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You're My Heart's Desire

Chapter Text

Year 1

 

Dan stared at the ruby locomotive in front of him. This was it. It was his turn to go to Hogwarts, and he was terrified. His only comfort was the brown owl relaxing in her cage on top of Dan’s trunk. Dan poked his finger through the bars to stroke her feathers

“We can do this, right, Susan?” Dan whispered uncertainly. The owl only looked at him in response. His heart was beating so hard it felt like a bludger was trying to escape his chest.

“Well, Daniel, make us proud,” his father said as he clasped a firm hand on Dan’s shoulder.

“That’s what I strive for in life,” Dan muttered with a hint of sarcasm.

“Are you nervous?” his mother asked, Dan couldn’t help but nod a little. “Well, don’t be. My old school mate, Cissa, has a son your age, just find him and you’ll be fine.”

“What? Do I just go up to every 11 year old male and say ‘hi, you don’t know me, my mum used to know someone named Cissa when she was in school. Is she your mother? If so, wanna be friends?’” Dan asked, the sarcasm much more prominent in his voice. His mother rolled his eyes.

“His name is Draco Malfoy. Is that more helpful?” She asked. Dan shrugged.

“Well come on now or you’ll miss the train! Let us know how quickly the hat sorts you!” His father said. Dan’s stomach squirmed a bit. His father was so sure he would be sorted into Slytherin like the rest of the family, which was the main reason he was so nervous. His mother placed a quick kiss on his forehead and pushed him towards the train. Dan grabbed Susan’s cage and gave his trunk to the baggage handler. He took a deep breath and stepped on the train.

It didn’t take him very long to find an empty car. He sat down and stared out the window, waiting for the Hogwarts Express to leave the station. Maybe if he ran off now, no one would notice. He dwelled on this for what felt like ages. Then the train’s whistle blew and the station started to glide out of his view. Damn, now it was too late to leave. He pressed his against the window and did his best to look down at the tracks in the countryside.

“I could probably survive the fall if I jumped out right now...” Dan muttered to himself.

“Excuse me?” a voice said from behind him. Dan jumped and turned his head to face a skinny boy with straight, black hair and light blue eyes gazing at him.

“Uh-yeah-what-hi?” Dan stumbled with his words, smacking himself internally for how not-smooth that just was.

“Um…” The boy looked at him nervously, “May I sit here? Everywhere else is pretty much filled up.”

“Yeah, yeah go ahead!” Dan nodded, the boy sat down across from him, “I’m Dan, by the way, Dan Howell.”

“Phil Lester,” The boy smiled. They shook hands and Dan let out a sigh.

“So, Phil, are you ready to go to Hogwarts?” Dan asked, trying his best to be calm.

“No,” Phil said seriously, then he giggled, “I’m absolutely terrified!”

“You’re not the only one,” Dan grinned, “my family expects a lot from me.”

“My family doesn’t know what to expect, I’m the first one to go to Hogwarts.”

“Are you a muggle-born?”

“That’s what they say, yeah.”

“So how much do you actually know about Hogwarts then?” Dan leaned a little closer to Phil.

“I know that it’s a school for magical people, but that’s basically it,” Phil grinned. Dan laughed a little.

“Okay, well something else you need to know is that there are four houses you could be sorted into: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. There’s this hat that determines which one you belong in based on your personal qualities.”

“Well, which qualities get you into which house?”

“The hat apparently sings this whole song about that, but the summary of it is that Gryffindors are brave and badass, Ravenclaws are smart and logical, Hufflepuffs are loyal and kind, and Slytherins are cunning and ambitious.”

“What house do you think you’ll be?” Phil asked. Dan’s stomach squirmed again and he leaned back to look out the window.

“My father is so certain I’ll be a Slytherin. It’s what everyone else in my family was sorted into, so it’s expected of me,” Dan frowned.

“And you don’t want to be Slytherin?” Dan was about to enter when another boy entered the car. This one was pale with slicked, platinum blonde hair and grey eyes. He had an unpleasant look to his face that Dan could tell was just his neutral face.

“Slytherin is the best house there is. That’s why I’m sure I’ll be one,” The boy sat down next to Dan and extended his hand to him, “Draco Malfoy.”

“Dan Howell,” Dan said uncomfortably as he shook his hand. This was the boy his mother wanted him to befriend?

“I’m Phil Lester,” Phil smiled to Draco, who blatantly ignored him.

“Our mothers went to school together, so we’ll get along just fine,” Draco glanced at Phil, “That is...if you place yourself with the proper crowd…” Dan gave Draco a hard look.

“And what the hell is that supposed to mean?” He challenged.

“Well, we purebloods have to stick together. We can’t allow ourselves to associate with filthy mudbloods,” Draco was staring right at Phil, who was looking back and forth at them with a confused look on his face. Dan felt an anger bubbling inside of him and stood up.

“Well better to associate myself with him than with pricks like you,” Dan’s voice was raised. Draco looked taken aback for only a moment before standing up as well, just as angry as Dan.

