Link Part One
Scrimgeour was imposing, standing alone in the Weasleys’ sitting room. He arched his eyebrow when Draco came in, following Potter and Granger, and asked quite plainly for Draco to leave them be. Draco, of course, loitered on the stairs, hidden from eyesight, but close enough to eavesdrop. He was mildly interested, and besides, if Weaselette was going to be doing it, so was he.
It was all a lot of posturing in the end, though. Some quaint bequeaths from Dumbledore’s will, and a stiff conversation, and then he was sweeping away, presumably to continue with more important things. Why he decided it was upon him to act as the caretaker of Dumbledore’s estate, Draco didn’t know, but it was interesting enough to note for future reference.
The Minister didn’t stay long, and Draco had to duck behind the banister so as not to be seen when he left, sweeping his robes. He gave himself to the count of thirty to descend the stairs, letting Weaslette reveal her eavesdropping ways first before he crept into the room, skirting around the edge of the rug to peek over Potter’s shoulder. Granger was thumbing through the ratty old book thoughtfully, and Weasley was playing with his--contraption, for lack of a better word--while his sister looked on, but Potter was just staring at his snitch, almost reverently.
“I wonder why it didn’t do anything when you touched it,” Granger mused, not looking up. “If it was programmed to react to sense memory.”
“Because he didn’t catch that one with his hand,” Draco pointed out, as Potter ran his finger along the ridges of the snitch. “He caught it in his mouth, like a great, bloody idiot.”
“Oh!” exclaimed Weasley, looking up from his Put-Outer. “I’d forgotten about that.”
Potter didn’t look surprised at the information, but Draco very much doubted that he’d forgotten the circumstances of his first Quidditch victory. Slowly, almost as if he was dreading it, Potter brought the snitch to his lips, pursing them as if he was preparing for a kiss.
Draco was expecting something exciting to happen, but nothing did. Potter pulled the snitch from his mouth and looked at it.
“That’s it?” Weasley asked incredulously. “Nothing happened.”
“There’s something written on it,” Potter said suddenly. “I open at the close.”
The room was quiet, and then Draco interjected, “If that’s supposed to be a riddle, then Dumbledore’s was a bigger arse than I thought he was.”
“Dumbledore was a great wizard,” Granger said primly. “Harry, do you know what it means?”
“No idea,” Potter said numbly.
“Are you sure?” Granger pestered.
“If he said anything like this,” Potter said, “I don’t remember it.”
“Oh,” Granger said and then, “Well, we’ll just have to figure it out, now won’t we?
“Guess so,” said Weasley glumly. “Although don’t we have enough on our plate as is?”
No one had any response to that, not even Draco.
When the Ministry fell, it was almost an anticlimax. Potter and Weasley were in the sitting room playing Chess, as though they didn’t have anything better to do, while Draco watched them, because he truly did have nothing better to do. Granger, of course, was reading. The rest of the Weasley family was milling about, somewhere, moping or obsessing or doing whatever it was that Blood Traitors did when they were in mourning.
And then a Patronus burst through the door, some kind of weasel, and burst out one sentence that echoed throughout the house in Weasley’s dad’s voice. “The Ministry has fallen,” it said and then promptly vanished
It was instant pandemonium. Potter upended the chessboard as he stood up, leaving Weasley flailing on the ground, and Granger immediately took hold of her bag, some garish pink thing she’d taken to carting all over the house. Draco heard the pop that seemed to signify something important, and outside he could see the shimmer of the wards falling, which wasn’t a good sign.
“We’ve got to go,” Potter said demandingly, and before Draco could even ask where, Potter grabbed a hold of his wrist and pulled him into the middle of the room where Weasley had scrambled to get to Granger.
“What are you doing?” Draco asked. “Potter--what--” But before he could even finish a thought in his head, he felt the familiar pull of Side-Along Apparition, and they were gone.
When they reappeared, Draco staggered a little, feeling out of place and disoriented. When he got his bearings and looked around, he had no clue as to where they were. Immediately Granger herded them all into a dingy alley, hiding them from view of the crowded street.
“Where are we?” Weasley asked wonderingly.
“Muggle London,” Granger replied succinctly. “It was the first place I could think of.”
“Is there a reason you just pushed us back here?” Draco asked in disgust. There were two bins behind him overflowing with rotten Muggle garbage, and why Granger had Apparated them there of all places, Draco couldn’t guess.
“You’re wearing robes, Draco,” Potter said slowly. “You’ll attract too much attention.”
“Of course I’m wearing robes,” Draco sniped. “It’s what wizards wear, in case you’ve forgotten.”
“Not here they don’t,” Potter said.
“I have something,” Granger said.
“In that tiny bag?” Weasley asked. “We’re lucky we even have our wands on us.”
“I have my Invisibility Cloak,” Potter said morosely, “but not much else.”
“Lucky for you, I planned ahead,” Granger explained, pulling out a pair of trousers and a truly ugly jumper.
“How did you fit that in there?” Weasley asked suspiciously.
