[personal profile] valentine_veela
Title: A Veela’s Heart
Author: [profile] fantasyfruitbat
Pairing: Harry/Draco
Prompt #: 152
Rating: NC17
Word Count: ~8400
Summary: Harry's life is destined to be complicated. Not for the first time, Malfoy is currently the one doing the complicating, this time with added Veela heritage.
Warning(s): *Explicit sex, rimming.*
Beta: [personal profile] groolover - many thanks for your help!
Disclaimer: This piece of art or fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made, no copyright or trademark infringement, or offence is intended. All characters depicted in sexual situations are above the age of consent.

The Wicked Wizard was a very good pub. In fact, it was Harry's favourite pub and a pint after work with Ron (or a glass of Firewhiskey if it had been a hard day), sitting at his favourite table, in his favourite pub never failed to soothe Harry's nerves.

Usually, that is.

Today, nursing his third glass of Firewhiskey, Harry wondered gloomily which deity he had angered to make his life so complicated. If anyone had told him at school what was in store for him... well, emigration was looking more and more attractive.

Harry had returned to Hogwarts for his Eighth Year and then, with Ron, gone straight into Auror training. The tentative renewal of his relationship with Ginny had fizzled out pretty quickly and they had both been rather relieved when it had ended. A couple of brief anonymous encounters in Muggle nightclubs had then led to a redefining of his sexuality and, although he hadn't been in a proper relationship during the five years since Ginny, he was more or less content. His work was interesting and rewarding, he had lots of great friends and it was easy enough to quietly pick up a Muggle - male or female - for the night if he felt the need.

Then, he and Ron had been assigned to investigate the Aldburn murder and Draco Malfoy had re-entered their lives.

Malfoy was something high up in the Department of Information, Comprehension and Knowledge, whose acronym sent Ron into fits of glee whenever Malfoy was around. Harry wasn't sure what Malfoy did in the Department, although, come to that, he wasn't really sure what the Department itself did. However, if you wanted to know anything about anyone, you went to the DICK and it was clear that Malfoy was very good at what he did. He could reel off information at an alarming rate and in frightening detail and took revenge on Ron's jokes about his Department by hinting at his knowledge of private - and usually embarrassing - episodes in Ron's life.

The collaborative investigation had been successful in more ways than one; by the time the murderer was arrested, the three men had put their differences behind them and were on vaguely friendly terms.

That was where the first problem had started. Harry's appreciation of Malfoy's good looks had rapidly blossomed into a full-blown crush, and his composure became rather dented when Malfoy continued to frequent their office after the case was finished. Malfoy's all-too-distracting presence was made worse by his continual innuendoes, always directed at Harry and always sexual in nature.

Harry wasn't vain enough to believe that Malfoy actually fancied him; obviously he had somehow found out about Harry's feelings and couldn't resist the opportunity to tease him about it. He supposed it showed how much Malfoy had changed that he hadn't actually come out and told Harry that he knew, but the persistent flirting that he was subjected to was, in a way, worse. He was being tempted - and he had come horrifyingly close in recent days to throwing Malfoy down on his desk and fucking him right there, in front of Ron - and he knew that as soon as he gave in and admitted that he had it badly for Malfoy, his tormentor would either laugh or, worse, pity him.

Ron was amused by the situation at first but Malfoy's constant presence started to annoy him too after a few days and, being Ron, he confronted Malfoy head-on.

It happened in the Atrium of the Ministry, at a time when the place was pretty crowded.

"Oi, Malfoy," Ron said loudly. "What are you playing at, constantly harassing Harry? A joke's a joke but you've carried it on too long, now."

Everyone nearby stopped what they were doing and turned to watch. Harry wanted to crawl away and hide in a corner.

Malfoy looked at Ron, his head tilted to one side for a moment in thought.

"It's very simple, Weasley," he said eventually. "I am simply obeying my nature. I'm part-Veela, you see."

This puzzled Harry; he couldn't see what that had to do with Malfoy teasing him. Ron, however, along with most of those around them, seemed to understand. His eyes widened and he looked at Harry and then back at Malfoy.

"I see," he said. "I suppose that does make a difference. Sorry for shouting at you like that, Malfoy." He grinned. "No hard feelings?"

Malfoy shook his head.

"You didn't know," he replied.

Harry was mystified now.

"What's going on?" he asked, frustrated at being left out of things. "What has Malfoy's being part-Veela got to do with me?"

Malfoy slunk towards him, a feral smile on his face. Harry was tempted to back away but just managed to stop his feet from moving.

"Oh, it concerns you entirely," he purred, when they were standing with only inches between them. "You're my mate."

"I still don't see what the problem is, mate," Ron said, before taking a large gulp of beer. "I mean, I know Malfoy is still a snarky git, but he's a lot better than he was in school, and I have it on good authority that he's really got it going for him in the looks department."

Harry looked up from his Firewhiskey.

"What good authority?"

"Hermione and Ginny have both said they think he's gorgeous, and I suppose he is pretty attractive if you like that pale, pointy androgynous look."

Harry sighed and didn't answer. In his book, Malfoy was more than just pretty attractive, but he wasn't about to admit that to Ron.

"In any case," Ron continued, "I was convinced -" He broke off abruptly and turned rather pink.

