The Price of Freedom
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM
Draco circled on his broom high over the Quidditch pitch, supervising his team practising. He had given them instructions and now he watched them with a critical eye, ready to lash out with his sharp tongue if some poor player failed to do as instructed. Draco knew that he was hard on his team, but if they were going to win the Quidditch Cup this year, he had a lot of drilling to do.
From the corner of his eye Draco noticed movement on the stands and flew closer to have a better look. Potter! Of course. The prat was spying on them. Again. Annoyed, Draco flew closer and scowled at his rival.
"Spying again, Potter? How pathetic is that," Draco sneered.
"Just as pathetic as your own spying every time when Gryffindors are practising. The pot calling the kettle, Malfoy," Potter grinned, obviously having no qualms at trying to spy on Slytherin strategies for the upcoming Gryffindor match.
"What kettle?" Draco frowned and then, seeing Potter burst into cheerful laughter, angrily turned his broom and raced back into the sky, fuming.
Bloody Saint Potter and his self-righteous attitude! He would take that smug prat down and make him grovel in front of Draco sooner or later.
"Whittley, get back to the formation! Even an imbecile troll could follow instructions better than you!" Draco barked at his Beater, making the poor bloke shrink on his broom and blush fiercely.
Sulking, Draco returned back to his position, observing his team and plotting how to make Potter pay for his insolence. If only he was allowed to play Quidditch in the upcoming match, he would definitely take Potter down by reaching the Snitch first, but just like everyone else in the 8th year, he wasn't allowed to play. A small comfort was that Potter didn't get any special treatment either, and he also had to stay out of the match as a player. However, they both were chosen as coaches of their own House's Quidditch teams, and therefore their battle wasn't going to be a direct confrontation between the two of them. Draco had to play it right and plan it well; Potter wouldn't know what hit him before it was too late.
The Gryffindor vs Slytherin match was coming in three days and Draco was getting desperate and utterly frustrated. He hadn't managed to find any better ideas beyond the usual bullying to break Potter before the match and it irritated him more than anything. If anything, Potter seemed to be a constant bane in Draco's existence these days.
He was sure that Potter was following him; everywhere he looked, Potter was always there, sending long glances at him, grinning like a loon every time their eyes met, and if Draco confronted him with his sharp tongue, he just shrugged or answered him cheerfully, which annoyed Draco to no end.
Had it been any other student at Hogwarts, Draco would have known exactly how to deal with them, but Potter couldn't be manipulated as easily as everyone else. Oh yes, Draco was the master of manipulation and he wasn't shy for using it for his own advantage. After all, he was a Veela and an alpha no less, and he had learned from the best. His father was also an alpha Veela, and he had taken every advantage he could get by charming or commanding his way to exactly where he wanted. Too bad that his father had made a bad choice at who he wanted to follow; now his talents were wasting in Azkaban. Even his latest escape attempt from the prison had failed miserably.
Draco had made his own decisions about his future. He had no intention of following anyone, or letting anyone lead where he should go. He would be his own master and follow his own path to a successful, easy life. He still had his name and his Manor, where his mother was still living. Malfoy fortunes may have all but vanished after the war, but Draco was confident that he would be able to re-establish their wealth in no time.
After the war Draco's future had been bright. Well, at least brighter than it had been when the Dark Lord had been ruling his life. Potter had testified for both Draco and Narcissa, and made sure they had avoided Azkaban. They even had a chance to keep their beloved Manor and necessary funds for it's reparations.
Draco had used his talents and either commanded or allured everyone to get his way if necessary. Everyone but Potter, it seemed. Somehow Potter was resistant to his allure, and the prat hadn't ever taken direct commands very well. That's why Draco was more than a bit confused as how to proceed to finally break Potter. One way or another he was going to do it, eventually.
Draco wandered down to the Black Lake deep in thought. He was wondering what Potter was playing at acting so weird toward him. When he reached the lake shore, he heard voices behind the large tree right at the bank of the lake. One of the voices he recognised, it was Potter. The other voice he didn't know who it belonged to. It sounded kind of familiar, but not enough for him to know who it belonged to.
Draco sneaked forward to get close enough to hear what they were talking about.
"...but I don't know how!" Potter exclaimed. He sounded frustrated.
"I will help you, young Potter. You must not let him know about the connection before it is time."
"How do I know when it's the right time?" Potter almost growled, and the sound of his voice made Draco's stomach flutter. Draco frowned at the odd sensation, but continued to listen.
"You will know, young one. Trust your instincts. When I get close enough, I will see how strong your connection is and then you can act upon it. Until then, you have to be patient. First we need to eliminate the threat. Don't let anyone know about it yet, it can be dangerous for both of you."
"I won't, I prom…"
"Shh, someone is closeby. We have to leave now."
Draco pressed against the tree trunk as flat as he could manage so they wouldn't see him, but Potter and his companion left the other way. Only the nearby shrub swung once and they were gone. Draco sighed in relief; they hadn't found out that he was eavesdropping. What was Potter planning at? They said it could be dangerous, and something about a threat and a connection and no one was to know about it? What dangerous secrets Potter was holding?
Draco's day brightened considerably after that; he just had to spy on Potter more frequently and he'd find out Potter's secrets, threaten to reveal them to everyone and make Potter grovel.
The next two days both Draco and Potter seemed to spy on each other. That led them into a stalemate situation where neither one of them learned anything new from each other and all they ended up doing was dancing around each other like the worst kind of fools. Draco was already on edge because of the Quidditch match the next day and he knew they were not ready to confront the Gryffindors yet. He hadn't slept well since the overheard conversation at the lake, and the situation with Potter made it all so much worse that he felt that he'd explode soon and that wouldn't be a beautiful sight.
The last straw for Draco was the last Quidditch practise before the match. On some level he knew that his own stress and nervousness had affected his team, but even that couldn't explain the horrible, insufferable chaos the team caused in the Quidditch pitch. Actually it was only three of the team members that caused the whole situation, but Draco called the whole team down and let them hear it.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing? You all look like incompetent idiots up there, and tomorrow you are to meet Gryffindors in a match you are supposed to win! Rat's arse! Playing like that you only make yourself and me look ridiculous. What the hell is wrong with you? If you don't pull yourself together, I'm going to hex every one of you into next week! Actually, I think I'll start right now with the worst of you. Whittley! Sanderson! Amos!"
Draco's rage intensified as the three culprits were left in front of him, other players stepping back in fear. Without warning Draco cast hex after hex on the poor blokes, who screamed and squirmed under his attack. He heard the other players yelling at him to stop, but he didn't listen. From a distance he heard Headmistress McGonagall's voice, but it wasn't until a firm voice with a deep commanding timbre in it ordered, "Malfoy, stop!"
Draco froze in the middle of casting a hex, his arm raised and wand still firmly in his hand, but he couldn't finish his casting anymore. Instead he felt a warm feeling in his belly and his knees felt weak. That wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't felt himself totally under someone else's control and that made him even more furious and alarmed. It was as if his body refused to obey him anymore and instead had to submit to the command coming from… Potter.
"Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy, what is the meaning of this?" McGonagall barked a bit breathless as she finally reached them.
"I'm sorry, Headmistress. It was just a misunderstanding. Please, let me handle this," Potter said soothingly, but McGonagall wasn't having any of that.
"No, Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy has been misusing his position as a team leader, and threatened and hurt his team members. I will not tolerate that kind of behaviour. Mr Malfoy, my office, now!"
"Headmistress, let me explain, in private. I also need Firenze here, so he can confirm what I have to say," Potter hurried to answer.
"Firenze? What does he have to do with any of this?" McGonagall asked in clipped tone.
"Please, Headmistress, this is very important. Send for him and we can explain everything," Potter pleaded.
McGonagall sighed. "Very well, Mr Potter. I'll send for Firenze, but you both will come with me this instant."
McGonagall sent her Patronus for Firenze and led the way toward the Castle. Draco and Potter followed her grudgingly, scowling at each other. Thankfully Draco could control himself again and whatever had caused him to submit to Potter was gone now.
When they arrived in the Headmistress' office, she gestured for them to sit down. She took her seat behind her desk, and faced them with a severe expression on her face. Her lips were pursed and she glared at them with a disapproving frown.
"Now, gentlemen, I'm listening."
"But Headmistress, I'd rather wait for Firenze first," Potter argued.
"I reckon that, Mr Potter. However, I doubt that Mr Malfoy will need Firenze's presence for his explanation as to why he was hexing his team mates. That's inexcusable, and I will not tolerate such behavior here. Now, if you'd explain, Mr Malfoy," McGonagall said sternly, fixing her hard glare at Draco.
Draco gulped, but then straightened in his seat and met McGonagall's eyes calmly.
"I'm very sorry for hexing my team mates and setting a bad example for everyone in the school. There's no good excuse for what I did, only just that I have been feeling very stressed about the next match against Gryffindor, and my team has not been progressing as expected. Potter's constant presence hasn't been helping either."
"Even in the most stressful times you don't lash out on your fellow students, Mr Malfoy, and as a senior student, you of all people should know better than that. As for Mr Potter's presence, I must say that today it definitely helped the poor students you were hurting. It seems to me that Mr Potter has much better influence over you than you give him credit for," McGonagall said lifting her eyebrows.
"I don't understand what happened today. The only influence Potter has on me is to irritate me, and usually he's provoking me into situations like today," Draco argued.
