At breakfast, Professor Dumbledore made the announcement he and the boys had previously agreed upon. The old man stood, and a small gong sounded - an unusual occurrence in itself. "May I have your attention, please?" It was a measure of the respect the man commanded that he was met with almost immediate silence. "Over the summer, two of our pupils celebrated a most joyous occasion; matrimony. I'm sure we all wish them a long and happy union. Would the Misters Potter please stand?"
At the mention of Harry's name, the whispers began; then immediately intensified as the word "Misters" registered. But when Harry and Draco stood, arms about each other's waist, pandemonium reigned, and at least three people fainted; two from Hufflepuff, and Pansy Parkinson. It was a good five minutes or more before the teachers were again able to establish order, during which the three fainters were whisked away to the infirmary.
"A bit of a shock to everyone, eh?" Dumbledore commented amusedly. "Well, let's just say that one kind of passion can quite often mask another, and these two young men discovered that."
That comment had not been approved by the young married couple. Their faces went crimson. But it was just what was needed to defuse the situation, as most of the student body laughed. Unfortunately, there were a few hold-outs, and as predicted, most of them were in Slytherin House. Those who did not laugh were noted by Dumbledore's inner circle, and quite a few were noted by Harry and Draco themselves, despite their embarrassment. That didn't mean that all those un-amused were dangerous, but it was an indication.
Despite the variety of stares they received, from the merely curious to the downright hate-filled, the rest of breakfast went by without incident.
A messenger showed up halfway through Charms class later that day. After whispering to Professor Flitwick, that worthy turned to the class and said, "Will the Misters Potter please report to the Headmaster's office?"
Draco and Harry exchanged looks. There were very few things that Professor Dumbledore would call them to his office for now, and the most likely was Lucius Malfoy. They held hands all the way to the gargoyle.
When they entered the old man's office, this proved to be the case.
"What the hell is this old fool going on about, boy?" Lucius hissed coldly, as soon as he laid eyes on his son.
"I don't know," Draco replied just as coldly, deliberately omitting an honorific of any sort. "What did he say?"
"He bloody well claims that you've applied for and received emancipation, and married that abomination beside you!"
"I did get my emancipation, and this is my husband," Draco asserted, knowing that copies of the emancipation papers, anyway, would have been sent to the man.
"The bloody hell he is! I'll have it annulled!"
"Since you no longer have any legal say in my doings, I rather doubt that," the blond replied boldly.
"Draco Lucien Malfoy, I demand you obey your father!"
"My surname is Potter, and my father died when I found out he planned to bind me to the Dark Lord as one of his sex toys!" Draco retorted angrily.
Lucius blanched. "What are you talking about, boy? Where did you hear such calumny?" he asked fiercely.
"From your own lips, when you were talking to the scaly bastard! I listened in!" Draco accused.
If anything, the older man became paler still. One could tell he wanted to do something violent, but he wasn't yet quite so far gone in anger to lose that much control. However, despite his much-vaunted self-control, he couldn't keep himself from venting verbally. "You sniveling, whiney, weak, eavesdropping, pewling, good-for-nothing pile of droppings. This isn't over with," he said, his voice low, his tone deadly.
"I do hope you don't mean harm by that threat, Mister Malfoy," Dumbledore said, his voice like steel, "because if anything untoward happened to either of these two young men, magical or physical, the Aurors would know where to start looking - no matter who you used as a tool."
The blond man merely glared coldly at the headmaster, and stalked out.
Draco sagged, and might have fallen had Harry not grabbed him and helped him to a chair.
"You were magnificent, Draco!" Harry said, pride in every word of praise.
Draco raised his eyes to his husband's. "Why didn't you say anything, Harry? Why didn't you help me?"
Harry knelt beside the blond and held him tightly. "Would Lucius have listened to anything I had to say?" Harry asked. "Heard anything but interference in what he considered family matters of which I was not a part? All I could do was stand beside you and support you, Draco; be here in case I was needed. I'm sorry I couldn't do more, but you handled him wonderfully."
