AN: Whew, this chapter came so easily! I wrote it within a couple of days, and I didn't expect for it to turn out this way but it did and I hope you all like it!
ONE THING I'D LIKE TO CLEAR UP- Theo is NOT, NOT, NOT Theodore Nott. He's Draco's seven year old cousin- an original character, not anyone from the books. Sorry for any confusion!
And lastly- this story is NOT canon, and it is IGNORING SIRIUS' DEATH. He shows up in this chapter, and I don't want anyone to be confused about that!
I think that's all. Enjoy the chapter, my loves!
Warnings: cursing, small amount of violence
Pairings: Harry/Draco, Blaise/Seamus, mention of Remus/Sirius
Disclaimer: Not mine.
"Malfoy, wake up."
"Mr.– Draco, come now, you just had a small shock. You're alright."
Draco groaned pitifully. His head was absolutely pounding. Had he fallen?
"It's alright; you hit your head on the back wall on your way down. It's probably a little tender."
That answered that question.
"Where...what..." He coughed, feeling like words were stuck in his throat. What the hell had happened?
"Draco, m'boy, open your eyes," said a voice somewhere to his left.
Blearily, Draco did as he was told. Figures and faces swam in his vision one by one; Harry, looking pale as death, Madame Pomfrey next to him; Dumbledore on his left, with Remus Lupin right beside him, holding–
Draco took a gasping breath of air.
"Take it easy, now," Madame Pomfrey said concernedly.
"Is h-he– how is he?" Draco somehow managed, through the iron fist clenching around his heart.
Lupin looked at Draco, and his eyes were icy cold. "I'm hoping he'll be alright, after Poppy takes a look," he said stoically.
Draco felt himself begin to shake. It was a slow sort of tremble, starting from his fingertips and climbing up his body in hot waves. "How...when..."
"Here, let me take him now," Madame Pomfrey tutted in interruption, coming to join Remus on the other side of the bed. She briefly glanced to Draco. "Are you going to be alright for a moment?"
"Yes, yes," Draco blurted, breath coming in sharp spurts. "Help him. Help him now; do what you need to do. Don't worry about me."
Merlin, where was Harry? He'd gotten so used to a kind touch to his arm; a reassuring hand in his hair; gentle lips against his temple... and now there was absolutely nothing. He felt cold and desperately alone.
A brief glance to his side while Madame Pomfrey was taking Theo from Remus and he caught sight of Harry's stricken face; he was staring at Remus, desperately trying to catch his eye. His skin was sickly and ashen; his eyes were terrified.
It seems they'd been seen together by his dear Remus.
"Harry," Draco whispered, trying to get his attention. Merlin, even his lips were shaking. "Ha–
"Don't call me that, Malfoy," Harry suddenly spat, looking furious. His eyes frosted over as they leveled a glare upon Draco's innocent form.
Blinking, bewildered and affronted, Draco stuttered, "Harry, I d-don't–
"You heard him," Remus barked from his other side, the burden of Theo's weight gone from his figure.
Draco restrained his response as he realized the latter fact, and his eyes frantically searched the boy out, finding him after a moment in Madame Pomfrey's ginger hold. Theo was small for his age, but probably quite heavy for her; she seemed to realize this and gave Draco a nod before heading off to tend to him.
Relieved, Draco swivelled dead eyes to face Remus. "You saved him," he said, completely ignoring the man's last comment.
"From your father's clutches, yes, I did," Remus said lowly, eyes sparking in anger. It was an uncharacteristic expression on his normally kind face; it seemed the war had made even this good-natured man cynical and angry.
At the mention of his father, Draco's stomach plummeted, and his whole body spasmed. "I didn't have anything to do with that," he whispered hoarsely.
"Remus," Dumbledore interrupted, gently but firmly. "I know this kind of... situation... upsets you, but please do not get angry with my student."
Remus then seemed to realize where he was, and what he was doing. He shook himself, cheeks reddening a little. "I apologize, Albus," he said sheepishly. "I don't know what came over me."
"It's alright, Remus," Dumbledore soothed. "You've had a long night."
Remus sighed and rubbed his hands over his face. "That I have," he murmured in agreement.
"Perhaps you'd like to stay in one of our guest rooms?" Dumbledore offered kindly. "You and Harry could go catch up for a bit."
Remus turned sharp eyes towards Harry, saw the fear reflecting back to him. "That would be nice," he slowly replied.
Dumbledore nodded, then turned back to Draco. "Draco, you look quite pale. Are you alright?"
