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posted by [personal profile] scarlet_malfoy at 05:30pm on 06/01/2008
1:30 a.m.

Harry found it difficult to fall sleep, and so he lay awake staring down at the blond head nestled in the crook of his arm. The moonlight filtered in through the blinds of Draco's window, and the light from the bathroom was still on. Both natural and artificial lights blended together, creating a strange sort of yellow unreality. For surely, this couldn't be him, lying here, happy and sated. He felt such a sense of happy exhilaration, and for the first time in his life, he felt at home: even if it was in a flat that he'd only properly entered twice in his life. He had a feeling that wherever he went, if Draco was there to fall asleep curled up against him each night, he'd feel the same sense of completeness that he felt right now.

Draco shifted in his sleep, turning over and out of Harry's arms, facing away from him. Harry missed the warmth of his body, but it was okay: they were still in the same bed, and he could count his slow, sleep-induced breaths. Draco, on his stomach now, reached under his pillow reflexively for his wand. Harry knew that Draco had been relying on the continued presence of it under his pillow for a very long time, and since they were partners in several senses of the word, Harry decided to make it his duty to try and deflect that reliance onto himself. Eventually, he wished, Draco would reach for him with such natural instinct, he wanted to be that permanent fixture in Draco's life: the one thing Draco felt he could depend on. He wanted it so badly that the thought of it was like a physical weight on his chest.

And then two things happened at the exact same time. Draco disappeared from the bed with a soft pop; Harry barely had a chance to react before there was a searing, ripping pain in his leg. He felt wetness beginning to surround the painful area, and Harry knew it to be blood. In nearly a blind panic, he threw the comforter off of the bed to see the clear signs of a reverse splinching, and a good chunk of skin missing from his upper calf. Wherever Draco had gone, he'd taken a bit of Harry with him -- the only bit that had been in contact with him. Harry only saw, only knew one thing: Draco. Find Draco. He turned to grab his wand off the bed stand and prayed that there was a trail he could follow.

There was. It was faint and fading fast, and as Harry rushed to find his Invisibility Cloak and grab a random shirt up off the floor, he concentrated on what he now knew to be a Portkey trail. With painful dread building in his stomach, he realised that they had not done enough to protect Draco. It had to have been Draco's wand; the Last Band had somehow managed to turn the wand into a timed Portkey, and when Draco had grabbed it in his sleep it had taken him away.

But when had they done it? If only Draco hadn't shifted away from him in his sleep, then he would probably have taken Harry along with him completely! But it didn't seem to matter. Harry fell onto the ground when he arrived, his injured leg collapsing under him, and he clutched at it in pain. He had no clue where he'd gone, but when he looked up he saw that he was in a dark forest. The blackness engulfed him, and he could see nor hear anyone at all, but he was confident that Draco wasn't far, that he'd followed the trail successfully.

The wound gave a painful twang, and he panted, trying not to panic and think of a way to stop the bleeding. He longed for Hermione's presence, as she never went anywhere without essence of dittany with her; it had saved their lives so many times. He didn't know how to heal a splinch wound, let alone a reversed one, and so he did the only thing he could: he tied the shirt he'd managed to grab -- which he had intended upon wearing normally, since he was shirtless -- around his leg tightly instead, hissing in pain. He didn't know how far he would be able to hobble along in the forest, so he hoped beyond hope that Draco was close.

As he got to his feet shakily, an idea occurred to him. He raised his wand, and thought fiercely of Draco nestled in his arms not two minutes before.

"Expecto Patronum!" The silver stag erupted from the tip of his wand, and Harry whispered to it, "Tell Kingsley Shacklebolt that the Last Band has captured Draco Malfoy. Give him my coordinates; tell him they can't be far off." As the stag galloped away faster than Harry had ever seen it go, Harry looked down and realised that the wand he held was not his own, but Draco's.

Shaking in fear of what this could possibly mean, he gripped the wand tighter, remembering the last time he'd been in possession of it. Draco's wand had been the one he'd used to finish off Voldemort, and it was strangely comforting to have it back in his hand again, as familiar as a long lost friend.

