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Spellbound: Revelations

Author: Amalthia
Title: Spellbound 6: Revelations
Rated: Nc-17 Non-consensual sex, Angst.
Archive: Please ask first.
Email: amalthia@slashcity.com
Feedback: Love it.
Spoilers: Up to 5th book.
Disclaimers: None of this universe belongs to me.
Author Note: I'm dedicating this chapter to Mallorie. Without her help, I never would have found as many grammatical errors as she found. I can't thank her enough. The rest of the errors are mine.

 

Spellbound: Revelations

Saturday morning, Draco slept in, waking sometime near noon. He lay in bed. His mind played over the events of last night; he had sex with Professor Snape and lost Cassandra. Losing Cassandra hurt; every time he thought of how much fun they had together these last few weeks, he felt angry. Why didn't she want to date him? Did he mess up? Did someone fill her in on what had happened to him this summer?

Confused and hurt over her rejection, Draco stumbled out of bed and went to his wardrobe. His sore muscles protested against each step; however, he knew from experience that movement helped the ache go away faster. In his mirror, he checked for any bruises and healed the few he found. He finished showering, dressing, and combing his hair just in time for lunch.

In the Common Room, Ron and Hermione, sat waiting for him. Hermione had note cards in her hands and quizzed Ron for a test in Charms, which Draco needed to study for as well. Maybe Hermione would lend him those note cards later...?

Ron spotted him first, his face spit into a wide grin and he jumped out of his chair. "Hey, I was beginning to think you'd sleep all day!" Ron wrapped an arm around his shoulder and whispered hastily, "Help me. She wants me to finish all those cards before lunch!"

"I heard that, Ron!" Hermione tied her cards together, and stuck them in a bag already bulging with books. "You need to learn these for the test. Honestly, how do you expect to pass if you can't remember half the pronunciations?"

"Let's eat." Draco said and pulled Ron to the door.

They climbed out the portrait, they paused long enough for the Fat Lady to speak to them, "Better hurry, lunch has started."

"Thanks." Ron said and closed the portrait after Hermione.

"About those notecards," Draco paused not sure how to continue.

Hermione tossed her head and looked back at him, "Yes, you can study with Ron and me, if you'd like. You have your Charms test earlier than we do, so you'll need them more I imagine."

They heard the Great Hall long before they reached it. Draco wanted to talk to Ron about Cassandra, but he already knew Ron had zero experience with girls. He looked towards the Ravenclaw table, and spotted Cassandra right away. She saw him looking and lowered her head, not smiling. The girl on Cassandra's side patted her on the arm, Draco tried watching longer but Ron grabbed his arm and said, "Come on, there will be plenty of time to talk to Cassandra after you eat."

Depressed, Draco muttered, "No there won't. She broke up with me last night."

"What!" Ron shouted. His eyes shot towards Cassandra who looked sad and lonely surrounded by her friends.

People at nearby tables stopped speaking and stared at Ron. Blushing, Ron propelled Draco to their seats. Potter already finished most of his lunch before they even sat down. Hermione sat next to him and leaned over him to say, "Ron, next time you plan on shouting, let me know so I can get ear muffs."

"Sorry." Ron leaned closer to Hermione. "I couldn't help it. Draco just told me Cassandra broke up with him."

"No way!" She turned in her seat, whipping her hair across Draco's face in the process. "No way, I heard her talking to her friends about how much she liked him."

She turned back in her seat and leveled her eyes on Draco's face.
"What did you do, Draco?" At Draco's dark glower, she hastily added, "I mean what happened?"

"I don't know." He stabbed at his food with his fork and used all his will power to avoid looking in Cassandra's direction. "She said she needed to concentrate on school."

Hermione, mollified, stopped frowning. "Well that's good news."

"Hermione, she broke up with Draco. How is that good news?" Ron's was not the only puzzled expression at the table. Seamus, Dean, and Longbottom stopped speaking to hear her answer. Potter dissected his potatoes with his fork, not in the least interested.

She paused, blushing. "Come on. You boys can't be that thick?" Their puzzled expressions did not leave. "It means he has a chance to get her back. She still likes him, but of course, she's worried about school. Draco and Cassandra have spent a lot of time together these last few weeks. Naturally, her grades suffered, and so have yours for that matter."

Hermione turned towards Draco and said, "Draco, wait a week and write her a card. Take it slowly and I'm sure it'll work out. That's if you still want to date her."

"Grades?" Ron asked, "How could anyone break up over bad grades? Sounds like a lame excuse to me."

Draco silently agreed, though Hermione protested that she'd break up with a boy if she couldn't maintain her grades, which sparked a completely new argument at their table. Draco ignored them and finished eating his lunch. He glanced up at the head table but did not see Professor Snape. Surprised at the disappointment he felt, Draco reminded himself he only had to wait until Monday evening to see Snape again.

The rest of Saturday dragged by, all his roommates, with the exception of Potter had words of sympathy for him, but their pitying glances became too much for him, so he asked Ron to take him to the library. He spent the rest of the day working on assignments he'd set aside these last few weeks. Draco had the weekend to finish three lengthy essays, and study for a test in Charms.

Late Sunday night he completed his work at his desk in his room. His fingers ached, but a quick de-cramping spell took away the pain. Hermione had shown him that one. However, with his work finished his confusion returned.

Is it possible to like two people at once? With Cassandra, he felt carefree and happy, but Snape... crackled with intensity. Draco blushed remembering Friday night, he felt torn between two wants. Draco wanted the innocent sweet romance with Cassandra, where kissing her felt like washing in rain, gentle and soothing, no guilty emotions. Depraved, Draco also craved intense mind-blowing sex with Severus, and the twisted dirty emotions it inspired.

Restless, Draco spent an hour in the shower, jerking off, imagining Snape in the shower pounding him from behind.

*****

Draco spent all of Monday anticipating his meeting with Snape. At breakfast, he found his eyes drifting back to the head table more often than not, which caused Hermione to yell, "You only had fifteen more minutes to study for Charms. Pay attention!" Ron smirked which earned him a tongue-lashing as well.

He was the first to take the Charms test in Gryffindor, so at lunch while everyone else studied, he had time to stare at the head table and wonder why Snape did not show for lunch in the Great Hall. Draco suppressed his disappointment and ate quietly. Potter, Hermione, and Ron had their Charms exam after lunch so they studied while they ate.

"I'll see you in Magical Creatures." Draco said to Ron and Hermione, when Sandra came to escort him to his next class. Hermione barely looked up from her notes. Ron, nodded and said, "Wouldn't miss it."

Potter glanced up long enough to glare daggers at him before he went back to Hermione's notecards. Dean, Seamus, and Longbottom kept studying their notes, which lay scattered and disorganized.

By dinner, Draco's stomach had twisted into knots. Cassandra at one table and Snape at the other, and neither loved him for sure. He barely remembered eating; Ron tried speaking with him but gave up when Draco only answered in monosyllables. Then he had to listen to Potter and Ron talk to each other the rest of dinner. Highly annoyed at Potter's smug happy grin, Draco was more than ready to leave when Hermione offered to escort him down to the dungeons for his nightly meeting with Snape.

At the door, Draco paused, his palms sweaty with nerves. Hermione frowned, "Is something wrong?"

"Um...no...ahh. I'm just tired." Then before she could ask any other questions, he entered the slightly cold workroom.

He closed the door gently, and set his books down on one of the empty tables. Snape stood at his worktable stirring the contents in a cauldron. Butterflies fluttered in his stomach as Draco walked towards the worktable. Snape's gaze flickered to him briefly before he concentrated on the potion again. Slightly put off, Draco angrily jerked out his stool and sat down at the end of the worktable.

Determined to remain angry, Draco tapped his fingers on the tabletop; however, Snape continued to ignore him. Deflated, he slumped and set his elbow on the desk, propped his head, and waited. Five minutes later, Snape still muttered keywords over his potion and completely ignored him. Near tears; Draco rubbed at his eyes and sat straight on the stool. His back creaked, and he stretched. "Um..."

Snape held up a hand for silence and continued his incantation. Curious, Draco pushed aside his hurt feelings and tried to figure out what kind of potion required five minutes of incantations with constant stirring? Make that six minutes. Four minutes later, Snape turned off the fire under his cauldron, pulled the stirring spoon out, and used his wand to cast a locking charm on the door.

Snape's eyes focused on his; Draco gulped his mouth suddenly dry. He sat straighter, which is what kept him from hurting himself when Snape reached him and pulled him off his seat into a searing kiss. Draco's hands clutched the fabric on Snape's shoulders as he returned the fiery kiss.

Breathless, they pulled away from each other. "I've wanted to do that all day, and yesterday, and the day before yesterday." Snape panted; cheeks splotched red with passion, arm muscles trembling with restraint, one hand cupped Draco's buttocks and pulled him closer.

Draco stared up at Snape and thought 'oh my, this is really happening'; Friday night wasn't a dream too good to be true. He licked his lips and watched how Snape's breath caught at his provocative gesture.

"Can I come to your rooms again...tonight?" Uncertain, Draco paused. He stepped back in order to meet Snape's shadowed eyes.

Snape didn't answer; instead, he kissed Draco again, this time softer and slower. This time when they parted, Draco swayed towards Snape, dazed. When did Professor Snape become so good at kissing? He wondered

Hugging Draco to his chest, Snape spoke softly into his ear. "I made an Anti-Detection potion for you so you can safely come to my rooms at night." Snape planted a kiss on Draco's temple and released him.

Snape grabbed a set of empty potion phials with stoppers, out of his cupboard and set them on the worktable. "You arrived just as I was finishing the potion. I've made enough to last months; however we need to bottle the potion, so it'll last longer on the shelf."

Draco stood next to Snape as he used the ladle to spoon the daisy yellow potion out the cauldron, it ran thick like honey and it took forever to fill all the empty phials. They stored them in Snape's black potions bag.

"Here Draco," Snape carefully handed him a daisy-yellow phial, "Use this to visit me after midnight. One swallow is sufficient. If you drink anymore, it will take hours for the potion to wear off. When you run out I will give you another bottle."

Draco held the small phial, which had at least four or five doses in it, then pocketed the potion.

Draco wondered what the punishment was for a teacher and student who actively plotted to have sex together. Memories of Friday night left Draco thrumming with anticipation; they would just have to make sure they were not caught. The pleasure was worth the risk in Draco's mind. "So, may I come down tonight?"

Snape nodded his head, "Of course. Now let's clean this mess."

When Ron arrived a few minutes early, Draco, with reluctance, grabbed his books, while Snape turned his attention to restoring order to his worktable and packing for the night. Disappointed, Draco followed Ron up the stairs and half-heartedly let Ron draw him into a conversation.

******

By some miracle, all his roommates decided to go to bed early, which meant around eleven, however Draco lay in bed waiting for their breathing to even out. He mentally planned his route through the castle; he'd already hid the Anti-Detection potion under his pillow. As soon as the main clock chimed the midnight hour, he would go downstairs.

Exhausted, Draco almost fell asleep waiting, finally when he did not think he could stay awake any longer, he heard the bell chiming the midnight hour. Lying on his stomach he carefully uncapped the potion bottle and took a sip. As far as potions go, it wasn't too bad. His stomach did not automatically rebel against the taste. He slid out of bed quietly, slipped on his shoes, and placed the potion under his pillow again. Later he would add it to his supply of sleep potions. The common room's fireplace lit his way to the exit. The Fat Lady snored when he left the Gryffindor Tower, the whole castle eerily quiet and dark with only half the torches lit.

Not dawdling, Draco made it to the dungeons and Snape's room in less than ten minutes. He knocked on the closed door, softly, though no one roamed the dungeons at night. Draco had this morbid fear of Dumbledore strolling down the dungeons and finding him in front of Professor Snape's private chambers. The door opened after a few tense minutes.

Draco's breath caught in his chest, as his eyes encountered the naked expanse of Snape's chest, his eyes traveled up and up, until he looked into Snape's passion filled eyes. "S...Sev..Severus," Draco stuttered when Snape's hand closed around his upper arm and pulled him into the room and slammed him up against the door. The vibrations of the wood made him shiver with anticipation.