"You were convinced what?" Harry asked suspiciously.

"Nothing," Ron said unconvincingly.

Harry gave him a Look.

"Well," Ron was clearly uncomfortable, "I had just assumed that you liked him. Like that, I mean. It's the way you look at him. Like you want to... Sorry, I guess I'm wrong."

No, Harry wanted to say, you're not wrong, you're absolutely right. I want to hold him and kiss him and do unspeakable things to him and never let anyone else near him. But I can't. Not now the Universe has decided to fuck my life up again.

For the first time in his life, Harry was cursing his Gryffindor nobility for not letting him take what he wanted. It had been bad enough when he had thought Malfoy didn't mean it, but now it was a hundred times worse. He didn't know a lot about Veela, but he did know about mates. It was one of those cruel lotteries as to who a Veela got as their mate, and Harry had had enough of living a life he had no control over to want any part of it. Malfoy would never have chosen Harry as his mate if he had had any say in the matter, and now he had been made to fall in love with him. It was breaking Harry's heart to have to push him away, but he knew he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he didn't.

Just then, Harry looked up and his heart simultaneously leapt and sank. It was a curious sensation, and one that was unique to Malfoy's presence. He was standing in the doorway, looking around the room. When he saw Harry, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He made his way over to their table and sat, resting his elbows on the table and his chin in his hands to gaze into Harry's face. Harry squirmed and Ron looked knowingly from one to the other.

"I'll leave you two alone, then, shall I?" he said, starting to get up.

"No!" Harry yelped, tugging Ron back into his chair.

The satisfied smile on Malfoy's face widened.

"Scared, Harry?" he murmured.

"You wish," Harry replied awkwardly, wishing Malfoy would stop staring at him.

"Oh, you've no idea of some of the things I wish for," Malfoy said without missing a beat. "I could tell you all about them, if you like. We could go somewhere more private and... talk."

Harry glared at Malfoy, his face red. Ron was trying to stifle a snigger.

Malfoy picked up Harry's glass and took a sip, holding Harry's gaze as he swallowed and licked his lips. He replaced the glass on the table and scooped up a drop of Firewhiskey that was trickling down the side and sucked it off his finger, his cheeks hollowing as he did so.

Harry thought frantically about checking himself into St Mungo's mental ward. He certainly wouldn't have any sanity left if Malfoy kept up his performance much longer. He tore his eyes away and stared at the window. It was impossible to see through it because the glass was so grimy, but at least it didn't have blond hair and grey eyes and a wicked sultry voice.

"Did you know that sex with a Veela is utterly mind-blowing?" came a quiet voice from across the table.

This had the desired effect: Harry immediately turned back to Malfoy, gaping in horror.

"Malfoy!" he hissed, looking quickly around the room in case anyone else had heard. His face would be permanently stained red at this rate. Malfoy was unrepentant.

"That's what they say, anyway. Veela have a reputation all over the world as sex gods," he continued. "Would you like to find out if it's true, Harry?"

Harry turned to Ron, who had tears streaming down his face and was trying to keep the level of his laughter down to a choked wheeze. He was clearly not going to be any help at all.

Traitor, Harry thought viciously. He looked at Malfoy again, worried that he was about to say something even more horrific. Malfoy, however, was smiling placidly and rose to his feet.

"I'm going to get a drink," he announced, quashing Harry's hopes that he might be leaving. "Can I get you another, Harry?" Harry shook his head. "You don't want a quick one before hitting the road, as they say?"

Ron collapsed again into fits of laughter.

"No," Harry replied miserably.


Ron wiped his eyes and shook his head, grinning.

"No thanks, mate," he said, rising to walk in the direction of the loo, his shoulders still shaking.

Malfoy winked at Harry and sauntered over to the bar. Harry's eyes dropped automatically to his arse and he cursed, letting his head fall into his arms on the table. Malfoy was trying to kill him. He thought longingly for a brief moment about giving in and taking everything that Malfoy was offering and then sat up with a frown. No. He would not be a party to something that Malfoy, if he was in his right mind, would hate.

Just then, there was an embarrassed, "Excuse me," from nearby. A girl of about seventeen was standing next to him with a shy smile on her face.

"Mr Potter," she began and then hesitated before visibly gathering her courage. "I saw you sitting here and I just wanted to say that I'm a huge admirer of everything you've done." She stopped and blushed.

"Thank you," Harry said, regaining his equilibrium slightly.

"I wonder," she went on, "could - could I possibly have your autograph? It would mean so much to me."

Harry was touched. He didn't like giving out his autograph as a rule but there were always exceptions and the girl seemed nice enough.

"Of course," he said kindly.

He took the quill and parchment that she held out and scrawled his name, trying to make it look slightly tidier than normal.

"Oh, thank you," she said happily as he handed it back. "It's so kind of you. I really -" Her eyes widened and she turned pale.

Harry looked round. Malfoy had returned and the Malfoy Death Glare was out in full force. He sat down slowly, his eyes never leaving the girl. She backed away.

"I... um, t-thank you," she stammered. "I'll just..." She fled.

Malfoy watched her go and then turned back to Harry, his eyes softening slightly.

"Was that necessary?" Harry asked, a touch of frost in his voice.