“You best watch your mouth there, Howell. Wouldn’t want to make an enemy of me,” Draco hissed.

“I’ll take my chances,” Dan replied menacingly. They glared at each other for a few more moments before Draco left the car. Dan closed the door after Draco and sat down across Phil once again. Phil looked from the door to Dan with a concerned look.

“What did that mean? The thing he called me...mudblood?” Phil asked. Dan sighed heavily.

“It’s a slur that pureblood supremacists use again muggle-born wizards. Because according to them, muggles and wizards should not mix. So muggle-born wizards are dirt to them," Dan shook his head, "No one deserves to be treated like that…”

“Well, thank you for standing up for me then,” Phil gave Dan a small smile.

“Anything for a friend,” Dan said, then his eyes widened suddenly, “I mean, you know, if you wanna be I mean we just met and all but you’re easy to talk to which doesn’t happen often for me and dear god okay I’m just gonna shut up now.” Dan’s cheeks turned red as Phil laughed.

“Yeah, I’d like that,” Phil smiled. Dan felt a rush of relief. Maybe Hogwarts wouldn’t be so bad after all.

 

*****************************************************************

 

Dan and Phil stood next to each other during the sorting hat ceremony. It was a strange experience watching everyone sit on a stool and wait for an old hat to tell them their fate. The room always fell silent for what felt like ages when the hat was placed on someone’s head. There didn’t seem to be any particular order on the scroll that McGonagall called out the names from, so Dan and Phil were always on their toes.

“Draco Malfoy!” McGonagall called out. Dan glared as Draco sat on the stool with a smug look on his face. The hat didn’t even make it onto his head before shouting SLYTHERIN!! Dan suddenly became very nervous. What if the hat did the same to him? He dwelled on this thought until Phil poked him on the shoulder.

“Why is everyone whispering about this kid?” he whispered. Dan looked up at the stool and saw a really skinny kid with messy, black hair, green eyes, glasses. Dan was a bit confused as well, until he saw the infamous lightning bolt scar on the kid’s forehead.

“Son of a bitch… that’s Harry Potter…” Dan whispered.

“What? Who is he?” Phil asked.

“He’s one of the most famous wizards there is, I’ll explain more later…” Dan said. The hat called out GRYFFINDOR and Harry went to sit down at the appropriate table. McGonagall looked down at her scroll once more.

“Phillip Lester!” She called out. Phil’s blue eyes widened and he gulped before approaching the seat. The hat was on his head for a total of about 10 seconds before calling out HUFFLEPUFF!! Dan clapped just about as loudly as the actual Hufflepuff table. He knew Phil would be happy there.

“Daniel Howell!” McGonagall exclaimed. Dan held his breath as he went up to sit in front of everyone. The hat was placed on his head.

“So...another Howell has come to Hogwarts I see…” a voice said in Dan’s head.

“yeah, it seems so…” Dan thought in return.

“And you are just as ambitious as the rest of your family, you would fit in well in-”

“Don't say it..." Dan cringed.

"What do you mean?"

"I know which house you're going to say I should be in...and I absolutely dread it..."

“Do you not want to be in Slytherin?”

“More than anything...no...” Dan closed his eyes and pleaded with the hat.

“Hmm...this is interesting...are you sure? You could do great things in Slytherin, just as your family has done for generations…”

“I don’t want to follow the path that’s expected of me! I've tried telling my family so many times but no one will listen to me! I know you think I belong in the house my family was placed in! But I am BEGGING you to see differently! I want be my own person! More than anything in the world! Please! ANYTHING but Slytherin!” Dan closed his eyes tighter and gripped onto the seat. He was practically screaming in his head.

“Hmm...this is very courageous of you...very well...I say...GRYFFINDOR!!!” Dan gasped for air and opened his eyes. He couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t a Slytherin. The Gryffindor table was practically giving him a standing ovation. His whole body was shaking as he went to sit down at the scarlet and gold table. He was instantly greeted with congratulations and introductions left and right from his fellow Gryffindors. He was too dazed to respond to any of it. He just looked over at the Hufflepuff table. His eyes scanned the body of students until his he found Phil. His friend gave him a bright grin and two thumbs up. Dan returned the thumbs up and smiled, not even worried about what his family might say.

 

*******************************************************************

 

“Dan I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to be up here!” Phil laughed as he ran after Dan in the empty corridor.

“Who cares! I overheard Potter and Weasley talking about something cool up here! Something that no wizard has ever seen before! Come on!” Dan grabbed Phil’s hand and pulled him around the corner.

“What if Filch catches us?!” Phil asked.

“Worth it!” Dan laughed as he stopped in front of the door at the end of the hall, “It should be in here…” He opened the door, the smile faded a little from his face. The room was empty besides a tall mirror.

“Um...Dan...I hate to break it to you, but I’m pretty sure wizards have seen mirrors before…” Phil said. Dan shook his head.