Draco barely had time to think, oh, before Snape's lips closed over his own lips, his larger body pinning him to the wooden door. Hands, grabbed his buttocks and lifted him higher, at the same time those talented lips sucked at the base of his neck, nibbling and biting. Draco gasped for air; he clutched Snape's shoulders like talons, he moaned as tingly sensations traveled down his neck making his blood run hotter. His lips parted and Snape took that moment to kiss him, tongue delving into his mouth, sparring with Draco's tongue.

Draco's fingers threaded their way through Snape's clean washed hair, and held on, he did not want to let go. His body arched, strained, and undulated against Snape. His erection rubbed against the thin material of his pants as he rubbed against Snape's stomach. His breath caught in his throat, when Snape reached down and grabbed his erection through his pants. Stroked it fast and hard until Draco came, shuddering, head arched back, and his fingers hurting where they held onto Snape. His body gradually calmed down, and Snape gently let him slide down the door. Draco's legs wobbled and he unsteadily clutched Snape's shoulders to hold his balance until his legs regained their strength.

Snape nuzzled the curve of his neck, licking and sucking; his fingers gently unbuttoned his pajama top. Draco let it slide to the floor. He didn't protest when Snape's lips traveled down his body until Snape knelt on the floor in front of him. Snape's hot mouth licked Draco's returning erection through his pants, his fingers rolled his balls; he caressed every intimate part of his body. Draco sighed with relief, when Snape's fingers hooked onto his pants and pulled them down to his feet. His mouth sucked in Draco's erection. "Oh please." Draco muttered and thrust faster into Snape's hot mouth.

Then Snape pulled away, "No, don't stop." Draco complained his fingers pulled at Snape's hair until the older man broke his grip, stood up, and kissed him again, thoroughly.

Snape pulled away first and led him to the large bed with the covers already pulled back.

Draco didn't know how much time passed as Snape made him die and fly again. His body hurt a little, various muscles not used to such a strenuous workout. Snape assured him the lubrication potion he used would also keep his muscles from staying sore, as well as other parts of him.

Lying with his head on Snape's chest, Draco enjoyed the crackling of the fire, the warmth of the room, Snape's fingers brushing through his hair, and the sheer comfort of Snape's physical presence. They didn't speak. Draco did not want words to ruin the moment. Sweaty and with drying fluids starting to itch a little, Draco realized he needed a bath. "Is it okay if I use your shower?" Draco sat and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

"Of course," Snape said and pushed himself up on his elbows to watch him. Blushing, Draco walked to the bathroom naked; he didn't turn around, not once. He wanted to cover his body, suddenly ashamed of his nakedness, however he did not tell this to Snape. He insisted to himself that his lover had every right to see his body. He had no reason for shyness, especially, considering how he'd recently lain on his back, legs spread open, and begged Snape to hurry up and fuck him.

In the bathroom Draco relaxed, relieved to escape Snape's penetrating eyes. He turned on the water and adjusted the temperature, which helped calm his racing nerves. He stepped in the steaming water relaxed and calm again. He let the water hit his face and soak his hair; he drank some of it in, throat still dry.

The curtain pulled back and Draco flinched, more than startled when Snape entered the shower with him. Draco bit off the automatic "What are you doing here?" question. It was Snape's shower after all.

Draco continued to soap his body and tried to act nonchalant even as magic crackled in the air from Snape's aroused gaze; his body tightened pleasantly by the mood Snape's presence generated. He blushed and turned away first from Snape's stare.

"Merlin, you are beautiful." Snape said thickly. Voice deeper than normal, one hand cupped his check, Snape's thumb glided over Draco's bottom lip. Draco turned his eyes to Snape's and nipped his thumb with his teeth. The heavy and scary intensity level in the shower increased, frightening Draco.

Abruptly and inexplicably, Snape lightly slapped his cheek. Shocked, Draco stood frozen, as his eyes welled with tears. Snape grabbed his wrist, pulled him near, and twisted Draco's arm up behind his back. Draco's feet slipped but Snape remained firm and held him, their chests pressed together; he could feel Snape's thick erection straining against his stomach. Too confused by Snape's actions he didn't fight or try to pull away.

The hand on his wrist tightened and yanked his hand up further. "You're hurting me," Draco gasped his shoulder ached fiercely. He wrapped his free arm around Snape's neck, holding on tight.

Snape bent his knees and lowered them until they were kneeling in the tub, "Grab the rail, Draco." Snape ordered turning his shoulders, until his body followed.

Draco saw the silver handle on the wall of the shower and he grabbed it with one hand, just in time to catch himself from sliding forward on the slippery surface as Snape adjusted his hips, spread his knees apart, and thrust into him all in smooth motion. The world slid to a halt, his ass on fire, he let out a startled shout. His hand held onto the railing while his other slipped through the water pooling on the bathtub floor. Hot water beat down on his head, and Snape's body blanketed him, creating more heat.

"Sev..." He began to say when Snape thrust into him again. The pain stole his air. He let go of the railing to pull away, but Snape held onto his hips and trust again.

"Stop," Draco gasped, tears built behind his eyes. He shook his head side to side, tried to push his body up again, but Snape had the upper hand. He grabbed both of Draco's wrists and pulled them behind his back, which left him completely at the mercy of each hard thrust of Snape's hips.

Sobbing, Draco twisted, turned, and tried to fight free. "Let go of me asshole!" Draco yelled. "You're hurting me! I'm serious!"

Suddenly, the pounding stopped and Draco shuddered not sure what Snape would do next. He felt himself stretching to accommodate Snape's movements. Warm lips, settled on his neck, and he shivered. "I'm sorry." Snape said mouth near his ear before moving on to licking his neck. Now that Snape had stopped, Draco began to adjust to the sensations so that it no longer felt like a spear stabbing into his ass.

Then with slow rocking motions, Snape started to fuck him again. Prepared this time, and with his knees further apart, it began to feel pleasurable. Blood rushed to Draco's head and his penis. Snape let go of one of his arms, and reached around to jack him off. Draco didn't fight against the sensations; instead, he arched into them, and moaned.

This time his orgasm took longer to build up, he'd already come two times that evening. The ache in his knees faded to a dull throb as he felt his orgasm approaching. Snape's hips slapped against his ass, Draco hadn't felt this stretched or used in a long time. His free hand grabbed the hand railing near his head and held on, so his body didn't end up meeting the front of the bathtub. Gasping for air instead of mercy, Draco threw his head back his body tightened with each hard thrust. His orgasm broke free and he jerked with spasmodic movements.

He panted for air; his fingers ached holding the silver handrail next to his head, his other wrist caught in Snape's tight grip went numb. Exhausted, Draco laid his forehead against the bottom of the bathtub and waited for Snape to finish. The hot water against his forehead made him dizzy and nauseous. Groaning, Snape hunched over him, hot spurts of fluid filled him. Draco trembled; relieved it was finally over.

Snape pulled out; his hands rested on Draco's rump, until Draco gathered the energy to kneel on his knees. Draco rotated his sore shoulder, and rubbed at his raw wrist; he felt betrayed. Near tears, Draco turned towards Professor Snape. The older man cupped his stung cheek and kissed his lips softly and suddenly Draco wondered if he overreacted in his assessment.

Surely, Snape could not kiss so gently if he really meant him harm, could he? Draco passively let his professor lick his lips, kiss his eyelids, and massage his arms. Snape gently pulled him to his feet, and washed his hair and body, still shaky inside his stomach, Draco didn't complain. Very confused, Draco clutched at any sign of comfort Snape offered.

"I'm sorry Draco I didn't realize I was too rough, please forgive me?" Snape kissed his lips as if they were the finest satin in England.

Draco forced himself to smile; he didn't want to lose Snape, he'd already lost Cassandra. "It's okay; it was pretty wild wasn't it?" He said and looked away from Snape's black eyes, hiding his hurt. He grabbed the soap from Snape's fingers and lathered his hands with it, before he reached down and washed Snape's lax penis. It hardened under his careful ministrations but Draco did not linger in one spot long. Next, his hands traveled up Snape's chest and rubbed more soap into the dark hair. He bit, licked, and sucked Snape's nipples, then rubbed soap over the spots.

The shower turned into one long foreplay session; though neither of them quite had the energy to finish what they started. Tingling, and more relaxed Draco stepped out of the shower, clean and wet. Snape wrapped his arms around his waist and kissed his bare wet shoulder. Draco shivered and pulled away before it could turn into anything else; he grabbed a towel off the rack and dried himself. It must be late by now.

In the bedroom again, Draco dressed slowly, he yawned every couple of minutes. Snape stood by the exit wrapped in a cotton blue robe. At the door, Snape handed him the daisy yellow potion. Draco took a sip. Before he could leave though, Snape gently ran his fingers through his hair, held his chin with his fingers, and kissed him again. Breathless, Draco stumbled out Snape's room and headed upstairs.

*****

Snape watched the door close on Draco's slender figure with a sharp pang of loss. The more time he spent with Draco, the less he wanted to part with his young lover. He walked over to his fireplace, grabbed his wand off the mantel, and doused the fire, while his mind replayed Draco's panicked cry. His abdominal lack of control with Draco concerned him. He'd almost actually hurt Draco, he thought remorsefully. He resolved to use more care next time. Snape climbed onto his bed, drew the sheets up to his chest, and stared into the darkness long before falling asleep.

*****

Draco made it back to Gryffindor Tower with little trouble, it was touch and go for a minute when he spotted Peeves, luckily the ghost floated away from him, down the corridor.

Fat Lady woke long enough to let him in before she fell back asleep. Draco made it back to his room and entered it quietly; he walked halfway towards his bed in the near dark when Potter suddenly yelled, "No, no, no. I won't!" Then Potter let out the mother of all screams, fell out of his bed, almost at Draco's feet, and clutched a hand to his forehead.

Draco rushed over and knelt down, "Potter wake up! You're having a nightmare." Draco slapped Potter lightly, and shook his shoulders, until in the dim lights of the room he saw Potter's green eyes open and focus on him.

Another light came on, "What's wrong?" Seamus climbed out of bed. Dean covered his head with his pillow, and Neville blearily rubbed his eyes and turned on his own light, which illuminated the shadowy room.

Draco suddenly realized he had his hands on Potter's naked shoulders. He recoiled away from Potter, stood up, and rubbed his hands on his pajama top. Ron's hair stuck up in odd directions, Draco noticed, as he pushed past him and knelt at Potter's side. "Harry! Are you all right?"

Potter covered his eyes with his bare arm, his chest heaved. A few minutes passed in silence until Potter lowered his arm, rubbed at his forehead again, and stammered "I.I..I'm f..fine." His sweaty face, chest, and pants said otherwise.

Disoriented, but regaining his wits, Potter pushed Ron away and sat up; Draco took a step back, which seemed to draw Potter's attention straight to him, he forced himself to meet Potter's penetrating glare. Draco had an uncomfortable thought, Potter knew about him and Snape. He hoped no one noticed his wet hair.

Ron stepped in front of Potter cutting off their staring contest. "Were you dreaming about You-Know-Who?" Ron helped Potter to his feet.

"Yeah," Harry answered bitterly, as he sat on his rumpled bed, one hand covered the scar on his forehead. "He was very angry with," Harry paused for a moment looked at Draco before saying, "someone."

Neville and Seamus appeared shocked at the revelation; their mouths dropped open. Draco could guess by who that someone was; he just hoped no one else noticed Potter's brief pause, or Potter staring at him. He wanted to hear more but knew as long as he remained in the room Potter would say no more on the topic.

Frustrated, Draco left the group huddled around Potter; he grabbed his night-light, climbed onto his bed, and set the night-light in the center, before he went to all corners to untie the curtains. Before he finished untying the last drawstring on his bed curtain, he saw Ron glance in his direction, his mouth opened and closed, as if he wanted to say something but decided to wait.