Then it hit him: Draco must have Harry's wand. His wand must have been the Portkey. None of it made any sense to Harry, for he could not grasp how the ones behind this elaborate plan had managed to get hold of his wand, and had managed to ensure that they'd been switched.

Swallowing heavily, Harry threw his Invisibility Cloak over himself, and began to move. Action was the only thing he was left with when his other senses seemed to fail. There was nothing he could do standing around trying to make sense of it, wasting valuable time, and so he began to limp barefoot in the direction he'd been facing when he'd Apparated there. If he was right, then he had just fallen short of the Portkey destination; he'd been weak, unable to ride it out for the entire duration, and it had dumped him just short of his goal. Harry thanked fortune for this mistake; it was probably a good thing that he hadn't appeared in the middle of the Last Band of Death Eaters.

But Harry was soon shivering, and he could barely walk for the pain. He forced himself onward for several minutes, coming across nothing and nobody at all. The forest floor was getting more and more uneven; he'd nearly tripped several times over exposed tree roots and other things hidden beneath the autumn leaves. He could feel the blood beginning to spill over the shirt tied around his leg, trickling down to tickle his bare foot.

Where was Kingsley? He was the only hope Harry hung on to now. Each step he took was torture, until soon he was nearly dragging his leg behind him. He stopped walking to lean on a tree trunk, trying to regain even breathing. Draco's wand was beginning to burn hot in his hand, and he stared down at it in desperate aggravation. Was it malfunctioning? How could the wand that had served him so well in the past fail him now? He didn't understand; he felt light-headed, but knew that he needed to keep moving if there was any hope of getting Draco out alive. He started forward once more, tearing up at the pain.

The wand grew hotter still in his hand. Harry stopped again, holding up the wand and staring at it underneath the low starlight. Unbidden, an idea had formed in his mind.

Could the wand possibly be leading him towards Draco? Was it burning because he was getting closer? Harry hadn't studied wand relationships all that extensively, though he was fairly certain he knew quite a bit more about the subject than most. He knew that wands held loyalties towards their rightful owners; could Draco's wand, which had once turned its loyalties over to Harry, be trying to help?

Harry shook his head, and thought he might have been going crazy; how could the world have turned upside down in so short a time? Wands couldn't help: they didn't have a brain! But he had nothing else to go on. There wasn't anything else he could do but try and work with this crazy idea, and so with slightly renewed vigour he stepped forward, ignoring the pain that burst forth with gritted teeth, and forced himself onward.

The wand continually increased in temperature. In a few minutes' time, he could see a strange, flickering blue light in the distance. His heart leapt and he rushed forward, adrenaline suddenly coursing through his veins. When he strained his ears, he could hear distant voices, but he couldn't make out any words.

He forgot his pain; he could think only of Draco as he trudged forward as fast as he possibly could. The blond's peaceful face as he slept filled his mind. Harry was hidden, but he knew he had to be extremely cautious, and so he slowed down as he reached the source of the light, careful not to upset too many leaves or step on a twig. It was coming from the middle of a small clearing. Harry stood just outside of it, and poking his head out from behind a gnarled tree, he surveyed the scene before him.

Draco was there, on the far side of the little clearing, similarly clad in only thin boxer shorts and sitting slumped against a tree. Harry nearly called out to him; he couldn't be, he wasn't -- dead?! Then Harry caught himself, and watched -- yes, he could see the rise and fall of the bare chest. He was alive. He must have been unconscious; Harry couldn't imagine that a Portkey journey wouldn't have woken him up. Stunned, but alive. Harry let out a low breath, relief flooding him. He hadn't been too late.

So fixated on finding Draco, Harry hadn't noticed the woman sitting on the ground next to him. Her eyes were wide and frightened, and her blond hair -- exactly the same shade as Draco's -- framed her face in disarray. Narcissa. Her hands were tied behind her back, and she was staring into the middle of the clearing, where at least a dozen hooded figures were standing around a small magical fire. Harry now recognised the light as bluebell flames.

He had to get closer to Draco.

