s sight returned, but pulling his wings out would cancel the spell. “Sure.”

“Will everything go back to normal when I can see again?”

“Yes, you can live as you always did.”

“That’s good, I suppose. Is it true that we have mates? Someone we’re supposed to be with? My friend Bill is married to a Veela, and she always refers to him as her mate.”

“Yes and no. Generally… Veela are romantic creatures, and we do mate for life. In most cases there is no predestined mate, as all the romance novels would have you believe, but when we fall in love it tends to be forever.”

“That’s… that’s nice.”

“Yes.” Draco dropped his head into his hands. Knowing he could never have that now… marriage was not on the forefront of his mind by any means, but it had always existed as a comfortable assumption about his future. Now…

“Are you… you’re single, aren’t you? Or at least you live alone.”

“Yes, on both counts.”

“How old are you?”

“Twenty-two.”

“So am I! Did you go to Hogwarts? I don’t remember anyone named Drake…”

“No, I didn’t. I… studied privately.”

“Oh.” Harry fumbled around with his fingers on the ledge of the tub, knocking two bottles into the water. “Hell.”

“What are you looking for?” Draco stood.

“Flannel. I’m getting far too relaxed… I may nod off if I stay in much longer.”

“You’ll still be fatigued for some time.” Draco retrieved the flannel that Harry’s fingers had missed and placed it in Harry’s hand, glad the bubbles in the water covered the more interesting parts. His very being was urging him to climb into the tub and ravage Harry. “Shall I wash your back?” he blurted before he could stop himself.

Harry’s lips curved. “I bet you say that to all the Veela you rescue.”

“I suppose you could say that, seeing as how you’re the only one.” He took the flannel back and poured a bit of his favorite cleansing potion onto it, then ran the cloth carefully across Harry’s shoulders. He urged Harry forward and stroked his hand over the area between Harry’s sensitive wings. The flannel was likely to hurt the newly-formed appendages, but he knew his touch would not.

“Mmm. Thank you,” Harry murmured. “You’re my guardian angel, you realize.”

Draco smiled. “I may have wings, but I am no angel. Trust me.”

“You are, to me. If you hadn’t been there my friends probably would have gone mental and I’d be locked up in St. Mungo’s. They wouldn’t have known how to help.”

“It’s the least I could do.” Draco swallowed around the lump forming in throat. It was somewhat humorous to think about how little remorse he’d felt in his life, entitled brat that he knew he’d been, until he was sixteen. From then on out he learned the real meaning of regret and the heavy weight of guilt, and it was becoming clear that his youthful actions would follow him forever.

They both fell silent as Draco continued to wash Harry’s wings with careful fingers, stroking the sharp, new feathers and coming to rest on the heated skin beneath the wings. His cock was incredibly hard, just from touching the man, but he knew his body was merely responding the way it was supposed to.

“Harry,” he said quietly. “Can you stand? I’m going to use a drying spell when you step out.”

“Hmm? Yes, I…” A rust-colored stain bloomed across the back of Harry’s neck. “Except I might need a moment, if that’s all right.”

“Of course. Call when you’re ready.” Draco stifled a groan. He knew exactly why Harry ‘needed a moment.’

Draco fairly fled the bathroom, closing the door and dropping to his knees. He tore into his trousers and gripped his cock, imaging Harry doing the same in the bath, and found himself on the brink in mere moments. In the end, all it took was the sound of Harry’s whimper on the other side of the door to send him over the edge, and he came with a stifled cry.

Inexplicably, tears burned behind his eyes as he cleaned up his mess. The need to keep and claim Harry made his very being ache, and the anticipatory grief of Harry’s rejection was a blow to the gut. He hadn’t known he was damning himself when he altered that godforsaken potion, but could he have done anything else? He could have refused all together, but he’d have been killed and, worse, so would his mother. He could have left the potion as it was supposed to be, but if he hadn’t and the Dark Lord had won…

He couldn’t change history, not now, and he supposed it was a fitting punishment for the transgressions of his youth. He would die lonely, but Harry would be able to find happiness once he had no further contact with Draco.

And when he learned the truth, Harry would certainly want no further contact.

~~~

Back in bed, Harry straddled sleep and wakefulness with a hazy mind. He was desperate to regain his vision so that he could see Drake again, put a face to the voice and hands he was coming to know so well. He barely remembered seeing him at the pub, but he recalled having found him attractive, and now… he thought the man must be positively gorgeous.

He’d be embarrassed about his erection in the bath, but it had resulted in possibly the most satisfying wank of his life and he couldn’t be arsed to worry about it. It was strange to become aroused so easily, but then Drake had told him Veela are romantic creatures, hadn’t he? Surely with two of them in one space there had to be an abundance of pheromones permeating the air, and perhaps his new wings were some sort of erogenous zone. All he knew was that his body, while tired, barely hurt anymore.

“Drake?” he mumbled. “You here?”

Silence met him and he sighed. He didn’t need anything, really, but he liked knowing his new friend was nearby. Friend, or perhaps more… Drake had indicated he found Harry attractive, and Harry very clearly liked what he knew of the man.

“Drake?” he tried again.

There was still no reply, but then the familiar footsteps sounded and Harry smiled. “Harry?” Drake said softly. “Did you call me?”

“Yes, sorry.”

“What do you need?”

“Just you,” Harry murmured. “Will you tell me a story? Something about you?” He reached out when he heard Drake approach, and fingers laced with his on the bed.

“What would you like to know?”

“Everything.”

“Hmm. I’m not terribly interesting, I’m afraid.”

“I think you are. Where do you work?”

“I work from home. I brew medicinal potions for St. Mungo’s.”

“Wow. I’m pants at Potions. What else do you do?”

“Not too much, honestly. I read a lot, and I’m working on a study right now that I hope to have published on the effects of pain and anxiety potions. I go out now and again for a drink with friends.”

Harry rubbed the back of Drake’s hand with his thumb. “Do you have any pets?”

Drake chuckled. “No. Well, an owl, but nothing else.”

“Do you like being a Veela?”

“It is what I am. I’ve never really thought about it one way or the other.”

“I’m so tired of being different, Drake,” Harry sighed. “Always been different. My family hated me for being different.”

“They did?”

“Mmm. Locked me up, called me a freak. Didn’t know why I was different until I was eleven.”

“You didn’t know you were a wizard?”

Harry yawned. “No, not until my Hogwarts letter came. Then I found out what had happened to me, to my parents… I only ever wanted to be normal. And to be loved. I never had any of that. And now this…”

“Harry.” Drake’s voice was very close now, near his ear. “You are loved. You’ve got all sorts of friends, don’t you?”

“Yes. Great friends.”

“See? And you couldn’t help the rest. You couldn’t help this, either. I’m so sorry.”

“Why’re you sorry?” Harry felt sleep taking over at last, licking at the hazy edges of consciousness. “Not your fault.”

“I… I am sorry, though.”

“Got to meet you, didn’t I? So it’s not all bad.”

As he drifted off, Harry thought he felt Drake’s lips brush his cheek, and he smiled.

~~~

I only ever wanted to be normal. And to be loved. I never had any of that.

Harry’s words replayed again and again in Draco’s mind, twisting life a knife and disrupting his concentration. He tossed his quill aside – clearly no real work would be completed when he couldn’t keep his focus on the project – and paced in front of his desk.

Harry is going to be fine, he told himself. The potion binds me to him, but not him to me. He can live a full life with someone else, and forget all about me.

He needed to prepare. Needed to decide how he would handle things when Harry could see. It could happen any day, really, and he wasn’t sure how to approach the eventual confrontation. Unpleasant as it would be, he had to tell Harry the truth. He owed him that much. It was tempting, the thought of keeping his secret indefinitely, but he’d spent too many years attempting to right his wrongs to regress now.