Malfoy blinked.

"She shouldn't have bothered you," he replied. "You hate being pestered by fans."

This was true, but Harry was still feeling off-balance where Malfoy was concerned, and he persisted.

"It was only one girl," he said.

"She had no business coming over."

Harry was struck by the tone of Malfoy's voice and the look in his eyes. It wasn't exactly possessiveness, although Malfoy clearly took exception to the merest hint of competition. Rather, he seemed... fiercely protective, Harry realised. This so flustered him, and not entirely in a bad way, that he was pleased when Ron rejoined them and Malfoy became once again flirtatious and lightly provocative.

Harry stalked along the corridor to Kingsley's office, his face like thunder. Malfoy had gone too far and now Harry was about to get a ticking off because of it.

It had been two weeks since the Incident in the Atrium, as Harry thought of it, and during that time Harry's sympathy for Malfoy's plight had waned dramatically. He knew that Malfoy couldn't help how he felt (and that fact still angered him) but there were limits, and he suspected that Malfoy could control his behaviour perfectly well if he chose to.

Kingsley looked up as Harry knocked and entered.

"Ah, Harry, thank you for coming. Sit down." He cleared his throat. "Do you have any idea why I wanted to see you?"

"I have a pretty good idea, sir," Harry replied.

"Well, let's start at the beginning, shall we? Last Tuesday, you and Ron called on an elderly witch in Wales who had reported a burglary, correct?"

"Yes, sir."

"While you were taking her statement, Mr Malfoy suddenly burst into the room and Stupefied her. He claimed subsequently that she had drawn her wand and was about to attack you."

He looked up at Harry.

"She was making us tea, sir."

"I see. Then, last Friday evening, you attended a charity event at the Albus Dumbledore Orphanage and a small girl approached you to thank you for a gift of a stuffed unicorn. Mr Malfoy appeared and uttered threats, reducing her to tears."

Harry clenched his jaw and said nothing. Kingsley coughed and went on.

"On Monday, you were passing the time of day with an elderly gentleman in Diagon Alley and, again, Mr Malfoy appeared. This resulted in a precautionary trip to St Mungo's for the gentleman, who suffers from heart trouble. Yesterday, you interviewed witnesses of a disturbance at the Copper Cauldron. This time, Mr Malfoy's intervention ended in three bystanders being hexed."

"Sir, I know you're angry -" Harry began.

Kingsley looked surprised.

"Angry, Harry? I'm not angry. This is all perfectly understandable under the circumstances."

Harry stared at him.

"You're not angry?"

"No. Veela are well known for being rather... well, rather over-emotional when it comes to their mates. Allowances always have to be made. I would find it surprising if Mr Malfoy did not want to protect you. The reason I called you in was to discuss your part in all this."

Harry's eyes widened in outrage.

"My part?! I haven't done anything -"

"I mean your attitude towards Mr Malfoy. You see, Harry, these incidents have all been relatively minor and easily resolved. When the circumstances were explained to these people they were all eventually willing to let the matter drop. Fortunately, you have not been involved in a serious or complicated case for a couple of weeks. If you had been, the results could have been severe. Now, I realise this has all been a great surprise to you, but do you think you could possibly act a little friendlier towards the lad? It would help to calm his protectiveness if his feelings were... reciprocated, even a little."

There was silence for a moment.

"Until Mr Malfoy feels secure enough to trust that you will be safe during your investigations, I cannot allow you to take on more than the most minor cases," Kingsley finished.

"You're saying I have to mate with Malfoy or lose my job?" Harry felt as if the floor had disappeared from under him.

"I didn't say that at all. I am not issuing an ultimatum, but I have to consider the Department as a whole and, of course, the victims of crime that we are here to protect. If you are a liability, I cannot, and will not, allow you out into the field."

Harry's mind reeled with the shock. He was virtually being ordered to give Malfoy (and himself) what he wanted, in complete opposition to all his principles.

Kingsley was looking at him expectantly.

"I'm sorry, sir," Harry said resolutely, "but I can't mate with Malfoy. Absolutely not."

Kingsley nodded and sighed.

"In that case, we'll have to see how things go and give some thought to what you can do in the Department. You are a valuable member of the team, Harry, and I should hate to lose you. You do see how things stand, though?"

"Yes, sir," Harry said, his heart feeling leaden and somewhere in the vicinity of his boots. "May I go now?"

Harry spent the next few days feeling aggrieved and guilty. Ron was clearly annoyed at being confined to desk duties along with Harry but he was very tactfully not saying anything about it, apart from a couple of light quips. Harry smiled uncomfortably at the jokes about his missus not liking his day job and didn't reply.

When Ron came bounding into the office with a huge grin one afternoon, Harry felt his spirits lift. Ron waved a folder at him and threw it onto his desk.

"Come on, mate, time to go. We've got an arrest to make."

Harry leaped to his feet and grabbed his cloak.

"What? Who? I thought I still wasn't allowed out of the office."

"It's nothing particularly special; just a small-time potions crook, but Kingsley thought it would be safe enough to let us go and arrest him. The evidence is already gathered so it should be a quick outing. Off to his place in Knockturn Alley, pick him up and back here to put him in a holding cell."