He eased his way through the brush, careful of his footing and grimacing with every careful step. His wand was out and his eyes trained on the members of the Last Band carefully, trying to distinguish one from the other, but it was next to impossible. They stood in small groups, having several different discussions, but their voices were muffled through their hoods, indistinct. One of them seemed rather distracted; he kept looking over at Draco and his mother, seemingly the only one taking any notice of their prisoners at all. When Harry got close enough, he realised that this curious Last Band member had white-blond hair sticking out from underneath his hood.

It could only be Lucius Malfoy. Harry's heart jumped into his throat at the knowledge, and he felt like he was going to be sick. No amount of pain could have been worse than knowing that Draco's own father had been part of the plan to bring him here. Why did he keep looking over at them? He'd already sold out his own wife and son, hadn't he? He had no reason to look back. Harry pressed onward.

Then he was feet away from Draco's unconscious form. He was bleeding from a cut on his forehead, and he was hunched over in a spot of mud - Harry knew that would be the first thing Draco would have complained about, had he been conscious. As Harry turned to take in Narcissa, something gleamed in the brush beyond Draco's still form, in the light from the bluebell flame. Harry hobbled closer to look, and realised with a jolt that it was his own wand.

How could the Last Band have overlooked it? The wand was no longer a Portkey, but it was obviously still a wand. But Harry had no time to ponder the reasoning, he could only react, and he kneeled down to retrieve it, holding back a cry of pain as he did so. When he'd managed to straighten once again, he slowly, agonizingly, made his way over to Narcissa. The faint outlines of a plan had formed in his pain-clouded mind.

He slipped Draco's wand into Narcissa's hand. As her hands were tied behind her back and she couldn't see what was touching her, she jolted, startled, and seemed about to cry out.

"Shh," Harry whispered close to her ear. Narcissa's eyes darted from side to side, desperate to understand what was going on, to see something substantial before her. Her hands had gripped the wand; she seemed to realise what the object was, and her eyes widened in shock.

"Who are you?" she whispered.

For his plan to work, she needed to know. She had placed all her trust in him, once -- that was the only thing that kept him going. "Harry Potter. I'm going to untie you, but you need to keep your hands behind your back, so they don't realise."

Her eyes bulged in surprise, but she made a sudden forward motion with her head, hardly discernable as a nod, though Harry recognised it as such.

"Can't Apparate," she whispered so quietly that Harry nearly dropped his wand, sure he'd misheard her.

"What do you mean?" he demanded.


He did. He backed up a foot and attempted to Apparate, but found it impossible.

Dread filled him. Now what? Apparating away had been a simple solution. He knew that he could Side-Along Apparate one other person, but he'd never attempted it with two. Already in possesion of a reverse Splinching injury, he didn't dare make an attempt at it, and so he'd been sure that leaving Draco's wand with Narcissa would enable her to make her own way to safety.

But that plan was an impossibility, now. Harry couldn't see any way out of this unless they planned to duel with twelve or so Last Band members.

"Trust Lucius."

"What?" He didn't think he could have heard her correctly at all, and as he muttered Finite Connexio under his breath, the ropes that had been around her wrists fell to the ground.

"Trust Lucius. He will fight with us." There was no mistaking her intent this time. She seemed so sure of it, but Harry was entirely unconvinced.

He was shaking now, and the craziest idea he'd had so far -- that of attacking the members of the Last Band, and which had entered his mind mostly as a joke -- seemed to be the only option left. Narcissa seemed prepared for it, even hopeful; then again, she thought her husband was on her side. Harry was resigned to the fact that Kingsley hadn't received his message at all -- surely he would have been here by now, if he had.

"Protego," Narcissa whispered tearfully around the unconscious form of her son. Harry added his own protection around him as well, knowing how insane this was, but he could see no other way out.

"On three," Harry whispered, taking a deep breath to steady himself. "Stun as many as you can before they realise what's going on, all right? One ... two ... Stupefy!!"

Harry was amazed his whispered spell had had the same effect on its victim as if he had shouted it. Two down, that was it, before the Last Band had noticed and shielded themselves.