“This can’t be right...” Dan muttered. Phil walked up to the mirror and squinted his eyes.

“Does ‘Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi’ mean anything to you?” Phil asked as he looked up.

“What?” Dan asked. He walked up next to Phil.

“That’s what this mirror says at the top,” Phil shrugged. Dan sighed and sat down a little bit away from the mirror.

“So much for something cool,” he said. Phil looked over at him.

“Hey, mirrors can still be cool!” Phil said as he looked back to the mirror, “Whoa what the hell?!”

“What?!” Dan stood up quickly.

“My reflection!” Phil exclaimed.

“What about it?”

“I- it- just- here!” Phil stuttered as he pulled Dan next to him, “look at that!” one of Dan’s eyebrows raised.

“Yes Phil, you have a reflection, you’re not a vampire…” Dan stated.

“Do you not see her?!” Phil exclaimed.

“See who?” Dan asked.

“Sarah Michele Gellar surrounded by baby animals!!!” Phil was flailing his arms. Dan looked at his friend with widely confused eyes. Not only did he not know who that was, but he was now convinced that his best friend was insane.

“Phil have those potions essays gotten the better of you?” Dan asked. Phil groaned.

“No! Ugh! Here!” Phil placed Dan in front of the mirror and took a step to the side, “What do you see?!”

“Just you and me…” Dan still looked confused.

“Wait you see me with you?”

“yeah…”

“That’s impossible…”

“Oh and this Sarah Michele Gellar lady and baby animals is possible?!” Dan looked to real Phil, and was shocked to find him across the room, “Wait, what?” Dan looked back at the mirror, and sure enough Phil was next to him. He looked across the room at his equally confused friend.

“This is really weird…” Phil said quietly. Dan looked back at the mirror once more. Phil was still there.

“Yeah I think we’ve had enough adventure for today…” Dan backed away from the mirror slowly, keeping eye contact with it before he was next to real Phil and they ran out of the room screaming.

 

 

Chapter Text

Year 2

 

Dan and Phil were amongst the concerned and confused students following Filch. They found Harry and his friends (along with some professors) in front of a wall. Mrs. Norris was dangling by her tail in front of a message written in blood. Dan felt a chill go down his spine as he read it. “The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware.”

“I’m right to be terrified right now, right?” Phil whispered. Dan wrapped his arm around his friend’s shoulder.

“Yeah,” Dan said. He didn’t like saying it. He couldn’t say it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. He couldn’t say that it would be okay. Because it was exactly as terrible as it appeared to be. He had heard stories from his grandmother about The Chamber of Secrets being opened at her time at Hogwarts. A girl got killed by the monster hiding in it. If it was open again, no one was safe.

 

***************************************************************

 

“Does anyone know what this monster looks like?” Phil asked as they sat next to each other in the Great Hall. Classes had been cancelled for the day due to another petrification. Dan shook his head.

“No one’s seen it and walked away to tell anyone,” Dan said. This was not the way Dan or Phil wanted their second year to be like. There had been three people (and Sir Nearly-Headless Nick and Mrs. Norris) that have been petrified. No one could tell who would be next.

“If I were you I’d just give myself to the beast now, mudblood,” a familiar voice sneered from behind. Dan cringed and turned around to see Malfoy and his goons walking towards him.

“What are you talking about?” Dan asked bitterly.

“Whatever that beast is, it’s only been going after ,” Draco said before looking at Phil and smirked, “So it looks like you’re next!”

“Piss off, Malfoy!” Dan spat at him. Draco smirked once again and walked off. Dan turned around and curled his hand into a fist. “God, I hate that bastard…”

“What if he’s right?” Phil asked quietly. Dan looked over at his friend. Phil was looking down at the table, but Dan could tell he was terrified.

“Phil, you know Malfoy just says those kind of things to get on our nerves…” Dan tried to say confidently. Phil looked at him, his blue eyes getting misty.

“He has a point though! All of the students in the hospital wing right now are muggle-borns like me! What if I’m the next target?” Tears were starting to stream down Phil’s pale cheeks. Dan wrapped his arm around him and pulled him close.

“Phil, listen to me. It’s true that I have no way of knowing who will be next. But if that thing wants to come anywhere near you, it’ll have to go through me first,”  Dan turned so he was facing Phil, "I won’t let anything happen to you-" Phil pulled away and stood up before he could finish.

"And I appreciate that Dan, I really do, but you can't possibly say that and be right! You're twelve! You can't fight everything that may come at me!"

"Well I can sure as hell try, can't I?" Dan stood up.

"NO! Cause believe it or not Dan, you can't protect me from the world!" Phil was full on shouting now.

"Phil, I just don't want you getting hurt..." Dan tried to say calmly. People were starting to stare at them.

"I CAN FIGHT MY OWN BATTLES, DAN!" Phil yelled.

"WELL WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO PROVE IT TO THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS MONSTER THEN?!" Dan exclaimed. Phil looked taken aback for a split second before standing his ground.

