Authors notes: I want to thank my BETAs Koorime and ChibiBecca. I would also like to appologise if people start craving cookies oo; Oh, and this Fic is set in Bath, Wiltshire, my hometown, so sorry if it sounds like a travel brochure at times ^^
“I can’t believe you did that!”
Harry was simply amazed by Draco’s actions towards the Dursley’s. He had wanted to do the same thing for years, but had always stayed his hand out of fear of retribution, but Draco, Draco simply went right ahead and did what he pleased. Harry was very nearly in awe.
He leaned against the wall and grinned to himself as Draco once again struggled with the lock of his hotel door, muttering obscenities to himself. Eventually, as before, the blonde pulled out his wand and muttered the unlocking spell. The Slytherin threw the door open in triumph and stepped into the room.
Harry glanced about, almost expecting to see Snape standing there again; he then flopped on to the sofa, spreading his long legs out toward the hearth as he toed off his shoes. “Honestly, threatening Uncle Vernon!” He laughed lightly as he leaned forward, shrugging his jacket off.
Draco flopped down next to him, having already taken off his coat and shoes. He had an annoyed expression on his face and a slight frown. Harry calmed down and sat back when he noticed.
“Why didn’t you ever do it yourself?” Draco asked him quietly.
Harry paused for a moment, a little shocked, thinking his answer over.
“I did, once or twice. During the summer, before third year, I blew my Aunt Marge up and threatened Uncle Vernon. Mostly, I just let their taunts slide off me, biting my tongue, because they promised to either take away, or give privileges, depending on how I behaved.”
He pulled his legs up under him and continued, “When I was younger, I didn’t know any better, I thought it was something I’d done and that even having that damn cupboard was something to be happy about. I’d tell myself that at least I had somewhere to hide when Dudley went on one of his rampages.”
Draco was looking at him oddly; he shrugged slightly and tried a small smile, “These days, I think I tell myself it’s because they don’t like wizards or witches, because they’re scared of us.”
The Slytherin snorted, “You sound like you’re trying to defend them. These people kept you in a cupboard until you were eleven and only gave you an actual room when they thought they were being watched!” Draco shook his head, “I just don’t get why Dumbledore kept sending you back there every year.”
Harry frowned, staring at the empty hearth. Pulling out his wand, he set a fire and then settled back. “There’s a protection thing at the house that only works for blood relatives. It was the best way to keep me safe over the summer and I never liked the idea of putting anyone else at risk.” He sighed, “Not that there weren’t a host of families willing to take me in.”
He heard Draco sigh, but stared resolutely at the fire, looking up a few moments later when the other boy said, “Should we order up some food?”
Talk turned to pleasanter things while eating. Quidditch, and the fact Draco’s house kept losing, (he muttered about that for a good fifteen minutes, making Harry laugh) what they’d be taking next year at Hogwarts, the rest of the summer and so on. They learned a lot about each other in the few hours they sat talking. For instance, Harry learned that Draco held a great liking for muggle literature close to his heart and actually had a fair talent in art, something not taught at their school.
Harry spoke a little of his friendship with Ron and Hermione and Draco barely sneered, which he took as a good sign, and in turn, the blonde told him of his friendship with Crabbe and Goyle. He’d actually known them for years before Hogwarts; they were family friends and happened to be his only true friends in the entire Slytherin house.
They argued, for a while, about Harry’s hair. Draco insisted he should use some gel or something to tame it, while Harry, himself, tried to get across the idea that he really didn’t care what he looked like and his hair was fine as it was, thank you very much.
Half way through Draco’s attempt to stress the importance of being impeccably dressed at all times, Professor Snape’s quiet voice cut in.
“That is all very well, Master Malfoy, but when it comes to Potter, I think you’re fighting a losing battle.”
They both turned in surprise, Draco halting mid-speech, finding the tall Potion’s master standing behind the sofa, he must have apparated in without their noticing. He had his arms folded and looked a lot calmer than he had the last time they’d seen him.
“Professor Snape, Sir! Would you like a mug of coffee?” Harry motioned to the tray on the table to the right of the sofa. The older man’s eyes darted toward the proffered beverage as a look of longing crossed his features.