“Expansion charm, Ron,” Granger said dryly. “We’ve only known it since Fifth Year. Now put these on, Draco.”
“You can’t be serious,” Draco said. “You want me to change here? In this alley? Into these Muggle clothes?”
“You wore them at my aunt and uncle’s house,” Potter pointed out.
“Those weren’t rags pulled from Granger’s purse,” Draco said.
“Just put them on so we can get out of here,” Potter said exasperatedly. “I don’t like the idea of staying longer than we have to.”
Draco’s skin prickled a little at that, as if a Death Eater was about to turn the corner and attack them all. It took some maneuvering, but he managed to dress himself without revealing too much skin. He didn’t trust Weasley not to look, the bleeding pervert, so it took longer than it perhaps should have.
Once they ducked out from the alley, the wonder trio immediately broke into argument as Draco allowed himself to lag behind, cautious of the passersby who were clogging the streets. He didn’t much like Muggle London, and already he was finding it hard to breathe through the amalgamation of artificial smoke.
“We don’t know how safe Grimmauld Place will be,” Granger was arguing. “With Dumbledore as its Secret Keeper, it very well could have been invaded by Death Eaters by now.”
“So what instead?” demanded Weasley. “We need to have a place to go!”
Draco lost interest in their squabbling and began examining the Muggles. He felt off-kilter by the sudden change of the day, dizzy with it, and suspicion was churning in his chest. Something didn’t feel right, and he wasn’t sure he could attribute it all to being out of his element here with the magic-less.
When they walk by a group of men who seem to be digging into the ground for some reason, Draco didn’t pay them much attention until one of them stared at Potter. Something flip-flopped in Draco’s stomach as he recognized him, an old acquaintance of his father’s, and the way he was looking at them did nothing to make Draco think they weren’t in trouble.
He let them get several paces ahead of their pursuant before allowing himself the time to hiss in Potter’s ear. “Whatever it is you’re arguing about, make a decision fast. You’re about to be fried by a Death Eater.”
Potter stiffened, but to his credit didn’t show any outward signs of alarm. “Let’s get a coffee, shall we?” he offered, gesturing to a dump just ahead, derelict and ignored.
“Harry, now is not the time,” Granger said impatiently.
“I really think we need a coffee, Hermione,” Potter said tightly and something about his tone must have registered, because they all wheeled into the restaurant together. The lone waitress looked up in surprise, as though she couldn’t believe to have actual customers, and bustled over as soon as they sat down.
“Four coffees, please,” Granger said primly.
“Sure thing,” she responded, sweeping back to the counter as quick as you please.
“Harry, what?” Granger started, but the door opened again, allowing two men to lumber through. Draco grabbed a hold of Potter’s wrist and squeezed it, his other hand curled around his wand under the table.
“Death Eaters,” Potter mouthed and then, “Duck!”
The explosion of spellwork was instantaneous. Draco immediately dove underneath the table, dodging shoes and kicking feet as he planted himself at the wall, wand at the ready, but the fight was fast and furious, leaving Draco no need to utter a single incantation.
“What should we do with them?” fretted Granger. “And the Muggle?”
“Obliviate?” suggested Weasley, albeit uncertainly. “And thanks so much for your help, Malfoy,” he added as Draco crawled out from under the table.
“Thank you, Draco,” Draco parroted, “for pointing the Death Eaters out to me in the first place. We might’ve been attacked in the streets if it weren’t for you.”
“Stop it now,” Granger said. “Both of you. We have more important things to worry about.”
“We’ll have to wipe their memory,” Potter said decisively. “There’s no other way.”
In the end, they let Granger deal with the tricky spellwork, ducking out of the back door in case attention had gathered outside due to the noise.
“Hermione, we have to go to Grimmauld place,” Potter said gravely as they ducked around some overflowing bin bags. “There’s nowhere else to go.”
“But Harry, Snape could’ve gotten there already,” Granger protested. “It could be a trap.”
“We’re just going to have to risk it,” Potter said. “In any case, I don’t believe that Moody would have left without doing some sort of jinx to protect the house. Who knows what Kreacher and Mrs. Black overhead.”
“If you’re sure,” Granger hedged.
“What is this place we’re talking about,” Draco asked tensely. “Not another awful idea, is it?”
“The old headquarters,” Potter replied succinctly. “I own it. It used to be my godfather’s.”
“Let’s get going then,” Weasley said uneasily, darting his gaze around the alley they were sequestered in. “I don’t want to be attacked again.”
They Apparated side-by-side, Draco using Potter’s arm as a guide to their final destination, and when they popped into view again, it was on a dismal Muggle street. Draco automatically wrinkled his nose, as Granger, Potter, and Weasley started forward. They vanished suddenly, as soon as they crossed the threshold of the lawn, leaving Draco stranded on the street.
“Where’d you lot go?” Draco hissed, wary, and Potter popped back into view again.
“Sorry,” he apologized. “It’s under a Fidelius charm. Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.”
The house squeezed itself out, pushing the walls on either side of it until it was regularly-sized. It was even worse-looking than its neighbors. Granger and Weasley were waiting for them at the doorstep, wands raised, so Draco followed suit.