"MAYBE I WILL!" Phil growled before storming to the door, leaving Dan there, red faced and angry.

"FINE! BUT DON'T EXPECT ME TO COME SAVE YOU THIS TIME!" Dan shouted at the empty doorway. He sat back down in a huff, ignoring the pulling feeling in his chest that signaled him that he just messed up.  



********************************************************************

Dan was doing his best to pay attention to Professor Lockhart the next day, but his mind was elsewhere. He wanted, no, needed to find Phil. He needed to make things right. Then the large, wooden door to the classroom opened behind him.

“Professor Lockhart,” McGonagall spoke up from the doorframe, the class whirled around. She never interrupted anyone unless something big has happened, “I need to borrow Mr. Howell. He may not return for the rest of the period.”

“Yes, of course,” Lockhart blinked, then looked at Dan, “Run along now.” Everyone whipped their heads around as Dan stood up to head to the door. ‘What do you think he did?’ ‘Maybe he’s getting expelled!’ were the things Dan managed to make out in the sea of whispers that had formed around him. He couldn’t get to the door fast enough. McGonagall closed the door behind them.

“What’s going on?” Dan asked.

“I have some news for you, Mr. Howell, and I’m afraid you are not going to like it,” McGonagall said gravely. Dan’s heart seemed to clench as he held his breath.

“What’s happened?” Dan asked quietly. McGonagall took a deep breath and shook her head.

“Your friend, Phillip Lester...” Dan’s eyes widened in fear. McGonagall never finished her statement, and what happened next was a bit of a blur to Dan. One moment he was standing next to McGonagall, the next he was racing down the corridors to the Hospital Wing. Dan didn’t hear any of the painting on the wall scolding him for running. He didn’t care about the looks he got from the students he passed in the corridors. He didn’t even slow down near Filch. There was only one thing he cared about.

Not Phil. Please, not Phil. Dan thought as he reached the Hospital Wing doors. He shoved them open and scanned the room. The little hope he had for Phil’s safety was shattered when he saw the pale, black haired boy frozen on a bed near the far corner corner of the room. Dan’s heart fell to his stomach as he stumbled to the bed. He could barely see Phil’s wide blue eyes, literally frozen with fear, through his own tears. He fell to his knees next to his friend.

“Phil, I’m so sorry,” Dan could only manage a shaky whisper, “I’m so sorry…” He put his head in his arms on the mattress and broke down completely.

 

***********************************************************************

It had been a week since Phil got petrified. Everything around Dan seemed to move slower, kind of like when you try to walk normally in deep water. Dan wasn’t present in his own body. All the students and professors he came across gave their condolences, but Dan didn’t want to hear it. Condolences weren’t going to help Phil. Without Phil next to him, Dan was trapped in grey limbo state, and everyone could see that.

Dan sat against the stone wall somewhere outside of the castle. He didn’t know how long he had been there, and frankly he didn’t care. He didn’t care about anything right now.

“I told you that mudblood friend of yours would be next,” a voice said smugly from behind him. Dan’s body cringed at the sound of it. Not now, just not now.

“Piss off, Malfoy, I’m not in the mood,” Dan said coldly.

“I just came to give you my condolences,” Dan looked up at him in an irritated disbelief.  For a moment it looked like Draco was being sincere, but then that stomach churning smirk returned to his face once Crabbe and Goyle began to laugh quietly behind him.. Dan rolled his eyes and looked away.

“Well that’s just so considerate of you,” Dan said sarcastically.

“Well, yes, it is, I pity anyone who allows themselves to treat people of those sorts as their equals,” Dan stood up and faced him.

“Phil is twice the wizard you’ll ever be, Malfoy,” Dan said harshly.

“That’s a bit hard to prove when he’s lying in a hospital bed,” Something flickered in Malfoy’s grey eyes, “Who knows if he’ll even wake up,”

“He will,” Dan was starting to get angry, and Draco knew it.

“He could die.”

“He won’t,

“But he might,”

“Shut up, Malfoy,” Dan’s hand formed into a tight fist.

“He probably deserves it, that filthy little mudblood-” That’s when Dan snapped. He charged over to Draco and punched him in the face so hard he stumbled over. Crabbe and Goyle stood there in a stupid awe at this turn of events. Dan picked Draco up forcefully by his collar, grabbed his wand out from his robe and held it to Draco’s throat.

“I have put up with your shit since we have first met, Malfoy, but if you ever say anything about Phil Lester again, I will not hesitate to throw every curse I know at you. So SHUT. UP!!!” Dan roared in Draco’s face. Draco looked at him in pure terror. Dan let go of Draco as if he were throwing away a piece of trash and left him and his goons to stand there in a frightened daze.