"Malfoy, I didn't provoke you in any way, I haven't been doing that in months, actually. Just wait until Firenze gets here and we can explain it to you and Headmistress, I promise," Potter said, but Draco shook his head.
"There's nothing to explain, Potter. Just stay out of my way!"
Just then there was a knock on the door and at McGonagall's call, Firenze entered the office. He cordially greeted McGonagall and nodded to Potter and Draco.
"You sent for me, Headmistress," Firenze said as soon as he'd settled.
"Yes, Firenze. There was an incident today where both Mr Malfoy and Mr Potter were included. Mr Potter wanted you here before he agreed to explain anything," McGonagall said.
Firenze nodded. "Why don't you tell me what happened, Harry?"
Potter seemed to consider what or how to tell his part of the situation, and after a short awkward silence he finally opened his mouth.
"Long story short, Malfoy lost his temper today so badly that I had to intervene and stop him from hurting his team mates. I had to use the voice."
Firenze groaned, McGonagall stared at them surprised and Draco squeaked in a very un-Malfoyish way, "The voice? What voice?"
"Mr Malfoy, you must have noticed that Harry's voice commanded you to obey. It's the alpha's commanding voice, meant for keeping their omegas safe in dangerous situations," Firenze explained.
"I know perfectly well how an alpha's voice works, thank you very much. What I don't understand is why Potter was using that voice on me! And what's more, why did it have such an effect on me? I'm also an alpha, for Merlin's sake!" Draco was outraged.
"Mr Malfoy, calm down," McGonagall soothed. "There must be a reasonable explanation for this. Have you been tested?"
"Yes, I have. I was tested as soon as I reached puberty. My father told me I was an alpha Veela, just like him," Draco stated defiantly.
"You certainly present all the visible alpha traits, Mr Malfoy," McGonagall agreed. "Please Firenze, tell me, how do you fit into this story?"
"Of course, Headmistress. Young Mr Potter approached me when the school year began. His alpha instincts had awoken during the summer and he asked if I'd agree to tutor him. He wanted to gain the best possible control over his instincts, which in my opinion are rather powerful. I agreed to tutor him and we have been making remarkable progress since then. About a month ago Harry told me that he was sensing a strong emotional aura calling for him from Mr Malfoy. He was rather confused about it and what it meant. I began to examine that connection between Harry and Mr Malfoy."
"What? You examined me without my permission? How dare you!" Draco's indignant outburst seemed to startle everyone in the room.
"I assure you, Mr Malfoy, that I didn't examine your person, but only the connection that seemed to have been forming between Harry and you," Firenze reassured, but Draco wasn't convinced.
"I will not allow anyone spying on me or anything I do, so you better stop it immediately or you'll regret it."
"Let's calm down, gentlemen, and return to the issue. I assure you, Mr Malfoy, that no one will examine you without your permission from now on," McGonagall said, sending a withering glance toward Firenze. "Now, however, I'd like to know what Firenze found out that might have something to do with our current situation. Please continue, Firenze."
The centaur nodded. "I found out that young Harry and Mr Malfoy have already formed a connection, some kind of tentative soul bond. I believe it has existed on some level for years."
"What?" Draco didn't believe he had heard correctly. "You must be joking. Potter and I hate each other!"
"Hate is a strong emotion, Mr Malfoy," Firenze said. "It can also be mistaken for other emotions. You don't have to like it, but the connection is there, I've seen it myself. Now that Harry's instincts have awoken and are so strong, your connection has become even more obvious. It's why you both feel a constant pull toward each other. Harry's strong instincts combined with the alpha pheromones he's exuding when he's near his omega are also awakening your own true instincts, Mr Malfoy, and it has led you to this current situation. That's why Harry's command in a serious situation forced you to obey him."
"I suppose you have a hearing problem because I already told you that I am an alpha, so your pathetic little theory can't be true. Now if you'd excuse me, I think I have much more important things to do," Draco sneered and stood up, but McGonagall hurried to stop him.
"Please, Mr Malfoy, do sit down, we are not finished yet. We need to consider how to proceed with your and Mr Potter's situation. I'd also like to determine whether you're really an alpha or an omega, with your permission, of course."
"Headmistress, are you saying that you rather believe that… that horse who's despicably implying that I'm an omega? " Draco had to ask. "You don't believe my father about the test result? And what do you mean by proceeding with Potter's and my situation? We definitely don't have any situation between us going on, so that hardly needs any proceeding."
"Mr Malfoy, there's no need to insult Firenze if he's telling you an undesired truth," McGonagall sharply chided. "I do believe that either you or Firenze is right, but which one, I'd like to know. If you are an alpha after all, then we have to deal with Mr Potter's instincts focusing in the wrong way. However, if you are an omega and if you and Mr Potter already have a bond forming between you two, then we need to make some arrangements for the rest of the school year."
That made Potter lean forward in his seat and open his mouth after being quiet for surprisingly long time.
"What arrangements do you mean, Headmistress?"
"It depends on the level of your bond. Basically we'll have to ensure that no one interferes in the development of your bonding. We have to let it strengthen naturally without any disturbance. We'll discuss it further after we've determined Mr Malfoy's status. Now, Mr Malfoy, would you allow Madam Pomfrey to do the necessary tests?"
Draco buried his face in his hands and tried to calm down. Everything was crashing down on him and he didn't know what to do. How had this happened in the first place?
"It's all your fault, Potter," he muttered mostly to himself, but of course Potter heard him.
"Do tell me, oh mighty Malfoy, how any of this is my fault?" Potter growled, and his voice caused instant fluttering in Draco's stomach and that wasn't entirely unpleasant.
"It's always your fault, Potter," Draco muttered sulkily, but then he raised his head and looked at McGonagall. "I will allow you to arrange the test, but first I need to go to Malfoy Manor to visit my mother."
"I'm sorry but I can't allow you to go outside of Hogwarts right now," McGonagall said, her expression grim.
"Why? Because you don't know for sure if I'm an alpha or an omega? That's ridiculous!" Draco exclaimed.
"Of course not. Something has happened in Azkaban and your father has requested that you are to be kept in the safety of Hogwarts until told otherwise. I'm sorry, but it's not safe for you to go to the Manor right now."
Draco's temper flared. "You can't keep me imprisoned here, Headmistress! I'm of age now and perfectly capable of taking care of myself. Legally you can't keep me here against my will. If my father screwed up his escape from Azkaban, why do I have to suffer because of it?"
"You are right, of course, but I hope you'd be willing to wait a day or two before leaving, so that we can run the test first. I'll also have time to get more information from the Ministry regarding the danger directed toward you, Mr Malfoy." McGonagall was polite but firm, and Draco had to give in for now. He promised to visit Madam Pomfrey first thing in the morning before the Quidditch match and they'd discuss his visit to the Manor after the match.
Draco left McGonagall's office without looking back, but he didn't get far before he heard running footsteps behind him. He quickly turned around, his wand ready. It was Potter.
"Potter, of course! Haven't you done enough damage for today? What else do you want from me?" Draco snarled, and to his satisfaction he noticed Potter flinching.
"Listen, Malfoy, I'm sorry for what happened…"
"Sorry for making me look stupid and implying that I'm lying about being an alpha? That's low even from you, Potter!"
"No, no, you got it all wrong. I'm sorry for what happened with your father. I'm sure he didn't intentionally put you in danger, but he just couldn't predict what would happen."
"What do you know about my father's escape plans? No one knows about them!"
"He told them himself when his plans went awry and he recognised the danger possibly coming for you. I was asked to keep an eye on you here inside Hogwarts along with professors and McGonagall."
"I don't need your protection, Potter. Sod off!" Draco's voice was icy as he turned on his heel and stormed away. He was furious that his father had told Potter everything, but nothing to his own son.
Fortunately for Potter he didn't follow Draco any further; otherwise Draco would have hexed the living daylights out of him.
All the other Slytherins seemed to avoid him as he entered the Slytherin common room. He didn't feel like lingering there any more than necessary and quickly made his way into his own room, locking it firmly with a few elaborate locking spells.
He dropped on his bed, kicked his shoes off and curled into a ball, all of a sudden feeling exhausted. Everything he had thought he knew, had changed in a few moments and he felt lost. Why was Potter having such an impact on him? It was true that they had always been affected by each other to the point of physically hurting each other, but was that all that it was?
It hadn't been like that when he had offered his friendship to Potter that first day at Hogwarts. He had genuinely wanted to make friends with Potter, and it still stung to think how Potter had rejected him. Now, thinking back to it, it was probably for the best that Potter didn't accept his friendship then; Draco would have tried to turn him into one of his minions who blindly followed him. That kind of Potter wouldn't have been able to save the Wizarding world… or Draco. And yet, no matter how badly Draco treated Potter and how many times Potter had managed to retaliate, Potter had still rescued Draco from the Fiendfyre and from being cursed by that horrid Death Eater during the last Battle, and then even speaking on his and his mother's behalf in their trial after the war.
On the other hand, Draco had also saved Potter once in the Manor when he refused to identify him, so their so-called relationship couldn't consist only of hatred. Somehow Potter had always fascinated him; how could a famous and popular wizard be so oblivious of everything around him? Also, when Potter had been stalking Draco during their 6th year, Draco had been oddly attracted to the idea of Potter being obsessed with him.