“On three,” Potter mouthed, and once he’d ticked down the numbers on one hand, he pushed open the door. Nothing was there, so they all stepped inside, wands still ready. All of a sudden, something popped up from the floorboards, looking like a rotting corpse, arm outreached.
“Severus Snape?” the thing demanded, surging forward before any of them could get a word out, passing through them like a ghost. Draco felt his tongue roll up unpleasantly inside his mouth, but it was only a second before it relaxed again.
“Tongue tying curse,” Granger forced out. “Moody must have animated it somehow.” As she spoke, Draco could feel a blanket of magic settling over him, almost as if it was ascertaining he meant no harm. Nothing happened, but the power stayed between his shoulders like a protective blanket.
The silence didn’t stay for long. Almost immediately, something began to shriek, “Mudbloods, nasty Muggle-born filth, scourge of my house!”
“Shut up,” Potter roared, showering some sort of portrait with sparks, which caused a curtain to draw closed, masking the noise.
“What on earth was that?” Draco asked.
“Sirius’s mother,” said Potter grimly. “A relative of yours....bet she’ll like you more than she does me.”
“Considering my current company, I think not,” Draco muttered.
“I think we should double-check there’s no one in here before we go any further,” Granger said. “Homenum Revelio.” Absolutely nothing happened.
“That was impressive,” Draco told her.
“It did what I meant it to,” she snapped irritably. “It showed me there are no other people inside.”
“Good,” Potter said, “that’s good. We’ll use this as our home base for now.” He was rubbing at his forehead in this agitated way that did nothing to settle Draco’s nerves.
“Harry, what’s wrong?” Granger asked, sounding alarmed. “Is it your scar?”
“What on earth are you talking about,” said Draco uneasily.
“Yeah,” Potter admitted. “He’s angry.”
“But I thought the connection was shut off,” Granger exclaimed. “You aren’t supposed to be seeing this.”
“What connection?” Draco asked irritably. “Who’s angry? What’s going on?”
“It did, for a while,” Potter muttered. “But I think, when he looses control...”
“Then you have to close the connection!” Granger said. “Harry, you can’t be letting him in your mind. Not with what we’re about to do.”
“I’ll try,” Potter snapped. “But it’s not like I was any good at Occlumency. I don’t think it will work.”
“Will somebody tell me what the bloody hell is going on?” Draco asked loudly.
Potter turned his attention to Draco as Granger huffed. “Voldemort. Sometimes I can see what he sees, or feel what he feels. Some sort of weird connection.”
Something wriggled unpleasantly in Draco’s stomach. “Well that’s just perfect,” he said. “What if it works the other way around?”
“That’s why Harry needs to close his mind!” Granger said.
“Give it a rest, Hermione,” Potter said tiredly.
“Let’s go to the drawing room,” Weasley said, interrupting the tirade. “We can set up camp there. I don’t know about you lot, but I don’t want to stay in the bedrooms along. They’re creepy.”
Potter staggered a bit, knocking himself into the wall. “Bathroom,” he croaked, then he was gone like a shot, down the hall.
“Not this again,” Weasley muttered. “Hope it’s not as bad as fifth year.”
“If he would only stop being so stubborn,” Granger said.
“Please,” responded Draco. “Potter would be rubbish at Occlumency. He doesn’t have the mind for it. We should all just resort ourselves to accepting our imminent deaths.”
“You-Know-Who’s never gotten Harry before though,” said Weasley sagely.
“Well he’s never been so unguarded before, has he?” Draco pointed out testily.
“There’s no point in arguing maybes right now,” Granger interrupted. “Let’s just figure out what we’re to do next.”
It took less than ten minutes before Draco tired of Granger’s tirade and Weasley’s mistrustful looks so he decided instead to explore the house in greater detail. It was obviously Dark, and Draco thought it reminiscent of his home, if in disrepair. He trailed his fingers along the tapestries on the wall, looking at the delicate thread work, slowly making his way upstairs. He ducked into one room at random, unnerved by the string of house elf heads strung up along the corridor, and was greeted by a very ugly live house elf crouching on the floor folding some moth-eaten robes.
“Another Mudblood for Kreacher to deal with,” it muttered. “Kreacher will not!”
“I am not a Mudblood,” Draco exclaimed hotly before he remembered his rule of not talking to the help.
It turned slowly and cocked its head, looking like a wizened potato. “It lies,” it hissed.
“I am Draco Malfoy,” Draco declared importantly. “Only son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, and I am nothing if not a Pureblood.”
It regarded Draco slowly, eyes widening comically, before it rushed over and began kissing Draco’s feet, continuing even as Draco kicked at it in disgust. “A Pureblood finally graces the House of Black again. Kreacher never thought this day would come!”
“Get away from me,” Draco said in disgust. “Go back to doing whatever it was you were doing.”
“Kreacher was taking care of master Regulus’s clothing, sir.”
“Well, go somewhere else,” Draco commanded. “Your face is tiring me.”