**********************************************************************

“So I punched Draco in the face today,” Dan said as he sat next to Phil’s hospital bed, “He was talking shit about you again, and I guess I just snapped. Which, I only did cause you weren't there to do it yourself. Oh god though, you punching Malfoy in the face would be an scene to behold!” Dan looked over at Phil’s frozen face and laughed a bit, “His face was a bit like yours is right now once I was done with him. He probably needed to change his pants afterwards.” Dan looked at Phil for a moment, as if he expected Phil to respond, and sighed when he didn’t.

“Look, Phil, I have no clue if you can hear anything I’m saying right now, but it’s been pretty hard without you, cause you’re my best friend,” Dan shook his head and closed his eyes, “and I never had one of those before I met you...All my life I felt I was living in...some black and white world...with a family who only cared that I be the best damn Slytherin this place has ever seen, so I could make them proud...” Dan shuddered a little.

“I didn’t tell you about the night after the sorting happened Right afterwards I wrote to them, telling them how surprised I was by my sorting but that I was happy to be placed there… Then after my first day of classes...and after I had started to really feel the pride of wearing this scarlet and gold tie...I got an owl back from my parents…and for some reason I was surprised when it was a howler…” Dan straightened his posture to imitate his father.

“A Gryffindor?! In our family?!How dare you disgrace us this way! You march right up to Dumbledore’s office right now and demand you be resorted! I don’t care how many times it takes! The hat is old and it’s wrong! You are a fucking Slytherin and that’s where you’ll be or so help me god…” Dan felt a lump in his throat and took a shaky breath, “That was followed by a series of empty threats and a collection of curse words that I won’t repeat…” Dan shook his head again. Tears were starting to form in his eyes again.

“They don’t understand...I tried to get them to, but I’m pretty sure they’ll never understand that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t their obediently quiet son. I wasn’t the perfect little boy that they tried to mold me into. I wasn’t living in their black and white world anymore,” Dan glanced at Phil and paused, realization hitting him.

“Because of you...Bloody hell... it wasn’t until I met you that I began to genuinely feel anything...you brought color into my life, Phil...and I can never thank you enough for that…I guess that's why I always felt the need to protect you...cause you're the one good thing in my life...and I can't stand to have anything happen to that...which is why right now is literally Hell for me...” Dan gently patted Phil on his shoulder and stood up, “So...get better, okay? I need you in my life.” Dan paused, as if Phil would miraculously respond, sighed and wiped his cheek, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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Dan sat in the Great Hall anxiously. His foot would not stop tapping the stone floor. He couldn’t stop looking over at the main door. That Potter kid had somehow killed the Chamber of Secrets monster (fucking show off) and everyone who had been petrified were cured by Professor Sprout this morning. They were each starting to join the other students, but Dan still couldn’t see Phil.

“Where is he?” Dan muttered.

“Phil will be here soon, Dan, just be patient,” Neville Longbottom gave him a reassuring smile. Dan returned the smile quickly and looked at the door again. This time his eyes widened with joy. In the doorway stood a skinny boy with black hair wearing his Hufflepuff robes. His blue eyes were anxiously scanning the room, then stopped once they met Dan’s brown ones.

“Phil!” Dan beamed and jumped up from his seat and ran over to him, almost tackling him with how quickly he wrapped his arms around him.

“Good to see you too!” Phil laughed and returned the embrace.

“You’re back,” Dan whispered as he gave Phil a tight squeeze, “I'm so sorry.”

“No, I'm sorry. Because of me you ended up back in that black and white world you were in. I put you through hell,” Phil said softly. Dan let go of him and looked at him with a shocked expression.

“You heard that?” Dan asked. Phil responded with a nod, causing Dan’s blood to rush to his cheeks, “Wh-What else did you hear?”

“All of it,” Phil said, and then smiled, “and just so you know, meeting you made the colors in my life a lot more vibrant.” Dan’s cheeks were rosy pink now.

“Um, thanks, that...that means a lot…” Dan said awkwardly. They stood in silence for a moment.

“So...you punched Malfoy in the face?” Phil asked.

“Yeah. Yeah I did,” Dan nodded with laugh. There was another moment of silence.

“How did it feel?” Phil asked.

“Oh SO good!” Dan closed his eyes and smiled. They both stood there and laughed.

“Well, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been able to actually eat anything for a few months and I’m STARVING!” Phil grinned.

 

 

Chapter Text

Dan stared at the grey sky as the Hogwarts Express whizzed past the countryside. The only sounds Dan could hear were the wheels rolling on the tracks and Phil’s light snores. He had opted to take a nap on Dan’s shoulder, and with how serene the environment was around them, a nap didn’t sound too bad to Dan either. He let out a small sigh and closed his eyes, managing to get a thirty second nap before the train halted to a stop.

Dan’s eyes snapped open and he looked around the car, they couldn’t have arrived already. No other students were wandering around. The air grew much colder. The lights in their car flickered off and Dan looked outside. The sky was much darker.

“Dan?” Phil’s sleepy voice said, “What’s happened? Are we there?”