"What do you think you're doing, Mrs. Malfoy? Forgive me, Lucius, as I put your blood-sympathizing wife in her place!" A hooded figure turned, aiming his wand directly at Narcissa, since he couldn't see Harry at all.


Harry had no idea who had shouted at first; he'd only seen the hand that had been aiming the wand at Narcissa fall to the forest floor, quite unattached to the arm. The man screamed, holding his bloody stump and falling to the ground.

All the remaining members of the Last Band had their wands trained on Lucius Malfoy, and it was then that Harry realised Narcissa had been right.

Lucius began to duel with the three men closest to him; the little clearing was ablaze with spellwork. There was a choking sound from behind Harry - he hardly dared to turn his eyes away from the scene in front of him, but he did, and watched as Draco turned over onto his stomach and spit up blood into the dirt and leaves.

"Mum? What ...?" Draco muttered weakly, beginning to rise to his knees.

"I've got him, I've got him, go and see about his bloody wife and son!" One of the dueling wizards shouted to the rest, and several of them turned and began to head over to Harry's little corner of the clearing, wands drawn.

"Draco, no! Stay down!" Draco's head turned in surprise at Harry's apparently disembodied voice -- but he wasn't the only one. One of the hooded figures was running towards him, and with his injury, Harry couldn't outrun him --

The man ran into him, bowling him over, and the cloak slipped halfway off.

"Petrificus Totalis!" Harry yelled, and the man stiffened and fell backwards. His hand had caught in the cloak, and it was pulled off of Harry completely.

"There's Potter! Potter's here!" There was uproar; Lucius no longer seemed their topmost priority. Two stayed to duel with him, but the rest came running towards Harry, who was struggling to his feet and backing away as fast as he could.

Draco had risen shakily to his feet as well, but there wasn't anything he could do without a wand. Narcissa was aiming curses at the oncoming Last Band, which they deflected with ease.

"Harry! Watch out! Turn! DUCK!" Draco charged forward. Harry was able to dodge the first hex, slamming into the ground just in time, but it hit Draco in the shoulder.

The protective charms that Harry and Narcissa had cast had held up rather well, but Draco was down and bleeding. Harry's heart screamed in protest, but he couldn't go to Draco with three of the Last Band closing in on him. He saw a purplish line streak through the darkness; it took a fraction of a second to realise that it was a wandless spell, and he didn't even have time to contemplate a Shield Charm as the purple jet hit him square in the chest. Harry fell to the ground, smacking his head hard. His vision swam and blurred, and all sensation began to fade. He thought he might have heard the soft pop of Apparation from somewhere beyond the clearing before everything went dark.

:: :: :: :: ::

Tuesday September 22nd, 1999 - 12:30 p.m.

When Harry woke, he was conscious of two things: a dull, persistent pain in his stomach and the feel of someone lying beside him. He opened his eyes slowly, and was at first unsurprised to find himself in the bright, clean hospital wing at Hogwarts – it wasn’t such an unusual place for him to wake up, really – but then, slowly, all that had happened in the night came to the forefront of his mind.

What happened after he’d been hit with that curse? Had the popping nose he’d heard before passing out been more than a hopeful delusion brought on by loss of blood, or could it really have been Kingsley? And Draco – he’d fallen, bleeding – where was he?

Harry turned his head to the side, and sighed in immense relief as he took in the blond hair, and the face concentrated in sleep. All traces of the mud Draco had been lying in the night before had vanished, and he was wearing the usual infirmary attire: a white gown that buttoned all down the back. Harry realised that he was similarly clad, and as he pushed the sheet down gently, he saw that his splinch wound had been healed; there was just the remnants of a faded scar upon his leg.

Turning entirely to face Draco, Harry reached out to touch his cheek, placing gentle kisses upon his sleeping face: his forehead, nose, each of his eyelids, and finally his mouth. “Wake up,” his whispered against Draco’s lips, hand moving to catch in his hair.

Draco shifted, eyes opening slightly, taking in the intense green staring back at him, and proceeded to gasp in surprise. “Harry! You’re awake!”

“Yeah, what happened?”