"I'm quite happy I decided to record this meeting," Dumbledore chimed in, holding up a green cube. "He admitted to everything when he called you an eavesdropper, Draco. As soon as this is heard at the Ministry, Lucius' power is as good as gone."
The quidditch pitch was deserted as Draco started walking. At about one hundred eighty-five feet he started feeling a little panicky. At two hundred his head hurt, his heart was pounding, his stomach was queasy, he was fighting an almost uncontrollable urge to turn and run back to his husband, and he had broken out in a cold sweat. Still, he forced himself to keep walking. At about two hundred thirty feet, he passed out.
Harry had been watching his husband with misgivings. At the one hundred eighty foot mark he'd started feeling a sense of loss. At two hundred there was an almost physical directional pull to go find his spouse, though he was in plain sight. It didn't get any worse, but when Draco collapsed, he panicked, running full-tilt to his husband's side, Hermione close behind him. To Harry's relief, the Slytherin's eyes fluttered open almost as soon as the blond head was in his lap. Leaning over, he gently kissed the presently pale, pink lips. "Why did you push it so far, love? You scared me half to death!" Harry scolded.
Draco smiled. "I had to know if anything would stop me if I really wanted to get away. I guess there is," he said ruefully.
"Why would you want to know if you can leave? Are you unhappy?" Harry asked, worried.
Draco gave his spouse a wan smile. "No, I'm not unhappy. Not really."
Harry smiled. "Need more affection?" he gently teased. "'Cause I'd like that, too."
Draco's cheeks pinked, but he gave a small smile, and nodded.
"Heh-hem!" Hermione was standing by, her cheeks tinted from being privy to such intimacy.
"Um... Sorry, 'Mione," Harry apologised, grinning.
"I can see that," she replied sarcastically, before turning to Harry's husband. "How are you feeling, Mal- Draco?"
"I'm okay now, Granger. Thank you."
Hermione's eyebrows raised slightly. Draco Mal- Potter had just thanked her? Would wonders never cease? "You're welcome... Draco," she replied wonderingly.
"So why are you still laying on the ground?" Harry asked curiously.
Draco smirked up at his husband. "I like my pillow," he replied insouciantly.
Harry grinned. "Well, your 'pillow' is about to go to supper. Would you like to accompany me?"
Draco got to his feet with alacrity, proving his assertion that he was all right.
Supper was a milder version of breakfast. There were still curious stares, but they were fewer, and shorter. Still whispering, but most of it was of a more mellow, speculative sort. But that didn't mean that they were being accepted into the company of others. And at the Slytherin table, a small group of three or four people were whispering in a more malicious manner. Theodore Nott was obviously haranguing them. But Pansy Parkinson wasn't one of them. As soon as the couple had sat down, she was up and on her way over to their small table.
"You two-faced, lying sack of dung!" she screamed, looming over the seated Draco.
Harry started to get up, but Draco put his hand on his shoulder, shaking his head 'no'. He looked up coolly at the angry girl. "What are you on about, Parkinson?"
"You were supposed to marry me!" she yelled hysterically.
"It would never have happened, Pansy," he replied calmly.
"We were promised!"
"Lucius made that promise, and he was going to break it. If I hadn't gone to Harry, I'd be the Dark Lord's plaything. You want to scream at someone? Scream at him."
"Wha- What?" Pansy had become very pale.
"Sit down, Pansy," Draco invited, "everyone's staring."
She slowly, shakily, sat down.
"Now, what don't you understand?" the blond boy asked.
"The... The Dark Lord?" Pansy asked.
"I overheard Lucius planning with him to make me his plaything."
"You're lying. You were promised to me!" The girl's face was still red with anger, but now doubt and uncertainty had entered her voice as well.
"Pansy, you know me better than that. I'm a lot of things, but a liar isn't one of them. I might keep silent, not tell the whole of a truth, or tell the truth in such a way as to give the wrong impression, but you have never known me to tell an outright lie. Admit it."
Pansy was shaking her head. "He wouldn't. We would have been happy together!" she said desperately.