"C-could I go see him?" Draco asked, teeth clacking.
"Who?" Dumbledore asked. "Oh! Young Theo, over there?"
Draco nodded shakily. "Please."
"I'll ask Poppy," the older wizard responded, reaching out to pat him on the shoulder. Draco flinched at the touch, inexplicably terrified, causing Dumbledore to immediately pull away. The older man gave him a soft look before wandering off to find Madame Pomfrey.
As soon as he was gone, Draco's eyes immediately went to Harry, pleading without his own permission to stop this act, to stop being such a coward, to just be there for him in that moment.
Harry did not look at him.
Feeling like a knife was twisting in his chest, Draco turned his eyes downwards, staring at his hands, twined together and trembling. Goddamn you, Harry.
"Remus," Harry said, voice barely above a whisper. "What you saw, it wasn't...it wasn't what it looked like."
The knife twisted deeper. What, Draco, you actually thought he meant it this time? Thought he was going to stay by you?
"We can talk about it later, Harry," Remus replied, sounding exhausted, and not to mention suspicious.
Harry nodded, physically forcing himself not to even look in Draco's direction, lest he see the heartbroken tilt to his lips; the minute tremble of his chest, lifting with shaking, rattling breaths. Just as his will nearly broke, Dumbledore appeared once again.
"He's stable, Mr. Malfoy. You may go see him."
Draco nodded, trying to calm his breathing. He swung his legs over the side of his bed, putting his back towards Harry. The Gryffindor winced at the way it heaved with every breath, and resisted the urge to smooth his fingers down it in comfort.
Draco stood with a lurch, fended off Dumbledore's helping hands with a glare, then stumbled off in the direction that Madame Pomfrey had gone.
When he made it to Theo's bed, and saw his frail body, still showing signs of the horrors he'd been subject to, Draco felt something break inside of him.
He's knees buckled underneath him, and he slumped to the floor beside the boy's bed, shaking horribly.
He was alive.
As horrible as it was, Draco felt sick with that knowledge. That night, his reasoning for not fighting as hard as he could to stop the initiation was that they were going to kill the boy regardless; if he'd fought, he would've been killed as well, making it two corpses instead of one. Cynical, disgusting reasoning– but it had been the way it was.
Now, things had changed. They had kept him alive, which meant they probably would have done the same even if Draco had refused the initiation and fought until they killed him.
That meant Theo gone through all of that for nothing; all because Draco had been too scared to fight harder for him.
He should have refused. He should have faced the consequences of doing so, instead of allowing his seven year old cousin to take the blunt of it.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered hoarsely. "Oh, Merlin, Theo, I'm sorry..."
He bent double, put his head in his hands, and wept.
"What's wrong, beauty?" Blaise asked, noticing the way Seamus suddenly tensed against him.
"D'you hear that?" the Irish boy asked, narrowing his eyes in concentration.
Blaise was silent for a moment, then shook his head. "No. What is it?"
"Someone's crying," Seamus replied, sounding concerned.
"Really?" Blaise paused again, straining his ears to hear it. After a moment, he heard the sound of soft, gasping sobs, coming from the vague direction of Draco's bed. "I do hear it," he murmured.
"Do you want to go check it out?" Seamus asked, twisting his head around to face his lover.
Blaise couldn't help tilting the other boy's chin up and pressing a quick kiss to his lips. He felt Seamus smile against his mouth, and opened his eyes to see the other boys' shining back at him. Pulling away reluctantly, he muttered, "Alright, alright. Let's go."
Harry, Remus, and Dumbledore had stood awkwardly for a few moments around Draco's empty bed, and then, just minutes later, they'd heard the sound of weeping.
Harry's heart had literally plummeted to his knees. He'd known immediately that it was Draco; he'd heard the other boy cry for ages during the operation, and he'd recognize the heart-breaking sound anywhere.
He'd had to fight the urge to sprint over to where Draco was– had to resist even going at all– for he'd already revealed enough to Remus, and knew that if he saw Draco crying, he wouldn't be able to keep himself from comforting him.
So it was only when Madame Pomfrey had hurried over and requested Harry come along that he was finally given the excuse to make his way over to the distressed Malfoy. She's said– fortunately under her breath– "I think he needs you, Harry. I have a bad feeling."
Harry had lifted his head and told the others, "I apologize, but Madame Pomfrey needs my help with that little boy. You all are welcome to come along if you wish."
Remus' eyes were alit with curiosity– as they had been ever since the noise had first reached their ears– and he'd nodded, then eagerly followed Harry to Theo's bed.