“Never mind what happened, you’re awake!” His voice broke slightly on the last word and he flew forward to gather Harry in his arms. “We didn’t know if … it was touch and go there for awhile … thank Merlin that we grabbed the wrong wands last night, Harry, because if you had been Portkeyed there instead of me, they’d have killed you on the spot!”

Harry pulled away slightly. “Wait, what? The Portkey was … was meant for me?”

A dark look came over Draco’s features, and he stared past Harry’s shoulders when he spoke. “Yeah. As often as their targets have been reformed Purebloods, Harry, you’ve always been next on their list.”

Harry was baffled. “Why haven’t there been any attempted attacks on me, then?” And then his eyes narrowed. “How – how do you know who’s on their list, Draco?”

Wincing, Draco shook his head. “There was the bathroom attack. Pavel. He’s working for them – he’s actually the one whose arm my dad cut off – but I guess he thought I’d been the one exiting the bathroom instead of you, I just got caught in it –“

“Draco, how do you know?” Harry demanded, sitting up even though it caused a sharp pain to shoot through his stomach.

Biting his lip, Draco sat up slowly beside him. “Harry, my dad has been … he’s been acting as one of them. He didn’t want to, he wanted to get the hell away from the fight, but the Ministry gave him no choice. Either infiltrate the Last Band as a spy, or go to Azkaban for the rest of his life.”

“God, Draco … you’ve known about this, and has your mum …?”

“Yeah, that’s why she’s been so worried lately. She placed a tracking charm on me, and when she realised where I was, she Apparated there and wasn't able to Apparate back out. They guessed we were both blood traitors, especially since I'd come along with your wand instead of you... and that’s why Pavel freaked out on the first day of Auror Training, he didn’t expect to see me there – thought I was trying to steal all his glory – he was there to spy on you, you know, he nicked your wand while you were in the shower to activate the Portkey.”

Exasperatedly, Harry grabbed Draco by the shoulders. “You idiot, why didn’t you tell me any of this?”

Draco looked pointedly at Harry. “Did you believe my mum when she told you to trust my dad?”

Harry paused, loosening his grip. “Well, I …”

“Exactly. I couldn’t tell you anything about it, Harry, and I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right. Just – what happened after I was down?”

Draco explained how after Harry had fallen, at least fifteen Aurors had Apparated just outside the clearing. They’d been able to penetrate the Anti-Apparation ward at its weakest point, and they had duelled the remaining Last Band members. It had not taken long to overtake them, as they’d been heavily outnumbered from the start.

“Have they been taken to Azkaban? Are they dead?”

“The four that hadn’t been killed in duels, Kingsley took into custody personally.”

Harry didn’t want to ask the question that was burning on his tongue. “Your parents, are they …?”

But Draco’s face brightened, and so Harry knew that they must be all right. He let out a slow breath that he hadn’t realised he’d been holding as Draco continued. “Just fine. They went with Kingsley for questioning, but I imagine they’re back at the Manor by this time. It’s nearly 3:30 pm.”

Something occured to Harry. "Didn't the Last Band attack Malfoy Manor last month?"

"Just a cover up. The Ministry asked dad to stage the attack himself, on the pretense that the Minister of Magic was holding a meeting there. They actually captured a couple of them, so not a complete failure."

“And … and why, exactly, are we at Hogwarts?”

“The Last Band’s base camp was on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest, and you – you probably wouldn’t have made it if we’d tried to get you all the way to St. Mungo’s. Pomfrey was your only chance.” Draco's hand came up to rest on Harry's chest, as if to reassure himself that his heart was beating, that he was all right. A deep admiration for the nurse coursed through Harry. She’d brought him back from the brink of death more times than he could count.

“I killed him,” Draco whispered, refusing to look Harry in the eye.

“What? Killed who?” Harry took Draco’s hand, unsurprised to find him trembling.

"The Death Eater who fired that purple curse at you. I took my wand back from my mum and I killed him.”

Harry remembered back to sixth year, and how completely unable to kill Draco had been then. He hadn’t had it in him, and it was something Harry had come to admire about Draco. The fact that Harry himself had inadvertently been the motivation behind what must have been Draco’s first kill made him feel like he needed to be sick.