However, he had been too distracted during the whole 6th year to really give it a good thought and thoroughly marvel at the idea. Now, thinking that they might share a bond, it didn't feel as repulsive as it might have been a couple years ago. Having Potter as a bond mate did have some very good advantages after all. But were these advantages worth spending the rest of his life with Potter? That was an entirely different matter.
How was that even possible? As far as he knew, he was an alpha and had always been. He couldn't be Potter's mate, soul mate or anything if he was an alpha. But Potter's alpha voice had affected him and made him obey without question. What if he was an omega after all? That was impossible! He would have noticed if he was an omega for Salazar's sake! When he reached maturity, if he were an omega, all the eligible alphas should have been crowding around him, trying to woo him, but that had never happened. If his father had lied to him, why had he done it and how had he managed to hide Draco's true status from everyone, let alone from Draco himself?
Thinking about everything and all the possible scenarios without reliable facts made him feel dizzy and a throbbing headache made itself known. Sighing, Draco closed his eyes, curled even more into a ball and fell asleep.
His head was aching and a new wave of pain made him feel nauseous. The pain seared through his forehead as if a branding iron had been stabbed into it and he cried out in agony. With shaking hands he felt his forehead and expected to feel blood flowing out of the wound, but instead he felt a ragged scar, just like Potter's. He whimpered as a new wave of pain washed over him and he dropped back on the bed, shivering. All of a sudden a pair of cool hands came to soothe him, gently brushing his fringe back from his forehead and the coolness felt divine against his feverish skin. Then a soft voice whispered, "Shh, it'll be alright. I can take away your pain and you can take away mine. Just relax and let it go." Soft lips pressed a sweet kiss on his temple and those lovely cool hands stroked his hair and forehead. Sighing in relief Draco leaned back against the body keeping him safely encircled with those comforting arms, his pain receding, and fell back asleep.
Draco woke up with a start in the middle of the night. His headache was nothing more than a distant memory, but unfortunately so was dinner as well. He had missed it while he slept, and now he was hungry. He contemplated undressing and going back to sleep, but seeing how many hours it would be until breakfast, he sighed and gave in to the urge to go to the kitchen and ask house-elves to give him something to eat.
He wandered through silent and dark corridors, trying to evade Filch, who would be patrolling the corridors this time of night. He reached the kitchen without seeing anyone and entered the warm cavern of delicious scents. His stomach grumbled loudly and he glanced around, embarrassed, if anyone had heard it. He doubted that the house-elves would be delighted finding a former Death Eater on their doorstep begging for food. However, he was starving and ready to even go as far as humbling himself by acting nice and respectful toward the elves if that was required to get something to eat.
Despite it being the middle of the night, the kitchen wasn't empty. There were four elves scurrying around as if fulfilling an important mission, carrying large plates of food toward a table at where was seated… Potter. Draco groaned in despair; didn't he get any rest from that prat even at night? However, right now he was too hungry to make a scene. Especially when Potter glanced at Draco over his shoulder and smiled.
"Missed dinner, too?"
"Yeah," Draco agreed and moved to sit down next to Potter. "Had a headache and fell asleep. What's your excuse?"
"For missing dinner or not getting sleep?" Potter winked at him.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Whatever."
"In that case, I had a meeting with Firenze and missed dinner because of it. Then I went to bed and fell asleep, but woke up because of a headache."
"You too? I mean, you had a headache too?" Draco was confused.
"Nope, I woke up feeling someone else's headache." Potter avoided Draco's eyes.
"So… it was you who helped me?" Draco had to ask even though he knew the answer already. He was intrigued. "How can you do that?"
"I began to sense your emotions a while ago, not all of them, but the strongest ones: if you're in distress or upset or in pain like tonight. Firenze taught me how to reach out to you and help if needed."
"So it wasn't just a dream then?"
"Me helping you tonight? I wasn't there physically, if you mean that. Did you see me?"
"More like I felt your presence. In my dream you said something about being able to take away my pain and the other way around. Is that so?"
"More or less. Firenze told me that your real instincts haven't awoken fully yet, otherwise you'd have sensed me by now too. Somehow your instincts must have been suppressed or restrained so far."
"You're still implying that I'm an omega, aren't you? Why don't you believe what I've told you?" Draco was getting irritated at Potter's stubbornness.
"How else would you explain all this?" Potter asked, and pushed a plate full of food in front of him. "Now eat, you're famished."
"I suppose you sensed that too," Draco scoffed, but couldn't keep himself from accepting the plate and starting to eat. He was too hungry to actually care.
"Nope, but your stomach might wake up the whole castle if you don't feed it soon." Potter grinned and returned to his own plate.
They ate in comfortable silence until they reached the Treacle tart for dessert that one fussing house-elf shyly brought them, probably as a courtesy for their Saviour. Draco didn't complain about that, because it was a perfect ending to the midnight snack they were having.
Draco had just stuffed his mouth full of tart when Potter finished his own and swallowed.
"Would it be so awful to be an omega after all? Or to be bonded with me?" Potter asked, sounding a bit uncertain.
Draco almost choked on his tart and quickly swallowed. "Awful? You don't know what you're talking about, Potter. I've been raised all my life to believe that I'm an alpha Veela, and being an omega isn't even an option for me. I will be the one who makes decisions for the family, chooses his own omega and sires the children. I have my own will and no one will take that from me. You don't know how it feels to be told that you have no choice but to do as you're told, just because you're born to be someone you don't want to be," Draco exclaimed getting angrier with every passing second.
Potter glared back at him, his expression clearly hurt, and Draco felt a sudden stab in his heart.
"Don't you dare say that I don't know how it feels! I didn't know anything about the Wizarding world and Voldemort until I turned eleven. Think how it must have felt to hear you're the famous 'Boy Who Lived' and expected to either kill that bastard or die trying! All that just because of some ruddy prophecy Trelawney had probably made up to secure her position as Divination professor. I know exactly what I'm talking about! But it's good to know that you feel that bonding with me is worse than dying!"
Potter's eyes were flashing green fire as he stood in front of Draco, his chest heaving and his hands in tight fists. For a while Draco thought Potter might hit him, but after a few moments his expression calmed and he took a deep breath.
"Listen, Malfoy, I'm sorry about everything that's happened, but I didn't have any say in this. I was as surprised as you when I heard about this, but then again, I had more time to adjust to the idea of being bonded with you than you had."
"Of course you accepted the bonding idea with glee when you heard it was me, didn't you? After all this is a perfect opportunity to humiliate me, isn't it?" Draco sneered, preparing to defend his dignity.
"No, of course not! I have to admit that I wasn't very happy about it at first, but then I started to sense your emotions and that made me understand you so much better. Also, every time you were near me, it felt like… like I was home," Potter tried to explain.
"And you decided just last summer that you were an alpha and I was your mate?" Draco scowled, and was rewarded with the sight of Potter blushing and looking embarrassed.
"Look, it wasn't as if I just decided it myself! Somehow my instincts awoke rather late for an alpha, but Firenze thinks it had something to do with the increased stress of fighting Voldemort during these last couple of years. I just started to sense things and didn't understand what it was until Firenze began tutoring me. And, by the way, you should apologise to Firenze for insulting him in McGonagall's office today. He was quite upset and offended. He's only trying to help us, and it doesn't help things if you keep insulting him."
"That must be very convenient for you, being an alpha and the famous Golden Boy. The world will worship you even more from now on. Wait until Skeeter hears about your new status, The Prophet will print about nothing else but you for a month!"
"Stop being an arsehole, Malfoy. I couldn't care less about Skeeter or The Prophet; actually I'd like to keep them from knowing any of this if possible. Let's see how it goes tomorrow and talk about it more then, okay?" Potter's voice was alarmingly getting close to his 'alpha voice' and Draco was starting to feel not-so-unpleasant fluttering in his belly, so he wanted to escape the alpha as soon as possible.
"Fine! Tomorrow then. I hope it sucks for you and your team!" Draco said angrily and stormed away. On his way to the Slytherin dungeon he couldn't help but wonder why he always ended up arguing and fighting with Potter, even when the prat tried to play nice.
The next morning arrived much too soon for Draco's liking. He hadn't slept much during the following hours after his midnight snack with Potter, and he would've loved nothing more than to stay in bed for the rest of the day. However, he had a Quidditch match after breakfast and before that he had the appointment with Madam Pomfrey for the test.
He staggered to the bathroom, took a quick shower and dressed for the day. An impending headache was faintly throbbing in the back of his skull, and he decided to ask something for it from Madam Pomfrey.
When he arrived at the infirmary, Madam Pomfrey was already waiting for him. To Draco's dismay, there were also two other people waiting; McGonagall and Potter, of course. Draco glared at them chatting quietly while Pomfrey greeted him.
"Good morning, Madam Pomfrey. May I ask why are they here? I believe we don't need an audience for my test," Draco said, intentionally ignoring the others, addressing only the nurse.
"They are here for a reason, Mr Malfoy. Regulations for testing in school premises requires two witnesses and also the Headmaster or Headmistress must be present. Since I understood that your testing should be kept secret for now, I asked Headmistress and Mr Potter to be the witnesses because they already know about this," Madam Pomfrey explained while bustling around, gathering everything she needed for the test onto the small table next to an empty bed.
"Please lie down, Mr Malfoy, and we can begin the test."
Draco did as he was told and stretched out on the bed. Madam Pomfrey took a brownish yellow gemstone looking piece from the table and placed it on Draco's forehead.