“Gladly, sir!” the house elf squeaked. “Ring for Kreacher if you need anything. Kreacher lives to serve!”
“Whatever,” Draco grumbled, and the elf was gone without even using the door, Disapparating with a pop.
“Bloody hate those things,” Draco said to himself. He was quite taken with the room now that the servant had left. It could use some cleaning, but it had a Slytherin feel to it, festooned in green and silver. He felt at home here, something that he’d been wanting for a while.
His cleaning spells weren’t too practiced, but he managed to clear enough of the grime away that he felt okay with sitting on the bed. It was old but functional, a little hard for Draco’s tastes. He leaned against the headboard and closed his eyes, only for a second. It had been a trying afternoon.
The next time Draco was aware of his surroundings, someone was knocking at the door. It was a second before he remembered where he was, and the room was disconcertingly dark as he sat up. The sudden influx of wandlight as the door opened was enough to make Draco’s head hurt, and he immediately shielded his eyes from it.
“Whossit?” he grumbled, still sleep-stupid, and Potter lowered his wand, looking sheepish.
“Sorry,” he said, very softly. “I just wanted to make sure you were still around.”
“Where did you think I’d gone?” Draco demanded, although a little groggily for his taste. “The merry streets of London? Merlin, Potter, you’re really thick, you know?”
Potter’s laugh is low and unexpected, seeing as Draco had just insulted him. “Sorry. I should’ve known you’d choose this room.”
“I like it,” Draco defended. “Reminds me of home. And I’m not spending another night sleeping on the floor when there’s a perfectly serviceable bed around.”
“You got your wish--it’s nearly dawn,” Potter said.
“And you only now thought to come looking?” Draco asked, nonplussed. “I could’ve been spilling half your secrets to the Dark Lord by now.”
“Maybe I trust you a little more than you trust me,” Potter responded, but there was no censure in his voice. “Budge over.”
“Find your own bed,” Draco said crankily, but he moved over nevertheless.
“Don’t want to sleep alone,” Potter said simply. “Ron and Hermione are downstairs in the drawing room, but I couldn’t get comfortable.”
“Potter, you’re such a child,” Draco complained, but he couldn’t deny that the warm press of Potter’s body against his side was soothing.
“Stop being a royal arse for one second and go back to sleep,” Potter said lightly. “Or else I’ll order Kreacher to not make you breakfast.”
“Who on earth is Kreacher?” Draco asked but his eyes were already drooping. He thought he heard something about house elves, but he was already half-asleep at the point, gone enough to have dreams about wearing pillowcases and dusting mantles.
When Draco woke next, it was an indeterminable amount of time later and Potter, fully dressed and ready for the day, was just staring at him. If he had been closer, he might have startled Draco; as it was, Draco just rolled over and threw a hand over his eyes.
“Potter, you pervert,” he accused.
Potter’s answering laugh was short and sweet, sounding too pleasant for Draco’s sleep-muddled head. “I can’t help that you look like a pretty princess when you’re asleep,” he teased. “If it wasn’t for all of the snoring...”
“I do not snore,” Draco said, affronted. “Malfoys don’t snore. Don’t you have something better to do this morning than bother me? Like saving the world from Dark Lords? This ringing a bell?”
Potter shrugs one shoulder, looking for all the world undisturbed by his current to-do list even though Draco could detect the line of tension apparent in his muscles. “It’s still early,” he said. “Plenty of time for that after breakfast.” Looking closer, Draco could see the dark circles under Potter’s eyes, the way his mouth was tight.
“Cor, you look like shite,” Draco pointed out. “Maybe instead of staring you should get some more sleep. Or does your grand plan center around collapsing of exhaustion?”
Potter just shrugged again, which wasn’t an answer, but somehow Draco knew there was something he was out of the loop on. He didn’t push.
“You know, you’re kind of an arse, Draco,” Potter commented lightly, but before Draco could retort about Potter’s lack on ingenuity in his insults, Potter had rolled over and kissed him instead. Draco made a surprised noise that got lost and then he was pushed into the bed, Potter’s weight half on top of him. Potter didn’t seem to care that Draco had sleep-sour breath, just kept kissing him, the desperate press of his mouth enough to make Draco shiver.
When Potter slid a hand into Draco’s pants, Draco couldn’t help but jump. The last time they’d done this, they’d been so piss-drunk on firewhisky that Draco hardly remembered it; now it was like all of his senses had been heightened to a fever-pitch. When Potter closed a calloused hand around Draco’s morning erection, the resultant groan was almost enough of an embarrassment for Draco to want to call it off.
Almost, but not quite.
Potter started a quick rhythm, or as quick as he could with his hand at such an awkward angle, but still, Potter’s hand on Draco’s dick was enough to make him practically shake with it. Abstractly, he knew that Potter was rutting down against his leg, so quintessentially teenage that in another situation, it would almost be comical.
It didn’t take long. It was almost embarrassing how little it took for Draco to shoot off in his trousers, like he hadn’t done this before. Potter didn’t last much longer, bucking awkwardly, using Draco’s body for friction, but still, Draco should have had the wherewithal and stamina to last longer, at least.