“Draco, I –“

But Draco cut him off, talking quickly. He clearly wanted to change the subject. “I wasn’t myself. The curse that hit me in the shoulder caused a lot of nerve damage, even though Madame Pomfrey says I should regain feeling in a couple of weeks. Thanks to the protection charms, I didn’t get the full affect of it, but I lost a lot of blood in the meantime – and so did you. And that purple curse? It ripped your stomach apart, and the acid nearly ate away all of your internal organs.”

Harry whistled. “Well, that explains the stomach ache.” He looked at Draco, who had finally turned to look him in the eye; he looked utterly devastated. “Come here.” Harry pulled him into a fierce hug. “We’re fine. We made it. We’re going to be just fine, I promise.”

“We are the worst Aurors in the world, Harry,” Draco moaned.

"You aren’t.”

Harry and Draco broke apart as if they’d been shocked, and they turned to see Professor Stark standing in the open doorway. "You're just inexperienced. You boys are not even a month into training. Most second-year trainees would have died back there."

“So you’ve heard, then? You heard how your brilliant plan to protect Draco failed? I told you it wasn’t enough, I told you – and we nearly died, thanks to you!” Harry had surged forward in anger, and Draco had to put an arm firmly upon his shoulder to make sure he didn’t fly out of bed waving his fists.

Professor Stark had the decency to look sheepish, and he took several steps forward into the hospital ward. “I did hear. And I apologise for not understanding the severity of the danger you were in. I admit that I’ve been a bit predisposed to believe that things would only get better after the fall of Voldemort, but that was a mistake. As an Auror, and as one who has dealt with Dark wizards myself, many times, I could not have made a more profoundly ignorant mistake.” He paused at the foot of the bed, staring up at the boys. “I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me one day, but I understand if you cannot.”

“It’s all right, Professor,” Draco uttered, and Harry turned to glare at him and had nearly opened his mouth to protest, but at Draco’s reciprocated glare the retort died on his tongue.

“I haven’t come here to stir up any bad feelings. I only wish to share with you some of my recent findings.” Professor Stark held up a manila envelope bursting with papers. “I believe that some of this information may put several things regarding last night into perspective.”

“Oh, really?” Harry said skeptically, but Draco elbowed him in the side.

“Let’s hear it, Professor.”

Professor Stark pulled a chair up beside the bed on Draco’s side, seeming fit to burst with a sudden, excited energy. Harry couldn’t help but become curious, despite his current loathing of the man.

“Firstly, I will remind you of the shock I expressed at your score on the partner tests in class. My intrigue over this has never wavered. I had never come across a nearly perfect match in all my time teaching … I was almost certain that a score like yours was impossible to obtain. And so – I looked into it.” He opened the manila folder and handed over a stack of reports.

Harry scanned the major headlines: Life Debt Phenomenon; A New Perspective on the Study of Life Debts; Can a Life Debt Really Render You Immortal?; Life Debts Between Enemies.

“A life debt? You think a life debt is the reason we scored so high on the partner test?” Harry asked, thunderstruck.

Draco shook his head forcefully. “Can’t be. Any life debt that may have existed between us has been settled.”

“But that’s just it. I don’t think it has. I think that up until last night, both debts were still in place. Maybe something to do with your former rivalry, or not absolutely realising the true effect of the life-saving action... I am not sure how it's possible at all. I’ve never heard of such a thing in my life, and I haven’t been able to find a record of it anywhere - but I believe it to be the truth.” The professor was almost bouncing in his chair. “I think it made the two of you virtually immortal.”

“That doesn’t make any sense … we definitely aren’t immortal! Do you want to take a look at the scar on my leg?” Harry asked harshly.

“Immortal in a sense that only corresponds to the two of you together. Alone, you could be killed, I am sure of it. But together? You could only be injured, wounded – but not mortally. I tested my theory that day in the duelling chamber. I asked the two of you to kick it up a notch – which may have been another mistake on my part – but I asked, just to be sure that I could possibly be seeing what I was seeing. Your aim, Draco? There hadn’t been anything wrong with it. It was perfect, but yet somehow it deflected away from Harry, every time.