Now, faced with the scene in front of him, Harry realized that he'd underestimated just how much it would hurt to see Draco this way. Slumped against his cousin's bed with hospital robes literally swallowing his frail, gaunt body, with his head in his hands and his whole body trembling– he looked miserable and desperately alone.
Harry felt his heart throb painfully in his chest.
He took a step forward, needing to help the other boy, needing to do something, and then he remembered Remus, and abruptly stepped back. Merlin, he couldn't do it.
At that moment, something suddenly seem to shift in Draco.
His head lifted, and he stared down at his arm– the one with the Dark Mark. Harry could see it shaking violently where he held it in front of him.
There were a few moments of tense, foreboding silence. And then Draco's head fell back, his mouth dropped open, and out came a broken, nearly inhuman wail.
Before anyone knew what was happening, Draco had grabbed an empty potion bottle from the cabinet beside him, smashed it against the ground– breaking off the end and leaving the jagged top– and thrust it into the mark.
Harry was there first, skirting to the boy's side and fighting to get the homemade weapon away from him. There was no thought in the movement; no question– only Draco.
"My fault!" his lover shouted, eyes crazed. He fought violently against the hands attempting to hold him and the shards made purchase once again with the mark. He felt it slice open his skin and reveled in it; in the punishment he deserved. "All my fault, my fault..."
"Stop, Draco!" Harry yelled desperately, grabbing his lover's wrist and wrestling it away from his forearm. In the process, the busted potion bottle ripped several gashes in his fingers and palm, but he didn't care. He tightened his hold on the hand within his own and refused to let go.
Draco was stronger than his frail body implied, though, and he fought back, twisting and writhing in an effort to hurt himself again.
"Draco, baby, please," Harry pleaded, panting with exertion as he continued wrestling with his lover. "Please stop this. Please."
The automatically-spoken pet name and the pleading tone seemed to touch something deep inside Draco, because for one small moment, he went completely and utterly still.
Harry took that lucky second to snatch the bottle out of the boy's hand and throw it to the side.
Then the panic came bubbling up like hot lava in a volcano; Harry saw it coming and grabbed his lover by the face, gently pulling him forward and forcing him to meet his own eyes.
"It's alright," he whispered, barely audible. "Look at me, baby. Look at me. You're alright. Calm down."
Draco's eyes were wide, frightened– tortured, really. His lips shook as they parted to speak. "Why are you doing this, Harry?" he asked, voice ragged and broken. He lifted his bloody, shard-filled arm for Harry to see. "Can't you see what I am? Don't you know what I did?"
Harry ghosted his thumbs across his lover's cheek bones, not even noticing when one hand left bloody streaks across the porcelain skin. "I don't care, Draco," he said, holding the other boy's eyes in an intense stare. "None of it matters. You want to know why?"
Draco trembled underneath his fingertips. "Why?" he asked hoarsely.
Harry leaned forwards, caught Draco's lips in a chaste kiss. "Because I love you, you idiot, and I'm not going to let you tear yourself apart over something that wasn't your fault."
At his words, Draco's whole body went still. There were a few seconds of poignant silence.
Then his eyes welled, and he collapsed forward into Harry's chest, shaking anew. The sound of his sobs filled the room.
Harry exhaled, relieved that the violence was gone from his lover's demeanor, and slipped his arms around the other boy. "Shh," he murmured. He felt hot tears against his neck and heard the barely held gasps, quick and fast in his ear, and felt his heart clench. "It's alright, baby. Shh."
His fingers slipped up and found purchase on the back of Draco's neck, delving into the soft hair there and kneading gently. He rocked him back and forth, slowly, feeling the way the other boy clutched onto him and holding him back just as tightly.
"I l-love you too," Draco whispered hoarsely.
Harry felt warmth fill him, a wave of tenderness; he pulled the other boy still closer and pressed his face into his neck, inhaling his scent, kissing his skin.
Draco's fingers twisted tighter into Harry's shirt and shuddered hard. "D-don't leave me," he whispered, surprised at the words as they left his mouth.
"I won't," Harry promised, voice firm and impassioned. "You're stuck with me, now."
Draco shivered and turned his flushed, wet face so that his mouth was against Harry's jaw. "...thank Merlin for that," he murmured against the smooth skin.
Harry smiled softly and kissed Draco's temple. For a few minutes, they simply sat together, tightly entwined and trembling.