He only hoped he had some more time before he had to give Harry up for good.

~~~

A week passed with no improvement in his vision, but Harry tried not to focus on that. Drake told him it would take time, and he trusted Drake. He believed him. He wanted him.

Harry had to admit there was something there, something visceral and real. It was more than dependency on the kindness of a man who shared his orientation – Harry had several gay friends who he did not want to shag in the least, but Drake… Drake was special.

They spent countless hours talking about anything and everything. Harry shared more of his own history, surprised at the words that tumbled out even as he said them. It still wasn’t easy to talk about his childhood, but with Drake it was different. It seemed safe, somehow, because he felt certain that Drake would not judge him or pity him. He simply listened with quiet support that Harry could feel, wrapped around him like a blanket.

For his part, Drake told him stories of his own childhood. Harry enjoyed hearing about the strict father and poised yet overindulgent mother, and he warmed at the adoration in Drake’s voice when he spoke of her. Though many details weren’t given, he understood that Drake wasn’t proud of the person he’d been in his youth. Harry understood the desire to escape one’s past all too well.

Drake was funny, as well. He was obviously intelligent and had a witty, often snarky, response for nearly anything Harry said. His voice triggered something in Harry, something familiar… yet not. All in all Harry imagined that there probably wasn’t a better way to undergo this unexpected event. If Drake hadn’t been there… he could only guess at the horrid Prophet headlines.

“What’s funny?”

Harry sat up in bed, having returned for a nap after lunch in the sitting room. Much of his pain was gone and he was able to move around more with Drake’s assistance, but he still fatigued easily. “Oh, nothing. I was just thinking about what might have happened to me without you there.”

“Oh?”

“I know I’ve told you before, but I imagine my friends would have sent me straight to St. Mungo’s. This is so much better. If it had begun at the Leaky I’d have been all over the Prophet, all over again.”

“Yes, that’s likely true. You’re already the wizarding world’s most eligible bachelor – imagine what will happen when they discover you’re a Veela. The gay men and eternally hopeful women will swoon for a winged Harry Potter.”

“You seem familiar to me,” Harry said suddenly.

“I should hope so. You’ve been living in my home for some time now.”

“No, it’s… something about the way you say certain things. I don’t know what it is, but I feel as though we’ve met before. I’m sure you just remind me of someone, but I can’t think of who it is.”

“How sad. I pride myself on being delightfully unique.”

“And that!” Harry laughed. “Well, I like it, whatever it is. I like you.”

“I like you, too, Harry.”

“Drake, do you think… do you think we’ll see each other again after this? When I go home? I mean, would you want to…”

“Potter, are you asking me out?”

“You…” Harry frowned. It was there again, that familiar twinge. “Don’t call me Potter, please.”

“I apologize.”

“It’s all right, it just… I don’t know what it is.”

“Well, Harry, to answer your question… if you truly desire more time with me once this is finished, then yes. I’d be happy to see you again.”

Harry smiled. “That’s good. Really good. I don’t know if you feel it, but I feel like there’s a connection, you know?”

“I… I do.” Drake’s tone was cautious. “But then this is an intense experience, and that can produce feelings that are somewhat amplified.”

“I understand, but… I’ve had more than my share of intense experiences, Drake. I’ve never felt more than friendship for people I nearly died with, people I saved or who saved me… this feels different. Like perhaps we were supposed to meet this way, you know?”

“Maybe.”

“I’m not suggesting we run off together,” Harry said hastily, afraid he was scaring Drake off. “I just think we should remain friends, or… whatever we become.”

“Harry.” Drake’s hand landed on Harry’s arm. “It’s all right. I would like that, too. But if you find you don’t feel the same when our time here is done, I will understand.”
“Tell me you don’t feel that,” Harry whispered. “A hand on my arm feels more intimate than the last kiss I received, before you.”

“I told you, we’re both –“

“Kindred creatures, I know, but… Drake, would you… will you kiss me?” Harry asked.

Drake was silent, and after several moments he withdrew his hand. “I shouldn’t, Harry. I’m sorry.”

“But you did once before.” Harry hated the desperation in his voice, but something inside him was all but screaming that he should kiss this man, keep him close.

“Barely. It isn’t as though I wouldn’t like to, but you’re still –“

“I’m feeling much better, Drake. Truly.”

“But you can’t see me.”

“I don’t need to see you to know what I feel. I’m not that shallow.”

“I know you aren’t, but –“

“Please, Drake. I just need to see if what I’m feeling… please.”

He felt Drake approach the bed, the sensation echoing more loudly within him than the actual sound of footsteps. “Only for a moment,” Drake murmured, his face close to Harry’s, and then he moved…

Harry’s arms came up and around Drake’s neck the moment their lips met, anxious to anchor himself to the electricity that speared through him. He felt aroused and excited and alive, and he couldn’t bear the idea of never having it again – so much so that he whimpered when Drake began to pull away. Harry pulled him back in and licked at his closed mouth until it fell open, and when Drake’s tongue reached for his he moaned.

“Harry,” Drake breathed against his lips. “Oh, Harry…”

“Don’t… please, Drake…” Harry pulled and then gasped when Drake shifted and lowered himself to the bed.

Their mouths came together again, working to devour one another, and Harry ran greedy hands down Drake’s back, reveling in the feel of his lithe form. He tilted his chin up to allow better access when Drake’s lips moved to his jaw and then his throat, and then – “Oh!” Harry cried, hips jerking upward when Drake swung a leg over his body and straddled him, placing their erections in very close contact.

He clutched at Drake’s arse, squeezing and gripping though the trousers he wanted to rip away, and they moved together. Their kisses were messy and their motions were frantic as they frotted to completion, Drake moaning into Harry’s mouth as his cock began to pulse and Harry answering by wrapping his legs around Drake’s waist and thrusting up once more before joining him in ecstasy.

Panting heavily, Drake buried his face against Harry’s neck. “Did I hurt your wings?” he whispered.

“No, it doesn’t hurt to lie on them anymore.” He shifted experimentally, still not proficient at moving them independently, and felt them lift to curl around Drake, who gasped.

“This…” Drake’s voice sounded strangled, and Harry frowned when he felt moisture on his skin. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done this. I have to –“

“Drake, what’s wrong? I wanted this. I want more than this. You didn’t –“

“It was wrong. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Drake scrambled to get up, and Harry sat up.

“I am an adult, Drake,” he snapped. “I’m capable of making my own decisions, and there’s nothing wrong with what we did. Didn’t you like it?”

“Of course I bloody liked it,” Drake choked. “But it was still wrong, and I shouldn’t… I have to go. I’ll return with your dinner when it’s time.”

“Drake!”

“Please, just – just stay here. Leave me be.”

Harry ran a hand over his face, and huffed when the door closed more loudly than usual. “As though I have any other options,” he muttered.

~~~

Draco’s legs shook and he barely made it to his study before he collapsed in his chair. “Fuck,” he whispered. “Oh, fuck.” He felt the tears coursing down his cheeks but didn’t raise a hand to wipe them away.

He knew it would hurt. He knew he shouldn’t touch Harry any more than necessary, and there’s no way in hell he should kiss the man. Yet one whispered plea from the man had him caving in, and the simple kiss he intended had turned into something far more in one rapid heartbeat.

How could I deny him? My very soul cries out for him. How can I ever deny him anything?

How will I be able to do anything but curl up and die once he learns everything and wishes it so?

Harry was so earnest. He wore his heart on his sleeve, just like he always had. Bloody Potter… he’d always made it so easy to get to him, because there was never a doubt where his soft spots were located. He’d always prided himself on his ability to affect Potter but in truth it was not terribly difficult.

And watching Potter’s wide but unseeing eyes, the openness of his face as he told ‘Drake’ he wanted to date him… Draco hadn’t hated Potter for a very long time. He hadn’t even hated him when he was ordered to make the potion, and his feelings since had been so centered around the guilt that consumed him that he hadn’t fully imagined what he might feel when the time finally came.