Harry wasn't about to hang around, just in case Kingsley changed his mind and told them to stay put. Ron was clearly of the same mind and the two of them were out of the Ministry in record time.

Knockturn Alley was as depressing as ever but, at this time of day, not many people were out and about. The flat that Magnus Mimms rented was easy to find, situated above a bookshop that seemed to specialise in rather dubious literature.

Harry almost burst out laughing when they entered the flat and found Mimms hard at work over his cauldron, surrounded by illegal and restricted ingredients and with a well-known book on hallucinogenic potions propped up in front of him. It was almost as if the man wanted to be caught, brewing illegal substances in broad daylight. He stammered and sputtered when they cautioned him and tried to pretend he didn't know what they were talking about. Ron took him by the arm, drawing him away from the table and pulling out a pair of magical handcuffs.

Then disaster, in an elegant Malfoy-shape, struck.

The door burst open and Malfoy appeared, a wild look in his eyes. In a flash, he was across the room and standing between Harry and the others, brandishing his wand.

"Get back, Harry," he hissed, shoving Harry away from Mimms, who was staring at him in dumb amazement. "It's not safe for you here."

Harry stumbled back and his foot slipped on a patch of spilled potion. His arms flailed and he grabbed at the table.

"Harry, be careful!" Ron shouted.

It was no good. Harry crashed to the floor, taking the objects on the table with him. A cauldron-full of half-brewed potion splashed over him, running down his face and neck and under his robes. Dizziness swept through him and he thought vaguely that it was fortunate he had nowhere else to fall.

The last thing he saw before he sank into blissful darkness was a pair of terrified grey eyes.

When Harry opened his eyes, he let out a groan and quickly closed them again. The white walls of St Mungo's were horribly familiar and the events that had brought him here returned to him almost immediately.

The door opened and closed and a far-too-cheerful voice said,

"Well, now, dear, how are you feeling?"

He opened his eyes again and scowled at the mediwitch who was standing over him.

"Like I've had a hallucinogenic potion tipped over my head," he said darkly, accepting his glasses from her and jamming them onto his nose.

The mediwitch appeared not to notice his mood; presumably, she was used to angry patients. She plumped up his pillows and waved her wand over him, making satisfied noises at the results. Harry looked around and failed to spot his own wand. He pointed this out in not very friendly terms. She was not in the least daunted.

"Mr Weasley took it with him. It was thought best under the circumstances. After all, the effects of a potion like that are always unpredictable and, what with it only being half-complete when administered, well, we didn't want to take any chances."

Harry's face darkened still further.

"We've counteracted the potion as far as possible and there don't appear to be any ill-effects so far. You'll have to stay in overnight to be sure, though. If there's still nothing by the morning, you can go." She beamed at him and turned to leave the room. "By the way, you have a visitor. I'll just send him in."

Harry brightened slightly at this. Perhaps Ron could be persuaded to give him his wand back; he felt rather vulnerable without it. A fair head peeked around the door and Harry scowled.

"Malfoy," he growled, as his visitor entered hesitantly. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Malfoy seemed to wilt and he stood by the door twisting his hands.

"I wanted to apologise," he said nervously. "I... It was very stupid of me to interfere and I would never ever have forgiven myself if you had been seriously hurt."

His eyes were huge and unhappy and Harry's insides twisted.

"Perhaps you should have thought about the possible consequences before you came barging in like that," Harry retorted, hating himself as Malfoy's face crumpled. "I'm sorry that you feel the way you do about me but there's nothing I can do to change it. What's more, I won't put up with you constantly following me around."

"I'm sorry," Malfoy whispered, his eyes shining with tears.

"Sorry's not enough," Harry said, his voice rising with all the frustration and yearning that was bubbling up inside him. "Just stay away from me! I've nearly lost my job because of you and your idiotic behaviour. Grow up and try minding your own business for once."

Malfoy gave a choked sob and rushed out of the room. Harry turned his face into the pillow and let his own tears come. He wished he could take all the words back immediately but it would be best for both of them if Malfoy stayed away.

Harry curled himself into a ball, pulling the covers over his head and hoping that, when he re-emerged, the world might be a less complicated and unfair place. Emotionally exhausted, he quickly fell asleep.

At first, Harry wasn't sure what had woken him. He felt uneasy and the feeling was steadily growing. He sat up and looked around the room but could see nothing amiss.

A faint whisper reached his ears and then a patch of air dissolved into solidity and became a person. It was a young man with a cold expression, his wand pointed steadily in Harry's direction. Harry tensed and waited for the other to speak.

"Harry Potter," the young man said in a low voice. "I've been waiting for a chance to get you alone."

Harry didn't like the sound of that. Also, there was something about the man that was familiar, although he didn't think they'd ever met.

"Who are you?" he asked, pleased that his voice was steady. He cursed Ron for taking his wand; he really was helpless at the moment.

"I'm Simon Pendridge's brother," came the reply.

Harry didn't have to rack his brains to remember Simon Pendridge. His face hardened.

"And what do you want with me?"

"You put Simon in Azkaban for life," Pendridge said, his hand clenching around the handle of his wand.

"He murdered four people; of course he's in Azkaban," Harry retorted.