When Draco shifted and hissed in pain, Harry reluctantly said, "Why don't we get you back to your own bed to rest? You've had a lot of shocks today. You need to at least lie down for a while."
Draco merely nodded, even though the idea of leaving Harry's arms frightened him. It seemed Harry sensed this, though, because when he stood he brought Draco with him, fluidly bringing them both to their feet while keeping the other boy held securely to his chest.
And that's when Harry's focus shifted for just a moment as he realized what was in front of him.
Or rather, who.
There was a circle of people surrounding them. Blaise and Seamus, Ron and Hermione– when the hell did they show up?– Dumbledore, Remus, and Madame Pomfrey, and–
Harry felt briefly faint.
"S-sirius," he whispered.
"Hullo, Harry," Sirius finally said, after a long silence. His eyes were guarded, but he didn't look angry– merely curious.
Harry's eyes, wide and frightened, turned towards Ron and Hermione. Ron looked absolutely floored– his eyes were huge and Harry thought he could see a faint tremble to his shoulders.
There were too many people; too many accusing faces to try and appease, too many explanations he had to give–
"Harry," Draco murmured. "Harry, love, let's go now."
The surprisingly gentle voice in his ear grounded him, and he slowly relaxed. After a moment, he sighed shakily, then quietly announced, "I'm going to go help Draco to his bed. If any of you would like to speak to me, you can come along." He emphasized the word "speak", for he had a feeling his best friend wanted to do a lot worse than that.
His audience nodded, still looking shocked from the scene they'd just witnessed.
Harry turned, trying not to think about it, and supported Draco's weight as they headed back towards his bed, arm tight and secure around his lover's shoulders. Draco's fingers curled around his waist, and Harry took comfort in the warmth and feel of them against his skin.
Halfway there, Draco's knee abruptly buckled underneath him, still tender from the recent operation.
"Draco," Harry gasped, catching him round the waist and steadying him. He peered into his face, saw the exhaustion shining there plain as day. The boy was barely keeping his eyes open. Harry sighed and murmured soothingly, "Hang on to me, Draco. I'll carry you the rest of the way."
Draco tried to refuse, but Harry's arm was under his legs and before he could thing about it he was being swept up into a bridal-style embrace.
Embarrassed, but too bone-deep tired to question it, Draco pressed his face against Harry's chest and waited.
After a few moments, he felt himself being gently lowered down onto a familiar mattress, and was barely aware of the repositioning of his limbs and the tug of covers over his body. It was as if every bit of energy in him had been expended in the last few minutes; he couldn't even move.
"Alright, Draco?" Harry asked, voice concerned.
"Mm," Draco responded blearily. "Tired, s'all."
"Rest, then," Harry murmured. His fingers ghosted down Draco's cheek, a gentle comfort. "I'll be here when you wake up."
Draco nodded, reassured as always by Harry's customary promise. His eyes fluttered closed when hands began stroking his hair, and sleep came quicker than he'd anticipated.
Harry sighed and smoothed the covers across Draco's chest, relieved that the boy was calm and finally getting some rest. For a few moments he merely sat there, fingers stroking over smooth white skin, mesmerized by it– as he always had been.
It was only when someone cleared their throat that he jumped and realized the people around him.
He looked up to see Ron and Hermione sitting directly across from him; Remus and Sirius were standing up behind them. Dumbledore was no where to be found, and Blaise and Seamus must've headed back to their beds as well. Madame Pomfrey was whispering spells over Draco's forearm, fixing the bloody mess that was his Dark Mark.
"Show me your hand," she said tersely, once the gaping wounds on Draco's arm had been fixed.
Harry did as he was told, and watched as the cuts on his hands closed up under her spells. "Thanks, Madame Pomfrey," he murmured.
She gave one last flick that cleared up the remaining blood, then nodded and took her leave.
Sighing heavily, Harry prepared himself for a long, painful conversation with four of the people he was most close to in his life.
"Ask whatever you want," he said softly once Madame Pomfrey left, eyes on the sheets of Draco's hospital bed. He lifted the briefly to stare at Ron as he continued, "I promise it'll be the truth this time."
Ron nodded, looking quite serious.
There was a small moment of silence, and then Sirius began, eyes looking quite lost. "How did this even begin?"
Harry shrugged, a bit helplessly. "I don't really know. We just started... running into each other more than usual. And our fights gradually became...something else."
Sirius nodded, though he looked like he didn't understand in the slightest.
"Were you ever sleeping with him 'for information', as you claimed?" Hermione asked, eyes shrewd.