Potter kept kissing him even after he had finished, slow presses of his mouth, deep and careful, and Draco couldn’t help but yield to it even though he was beginning to feel gross. By the time Potter finally rolled off, sighing, Draco’s lips were swollen and the buzz of his orgasm had succeeded in making his limbs heavy and useless. Potter was at least enough of a gentlemen to cast a gentle Scourgify, the most useful spell a horny teenage boy learned, and settled back down.
“You sure know how to start the morning off,” Draco murmured. It was a bit...nice for Draco, but he couldn’t help it; he was feeling too good to be ornery.
Potter just smiled, pleased with himself, and scooted closer to Draco, helping to ward off the chill in the air. It was quiet for a while, the house creaking around them, before Potter spoke again. “It’s funny that you chose this room,” he mused, almost to himself, and Draco raised an eyebrow.
“What’s that supposed to mean, Potter?” he asked.
“Nothing bad,” Potter defended instantly. “Just, Sirius told me about his brother, how he decided he didn’t want to be a Death Eater anymore so he defected.”
“And got killed for his troubles,” Draco pointed out.
“Yeah, well, he shouldn’t have joined in the first place,” Potter said. “In any case, it’s just funny to me. Here you are, a Slytherin who everyone would have expected to join Voldemort, with me instead.”
“Yes, well, please let’s try to keep me alive,” Draco said. “And don’t expect me to do anything heroic against the Dark Lord like Black did. I’m staying out of this one, Potter; I’m not suicidal.”
That got Potter’s attention, and he rolled over so he could fully look Draco in the face. “Something heroic? I’ve never heard that.”
“I don’t know what it was,” Draco clarified. “But my mum used to talk about him. He laughed when he was killed, I guess. She always did say, Regulus Arcturus Black...what an imbecile.”
“Regulus Arcturus Black?” Potter queried in a choked tone.
“Yes, I don’t know why she always said his full name,” Draco said. “He was her cousin, after all. Maybe it made her feel like she was scolding him beyond the grave or some such thing.”
“Arcturus,” Potter said, as though he hadn’t heard what Draco had said. “Regulus Arcturus Black.”
“That’s what I said,” Draco snapped. “Have you snapped with lack of sleep?”
Potter did something unexpected then, kissing Draco with on a comical smack before darting out of bed. “You just helped me out more than you think,” he said. “I’ve got to go talk to Kreacher.”
“Potter, what are you even talking about?” Draco asked, but Potter was out the door before Draco got his answer.
Barely twenty minutes later, Potter charged back into the room, surprising Draco. “I need you to get some information from Kreacher.” At Draco’s blank look, Potter ran an exasperated hand through his hair and pressed on. “The house elf. I told you last night. Anyways, he hates me, and I really need to know what he knows about Sirius’s brother.”
“You’re seriously not asking me to go have a conversation with a house elf, are you?” Draco asked dryly.
“It’s important,” Potter said. “Really important. I need you to ask if Regulus ever gave him a gold locket. I need to find out what happened to it.”
“Jewelry, Potter? Honestly.” Draco rolled his eyes but dutifully followed Potter into the hall anyway. “And here I thought you had better things to worry about.”
“Don’t ask for details when you don’t want any,” Potter said darkly. “Kreacher’s just as intolerant to any not pureblooded as you are, so you should get on fine.”
By the time they got to the kitchen, the elf was throwing a full-blown temper tantrum on the floor. Granger was trying to placate it as Weasley looked on distastefully. “Hermione made him mad,” Weasley said accusatorially.
“I did not, Ronald,” Granger said shrilly. “I only suggested that he sit down. I thought he was to fall over.”
“Kreacher does not take orders from a Mudblood,” the elf wailed. “He does not.”
Draco sniggered, stopping only when Potter shot him a harsh glare. He stood off to the side, a little out-of-place, but then Potter practically pushed him forward and Kreacher refocused his attention on Draco.
“Master Malfoy,” it croaked. “Such a pleasant sight apart from these Mudbloods and traitors.”
“Oh, I know,” Draco said conversationally, which made Potter scowl even harder. “They can be hard to deal with, can’t they?”
“Oh, most exceptionally so, Master Malfoy,” Kreacher said simperingly. Behind him, Potter made a little shooing movement with his hands, so Draco took the cue to just get on with it.
“Elf, I need to know something. It’s about a locket that my cousin Regulus had. It’s a family heirloom, you see. My mum mentioned it a while back, and I just realized you might know where it is.” Without much information, it was all Draco could go on to lie, but Kreacher seemed to get the gist and immediately prostrated himself against Draco’s robes. Draco tried to kick him off, which caused Granger to squawk in protest, but for a little, old thing he had a surprisingly strong grip.
“Kreacher is most aggrieved, sir,” it wailed. “Kreacher did have that locket, even after nasty Sirius tried to throw it away. But it was stolen, sir.”
