Chapter 04

Draco paced back and forth across the floor in Dumbledore’s office, waiting for the man to arrive. He tells me to meet him at precisely 9:00 in the morning, and he hasn’t even shown up himself yet! Draco seethed. He absolutely hated being kept waiting.

The door creaked open and he breathed a sigh of relief, only to tense up again when he saw Potter following Dumbledore. Now what? he demanded of his thoroughly exhausted brain. Every time I try to turn around, there’s Potter, ratting me out again. Of course, Malfoy knew it wasn’t Potter who told the teachers-it was Weasley. But Draco held a more personal grudge against Potter.

The raven-haired wizard had refused, point-blank, his offer of friendship six years ago. Malfoy knew it was stupid to hold a grudge for so long, but he couldn’t seem to help it. All of his life, his father had told him how nasty a person Harry was for defeating the Dark Lord. And so for that very reason Malfoy had wanted Harry for a friend. To enrage his father. If Draco looked deep enough within himself, he probably still wanted Harry as a friend. And the reason the rejection had hurt so much was because Harry was a genuinely nice person. Not a nasty villain as Draco’s father had assumed, and still assumed.

“Malfoy, if I may have your attention?” Dumbledore questioned softly, eyes twinkling.

Draco returned to the present and nodded, determined not to speak unless absolutely necessary.

“Now, Draco, I’m sure you know about the rituals of Veelas, yes?” Dumbledore asked.

Malfoy nodded.

“And you also know that when they come into their Inheritance, they choose a mate?”

Again, the nod.

“I have a personal question I need you to answer for me, Draco. What is your sexual orientation?”

That’s an easy one, Draco mused, wondering why the Headmaster of all people was asking him such a question. “I prefer boys, sir.”

“Well, that makes this a bit easier. Draco, Harry Potter is part Veela and apparently you are his mate.”

Draco stared at Dumbledore for a moment, looked at Harry, then continued staring at Dumbledore. “Explain.” Dumbfounded was not in his vocabulary, and he wasn’t even remotely surprised. Weirder things than this happened to Harry Potter everyday, and Draco was always caught up in them, though he tried desperately to avoid them.

The Headmaster cleared his thoat to speak, but Harry interrupted. “Perhaps I should explain it to him, Professor.”

“Very well, Harry.”

Draco looked up into Harry’s eyes, calmly awaiting the explanation.

Harry was captivated by Draco’s eyes; the stormy gray clouds seemed to be impenetrable. Draco’s shields, he realized.

“Well, come on, Potter. Stop staring at me for a moment and explain the situation to me,” Draco snapped, startling Harry.

“Er. Right. I found out this summer that I have three other types of blood in my veins; Hecatemus, Veela, and All-Elemental Mage. The Veela in me picked you as my mate.”

Draco blinked. “Thrilling.”

Harry sighed. “I knew this wouldn’t go well,” he looked meaningfully at Dumbledore, who took the hint and left the room.

“You expected it to?” Draco exploded. “We’ve only been enemies for six years, Potter! What? You think you can wake up one day and select me as your mate and everything will be just peachy between us? If you think that, you really are naive!”

Potter sighed heavily and sat in the chair opposite Draco. “No, I didn’t expect any such thing, Malfoy. Truthfully, this reaction is the only reaction I expected. Believe me, it wasn’t the most wondrous thing in the world for me to realize you were meant to be my mate!”

Now Draco was offended. Harry could see it in his eyes and in his aura. The blond made a move to stand up, but Harry caught his hand. “I didn’t mean it like that, Draco.”

Feeling a bit less insulted, Malfoy cautiously sat back down. “Then what did you mean by it, Potter?”

Again, the sigh. “I never expected to choose an enemy as my mate-it just happened that way. There’s nothing wrong with you physically, Malfoy. The only problem I’ve ever had with you is your attitude. Honest.”

Draco glared at him. “I’m a Slytherin, Potter. I’m supposed to have an attitude.”

“Yeah, but is that attitude the real you or just the person you show the world?”

Draco made a strangled sound. “You don’t have the right to ask me such a personal question, Potter,” he snapped. Again, he stood to leave.

“Wait, Malfoy,” Potter requested.

“Yes, Potter?” Draco replied, thinking, Just let me leave already, before I have a breakdown. I’ve dealt with too much stress today to handle you of all people seeing through my shields. Just don’t apologize, because I don’t think I can take that. No one has ever apologized to me, so don’t start now. Please. Gods, make it so, please.

“I’m sorry.”

Draco struggled hard to blink back his tears and nearly managed it until Harry wrapped his arms around him. “I’m sorry, Draco. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Malfoy would’ve laughed if he wasn’t so busy crying. It was the first time Potter had ever apologized to him-first time anyone’s ever apologized to me and held me too-and that fact released a lot of the built-up hate he had for Potter. Draco still wasn’t willing to trust the dark-haired wizard yet, but the was ready to give friendship with him a try.

“Let me go, Potter, you’re suffocating me,” Draco choked out after he finished crying.

Harry immediately released him.

“Thank you,” Draco said.

Harry grinned. He understood what Draco was saying.

“You didn’t have that already planned out, did you Potter?” Malfoy asked, suddenly suspicious. I swear to god I’ll kill him if he uses that as blackmail on me. I’ll be ruined!

Harry looked horrified. “Absolutely not! I swear.”

Draco grinned.

“And you can call me Harry, you know,” he said softly.

A soft smile appeared on Draco’s face. “Thank you…Harry.” Damn. Why is he making it so hard for me not to like him?

A sort of friendship formed at that moment.

“Hey Draco, before you go will you do me a favor?”

Draco was immediately on edge. “It depends.” This better not be one of those, do this for me and I’ll keep quiet about what just transpired, deals. That’ll make me hate him more. Actually, I hope it is one of those. At least then I can go on hating him in peace and my life will make sense again. He found himself both hoping for and dreading that outcome.

Harry nodded in an understanding and in a way that said ‘I’ll agree with whatever you agree to.’ “Would you try to avoid touching people? At least for a few days. I don’t know how strong the jealousy factor is…”

Draco’s face furrowed in concentration for a few minutes, then became clear again. That’s all. Surely there’s a catch. Hm, let me just lower my shields a little…goddamn! The bugger’s not lying! Hell, why not agree. It’s not like anyone in my dorm actually touches me anyway. They’re all too afraid I’ll tell my father. ”I’ll try my best. I will promise not to date anyone-I know how possessive Veela are. But you have to promise me that you won’t do anything stupid if you smell someone on me. That you’ll ask me about it before you end up hurting someone because of it.”

“Deal.”

“Oh, and you can’t tell anyone.”

“Um, Draco?”

“Yes, Harry?”

“Everybody’s going to know. Remember Dumbledore’s announcement,” Harry said slowly.

Draco’s face fell. “The Slytherins are going to kill me!”

“Not if I can help it,” Harry returned, feeling guilty for ruining his mate’s good mood, but determined to keep the more lethal Slytherins far away from Draco Malfoy.

Chapter 3     Chapter Index     Chapter 5

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