"What's that?" Draco asked confused.
"It's an amber. There's a Veela hair preserved inside it to ground you and calm your Veela instincts during the test. Sometimes the Veela side gets out of control during the test if the amber isn't used," Madam Pomfrey explained.
"The test isn't dangerous for Malfoy, right?" Potter asked, clearly worried.
"No, of course not. This is only a precaution. Usually when a young Veela is tested, there's always at least one of their Veela parents present to keep them grounded, but when that isn't possible, we can use the amber instead. Now, Mr Malfoy, I believe you have taken the test before so you are aware of how it feels?" Madam Pomfrey inquired.
At Draco's nod, she briskly lifted her wand and pointed it at Draco. "Very well then, let's begin. Remember, if you feel uncomfortable or any pain at all, let me know immediately."
She chanted several different spells and then watched with keen interest as a glowing fog wrapped around Draco. In the fog there were several symbols emerging out of Draco into the fog and disappearing at a rapid pace.
"Oh," she said once and frowned, then cast another string of spells as if trying to gather more evidence or confirmation of the results she had seen.
Draco tried desperately to read the nurse's expressions and figure out what she was seeing in his test. The only emotion he could gather from her was surprise. She glanced sharply at Draco, but then her expression softened.
"Have you been nervous or irritable lately, Mr Malfoy? More than usual? How about headaches? Exhaustion?"
"All of these, yes, but only during these past couple of days. Why?" Draco asked, now curious.
"I had to repeat the test to be absolutely certain, but there's no doubt anymore. Please, drink this before I continue, Mr Malfoy." She handed Draco a glass of some purple liquid and took the amber from Draco's forehead.
"What's this?" Draco asked. He wasn't going to drink anything if he didn't know what it was.
"It stabilises you after the test. Veela are quite sensitive about things like that."
Draco downed the liquid in one go after that, hoping and dreading to hear the results soon.
"Very good. Now, I think you all would like to hear the results of the test. As I said, I had to repeat the test, but the result is clear without a doubt. You are an omega Veela, Mr Malfoy. In addition, you…"
"That can't be true, you must have buggered up the test! I'm an alpha, I have all the alpha traits and instincts! I don't trust this test!" Draco argued, his panic rising alarmingly inside him, threatening to drown him.
"Mr Malfoy, calm down!" McGonagall barked, but it had no effect on Draco. He tried to jump off the bed, but Madam Pomfrey pushed him back down.
"Calm down, Mr Malfoy! Would you give me a hand, Mr Potter?" Madam Pomfrey asked and Potter came over, grabbing Draco by his shoulders and keeping him down on the bed. At first Draco tried to fight him, but then a wave of calmness washed over him and he collapsed on the bed, drained.
"Shhh, just relax, everything will be alright. Just listen to what Madam Pomfrey has to say, okay?" Potter muttered and soothingly rubbed his hands on Draco's shoulders. "Please, continue, Madam."
"Yes, thank you, Mr Potter. As I said, Mr Malfoy is an omega Veela, but I could detect magic used to suppress his omega side. The spell has almost completely worn off and that's why his instincts are now surfacing. I could see the connection between Mr Malfoy and Mr Potter clearly, and it's probably why Mr Malfoy's omega side has awoken so quickly. They are mates without question."
Draco tried to say something, object to all of that, but Potter obviously projected more calmness toward him and the words died on Draco's lips before getting out.
"However, now that Mr Malfoy has matured, and his omega side has been released and additionally been exposed to his mate's presence so closely, he is rapidly going into his first heat. I have never seen anything like this. It's like his body is going into overdrive after being suppressed for so long. I think you'll need to make the necessary arrangements for the boys very soon, Minerva."
Draco stiffened. He didn't like any of the news Pomfrey was telling them. There must be a mistake in performing the test and Pomfrey would be in deep trouble when Draco proved she was wrong. He simply couldn't be an omega, it was impossible! And as for going into heat, that was as ridiculous as imagining his posh and classy father writhing in the throes of an animalistic heat, begging someone to fuck him hard and give him babies. Hah! That was ridiculous - and sort of disgusting. That couldn't be true for Draco, everyone should see it. But no, Pomfrey didn't see it and insisted that he was an omega and going into heat soon… and then have babies.
Draco blanched and felt dizzy. His head was spinning and he was desperately trying to keep his nausea at bay. Cold sweat broke on his skin and his breathing turned into irregular panting.
"Madam Pomfrey, I think Draco needs help!" Potter called urgently, and instantly the nurse was fussing around Draco. She ordered Potter to calm him through their tentative bond if possible while she forced Calming Draught down his throat. Then she covered Draco with a warm blanket and guided him to slow down his breathing.
"Mr Malfoy is in shock, so I will keep him in the infirmary for the day," Madam Pomfrey announced.
"Draco is going to miss our Quidditch match then, but that might be for the best," Potter said, and Draco felt betrayed. Of course Potter would take advantage of his absence and there was nothing Draco could do for his own Quidditch team from the infirmary. On the other hand, he was nowhere close to being able to go to the match anyway, so he'd better stay here for now. He had a lot to think about.
"You have a match to lose, Potter, so you better hurry," he managed faintly to Potter, who grinned and squeezed his shoulder.
"I'll come back after the match to tell you the highlights," Potter promised before leaving the infirmary.
McGonagall stayed for a while, discussing quietly with Pomfrey before she left too, promising to come back later and tell him more about the arrangements she would make for them.
Draco was left alone for most of the morning. Pomfrey brought him some breakfast and ordered him to rest. After he'd eaten, she would bring him more potions to help him recover.
Draco appreciated the peace and quiet around him, because he had a lot to think about. The whole ordeal seemed like a bad dream right now, but he knew he'd need to find some answers soon. Had his father lied to him and if so, why? Or had the healer who had tested him the first time, tampered with his test for some reason?
Could he trust the test Pomfrey had run on him? Was this test wrong and the first test the right one? He needed answers, but he couldn't go to see his father in Azkaban to ask the questions. Did his mother know something? That would probably be the best bet.
What about Potter? If they really had that connection, was it permanent or could it be broken somehow? Was he required to complete the bond with Potter if he was an omega? Would he be required to carry his children? No, he couldn't bear to think about it right now, it was too absurd. Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter bonded together, what a ridiculous thought! Or was it? Potter was actually rather nice to him these days and his presence kind of soothed Draco every time they were near each other. Did this mean he was affected by their connection now and began sensing Potter through their bond? What did this mean?
Draco groaned, feeling overwhelmed by his whirlwind of thoughts. He couldn't stay still any longer, he needed to do something! He needed some answers, but he wasn't going to get them here in Hogwarts.
He glanced around the infirmary, and seeing that Pomfrey wasn't nearby, made his decision quickly. He jumped up from the bed and silently moved out of the infirmary without being seen by Pomfrey. The corridors were almost deserted because of the Quidditch match, so he easily managed to get out of the castle and out of the Hogwarts grounds altogether.
Draco was well on his way toward Hogsmeade when he realized that he didn't have an actual plan. The best place to start searching for the truth would be Malfoy Manor and his mother. Maybe he could Apparate to the Manor when he reached Hogsmeade.
His gait turned lighter and faster after he'd decided how to proceed and he arrived at Hogsmeade in no time. He tried to find a place where he wouldn't be noticed too easily, and decided that behind The Hog's Head would be the perfect place for Apparating. He avoided High Street as much as he could on his way to The Hog's Head as he tried not to be seen. When he arrived at the backyard of The Hog's Head, it was empty and Draco sighed in relief.
Just then he heard a distantly familiar voice speaking behind him. "Well well, if it isn't the young Malfoy. How convenient for me. Stupefy!"
Then there was only darkness.
Groggily, Draco opened his eyes and tried to focus. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the dimness around him. He tried to sit up, but he couldn't move. A closer look revealed that he was bound to the bed by his wrists. His feet were free, but kicking didn't do much good in this position.
He looked around and noticed that he was in a bedroom, much like his own room at the Manor, but a smaller one. Where was he?
Vaguely he remembered the voice he had heard behind him when he had reached the backyard of The Hog's Head, but just when he had turned to take a look at the man behind him, he'd been hit by a Stupefy. He'd never had the chance to see who it was, but the voice had sounded somewhat familiar. He just couldn't connect the voice to anyone yet.
What was this place and why was he brought in here? And more importantly, who had abducted him and again, why? His kidnapper surely knew him so it couldn't have been a mistake.
Draco looked around the room, trying to find anything in it that might give him any clues as to where he was. Also, finding a means to escape wouldn't hurt either.
The room was dim, but he could still see most of it clearly. There was a closed door to the right of the bed where he was bound. Another door, slightly ajar, looked like it led to the ensuite. On the left wall were large windows, which were covered with heavy curtains, so he couldn't see if it was day or night outside. Near the window were a desk, chair and a couple of armchairs in front of the fireplace as well as a bookshelf. If he could just get free and search the room more closely, he was certain he'd find a way to escape from whoever it was who had captured him.
Draco struggled against the ropes, but all he managed was to get them tighter around his wrists. He panted from the effort and desperately wished that he could rub his aching and chafed wrists. His lips and throat were parched, but he didn't have much hope for getting anything to drink anytime soon.
He wondered if anyone had noticed him missing at Hogwarts yet. That wouldn't help him much, though, because no one knew where he was. How much time had passed since he was abducted?