But he hadn’t really known.

~~~

Draco shook as he carried the tray down the stone steps leading to the dungeon. It was his chance – possibly the only one he would receive – and he needed to make certain it was a success.

He was stunned when his mother had fetched him, urgency etched into her face. “You must come,” she breathed. “They have someone who they believe is Potter, and we need to be sure before the Dark Lord is called. If we’re wrong and we summon him…”

Draco had followed her, heart racing, and when he saw the boy in question he knew it was Potter. The face was hideous, true, but it looked like he’d taken a Stinging Hex or something like it. He would know Potter anywhere, spell or no spell, and his friends were not disguised in the least. But he’d still lied, hoping that Potter would somehow be allowed to leave. Now… his naïve attempts aside, they’d been tossed in the dungeon with the others – except Granger, whose screams echoed above him and made him want to disappear. It was now, or it was death.

The spell would wear off and the Dark Lord would come and if Draco was to have any sort of chance, if Potter was to have any sort of chance, it had to be now.

“Malfoy, what the fuck are you doing to her?” Weasley spat when he opened the cell.

Struggling to remain impassive, Draco snorted. “Nothing, as you can see. I’m right in front of you. It’s my aunt.”

“She won’t get away with this, nor will you!”

His body felt heavy, the weight of his choices bearing down on his shoulders as certainly as lead. “I honestly hope she doesn’t. I hate that mental bitch.”

Weasley’s mouth dropped open. “You…”

“I do. I’ve brought your meal, Lovegood. Brought some for the rest of you as well.”

“As if I’d take anything you prepared. You’ve likely poisoned it.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “I’ve far simpler ways to kill you should I desire, Weasley.”

“It’s all right, Ron.” Lovegood’s tinkly voice rang out. “Draco has been very kind to us. He’s the only one who brings us real food, and he always brings extra. The others aren’t so nice, you see.”

“Water,” Potter mumbled, speaking at last. It sounded somewhat garbled as he couldn’t move his lips well, and his voice was scratchy from disuse, but Draco understood and thanked Salazar for the opportunity. “Just water.”

“Here.” Draco thrust the mug he’d dosed toward Potter, hoping the dark ceramic would mask the off coloring. The potion was to be tasteless, but it left the water with an rusty tint. He passed the remaining food and drink out and released the breath he’d been holding since the day the Dark Lord had given him the assignment when Potter drained the mug and left it empty on the ground.

There was no going back.

~~~

“Are you ready for dinner?”

Harry jerked awake. “Hmm?”

“Sorry. Are you hungry?”

“I guess.” Harry sat up and yawned.

“Do you want to eat in here or out there?”

“I’d like to get up, but if it’s too much trouble for you, here is fine.”

“It’s no trouble.”

“Are you sure? I mean, I’m making the choice, but you might decide it was a bad idea afterward.”

“Harry-“

Holding up a hand, Harry shook his head. “No, I apologize for that. It was immature.”

“Perhaps. But you’ve every right to be upset with me. I said we shouldn’t do anything, and yet I couldn’t stop myself.”

“I don’t understand, Drake. Why did you feel like you needed to stop yourself, if we both wanted what happened?”

“I know it’s difficult to understand, but you will, in time. Look, if you – if you feel the same once you’ve regained your sight and are preparing to return home, I will be happy to do that with you again and again.”

“But why are you insisting that I see you? The way I feel…”

“The way you feel is brand new, and taking things a bit more slowly isn’t always a bad idea.”

Harry felt himself flush. “Sorry,” he muttered. “I just don’t want you to think that your appearance matters to me. I’m attracted to you, the person you are.”

“You’re a very good man, Harry.” Drake sounded so terribly sad that Harry wanted to hold him. “Do you trust me?”

“With my life,” Harry replied without hesitation. “You’ve given me nothing but honesty and safety.”

“Then… then wait. Please.”

It occurred to Harry then that, perhaps, Drake had some sort of handicap or deformity he hadn’t shared with Harry. Something that he’d been rejected for in the past, maybe. And if that was the case… well, Harry was prepared to wait, and to show him that it didn’t affect his feelings in the least. “All right. I will wait, but I’m warning you… I’m very persistent.”

Drake chuckled. “This, I know.”

~~~

Draco was weak.

His best intentions aside, he found himself reaching for Harry whenever they were near one another. He tried to spend more time with his work, but it was no use – he could not concentrate on anything else. Though he’d kept himself from kissing Harry again, they usually sat with their hands linked while talking, and when he’d begun to tell Harry the story of his father’s death he couldn’t resist Harry’s open arms.

Sitting on the bed, back resting against Harry’s front, he closed his eyes and hummed when Harry kissed the side of his head, hands resting on the arms that held him. “He had a heart attack. The Healer said there was nothing for it.” He didn’t mention that it had happened in Azkaban, of course.

“I’m so sorry, Drake.”

“He was… he had his faults, but I loved him. And my mother loved him. She took it very hard.”

“Where is she now?”

“She lives in Italy. My father didn’t like it there, so we rarely went. She wanted a fresh start in a place that didn’t remind her of him.”

“Do you miss her?”

“Yes, of course. But my place is here, and I see her often.”

“That’s good.” Harry mouthed the shell of Draco’s ear, causing him to shiver.

“Stop that,” Draco breathed.

“Stop what?” Harry’s lips moved to cover the skin beneath his ear.

“You’re not supposed to… oh…” He arched his back when Harry’s hand moved beneath his shirt. “I’m going to get up.”

“No, no.” Harry withdrew his hand and sighed. “I’ll be good, I promise.”

“Thank you.”

“You just feel so good in my arms. Like you belong there. Is that crazy? It’s been, what, three weeks now?”

“Three weeks tomorrow, yes. And, no, it’s not crazy.”

“I’m dying to kiss you again. What if I kiss you…” Harry sucked at the spot where Draco’s neck and shoulder met. “And you just don’t kiss me back?”

“Not fair,” Draco moaned. “Your cock is digging into my arse, Harry.”

“Not far enough.” Harry’s hand skimmed down to cup Draco’s erection through his trousers. “Look, you have one too.”

“That’s enough.” Draco slipped away, ignoring Harry’s groan of protest. “You promised.”

“You’re gorgeous,” Harry retorted.

“You don’t know what I look like!”

“I know what you feel like. How about we wank together?”

“Mmm, I think not. You might not be able to see, but I certainly can, and I won’t be able to stop myself from pouncing on you. It’s bad enough helping you into the bath, and I really don’t look anymore.”

“Soon, Drake. The moment I can see again I’m going to do the pouncing.”

“We’ll see. Good night, Harry.”

“Good night, you bloody tease.”

~~~

Harry opened his eyes and had to close them again immediately – the sun was far too bright, even with the curtains partially closed.

Sunlight.

Harry nearly fell out of bed as he moved to get up. He squinted and made his way into the bathroom for a look in the mirror, and gasped.

He had wings. He knew that, of course, but seeing them was quite different. He inhaled sharply when he thought about Drake, who would surely be in the kitchen preparing their breakfast by then. With a grin, he moved quietly back into his room and out the door. He found the kitchen with ease – the house was lovely and open, with window after window letting in all that glorious light.

And then he saw him, and he was fairly certain his heart stopped.

“Drake – oh.” Harry’s hands flew to his mouth. “M-Malfoy?”

Draco’s face was the picture of horror, and he reached for a chair to steady himself. “Harry. You… you can see.”

“It was you? But your voice, it…” Harry felt his lower lip begin to quiver. “You lied to me. Why did you do this?”

“I didn’t think you’d trust me if you knew who I was. I’ve been using a spell for my voice. I knew this would be frightening enough without knowing it was me caring for you.” Draco’s face was the picture of terror.

“But… the rest was true? Why you brought me here?”

“Yes.”

“That’s why you insisted I see you. Because I was going to know who you really were, and you thought I wouldn’t want you anymore.”

“You don’t want me anymore. Look at you, you’re disgusted to be near me.” Draco turned away.

“I’m not.” Harry took a step closer. “I’m very surprised, but… I don’t know what to think, Dr – Malfoy.”

“You can call me Draco. Or Drake, if you like,” he offered. “Some of my friends do.”

“I need time. Can I…” Harry gestured toward the bedroom.

“You’re welcome here as long as you like, Harry. I told you. I still need to help you retract your wings, if you still want my help.”