Exposed by the light, Draco hoped none of his bruises showed. Ron, not as brilliant as Hermione, was by no means thick. Draco shut the curtain, which hid him from Ron's curious stare. He used a standard sticking charm to attach the nightlight to his headboard, before he yanked down his covers, laid down, and listened to Ron, Neville, and Seamus comfort Potter. Weary, Draco wished he could sleep without waiting for Ron; he punched his pillow a few times and tried not to fall asleep.

*****

Ron patted Harry's shoulder awkwardly. Neville and Seamus had long since gone back to their own beds. Ron should probably have followed their example and left Harry's bed; however, his friend still shivered and his haunted eyes had dark circles surrounding them. "Stay here, I'll get some dry clothes."

Not knowing how else to comfort his friend, Ron rushed off and went through Harry's clothing until he found shorts and a t-shirt. He brought them back and turned around while Harry changed. The climbed back onto the bed again, to get their feet off the cold floor, mainly.

"Thanks Ron." Harry said quietly and held his knees to his chest. His back supported by his pillows and the headboard. With Draco's nightlight hidden by Draco's bed drapes, the room went back to its original dimness. Without much light, Ron had a hard time reading Harry's expression.

"So who was You-Know-Who angry with?" Ron sat across from Harry in the middle of the bed.

"Wait a second." Harry let go of his knees and began to close his own bed curtains on his side; normally Harry slept with them open. Ron helped undo the ties on the other side of the bed, until they sat in complete darkness. "Lumos," a soft white light filled the interior of Harry's bed.

Ron crawled next to Harry so they could talk quietly to each other; Harry stuck his wand back under his pillow. Whatever Harry had to say he didn't want anyone else to hear, Ron didn't question his friend's decision. A spike of guilt hit him, because he could never confide in Harry about his strange attraction for Draco.

Harry leaned closer to him, until his lips neared Ron's ear, he whispered. "Lucius Malfoy is the one Voldemort tortured tonight."

"What? I thought the Malfoy's supported Voldemort?" Ron kept his voice equally low. He quickly looked in the direction of Draco's bed.

"It was awful." Harry shivered. "I'm not sure what went wrong? I think this had something to do with Draco. Voldemort said something about agreeing to a bad bargain, and he wants Draco back or some deal is off?" Harry shook his head. "It didn't make any sense."

Ron patted Harry's arm, and listened as Harry continued speaking. "Ron, the dreams are stronger. They have been since Voldemort returned." He laughed almost hysterically, "I actually felt like him! I got off on torturing Malfoy." Harry rubbed at his eyes, his voice quivered. "One thing was clear, if Draco does not return home this Christmas, Voldemort will kill his father."

"And that's a bad thing?" Ron could not believe Harry worried about Lucius Malfoy of all people.

"Probably not," Harry agreed with a sigh, "I just don't want to see someone murdered while I'm trying to sleep." Harry glared in the direction of Draco's bed and said spitefully. "Why did we get stuck with Draco? I wish he had stayed with Voldemort instead of coming back to Hogwarts."

Harry's harsh words shocked him into blurting; "You can't mean that? Don't you realize what Draco suffered over the summer break? Surely, you've heard. Voldemort used Draco and shared him with other men." Sick to his stomach, Ron stopped.

Harry shook his head and said. "It's a trick of some sort. I don't trust him and I don't like that you two have become "friends." How can you trust him after all he's done?"

Ron floundered trying to think of a response. "He has no reason to side with You-Know-Who." Exasperated, Ron whispered fiercely. "I trust your judgement, why won't you trust mine for once?"

"I worry because you are thinking with your dick, not your head." Harry rested his hand on Ron's arm. "I watch you Ron. I've never seen you act like this with any of the other girls you've had crushes on. You're obsessed!"

Ron immediately denied the accusation. "I'm watching out for him, nothing more!" He blushed to the roots of his hair; "I'm his friend." Ron paused, at a loss for words. Completely aware he had just lied to his best friend, but how could he explain this strange pull towards Draco. It didn't make sense he had always liked girls. Hadn't he?

Ron decided to ignore the uncomfortable implications of loving another boy and continued. "Look, you trust Dumbledore, and Dumbledore trusts Draco, what more do you want?"

"Dumbledore trusts Snape, which is not exactly a glowing endorsement."

"But can you deny Snape is on our side? I don't like him either but Draco isn't like Snape. Besides, Dumbledore trusts you, which says something about his judgement, right?"

"Look until I have proof that those scars on Draco's body weren't placed there to gain sympathy for him, I'll never trust Draco." Harry said stubbornly.

Beyond exasperated with Harry's stubbornness Ron continued to defend Draco. "Harry, you do know why Draco is sharing my dreams?"

Harry shook his head, frowning.

Ron looked in the direction of Draco's bed. "The day Dumbledore cast the spell for Draco to share my dreams, Hermione saw Draco screaming in pain, while new cuts appeared on his body. According to her, both Snape and Pomfrey held him down on the bed covered in Draco's blood. Without the spell on us, every time Draco fell asleep something would torture him." Ron shuddered. "Who would suffer that just to trick everyone?"

Harry remained silent for a moment. "I had no idea."

"I promised not to mention it to anyone. But I'm sick of seeing you two bickering."

"I can't help that he's annoying."

"I give up!" Ron glared at Harry and scooted to the edge of the bed. "I have to get to bed; otherwise Draco won't be able to sleep."

Harry's hand grabbed his wrist. "Ron wait, don't leave like this. I didn't want to fight."

"I know Harry." Weary and tired of the same old argument, he said the only thing he could. "I just wish you trusted me more."

"I do trust you; I don't trust Malfoy that's all."

"Look it's late, try to get some sleep. You're my best friend Harry. Draco won't take that away from you." Ron pulled his wrist free Harry's grip and escaped to his own bed.

*****

Two weeks later, at eight in the evening, Draco sat in the Gryffindor common room, waiting for Professor McGonagall's meeting to start. A late November snowstorm blew outside the windows, which forced all students indoors.

Draco wore a red sweater, tan pants, and his sneakers. Various fireplaces and possibly a spell or two heated the common room in Gryffindor Tower. Draco set aside his book, as the room became more crammed. Homework could wait a few minutes; he'd finished all his current assignments a week ago. Ron and Potter, who goofed off earlier, now stayed up late every evening to finish their work in time. Hermione occasionally helped them by letting them use her better notes.

"Quiet students I have a few announcements to make and then you can get back to your studies." Professor McGonagall paused a few seconds before continuing her speech. "First, Christmas break is coming and I need permission slips from those whose parents or guardians are allowing you to stay at Hogwarts. One week from today is the deadline to get your permission slips turned in. If you are going home, make sure you pack ahead of time and try not to forget anything..."

Draco sat frozen in his seat, his face stiff from the effort of not showing any emotions. He'd sent a letter with the permission slip to stay at Hogwarts home days ago. It should have returned by now. He grasped the book in his hands, and looked around the room at all the smiling faces everyone happy about the upcoming holidays, even Potter. Draco tuned out the rest of Professor McGonagall's announcements. When she finally turned and left the room, Draco hurried and threw all his notes, books, and half finished assignments into his book bag and went to find Ron.

He found him talking with one of his twin brothers at one of the tables in the back of the common room, "Ron, I need an escort to the Owlery." Draco tried not to sound as urgent as he felt but probably wasn't too successful, because Ron's eyes widened with alarm.

"Is something wrong?"

"Um not really, I just need to check if I got any mail tonight. Can you please take me?" Draco hated the need to ask, but he did not blame Ron. As the holidays approached, more teachers roamed the halls, on the look out for troublemakers. If they found him without Ron, he imagined they'd blame Ron.

"I have a ton of homework to do," Ron glared at the offending stack of books next to his scrolls, "But I guess a few minutes won't hurt. Come on lets go."

Ron left his work on the table and walked almost eagerly to the exit. Maybe I am doing him a favor, Draco thought amused by Ron's hatred of homework. Not that he could blame him. Preparing for their O.W.L.s was grueling work.

Draco hung behind Ron for protection when they entered the Owlery, an unnecessary precaution tonight. No one was there; the owl caretaker must have left for the day already. Every student had a mailbox only they could open. His was empty. Frustrated, he slammed his mailbox closed, and thumped it with his fist, damning himself for hoping. Ron didn't say anything as they made their way back to the Gryffindor Tower, a wise decision.

His evening ruined, Draco stomped up to his room, threw his bag of books on the bed, and flopped down next to it. He rolled over onto his back and stared at the burgundy canopy, fighting back his tears. This was not the time to panic or give into despair; he tried to tell himself. He still had a few days before his permission slip was due. Who was he kidding his father would never sign the form.

Starfire hooted in her cage and Potter's owl hooted back and flapped his wings. They liked each other much more than they used to. He had better write to his mother before he ran out of time. Draco went to his desk and penned a quick note, asking his mom's permission to stay at Hogwarts. Draco hadn't written to his mother once since school started and he doubted she knew the real reasons why he didn't want to come home. He couldn't even imagine telling her what happened over the summer break. However, maybe she'd find the permission slip and sign it for him. It didn't matter which parent signed as long as one of them did it. Draco opened Starfire's cage and carefully hooked his note to Starfire's claw. "Take this to mom and please hurry back with a reply."

He opened the window and let her fly off; the snowstorm didn't bother her. Cold wind gusted into the room, along with a flurry of snowflakes, the storm outside had worsened. Draco closed the window, shivered, and prayed for Starfire's swift return. Just in case she became lost in the storm, he would ask Snape for help, Draco decided as he watched the wind blow snow around in circles.

*****

Later that evening in Snape's bed, panting and begging to come, Draco forgot all his worries with his growing addiction to Snape's potions and skilled fingers. He also completely forgot to mention his problem with getting permission to stay at Hogwarts.

*****

Breakfast, the next morning began like any other normal day, Draco ate his breakfast quelling the majority of his yawns, he hadn't returned to his room until almost three and barely slept. Already he daydreamed of returning to Snape's room. He tried not to think of his nighttime activities in public; his fair skin turned red far too easily. Cassandra sat at her normal place; she left a pang in his chest but he tried hard to forget her.

Ron combed his hair haphazardly and it showed; his hair stuck up in all directions. Draco debated on telling Ron about his hair; however, he thought the disheveled hair made Ron more handsome. Harry had dark shadows under his eyes from staying up late all this week studying something with Hermione. They were in the common room past midnight last night, luckily neither of them noticed him sneaking out, probably a combination of studying and the potion Snape had re-supplied for him.

As long as he didn't think of the upcoming holiday or Cassandra, the day had potential.

Draco should have known something would go wrong, he felt okay; his life was not shitty for once. Owl mail arrived and the students looked up with excitement, as everyone is prone to do when they get mail. Draco had stopped anticipating mail, he used to receive packages from his mother and father all the time, or envelops of money to use at Hogsmead. This year he'd received nothing. Until a brown box fell down right on top of his eggs and bacon, squishing them, his fork flip in the air, and landed in Ron's bowl of oatmeal.

"Draco!" Ron complained and picked out the offending fork, and judging by his expression, no longer interested in finishing his oatmeal.

"It's not my fault!" Draco laughed and picked the brown box up off his plate and set it flat on the table. The sealed box measured a foot deep and a foot wide. He stood, grabbed a table knife sharp enough to slice through the tape, and worked at opening the box.

"Well what did you get?" Ron stood next to him to peer inside.

"I'm not sure," Draco tore the tape off, he opened the flaps and stared, confused with what he saw. White and brown feathers floated up and out of the box, maroon stains covering many of the feathers. Draco swallowed hard, a dull roar filled his ears; his mind didn't want to accept what he saw.

"Oh Draco," Ron whispered next to him, his face extremely pale under the freckles.