“By whom?” Potter broke in. “Kreacher, who stole it?”
Kreacher just looked at Draco with big, wet eyes. “Mundungus Fletcher took it from me,” he said. “Kreacher tried to stop him, but he’s a thief, Mundungus Fletcher is.”
“I need to know how you got it,” Potter said and when Kreacher resisted, Draco butted in with another roll of his eyes.
“Yes, elf, do tell where it came from. I’ve always been curious.”
The elf immediately launched into a story that was disturbing in more ways than one. Draco slipped away halfway through; he was uncomfortable with the situation and what he was unwittingly learning, and by the time Potter popped up again, it was two hours later.
“You don’t know how much that helped,” Potter said breathlessly. “As soon as Kreacher finds Mundungus, I’ll actually be able to have a plan and more than just shots in the dark.”
“Please, spare me the details,” Draco murmured.
Potter waved a hand flippantly and continued, “I don’t want you to know as much as you don’t want to listen. In any case, I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere.”
“Thank Merlin,” Draco said. “Or else we’d all be in a lot more trouble than we suspected we would be.”
“Oh, shut it, you git,” Potter laughed. “Here, let’s find something to do before Kreacher comes back with news. It’ll keep my mind off things.”
And that was how Draco Malfoy found himself playing Gobstones in the parlor of his great-aunt Black with none other than Harry bleeding Potter. Funny how things do change.
For lack of a better term, life with Potter in his little hideaway was boring. Draco hadn’t expected it to be as such, not with the little dramatics that seemed to follow Potter like lost puppies, but he spent more time than not sequestered alone, reading through the books in the motheaten library or practicing his spellwork on unassuming pieces of furniture. Potter, Granger, and Weasley were busy with whatever their new plan was, and apart from an unceremonious visit from the werewolf Lupin that ended badly, there was nothing to really break the monotony.
Too add insult to injury, Potter and his deranged godfather had stripped the house of anything remotely interesting, leaving only the most random assortment of things behind. This left Draco without even exploring to break up his day, and as such, he spent quite a lot of time doing nothing at all, listening to the wireless or reading some book he found in a cranny.
When he wasn’t spending his time plotting with Granger and the Weasel, Potter tended to hang around Draco though, finding him in whichever room Draco’d decided to explore for the day, always ready with some inane topic of conversation, or when in a bad mood, a surly expression and not much else.
Draco didn’t know what he was expecting, but when Potter sat down one day and opened with, “So, Hermione, Ron, and I are going to sneak into the Ministry of Magic tomorrow,” Draco nearly fell off his chair in surprise.
“Because the last time went so swimmingly,” he commented.
“It’s--important,” Potter said stiltedly. “We have a plan. I need to find something.”
“Your funeral,” Draco said, surprisingly snappish. “I mean, I certainly wouldn’t walk into that manticore’s den if I was the number one most wanted wizard in England. But no, Harry Potter isn’t afraid of silly things like that.”
“I’m coming back,” Potter said softly. “You don’t have to worry.”
“Worried?” Draco scoffed. “I’m not worried about you. I’m concerned about who you’re going to lead back to me though.”
“It’s going to work,” Potter insisted. Draco didn’t believe him.
The next morning, Draco made an effort to not be around when Potter left, hiding in some side room, picking at a breakfast he didn’t want to eat. When the house settled around him, deathly quiet, and Draco was certain he was alone, he abandoned the still-full plate and took up residence in the front hall, peering out the curtain at the street.
As always, a Death Eater stood in the square, keeping casual watch. Draco didn’t recognize him, but his heart beat a little faster all the same; he couldn’t help but feel that he was being watched in turn, even after all those lectures from Granger on the various protection wards he was living under.
He spent a good portion of the morning poised to dash back into the house if someone were to appear on the front step, loathe to admit he was watching out for Potter’s return, but when it finally did happen, he was so startled, he fell over backwards. There were only flashes of movement--a dark sleeve, Weasel’s red hair, someone’s wand, before the crack of Apparition sounded again, and there remained only one person outside, furious as he got to his feet.
Later Draco was unsure as to how he even managed to come up with a plan, thoughts as muddled as they were as he practically flew into the inner confines of the house. In any case, the first word out of his mouth wasn’t an epithet but instead the damnable house elf’s name, bellowed as loud as Draco could manage with his heart in his throat. Just a second later, not long enough for Draco to despair that the creature was out somewhere else, Kreacher appeared directly in Draco’s trajectory, causing Draco to fall head first over him. Somewhere close a door opened.
“Kreacher is sorry, Master Draco,” it croaked at once. “Kreacher was not expecting Master Draco to be running!”
“Take me to Potter,” Draco gasped, his arm throbbing from where it had hit the floor. “Now. Hurry!”
Kreacher hesitated for only a second, concentrating, before it settled an over-large hand on Draco’s arm and grasped tight. The Apparition seemed to take three times as long, squeezing Draco from all sides tight enough to make him feel ill before the two of them landed hard on the ground.