“Later, maybe. I need to think.”

“All right,” Draco said softly.

“Later. I’ll come out later.” Harry turned away and found his way back, closing the door behind him and then sinking to the floor.

Draco Malfoy had saved him. Not some unknown bloke named Drake. And the attraction… how could he want someone who had done the things Malfoy did? Who had treated him so horribly, ridiculed Ron, and called Hermione names?

But how could he not want someone who spoke to him with such honesty? He may not have known whose story he was hearing, but he didn’t know if even Malfoy could fake the things he’d told Harry. The way he’d told Harry. The earnestness in his tone when he told Harry how much he regretted the person he’d been. The stories about his parents and his childhood…

He’d lied about attending Hogwarts, true, but the rest of it was so very Malfoy, and all of those moments where Drake had seemed so familiar – how had he not known?

A tap sounded at the door and Harry jumped. “Er, come in,” he said, scrambling to his feet.

Malfoy entered cautiously. “I, um, brought you your breakfast. I won’t bother you, but you should still eat.” He placed the tray he carried on the dresser and backed out of the room.

“Wait.” Harry held out a hand. “Wait, please.”

Draco stepped back in and watched Harry, eyes wary. “Yes?”

“I don’t remember seeing much of Drake at the Leaky. I just have a vague picture of a handsome bloke, but I can’t remember his features. And my friends would have noticed you.”

“I used a Glamour. I knew no one would understand what was happening, but there wasn’t time to explain, so…”

“So you decided to help me. Out of the goodness of your heart.”

Draco’s expression hardened. “Right, because someone like me possesses no such goodness.”

“That isn’t what I meant. It’s just that… why would you help me?”

“Why would you help me?” Draco stuffed his hands into his pockets. “You kept my mother and me from going to prison.”

“So this was some sort of… of repayment, then?”

“I suppose I owe you, yes.”

“And the rest, then? Was that real? The…”

“It was real,” Draco said quietly. “But I understand that you don’t want anything further now.”

“I didn’t say that.” Harry looked toward the window. “Your home is lovely.”

“Thank you. When I gave the Manor away… I wanted something different.”

He frowned. “Gave it away?”

“Yes. I couldn’t stand to go back there, so…”

“But I thought… wasn’t it taken from you, by the Ministry?”

Draco looked away. “No. They can’t take our property. They can fine us – and they did, trust me – but the Manor was ours. I didn’t want it, though. There were so many bad memories there, and I couldn’t… I didn’t want to live there again.”

“I can understand that. They’ve turned it into a home, you know. For war orphans and such. So at least it’s gone to a good cause.”

“I know,” Draco replied, a slight smile curving his lips. “I specified that when I donated the property, and I helped with some of the renovations myself. I just thought that with all the damage that was done, some of it by my family… I wanted there to be hope there again, for someone.”

Harry’s breath caught. “That’s… you did a wonderful thing.”

“Yes, well.” Clearly uncomfortable, Draco slipped his hands into his pockets and wandered to the window. “I wanted a clean start in a new home, somewhere with a lot of light. I love the windows here. Mum stayed here for a bit, too, until my father passed. Heart attack, as I told you before.”

“Right, yeah.” Harry studied Draco. He’d grown up nicely, really. His hair was artfully tousled in a way Harry couldn’t manage to emulate, and he knew firsthand how soft it was. He knew exactly how Draco felt nestled against him. He knew how it sounded when he panted and gasped – for certainly a voice spell couldn’t change that too much – and he knew how Draco kissed. He knew how Draco shuddered when he came, and he knew how it felt to have Draco’s full attention and care when he was frightened and blind. He looked at Draco then and took in his pointed features and wary expression, and he swallowed. “I still can’t believe it was you this entire time.”

“Harry, I –“

“Stop.” Harry took a step toward him, and then another when Draco retreated a step. “I don’t know you anymore, Malfoy. But I know Drake, and I like him quite a lot.”

“He… is me,” Draco whispered.

“Then I suppose…” Harry stepped closer and placed a hand on Draco’s cheek. “Then I suppose I like you.”

“I like you, too. More than I ever imagined I possibly could.” Draco’s lips quirked into a shadow of a smile. “Git.”

“Prat,” Harry breathed, and claimed Draco’s mouth in a heated kiss.

Draco embraced him and allowed Harry to press him against the wall. “Harry,” he moaned as his neck was devoured.

“Please don’t stop this time,” Harry said, pulling Draco’s shirt from his trousers. “I see you, Draco, and I want you.”

“Oh, fuck, I…” Draco threaded his fingers through Harry’s hair and tugged, lifting his face for another snog.

Harry unfastened Draco’s trousers and shoved his hand inside, wrapping his fingers around Draco’s cock. Draco hissed and reached for Harry’s, pushing the pajama pants he wore down around his thighs. “Wait,” Harry gasped. He licked his palm and freed Draco’s prick, lining it up beside his and wrapping his hand around both as best as he could. Draco added his own hand and they moved together.

“Harry,” Draco groaned.

It shot right to his cock, the sound of Draco’s voice saying his name that way. Drake’s voice had been pleasant, but this was so much better. Harry jerked and began to come, spilling over their hands and Draco’s cock, and Draco followed him in moments.

“This is mental,” Harry croaked, dropping his forehead to rest on Draco’s shoulder as he caught his breath.

“Yes.” Draco’s arms tightened, nearly cradling Harry against him, and Harry hummed.

“Thank you. For everything you’ve done for me. I don’t know how I’d have managed alone.”

“You’re welcome.”

~~~

Draco lived in a constant state of nauseated bliss with Harry so nearby. It was thrilling, Harry’s acceptance, but he knew it was false. Once Harry knew what he’d done, he would not want Draco any longer. And he would know very soon, because he’d retracted his wings and regained most of his strength. He’d also done his best to seduce Draco, but outside of a great deal of snogging and another mutual wank, Draco was holding out.

He positively ached from the effort, and he knew he shouldn’t have done any of it, but it was so hard to resist. In those moments, with Harry kissing him and wanting him and saying his real name with a reverence in his voice that nearly brought Draco to his knees, he only wanted to hold Harry hostage and keep him forever. But he couldn’t, and now…

Harry would tell his friends, and Draco would live in constant fear of him finding out. Granger would probably research his family line in her ridiculous need to know everything and discover no Veela genes, or something. The guilt was too heavy already, and if he was to build a relationship with Harry on a lie, how stable a foundation would they really have?

No, he’d already done enough. He would do the honorable thing, for once in his life, and tell the truth.

Tomorrow.

And then he’d send Harry home, and await his own decline.

~~~

“I understand your family has failed me again, Draco. You had Potter, here, in your grasp?”

“We did, my Lord,” Draco replied, drawing in a breath.

“And you let him go.” It was not a question.

“He was able to escape, yes. Not, however, before I was able to give him the finished potion.”

The Dark Lord stilled. “You were successful?”

“I was. I provided food and drinks for the prisoners while he was held in the dungeons. I delivered the cup to him myself and watched him drink the contents. It is done, my Lord.”

Thin lips twisting into the barest smile, the Dark Lord closed his eyes. “And now he will be mine. He may have gotten away for now, but before this is done he will come to me, and I will have him. Well done, Draco.”

“Thank you, my Lord.”

“I will perform the spell on him once I have him in my grasp, to be certain he will make the change. The same spell that your parents would have used on you as a child will reveal his destiny now. So long as it is positive, proving you have been both honest and successful in this endeavor, you will be rewarded. Perhaps I’ll make you a godfather to my first child.” The Dark Lord laughed then, a dry and upsetting sound. “You may go, Draco.”

With a curt nod, Draco took his leave. He’d bought himself time, if nothing else, and ensured the Dark Lord would not kill Potter immediately.