Numb, Draco took the box, turned it on its side, and dumped the contents on the table. Starfire's head rolled to a stop in front of Ginny's plate. Her fork halfway to her mouth froze when the head stopped in front of her. Blood oozed red and its glassy eyes stared blankly at her. Ginny screamed, dropped her fork, and fell off her chair backing away from the grisly sight. Hermione, George, and Fred all jumped back with startled cries of disgust while Draco stared down at Starfire's body, stiff with death, as feathers floated to the floor. Bloody handprints stained her thick body; he saw a small note attached to her leg. With numb fingers, he untied the note and read it.

You will come home this Christmas or the next present you get will by your mother's head in a box.

The letter was unsigned. Everything hit him at once; he staggered backwards and dropped the letter. The chair behind him almost tripped him, but Ron grabbed his arm and steadied him. The smell of feathers overwhelmed him, and Draco shrugged away Ron's arm and ran from the Great Hall.

He heard Ron running after him and didn't care; he made it to the bathroom in time to puke in a toilet and not on himself. He flushed the contents away and sobbed. Why did he send Starfire home? If only he'd just been patient she'd still be alive. He'd sent her to her death and he hadn't even known about it.

Draco banged his fist against the bathroom stall, with no notice of the pain. The door opened; Ron grabbed his arm, dragged him out, and hugged him tightly. Draco clung to Ron's shoulders and cried; horrified and so damned guilty he could feel it eating into his gut. Hard hands held him patted his back and whispered, "It'll be all right, it'll be all right, please don't cry. You're going to make me cry."

Draco cried harder, Starfire was dead, his best friend, the only creature on this planet that truly loved him was dead. It wasn't going to be all right, it wasn't.

"He's hysterical; we need to get him to the hospital wing." Professor Sprout said.

"Severus! Go get something that will help calm him down."

"Of course, Headmaster," Professor Snape spoke.

Voices came and went; Draco's tears stopped and he let his mind retreat to a place he'd created when things got too damn tough for him to stick it out. His fingers relaxed their hold on Ron and he let someone, he didn't even know who, lead him away. "Please let me go with him." he heard Ron ask his voice distraught.

Harry's voice broke in, "Come on Ron, they'll take care of them. Ginny may need you; she's crying her eyeballs out."

Draco didn't know how much time passed; someone pressed a bottle to his lips, and he swallowed the contents. Immediately his body and mind relaxed.

"Is he all right?" Professor McGonagall pressed her hand to Draco's forehead, and brushed his hair out of his eyes.

Draco closed his eyes and turned on his side facing away from everyone. He found his safe place and stayed, guilt couldn't touch him here, or worry, or the pain of loss.

"We better let him rest, poor dear, it must have been such a shock. Who would do such a thing...?"

The voices drifted away.

*****

"Wake up Draco. Wake up. I know you are here." Professor Snape slapped him lightly on the cheek; the stinging pain woke him from his deep sleep. The dark room lit only by candles, cast shadows of Snape up against the far wall. Snape sat on the edge of the bed near his shoulders, leaning over him, one arm braced next to the pillow.

Snape slapped him again, lightly.

"Will you stop that? I'm awake." Draco rasped his cobwebbed mind barely able to cobble the two sentences together let alone keep his eyes open.

His face suffered a few more slaps, harder ones this time. Annoyed, Draco forced himself to grab Snape's hand before he landed another slap. His cheeks stung horribly, and his throat hurt, dry from thirst. "

"Can I have some water before you beat me to death?"

This time Draco kept his eyes open and watched when Snape left, he returned a few moments later with a cup in his hands. Weak from the potion, Draco let Snape press the cup to his lips, water trickled down his throat, and he drank greedily. Finished, Draco slowly sat up, uncomfortable in his robes. Outside the window snow flurries raced in the darkness, disoriented he asked. "What time is it?" Draco confused and still disorientated.

Snape sat on the edge of the bed, again but no longer loomed over him. "It's past nine in the evening; you missed an entire day."

On cue, Draco's stomach growled, cramping with hunger pains. "I think I'm hungry," Draco complained.

"I have soup. Dumbledore, annoyingly optimistic, insisted on leaving food in the hospital wing in case you recovered this evening. I had some doubts." Professor Snape reached over to the nightstand, picked up a thermos, and a bowl with a spoon. Snape prepared the soap for Draco with competent hands, and held it for Draco.

"Thanks," Draco murmured weary and heartsick. He picked up the spoon and dipped it in the soup; his hand trembled, but not badly enough to spill anything on him. He ate slowly, his stomach ready to rebel at any moment.

He set down the spoon before finishing all the soap; Snape set aside the bowl. Draco stared at his secret lover. "Why are you here instead of Professor McGonagall?" he looked around the otherwise empty ward.

"Ah Draco, you were not the only one traumatized by the death of your owl. Ginny was hysterical and for once Fred and George had the decency to keep their mouths shut. Professor McGonagall is in Gryffindor Tower, trying to comfort anyone who was disturbed by the incident. I volunteered to stay with you in case you woke up."

On the verge of tears again, Draco rubbed his arm across his eyes. "Has this ever happened before? Is there a place to bury her?"

"Draco, owls do die during school. Most of the casualties die of old age, some meet their end with other flying predators; bad weather also accounts for some deaths. In all my years at Hogwarts, no one has sent a student the body parts of their animal familiar. The students will speak of this incident for years." Snape brushed his fingers through Draco's hair gently. "This afternoon, Mr. Croft and I buried Starfire in a safe location, next to the other pets. I'll show you tomorrow if you are interested."

"It's my fault she is dead," Draco said. "I just wish I had time to say goodbye to her."

"Did you cut off her head and mail her body to yourself?"

"Of course not!" Draco shouted, outraged at the suggestion.

"Then how was it your fault that she died? Someone butchered your owl, Draco."

"I sent her home okay!" Draco yelled.

Angry, he tried to explain. "I wanted permission from my mother to stay at Hogwarts this Christmas. My father has not signed the form, and he won't. I panicked." Draco twisted his fingers into his robes.

Quieter, Draco mumbled. "Starfire is dead, and if I don't return home my mother is next. I'm not brave, or courageous like Potter. I don't want them to cut off my mother's head. I don't know what to do." Tears slid down Draco's cheeks and dripped onto his robes. He wiped his tears off with the back of his hands.

Snape's hand came to rest of Draco's shoulder and gave a gentle squeeze. "Dean Thomas handed Dumbledore the note you dropped, however the message had erased itself. An easy spell anyone can do. Investigating her death will not be easy, the culprits covered their tracks."

"It's okay; I doubt the Ministry of Magic really cares about the death of one owl." Draco said and wiped his nose with his sleeve, "Besides, now I don't have to worry about her starving to death over Christmas."

Snape hugged him and whispered into his ear, "Draco, don't do this. Bad things happen all the time, don't blame yourself for every one of them."

"Severus, please don't leave me." Draco begged holding on tighter to Snape's shoulders. "I'm afraid."

Snape pried Draco's fingers off his robes. "Tonight it should be okay if you want to sleep in the hospital wing. I'll stay with you."

The door opened just as Draco sank back against his pillows, Professor Snape stood with a grace; Draco always admired. "Headmaster, Draco is awake and I believe in a better state of mind now."

"I can see that," Dumbledore sounded rather old and tired.

"Draco, Mr. Thomas gave me the note attached to Starfire's leg; however, by the time we saw it, the message was gone. I assume you had a chance to read the message?"

Too well, Draco thought bitterly. "Yes, it said if I don't come home this Christmas my mom will die next."

"I'm so sorry," Dumbledore, said compassionately. Draco appreciated the gesture; however, it did not change his situation.

Dumbledore stood at the foot of the bed, "Mr. Malfoy, your situation is delicate and requires more thought. Tonight there is nothing more to do. Professor Snape can escort you to your house dormitory."

"Can't I stay here?" Draco protested immediately.

"Mr. Malfoy, you cannot always run from your problems." Dumbledore's old voice grated on his nerves. Somehow, Draco managed to stay silent while listening to him. "Your friends will want to see that you are indeed doing better this evening. Trust me, this empty ward, is not where you are needed tonight."

Draco nodded unable to think of any excuse to use without drawing suspicion to himself or Professor Snape.

"Come along, Draco." Snape offered him a hand, and Draco accepted. His legs, unsteady at first, gained strength with each step.

Draco and Snape left the hospital wing together. however, once the doors closed behind them, Snape steered him away from the quickest route to Gryffindor Tower. Curious, Draco followed without protest as Snape led him down many hallways until he felt lost.

He didn't speak or protest when Snape opened a door and entered a room Draco never saw before. The door closed behind him with a small click. Draco had time to notice the dimness of the room, before Snape swept him off his feet and kissed him. Surprised, Draco froze; his hands held onto Snape's shoulders. After his initial surprised, Draco returned the comforting kiss and let Snape lead him backwards.

The back of his knees hit something and Snape released him with a small shove. Off balance, Draco fell backwards and bounced on a soft surface. Snape did not give him time to protest or think, before he pounced on him. His heavy body pinned Draco down. Warm lips covered his and with a frantic haste Snape's agile hands tore off his clothing. Draco lifted his arms to help prevent more damage to his clothing. Snape hiked up his robes and lowered his trousers with one hand.

"Are you," Draco gasped for air, "Sure this is a good idea?" He parted his legs to make room for Snape to kneel between them.

"Shhh...Try not to think." Snape kissed him hard and then huskily added, "Just want to make you forget." Snape's lips covered his again and swallowed Draco's sharp cry of pain when Snape thrust into him without any warning.

Completely un-aroused, Draco pushed against Snape's chest, and yanked his head to the side. "Wait," he gasped from the pain, unbearably stretched and aching.

"You're so tight, Draco." Snape said, "Unbelievably tight." His face flushed with passion and sweat beaded his skin.

Draco tried to close his legs to slow Snape's thrusts, but it only seemed to spurn him on. "Get off of me." Draco pleaded, and kicked with his legs, until Snape captured them both and held his thighs up with his arms.

"I can't stop now," he gasped, "Relax." Snape thrust harder.

None of it felt good for Draco, but he stopped fighting. His struggles only encouraged Snape to treat him more roughly. He lay still, turned his head to the side, and tried not to feel the pain of each thrust as he waited until Snape finished.

Draco's thighs cramped when Snape released his legs, Snape rolled off him and fell on his back panting. Hurting, Draco rolled off the bed, he grabbed his clothing off the floor, and heart-sore, angry, and confused, dressed quickly. Not waiting for Snape to use a cleaning spell on him Draco rushed out into the hallway and took deep breaths, his backside in extreme discomfort. Slimy come leaked out of him into his underpants, while his thighs itched from drying semen. Furious, Draco punched the wall. Why did he allow Snape to hurt him, to use him like that? Why didn't he at least let Snape use a cleaning charm on him? What was wrong with him? Starfire had been murdered, and he let Snape fuck him.

Unable to walk comfortably, Draco slid down the wall and waited for Snape to leave the room. The hard cold wall against his back gave little comfort during his wait. Finally, the door opened and Snape exited the room, his black robes impeccably clean, hair shiny instead of oily, he did not look thoroughly screwed.

The fury on Snape's face did not make Draco back away in terror as it might have done before they'd started this affair. He stayed seated, until Snape's hand dragged him to his feet, and marched him back into the mysterious room.

"Please I'm tired. I don't want to have sex anymore tonight. Severus, please just let me go." Draco yanked his arm to free it from Snape's iron grip.

"You look like you've just fucked all the Quidditch team, stand still so I can clean you. Then you are going to fix your clothes then I'll take you back your precious Gryffindor friends."

His lover snapped at him; Draco cringed with shame, as hot tears spilled from his eyes.

"Oh stop your crying." Snape said and waved his wand.

Draco's skin tingled and stopped itching in embarrassing locations. He stood still as Snape fixed his clothing. "Now what was that about? Running out into the hall where anyone could come by and see you. Are you crazy or just stupid?"

"Y..Yo..You h..h.urt me." Draco stuttered horrified by Snape's harsh words.

"I'll admit I was a little rough, but don't I always take care of your needs?" Snape stepped closer his voice softened into patience.

