Chapter 08

Draco snuggled in closer to the warm pillow beside him. He didn’t think he’d ever slept as well as he had that night. His father’s death wasn’t as painful as it had been the night before, though it still hurt. His pillow smelled of vanilla and Draco wondered vaguely where he might have picked that scent up. Even though the school thought that he had slept his way through everyone, male and female, he hadn’t. In fact, Draco Malfoy was a virgin. He had some sex-related experience, but had never actually done the deed.

The blond reached up to rub the sleep out of his eyes, yawning, when he suddenly found his way obstructed by an arm. A tan arm. That looked rather…well…rather edible, really. Draco bent his head down and licked the tan arm, grinning when he heard the person he was in bed with groan with appreciation. Sitting up abruptly, Draco greeted his companion, having remembered where he was and why. “Good morning, Harry.”

Harry growled playfully as he realized Draco was in a good mood. They seemed to be rare, and Harry knew he would treasure every one he got a glimpse of. The Gryffindor had been up for hours-insomnia tended to do that to a person. He was thankful he had managed to sleep as long as he did as peacefully as he had. Apparently, the closer his mate physically was to him, the less the nightmares seemed to come. “Now that’s not a very polite way to act, Draco. Lick me awake and then stop when you know I was enjoying myself.”

Draco grinned. “Well, you’ve always said I’m a tease.”

“You are.”

The Slytherin sank down in the bed beside Harry, tracing circles on the raven-haired teen’s lower abdomen. Harry groaned and bit his lip in pleasure. When he thought he was going to coome from the sensation alone, Draco withdrew. Frustrated, Harry growled at the blonde, who smirked. “You are the one that said I was a tease.”

Harry closed his eyes in exasperation. “Apparently you took them to heart,” he said dryly.

The Slytherin burst out laughing. “Of course. Now would you like to take care of that or should I?” He smirked again.

Draco had lost all sense of restriction when it came to Harry’s body. The teen was delectable. The tan skin, the piercing green eyes, and the unruly hair gave the Gryffindor an unusual charm. Laughter and sadness were both etched into the corners of his eyes, both good memories and bad stored there. Draco wished desperately that he could lick the memories away-all the deep wounds and scars. He wished that he could clean his mate of all his pain. But at the same time, Draco did not want to lose all that was pure Harry.

It had only been a few days since the Slytherin had found out about being Harry’s mate, but Draco’s attitude towards the Gryffindor had changed dramatically. The blonde had always wanted to befriend the teen, but had always been too aloof to allow his shields down enough to let anyone see behind them. Draco hadn’t wanted anyone to see that, beyond his cold exterior, he was really quite sensitive and rather caring. It wasn’t a side that the Wizarding World at large would appreciate-they would use it to their advantage, as all people, Wizard and Muggle, are apt to do.

Harry noticed how Draco got quiet after he asked, apparently lost in thought. All concern for his release gone, he sat up and looked Draco straight in the eyes. “Penny for your thoughts?” he asked softly.

Draco smiled shyly at Harry, who hide his surprise at the gesture fairly well. “Just thinking of how shielded I am in the outside world, and how different I am inside those walls.” Draco gaped at himself in horror. He hadn’t meant to say that! Especially to Harry. He really didn’t need the one person that might be able to understand to run away because of his emotional baggage. Silent tears crept down his face and he looked at Harry, who sighed softly.

Harry grinned at Draco when he sensed the Slytherin’s self-shock. “Draco, it’s alright,” Harry said softly, when he realized the blonde was crying because he was afraid that Harry would desert him. “I’m not going anywhere. I chose you as my mate, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

“Promise?” Draco sniffled, looking up into Harry’s eyes with such a strong sense of hope that it about brought Harry to tears as well.

“Promise. I have shields too, Draco. Even Ron and Hermione haven’t seen fully who I am. I would like to, if you will let me, show you the truth.”

It was such a simple thing, offered so freely, but it caused tears to start anew in Draco’s eyes. The offer was such a beautiful one-Harry was gifting him with the one thing he had never shown anyone else-himself-and Draco couldn’t bring himself to refuse.

Smiling at Harry, a genuine smile instead of a half-smirk, Draco nodded. “I’d like that, Harry.”

Harry grinned back, and broke the tension by tickling Draco. “Now that that’s all sorted out, my love, let’s go down to breakfast.”

Draco choked on what he had been going to say in response. He knew Harry loved him, but hadn’t quite expected verbal evidence so soon. The blonde looked up at Harry carefully, who smiled down at him. Draco grinned. Breakfast didn’t sound like such a bad idea with Harry there.

Chapter 7     Chapter Index     Chapter 9

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