Merlin help them both.

~~~

Harry stretched and rose from the bed. He felt good, really good, for the first time in ages. He’d finally adjusted to life as a Veela, it seemed, and with Draco in his life… what had seemed like a cruel twist of fate at first was clearly a gift.

Finding Draco in the kitchen, Harry smiled and approached him from behind, wrapping his arms around Draco’s waist and resting his chin on his shoulder. “Good morning.”

“Good morning.” Draco turned and kissed his lips, lingering just long enough to cause Harry to whimper when he pulled back. “How are you feeling?”

“I’m feeling well. Back to normal, or nearly, I think.”

“That’s great.” His smile seemed strained, but he turned away before Harry could comment. “Would you like breakfast?”

“Sure. Thanks.” Harry pulled out a chair and took a seat at the table. “I’m going to research my parents’ families.”

“What?” A dish clattered to the counter and Draco stilled.

“Well, I was thinking about it, and this whole Veela thing isn’t too bad, now that I’m feeling better and I know so much more than I did, thanks to you. And I’d really like to know where it comes from, you know? It’s a link to one of my parents I never knew about.” Harry frowned at Draco, who was leaning heavily on the sink. “Draco, are you all right?”

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?” Harry rose and moved to place a hand on his shoulder.

“Yes. I just didn’t sleep well.”

Coaxing Draco to turn around, Harry slid his arms around Draco’s neck and grinned. “You’d sleep much better if you’d stop holding out and go to bed with me.”

“Harry…”

“Draco…” Harry murmured teasingly, then kissed him.

Draco moaned into the kiss even as he tried to pull back, but Harry held him close and coaxed his lips to part again. Their tongues met and Harry felt Draco’s resistance melting away. He didn’t know why Draco was so bloody stubborn – he’d told him he still wanted him, knowing who he was, and he’d done his damnedest to show him as well. The past just didn’t matter anymore, not when the present told him everything he needed to know about the man Draco Malfoy had become.

“Take me to bed,” Harry whispered, running his hands under Draco’s shirt and up his spine.

“I… I can’t,” Draco breathed.

“Yes, you can.” Harry dipped his head to nip at the pale throat that was so beautifully exposed when Draco tipped his head back. “I want you inside me.”

“No.” Draco struggled in Harry’s arms until Harry finally stepped back in confusion.

“I don’t understand you, Draco. You said you wanted me. You said you cared for me.”

“I do.”

“You told me that once my vision returned, if I still wanted you… and I do.” Harry’s hands balled into fists. “What did I do to make you change your mind about me? I’ve been here for nearly four weeks now, and I feel… I feel something for you that I’ve never felt before. Don’t you feel it?”

“That doesn’t matter. You’re going home today.”

“Oh. I…” Harry’s brow furrowed. “I mean, I imagine you’re ready to have me out of your way, so…”

“It’s not that. You…” Draco took a deep breath. “You won’t find anything if you look, Harry. Your parents were not Veela, as far as I’m aware.”

“What? But you said… how am I one, then?”

“It’s all my fault.” Draco covered his face with his hands, and when he looked at Harry again his eyes were red.

“What? How is it your fault?”

“Because I gave you a potion to change you. To make you this way.”

Harry recoiled, nearly stumbling in his haste to back away from Draco. “Why – why would you do that? How did you do that?”

“I put it in your drink when you were at the Manor, in the dungeon with your friends.”

“I don’t understand.” Bile rose to the back of Harry’s throat. “Why would you want to do this to me? And you… you took care of me, but –“

“Harry, I didn’t want to do it, but I was ordered to. The Dark Lord –“

“His name was Voldemort, you fucking coward, and he’s dead,” Harry hissed. “I killed him, remember? Even though I was… was this inside, thanks to you, I killed him. Was he hoping to weaken me? There are spells to cause blindness, you know. This was going a bit far.”

“It wasn’t about that. We haven’t talked about it, but male Veela can bear children. And he wanted…” Draco’s throat worked visibly to swallow.

Harry covered his mouth, very afraid he would actually vomit. “You did this to me so that he could rape me? Force me to have his child?”

“He would have killed me, Harry, and my parents.”

“Of course. Doing the right thing, standing up against something that was wrong would never have occurred to you, would it?”

“What would you have done?” Draco cried. “If the most powerful fucking nutter threatened the people you love most? What would you have done? I was barely more than a child, Harry.”

“I can’t look at you anymore.” It hurt, seeing the anguish on Draco’s face, because a part of him ached to ease the man’s pain, to go to him and hold him. But how could he forgive such a thing? If Voldemort’s plan had worked, if he’d manage to capture Harry instead…

“I understand, but if you’ll let me explain –“

“There is nothing to explain. I thought… I was ready to…” Harry pulled his wand from his pocket and held it in his trembling hand. “Good-bye, Malfoy.”

Closing his eyes and trying to focus on his bedroom at home instead of the very visceral pain in his chest, Harry Apparated away.

~~~

It took two days before he had the strength, but Harry finally sent an owl to Hermione and was relieved when she arrived within minutes. Even if there was nothing else certain left in his world, he was firm in his knowledge that Hermione could fix anything.

“You’re back!” she cried, throwing her arms around him. “How was your trip? We missed you, but I’m so glad you decided to go. You looked positively dreadful for weeks, and I was afraid you were ill. George thought perhaps you were working too much. You know he doesn’t need you there all the time, Harry.”

“I need something to do. I like to help at the shop.”

“I know, but you need to take care of yourself, too.” She studied him. “You look better, but you also look very sad. What’s wrong, Harry?”

“I need to talk to you, and it’s very important to me that this stays between us.”

“Of course. Where are your glasses?”

“I don’t need them anymore. Can we sit? This is sort of a long story.”

Hermione frowned. “You’re frightening me, Harry.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to, but… do you remember the night of my birthday?”

Hermione listened as Harry told her everything, and to her credit she didn’t interrupt even as her face expressed exactly what she was thinking. When he was done, she silently handed him a tissue and he realized he had tears on his face.

“Are you all right?” she asked quietly.

“I don’t know. I thought… all of this happened so suddenly. I had been feeling poorly for some time, but I didn’t know why. And then I was with him, and there was so much pain… and I was blind. It was terrifying. I sort of grew to depend on him, and he was so kind to me. He took care of me. No one has ever just taken care of me, Hermione. I don’t mean that to diminish the way you and the Weasleys have always cared for me, but this was different somehow.”

“I imagine.”

“And the more I learned about him, the more I liked him. He was snarky and quick-witted, but also gentle and sort of vulnerable, you know? He opened up to me about his family and his life, and for the first time ever I was able to see Malfoy as a real person.” Harry rubbed the nape of his neck. “And in the end it was all a lie.”

“Was it?”

Harry huffed. “Wasn’t it? He did this to me. None of this would have happened if he hadn’t poisoned me.”

“I don’t want to diminish what you’re feeling, and I’ve always thought Malfoy was a bastard. But as a person who made the decision to erase my parents’ memories and urge them to move far away, never knowing if I’d see them again, I can sympathize with the need to protect the people that matter most.”

“That’s different, Hermione! You didn’t hurt anyone.”

“No, but life isn’t always black and white, Harry. Everyone isn’t as noble as you.”

“I can’t believe you’re on his side. He turned me into a – a –“

“A what? I can’t even see anything different about you.”

“You haven’t seen the wings,” Harry muttered.

“You have wings? Of course you do, that’s silly. Can I see them?”

“No! Focus, Hermione!”

Hermione sighed. “Look, this isn’t about sides, it’s just that it doesn’t all add up for me. You stood for him at his trial. Why?”

“You know why.”

“Remind me.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Dumbledore thought he deserved another chance, and he helped us. So I spoke for him. Clearly he didn’t deserve it.”

“You think he should be sent to Azkaban for this?”

“That’s not what I said.”

“It pretty much is, Harry. If you wanted him to go free despite everything else and this changes your mind…”

“All right, fine, no. I don’t think he deserves Azkaban. But –“

Hermione held up a hand. “You’re upset because you’re in love with him, and you feel like he betrayed you.”

“What?” Harry choked out a laugh. “I don’t love him. I wasn’t even there a month.”

“I don’t think there’s a set amount of time necessary.”

“I don’t. Did I like him? Have fond feelings for him? Yes. Was I attracted to him? Yes. But love?”