Harry bit his lip. "At first, I thought it might've been an added benefit. But he refused to say a word every time I broached the subject, so I gave that up. It stopped even being a thought in my mind."
Ron hadn't spoken yet. Harry looked at him, eyes pleading. Finally, he slowly asked, "Where did you go that one time, when we thought you'd gone on a mission with Dumbledore?"
It was a random question, but at the same time more pointed than Harry wanted. He rolled the words around in his mouth before sighing and admitting, "I went to the Manor. To get Draco."
"You needed Professor Dumbledore to come with you to get this spoiled brat away from his mansion?" Ron snapped automatically, familiar anger rising.
"Don't call him that," Harry growled, eyes alighting with rage. "You have no idea what it's like for him there."
Ron looked startled. Sighing, he asked rather waspishly, "Okay, fine... why did you have to 'rescue him' then?"
Harry's eyes went to Draco, remembering blood and broken bones and howling whimpers that made his heart stop beating–
"Harry?" Hermione gently prompted, seeing his eyes glaze over.
Harry jumped, and turned back to them, looking stricken. "I-I'm sorry. I...h-he doesn't have it easy, Ron. Let's just say that."
"No, I want to know," Ron said stubbornly. "What does he have in his life that's so bad it requires Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter to–
"His father beats the shit out of him, okay!?" Harry finally yelled, temper snapping. "Lucius saw that picture in the paper and called him back there so he could practically kill him for it! He was under the Cruciatus for more than 10 minutes, he had more broken bones and bruises than I could count, and to top it all off he was forced after some horrific initiation that he can't even speak to me about to get the Dark Mark! So yeah, I'd say he has something to complain about!"
He stopped, breathing hard, feeling enraged.
"Harry, look," Hermione suddenly whispered, pointing to Draco.
Alarmed, Harry's eyes turned towards his lover, and winced as he saw Draco's face scrunched up in pain and fear, head moving quickly from side to side. All anger receded to be replaced by fervent concern.
"N-no more, Lu–Father," Draco moaned, chest heaving. "No more, I c-can't..."
"Draco, Draco," Harry murmured, laying one hand on the boy's chest and reaching the other up to touch his hair. "Shh, you're alright."
The blonde's muscles strained; his mouth parted in a breathy pant. "S-stop, aah, please..."
Harry's heart clenched. He leaned forward until his lips were against Draco's temple and whispered, "You're safe, Draco. It's just a dream, you've got to wake up."
Draco shuddered for a few moments longer, gave a gasping breath, and then his eyes shot open. "H-Harry," was the first trembling word to tumble out of his mouth.
"Right here," Harry said softly, pulling back a little so he could see his face. It was ashen white and frightened, but rapidly gaining color. "Everything's fine, baby," he reassured, touching the worried brow. "You're safe. Go back to sleep, now."
Draco shuddered a little, leaning into the touch, and closed his eyes once again. Harry stroked his forehead until his breathing evened out once again.
After a moment, Harry looked up to four shocked faces, staring down at their interaction with surprise in their eyes.
"I... apologize for yelling," Harry said, a bit sheepishly.
"It's okay, mate," Ron replied, looking sheepish himself. "I had no idea..."
"Not many people do," Harry said darkly. "He hides it well. Plus, everyone's so convinced he's fed with a silver spoon that they don't even think to question the bruises he has when he comes back from dear old Dad's."
Ron shook his head. "That's pretty sick, mate."
Hermione nodded beside him, eyes gentle. "It's awful. I never thought I'd say this, but... poor Draco."
Ron was obviously still quite shocked, because he didn't even acknowledge her use of his first name. "Yeah..." he murmured.
"It was... pretty horrific," Harry admitted, shaking his head. "I've never seen someone hurt that badly."
That was saying something, coming from him.
"So," Remus said, gently moving the conversation along. "Are you both planning on revealing your relationship?"
"Oh. Well," Harry chuckled, a bit wryly. "Everyone already knows. Some creep managed to get a picture of us in a rather...unfortunate position. It was on the front page of the Prophet."
Remus winced. "Wow..."
"Yes, but Mr. Potter here told us it was all for information," Hermione said, eyes rolling.
Harry blushed, embarrassed. "What can I say? I panicked. It was the wrong decision to make, and Draco ended up paying the price."
"So you're going to reveal the true nature of it, then?" Remus pressed.
"Yes," Harry said firmly. "Yes, that's what I plan to do."
"And are you planning on telling Ginny?" Ron asked, face grim.
