Note: This is the sequel to "Pride of Ice". If you haven't read that, this fic prob'ly won't always make much sense due to flashbacks and shit. Like "Pride of Ice", this is a Draco/Harry SLASH story. If you don't like "gay" fanfiction, don't bother to read this. For those of you who enjoyed PoI, I hope this fic doesn't disappoint you; I have big plans for this fic. ^_^
It was all Draco's idea.
"To avoid complications," he'd said initially- and then later admitted that he didn't want Harry's last year at Hogwarts to be hell. After spending the summer with Harry and the Dursleys, he had come to realize just how much his time at Hogwarts meant to Harry.
It had probably been one of the most amusing, satisfying summers Harry had experienced. With just a cold glance Draco could cow the Dursleys into trembling submission. They knew he was one of "those wizard freaks", and after Harry's offhand remarks about the other boy's violent tendancies (a lie, of course), the Dursleys had avoided the both of them like the plague, allowing them to come and go as they pleased out of fear. The only thing that marred the upcoming school year for Harry was the thought of facing his classmates after the more than obvious hints of his and Draco's relationship last year.
"We'll do this," Drao said one evening as the two of them sat on the roof eating rye bread and cheese sandwiches, watching the sunset. "Act like nothing happened between us."
Harry turned his head to stare at his lover, wiping mayo from his mouth with the back of his hand. "What?"
Draco stared at the reddened clouds, chewing thoughtfully on his dinner. "Act as though it never happened. When people try to ask you about it, say you don't want to talk about it. Look embarrassed or ashamed if you have to. Sooner or later people will figure it was simple curiosity or that I was trying to manipulate you." He turned to gaze steadily at Harry. "Some of them will still treat you weird, but you won't have to be an outcast for your last year. We'll just have to keep the whole thing a secret."
Harry stared at the taller boy speechlessly for a long moment, sandwich forgotten. Draco was doing this for him. Not himself. After being disowned by his own family, Draco seemed to care less about what people thought of him, and had even made him a little less arrogant. If half the school were to give him the cold shoulder because of his taste in bedmates, he could handle it. He was used to it. But Harry, for whom friendships and acceptance were so important, should not have to go through the aggravation and humiliation an obvious boy/boy relationship would have brought.
Harry's eyes smarted and he ducked his head, leaning it against Draco's shoulder and lowering his sandwich into his lap. "I'm not ashamed of you," he whispered, knowing he had to reassure the other boy.
"Hn," Draco grunted noncommitedly, but lifted his arm behind Harry and buried his fingers in the unruly dark hair in affection.
And so they had decided to keep their relationship a secret- from all save Ron and Hermione, who Harry refused to lie to.
It worked out surprisingly well.
Perhaps because Harry was a hero to most of the students at Hogwarts, and they didn't want to look at him in that manner. Maybe because it was easy to believe Draco capable of that kind of manipulation. Whatever the reason, within three months of their final year, the majority of the student body accepted the ruse and assumed it had been another trick of Malfoy's. Only the Slytherins still despised Harry and called him "faggot" when they saw him, but they were too afraid of Draco to tease him for long, and soon things were tentatively like they used to be, or at least bearable.
Except, of course, that now Harry and Draco had to meet in secret after school hours or in between classes. It was frustrating at times, but it was necessary.
Things progressed a little shakily, but their pretense held up as the months rolled by, and with only two more months until graduation, both boys had begun to relax, anticipating the life that awaited them after school.
One afternoon as they were walking towards the Quidditch field for practice, Harry leaned over to his lover.
"I want you to come live with me and live with Uncle Sirus," he murmured. "After we graduate."
Draco flicked the shorter boy a quick glance, concealing his surprise. "We'll see," he said evasively.
"You don't sound too happy about it," Harry noted.
Draco frowned, looking straight ahead as they walked. "Harry.. you know Voldemort's going to get me eventually for betraying him."
Harry snorted, shoving his hands in his pockets. "No way. You'll be safe with me and Sirus. We won't let him get you. No one knows where my uncle lives. You'll be safe." He smiled reassuringly.
Draco cracked a small grin, but secretly he knew Harry was being overly optimistic. Still... it was a nice dream. He had been disowned by his own family, and had informed his professors on the first day of the school year that for his final year he would be dropping his last name. That had caused some surprise and consternation among the school body, but as he was the only boy with the name 'Draco', it hadn't caused any problems, and Professor Dumbledore, oddly enough, had told the professors to acede to the boy's wish.
Draco came to a stop by the bleachers and snagged his lover's sleeve, pulling him out of sight of the milling Gryffindor players on the field and stealing a quick goodbye kiss.
Harry looped an arm around Draco's neck to hold him still, plunging his tongue into the taller boy's mouth to prolong the kiss.
When they finally pulled back, Harry was flushed and Draco was grinning smugly, eyes hooded.
Harry punched him lightly on the shoulder. "You don't have to look so full of yourself."
Draco raised his eyebrows in mock innocence. "I can't help it if I'm so irresistable."
Harry rolled his eyes and turned to go, waving over his shoulder. "See you after practice."
"Yeah." Draco turned away and headed back towards the school, hands in his pockets.
Harry jogged over to join his team, and Ebony, the team captain, looked up from her clipboard at his approach. "It's about time," she said a little huffily.