“Fine. Deny it all you like, but I want to remind you of two – no, three – rather important facts. He was ordered to do this by Voldemort, who wasn’t the most pleasant individual. Had he refused, he’d likely have had to watch his parents die, considering what a sick man he was dealing with, and then would probably have been killed himself. If you really think about it, would it have been easy for most people to say no anyway?”

Harry sighed. “I suppose not.”

“Second, knowing what was going to happen to you, do you really think it was a coincidence he was out at the same place as you on your birthday? Does Malfoy strike you as the type to frequent the Leaky?”

“No, I suppose not.”

“And third, you very clearly have an attraction to one another, yet he wouldn’t allow you to get very far, physically. And he voluntarily told you the truth about what he’d done, knowing that you’d likely hate him, and that if Harry Potter wants it to be so, he’ll be tossed in Azkaban. I simply think that he did what he did because he was terrified not to, and that he’s regretted it since.”

Harry stared at the floor. “I guess. I didn’t know you were such a fan of his.”

“I’m not. You know how I feel about the person he was.”

“Sounds like you are,” he mumbled. “You know, I’m a creature now, Hermione. A poor, abused creature. You should be making committees and badges for me, not defending the arse that did this to me.”

Hermione snorted. “I’ll make a badge for you, all right, you prat. I do feel for you. I’m having a hard time even wrapping my head around this, to be honest. It’s just that you believed he deserved a second chance, Harry, and it seems to me that he’s spent a lot of time trying to earn it where you’re concerned. It also didn’t escape me that you sounded truly happy when you spoke of how he made you feel, and you’re clearly miserable now. I want you to be happy.”

“Even if happy means dating Malfoy?”

“Even then. Perhaps you could talk to him again, give him more of a chance to explain. If you still don’t want to see him again, at least you might have some closure.”

“Maybe. I just can’t get past the fact that I could have…” He shuddered. “If it had worked…”

Hermione made a face. “Yes, that’s a truly horrible thought. I suppose we know why Voldemort killed Bellatrix. I thought it was just because he wanted to kill you himself, but apparently not.”

“I’m glad she did it. If she hadn’t hit me with the Killing Curse and rid me of the Horcrux, I could have had that and his offspring in me.”

“But if he hadn’t wanted you alive, you might not have had the opportunity you had to kill him before he attacked you,” Hermione pointed out.

“I guess.”

“Whatever you decide to do, I’ll support you, you know.” Hermione stood. “Just think about it.”

“I will. Thanks for listening.”

“Always.”

~~~

Draco made his way to the kitchen for a glass of water and leaned heavily on the countertop. It had been two weeks since Harry had gone, and he’d felt every moment as surely as he imagined he would feel if he walked on shards of glass.

He could have chosen to die when the Dark Lord had given him his task, but his parents would have lost their lives as well. He could not regret what he’d done for that reason, and he did not regret having altered the potion, even if he was destined to suffer in the end. It was a final attempt to rectify what he was being forced to do, and as Draco Malfoy was not known for doing the right thing he was proud of his decision.

A knock on his door startled him and he padded through the front hall to look through the window near the entrance. He nearly stumbled when he saw who was standing outside.

Pulling the door open a few inches, he blinked at the sudden burst of sunlight. “Harry?” he croaked.

Harry’s brow creased. “Are you all right? Can I come in?”

“Of course.” He stepped back and allowed Harry to push his way inside. “Why are you here?”

“Nice to see you, too.” Harry closed the door and then crossed his arms. “You look awful.”

“You say the sweetest things,” Draco muttered. “Can’t imagine why we didn’t work out.”

“That would be due to the fact that you turned me into a bird and lied about it.”

“I didn’t lie about it. I just didn’t tell you until it was necessary. And you aren’t a bird.”

“My wings beg to differ.”

“Wings I taught you to control!” Draco snapped. “That no one will need to know about unless you choose to show them to your… whoever you end up with.”

“Look, I didn’t come here to fight, honestly. Hermione thinks I need some sort of closure on the situation, and I wanted to tell you that I… I guess I understand why you did what you did. And I appreciate your help with everything.”

“Great. Should I be concerned about Granger showing up to hex me, then, if she knows?”

“No, she was actually the one who convinced me to come here. She doesn’t like you, but she helped me to understand that you were afraid and just did what you felt you needed to do. You could have left me to fend for myself, and you never needed to tell me the truth. So I just wanted to... I don’t know. I’m sorry I left the way I did, it’s just… you changed who I am. What I am. It’s very hard to get around that.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

“All things considered, though… I mean, it’s not as if you turned me into a werewolf or something. You’re right, no one needs to know about this unless it’s necessary. And I suppose one good thing came of this… I never imagined having a child of my own, not that was biologically mine and my partner’s. I imagined we’d adopt or something, but this could be good. Weird, but good.”

Draco swallowed. “Can you come sit down?”

Harry took a step back. “Please don’t tell me there’s more to this. What else did you do to me?”

“It’s not bad, exactly, but… please, I’m not feeling well. Can we just sit?”

“Fine.” Harry followed him into the living room. “Talk.”

Draco curled up on the corner of the sofa. “You can’t bear children, Harry. Not with… not with anyone but me.”

“What? Because you made the potion? Then why did any of this even happen, if Voldemort couldn’t –“

“Please stop.” Draco rubbed his arm. “I may be a coward, but I can’t stand to hear his name. He lived in my house.”

“He lived in my head!” Harry snapped. “Tell me why you did this!”

“He could have… it would have worked, but I altered the potion. I found a footnote in the recipe and I didn’t have time for additional research, but… when I made the potion, it required my blood. The blood of any Veela. It would not have tied you to me. We’d likely have felt a sort of kinship – nothing binding, just friendlier. You’d have been more likely to shake my hand than hex me. But I changed the potion.”

“Why would you do that?”

“If I gave of my body to make the brew, it would tie me to you. You would be created for me. No one but me could impregnate you.”

“You wanted to impregnate me?”

“No! I just thought that if I did that…”

“Then he couldn’t.” Harry exhaled. “You were trying to protect me, weren’t you?”

“Yes,” Draco whispered. “I couldn’t say no, Harry, you have to understand. It would have meant death for my family. But this way… I suppose I thought it would buy us both more time. He wouldn’t kill you if he thought you’d be of use to him, but you wouldn’t have to bear his child, either, even if he… if he tried. I’m sorry.”

“I can’t…” Harry shook his head. “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. You’re free, Harry. No, you can’t bear children, but you were never supposed to anyway, were you? The hard part is over. You can go and find someone and still have the life you’d imagined.”

“Right.” Harry fidgeted beside Draco. “So…”

“So, I hope you have a good life, Harry. I’m glad we got to know each other, for a little while, anyway. I’m sorry to push you out, but I have some things I need to finish in the lab.” He attempted not to show the effort it took to rise and plastered a smile across his face that probably made him look completely mental.

“Oh. All right.” Harry stood and scratched his chin. “I’ll see you around, then?”

“Perhaps.” Draco followed him to the foyer and waited for him to leave before moving to close the door. “Harry?” he blurted as Harry pulled out his wand.

“Yeah?”

“Be…” Draco swallowed. “Be happy.”

“Er, thanks.” Harry nodded once before Disapparating, and Draco swore he could feel his heart breaking.

~~~

“Mate, you all right, there?”

Harry blinked. “Hmm? Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.”

“You’ve just stocked a dozen packages of U-No-Poo where the Skiving Snackboxes belong.”

“Oh, hell…” Harry knelt and gathered the offending products. “Sorry. I’ll sort it out.”

“Stop. Seriously, relax for a few, yeah?” George hopped up on the counter and studied Harry from where he sat. “What’s going on with you, Harry? You’ve been off for weeks now. Is it a bloke?”

“No,” Harry mumbled.

“Which means yes. Are you seeing someone?”

“No.”

Were you seeing someone?”

“Sort of. I don’t know. It’s complicated.”

George snorted. “Try dating a female.”

“I did. That was complicated, too.”