Potter’s voice was the first thing to register to Draco apart from the dirt he was kneeling in and the tree he and the elf had landed behind. “Hermione,” Potter was saying, “I need to go back. We can’t just leave him!” He was bleeding, a scratch high on his cheekbone, but he was struggling away from Granger, who had a firm grip on the back of his shirt.
“It’s too dangerous,” Granger said shrilly. “There could be a million Death Eaters swarming Grimmauld Place right now.”
“So we leave him alone to that?” Potter demanded. He sounded very desperate, but it didn’t soothe Draco’s temper. The terror had left him, festering into a very real annoyance, and he pulled himself up and stepped out from behind the tree.
“So you have a piss-poor plan,” he snarled, “and I’m the one who ends up nearly dead because of it? Bad form, Granger. Don’t think I’m going to forget it.”
Granger, who had screamed as soon as Draco emerged, avoided hitting him with a curse only by her awful aim. Potter’s face immediately broke out into relief, but that was hardly a balm on Draco’s anger.
“How on earth did you find us?” Potter breathed. He held his wand out warily, as if he expected Draco to charge any moment.
“And so quickly?” Granger interjected. “We’ve only just gotten here ourselves.” She cast a worried glance at Weasley, who was bleeding onto the grass.
“Master Potter is not very good at hiding,” Kreacher said, coming out from his hiding place in a humped sort of gait. “Kreacher was able to find him without much difficulty.”
“This is Draco, right?” Potter asked. “The real one? The one that’s been with me all this time? You haven’t brought a Death Eater in disguise, have you? Tell me the truth, Kreacher!”
“Potter, you daft git,” Draco snapped.
“Master Malfoy is Master Malfoy,” Kreacher said. “There has been no magic cast on him.”
“Thank goodness,” Granger sighed, immediately turning to care for Weasley, who had turned an alarming shade of puce.
“If you ever--ever leave me alone again to deal with Death Eaters that are after you and make me rely on a house elf to escape, I will find you and disembowel you with your own wand,” Draco threatened.
“That’s impractical,” Potter said, his mouth twitching a little. “It would take far too long.”
“Don’t talk to me for at least three days,” Draco said, pointing at him. Before Potter could answer, he stalked away, at least thirty yards, and leaned against a tree until Granger finished setting up the awful tent she had stored in her bag.
It turned out that living on the lam with Potter was, if possible, even worse than being shut inside Grimmauld Place. For one thing, the three idiots kept passing around a necklace to wear, getting progressively more angry about it. For another, there was no decent food to be had, nor any entertainment to find besides a rag-tag collection of Granger’s textbooks, which were worse than nothing. Draco had to spend a lot of time in the dreary weather outside the tent to stay away from Potter’s wartime conversations. In fact, Draco did a lot of evading--if it wasn’t Potter, Granger, and Weasel having a grumpy conversation about Dark Lord knows what, it was them stumbling upon refugees in the forest, having little revelations as they ran from Dementors and Death-Eaters-in-Training.
It was after an escapade involving some sort of goblin gang that introduced the real drama--at least, drama more entertaining than Kreacher constantly underfoot. Draco was sequestered in the back of the tent, lying on the bed for lack of anything more productive to do, when Weasel decided to throw an almighty fit. He’d already been complaining fit to burst about the lack of good food, the lack of a plan, the lack of anything necessary for a comfortable existence, but something Potter had murmured seemed to set him off the edge.
“Why don’t you just tell the truth, Harry?” Weasley snarled, loud enough for Draco to venture to the middle area of the tent to see what was going on. “You don’t know what you’re doing anymore. We don’t have any sort of plan.”
“I’ve been up front with you this whole time,” Potter returned, red in the face as Draco settled against the wall for the show. “Why are you even still here?”
“Please take the locket off,” Granger pleaded. “Please, Ron.” Weasley ignored her, bracing his hands on the table that they were arguing over.
“I don’t know why I’m sticking around. I should go home, shouldn’t I? It’s not like you need me here. It’s not like you care what happens to my family.”
“Ron, what are you even talking about?” Granger gasped.
“It could be worse,” Weasely says in an obvious mimic. “That’s what he said about my sister. He doesn’t give a crap about how much danger they’re in or what’s happening. No--he’s faced worse so anything else pales in comparison.”
“Touche, Weasley,” Draco murmured, but he was largely ignored.
“That’s not what I meant, Ron!” Potter exclaimed.
“And you weren’t very concerned when the group out there talked about another injured Weasley,” he continued sharply.
“Ron, think about it,” Granger cried. “Bill’s gone, and George...well. And you. You’re supposedly on your death bed. I don’t think they meant anything by it.”
“Well, if you’re so sure, it must be true,” Weasley countered. “And it’s not like it’s a concern for you--your parents are out of the way.”
“I had to Obliviate them,” Granger yelled, close to tears. “They don’t even know who I am.”
“And mine could be dead in a week,” Weasley shouted.
“Then go,” Potter said. “Leave. Go back to Mummy. I’m sure she’ll coddle you and feed you and listen to you whinge.”