Panic started to creep up in his chest and he began struggling wildly against the ropes once again. He felt the skin on his wrists break, and warm blood slicked the ropes, but they were so tight now that he hadn't even the slightest hope of getting free of them. The blood circulation in his arms was more or less cut off by now, his heart was pounding in his chest and he couldn't breathe. His eyesight went blurry as he teetered on the verge of unconsciousness. Somewhere deep down he knew that he should calm down and beat the panic attack by himself, but that little voice was too weak to break the overwhelming panic. Merciful darkness swallowed him again.
The next time Draco woke up with a huge headache, an unpleasant aftereffect from the panic attack. Despite that nuisance, he was more alert, and more importantly, calmer now. He knew that he wouldn't get far by struggling and panicking, but he wasn't a Slytherin without a reason. He could use his brains and his considerable skills at gathering information, plotting and manipulating to get out of this dreadful situation.
He had just managed to get his thoughts under control, when the door opened and a dark figure stood at the door. Draco couldn't see his face clearly because of the light coming from the hall behind the man left his face in the shadow. However, the voice was the same as it had been in the backyard of The Hog's Head.
"Little prince has finally awoken. Very good. It's time for a chat then, young man."
Draco stiffened in anger. "Who are you? You have no right to keep me here as a prisoner! Let me go!"
"Now, now, aren't you a feisty little one, Draco. None of that now. I have every right to keep you here."
The man stepped inside the room and with a swish of his wand lit a fire in the fireplace and then the bedside lamp. The light was enough for Draco to recognize the man.
"Mr Crabbe! Why are you doing this? I thought you were my father's friend!" Draco exclaimed, horrified.
"I still am your father's friend. Why else would I have taken you into my custody? Your father asked me to take care of you," Crabbe said silkily.
"He wouldn't have asked that. I'm of age now so I don't need anyone to take care of me. Besides, I still have my mother!"
"But you're so wrong, little Draco. I made a deal with your father. I'd help him escape from Azkaban and for exchange he promised that I could have you."
"But… but my father never escaped from Azkaban!"
"Irrelevant. I did my part of the deal, so now I'm claiming my prize. You are mine now, Draco, to do whatever I want to do with you."
Draco's blood turned ice cold and fear filled his brain. Had his father really promised his own son as a prize for helping him out of the prison? And to Crabbe, no less. This man was old enough to be his father, and he was definitely a lunatic!
"You must be joking! You can't own me like that, it's not even legal!"
"But I assure you, my little omega, that you will be legally mine as soon as I have bonded with you and bred you to carry my children. Now that your father's protecting spells have worn out, it's only a matter of time when you go into heat, and then, dear Draco, we will bond and you'll be mine for the rest of our lives." Crabbe sat next to Draco on the bed and moved his hand slowly from Draco's cheek down to his chest, stomach and groin, squeezing gently his genitals before continuing to his thighs. Draco tried to turn away from the touch and kick the bastard, but Crabbe easily avoided all his attempts.
"Get away from me, you old freak! Get yourself a playmate your own age!" Draco shrieked, but Crabbe only laughed.
"My dear, I lost my wife and son during the war, and finding a pureblood wife of my own age who could still get pregnant with my children, is impossible. Why wouldn't I accept when my old friend offered his beautiful omega son, who could easily carry my children, warm my bed and be the joy of my life?"
"I will never be the joy of your ruddy life, you bastard. I'd rather die! My father would have never offered me like that to anyone, let alone you!"
"But he did, and now he can't do anything to prevent it from happening, as he's even more secured in Azkaban than before. You'd better start adjusting to your new life here with me, Draco. Stop fighting, it doesn't help you at all."
Draco turned his face away so he wouldn't have to look at the disgusting man, but Crabbe took his jaw in a painfully tight grip and turned his face back.
"Now you listen to me, you spoiled brat. You should be thankful that I took you under my wing and that I am willing to give you a sheltered and wealthy life. You will start behaving right now, or I will have to show you your place, and that won't be nice. You can't escape from here, so if you start behaving, I'll release you from these ropes and let you move around this room freely. However, if you decide to keep your difficult attitude, I have no problem keeping you tied to this bed as long as needed. Now, will you behave?" Crabbe's voice was firm and his expression ugly.
Draco stared at him defiantly and then spat right in the middle of the man's face. He didn't have to wait for Crabbe's reaction for long, because the next second Crabbe backhanded him so hard that Draco's head whipped to the side and a horrible pain exploded in his head. He gasped at the pain and kept his head turned away, but Crabbe took a fistful of his hair and wrenched his head back to look at him.
"That was just a warning, young one. You will learn your place, I promise you. There's nothing you or anyone else can do to prevent this. Now, I was going to offer you some dinner, but I don't think you deserve it just yet. Let's see if a little bit of hunger makes a change in your attitude."
That said, Crabbe released his hair with a rough shake and left the room. Draco whimpered in agony. His headache combined with Crabbe's rough handling had worsened, and he tried to swallow the sobs of despair that tried to escape his lips. He had never felt this helpless in his life.
Draco was hiding in the shadows of the courtyard at Hogwarts, when Potter ran out of the castle, calling for Draco. He was frantically looking for Draco, but he suddenly felt so shy and uncertain that he didn't want to come out of his hiding place. Potter searched and called his name for a long time, begging Draco to come back to him, but Draco couldn't make himself do it. He stood there as if glued in place, but his heart shattered into a million pieces when he felt Potter's desperation. Eventually Potter stopped his searching, and defeated, shoulders slumped, he turned to leave. The expression on his face was so heartwrenching that Draco couldn't take it any longer.
"Harry! I'm here! Please come back to me!" Draco called, but Potter couldn't hear him. He was gone.
Draco woke up sobbing from the intense dream. He felt lost and as if a big part of him was forcefully cut off. The pain of losing his other half was unbearable, not only emotionally, but he felt the pain also all over his body. He was soaked in a cold sweat, and his shivering made it all the more uncomfortable. As he was tied to the bed, he couldn't even reach a blanket for warmth.
He laid there, sobbing and shivering from the loss, almost deliriously whimpering Harry's name for what felt like hours, until he heard the door open and he wasn't alone anymore.
"Good morning, little prince. Are you feeling more cooperative today?" Crabbe leaned over Draco to take a better look. "Now, now, you've made a mess of yourself. Are you ill?"
Draco couldn't respond any other way but by whimpering and shivering.
"We can't have that, can we? I have to get you better so I can enjoy your heat thoroughly. Now, I will have to take you to the bath, to clean you up and then back to bed. I will release you now, but I'm casting an Immobulus to keep you under control."
Crabbe went to prepare the bath and then came back to release Draco, but immediately cast the Immobulus so Draco didn't have a chance to fight back. He wasn't in any shape to fight back anyway. Then Crabbe levitated Draco to the bathroom, vanished his clothes and lowered him into the hot bath that felt absolutely divine.
Draco would have loved to stay in the bath by himself for hours, enjoying the warmth, but Crabbe didn't give him that luxury. The bastard had probably never heard of something called privacy.
As Draco was laying in the bath, Crabbe took off his coat, rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and took a sponge in his hands. Draco's eyes widened in horror; was the bastard going to wash him?
Indeed, Crabbe wet the sponge and put some soap foam into it. Then he carefully began washing Draco's body. At first Draco was only uncomfortable about it, but then, alarmed, he noticed how Crabbe greedily licked his lips and started to mutter to himself.
"Now, there's a good boy. Just stay like that always, not fighting back, and I will wash your lovely body every day. Look at that belly, so flat now, but before long it will be swollen with our first child. Lean muscles are good, maybe our children will inherit them from your side. That would certainly be acceptable. I wonder how big your little prick will be when I rub it to fully erect? Not that you will have much use for it from now on, of course. Your arse is much more important, and I promise to fill your sweet little arse with my seed as soon as your heat arrives."
Draco's eyes were almost bulging out of his head at hearing this, and his alarm was rapidly turning into full size panic. He had to get away from this madman! He desperately tried to reach every possible deity he knew with his pleas to be saved soon, or to find a way to escape from Crabbe before it was too late. Even death would be acceptable right now.
Fortunately Crabbe didn't try anything more than pawing him as he washed him, and afterward levitated him back to the bed, gently patting him on the bum after toweling him dry and covering him with a warm blanket. Then he forced Draco to drink a glass of water that tasted weird, and Draco found out why a bit later, when Crabbe left the room and released Draco from the Immobulus. Draco couldn't keep his eyes open anymore, and he fell asleep as soon as the door closed.
Crabbe's cold hands were trying to grab him, grope him, pin him down, and Draco barely managed to evade him. He was getting weaker, though, and Crabbe's cruel laughter followed him like a shark smelling blood. That evil laughter chilled him to the core with paralyzing terror and he dreaded the moment when Crabbe managed to finally catch him. If… when that happened, Draco knew he would never see daylight again. "Harry! Please help me!" Draco cried out in despair just when Crabbe got a hold of his ankle and yanked him down. As Crabbe's body pinned him down on the mattress, efficiently trapping him underneath, Draco fought back with all his strength but to no avail. Crabbe was stronger. Draco yelled for Harry until Crabbe silenced him by smashing his large palm against his mouth. Then, out of nowhere, Draco got the answer he desperately wanted to hear in Harry's voice, "Stay strong, Draco, I'm on my way."