“So what’s the problem? Did you meet him on your holiday? Because I have to say, mate, you’ve been all but useless since then. Not that I expect you to work here, but you keep showing up, so…”

“I like working, all right?”

“I know. But as you’re making a mess of things while your head’s in the clouds and we are meant to be friends, last I was told, why don’t you tell me about it?”

Harry sighed and planted his arse on the floor. “It really is complicated. I met him and really liked him but it turned out he wasn’t who I thought, but I still liked him anyway, and then I found out he did something awful but when I really thought about it, it wasn’t so awful, so I went to talk to him and it turns out it was even less awful than I thought but before I could tell him I still liked him he pretty much kicked me out.”

“Er.” George scratched his head. “That’s… complicated.”

“I told you, didn’t I?”

“Well, as far as I can tell, he sent you off when you wanted to pick things up again, right?”

“Sort of, yeah.”

“So why don’t you just tell him?”

“It’s been a month since I saw him. If he wanted to be with me, surely…”

“Or he’s off thinking the same about you.”

“But he kicked me out!” Harry exclaimed.

“Sure, but he may or may not have done something that may or may not have been at least semi-awful. I don’t know, I couldn’t have followed your explanation even if I had a map, but perhaps he was afraid you’d reject him so he sent you away first. And in the end, who bloody cares? You’re apparently miserable, so what have you got to lose?”

“I’m not miserable. I’m… brooding.”

George rolled his eyes. “Semantics. You’re not happy, are you? You should go and find out if you could be, and if he rejects you… well, then at least you’ll know it’s over and you can find some other bloke to moon over.”

“I guess I could try.”

“I guess you could. Anything else you want to share?”

“Er… I’m a Veela?”

George slid to his feet with a laugh. “Good one, Harry. And I’m a vampire, did you know? Go on, then, and get your bloke.”

“Now? But I haven’t finished-“

“Stocking all the shelves incorrectly? No, you haven’t, and I’ll thank you to stop where you are. This way I’ll only have half the shop to rearrange. Come in tomorrow if you want, but if you’re having wild sex thanks to my stellar advice, feel free to take the day.”

“I could be so lucky. Thanks, George.” Brushing off his trousers, Harry got to his feet and headed out the door – and ran quite literally into Hermione.

“Harry!” She stumbled but remained upright when he grabbed her arm. “Thanks. I have to talk to you.”

“Now?”

“Now. It’s about your… situation.”

“Walk with me.” Harry cast a subtle Muffliato. “What is it?”

“I found the potion Draco must have used – the recipe, I mean – and I know what he did.”

“And?”

“Well, to alter the potion the way he did, he would have had to add more than just his blood. He would have had to add his semen.”

“What?” Harry exclaimed. “I drank his – his –“

“You’re gay, you prat!” Hermione hissed. “Surely you’ve swallowed plenty of it by now.”

Harry reddened. “Fuck’s sake, Hermione, you can’t just say that to a bloke.”

“It’s true and you know it. That’s not the point. In doing that, he ensured you wouldn’t be able to conceive a child with Voldemort – but he also sacrificed himself, in a way.”

“How so?”

“I researched Veela heritage and the creation of Veela using this potion. It is not often used because, first of all, it’s illegal. But generally it’s done in cases where a particular Veela’s family line is dying out. It was first used by a man who, despite being a Veela, was unable to bear a child due to poor health. He perfected the potion and gave it to his lover, who was a wizard, and the newly created Veela carried their children. Decades later, though, wizards began using the potion to turn witches and wizards into Veela for the sake of novelty, as being with a Veela allowed a certain status in society. A man named Atticus Douglass wanted to turn his partner and have a child with him, but he knew his partner was seeing a man on the side and wanted to be certain the child was his, so he discovered a way to alter the potion – the same alteration Draco used.” Hermione paused at last to take a breath.

“So what does this have to do with me?”

“There were consequences, Harry. Creating a Veela with a potion is tricky. Doing it that way is even more so. Basically, you may be somewhat drawn to him, but he is bound to you.”

“What do you mean?”

Hermione huffed. “I mean you’re his mate, Harry.”

“No, he told me that’s a myth! Veela tend to mate for life, but there’s no such thing as a predestined mate,” Harry parroted.

“For natural Veela, yes. But in changing you the way he did, claiming your ability to bear a child for his own, he unknowingly made a sacrifice too. Or maybe he knew, I’m not sure. Either way, he’s now unable to commit to anyone else.”

“Wow.” Harry exhaled. “So what does that mean? And if that’s the case, why would he send me away like he did?”

“You’ll have to ask him, but you should do it soon. Without you in his life, he’ll suffer from depression and while it might not kill him, he will be miserable. And alone.”

“He looked awful that day I saw him last,” Harry mused. “And it’s been a month now.”

“What do you want, Harry? Do you want to be with him?”

“Yes,” Harry said simply. “I wasn’t sure then, and he shut me out so quickly… but I can’t get him out of my head, and he was so brave, Hermione. I couldn’t see it at first, but it’s hard to fault him for what he did when he’s worked so hard to make it right.”