Draco nodded his head. It was true, Snape always made sure he had a fun time each evening, except sometimes he did get rough and hurt him a little. Snape placed a hand on his shoulder and guided him back towards the bed. This time he gently lifted Draco's robe up past his hips, and carefully pulled down his pants, removed his shoes and lay the pants on the bed next to Draco. Snape knelt between his thighs, he spread them further apart with cold hands. The bed lowered itself to the ground at the same time Snape's mouth descended on Draco's lax penis and started suckling it.

Not really in the mood, but not sure how to tell Snape that, he tried to think of sexy thoughts, but all he could see was Starfire's head rolling towards Ginny Weasley. "Concentrate Draco!" Snape ordered in his classroom voice.

Draco nodded his head and tried to focus on the sensations of Snape's tongue licking him, his penis began to fill with excitement, but then two fingers thrust into him, it startled him and hurt. He squirmed uncomfortably, until those fingers found his prostate and nudged it. Draco moaned, relieved his erection returned. Snape stepped up his efforts and Draco concentrated on the feelings on the head of his penis and the nerve endings Snape's fingers rubbed against. Finally, Draco body tightened as he came. It wasn't a mind-blowing orgasm but that was okay, because all of a sudden he was embarrassed to be naked like this in front of Snape and now he could cover himself.

Snape used his wand and cleaned him. Draco sat up, grabbed his pants, put them on, and buckled his belt. His robe stayed clean pushed up near his armpits. They left the room in silence and didn't speak the entire way to Gryffindor Tower; however, Snape did squeeze his hand before Draco said the password and entered.

His eyes were sore and probably very red from all the crying today, especially the last thirty minutes, but no one commented on it when Draco entered Gryffindor Tower. The room was subdued that evening. Professor McGonagall was actually hugging a small red hair girl, Ginny. Ron, Harry, and Hermione sat by the fireplace talking. When they saw him enter Ron jumped up, ran towards him, and pulled him into a hug, which Draco desperately needed, though now he felt like pushing away from any close physical contact.

"Draco, I'm glad you aren't stuck in the hospital ward. I'm so sorry about Starfire." Ron whispered, in his ear before he pulled away and let the others say their condolences. Sure not everyone liked Draco but no one could doubt that he really cared for his familiar and they could sympathize with his loss.

Draco stared dully at all the well-wishers and wished he were alone in his room; he never wanted Starfire's death to be the reason people talked to him or gave him a second chance. To his surprise, Potter grabbed his hand and pulled him through the crowd and up the stairs to their room. Ron, and Hermione followed, three people weren't nearly as bad as the entire Gryffindor house.

The door closed behind them and Ron gave a sigh that sounded very much like relief. "It's a madhouse down there; sorry you had to come in to that mob. The whole school is talking about what happened to your owl and are speculating what the note said before it erased itself. So, as you can see, everyone is very curious to see you, I guess it didn't help that you were in the hospital wing all day knocked out with dreamless sleeping potions."

Hermione sat down next to him. "Hey Ron, you may want to get ready for bed. Draco looks like he's going to pass out at any moment."

Harry paced back and forth, Hedwig hooted and rustled in his cage, looking over at Starfire's empty cage, probably wondering when she'd return. Draco stood and walked over to Starfire's cage, he looked at the food she hadn't finished. "Hedwig, Starfire is dead, she's not coming back." Hedwig hooted sadly and turned her head towards Potter.

Draco opened Starfire's empty cage, threw in her toys, extra food, and water tray. He closed the cage door before picking it up and carrying it to a corner of the room a less noticeable location. Waking up, seeing her empty perch, and realizing he'd never have to worry about feeding her again would hurt too much. For good measure, he grabbed his rattiest towel and threw it over her cage.

"Hermione, can you please leave. I can't do this tonight." Draco turned to face her.

She didn't argue, complain, or make any more statements and he could have loved her for that alone. She said her goodnights to Ron and Potter, and quickly left the room.

Already clean from the charm Snape used on him, Draco pulled off his robe and dumped it on the floor next to his bed, too drained to worry about hanging his clothing. He stripped off the rest of his clothing down to his shorts and dropped those on the floor as well.

"Ron, hurry and fall asleep." Draco said before he closed the curtains on his bed, to block all the light and protect him from prying eyes. He lay down on his stomach, his arms curled around his pillow, hugging it to his head to stifle the sound of his sobbing, grief finally running its course.

*****

The red curtain, might as well be the Great Wall of China, Ron thought grasping the edge of the thick material, his hand frozen with indecision. Draco's muffled sobs stabbed him in the chest, and made him want to fling open the curtain and pull Draco into his arms and remind Draco that he wasn't alone in the world. That someone did care about him, and that's when Ron froze completely. Boys did not say that kind of stuff to each other, what if Fred or George ever found out...and what would Harry think?

Ron remembered his third year when he thought his rat, Scabbers was dead. Admittedly, he never really cared that much for the old rat, but just the thought of losing him so quickly, to Hermione's cat, really pissed him off, and before he discovered Scabbers true nature, he really did miss the damn rodent.

Sympathy for Draco, he never would have guessed he'd feel this way for the blond hair boy he had hated all these years. This morning flashed before his eyes again, he watched Draco's eyes widen with comprehension, the damned letter falling to the floor with a cloud of feathers, and finally Starfire's head rolling to a stop. Ron shook his head angrily, furious at whoever was responsible for the mess this morning.

A strong hand grabbed his arm and pulled him away from Draco's bed to the far side of the room, as far away from Draco as possible. Harry glared at him; Ron towered over Harry by half a foot, but his eyes challenged him nonetheless. Harry shook his head to get a stray piece of hair out of his eyes before speaking in an angry whisper. "Ron, please just get ready for bed, there is nothing you can say to make this any better for him okay. He really needs time alone."

"How can you say that?" Ron demanded in the same tone, "How can you listen to that and not want to offer some sort of," Ron paused at loss for words until he settled on, "comfort."

Draco's sobs were too faint to hear from their position in the room, but Ron could still hear them clearly in his memory. "Ron, if someone cut off Hedwig's head and mailed it to me in a box; nothing and no one in this world could comfort me. You saw how Draco tended to Starfire every night, that's probably the only thing he's ever done right in his life. He loved her and she didn't just die in an accident, she was murdered. Now what can you possibly say that could ease that pain?"

"Nothing, there's nothing I could say, but he'd know he's not completely alone, and that I care about him." Shaking his head, Ron turned his face away from Harry's, not able to look his best friend in the eyes after that confession.

Harry didn't say anything for a few minutes, he turned around, ran his hand through his hair messing it up, turned again, gave him a long look, bit his bottom lip a few times, and then he spoke. "Ron, please don't buy Malfoy's line. Sure he's having a rough year, but when it's over and his dad accepts him back into the family, he'll turn back into the annoying brat he's always been."

Angry by the time Harry finished speaking, Ron glared at his best friend and with a furiously whispered, "Harry, you are blind."

Ron turned away to walk back to his bed afraid if he stayed close to Harry he'd punch his best friend. He didn't get far before Harry's hand closed over his arm halting him. "No, you are blind." Harry pulled him close and whispered into his ear. "Where do you think Draco goes after you fall asleep? I followed him a few nights ago. He's tricking you, Ron."

"I don't believe you." Ron said pulling his arm free but not moving away.

"Fine, don't believe me but next time he pulls a disappearing act. I'm waking you up and showing you where he goes almost every night."

"Tell me now." Ron demanded and looked at Draco's bed; he hoped Draco could not overhear this conversation.

Harry's green eyes glanced in the same direction before answering. "You wouldn't believe me and I'm not going to try convincing you until you've seen it with your own eyes."

"You bastard, you know how I feel and now you're keeping secrets from me. I thought we were friends."

"I am your friend and you really do need to see this with your own eyes. Now you better to get to bed; you wouldn't want Draco to suffer anymore tonight, I'm assuming."

With those last words, Harry stepped back from him and left the room.

Frustrated and more than a bit angry, Ron stripped off his clothing not caring when in his haste he popped a button off his shirt. He threw his clothes on the floor and stomped on them a few times before kicking them under his bed. He flopped on his back reached above his head and yanked his pillow over his head, trying to muffle Draco's hiccuping sobs. What was Draco up to? Was Harry right? Where was Draco going every night? Ron wanted to scream into his pillow, feeling like the biggest fool in Hogwarts for believing in Draco.

Was Harry wrong?

Harry hadn't ever lied to him or tricked him.

Harry wouldn't lie to him.

Would he?

Now sweaty, Ron pulled the pillow off his face, looked towards Draco's bed, and wondered what secrets did Draco keep from him? He knew he had the power to force Draco to reveal his innermost thoughts, but the thought of doing so made Ron ill. He could not force Draco to confirm or deny Harry's accusations. Ron slid under his covers, covered his ear with another pillow to block out Draco's crying, and fell asleep.

 

*****

Draco's eyes ached the next morning, puffy and irritated from crying himself to sleep. However, he dragged himself out of bed and prepared to face the day, no amount of weeping or self-pity would bring back Starfire. All he could hope for was revenge when the opportunity presented itself. First, he had to figure out how to avoid going home without anyone being the wiser.

Ron and Harry waited for him to return from the bathroom before they left. Neville, Seamus, and Dean left the room earlier that morning. He finished dressing in five minutes; he spent another two minutes fixing his bed, anything to prolong the inevitable inquisition facing him downstairs. He straightened his desk area, neatly organized his books, grabbed the ones he needed for today's lesson, and left the room.

Downstairs, in the common room, his fellow Gryffindors went about their business, a few glanced in his direction before returning to their homework, conversations, or back to playing a game of Exploding Snap before breakfast. Ron, Potter, and Hermione sat at their favorite table, Hermione studying, the boys playing. Draco sat down next to Ron and waited for them to finish their game. He didn't feel like speaking, playing, or studying. Hermione patted his arm absently and went back to reading her notes. Her small gesture of comfort helped him face the few students who stopped by the table to express their sympathy. Draco accepted the condolences people gave him with a nod of his head, not sure, if he could speak yet without breaking down completely. The pain of Starfire's death was still fresh and his control weak.

After Potter beat Ron at their game of Exploding Snap, the four of them trooped downstairs following the mass exodus to the Great Hall for breakfast. The Gryffindor table was subdued, when the owls came in to deliver the mail no one stood up in excitement, and certainly, hands did not rip into packages with fierce abandon. The kids at the Slytherin table also appeared disturbed by his grisly present the day before. It would probably take a few days before people trusted their mail not to arrive blood soaked. Cassandra sat pale faced at her usual spot; she kept glancing at him during breakfast. Draco could feel her eyes on his back. However, she did not have the nerve to come and talk to him; he tried not to let her rejection hurt. She broke up with him weeks before this happened.

Draco didn't speak to anyone until Transfiguration's with Professor McGonagall. Halfway through class, she asked him to stay after class. While the students filed out of the room Draco stayed seated not sure if she wanted him to go to her desk or not.

"Mr. Malfoy. How are you today?" Professor McGonagall pulled up a chair to sit across from him.

Startled by her interest and confused, he answered haltingly. "I'm fine."

"I wanted to talk to you yesterday to see how you were doing but you left the common room so quickly. As the head of your house you do know you can always come and talk with me if you need someone to talk to."

Straight-faced, Draco responded, "I am dealing with what happened. I talked with Professor Snape last night." Well more than talked, but Draco bet if he told Professor McGonagall the truth she'd die of shock.

Her lips tightened. "I see. Well I'm glad you were able to talk to someone." Draco guessed what she wanted to say is 'why the hell did you talk to Snape, the scumbag, instead of me?' Draco had to give her some credit for keeping her composure.

A soft knock at the door tore Professor McGonagall's attention away from him. He also turned to look and was grateful to see Sandra standing in the doorway. "Professor McGonagall, I'm here to escort Draco to his next class..."

Sighing, Professor McGonagall stood up and said, "You may go Mr. Malfoy."