"He's my brother," the young man said, stepping forward. "I believe in family loyalty. That's why I'm here. I'm just sorry Simon won't be able to deal with you himself. It would have made him very happy to be able to put an end to you personally."

Harry's heart was pounding, his eyes never leaving Pendridge and his mind weighing up possibilities. He wouldn't be able to get to his attacker before a hex reached him and he knew that one shot was all that was needed.

Pendridge raised his wand slightly, aiming directly between Harry's eyes.

"Goodbye, Harry Potter," he said, his face still expressionless. He opened his mouth to speak the spell.

The door flew open and a light shot across the room, hitting Pendridge full in the back. He crumpled into a heap on the floor and his wand floated into Malfoy's outstretched hand. He looked up at Harry.

"He didn't hurt you?" he asked quickly.

Harry shook his head.

"No. He was just about to cast when you -"

Malfoy nodded and flicked his wand at Pendridge, binding him tightly with magical ropes. He stepped to the door and called. Harry's mediwitch came rushing in, her cheerful face briefly shocked at the sight before settling down into quiet efficiency.

"I have to call the Aurors," Malfoy said quietly.

"Use my office," she replied, stepping over to Harry and running her wand over him, despite his protests that he was fine. "At the end of the corridor, on the right."

Malfoy nodded and left the room.

Harry was rather embarrassed at how quickly the Aurors arrived to take Pendridge into custody. He supposed that, however much he wished otherwise, he would always be Harry Potter and therefore always need special treatment.

Malfoy stood inconspicuously in the corner, staring into space except when he was asked a direct question, and Harry was feeling quite worried about him by the time his colleagues left. When they had gone, taking their cargo with them, the mediwitch departed as well, impressing on Harry the need for a good night's sleep in order to get over the excitement. Malfoy was about to slip out of the room after her; Harry called him back.

"I... um," Harry wasn't sure how to start. "How did you know I was in danger? Where were you?"

Malfoy's cheeks pinked. It was an attractive look on him, Harry couldn't help thinking.

"I was in the corridor," he admitted. "I'm not sure how he managed to get in here without my seeing him."

"Disillusionment charm," Harry replied absently. "Did you say you were in the corridor?"

Malfoy nodded, his eyes looking everywhere except at Harry.

"You've been there all this time? Even after I shouted at you? It's been over four hours."

"I couldn't bear to leave," Malfoy murmured, his voice so low that Harry had to strain to hear him.

Harry gave a long sigh and closed his eyes. He hadn't realised just how deep this went with Malfoy. Forced or not, it seemed Malfoy was so deeply in love with him that, even after all that Harry had said, he had stayed in the corridor outside his room, presumably just in order to be near him. The rejection was obviously hurting him, hurting both of them, far more than Harry had considered it would. Suddenly, his principles seemed far less important than they had. Maybe one should just make the best of a situation, even if one didn't like how it had begun.

Harry opened his eyes.

"Draco..." he said and then looked around the room.

He was alone.

There was no doubt about it, Hermione's presence was very soothing when you had a problem. She always exuded an atmosphere of capability that made even the most challenging situation seem solvable.

Harry was sitting on Ron and Hermione's sofa, his wand back in his possession and his friends opposite him, unburdening his woes. He had been released from St Mungo's that morning and before tackling Malfoy - Draco - he wanted to know what his friends had to say about it all. They had both been supportive of the idea of a relationship with Draco, even before Harry himself had, and he hoped that they could help relieve him of some of his doubts.

"It's the whole Veela thing that's the problem. You know, Fate decides who your mate is and you have absolutely no say over it, even to the point of falling in love against your will. That's the part I really can't deal with."

Ron and Hermione shared a confused look.

"Harry, what are you talking about?" Hermione said after a short pause.

A tiny doubt began to creep into Harry's mind.

"Veela mates. Veela don't choose who..." He stopped. Hermione was frowning and Ron was still looking confused.

"No one chooses a Veela's mate except the Veela themselves," Hermione said gently. "Fate doesn't have anything to do with it."

"Oh, God." Harry stared at her, his eyes wide and his heart beating wildly. He had got it all wrong; he had rushed to conclusions without knowing anything about the situation and now...

"Where did you get that idea about Veela?" Ron asked.

Harry couldn't speak. He stared at the table, cursing himself for a fool.

"You know," Ron continued musingly, "It does sound vaguely familiar, that stuff about Fate choosing your mate. Where have I heard it before?"

Harry forced the words out miserably.

"There was a book. A novel. Ginny had been reading it and... She said she'd really enjoyed it and she gave it to me when she'd finished." He flushed. "It was a romance. A Veela’s Heart."

Ron's face cleared in comprehension and Hermione gave a long sigh.

"Gloria Trufflehunter," she said, shaking her head. There was a moment's silence and then she looked sternly at Harry.

"Harry, do you normally base your relationships on the tripe that comes out of that woman's quill? She's notorious for writing the most utter garbage. The Rita Skeeter of the fiction world."

Harry squirmed.

"I thought... I mean, I know she writes romantic fiction and sells it to the Muggle market but she's still a witch, isn't she? She must know about Veela."