Draco got up with a smile and poured one out, as Snape sat himself down in his vacated seat next to Harry, who shuffled sideways slightly to allow him more room. After a moment's pause, in which Snape sipped the coffee with a look of pure bliss, the Potions Master leaned back into the cushions and gave Harry a steely glare.
“I’ve been sent to inform you that the Weasleys,” a slight pursing of the lips for a second, “have agreed to have you for the remainder of the summer.” Professor Snape sipped the coffee again before continuing, ignoring the grin spreading its way across Harry’s face.
“This fire will be connected to the Floo network, for a quarter of an hour tomorrow afternoon, at precisely one pee em. They will, of course, be expecting you.” Harry’s grin faltered a little. Tomorrow afternoon? That was two full days sooner than he had planned. He found his eyes moving to look at Draco, who was standing close to the fire, one hand resting on the mantle piece, apparently keeping out of the conversation.
There was a strange, closed expression on his face now that Harry realised was the mask he used to hide his true feelings. His gaze flicked back to Professor Snape as the man continued, oblivious to the tension in the air.
“Your things have already been moved, including your muggle possessions, so you needn’t worry about having to collect anything.” A few more sips of the slowly cooling coffee, again, that look of pleasure, “Professor Dumbledore wanted me to remind you that you can contact him at any time, if you have the need. I would like to remind you to keep up with your Occlumency.”
Harry smiled at the look his Professor gave him with that last remark. There was a long-standing feud between them over his occasional mishap and forgotten lesson. Though they had gotten past the arguments over his father and Sirius, as Harry himself had realised that neither were as perfect as he had believed them to be, they still engaged in bouts of childishness over his Occlumency training.
“Um, about that, Sir.”
Snape’s eyes narrowed as he looked at him over his mug. “You forgot, again. When?”
Harry nodded, “Last night.”
“What did you see?”
Harry swallowed. “Were you there last night?” He asked quietly.
Snape shook his head, the mug of coffee now clasped in tight hands on his lap. “I was unavoidably detained. Now, what did you see?”
“Two new initiates refused to take the Mark. He tortured them for it.” He paused, suddenly remembering something, “Oh god. Draco.”
The blonde turned to look at him, one eyebrow raised, a question in his expression.
“Voldemort knows about you. I just remembered, Zabini and Osborne told him. Something about not being able to find me because you’d been enlisted to help hide me.”
Draco pulled himself up, a defiant look in his eyes, Snape watched him with a knowing expression. “Really?” His voice was calm, toneless, betraying nothing. Harry was surprised by this. He had thought the Slytherin would, at the very least, sound annoyed, this toneless defiance was unnerving. It was almost as if Draco had been expecting something like this to happen, had been waiting for it to happen.
“Yeah, and he didn’t exactly feel happy about it. What are we going to do?” He asked Snape, turning on him with a pleading expression. Snape frowned, again looking at Draco who stood, back straight, hands in his pockets, still looking defiant.
“We can do nothing. All I can do is talk to Headmaster Dumbledore and see if we can find a safe house. Ultimately, though, it is up to Draco himself.” He finished his coffee and put it on the table, standing as he did so. “Now, I must leave you both. Dumbledore needs to be informed of this.”
Harry nodded glumly and a moment later the Potions Master was gone. The second they were alone he turned on the shorter blonde. “Come with me. Tomorrow. Come with me to The Burrow.”
Draco’s jaw tensed visibly and he shook his head. “No. I’m not hiding simply because you felt he was pissed off.”
Harry almost jumped to his feet, “Draco! I saw what he did to those two who refused. He tortured them, he enjoyed it. I’d be surprised right now if they weren’t dead! Can’t you take this seriously? He’s going to do the same to you the first chance he gets!”
Draco looked up at him and Harry saw his usually pale eyes were dark, whether it was fear or determination, he couldn’t tell, but he knew there was no point in arguing with him. Draco was as stubborn as he was when he was backed into a corner.
“I’m not hiding, Harry. And Voldemort won’t know where I am anyway. I’m staying here for one more week, by then he’ll have gotten over it.”
Draco’s tone suggested finality and despite his numerous misgivings, Harry acquiesced. They stood in silence for a few minutes, looking at each other, emerald eyes locked on dark silver until Harry came to a decision. He crossed the short space between them and before Draco knew what was happening, wrapped his arms round him.