Not one to dwell when given the opportunity to leave, Draco picked up his books and rushed to meet Sandra. She waited until they were out of sight of the classroom before she grabbed his hand and started running. "Come on Draco, I'm going to be late for class again!"

Book bag bouncing against his back, one wrist caught in Sandra's firm grip, Draco had a feeling that after this year was done the both of them would be the fastest runners at Hogwarts. He was actually almost able to keep up with her longer legs.

The rest of the day passed by quickly for Draco, he still hurt but when he concentrated on his classes, it helped to keep his mind off his loss and the upcoming Christmas break.

Later that evening after dinner, Ron escorted him to Professor Snape's workroom for their one-hour session.

Draco entered the room and set his books down on the table nearest the door. Professor Snape stood at the front of the room; Snape leaned against his bare worktable. "Draco, close the door," he ordered.

Butterflies flooded his stomach; Draco obeyed Snape's command, his palms sweaty against the doorknob. After he closed the door firmly he wiped his hands on his robe.

"Come here, Draco."

Uncertain and confused, Draco walked towards Snape. Memories from last night slowed his feet until he stopped five feet away from Professor Snape, the man he thought he loved and trusted. Where had that trust gone?

He looked up and met Snape's black eyes; tonight they held sympathy and affection. Snape stood and closed the distance between them his hand grabbed Draco's arm before he could back away. "Are you really scared of me?" Snape's voice husky and his eyes pained.

Throat dry, palms sweating liters, Draco couldn't speak. Instead, he nodded his head and waited for Snape's reaction. Fingers tightened against his upper arm but not enough to bruise, a muscle twitched in Snape's jaw, but otherwise the older man kept his calm.

"I hurt you last night, didn't I?"

"Yes." Draco's answered hoarsely. It felt as if all the water was sweating out of him.

Gentle fingers ran through his hair, Draco accepted Snape's touch grimly; he wanted to run away. "I'm not going to hurt you." Snape said and tilted his face up; kissed him softly on the lips.

Draco's arms rose to hold onto Snape's arms that were cupping his head and twisted his head to the side, breaking the kiss. "It wasn't the first time," Draco accused harshly, hardly believing his daring.

"I love you." Snape responded, tightening his fingers in his hair tilting his head back, kissing him again.

Draco stood there and refused to participate in the kiss. Snape broke the kiss and looked down at him, eyes unreadable. He stepped back and let go of Draco's arms at the same time. "Would saying I'm sorry help?"

"It would help if you meant it. I can't help feeling like there are two Severus' one who is kind, gentle, loving, and the other rough, demanding, and...and...cruel!"

"Cruel." Snape frowned while his face darkened with anger. "I'll admit I may be demanding and sometimes rough but I've never been cruel."

Squirming, guilt and shame riding him, Draco stared at his feet afraid to meet Snape's eyes.

An anguished, "I'm sorry!" Burst out of Draco. "I didn't mean that, it was wrong of me to say you were cruel, you're not. I know that."

"Shhhh...." Lips covered his again drowning his apology.

Breathless when they parted, Draco met Snape's eyes. "You don't have to apologize, Draco. I understand, I'm too controlling and it scares you."

Draco wanted to say that's not all of it, but with Snape so ready to forgive him he kept silent and let Snape guide him into a conversation not related to sex in any way. Draco wanted to talk about Starfire's death, and though Snape did not seem interested in owls, he did listen.

That evening Draco did not sneak out to meet Snape.

*****

The next day in potions, Professor Snape gave him a look when he entered the room. Of disappointment or worry, Draco could not tell. He pushed the thought out of his head and paid attention to the rest of his classes.

The next evening when he arrived for his nightly therapy session, there was a note posted on the door.

Cannot make it tonight.

            Professor Snape

It was rather short, but Draco took the note and placed it inside one of his books to keep. Hermione shrugged her shoulders and led the way back upstairs.

The rest of the strange evening unfolded in the Gryffindor common room; Ron and Potter whispered to each other far too much, casting glances in his direction, which is never a good thing when Potter is involved. He tried to shrug it off and concentrate on his work. Tonight it was not so hard to concentrate because the night before he actually slept longer than five hours. However, he was still grateful when Ron and Potter went upstairs to continue their discussion. Ron's silence these last few days worried Draco, but he didn't know if he could press upon their new friendship to ask Ron what bothered him.

Later that evening, lying under his covers, while he waited for everyone to fall asleep, he looked towards the empty spot where Starfire's cage used to sit. He wondered if he grieved more than necessary for her, but dismissed the thought immediately. Wizard's owls were not like other owls, and to think so was to insult her memory.

He tossed and turned under his cotton sheet; he felt impatient. When would Ron start his customary snoring? Winter snow hung on the windowsill, the moon reflecting off it shot a bluish white light into the room. Neville and Dean closed their bed curtains but Potter and Weasley could sleep through anything. Thirty minutes to an hour later, Draco heard Ron's breathing even out into a deep sleep and he carefully climbed out of bed. He took a sip of the yellow potion, put on his night slippers, and left the bedroom.

By now, he felt confident no one would see him on his way to Snape's rooms, therefore walked faster, and made it in record-breaking time. He knocked softly, waited a few seconds and knocked again. The door swung open on his third knock, and Snape pulled him into the room; he softly closed the door behind him.

Kisses rained down on his nose, his mouth, and ears, before Draco had the chance to say hello.

"I'm so glad you are here, Draco. Last night when you didn't show up I was worried." More kisses, deeper ones, hands swiftly pulled off his shorts and Draco stepped out of his slippers. Draco learned to wear as little as possible, because it took too damned long to undress.

Between kisses, Draco tried to answer. "I was really tired last night." Another deep soul-searing kiss later, "I didn't sleep well the night before." Draco did not add the reason why he slept poorly, or his unsettling doubts about Snape's motives. However, tonight all his fears floated away on a wave of desire for Snape and the potion master's potions.

He lay back eagerly on the bed and opened his legs wide for Snape to fit between them. A thick finger entered him spreading lubrication and stretching him, while Snape's mouth licked his sensitive nipples.

The sex was hot, fast, and furious. Draco came twice before Snape groaned and shot his seed inside his body, slumping over him, and breathing hard into his shoulder.


Panting, Draco cradled Snape into his arms and felt contentment. Why couldn't it always be like this with Snape? He tried not to let his unease ruin the afterglow.

"I love you so much." Snape whispered.

"I love you too." Draco responded, honestly feeling it tonight.

With a deep sigh, Snape pushed himself up and rolled over on his back next to Draco. His pale chest gleamed with droplets of sweat Draco could not look away.

Draco swallowed hard, "I should probably get back to my room soon."

"Yes, you probably should." Snape answered vaguely, he curved one arm over his head on the pillow, staring up at the canopy, a deliberate provocative gesture.

"Shower," Draco offered, and smiled at Snape's surprised laugh.

They were still grinning like idiots when the door slammed open. Draco had never seen someone move as quickly as Snape. The older man rolled off the bed and yelled "Accio Wand!" while Draco scrambled to pull the covers up over himself.

At the doorway, Dumbledore stood tall, his eyes beyond furious. Shocked and shaken to the core, Draco clutched the sheets to his chest, and cowered. "Dumbledore," Draco choked, too scared to say more, though he did not see a wand in Dumbledore's hand.

"Severus, put down your wand." Dumbledore ordered and walked into the room, he came to a stop where Draco's shorts lay in a wrinkled heap along with Snape's robe. He glared furiously at Snape and the air swam with unused power.

Draco looked at Snape who stood in a defensive position, until his hand slowly unfurled and his wand dropped to the floor and rolled under the bed. Naked, Snape stood pale and trembling, his shoulders hunched inwards hugging his arms across his chest.

Draco had a feeling Dumbledore had already figured out why he and Snape were both naked and in bed together.

"Severus, get your bags packed and leave Hogwarts tonight before I do something I regret."

Visibly shaking Severus walked to his wardrobe and dressed with jerky motions.

Crying now Draco stayed huddled on the bed, hiding behind a thin sheet. Now he was losing Snape too! "Please it wasn't his fault! Dumbledore, it's not what it looks like. I love him!" Draco pleaded.

"Mr. Malfoy, please do not speak. What your professor has done is unforgivable and I will not allow him to stay another day to abuse his students."

"Fine, I'm leaving! Then I won't be one of his students anymore! I never liked Hogwarts anyway!" Draco yelled suddenly furious. He jumped off the bed, no longer self-conscious about his nudity in his righteous anger, stomped towards Dumbledore; picked his shorts off the ground and put them on.

He glared defiantly at Dumbledore until the older wizard grabbed his arm and in his scariest voice yet said, "Sit down." Draco obeyed instantly and sat on Snape's armchair, shaking all over, the small fire unable to keep him warm with his heart freezing in his chest.

Snape continued packing his suitcases; he grabbed clothes and threw them in with no discernable order or neatness.

"Severus, I just want to know how much Voldemort paid you to abuse Draco."

Snape halted as if someone had turned him into stone. Dumbledore's accusation reverberated in Draco's head; it never occurred to Draco that Snape was in league with Voldemort. Was it possible? He looked towards Snape for an answer.

Shaking, Snape pushed his stringy black hair back out of his face. He laughed a bitter angry sound. "Albus, whether you believe this or not, I do love Draco, no one could pay me enough money to cause him harm."

Dumbledore yelled, "You raped him! He's only fifteen years old and under our protection. You betrayed that trust, I don't care if he's your soul mate. You'll never teach again. Now get out of my sight and if you try to contact Draco again before he turns eighteen I'll have you arrested."

Snape turned towards his suitcases, closed them, and snapped the latches closed. Draco didn't know what to do; this was his fault. He couldn't lose Snape, his lover and favorite professor. He wanted to scream. It wasn't fair. He didn't even get a chance to say goodbye when Snape walked out of the room carrying two suitcases, his robes thick for the cold outside. In a matter of moments, Professor Snape left Hogwarts.

Furious, Draco ran towards the door, but Dumbledore grabbed him around the waist and stopped him. "Let go of me! I don't want to stay here anymore." Draco screamed, kicked, and punched. He panicked violently.

Dumbledore let go and let Draco's momentum carry him to the floor before he pulled his wand out of his pocket and stunned him. Almost on his feet again, Draco flew back a couple of feet and landed badly; the fall knocked all the fight out of him. The stun didn't last long and he rolled over on his side crying. "Severus."

He flinched away from Dumbledore's offer of help to stand up. The pity in the old man's eyes made his hatred burn more brightly. "How long has this been going on?" Dumbledore gently patted his shoulder.

Draco didn't answer. He stayed curled up on his side crying. With tears clogging his throat, he asked, "Can I go to bed now?"

"No you may not. You are going to the hospital wing."

"Go fuck yourself." Draco sat up carefully. The back of his head hurt like hell.

"Mr. Malfoy, Draco, this is not your fault. There is no reason to defend your Professor he's no longer at this school and you are safe to speak freely."

Dumbledore must be convinced that Professor Snape raped him or something! "He didn't rape me, he made love to me! Stop talking about him as if he's a criminal or something. We love each other! How did you find out about us anyway! Do you always make a habit of bursting in the Professor's bedrooms?"

Draco didn't get an answer. Dumbledore pulled him to his feet and marched him out of the room and all the way to the hospital wing. Numb emotionally and physically, Draco allowed Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey to strap him to the bed, 'for his own good.'

Dumbledore and Madame Pomfrey's sympathetic glances made him sick; they were trying to make him think his relationship was dirty, but it wasn't. It wasn't. Crying, Draco struggled against the wrist restraints. He needed to escape from this place, joining the Muggle world may be his best option. Maybe he could stay with Snape.

Madame Pomfrey dimmed the lights in the room when she left, leaving him alone in the empty hospital wing, tied helplessly to a bed. Snape would have at least offered to stay and offer protection. If any Slytherin's came along now...they could hurt him badly before help arrived. Sleepy to the point of exhaustion, Draco forced himself to remain awake so he could call for help in case someone came in here.