"Gertrude Spragg is a Muggleborn who left the Wizarding World immediately after finishing at Hogwarts. She took the pen name Gloria Trufflehunter and writes ridiculous romantic novels combining the most clichéd Muggle ideas of romance with what little she knows of the Wizarding World. Nothing she writes should ever be taken seriously."

With a groan, Harry buried his face in his hands.

"Don't you remember that business a couple of years ago when she wrote a book set in the DMLE and claimed that the whole thing was a kinky sex ring?" Ron asked with a grin. "I've never seen Kingsley so furious, especially when it was pointed out to him that the character that was based on him enjoyed dressing up in a schoolgirl's uniform and being spanked." He chuckled. "Honestly, Harry, it's pretty obvious the woman's barking mad. Ginny only reads her stuff because she thinks it's hilarious."

Harry wallowed in agonising self-pity for a few more minutes and then sat up, his face taking on a determined expression.

"I have got everything horribly, horribly wrong. Will you tell me about Veela, please? I think I need to start again at the beginning."

Hermione patted him on the arm.

"Firstly, Harry, Draco is only part-Veela, and that will dilute the characteristics to some extent. You'll need to talk to him to find out where he's more Veela and where he's more human. The main thing you need to know is that Veela fall in love like anyone else. It is entirely their own choice, well, as much their own choice as falling in love ever can be. The reason Veela have mates rather than just partners is that a Veela will fall in love only once. They may have many sexual partners when young but once they have given their heart to someone, that's it." Hermione sighed. "It's incredibly romantic, really, and Veela are very protective of their mates. They will do absolutely anything for the person they love." She looked at Harry slyly. "But I should think you know that by now." Harry blushed.

"What about, um, you know? Is it... better with a Veela?"

"You mean sex?" Hermione shook her head in exasperation. "You're supposed to be an adult, Harry; you should be able to talk about it."

"Draco said that sex with a Veela was really incredible, more so than with anyone else," Harry said quietly, his face burning.

Hermione looked thoughtful.

"Well," she said, "it is and it isn't. They don't have special powers that manifest as soon as they get into bed or anything like that. As I said, though, Veela are completely devoted to their mates. I should think that sex with a person who is entirely focussed on bringing you pleasure would be pretty mind-blowing. Especially when you're in love."

Harry sat in silence and stared at his hands. He had some serious apologising to do. Eventually, he looked up at Ron and Hermione, who were both looking at him sympathetically.

"Thank you," he said, rising to his feet. "I think I'd better go now and... you know."

Ron stood and clapped him on the shoulder.

"That's right, Harry. Get the apologies over with and then you can get to the fun part."

"Ron!" Hermione scolded lightly, a small smile on her face. She rose and stood on tiptoes to kiss Harry's cheek. "Good luck, Harry."


Harry walked over to the fireplace and hesitated. His hand passed self-consciously over his shirt; it was rather wrinkled and Draco always looked immaculate. He would Floo home first and change.

Malfoy Manor was as intimidating as ever. Harry shifted uncomfortably in his too-formal clothes and hoped that Draco was at home. He was out of luck. The house-elf that answered the door vanished and was replaced by the forbidding countenance of Narcissa Malfoy. She glowered down her nose at Harry.

"Can I help you, Mr Potter?" she asked icily. Harry was clearly expected to say no and hurry away quickly with his tail between his legs.

"Um..." Narcissa Malfoy's face became even more disapproving than before. "Could I speak to Draco, please?" Harry managed, hoping that the words were coming out in the right order.

She sniffed.

"I wasn't aware that you were on friendly terms with my son," she replied.

"Um... well... no, not really but... could I see him?"

"I'm afraid I really couldn't say where my son is at present," she said with a faint air of triumph. "He went out this morning and has not been back since."

The conversation was clearly over as far as she was concerned and so Harry mumbled an incoherent thanks and fled back up the drive.

It took him about twenty minutes to shake off the general feeling of unworthiness that Narcissa Malfoy had inspired in him. Then, he began to think like an Auror.

If he could get hold of a personal possession of Draco's or a strand of hair, he could easily perform a tracking spell. The problem would be getting hold of something. He obviously couldn't go back to the Manor and ask Draco's mother for help in hunting down her son. He supposed he could try going into the Ministry and getting something from Draco's office but, knowing Draco, his wards would be pretty ferocious.

There was a spell he might be able to use but it was still in its development phase and rather hit-and-miss at the moment. However, it was the only thing Harry could think of and he had a fair amount of confidence in his abilities.

He concentrated on the thought of Draco's face, conjuring up an image in his mind and blotting out all other thoughts. Once he had the image absolutely perfect and solid, which took far less time than he had expected, he reached out with his mind and his magic, searching for Draco's essence and whispering the words of the spell.

Almost immediately, there was a connection, a feeling of familiarity and warmth and comfort. Harry latched onto it with all his strength and Apparated, praying that he wouldn't splinch himself and wake up in St Mungo's again.

The momentary dizziness of Apparition passed and he found himself in the last place he had expected.

The graveyard at Godric's Hollow had a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Harry glanced instinctively towards where his parents' graves were and saw the bowed head of blond hair that he was looking for. He walked quietly over, not wanting to break the silence, and stood a few feet away from Draco, who appeared lost in thought.