Draco woke up his heart hammering in his chest. It took a moment for him to realize it had been a dream, a dreadful dream, but Harry's promise was ringing in his mind, giving him hope. He smiled and turned to his back, and then he stiffened in fear.
At the foot of the bed was standing Crabbe, wearing only an opened bathrobe, a greedy expression on his face and his disgusting hard prick poking out of his robe.
"Time to wake up, little Draco. I couldn't sleep, and I could only think of you and your lovely body. You are so tempting that I can't wait until your heat and must have you today. I want a taste and I want it now."
Draco's head cleared instantly. Remembering Harry's promise in the dream gave him strength and courage to fight Crabbe. Belatedly he remembered being naked under the blanket as he crouched up against the headboard at the same time as Crabbe snatched the blanket out of the way.
"Don't touch me! I already have a mate and he will kill you if you lay even a finger on me!" Draco screeched and tried to kick Crabbe, but missed.
"He's not here, is he? You are still unbonded, but that will change soon. I am your true mate and you will succumb to me!" Crabbe snarled and managed to grab Draco's ankles, yanking him down the bed and flipping him around on his belly.
"Let me go! You don't have any right to force me! Get… off me!" Draco grunted, managing to shove his elbow into Crabbe's face, and when his grip on Draco's ankle loosened, kicked him so hard that the older man roared. Crabbe didn't back off though and instead threw his larger body on top of Draco's to keep him restrained.
"That cost you the luxury of using lubricant, you little bitch! I'm going to take you dry now! Your own blood will have to do!" Crabbe panted in Draco's ear, painfully gripping Draco by the back of the neck with one hand and seizing Draco's flailing hands with the other. He kicked Draco's legs apart, stuffed himself roughly between Draco's thighs and thrust his lower body against Draco's arse.
"Get off! Get off me this instant! You're hurting me!" Draco yelled in rage and frustration and tried to wriggle away from under Crabbe but to no avail.
"Welcome the pain, little slut. It's time for you to learn your place!" Crabbe grunted and shoved himself again against Draco, but Draco was so tense under him that he couldn't get his dick inside Draco just by thrusting that way. He freed the hand gripping Draco's neck and shoved it between Draco's buttocks to guide his dick inside. However, Draco was now able to turn his head and he bit Crabbe on his arm so hard that he tasted blood.
Crabbe bellowed in fury and hit Draco so hard that he saw stars, but Draco didn't stop fighting. He screamed at the top of his lungs for Harry to come and help him, and at the same time he fought for his life, trying to buck Crabbe off of his back.
His fighting seemed to be doomed as he began to tire, but just then the door slammed open and a voice filled with ice cold rage snarled, "Get your filthy hands off of my mate, Crabbe!"
Harry had burst into the room with two Aurors, and cast a Petrificus Totalus on Crabbe, before Draco had even realized what was happening and stopped yelling. With two long strides Harry reached the bed, kicked Crabbe roughly off Draco and took Draco in his arms. As an afterthought, Harry seemed to notice that Draco was naked, and wrapped the blanket around him before hugging him tightly.
"Are you alright, Draco? Did he hurt you? I swear, I'm going to kill him if he did!" Harry muttered in Draco's ear.
Draco couldn't answer, his relief was so overwhelming that he could only let out a broken sob against Harry's shoulder.
"Merlin, your face… and wrists. That's it, he's dead." Harry growled and made to get up, but Draco clung to him so he couldn't leave.
"No! Don't, he's not worth it! The only thing that matters is that you came for me. Thank you, Harry," Draco said quietly, his voice trembling.
Harry wrapped his arms even tighter around Draco and kissed his temple. "I will always come for you, Draco, if you need me. You're my mate, after all."
"Yes, you're my mate as well. I'm sorry I didn't trust you," Draco whispered.
"Shh, it's alright now. I've got you."
They stayed there wrapped around each other for a long time, Harry quietly explaining how they had found him, until the Aurors had secured Crabbe and transported him away. Then the head of the Auror team returned back to them and said everything was cleared. Then he escorted them back to Hogwarts where McGonagall, Madam Pomfrey and Narcissa Malfoy were already waiting for them.
Draco was instantly whisked to the infirmary for a check-up and Harry had to wait outside with the Headmistress and Draco's mother. Draco just hoped that his mother wouldn't give Harry a hard time. She could be quite protective toward her only son.
Madam Pomfrey asked a lot of questions and scanned him with several spells to be certain that there were no hidden injuries or other damage done than the obvious bruises from Crabbe's fist and the chafes around his wrists. Fortunately Draco had been able to fight Crabbe long enough to prevent him from actually raping him. Harry and the Aurors had definitely arrived at the last moment.
When Pomfrey finished her examination, she called the others into the room and asked them to sit down. Draco was firmly ordered to stay in bed.
"Mrs Malfoy, I don't think it's wise to let Draco come home right now as you asked. I'd like to keep an eye on him because of the unidentified potion he had been forced to take and his considerable emotional stress. Combined with his body going through big changes right now because of his awakening omega side and his heat nearing, that can cause some serious trouble with his magic as well as damage to his body," Madam Pomfrey explained.
"But how can you make sure he's safe when his heat begins? There's about a thousand students in here and one going into heat can cause significant chaos in here. I'd rather take him home, if you allow it." Narcissa Malfoy asked.
"Mrs Malfoy, we have arranged a secure room for your son and his mate, if he wishes to share his first heat with him. He'll be safe in there. The only ones who will be admitted entrance to that room are Mr Malfoy's mate and Madam Pomfrey in case of emergency, and of course also the house-elves. I assure you that your son will be safe," McGonagall said.
"Very well, if that's acceptable for Draco, then it's acceptable for me too. He can decide it himself, but only one more incident and I'll take him back home without asking. Now, may I have a word with Draco, please? Privately, if you will." Narcissa turned her cool stare at everyone else in the room, and it worked like magic, the room cleared in two seconds. Draco grinned. His mother was always like that, knowing what she wanted and making it happen.
His grin died on his lips as Narcissa turned her gaze back to her son, looking serious.
"Now, Draco, I want to hear it. How do you feel about it? I'd like you to come home after that horrible incident with Crabbe. At least at home you will be safe."
"I'm fine here, Mother. I trust McGonagall and her ability to secure the room for my heat. There will be no problems here. I also have Harry, so I will be perfectly safe in here. How about you, Mother, are you alright? Harry said that you had forced the necessary information out of Father so efficiently that it had been scary."
Narcissa smiled for the first time after their arrival at Hogwarts.
"Yes, I still have that power over him, especially when I know what information I'm looking for. Actually it wasn't even that difficult once I told him that his little secret had caused his son to be kidnapped. After that it was easy. He said it was Crabbe, and then we knew exactly where to start looking for you."
"Harry told me that Father has an even nastier looking black eye than I have. Did you really hit him?"
Narcissa looked a little ashamed. "Yes, well, I'm not proud of it, but I wanted to make sure he knew what I thought about his little contract with Crabbe. It's outrageous how he used you as a reward for Crabbe's help. Even if he thought he could talk himself out of the deal afterwards, it was still unforgivable."
"So he did promise me to Crabbe in the first place? I didn't believe he would do such thing! What kind of father does that?" Draco was in shock. "He had also told Crabbe that I was an omega, but he still kept that information from me. Why did he do that?"
"You must understand, Draco, that when we found out that you were an omega, your father was worried how that would make our family look. The Malfoys needed to look strong to the outside world, not weak, and we needed all the protection we could get. You already had strong alpha traits, probably learned from your father, and until he could decipher how to best benefit from your omega status, he thought you were safer if you and everyone else thought you were an alpha, just like your father. He cast a strong charm on you to prevent anyone finding out your real status, but after he was sent to Azkaban, he wasn't able to strengthen the charm every time he met you anymore. That's why the charm wore off and your secret was revealed. I'm sorry that you had to find out this way, Draco."
"I could kill him right now, Mother. I hope he rots in Azkaban for the rest of his life!" Draco huffed angrily.
"He probably will, son, just like Crabbe." His mother shivered in disgust. "Now, tell me, are you absolutely sure about Harry Potter being the right mate for you? I thought you never got along very well with him and that worries me."
"I'm sure, Mother. Harry is the right one for me."
"You will be bonded to him for the rest of your life."
"I know, Mother."
Narcissa sighed, stood up and leaned to kiss her son on the cheek.
"Very well then. I trust you know what you're doing. I have to go now, but I will be back to check on you tomorrow. I'll send the others in on my way out. Try to rest, Draco."
Then she was gone, and McGonagall with Madam Pomfrey entered the room.
"Where's Harry?" Draco asked, confused.
"Mrs Malfoy wanted to speak with him for a while. He will come as soon as they are finished," McGonagall said, and Draco felt his stomach churn with dread.
"None of that, dear," Madam Pomfrey said after seeing Draco's pained expression. "Your mate will be here soon, so no need to worry."
Draco bit back a sharp retort that he wasn't worried for himself but Harry. His mother could be quite intimidating if needed.
As soon as Harry returned, McGonagall explained the arrangements she had made for their accommodation after Draco was released from the infirmary. Their new rooms were located on the sixth floor and there were two different entrances to their rooms for safety reasons. One was like any other door, charmed to open only for Harry or Draco. The other door was located around the corner, hidden behind a tapestry and it was charmed in a similar way. No one but McGonagall, Draco and Harry knew about it's existence. If Madam Pomfrey was needed, she could enter only by the Floo. The house-elves were able to come and go as usual, but only when called. Draco and Harry would be safe in there during Draco's heat.