“You two could not possibly have harmed one another. Later on, Draco, when Pavel attacked you, I believe that you should have died. And last night, Harry... I believe Draco's continued presence was the only thing that kept you alive. You are both be an asset to the other in every way that the partner test grades – seeing as the dual life debts made it your subconscious priority to save the other’s life.”

“It’s wrong. Your conclusion is wrong, it has to be.” Draco looked from Harry, wide-eyed and mystified, to the professor, full of accomplished glee, and back again. “I didn’t save Harry’s life at all.”

Harry sighed. “Draco, yes you did. We’ve been through this …”

“It was nothing compared to what you did, Harry! You swept down on a broomstick to save me from burning to death in a fiendfyre! I think that constitutes as saving my life, but all I did was point them in the other direction, plant a doubt in their minds as to who you were. I didn’t mean to save your life …” Draco’s eyes filled with tears. “And I regret it, I wish I had, I’m so sorry …”

Forgetting about Professor Stark’s presence entirely, Harry pulled Draco into his arms. “Stop it, stop it … it was enough. I lived because of you, Draco, and I’ve never forgotten about it … please believe me …”

Less than tactfully, the professor cleared his throat, but Harry only looked up over Draco’s shoulder and glared. “Thanks for coming to fill us in, but do you think we could be alone for a moment, please?”

Professor Stark stood, smoothing down his robes. It was the first moment Harry realised that the professor was actually in robes, instead of his usual Muggle attire. “Of course. I apologise. But I think you should be aware that I could be wrong about this. I am nearly convinced, but I urge you not to count on the life debt theory to save you again.”

“We didn’t count on it the first time, did we?” Harry countered.

“No, but nevertheless, I am convinced that it is the only reason your stomach acid didn’t kill you last night, Harry.”

Harry felt Draco flinch in his arms, and he gripped him tighter. “We’ll just have to learn how to make our own luck, then.”

The professor smiled. “Indeed you will. I’ll see you both in class next week. Take a few days off.” And then he turned and was gone, shutting the infirmary door behind him.

Draco had scooted down Harry’s chest, and was now hugging him around the stomach. Harry ran his fingers through his hair, trying to make sense of the surplus of information whirling through his mind, but the only thing that seemed crystal clear to him was Draco.

“Harry?” Draco mumbled into his shirt.


“Is it possible for us to maybe … make this official?”

Harry’s heart sped up. “Make what official?”


“Oh.” Harry had been hoping for a different answer, but he was pleased that Draco wanted him as a partner, too. “Throughout school, or once we’re on the job for real?”

Draco giggled sleepily. "You dumbass. Partners, sure, but I meant ... I meant us.” His voice took on an abruptly more serious tone, and his arms went around Harry even tighter. “I want you. And I’m telling you so. And – and I’m afraid. But I want you so much that I can’t stand by and hope it will just go away.”

Scooting down in the bed to be on the same level with Draco, Harry kissed him softly, willing his voice not to shake as he pulled away a little to whisper.

“Consider it official.”

:: :: :: :: ::

Monday May 15th, 2000

“I hate this.”

“Draco, you said you’d do it if you got to spin the globe. Come on!”

“I. Hate. This. Do you understand?”

“I do. But the fact of the matter is, we need to complete this mission if we want to become Aurors next year. In order to complete this mission, we need to spin the globe and find out where we’ll be going for our undercover mission …”

“Why is it called an undercover mission? There’s nothing Aurory about it at all. All this so-called mission will prove to the Auror Council is that we are successful at disguising ourselves. We’re just showing them how good we are at acting under our glamours.”

“This is exciting, Draco! We’ve been looking forward to this mission for months now. All Auror Trainees look forward to it, it’s like the highlight of our training career! How often will we get a mission like this, with nothing serious going on, and with time to relax and enjoy ourselves in the meantime?”

“Yes, but what will you be disguised as, Harry?”

“A Muggle Indian-man.”