No one entered the room the rest of the night, though Draco stayed up the entire time pulling his hands and ankles against the restraints until his blood soaked the soft leather. He watched the sunrise and was surprised that so much time had passed. His eyes ached, but the pain in his wrists and ankles kept him awake.

He weak muscles tensed when the doors opened. Madame Pomfrey and Dumbledore entered, Dumbledore carried a clean set of robes in his hands and possibly his other clothing. Draco watched like a cornered dog, as they drew nearer. He no longer felt safe with Dumbledore around.

"Oh his wrists!" Madame Pomfrey unbuckled his raw left wrist. She quickly unbuckled the rest of the restraints, probably too shocked to figure out a spell to remove them all at once.

Dumbledore set the clean clothes on the other bed and stood over him, with an angry twitch in his jaw. "You didn't sleep at all last night did you?"

"I couldn't there was no one here to warn me if there was trouble." Draco shot back with all the contempt he could muster.

His wrists and ankles tingled from the healing charm Madame Pomfrey cast while he glared at Dumbledore.

He climbed out of bed and dressed in the clothing Dumbledore brought for him. Madame Pomfrey clutched her wand in both hands turned and left the room. The silence in the room filled his ears; he could hear the drumming of his blood. He held his robe on his lap, already warm in his trousers and shirt. Sitting in stony silence, Draco waited for Dumbledore to speak.

"Mr. Malfoy I don't know what to do for you. Mr. Snape told me what the note you received said and yet without the proof I have nothing to show of the threat against your mother. I'm also terribly sorry for not realizing sooner the abuse you suffered here. I've already written to the Magical Law Enforcement office to request that you remain at Hogwarts during the Christmas break to protect you from Mr. Snape in case he decides to try to contact you again. I won't find out their answer for another day or two. Until then I think its best you continue going to your classes and prepare for your exams."

Loathing and fear kept Draco's mouth shut. He already knew he was going home for the break. Maybe if he had a lightning shaped scar on his forehead the situation would be different. Resentful, Draco refused to despair; he'd just have to find a way to run-away before the break.

Lost in thought, he didn't realize Dumbledore had continued speaking until he felt a bony hand shake his shoulder to get his attention.

"Draco, I said do you want me to get Ron in here and administer a sleep potion to you both so you can get some rest?"

Forced to say something or risk spending another day in the hospital wing, he said, "No, I've already missed one day of classes this week. I'll manage."

"Well then, I'll escort you to Gryffindor Tower, it's still not time for breakfast to start."

Exhausted, Draco followed Dumbledore out of the hospital wing, too numb for his anger to burst out. Snape was gone.

"Who's going to teach Potions now that you kicked out Professor Snape?" Draco walked next to Dumbledore through the empty hallways.

"That is not your concern. Just concentrate on your studies."

Pissed at Dumbledore's answer, Draco clenched his fists, but otherwise managed to control the urge to punch the old man.

They stopped at the entrance to the Gryffindor common room; Draco said the password and entered without looking back at Dumbledore. He saw a few students already awake, dressed, and sitting at tables with books open in front of them, scribbling on their scrolls. Trying to finish before classes started for the day. He ignored their curious stares and left the room quickly, he stomped on the stairs on his way up to his room.

No one was awake when he entered the room. Slamming the door shut solved that annoying problem rather quickly. Irritated with everything, he paced back and forth ignoring the four complaints directed towards him. Harry and Ron had dark circles under their eyes with hints of fear in their eyes; Neville and Dean stared at him with all the confusion in the world. He stopped in front of his desk, his school books lined up neatly on the shelf, his homework neatly stacked in one pile, and his ink and quill all in their proper place. This was bullshit, the whole school system. Why did he think he had a chance?

Filled with rage, he grabbed the book on the end and tossed it towards the fireplace. Pages flapped as the book flew through the air, it landed a few feet short of the fireplace, so he grabbed another and then another, none quite making it into the fire, either hitting too high on the wall, or the side. Furious, he started tearing up his homework assignments, the pieces of his scrolls floated to the floor, but most ended up on the desk in a scattered mess. He picked up his ink bottle next and threw it towards the fireplace, this time he actually hit his target, the ink bottle a better missile than the books. The glass bottle shattered in the fireplace. Black ink splattered all over the stone hearth.

Running out of things to destroy, he spotted Starfire's cage. He rushed over, tore off the towel and gripping the wire mesh he lifted it over his head with both hands and heaved it towards the fireplace, food, toys, and treats rattled in the cage during its short flight. The crash it made against the stone wall, next to the hearth, was superbly loud, but not satisfying enough. He stomped over to the books that hadn't reached their intended destination. Fell to his knees next to the small pile and randomly picked one and started ripping out the pages, until hands grabbed him from behind and yanked him onto his feet, and another set of hands removed the book from his hands.

"Draco what are you doing! Are you crazy!" Ron yelled right into his ear.

Sobbing for air and the need for destruction, Draco punched back with his elbow. He heard a satisfying 'Umpff' but if anything Ron's hands tightened even more, he screamed clawing the arms holding him with his short nails; kicked to free himself from Ron's iron hold.

"Stop fighting! Stand still and don't move until I say you can!" Ron yelled arms tightening until they squeezed the air from Draco's lungs.

The order hit Draco like a sledgehammer, adrenaline pumping through his body made his heart race and yet his body just stopped moving. One of the most unnatural feelings in the world, stuck standing completely still, nothing on his body would move. Slowly, Ron released his grip on his chest and as if handling a dangerous lion backed away slowly.

Draco faced the fireplace; he watched helplessly as Harry and Neville picked his books up off the floor, righted his owl cage. Dean tried to piece together whatever was left of the scrolls. All he could hear in the room was Ron's loud panting and whispered curses.

Finally, Ron spoke, "Neville, Dean, Seamus can you please give Harry, Draco, and me some time alone?"

Neville nodded his head and then shook his head, "Sure Ron. But please don't take too long, I'd really like to use my room again."

Dean set aside the scrapes from his homework scrolls on his desk and gave him the 'you're crazy' look. "Yeah Ron, I'll give you guys some time to sort things out. But, this is nuts. I'm going to complain to Professor McGonagall. I'm sorry Draco, I'm sure things have been tough for you but I haven't slept well since you became our roommate. You need to get your shit together or something." Dean didn't say anything else while he grabbed his clothes for the day and left the room.

The burning in his legs increased every minute he was stuck in this position, black dots swam in his vision, standing straight up with his knees locked, must have cut off his blood circulation. If Ron didn't say something soon, he might actually pass out or die.

When the door closed on Neville's departing back, Ron said, "You can move now Draco."

Draco fainted.

Stinging slaps and sharp nudges to his ribs forced Draco back to consciousness. His body ached from his head down to his knees, his toes wiggled just fine. He felt like he'd run ten miles with werewolves chasing him. Ron's worried face leaned over him, he turned his head aside and saw Potter on his other side glaring at him, like he'd just found out he'd screwed his mom instead of passing out in front of him. Not the best way to wake up.

Nauseous, Draco lay completely still. Maybe he'd injured his head worse than he thought. Sunlight streamed through the windows and stabbed him in the eyes, the carpet under him wasn't thick enough to cushion against the hard stone floor. Groaning with effort, he pushed himself up to a sitting position. His clothes stuck to him, sweaty and uncomfortable.

Potter was the first to break the silence. "What the hell do you think you were doing? You almost destroyed your books, and all your homework! You worked hours on those assignments!"

"Shut up. Just shut up Potter. I don't have to explain myself to you. We aren't even friends." Draco's hatred of Potter gave him strength to push the other boy away, as he climbed to his feet. Dizzy, he stumbled forward until he reached his bed and sat down on it. The nausea returned but he took deep breaths until he had it under control again.

"Well I'd like to know what is going on." Ron said as he knelt on the floor, hands on his thighs, his red hair like fire in the morning sunlight, and his freckles dark against his pale face.

Draco didn't answer. He couldn't tell Ron about Professor Snape.

"Forget it Ron, he's never going to admit the truth to you. Malfoy, don't worry about giving your excuses for waking us all up. We already know about Professor Snape and your midnight excursions to his bedroom. Dumbledore wasn't too happy when he caught us following you through the halls. By the way, what potion did you take to make yourself go invisible? I'm sure Dumbledore would be interested in finding it?"

"Harry!" Ron yelled.

The dull roaring was back in Draco's ears, his head felt like it was going to burst he was so angry. How dare Potter spy on him! He launched himself off the bed and threw himself at Potter; the other teen barely had time to get off his knees before Draco's weight bore him to the ground. Draco beat Potter with his fists, ignoring the hands that punched at his sides, pulled at his hair, and scratched him. His knuckles hurt with every punch; he cut himself on Potter's teeth and didn't feel the pain.

Then Potter did something with his legs and Draco went flying over his head, he landed on his back; he didn't waste time adjusting to his prone position, he rolled out of the way, when Potter tried to jump at him to pin him. Potter grabbed hold of his arm and Draco's head rocked back when a lucky shot by Potter cuffed him on the jaw. Draco ignored the pain and rolled away, but the jaw punch left him disorientated and Potter quickly straddled his hips, still punching at his body and face. Draco covered his face with his arms to avoid the worst damage, while at the same time kicking his legs and trying to twist out from under Potter's weight.

"Draco! Harry! Stop it right now!!!" Ron screamed from behind Potter, his thin arms wrapped around Potter's chest and tried to pull Potter off him.

Draco cursed when his body went limp, no longer fighting. His kept his arms in front of his face, and tried to block the damage, until Ron, with a grunt, heaved Potter off.

"Ron, leave me alone! He started it and I'm going to finish it!" Potter yelled now fighting against Ron's restraining hold.

Draco watched helplessly, panting and aching as Ron fought Potter to the ground and punched his friend in the face. Ron's face was beet red from the effort, but scarier were his eyes. He'd never seen Ron this angry before.

"Calm down, Harry, before you make me hurt you more." Ron ordered sitting on Potter's chest.

Scratches and red marks marred Ron's slightly freckled arms and his chest heaved, but he managed to restrain Potter, until the Boy-Who-Lived stopped struggling.

The door to their room opened and Hermione, Dean, and Neville entered. "Harry! Ron! What are you doing? Fighting is against the rules!" Hermione shouted appalled.

"Tell that to Harry and Draco. They were the ones who started. I'm just trying to stop them." Ron yelled. He tore his eyes away from Harry's to look at Hermione.

"Come on, you need to stop this, we could hear the cursing all the way down in the common room." Dean said, "Besides I thought I asked you to resolve Malfoy's problems, not start new ones."

Neville just shook his head and left the room. Dean grabbed a book off his desk and left shortly thereafter.

Draco followed all the movements with his eyes; he lowered his arms from his face. Aching all over, scratches on his arms welled with blood, and his jaw ached fiercely.

"Well?" Hermione planted her fists on her hips. "Would any of you care to explain what the hell is going on?"

"Hermione, it's something we have to work out ourselves." Ron said. "Draco you can move if you want." He added almost as an after thought.

"I don't see much 'working out' I just see boys fighting." She frowned, crossed the room, and sat on the end of Draco's bed. "Why won't you tell me what is going on?" she settled her school robes more comfortably under her. She sounded hurt by their exclusion.

Blushing as bright as the hair on his head, Ron stood he did not bother to give Potter a hand up. Potter rolled to his stomach and staggered to his feet, his shorts slid low on his hips. Standing Harry looked worse than he did lying down. Draco almost smiled with satisfaction, sure, he couldn't beat Potter with spells, but his fists seemed to work just fine.

"Hermione, trust me, you don't want to know what is going on. The images alone will give you nightmares." Potter shuddered dramatically and glared at Draco; his eyes shone with contempt.

Disgusted, with the situation and still pissed off, Draco climbed to his feet carefully. His head ached more than before, but nothing he couldn't live with. He went to his wardrobe and pulled out his clean clothes.

"Harry, what is wrong with you?" Ron wearily sank onto his bed.

"What's wrong with me? Why don't you ask Malfoy what's wrong with him, he's the one fucking Snape."