“No…” Dan said slowly, looking down at his own breath, he looked out the window again as it started to frost, “Something’s boarded the train…”

“What?” Phil asked. Dan didn’t have to wait long to answer. A tall, hooded, black figure floated outside their door, filing the atmosphere with gloom.

“Dementors…” Dan whispered. The figure’s scabbed grey hand slowly pushed the door open. Dan’s hand clasped onto Phil’s. He tried to show no fear as it approached them, but that was not long lasting. Dan suddenly felt whatever positivity inside him being pulled away from him, causing him to tighten his grip on Phil’s hand. The world started to blur around Dan. He heard a man yelling at him in the distance as he fought the blackness forming around him. The last thing Dan remembered seeing was a shining white light flashing before the world went black.

“Dan? Dan!” Phil’s voice shouted at him. Dan slowly became aware of his surroundings again without opening his eyes. He was lying down. He wasn’t doing that before, was he? Did he fall over? Did someone lay him down? Could he even move? Dan attempted to moved his head slightly and groaned. There was an unpleasant fuzzy sensation that filled his entire body.

He opened his eyes slowly and saw Phil looking down at him, his icy blue eyes wide with worry and horror. The lights were back on. The room was a normal temperature again. Damn, how long was he out? There was a man kneeling down next to them. His kind face was covered in scars. He didn’t look as horrified as Phil, but there was definitely concern in his grey eyes.

“Well, that was unpleasant…” Dan groaned sarcastically as he propped himself up, “10/10 would not recommend.” The man cracked a small smile.

“I’m glad to know you’re not harmed in any way,” He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a chocolate bar, “Eat this. You’ll feel better.” Dan broke off a piece and gave the bar back to the man. The man gave him a curious look.

“Just in case there’s any others who need it…” Dan said awkwardly. The man smiled.

“That’s very thoughtful of you, and you have a point. Another boy was effected in the same way you were, who knows how many others there are,” The man stood up, “But now if you’ll excuse me, I really need to speak to our conductor.” He walked out the door and Dan took a bite out of the chocolate square.

“Bloody hell, Dan, what just happened?!” Phil asked.

“Well, we just managed to get a taste of the dementors being dicks to kids,” Dan said with a small smirk. Phil gave him a hard look.

“Seriously Dan, you passed out! What did that thing do to you?!” Phil asked. Dan sat up straight and sighed. So much for using humor to defuse the situation.

“Dementors are the guards for the wizard prison, Azkaban. One of their prisoners, Sirius Black, recently escaped. I guess he has this vendetta against that Potter kid and is in love with You-Know-Who or something. So now they’re here patrolling us. However, they’re a bunch of dickheads that feed on sorrow and make you relive your worst memories, or if you’re really lucky, they’ll kiss you and steal your soul” Dan said calmly. Phil just looked at him with his jaw on the floor.

“How the hell can you just say something like that so calmly?” Phil asked in a horrified awe. Dan shrugged.

“My emotions aren’t back to being 100% functional yet. Sarcasm and calmness are really the only things my head knows how to work right now. Dementors really know how to throw everything off,” Dan looked out the window again, “Looks like we’re almost there now.” He stood up to grab his robes from his trunk, ignoring the head rush that came with it. Phil still sat down, looking up at him.

“Are you sure you’re okay, Dan?”

“I will be soon enough as long as I don’t see those things again,” Dan said as he walked over and pulled the curtains to the car shut, “You may want to start changing into your robes. We don’t want you having to run into the Great Hall in only your pants and tie now do we?”

 

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The feast in the Great Hall was not very festive. All anybody wanted to do was whisper about Sirius Black and the dementors patrolling the campus. Dan did his best to block out any whispers of the dementors, but it proved to be a failure.

“Did you hear who fainted on the train because of the dementors?” someone behind Dan asked. Dan cringed. Oh god. People knew, and if some knew, it was safe to say everyone knew.

“No, who?” Another voice asked. Dan wished he could sink into the table and become the mashed potatoes in front of him.

“Harry flipping Potter, that’s who!” the first voice said excitedly. Dan perked up. That man (who was later introduced by Dumbledore as Professor Lupin) mentioned another boy fainting on the train. He never would’ve thought that it was Harry Potter.

Dan looked down the long Gryffindor table and saw the skinny boy with wild black hair and glasses trying to sink into his food. Oh yeah, he was definitely the other boy. Dan felt a twinge of pity for him. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be the topic of conversation for his brave deeds for all his life, but now people were talking about him for something they thought was really stupid. None of them had any idea how scary that situation actually was.

 

**************************************************************************

 

Back in the common room, Dan sat on a couch, trying not to make it obvious that he was waiting for Harry to be alone. However, Harry was spending a lot of time catching up with Ron and his other roommates. Finally Dan saw that they were about to leave and had to stand up and cleared his throat.

“Oi, Harry, can I talk to you for a second?” Dan asked. Harry looked back between Dan and the group of people he was talking to.

“I’ll be up in a minute,” Harry said to Ron. Ron nodded. Harry watched as he, Dean, Seamus, and Neville walked up the staircase to the boy’s dormitories. Once the were out of sight he turned back to Dan. “What’s up?”