After McGonagall and Pomfrey left the boys alone in Draco's room, Draco reached for Harry's arm and pulled him to the bed.
"Come here, Harry. Sit down here."
Harry complied and wrapped his arm around Draco, who cuddled against his mate.
"So, what did my mother want from you?" Draco had to ask.
Harry chuckled. "Just the normal parental advice, I guess. 'Hurt him and I will make you suffer' and that kind of stuff."
"Didn't scare you away then?"
"Why? Did you want me gone?"
"No, of course not. I said I accept you being my mate, didn't I?" Draco huffed.
"I just want you to be sure. The last thing I want is that you'll regret it afterwards," Harry explained.
"Just great. After trying to convince me so long to accept that we're mates, now you're having cold feet? Are you getting nervous about what's to come? Which one is it, my heat or the life long commitment?" Draco growled.
"I'm not afraid of the commitment! It's just that… that I'm not very experienced in bed and… I'm afraid that if you are disappointed in my.. er.." Harry stammered and Draco snorted.
"It's not as if we could practise beforehand anyway. I just have to live with it. More importantly, I'd like to know if you're a good kisser." Draco glanced slyly at Harry and winked, and was rewarded with the sight of Harry blushing.
"For Salazar's sake, Potter, do I need to draw you a map? Just kiss me already!"
Harry did as he was told and kissed Draco with such enthusiasm that Draco's toes curled. Potter definitely knew how to compensate for his inexperience with eagerness, and that was good enough for Draco.
Two days later Draco was released from the infirmary and he moved to his new rooms with Harry. They were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable their rooms were; a small sitting room with sofas and desks and cosy fire lit in the fireplace. The bedroom had a large four-poster bed, two wardrobes, a decent sized fireplace and the hidden door for emergencies. The ensuite contained a bathtub, for which Draco was grateful. He had missed his long soaks in the Prefect's Bathroom.
They settled into their new rooms quickly, but things became a bit awkward before the bedtime. Draco used the bathroom first and changed into pyjamas there, then Harry did the same. Draco was already in bed, his blanket wrapped tightly around him when Harry emerged from the bathroom.
They settled as far from each other as possible in the bed, lying there tense as boards. Harry had turned the lights off, so they were illuminated only by the fire in the fireplace. Draco had been thinking almost constantly about something and now was a good time to bring it up, but he was hesitant. Finally he braced himself.
"I've been thinking…"
"Sounds ominous," Harry's voice was amused. "And why are we whispering?"
"Stop it, Potter, I'm serious!" Draco huffed and punched Harry in the ribs. "Now, listen to me and be serious. This is something that has been bothering me for a while now and you aren't exactly making it easier for me!"
"Alright, alright, I'm listening."
"Yes, well, as you know, my first heat is approaching in a few days, and I was thinking that as it will be my first time… doing that, I'd like my first time to be less... out of control."
"What are you saying?
"You know, when the heat begins, either you or I will not be able to control ourselves because of the pheromones. The urge to mate is too intense and it will probably be quite messy and wild. Most likely we won't remember much about it afterwards, we will be exhausted when the heat ends, but… I'd like my first time to be something I can and will remember. So I was thinking, would you make love to me now, before we have to face the heat? It will complete the bond if we do it now, but it would happen when the heat begins anyway."
"Draco…" Harry turned to face Draco and pulled him into his arms. "I want to make love to you right now, but only if you are sure. Are you ready for it so soon after what happened with Crabbe?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Especially after what happened with Crabbe. I want to erase those horrible memories and make new, beautiful memories of us instead."
Harry responded by kissing him so tenderly that Draco's heart was almost bursting with affection. They kissed for a long time and Draco could feel Harry's erection pushing against his own. They were both hard already, even with their clothes still on. That reminded him that they were totally overdressed for this occasion, and he began opening Harry's pyjamas and peeling it off of his body. Harry reciprocated in kind and soon they were writhing against each other totally naked, their kissing turning hungry and frantic.
Finally Draco broke the kiss and hoarsely asked, "You do know what you're doing, right?"
"Yeah, sort of. Hermione made me read a whole book about gay sex. I'm prepared."
"Eww, I don't want to hear about Granger while having sex with you!" Draco complained.
"You asked, so shut up and let me take care of this," Harry said and resumed his kissing.
Harry had obviously read the book quite thoroughly, because Draco hadn't even known he had so many sensitive spots on his body. Harry teased them mercilessly, drawing undignified sounds from Draco's lips before he could stop them. Harry licked and sucked his collarbone and nipples until Draco cried out in his desperate need to come.
Harry took his time trailing his tongue down Draco's body, counting every rib and nibbling his sharp hipbones before almost reverently taking Draco's erection into his hand and watching it with keen interest.
Draco twitched impatiently and bucked his hips. "You know, that's kind of embarrassing," he grunted and tried to shift away, but Harry took a firm hold of his hips and didn't let him move.
"No, it's beautiful! Why would you want to hide it?"
"Umm, common decency? I hardly want to stroll around with my dick hanging out for everyone to see," Draco scowled.
"Not hanging, I'd prefer it standing proudly at attention - and just for me!" Harry growled possessively and sucked it in his mouth.
Draco's snort turned into a deep appreciative moan as Harry focused all his attention into sucking and licking Draco's dick. It was too much and Draco felt himself tumbling toward his climax embarrassingly fast. He tried to stave it off thinking about anything but that divine mouth enthusiastically sucking his cock and licking his balls. But it was all in vain as his climax tore out of him with such force that Harry had to back off a bit to avoid choking on it.
Draco was lying like a boneless heap as Harry rested his head on Draco's hip, lazily licking the last remnants of his climax. Draco realized that Harry didn't have the same privilege of coming yet like Draco had, so with an effort he lifted his hand to card his fingers through Harry's thick hair.
"Would you like for me to… reciprocate?" Draco asked softly, but Harry shook his head.
"No, I'm fine. I want to come inside you. Do you feel up to it?"
"Now is a good time as any. Just… be careful. I've never done it before," Draco whispered, feeling a nervous flutter in his belly.
"Just relax. I'll take care of you, I promise," Harry muttered while nuzzling the base of his cock and playing with his balls. He whispered a lubrication charm and trailed his slick fingers down and between Draco's arse cheeks. With another hand he bent Draco's right leg up and aside, so he had better access to his most private part.
Harry's finger rubbed at Draco's entrance, first lightly, then with more pressure, and Draco moaned. His spent dick had miraculously revived and was determinedly growing hard again.
Harry's finger tip slipped inside and all Draco felt was light pressure. The finger slowly pushed deeper and then there was a slight discomfort but no pain as Draco had feared. Harry moved his finger in and out slowly, until Draco began pushing back. Then Harry added another finger, and that was uncomfortable at first. Draco fought himself to relax and then it slowly began to feel better, pleasurable even. Then when the third finger came to play, Draco almost drew away from them. That stung, even as Harry had generously added more lubrication.
"Stop! Give me a second," Draco begged, and Harry stopped immediately. As he started to draw his fingers out Draco grabbed his wrist.
"No, don't pull away. Just give me a second, alright?"
"But it seems to hurt you. We don't have to do this now," Harry argued, but Draco was having none of it.
"Yes we do! My heat is coming, and I want to do this before it hits. Just… let's do it slowly, okay?"
Harry nodded and waited until Draco gave him permission to go on. It felt better then and Draco began to relax once again, moving in rhythm with Harry's fingers. Harry shifted slightly and his hand shifted with him to a new angle that sent sparks down Draco's spine.
"Ohh, there! What was that?" Draco asked, his voice trembling.
"Must have been your prostate. How did it feel?"
"Like a small lightning bolt was tickling the head of my cock from the inside, it was brilliant! Do it again, please," Draco ordered and was rewarded with another lightning bolt in no time. "No more, or I'm going to come again. Please, Harry, I want you inside me now, I'm ready!"
Harry didn't waste any time at slicking his cock and positioning himself against Draco's entrance. Slowly he began pushing inside, and if Draco had thought Harry's three fingers were too much, the feeling was ten times worse with his cock. Draco wasn't going to complain, though, because he had decided that he needed to experience this with Harry, without the lust-craziness of the heat. It was going to be alright.
Biting his lip as not to let Harry know how much it hurt, Draco lifted his leg around Harry's waist to get into better position, while Harry gradually sank deeper into him, his eyes closed and an expression of extreme concentration on his face. When he was fully seated inside Draco, he finally opened his eyes. "I… I can't… you're so… so tight.. can't.." Harry panted.
Draco raised his head, took a firm grip of Harry's neck and crushed their lips together in a heated kiss. Harry responded to the kiss with equal fervor, and as if by instinct, started shallowly thrusting.
As their kissing continued, Draco realized that his discomfort and pain had receded and all he felt instead was pleasure and fullness inside. At Draco's urging, Harry deepened and quickened his thrusts until he was literally pounding into Draco with such force that Draco had to brace himself against the headboard with his hands to keep his head from slamming against it.
Harry's knot chose that moment to form to it's full size and that made Draco cringe at first - it was huge, or at least Draco felt that way - but after the initial discomfort, Draco began to enjoy it. It moved inside him in a way that made it massage all the right spots inside him and forget everything else but the heightened pleasure it offered him.