“Maybe I will!” Weasley said, sweeping a cup off the table in a dramatic gesture. It shattered against the floor, spreading tea in a large spray. Even Draco could see his resolve--it resonated in the stiff way he was holding himself, with how his eyes kept darting towards the door.
“If you’re leaving,” Potter said quietly, “give me the locket.”
“Take it,” said Weasley. “I won’t be back.”
“Ron, no,” Granger whimpered.
“You coming or going?” he asked her.
“Ron--I can’t go,” she responded incredulously. “I promised Harry I’d see this through to the end.”
“Of course,” Weasley said bitterly. “Of course you’d choose him and stay. Him and his bloody pet Slytherin.”
“I have no reservations about hexing you,” Draco said cheerfully. Again, no one even looked his way, and Weasley swept away, towards the door.
“Ron--no,” Granger choked, but she was impeded by the puddle of tea and shards of glass. By the time she got to the opening of the tent, Weasley had already disappeared, and if the crack of Apparition was anything to go by, he wasn’t coming back.
Sure enough, when Granger came back inside, she was crying. Draco felt largely uncomfortable, sunk further into the shadows as she collapsed into a chair with her hand over her face. He stayed like that for perhaps five minutes, watching Potter comfort her. As soon as she waved him away, Potter was skulking over to Draco’s lookout, however, and without saying a word, he grabbed Draco’s hand and practically manhandled him outside.
“Potter--what on earth,” Draco spluttered, getting liberally soaked by the rain in the first couple of seconds outside.
“I don’t want to think,” Potter said tersely. “Not about Ron, not about bloody You-Know-Who, not about anything.”
“What does that have to do with dragging me out in the rain?” Draco asked.
“Because I figure I’ll have the best time at not thinking if I’m concentrating on doing something I’ve never done before,” Potter said darkly before pushing Draco against a tree. The bark scraped roughly at Draco’s back, but he couldn’t say anything about it, too overcome with shock as Potter settled onto his knees in the mud. The intent was very clear, and Draco’s mouth went dry with anticipation.
“I should let Weasley make you angry more often,” he croaked.
“Shut up,” Potter said. “Or I’m not doing this.”
“Far be it from me to stop you,” Draco said glibly.
Potter’s hands were sure as they unzipped Draco’s trousers, his mouth set in a firm line. Draco couldn’t help but stare, his breath caught uncomfortably in his throat as Potter pushed his y-fronts down too, leaving Draco bare-assed against a tree. There was nothing to say that Granger wasn’t about to come out and investigate, but the way Potter confidently closed his hand around Draco’s half-hard dick and guided it to the seam of his lips was enough to chase any remainder of cognizant thought right out of Draco’s head.
It was obvious that Potter had never done anything like this before, tentative in a way that Draco wasn’t used to with him. He kept looking up, Draco’s cock as far in his mouth as he could manage, to make sure he was doing it right, but for all the good that did him. Draco had no wit now, couldn’t manage it, and even though Potter was definitely an amateur, Draco couldn’t help it: he was a seventeen year old, after all, and a blowjob is better than no blowjob.
Eventually, Draco couldn’t keep watching Potter watching him with those damn, debauched eyes and his hair plastered to his head, and instead closed his own eyes against the onslaught. He was very careful to keep his mind blank instead of entertaining thoughts about what exactly was happening: he wanted this to last.
Eventually, though, he fell over the edge through a combination of the needy noise that originated from the back of Potter’s throat to the sheer eroticism of the situation. Potter, Gryffindor that he was, didn’t even hesitate to swallow, his mouth working around Draco’s dick like he actually enjoyed the taste of it. He pulled away with one last swipe of his tongue, still looking up at Draco with an unreadable expression as Draco sagged against the tree.
“If I had know that’s all I needed to do to shut you up,” Potter said hoarsely. His lips were obscenely swollen, and Draco felt something twist in his stomach.
“I hope you’re not expecting me to do that,” Draco responded weakly.
Potter just shrugged. His erection was pretty damn obvious, but he seemed to be ignoring it. “Of course not. You’d never be that brave.”
“It doesn’t take a hero to suck dick,” Draco said.
“But it takes a coward to be afraid of the unknown,” Potter said instantly. “In any case, I’m going to go back inside and take care of this.” He gestured to his crotch, almost lewdly, and Draco heard the challenge in his words. And he was damned if he was losing to Potter at something like this. He struggled to pull his pants back up, still a little shaken from his orgasm, and gestured at Potter.
“You are an awful person, and I’m not going to enjoy this,” he warned. Potter’s smirk was almost galling enough for Draco to call it off and go inside, but...truth be told, he was a little curious. He and Potter had been keeping on with the pattern they’d started back at Grimmauld Place when they could, cramped in the confined corners of the tent with only a Silencio to protect their privacy, and this seemed like the natural progression. Lines were beginning to blur faster than Draco was comfortable with, but at this juncture, with Potter breathing hard against the tree and Draco gingerly getting to his knees, he couldn’t help what he wanted to do.
“You better appreciate this,” Draco warned.
Link Part Three