He had brought lilies and a spray of ivy, which were laid on the graves. Eventually, he turned his head and looked at Harry, seemingly unsurprised to see him there.

"What's the ivy for?" Harry asked. Draco looked down at the green leaves.

"It's part of the Potter coat of arms," he replied softly. "Ivy for lasting friendship. It seemed appropriate. I just wanted to thank them both for being who they were: your parents."

He looked up at Harry suddenly with a nervous expression.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I should go." He turned to leave.

"Wait!" Harry cried, catching his sleeve. "Don't go! You must let me explain."

Draco's face tightened.

"You don't have to explain anything."

"I do," Harry insisted. "And first I have to thank you. I should have done it yesterday. Thank you for saving my life."

Draco smiled rather wanly.

"Well, I suppose we're even now."

"Draco, you must let me explain why I've been behaving the way I have. I was under a... a misapprehension and I've hurt you badly, which I never wanted to do."

Draco didn't any anything but stood still and waited. Harry took a deep breath and began.

"I'm a complete idiot. I had the idea that Veela and their mates were assigned to one another in a sort of cosmic matchmaking bureau and that the people concerned didn't have any say in the matter. I thought you had been forced into falling in love with me against your will."

Draco frowned perplexedly.

"But that's nonsense," he said.

"I know it is, now," Harry replied, "but I couldn't bring myself to mate with you when I thought you wouldn't have wanted it if you'd had the choice."

"Why not?"

Harry shrugged in embarrassment and shuffled his feet, looking up at Draco through his fringe. Comprehension crossed Draco's face and he smiled faintly.

"Merlin preserve us from Gryffindors," he murmured. "Too damn noble for their own good."

They were both silent for a moment and then Harry looked up, his expression earnest and worried.

"I really do want to be with you, though," he said. "More than anything. I'm sort of... crazy about you. Have been for a while."

Draco looked at him but didn't say anything.

"I know I always get things wrong and I jump to conclusions and blurt things out without thinking," Harry continued hurriedly, "but do you think you might, possibly, feel like forgiving me?"

Draco sighed.

"Well," he said slowly. "I've known you were an idiot for years, Potter, but it didn't stop me from falling in love with you."

A goofy grin escaped Harry's control and spread across his face.

"You will?"

Draco opened his mouth and closed it again, then shrugged helplessly, smiling.

"Yes," he said simply.

Harry thought his heart was going to explode out of his chest and float off into the sky. From Draco's expression, he suspected it wouldn't be alone.

He started to take a step forwards and then stopped and held out his hand. Draco stared at it for a moment and stepped towards him hesitantly, reaching out to take it. They both became suddenly shy and stood still, looking at each other, their fingers entwined.

Then, slowly, both moving at the same time, they closed the gap between them and kissed.

It was like suddenly discovering the meaning of life. There was no one more important than Draco and nothing Harry wanted to do more than stand there forever, just kissing him. Then, Draco pressed closer, melting into his arms, and Harry found there was something else he wanted to do. Draco was hot and hard against him and he was wriggling in just the right way and his hair was so soft and Harry was falling deeper and deeper in love.

He pulled back slightly and they smiled at each other dazedly.

"Do you want to, maybe, come back to my flat?" Harry asked, unsure of how fast Draco would want to go or if there was a special Veela etiquette to adhere to. Draco smiled widely.

"Oh, I thought you'd never ask," he replied, wrapping his arms more tightly around Harry's neck and nipping at his jaw.

It was hard to concentrate enough in order to apparate with Draco kissing his way down Harry's neck, but somehow they ended up in Harry's bedroom and Draco turned and eyed the bed with approval.

"Ready to find out just how good sex with a Veela is?" he asked with a saucy grin.

"Ready to be fucked senseless?" Harry countered.

Draco's eyes widened slightly and they stared at each other for a breathless moment before Harry pounced, throwing them both onto the bed. There was a brief wrestle and Harry ended up on top. Draco laughed and attacked Harry's shirt, tugging at the buttons and dislodging Harry's glasses.

They managed to rid themselves of their clothes and indulged in several minutes' more kissing before Harry's need to explore his lover's body became too great to ignore.

Draco's nipples were perfect for nibbling on, he found, and his stomach was slightly ticklish, especially when Harry lapped at it and blew hot breath over the damp patches. His inner thighs were just as smooth and creamy as Harry had imagined they would be (and he was allowed to admit now to fantasising about Draco's thighs) and Draco gave wonderful little twitches when Harry nipped at the delicate skin.

As for his cock, well, Harry had never seen such a perfect specimen and this one was all his, he thought smugly. He sucked gently at the head and listened happily to the strangled squeaks that Draco was making. He didn't spend too long on Draco's cock, though; he had a different destination in mind. Pushing Draco's knees up to his chest, Harry headed south.

He drew his tongue lazily around the pink wrinkled skin of Draco's most secret flesh and marvelled at the number of swear words that his lover could come up with. Wanting to hear more, he pressed with the tip of his tongue and felt the muscles give way. Draco howled and sobbed and cursed as Harry drove his tongue as deep inside as he could.

Harry groaned himself when he thought of his cock being even deeper inside Draco and thrust his tongue in and out until his facial muscles protested. He had saliva all over his chin but he was more than satisfied with his handiwork when he looked up and saw the tear marks and desperate expression on Draco's face.