“I know I can’t talk you round, so just – just be careful, alright?” I don’t want to lose you now, not when I’ve just found you, he silently continued.
After a pause, Draco relaxed into his arms and returned the embrace with silent fervor, resting his head in the crook between Harry’s shoulder and neck. “I’ll be fine,” he whispered.
Draco woke with a stiff neck, but he didn’t care. He was lying on the sofa, wrapped in Harry’s strong arms, his head resting on the taller boy’s chest. When Snape had left, Harry had taken him in his arms and asked him to be careful. At that moment, he hadn’t wanted to move. With the threat of Voldemort hanging over his head, he had felt safe in the taller boy’s arms.
Afterwards, they had sat on the sofa and talked late into the night, though Harry hadn’t mentioned Voldemort again. They had discussed the fact that the real Colin Henderson had been a wizard, trying to figure out exactly why he would have been working at the same place as Vernon Dursley.
They hadn’t come to any real conclusion and had moved on to other things, such as what he, Draco, would be getting up to for the rest of the holiday and what Harry would be doing at The Burrow. Eventually they had curled up together, still talking, drinking mocha’s until they had fallen asleep.
He stirred slightly, opening his eyes and glancing at the clock. It was nearing nine in the morning. Only four more hours ‘til Harry left. He frowned, not wanting to get up, not wanting the day to begin, though he knew that he and it had too.
Eventually he talked himself round, slowly slipped out from Harry’s arms and sat up. He found his wand after a few moments search, cursing himself for losing it, and set the fire blazing. When Harry finally awoke, he was already dressed and waiting, a smile on his lips.
“I’m fed up with ordering through the hotel, so I thought we’d get breakfast in town.” He said when Harry finished packing away his things and started mentioning food, about an hour later. The Gryffindor frowned slightly, “You sure?”
“Absolutely. I’m paying.”
It was nearing twelve when they began to make their way back, and Harry insisted they stop by Arcadia, he wanted to see if Henry had returned. On the way past, they stopped in Jay’s Cookies and the Gryffindor bought them two cookies each, chocolate of course, and just as warm and ‘melt in the mouth’ as he remembered them being.
He laughed at the way Draco delicately nibbled at his until they reached the wizard shop and found it cordoned off. Both boy’s stilled and stood, looking at the wreckage. Harry sighed, taking a bite out of his first cookie and trying to stop it from disintegrating in his hands. “Hope the Shires are okay.”
He noticed Draco watching him intently and shrugged slightly, before turning away, “Though, I’m sure Dumbledore would have told me.”
Draco gave up all pretenses on the door this time, and simply pulled out his wand as soon as it came within sight. Harry laughed, fighting with his cookie as it crumbled. Draco raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk, unlocked the door and stepped in. “Please don’t touch anything,” he said pointing at Harry’s chocolate-covered fingers.
Harry stared down at the mess all over his hands and before Draco could move, wiped one finger down the left side of his face. He grinned at the astonished look on the blonde’s face.
“You – what – Harry!” the Slytherin finally burst out. Harry broke into fits of giggles and proceeded to suck the chocolate from his fingers as Draco rushed off to wipe the smear from his face. When he returned, Harry glanced up and grinned from his seat on the sofa. He was working his way through the second cookie now and getting the bloody thing all over his hands again.
Draco gave him a wary look and sat on the far side of the sofa, nibbling at his own cookie. “Oh, come on!” Harry said with a grin, “Stop nibbling the thing and eat it.” Draco gave him a haughty look and continued picking at it. “Just because you eat like a child at Florean Fortescue's, doesn’t mean I have to.”
“Pfff,” he replied around a mouthful of cookie, trying not to laugh again at the look on Draco’s face. He finished and began sucking his fingers, all the time aware of the blonde’s eyes on him. He eyed the remarkably chocolate free Slytherin as he sucked on a thumb. Draco noticed him looking and paused mid-nibble, an undisguised heat in his eyes.
Harry was on him in a second, and with a laugh he grabbed Draco’s cookie. They fell off the sofa, the raven-haired Gryffindor landing on the shorter boy’s chest. He pinned him with his knees and, with a grin, proceeded to smear the still exquisitely melted chocolate over the protesting blonde’s face.