Harry bowed his head and sighed. "Everyone will know the truth once Draco gets out of here. I don't want to lie anymore."
"Good," Hermione said firmly. Then she yawned, largely and loudly.
"Tired, 'Mione?" Ron asked, snickering.
"It's been a long day," Hermione snappishly defended.
"You two can head to bed, if you'd like," Harry said, trying to disguise his eagerness. "Unless you have any more questions that need to be answered right now."
Ron sighed. "I don't think I'll ever run out of questions about this, Harry."
Harry looked down, swallowing thickly in shame.
"But..." Ron tentatively continued. "I can tell you...care, for him. And I'll try to accept this. I really will."
Hermione beamed at her boyfriend, then turned to Harry. "I'm going to accept it too, Harry," she said, voice warm. "I mean, I am still angry that you lied, but I guess I can understand why you did it. In any case, I won't give up our friendship over it."
Harry nodded, relieved. "Good."
He waved at the two of them and watched them leave, then turned to Remus and Sirius, gulping as he faced them. They hadn't said much the entire time.
"Is this...okay?" he asked, voice hoarse. "I know you probably didn't expect it, and I know that it's Malfoy and everything, and I honestly don't know how it happened but I'm sorry if you're angry and–
"Harry," Sirius interrupted, looking vaguely amused. "Shut up and...watch."
With that, his godfather turned to Remus, tilted his chin up, and planted a kiss on his waiting lips.
Harry's mouth dropped open.
"What?" he asked, flabbergasted. "Y-you two...what?"
Sirius pulled back, chuckling. "We don't have a problem with you dating boys, Harry."
"I c-can see that," Harry stuttered, still stunned.
"What we do have a problem with," Remus said, blushing faintly. "Is you lying to your friends and family about it. You have to come clean, Harry."
"I'm going to," Harry said firmly, sobering. "No more lies."
"And," Sirius chimed in, face darkening. "While the idea of you dating Draco Malfoy makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach, I too will try to accept this. I'm beginning to think my impressions of him were quite wrong, anyway."
"They are," Harry reiterated, fingers gripping Draco's hand underneath the covers. "He's nothing like you think."
"A spoiled, selfish little brat?" Sirius filled in, unable to help his resentment.
"Well, he's still selfish. And he can be a bit of a brat," Harry said, smiling a little. "But he's a good person. And he's gone through a lot. And I..." He stopped, swallowing.
"Love him?" Remus filled in, eyes warming.
Harry sighed, and nodded. "I do. Very much."
Sirius exhaled, and said softly, "That's all that matters then, Harry. We'll still love you and be here for you, no matter what happens or who you choose to be with."
Harry smiled softly, deeply relieved. "Thanks, Sirius."
"Now, if you don't mind, we're gonna go get some rest," Remus said, and Harry noticed for the first time how deeply exhausted he looked.
"That's fine, Remus," Harry said, waving him off. "Go ahead. I'll talk to you in the morning."
"Have a good night," he replied. He paused for a moment. "Tell Draco, when he wakes, that I'm sorry I was so cold to him before."
Harry nodded warmly. "Will do."
He watched them leave, feeling better than he had in ages, especially when Sirius looked back at him and winked, face gentle and open.
Harry sighed, and turned back to Draco. "Things are looking up," he said softly, reaching out to pet his hair. "No more lying, Draco, I promise. I'm going to stick by you, now. And I'll make sure no one will ever hurt you again."
Draco bit his lip and turned towards his touch in sleep, face smoothing out when Harry's fingers ghosted over his skin.
After a moment, Harry climbed in beside him and gently pulled him against his chest. Draco's eyes blinked open for just a moment, so that he could curl himself fully around his lover, then closed once again.
"I love you, Harry," he whispered, voice drowsy and slurred.
"And I love you," Harry said, surprisingly comfortable with the words.
Draco pressed his face against Harry's chest, curled his fingers tighter around the Gryffindor's waist. "You won't change your mind in the morning...?"
Harry tightened his hold, and lifted a hand so he could tilt Draco's chin up. "I'm not changing my mind ever."
Draco smiled, then, for the first time in a long while. It looked like sunrise.
Harry kissed it, keeping his eyes open. Draco's grey eyes stared back at him. They were beautiful and open– naked, for only Harry to see.
Harry never wanted to look away.
AN: There WILL be an epilogue, and most likely a sequel! Thanks for everyone's support throughout this entire process.
Sasu/Naru fans, get ready! I have some ideas already..muahaha.. xD
Much love to every reader and reviewer! Come back next time!