Harry sat up and crawled forward to reach into the drawer of his bedside table. He just managed to grab the tube of lubricant when he was tackled to the bed and found himself on his back with a very aroused and determined part-Veela above him.

"Potter," Draco said in a sultry voice, "you are absolutely wicked. I have the gravest suspicions that you are trying to kill me."

"Like you were trying to kill me with all the flirting and innuendo and wiggling your arse around in front of me," Harry retorted, mesmerised by Draco's hand stroking down his own chest. Draco smiled in delight.

"You liked that?" he asked.

"It was hell. I wanted you so much but I knew I couldn't -"

"Harry," Draco breathed, leaning down to whisper in his ear, "you can have me. I'm all yours."

Harry groaned and tried to roll them over but Draco resisted.

"Oh, no," he said with a wicked smile. "I think it's my turn to be torturer."

Harry relaxed and let Draco have his way. Suddenly, he found his arms lifted over his head and his wrists secured to the headboard.

"No moving," his lover purred.

Draco worked his way down Harry's body slowly and methodically, not missing an inch but covering every part of Harry's torso with feather-light kisses. It was the most exquisite torture and Harry loved it.

Finally, Draco reached Harry's groin and stopped. Harry looked up and their eyes met. Holding Harry's gaze, Draco opened his mouth and very slowly licked the head of Harry's cock. It was almost too much and Harry could only let out a croaked wheeze.

Draco obviously realised how close Harry was because he reached for his wand, which he had secreted in the blankets, and murmured a few words that Harry couldn't catch. He felt the result immediately, however, as a firm grip materialised around the base of his shaft, very efficiently preventing him from coming.

The next ten minutes were agonising. Draco alternated between tiny kisses and kitten-licks all over Harry's length and very impressively swallowing it down to the root.

Eventually, he released Harry's cock and slithered up so that they were face to face.

"Still with me?" he asked, pressing their foreheads together. Harry made an incoherent noise that he hoped Draco would take as an affirmative.

Draco then retrieved the lube from the pillow where it had fallen and liberally coated Harry's shaft. He reached behind himself and guided Harry to his entrance, sinking slowly down with a soft moan of contentment.

Harry thought briefly that Draco had forgotten the magical cock-ring he had conjured but his fear was dispelled as Draco picked up his wand and touched the tip playfully to Harry's nose.

"I want you to come with me," he said, clenching his muscles around Harry. "You're far too close at the moment to do without it since I'm sure you have no self-control. Gryffindors never do."

Harry felt his chest monster rise up in fury at the thought that other Gryffindors, or indeed other human beings, had been at all intimate with Draco, but then Draco began to move, obliterating all thoughts from Harry's mind. They were small movements to start with but gradually grew bigger until Draco was bouncing up and down on Harry's cock with abandon.

"Oh, Merlin, Harry," he gasped, "I'm getting close."

He took a firmer grip on his wand as he moved.

"Draco," Harry managed to grind out, thrusting his hips up, "please, I can't take -"

Draco flicked his wand just as his inner muscles clamped down hard on Harry's cock and he wailed, slamming himself down as he erupted across Harry's abdomen. The sudden disappearance of the magical cock-ring was almost frightening as Harry found himself catapulted into the biggest and most intense orgasm of his life.

He surfaced gradually, his body feeling like a pile of slushy snow that's been in the sun too long. Hermione was a dreadful liar, he thought idly. She had claimed that Veela didn't have special sexual powers, when they clearly did. Of course, maybe it was just that she hadn't had experience of them herself. Or maybe it was just Draco.

That thought pleased him enormously and he tried to reach out to his lover, only to find his arms were still tied up. He grunted and tugged at the bonds and then a sleepy murmur from somewhere next to him gave him his freedom.

His arms felt sluggish but he moved them with determination and pulled Draco closer, holding him as tightly as he could. Draco sighed softly and snuggled in to Harry's side, tucking his head under Harry's chin.

They lay in sated silence for a while and Harry was just starting to drift off when Draco shifted slightly.

"Harry," he whispered, "I want you to stop being an Auror."

Harry dragged himself back to wakefulness.

"What?" he mumbled.

"It's not safe for you to go out on investigations," Draco continued. "There are all sorts of dangerous people around."

"You want me to take a desk job?" Harry asked with reluctance. "I suppose I could ask Kingsley -"

"Not in the DMLE," Draco said firmly. "There are dangerous people there, too." Harry looked down at him in astonishment. "That smarmy little blonde witch who claims to be the Department Secretary, for one," Draco explained.

Harry relaxed back into his pillow and chuckled.

"I don't think she's really dangerous, love."

"She is," Draco insisted. "She's just looking for a chance to get her nasty painted claws into you."

Harry smiled fondly at his lover.

"Where would you rather I work, then?"

Draco looked up at him eagerly.

"You could come and work with me," he said.

"I have no idea what you do," Harry protested.

"That doesn't matter. There's always room for new talent in the DICK. We could share an office."

"Well," Harry said, rolling them over and kissing Draco briefly on the lips, "I'll think about it. A private office with you sounds wonderful, and you know I'd love to work with your DICK."


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