“Then go.”

~~~

Draco didn’t bother getting up. Whoever was at the door could sod off, as far as he was concerned, and leave him to his agony.

His body ached for Harry. He’d read everything he could and the antidepressant potions he’d brewed were barely effective, but he kept taking them anyway. He knew he would not recover, but hoped that over time the need would fade into something manageable. He knew he would spend his life alone, but there was nothing for it.

“Draco!”

The sound of Harry’s voice made him sit up and frown. What was he doing there?

“Draco, I’m coming inside.”

He was barely off the sofa when the door was blasted off its hinges, and he crossed his arms. “Really, Potter? I’m fairly certain it was unlocked.”

“Er, sorry. I didn’t check. And you didn’t answer,” Harry accused. “What was I supposed to do?”

“Respect my desire to be alone, perhaps?” Draco suggested.

“Draco, stop.” Harry repaired the door with a few flicks of his wand. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Tell you what?” Warily, Draco took a step back.

“I know I’m your mate.”

“Bollocks. I told you that was a myth.”

“Usually, maybe, but not for us. You sent me away even though you might – might die.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “All right, now that’s bollocks. I’m not dying.”

“You look like you are.”

“Every time you visit you tell me I look awful. And you wonder why you aren’t invited over?”

“Can you just tell me the truth? Please?”

Draco sighed and sat down. “The truth… yes, you are my mate. No, I will not die, but I will not love another as long as I live. You are free to do as you like, however.”

“That doesn’t seem fair.”

“What about my life has been fair?” Draco said bitterly. “Surely you’re familiar with that particular sentiment. I created you, a new Veela, but I claimed your right to bear new life as my own. In turn, I’ve given you my life, my devotion. Seems like a reasonable trade, doesn’t it?”

“Are you sure it’s not the same for both of us? The way it feels when you touch me is so different from anything I’ve ever felt, Draco. When I was healing here and you first kissed me…”

“Our connection amplifies the effects of physical touch. It makes bonding incredibly pleasant and helps to ensure the desire to further the species. That’s all.”

“Did you know what would happen? When you did it?”

“No. Doesn’t matter, though, I’d have done it anyway.” Draco wrapped his arms around himself. “I never wanted you to suffer. Not really, not when it all became a very real possibility.”

“You were brave, Draco.”

“No, Harry, I’m the same fuck-up I’ve always been. You were brave. That’s never something I’ve been.”

“Yes, you were. You are. I didn’t want to understand at first – I was too caught up in what had been done to me. But I do understand now, and the fact that you went to such lengths to protect me, your enemy, shows just how brave you are. And you’re still protecting me now, aren’t you?”

“You were never my enemy,” Draco whispered. “We had a stupid schoolboy feud that I started to make you pay attention to me, but you were never my enemy.”

“Draco.” Harry sat beside him and took one of his hands between both of his. The warmth against his cool skin was heaven. “Why did you send me away last month?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to me. Why?”

“I don’t want you to try and save me, all right? I’ll live, and you don’t need to tie yourself to me out of some sort of obligation.” Draco pulled his hand away despite the indignant cries he could practically hear emanating from every pore.

“That’s ridiculous. You’ll live? What sort of life is it if you’re miserable? What sort of life is it if I’m miserable?”

“I told you, you can find someone –“

“I’ve found him!” Harry cried. He reached to cup Draco’s face in his hands. “I told you before that I really do care for you, Draco. I know you were worried about taking advantage of me, and I have a great deal of respect for you and your self-control. But unless there’s something else I don’t know, I think everything is out in the open and I still like you. Quite a lot. Unless the ‘amplified connection’ you spoke of affects my emotions as well…”

“No, it wouldn’t.”

“Then what I feel for you is very real.”

Draco swallowed thickly. “But how can you? After all I did…”

“I forgive you, Draco. For all of it. And it was worth it, because it allowed me to see you for who you chose to be. The spoiled brat I thought I knew would never have altered that potion, and would never have bothered to care for me when the change happened. He would never have let me go, knowing what it would do to him in the end. You are not who I thought you were, and growing a set of wings seems like a pretty minor exchange for getting to know the real Draco Malfoy.”

“Thank you.” Draco closed his eyes and sighed as Harry’s thumb began to stroke his cheek. “I didn’t want to hurt you.”

“Then don’t send me away again. I want to be with you. I want to see where this might go. I can’t promise you forever, not yet, but I can promise you I’m not going anywhere right now.”

“Right now is good.” Leaning forward, Draco rested his forehead against Harry’s. “And right now…”

“Fucking finally.” Harry captured Draco’s lips in a kiss that lit his nerve endings on fire and he wrapped his arms around Harry’s neck, pulling him forward until his back hit the sofa cushion and Harry tumbled on top of him.

“Please tell me we’re not stopping this time,” Harry murmured against Draco’s neck.

“I want to, it’s just…”

“No,” Harry groaned. “Draco, I just want to ravage you. Why won’t you let me?”

“I really do want to, but I’m not… I’ve been a bit too depressed to properly groom myself lately.”

“I don’t mind, I promise you.”

“Can I just take a shower?”

“Yes. As long as I can take it with you.”

Draco grinned. “I think that can be arranged.” Already feeling more energetic than he had in weeks, Draco pulled Harry into his room and stripped off his trousers.

“You use this en suite often?” Harry asked.

“Well, yes, as this is my bedroom.”

“Oh!” Harry looked around. “I guess I thought… why did you have me staying in here, then?”

“My bed is larger and more comfortable than the guest bed. You needed to get the best rest you could during your change.”

“Hmm.” Harry’s lips curved. “That was very kind of you. Imagine what sort of bed I’ve had ended up in if you hadn’t happened to be at the Leaky that night.”

“I think we both know by now that it was no coincidence.”

“How did you know where I’d be?”

“As you mentioned once, it’s what you do every year. It was easy the first time, as the Prophet was still tracking your every move and someone let your plans slip. I had to get creative after that, but you made it easier by being incredibly predictable.”

“Glad I could help. So you followed me every year?”

Draco shrugged. “The potion isn’t exact. There was no telling when it would take effect – the only certainty is that it happens on a birthday. So I showed up every year to watch for the signs, always with a Glamour in place, and this year was finally the one.”

“Clever.”

“It’s been known to happen.”

“You’re wearing too many clothes, you know.” Harry prowled closer and tugged at the hem of Draco’s jumper. “Shall we take care of that?”

“Please.” Draco raised his arms and allowed Harry to pull the shirt over his head. “If you’re going to join me you’ll need to get your own kit off too.”

“I plan to.” Harry licked his lips. “You are gorgeous, Draco.”

“It’s true,” Draco agreed. “So are you, though, and you’re not naked enough. Let’s get to that.”

Harry laughed. “Sorry. Let me fix that.” He undressed quickly and pulled Draco into the bathroom. “Shower or bath?” he asked.

Draco pictured the possibilities, but ultimately the image of Harry straddling him in the tub won out. “Mmm, bath.”

Harry turned on the taps and drew Draco close, kissing him again and again while the tub filled, and when it was ready he held a hand out to Draco to help him down into the water. As soon as he was seated he found himself with a lapful of Harry, as though his thoughts had been read. “I can help you clean up,” Harry breathed, nipping at Draco’s earlobe.

Draco tilted his hips, rubbing his erection against Harry’s. “Feels like you’re about to make a mess to me.”

“The very best kind.” Harry pushed back and they were kissing again, water sloshing around them as they moved.

Pulling back, Draco panted and grabbed a flannel and vial of potion. “Wash me?” he asked, handing them to Harry and nearly salivating at the way Harry’s eyes darkened.

His own eyes rolled back when Harry dropped the flannel, opting to use his bare hands to bring the cleansing potion to a lather across Draco’s shoulders and chest. Every stroke of the rough hands across his skin caused him to tighten his grip on Harry’s hips.

“Now for the best bits,” Harry purred, sliding backward until he could cup Draco’s cock and balls, and there was nothing for it – Draco came, head dropped back and throat hoarse from his cries.

Mind hazy, Draco allowed Harry to urge him up to bend over the side of the sunken tub, bracing himself on the floor surrounding the rim while Harry spread him open and teased his rim with a very talented tongue. He could only rest his forehead on the cool tile and moan, helpless against the onslaught of sensation. “Don’t forget a protection spell,” he managed.

“Hmm?”

“Either one of us can become pregnant. We have to remember to use the spell.”

“Until we don’t want to be protected.”

Draco shivered. “One day.”

“One day,” Harry echoed, and with a few murmured incantations Draco felt Harry’s magic washing over him and a slick wetness in his arse. He generally preferred the lubricants he brewed in his lab to the conjured type, but with Harry moments away from fucking him at long last he really didn’t care.

He held his breath as Harry began to breach him, pushing against the burn until it faded into a pleasant fullness that felt so much more right than he imagined it would, finally having Harry inside him. He waited, shuddering when Harry ran a hand down his spine, and finally Harry thrust into him as deeply as possible and began to fuck him in earnest.

God, Draco,” Harry breathed, taking hold of his hips and moving faster, harder, until the pace was frantic and erratic and perfect.

Draco’s cock was full, both from the friction against his prostate and the feeling of his mate within him, and he didn’t have to so much as move a finger before Harry was settling back onto his heels and taking Draco with him, resting him on his lap and fucking up into him while he fisted Draco’s cock. Harry came first, but his strangled cry and the way he jerked beneath Draco was enough to send Draco plummeting over the edge.

With the water long gone cold and neither of them arsed enough to charm it warm again, they dragged themselves to Draco’s bed and lay twined together beneath the covers, still damp and panting. “Don’t leave,” Draco murmured, eyelids heavy.

“I’m not going anywhere.” Harry yawned. “Hey, I still haven’t seen your wings.”

“After I get some sleep, I’m going to fuck you, and I’ll bring them out.”

“That sounds incredible. Draco, I… I love you.”

“Mmm.” Pulling Harry close, he pressed a kiss to the top of his mate’s head. “I love you, too.”

The sun began to set, casting shadows over the room, and Draco was finally at peace.

~fin~

I was young but I wasn't naive
I watched helpless
As you turned around to leave
And still I have the pain I have to carry
A past so deep
That even you could not bury if you tried

After all this time
I never thought we'd be here
Never thought we'd be here
When my love for you is blind
But I couldn't make you see it
Couldn't make you see it
That I loved you more than you'll ever know
When part of me died will I let you go

Well, I would fall asleep
Only in hopes of dreaming
That everything would be like it was before
But nights like this
It seems are slowly fleeting
They disappear as reality is crashing to the floor

After all this time
I never thought we'd be here
Never thought we'd be here
When my love for you is blind
But I couldn't make you see it
Couldn't make you see it
That I loved you more than you'll ever know
When part of me died will I let you go

After all this why
Would you ever wanna leave it
Maybe you could not believe it
That my love for you is blind
But I couldn't make you see it
Couldn't make you see it
That I loved you more than you'll ever know
When part of me died when I let you go

That I loved you more than you'll ever know
When part of me died when I let you go