“I heard you fainted on the train,” Dan said. Harry groaned.

“Yep, that’s pretty much all anyone wants to talk to me about right now. The boy who lived faints at the sight of dementors,” Harry said irritated and started to turn away.

“It happened to me too,” Dan said calmly, Harry stopped and turned back to him, “Everything got blurry and I heard a man, who now that I think about it, sounded a lot like my father, shouting at me. Next thing I know, Professor Lupin is offering me chocolate. Sound familiar?”

“Yeah…” Harry said, “but there was a woman screaming for me…”

“A woman?” Dan asked.

“Yeah, I don’t know who it was though…” Harry and Dan stood in silence for a few moments.

“Well,” Dan sighed, “Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone here.” Harry smirked a bit.

“It’s nice to know that there’s someone who doesn’t think of me as a spectacle right now.” Harry said.

“Well, okay, first off, you’re always going to be a spectacle, Harry. You defeated You-Know-Who as a baby for God’s sake. But, yeah,” Dan said, “They’re only making a spectacle of you now because they don’t understand how scary it is to be a dementor’s target. Honestly, part of me actually thought that was the end for me.”

“Same here,” Harry said. Dan yawned slightly and put a hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“Well, at least now you have someone to talk to about it,” Dan smiled slightly, “but your friends are waiting for you and my bed is waiting for me. Pick this conversation up tomorrow?”

“Yeah,” Harry nodded as they both walked up the staircase. Dan reached the door the door to his dorm and pulled on the handle. Harry started to climb another flight of stairs and turned back to him

“Oh, and Dan?” He asked. Dan turned his head to look up at him, “Thanks.” They grinned at each other and parted ways. Dan closed his door behind him and walked over to his bed. He was in the middle of taking off his tie when he actually processed what had just happened and stopped.

“Bloody hell I  think I just became friends with Harry Potter...” he muttered to himself.

 

********************************************************************

 

“Phil Phil Phil Phil Phil wake up wake up wake up Hogmeade Hogsmeade Hogsmeade let’s go let’s go let’s gooooooooooo,” Dan shook his sleeping friend awake, fully aware how annoying he was being. Phil refused to open his eyes. He only groaned and covered his face with his pillow.

“Mmm go away,” Phil’s sleepy muffled voice said.

“But Phiiiiiiiiiil, We’re going to Hogsmeade todaaaaaaay,” Dan whined and proceeded to lie down on top of Phil, “I don’t want to go aloooooooone!!” Dan could feel Phil’s torso shaking with laughter beneath him.

“Okay okay. Get off of me!” Phil said. Dan sat up and allowed Phil to sit up as well, “How did you even get in here?” Dan rolled his eyes.

“With how often I hang out with you, it would surprise me if I didn’t know which barrel to tap to the tune of Hel-ga Huf-fle-puff,” Dan stood up.

“Great, now you know all of the greatest Hufflepuff secrets…” Phil pouted and got out of his bed. Dan shrugged.

“I promise not to use them for evil if that makes you feel better,” Dan said simply. Phil smirked.

“Not really,” Phil pulled off the green shirt he was wearing. Dan couldn’t help but notice how Phil’s torso looked like smooth porcelain. There was nothing else strikingly spectacular at what Dan could see (they were only 13, Dan honestly would’ve been a little scared if his friend had a great body already) but he could clearly see the the outline of Phil’s hipbones. Damn, he actually had really nice hips. Phil looked over and Dan became flustered and looked away.

“You alright there, Dan?” Phil asked.

“Um...yeah,” Dan stammered, he suddenly had trouble breathing, “I’m just- I’m just going to leave before you get completely naked in front of me...meet me in the common room when you’re done…” Dan hurried out of the room before Phil could respond. Once he was at a point where he was certain Phil couldn’t see him (which wasn’t right outside the door he had just closed, but about 50 feet down the corridor). Dan leaned against the wall and caught his breath.

“What the hell was that, Dan?” Dan asked himself.

 

******************************************************************

“So, where do we go first?” Phil asked as they reached the edge of a snow-covered Hogsmeade.

“Well, I would say Honeydukes, but knowing us with sweets, we’d spend all day in there,” Dan said, “So let’s just walk around for a bit, see where we wanna go.”

“There!” Phil said excitedly, pointing to Gladrags Wizardwear. Dan giggled a bit.

“Okay-HEY!” Dan laughed as he felt himself being pulled by the arm as Phil lead him to the store.

 

“Okay I for sure need these socks!” Phil beamed as he held up a pair of dark blue socks. They were covered in twinkling little stars, with the occasional shooting star that flew around the fabric before disappearing.

“You’ll be a hit in astronomy,” Dan grinned and looked over a at a nearby table, “and I definitely need this scarf!” he picked up a bright green scarf that had a dragon head on one end and it’s tail on the other “How awesome is this?!”