"Sorry," Harry said a little sheepishly, making his way through his team mates to stand with two of the newer recruits.
Ebony sighed and continued laying out their strategy for the next game.
"Hey, Harry." The girl on his left flashed him a grin. She was a third year, a short, spunky girl with tightly-woven gold braids and big blue eyes that moved almost as fast as her mouth. She was the youngest one on the team, but her accuracy with the bludger was impressive. "What took you so long? Did Snape keep you after class? He's a jerk, isn't he? I hate being in his class; it's torture."
"Put a lid on it, Ginger," the boy to Harry's right sighed. "If Ebony hears you chattering she'll throw a fit."
Harry grinned at his younger friend. "Hi, Joseph."
The fifth year student grinned back. "Busy, Harry?" he asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. Harry flushed.
Joseph was one of the very rare students at Hogwarts who knew about Draco and Harry's relationship and approved of it. His open mind and friendly manner had been a welcome relief to Harry after having to put up with the uneasiness of some of his peers, and they had become fast friends.
Joseph could be mistaken for Ginger's brother, though more in manner than in appearances. Both were friendly, easy going, and took a strange, almost morbid fascination in getting into fights with Slytherins who slighted them or their friends. But while Ginger's hair was a brillant golden, Joseph's was a short crop of sandy brown, his eyes slightly slanted and the color of the jade ring he wore on his finger.
"Better pay attention," Joseph muttered out of the corner of his mouth. "Ebony's looking over here suspiciously."
Harry didn't bother to point out the fact that it was his two chatty friends that had attracted Ebony's stern eye. He merely sighed quietly and forced back a rueful grin, focusing more on what his captain was saying.
He was in a good mood.
Not everyone in Hogwarts hated him, Draco was still his, he had made new friends, and classes, while challenging, were going well. Not to mention soon they would be free to live on their own, away from prying eyes, and upon graduation Harry and his friends would be labeled as genuine wizards. He would miss Hogwarts and its memories terribly, but with the developments between Draco and himself, it was probably for the best that this was going to be their last year.
Harry felt eyes boring into his back and glanced nervously over his shoulder, already suspecting who he might see.
A girl was seated on the bleachers, watching the team discussion with an emotionless face. Her long, ivory tresses were done up in a loose braid, the breeze playing with some strands that had escaped. She was staring straight at Harry with her eerie tawny eyes, hands clasped in her lap as she sat almost regally in the wooden bleachers, still as stone.
With her stunning looks and strange colorless hair, she had become the topic of many comments and discussions-- particuarlly among the boys. In a way, he was silently grateful to her. Her appearance three months into the school year had helped draw the attention from Draco and himself.
Still, it creeped him out that she always seemed to be watching him, her face unreadable and her gaze unwavering until in the end he was always forced to look away uncomfortably. They had never spoken, but he had the strangest feeling that he knew her somehow.
Turning his back on her once more and trying to ignore the hairs standing up on the back of his neck, he questioned a part of Ebony's strategy, more to get his mind back on track than because of any real disagreement.
When Ebony finally called for physical practice, Harry was relieved to mount his broomstick and soar into the air where he could no longer feel Iris' piercing gaze.
The Gryffindor team played out the important parts of their stratedy a few times, until finally Ebony seemed satisfied. "All right," she called, drawing up her broom alongside Harry's. "That's enough everyone. Good job." She turned her head to look at Harry as the rest of the team landed. "Harry."
Harry looked at her. "What's up, Eb?"
Ebony nodded down towards a figure striding slowly onto the field, looking uneasy. "What's that witch doing here?"
Harry gazed down at Iris as she came to a stop in the middle of the field and tilted her face to stare directly at him. He swallowed hard. "I think she wants to talk to me."
"She's from Ravenclaw, isn't she?" Ebony demanded. "Which means she could be here spying for the game." The upcoming game was against Ravenclaw, with Slytherin as their opponents in the final game if they won. "Tell her to bugger off, will you?"
"Sure," Harry said weakly, and Ebony soared off.
Harry lowered his broom slowly and stepped to the ground before the silent girl, watching her uneasily.
She was a fifth year, like Joseph, but for some reason she looked older than that. Perhaps because she radiated such a calm about her.
"Um, can I help you?" Harry asked hesitantly, holding his broom tightly as he watched her almost warily.
She reached out with one hand, and he gave a little start as she placed her cool palm to his forehead. "Wha-"
"Beware, Harry Potter," she said in a quiet, oddly musical voice. "Beware."
Harry wanted to pull away, but for some reason his body felt cold and unresponsive. "What are you talking about?" he sputtered.
"Terrible news will reach this school very soon," Iris said softly, staring deeply into his eyes, as if she could look at his very soul. "Terrible news that will change the lives of wizards everywhere-- most especially yours."
Harry felt numb, his tongue refusing to move as he merely stared at her.
She lowered her hand then, her gaze piercing and calculating. "War is on the air, Harry Potter," she whispered. "Are you ready?"
Wa-lah, I'm finally writing the sequel to "Pride of Ice". ^.^;; This one's going to be a bit more complicated than its prequel, I think... -_-; Though it will obviously have more draco/harry snog sessions than before.. ^__^ la..
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