Draco flinched but continued to dress; he did not intend to stay half-naked in front of Hermione Granger. Especially when her face turned pink from embarrassment, her curious eyes stared at him. As if he'd tell her anything more than what she just heard.

Ron stood, grabbed Potter's arm, and forced him around, until they faced each other. "This isn't about Draco, it's about you. I want to know what the fuck is wrong." Ron's knuckles whitened from his tight grip on Potter's arm.

The two friends stood close enough to kiss each other. Potter opened and closed his mouth a few times, unable to respond to Ron's question. Disgusted, Ron let go and crossed his arms over his thin naked chest, as if he finally noticed the cold. Potter with clothes clutched in his arms, stared at the ground, cheeks reddened. Hermione didn't move as she watched from her perch on his bed, her eyes danced between the three of them.

Potter sat on the trunk at the foot of Ron's bed. His shoulders slumped and one hand tore at his hair, messing it up more than sleep or the fight had done. "Everything in me is screaming, 'don't trust him' 'don't trust him' I've had to bite my tongue ALL year while everyone fawned over him! And you ask what is wrong with me. Did you forget all the shit he pulled on us? Buckbeak, Hagrid almost losing his job, spying on us for Rita Skeeter, those horrid stories in the Daily Post! And then to top it off, his father tried to kill me! And now everyone trusts him!" Potter jumped to his feet and went to the window, before speaking again, "What did he do to make you all want to be his friend?"

Not waiting for an answer, Potter spun around and fixed his angry green eyes on Draco. "Dumbledore made us promise not to hurt you, Draco. I've kept my end of the bargain, but you brought all this on yourself. Last night, Ron and I snuck out after you, but Dumbledore caught us. I can assure you, I did not waste time trying to lie for you. I'm glad Snape is gone."

Potter punching him in the gut did not hurt nearly as much as Potter's malice. Near tears, Draco managed to say, "Well congratulations, you've succeeded. Now go fuck yourself." Blinded by the tears filling his vision he turned away from them all, stumbled to his desk, sat down put his head in his arms, and cried.

*****

Furious at Harry's words, Ron clenched his hands into fists, "Harry, you better leave right now or I'm going to do something I'll regret."

Draco's deep choking sobs filled the room. Hermione stared at Draco's back, near tears herself. "I agree with Ron, you better leave Harry. I can't talk to you right now."

Harry's cheeks reddened with anger, "Fine, stay with him, trust him. I don't care; when he betrays you I'll try not to say 'I told you so.'" Harry grabbed his school robes and under-clothing out of his wardrobe, and left the room, slamming the door as hard as possible behind him.

Hermione went to Draco's side, knelt beside his chair and pulled him into a hug. Draco practically fell into Hermione's arms. Ron wished he had the courage to comfort his friend, but right now, he did not think Draco would appreciate his company. It was partially his fault that Dumbledore found out about Draco's; he hesitated to call it a relationship, with Snape.

Hermione made some soothing noises and gently coaxed Draco to his feet and led him to the bed. She pushed him down on it, until he lay down; she lay next to him on the bed and stroked his hair, giving him as much comfort as possible. Ron dressed quietly, confused over the events from last night and this morning. His muscles ached and he knew he had bruises from breaking up Draco and Harry's fight.

He glanced towards the bed, Hermione had one elbow propped on a pillow, she ran her fingers through his silky blond hair, soothing him. Draco hid his face behind another pillow while his shoulders shook with the force of his emotions. Gradually, Draco's crying slowed to sniffles and stopped, he hiccupped a few times, and his arms shifted the pillow until his arms hugged it to his body. Hermione molded her front to Draco's back, tears fell silently down her cheeks, but her hands continued to stroke his hair, his shoulders, down his arms, until Draco fell still.

"I don't know what to do," Draco's muffled voice came from the pillow, "Dumbledore can't protect me here, and Severus is gone."

Hermione pulled Draco's shoulder until he flopped over on his back. "I'll try to think of something. Don't hurt yourself; it's not your fault, none of this."

Ron moved like a sleepwalker to Draco's side of the bed. He knelt on the thin dark blue carpet that barely cushioned against the cold stone floor. Ron gently grabbed Draco's hand nearest him. His fingers caressed the top of his silky smooth skin, and brought the back of Draco's hand to his mouth, unable to say why he needed to touch Draco with his lips.

His lips burned where they met Draco's flesh, lips tingling he pulled back, though his hand refused to release its grip on Draco's hand. He looked up and met two pair of eyes. Both looked at him solemnly, Hermione appeared confused, while realization slowly dawned on Draco.

Draco's red splotched nose and bloodshot eyes looked away first. "It's the mark on my arm Ron." He gently extracted his hand from Ron's grip. "Don't blame yourself; until you complete what you started you'll be drawn to me."

Unable to honestly deny Draco's statement, he sat back on his heels and tried to control the urge to hold Draco's hand again. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry about all of this. Hermione is right we'll try to think of something. Maybe you can hide out in the Forbidden Forest over Christmas break or something..." Ron trailed off when Draco's vulnerable expression turned cold.

"I can't hide from this, Ron; they'll kill my mother if I don't come home. They sent Starfire's body to me as a warning." He sat up slowly. Hermione followed the flow of his body, she kept her hands on his shoulders and slowly stroked down his arms, it must have worked because Draco practically melted and his cold gaze softened into melancholy.

"I appreciate that you care, both of you. It's more than I ever could have expected."

The bells tolled before Draco could say more. Hermione's hands tightened on Draco's arms as she realized she was late for class. "I have to go," she said torn between wanting to stay and not missing class.

Draco patted her hand, "Go on, there is no reason for you to miss class because of me."

She hugged him one last time before she scooted off the bed and ran out the room, which left Ron and Draco alone together. "Don't you want to go to class too?" Draco brow furrowed with puzzlement.

"Going to class would be easy," Ron paused, "but I'd rather stay here with you." He closed his eyes and waited for Draco to laugh at him.

When the laugh didn't burst out of Draco, he opened his eyes. Draco had his knees pressed against his chest, his arms wrapped around his knees. "Your grades aren't good enough to miss class." Draco pointed out the obvious.

"I'm not wearing any shoes." Ron scrambled to his feet, and climbed onto the bed, he crawled to the side Hermione vacated. "Besides, I figure you need a friend more than I need to forget more stuff than I learn."

Draco snorted, "Truer words were never spoken."

Ron dug his bare feet into Draco's bedspread, "We are friends right?" Ron's stomach turned into a bundle of nerves.

Draco turned his head and looked at him. Ron tried not to stare at the ring of damaged skin around Draco's wrists. "It depends." Draco paused, "What happened last night? I have Potter's version, I want yours."

The bundle of nerves in his stomach coiled tighter, "I didn't mean for you or Professor Snape to get caught." Ron blurted, "I didn't believe Harry for a second, I didn't believe him, I didn't see any harm in going along with him last night. But Dumbledore caught us and Harry told him everything he suspected, I knew he was right by Dumbledore's expression. He may not believe you'd initiate such a thing, but he knew Snape would. I don't know how else to explain it." Ron shrugged his shoulders and hunched inwardly, also hugging his knees to his chest, as if to keep the nerves in his stomach from bursting out. "Dumbledore, ordered us back to our room. I swear I didn't say anything. You believe me don't you?"

Draco did not answer for a while, "Yeah, I believe you." Exhaustion edged every word.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

"About it?" Draco countered incredulous.

"Yeah, you know about Snape?"

"Why? So you could feel disgusted with him and me?"

"No! Why do you always get so defensive? I'm just trying to listen like Hermione says friends listen to each other! Besides, I bet it festered in your gut that you could not tell anyone for weeks on end, that you were in love. Personally, I thought you were still pinning over Cassandra."

"What a lovely image." Draco said dryly. "Festering, yeah that's not a bad way to describe it. But trust me you don't want to know."

"Why are you ashamed?"

Draco blushed and buried his head in his arms.

"If you really loved him you would not feel ashamed." Ron glared at Draco's bent head. "I'm here, why won't you talk to me?" Plaintive, Ron plucked at the comforter by his hand.

"What makes you think I'm such an expert on love? It just happened; he listened to me when no one else would. I felt like he really understood me. He was there for me, Ron. I loved him, and I would have given him my body every night of the week to not lose him." Draco's cheeks flushed, and his grey eyes glittered angrily. "Now are there any more personal questions you have to ask?"

Ron's blushed and looked away, "Well now that you mention it...was he any good in bed?"

Ron barely had time to dodge the pillow thrown in his face, he yelled and flopped backwards. He brought his hands up in time to deflect the next pillow attack; he grabbed an edge of it and tried to yank it out of Draco's hands. His first attempt did not succeed and the pillow smashed into his face, "hey!" his hands reached out and grabbed another pillow and swung with it, both pillows clashed in midair. Draco stood on the bed to get more of a swing and Ron thrust his legs between Draco's and tripped him. Draco half landed on Ron and half on air. Ron grabbed the back of Draco's pants and hauled him back onto the bed. Draco flipped over on his back across the foot of the bed breathing heavily, suddenly exhausted. Ron rested his head on Draco's chest, "For someone with no brothers, you swing rather well with a pillow."

"Ron, it might be better if you didn't talk." Draco gasped.

"Or what, you'll smash my other nose with a pillow?"

"No, but I'll think of something unpleasant."

"Do you feel any better?" Ron ran his hand down along one of Draco's arm, just above the skin. The fine blond hair stood up with goosebumps.

"I think so." Draco's free hand ran through Ron's hair. Ron's scalp tingled pleasantly. "And yes, Snape was really good in bed."

Ron laughed; he hugged himself to Draco's body, he didn't stop laughing until Draco pushed him off rolled on top of him and kissed him. Their teeth clashed, but after that first false start and a minor shift in position, it improved. Ron groaned and deepened the kiss until he tasted Draco's toothpaste. In desperate need for air they parted, both dazed by the force of their kiss. Draco laid his head on Ron's chest, both of them breathed deeply.

"I think I love you Draco." Ron stared at the ceiling, one of his hands rubbed at Draco's back. "I didn't want to believe Harry because if I did it meant that I'd already lost you to someone else. Yeah, Snape is rather old, but he's ten times smarter than me, is powerful at magic, and comes from a wealthy family."

Draco spoke so quietly, Ron had to strain to hear, "Don't love me Ron. I'm not good for anyone. Find some witch, marry her and have lots of kids together. I'm ruined and I don't want to drag you down with me."

"Is it okay if I hold you for now?"

"Yeah," Draco whispered.

"For what it's worth, I don't think you are ruined."

Ron didn't know when he fell asleep, only that the weight on his chest reassured him and made the constant longing in his soul dissipate.

*****

The door banged open, and jerked Draco out of a deep and dreamless sleep, his cheek felt wrinkled from being pressed against Ron's school uniform. Ron shifted under his head as he too woke from the loud noise.

"Ron, Draco wake up its time for dinner." Seamus spoke loudly at the foot of Draco's bed.

"Did they sleep all day?"

Neville asked Dean.

"Um yeah, well at least they aren't screaming and yelling at each other anymore. If my mom knew what kind of soap opera I had to live with she'd want me to videotape it or something."

Draco did not know what a videotape was but he did not like the sound of it. He sat up slowly and smoothed down the strands of hair that he felt sticking up. Ron rubbed his eyes and sat up too, "What time is it?"

"It's five o'clock. You two missed all your classes, but we can share our notes with you, though honestly you may just want to ask Hermione for hers." Seamus took off his robe and hung it in his wardrobe.

Draco stood on unsteady legs and went to his wardrobe, in the mirror he saw how wrinkled all his clothes were and decided to change. He did not feel up to a de-wrinkle charm. He looked over at Ron and tried not to blush or show any reaction with his other roommates in the room. Ron looked like he'd been shagged with all his clothes on.

Draco focused on anything but thinking about the events from this morning or last night. He hoped Potter stayed out of his way, or he'd find some way to make Potter regret ever crossing his path.