“Harry!!” Draco spluttered, attempting to sound angry, but bursting into laughter as he fended off Harry’s chocolate-smeared hands. Harry grinned and stopped, sitting up to admire his handy-work. “Much better,” he said, knowing full well his eyes were sparkling mischievously. Draco mock-glared up at him, as they both fought to regain the breath they had lost in the furious struggle.
“Now, you look truly delectable,” he whispered as he lay down and kissed the boy pinned beneath him. When he pulled away, Draco let out a soft moan and looked up at him with darkened eyes. He gave the blonde a lop-sided grin, muttered something about him looking a lot less dignified now he was covered in chocolate and leaned back down again, gently kissing the chocolate smears from his face.
“You’re mad, Potter.” The words were sighed into his ear as he kissed the chocolate from the other boy’s left cheek. He grinned, whispered, “Yeah, I know,” and trailed kisses down the Slytherin’s pale neck as the shorter boy slipped his arms round his shoulders, pressing their bodies closer. Inspecting the blonde’s face, he found it now clean of chocolate, which only left one thing.
He brushed his lips over Draco’s, deftly opening the soft lips with his tongue to begin a tender exploration. Draco responded in kind and the Gryffindor trembled slightly as one hand smoothed its way up his back and into his unruly hair, at the gentle tugging he arched his back slightly, pressing his hips firmly against the blondes, eliciting a quiet groan.
He slipped one arm under Draco as they kissed, relishing the feel of the other boy’s body under his own, knowing he had, at most, another half an hour with him before he had to leave for Ron’s house and regretting the fact. He ran one hand down Draco’s body, smiling against his lips at the gentle tremor in response to his warm fingers, meaning to remember every curve and arch, the feel of muscle under smooth, pale skin.
Draco opened his eyes mid-kiss and they fell upon the clock on the mantle piece. Shit. It was already ten to one. The bloody Floo would be open soon. He closed his eyes again, losing himself in the sensation of Harry’s lips on his own, before gently pulling away and muttering, “The time,” a little unsteadily.
Harry frowned at him for a second before turning his head and looking at the clock over his shoulder. Draco silently watched him, tightening his grip on the back of the Gryffindor’s shirt. A moment later, Harry sighed and dropped his head into the crook of Draco’s neck.
Rather unwillingly, they got to their feet and began moving around the room collecting together Harry’s things, occasionally catching each other’s eye. Each time, Draco could see the undisguised heat in the raven-haired boy’s eyes, shielded as they were, by his glasses.
By the time it was one o’clock they were standing side by side in front of the fire. Draco stuffed his hands in his pockets, completely unwilling to wish Harry goodbye. He wanted Harry to stay, but wouldn’t admit to the fact. Finally the clock struck one and their eyes met.
Draco watched as Harry shouldered his bag and nudged his toe against the small suitcase, a slight frown marring his features. “I suppose I’ll see you on the train then,” he mumbled. Draco nodded, still looking at the floor, still unwilling to say goodbye, “You going to be okay with Granger and Weasley?” He asked instead, stalling for time.
He looked over when there was no reply, just in time to see Harry nodding decisively, the frown replaced with a determined look. His shoulders slumped and he gave in. Stepping forward, he wrapped his arms round the taller boy’s shoulders in a brief, yet tight, embrace, which was returned almost instantly.
He pulled back and Harry picked up the suitcase. Both their eyes turned to the clock. Five past. He’d better hurry up. He looked on as Harry closed his eyes briefly, digging out the pouch of Floo powder Snape had given him. They nodded to each other and Harry threw some of the powder into the fire.
It flared green and Harry hugged the suitcase tightly, stepping in and saying clearly “The Burrow!”
When he was gone, Draco slumped into the piled cushions of the sofa, staring at nothing until the fire died down to glowing orange embers and he felt his eyes pricking with something he refused to acknowledge. He spent the rest of the day busying himself with tidying up, (though he didn’t really need to, after Harry had spent a few nights over) reading and giving the ‘telephone’ a try when he felt hungry enough to warrant such effort.
He sneered at himself in the mirror that evening as he readied himself for bed, reprimanding his reflection for looking like a lost puppy. When he climbed into the empty bed, he lay awake, staring at the ceiling for a long time.
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