Harry was so aroused that it didn't take long for him to tumble over the edge, shuddering and growling his bliss into Draco's neck, his cock pulsing an enormous amount of ejaculate inside Draco. Draco wasn't far behind, and as they moved together, riding on the waves of pure pleasure, Draco felt a warm glow of magic settling over them. He opened his eyes to see that they were literally wrapped in the glowing magic that pulsed in time with their pounding hearts.
"Harry! Harry, do you see it? Do you feel it?" Draco alerted his lover, and as Harry opened his eyes in wonder, he stared at Draco's face in awe.
"Yes, I can feel it, everywhere. As if we are one on some level. I can feel you, Draco."
"We are one, Harry. We are truly bonded now."
Harry kissed him passionately and wrapped Draco tightly in his arms. "You are mine now, Draco. No one else can ever have you."
Draco kissed him back, perfectly content for the first time as long as he could remember. He didn't even think of complaining about being held as a hostage by Harry's knot, refusing to let them pull apart.
The next day Draco was back to whipping his Quidditch team into shape after the embarrassing defeat in the match against the Gryffindors. Mercilessly he drilled the team into obeying his commands and challenging their limits as he put them through the exercises again and again.
From the corner of his eye Draco noticed Harry sitting on the stands and flew closer.
"Spying on us again, Potter? Shame on you," Draco mocked his mate.
Harry shrugged and grinned at Draco. "Just wanted to see if you had any new ideas for your training."
"That's what you'd like to know. Now get lost, I'm busy here," Draco ordered, but Harry just grinned lazily back at him.
"Not until you give me a kiss, coach."
"Not here, Potter!"
"It's not as if they don't already know that we're mated. Come on, Draco!"
Sighing dramatically, Draco drew closer to Harry, wrapped his arm around Harry's neck and snogged him breathless.
"Good enough?" Draco asked, and when Harry couldn't manage any verbal response in two seconds, he grinned, waved his hand and flew away. Harry stood there for a while, stunned, and then turned to leave.
Four days later Draco was sitting in the Great Hall having lunch, when he felt as if he was running a fever. His head became dizzy and his appetite was abruptly gone. His skin felt as if on fire, and briefly he considered visiting Madam Pomfrey before the Quidditch practice. He stood up to leave, when he felt a tingling feeling in his arse and a sudden flood of liquid escaping his arsehole dampening his trousers under his robes.
Finally it dawned on him that this must be his heat striking. He tried to walk as calmly as possible out of the Great Hall, but he noticed many of the young alphas turning their heads his way. One by one they began getting on their feet and following Draco out of the Great Hall.
Just as he reached the Entrance Hall, he felt a hand grip on his arm, and he whirled around, ready to strike anyone who tried to jump on him. His hand froze in mid-air when he saw Granger standing next to him.
"Hurry up, Draco, they have smelled you and now they are after you. Run to your rooms and stay there. I'll distract them and give you more time to get there. I'll find Harry and tell him to come to you as soon as possible."
"Thanks, Granger." Draco turned on his heel and ran as fast as he could. He heard Granger shouting behind him, obviously casting hexes, and his pursuers were no longer close behind him. However, there were several other alphas walking in the corridors Draco had to pass, and after sniffing the air, they began to chase him as vigorously as the first ones.
Draco was running for his life, dodging and slipping through their reaching hands, managing to get to the door of their rooms first and slamming it closed behind him. He leaned on the door panting, his heart hammering in his chest, and listened as more and more young alphas gathered outside the room, trying to get inside, arguing and wrestling with each other about who was the first to get him. Didn't they notice that he was already bonded? Or were they all so young that they didn't have the slightest control over their instincts yet? Draco didn't know but wasn't keen to find out either.
The commotion outside the room got worse, and soon Draco could hear McGonagall's voice shouting sharply over the ruckus. It took some time, but eventually McGonagall and some other professors managed to get the situation under control. After the professors had gotten everyone away from the door, Draco sighed in relief and went to the bathroom to take a shower. His skin crawled and itched from the inside as well as outside, and he thought a cold shower would help. He had just returned to the sitting room dressed in his bathrobe, when he was startled by the pounding on the door.
"Let me in, Malfoy! I know you are in there alone!" A young alpha's voice was pleading. "I will be so good to you, just let me in!"
Soon there were several other voices shouting behind the door, all of them begging Draco to let them in, choose them, let them have him. Draco covered his ears with his hands and ran back to the bedroom, slamming the bedroom door closed behind him.
All of a sudden the secret door opened and closed, but there was no one in sight. Draco was instantly alert, preparing to defend himself, but then Harry appeared from under his invisibility cloak.
"Harry!" Draco's relief was instant. "Where have you been? I thought you promised to keep me safe! There were hundreds of alphas chasing me through the castle and you weren't even there! Now there are a bunch of alphas pounding on our sitting room door, demanding I let them in. I was tempted to do so, because you don't care about my well-being at all, it seems!" Draco's irritation only grew when he saw Harry's sheepish expression.
"I was on the Quidditch pitch, we had practice as you well know. How did your heat begin so abruptly? Didn't you feel a thing before it struck? And there weren't hundreds of them chasing you, maybe fifty or so, but…"
"Harry! That's not the point! You should have been here with me, to protect me!" Draco yelled.
"I know, love, and I'm sorry. When Hermione found me and told me what happened, I left everything and ran as fast as I could to get to you. I'm sorry it took me so long," Harry said soothingly as he wrapped Draco in a protective embrace.
Harry's embrace was probably meant to be comforting, but Draco could feel when the scent of Draco's pheromones reached him, Harry was instantly alert and aroused. He growled into Draco's neck and Draco felt his knees buckle and his muscles go limp. He leaned into Harry and let him support his weight. He had his alpha now and his instincts demanded him to submit and let his alpha take care of him and his needs during the heat.
The pounding on the door continued as loud as ever, and Harry reluctantly pulled away from Draco, set him on the bed and yanked the door to the sitting room open.
"The alpha of this pack is here now, so fuck off! This omega is mine!" Harry yelled through the front door and sent a powerful Stinging hex through the door. Draco didn't think it was possible for a hex to work through a door, but then he heard several yelps behind the door and then all went silent.
Harry looked smug when he returned to the bedroom, but seeing his omega wantonly spread out on the bed, gloriously naked and presenting himself, he turned serious, tore his own clothes off of his body as fast as he could and jumped on Draco.
"Mine!" Harry growled, burying his nose in Draco's blond curls at the base of his cock and inhaling deeply.
Draco shivered in arousal, his internal itch getting worse with every passing second Harry wasn't inside him. He wriggled and pulled Harry's hair to get him pay attention.
"Harry, I need you now!"
Harry blinked and buried his face back into Draco's crotch, this time dragging his tongue from Draco's cock over his balls, and bending Draco's legs up against his chest as he swiped his tongue across Draco's entrance, tasting his natural lubricant oozing out of him in constant dribble.
"Mmm… you taste good," Harry muttered and ducked his head down again.
"Harry! I said NOW! This itch is killing me, do something about it NOW or I swear I'm going to let one of these eager young alphas help me!" Draco all but yelled, and this time Harry acted.
"Don't ever, ever say that again!" Harry growled, as he pushed Draco's legs even wider apart and with one swift push thrust inside him. "There will never be anyone else having sex with you," Harry punctuated every word with a savage thrust, and Draco keened with pleasure, both having his mate finally inside him and also enjoying his possessive, jealous outburst.
From that moment Draco didn't have to ask for sex from Harry; he was ready for the next round as soon as they'd recovered from the last bout. They shagged, rested as they waited for the knot to release them, shagged, knotted, waited, slept, shagged, knotted, waited, ate or drank something, and after a quick visit to the bathroom, they shagged again. After three days they were so exhausted that they had to support each other if they made it out of bed at all.
Draco had only hazy memories of those past days spent in the frenzy of heat, but when the heat was finally over after four days, he was totally spent but happy. Every muscle in his body ached and he knew they both had to abstain from sex for at least a few days or their genitals would drop off, but it had been a brilliant four days for both of them. They were now bonded even tighter together than before. Draco had also learned a lot of new positions and how to use his imagination to invent even more.
They were lying on the bed in the evening of the fourth day of Draco's heat, enjoying their time together without frenzied lust, and in Draco's case, without the irritating constant itch. Draco was tucked tightly under Harry's arm and drew idle patterns on Harry's chest with his finger.
"Do you think you got me pregnant during this heat?" Draco hesitantly asked after a long silence.
"I don't know. At least we tried our best, didn't we?" Harry chuckled. "But seriously, I wouldn't mind if we started our family now. If we didn't get you pregnant this time, maybe the next heat?"
"Yeah. I know we are still very young, so I wouldn't mind if we had some time together first, without children. Although my mother would be ecstatic if we had kids. Thank Merlin, my next heat won't be for another six months. I wouldn't survive it any sooner." Draco sighed and kissed Harry's shoulder.
"Well, that gives us plenty of time to practise. We are going to need all the practise we can get, at least to build better stamina. But maybe we'd better wait for a couple of days before starting our exclusive practising. I think I need more rest after our four days marathon." Harry yawned and stretched, pulling Draco even closer to his side.
"Yeah, we have all the time in the world, Harry. Let's sleep now; there's a new day tomorrow," Draco murmured, settling even more comfortably against his mate. "Besides, I still have a bone to pick with you and your ruddy Quidditch team."