Draco shook his head. "I might have married you out of duty, Pansy, but the happy marriage you envision wouldn't have happened," he said, taking Harry's hand. He smiled at his husband, then turned back to the distraught girl. "I've wanted to be with Harry since first year - as a friend, at first. I just never thought I'd ever be able to have him."
"No..." It was a wail; an acceptance of the truth despite her wishes. She broke down crying, and both young men tried to comfort her. She finally calmed down enough to shrug them off. She looked at them, still with tears in her eyes, then turned and walked, with what dignity she could muster, out of the Great Hall.
Draco caught Blaise' eye across the room and gestured; the boy followed Pansy out.
"Is he still a friend, then?" Harry asked.
"Blaise? I'm not sure. We still haven't talked. But he'll look after a fellow Slytherin. I just don't know if I still qualify in their eyes."
"That bothers you, doesn't it?"
Draco turned and smiled, putting his arms around Harry's neck (which caused another round of whispering). Harry's arms automatically encircled the Slytherin. "Not as much as you might think," Draco said, laying his head on the Gryffindor's shoulder, his nose in the crook of Harry's neck. "Slytherins are an extended family, but you're my family, now."
That night when they went to bed, Draco backed up to Harry to cuddle, as had been his husband's habit, but Harry started kissing and nibbling on the blond's neck as he let his hand start roaming over Draco's chest and stomach.
Draco's eyes closed as his body automatically pressed back into it, demanding more. Harry backed up a few inches, and with a light press of his hand, urged his husband to roll onto his back, which Draco was only too happy to do.
With better access to the pale neck, Harry got busy, but found the blond's silk pyjama top getting in the way of access to his collar bone. He left off what he was doing to his husband's neck, occasioning a protesting groan, and started unbuttoning the top. Draco caught the raven-haired young man's hand, a question in his eyes.
"Just tell me when to stop," Harry said huskily.
Draco gave a small smile, satisfied, and let go the hand, which got back to its task. Before he quite knew what was happening, they were both nude, arms and legs wrapped around each other, hips thrusting, cocks rubbing against each other, lips pressed almost bruisingly together as their tongues explored each other's mouths. The Slytherin felt himself getting close to an orgasm, and broke their kiss. "Harry... I'm - close."
"Me- Me too," Harry said, panting.
And then they were there, Draco orgasming only a second after Harry. Afterwards, Draco's legs fell from around his husband's. Spent, they fell asleep like that.
"Harry? Wake up, love. You're heavy. - - - Harry!"
"Wake up, you great lump!" Draco said, laughing. "We need to shower, get breakfast, and get ready for classes!"
"Nuwunna," Harry slurred.
"You're heavy, Harry; you slept on me all night!"
"Hm?" Harry reluctantly opened his eyes to look around - to find that he was, indeed, still on top of the blond. He smiled lazily and laid his head back down. "Nice," he opined.
"Get off me, you great git," Draco ordered affectionately. "I have to use the loo!"
Grumbling, Harry rolled off his lover, only to find that the results of last night's loving had dried, sticking their skin together, and making them 'peel' apart as he rolled.
"Ew... Disgusting!" the blond exclaimed.
"You didn't think so last night," Harry complained sleepily.
"Not you, you twit. We need to shower this mess off. We stink!"
Harry agreed, but was reluctant to get up. However... "Together?" he asked.
Draco looked at the Gryffindor, surprised. "You want to?"
In a trice, Harry was standing beside the bed, no longer sleepy, holding out a hand to help his husband up. "With you? I wouldn't miss it!" He was eager for a good reason to get his hands all over the blond.
The blond in question wasn't in a hurry; not with Harry standing nude in front of him. He slowly got up, obviously checking the other young man out, and ignoring his own unclothed state. They 'd sneaked looks at each other like this before, but now it was different. Now, it wasn't just the boy he was bound to, or his husband; now, it was his lover standing there.
Harry coloured, but was smiling. "Enjoying the 'scenery'?" he asked, recalling Draco's words of a few mornings before.
"Mm-hm!" Draco affirmed. "I don't think I'll ever get tired of that scenery."
They missed breakfast, and almost missed the beginning of class. But they were very clean.