“You best be careful with that scarf there, boy,” the shop-owner warned, “it gets a little short-tempered if you don’t put it on gently.”

“Short-tempered?” Dan was already in the middle of putting the scarf around his neck when he heard a low growl. He looked down at the head of the dragon scarf to see smoke coming out of it’s snout. Dan was a bit too quick to take off the scarf and nearly dropped it when it puffed at a small fireball. Everyone stood there wide-eyed for a moment before Dan gingerly set the scarf back down on the table.

“On second thought, I think I’m just gonna wait outside before I end up setting myself on fire and burn the shop down,” Dan said with a pale face, “I’ll meet you outside, Phil.” Dan walked out of the shop and wiped some snow off of a bench and sat down. It was only a few minutes before Phil waked out to join him.

“You get the socks?” Dan asked as Phil sat down.

“Along with this,” Phil tossed a small black pouch into Dan’s lap.

“What’s this?” Dan picked up the pouch

“Open it and you’ll see,” Phil grinned. Dan slowly opened the pouch and poured out the contents into his other hand. A thick, black leather band with two silver buttons fell out. Dan raised an eyebrow at Phil.

“A bracelet?” Dan asked.

“Yeah, but put it on!” Phil said eagerly. Dan wrapped the band around his wrist and clasped the buttons shut. The plain black bracelet instantly burst to life with flames of every color.

“The flames change color based on your emotions! In the muggle world we call these mood bracelets! But look how awesome this is! And the color chart is way more specific than the ones muggles get!” Phil exclaimed with wide eyes. Dan smirked and looked down at his gift. The flames were now fading into a soft pink hue. He looked back at his excited friend.

“It’s great, Phil. I love it. Thanks,” Dan’s smirk formed into a warm smile, “Now what does pink mean?” Dan grabbed the color chart from the bag and read it to himself, scrolling through all of the colors before finally finding pink.

Pink- Warmth, Happiness, Infatuation. Dan quickly placed the color chart down with wide eyes. He noticed the flames were flickering a very flourescent orange color. He had seen what that meant. Confused, Embarrassed, Shocked.

“Whoa, you alright there, Dan?” Phil raised his eyebrows and looked down at the bracelet, “Your bracelet’s kind of going crazy right now.” Dan looked back at the band around his wrist and saw bright orange flames appearing to dance around a few soft pink ones. Well great. Just great.

“Y-yeah, um.” Dan quickly stood up, “This bracelet’s just a little overwhelming. I just need to get used to it is all. Have you ever had butterbeer?” Dan changed the topic so quickly Phil did a small double take.

“Erm, no…” he said.

“Well then the next stop is The Three Broomsticks. Best Butterbeers in the wizarding world I hear. Come on,” Dan walked ahead quickly as Phil followed behind him.

“Okay, but first…” Phil said. Dan stopped and turned around right as a snowball hit him square in the chest.

“What the-?” Dan questioned, his only answer was another snowball hitting him in the stomach, “PHIL!!”

“SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!” Phil finished making his third snowball and threw it at Dan, this time hitting him in his collar bone. Dan flinched at the icy snow splattered against his scarf, seeping into his neck. He blinked slowly at Phil with wide eyes and an open mouth.

“Oh it’s on, Lester…” Dan said quietly. He quickly grabbed a handful of snow and ran towards his friend. Phil squeaked and started to run away, narrowly dodging the snow flying at his shoulder. After a few minute of chasing each other Dan finally gave up actually throwing the snow and tackled Phil to the ground.

“NO!” Phil yelped as they went tumbling down, “THAT’S CHEATING!”

“All’s fair in snow and war, my friend.” Dan pinned Phil to the ground and pressed a handful of snow against Phil’s neck, causing his friend to squeal in a very high pitched manner. Phil used Dan’s laughter as an opportunity to roll them both over in an attempt to get on top. Dan’s brown eyes glanced to his left before giving his friend a warning look.

“No, Phil WAI-” was all Dan could say before they were suddenly rolling together at a swift pace. Little did Phil know they were right next to a small hill, which sent them both tumbling down like barrels.

Once they finally stopped rolling, they were both caught in violent fits of laughter. After a few minutes of attempting to calm themselves down from their epic snow war, Dan lifted himself from the snow bed and looked down at Phil, who was still giggling in the snow.

“Next time you try to pin me to the ground, you might want to check for hills,” Dan smiled as he extended his hand to his friend. Phil quickly accepted it and Dan pulled him up.

“Maybe, but you have to admit, that was pretty amazing!” Phil grinned with wild eyes. Dan looked down and shook his head, still smiling.

“Okay yeah. It was,” Dan looked back up at Phil, “and that was pretty amazing of you to start a snow war with me, not many people have done that and survived.”

“Guess they should call me Amazing Phil, then!” Phil gave Dan a cheeky grin.

“Oh yeah, that’ll catch on,” Dan nodded, “Wanna go get that butterbeer now, Amazing Phil?”