“And I? What will I be disguised as, again?”

“A … a Muggle gypsy-woman.”

“Right. Therefore – I hate this. You spin the bloody globe. I don’t even care.”

Harry sighed, stepping forward towards the globe that sat on Professor Stark’s desk. It was larger than a normal globe, bursting with bright blues and greens, and it floated above the table, nearly blocking their professor from view. He touched it tentatively; it seemed to hum and vibrate beneath his fingertips.

“One hard spin, Harry, that’ll do it,” Professor Stark said, leaning to the side of the globe to look at the pair. Harry spun it, and then stood beside Draco to watch as the blues and greens began to melt into each other in their spinning ascent.

Harry leaned in to whisper in Draco’s ear as the globe slowed down. “Come on, Draco. Being a woman won’t be all that different for you, will it?” He raised one eyebrow suggestively.

“Fuck you, Potter.” Draco turned away and crossed his arms, attempting to blatantly ignore him.

“That’s what I was referring to, yes.” Harry’s voice had reached a husky level, and Draco began to blush. The globe had almost stopped spinning.

“I hate you,” Draco whispered.

Harry reached over and smiled, taking Draco’s hand in his. “No, you don’t.”

They leaned over together to see where the spinning globe had stopped.


:: :: :: :: ::
There are 18 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] at 09:03pm on 06/02/2008
Absolutely fantastic! I was late leaving for work this morning because I was reading this! Alas, even with that I still had to leave some for when I got home this evening, but I kept thinking about it all day.

Lovely job!!!!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:10am on 08/02/2008
Ahh, I'm sorry I made you late! I'm SO glad you liked it! :D
posted by [identity profile] at 09:42pm on 06/02/2008
Oh tooo wonderful! You'll have to visit this story world again sometime! I sooo love it!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:09am on 08/02/2008
Thank you for reading! I'm so glad you liked it! :D
posted by [identity profile] at 12:07am on 07/02/2008
LoL! I did the same thing as ravenqueen55 and was almost late to work because I was reading this and didn't want to stop halfway through a chapter! This is an amazing story and I adore it! Thank you so much for sharing it!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:11am on 08/02/2008
Thank YOU so much for reading! I'm glad you got to work on time! I'm so happy you liked it!
posted by [identity profile] at 02:24am on 07/02/2008
oh my god. that was...stunning. that was like a mental vaccum for the entire read. so vivid and emotional. perfect. a new favorite!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:11am on 08/02/2008
Thank you so much! I am so thrilled that you liked it that much. :D
posted by [identity profile] at 04:18am on 07/02/2008
That was perfect! I've got a new favorite. I think this was a very well done romantic adventure fic, with just the right amount of action in both cases. ;) And I love pretty bottom!draco.
posted by [identity profile] at 01:12am on 08/02/2008
As do I ;D I'm so glad you liked it... I was really striving for a good balance between the two. Thanks so much for reading!
posted by [identity profile] at 02:37pm on 07/02/2008
This was great! A nice plot and good smex!
Loved it a lot.
posted by [identity profile] at 01:12am on 08/02/2008
Thank you so much for reading! :D
posted by [identity profile] at 12:43am on 09/02/2008
loved loved loved this! grat job!
posted by [identity profile] at 09:43pm on 09/02/2008
I'm glad you liked it! Thank you!
posted by [identity profile] at 09:05pm on 09/02/2008
I loved this! This was just awesome. Talk about a shock when Draco disappeared. I wasn't expecting that! I have been reading this when I could for the past few days, having something good to look forward to. I am going to miss it.
posted by [identity profile] at 09:42pm on 09/02/2008
Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! Your review makes me all happy inside.. I'm so happy it was something you could look forward to like that. Thank you! ♥
posted by [identity profile] at 07:02pm on 17/02/2008
I loved this, you kept it exciting and had thrilling throughout! Lovely interaction between Draco and Harry. Well done!
posted by [identity profile] at 11:38pm on 02/04/2008
I'm sorry! I just saw that I had never commented on your review, and I want to make sure to say thank you... I'm so happy you enjoyed it! Thank you! =)