Title: Once Upon A Fairy Tale
Prompt: # 115
Pairing/Characters(s): Harry/Draco, Ron, mention of Ron/Hermione
Summary: Ron Weasley has been missing for three months, vanishing during an investigation into the strange disappearance of a number of children. Draco and Harry take over the case and Draco is left to pick up the pieces when Harry goes missing. Finding an old book of fairy tales on Harry’s desk, Draco gets pulled into a fairy tale world where nothing is as it seems and he tries to discover what has become of Harry and Ron.
Content Notes/Warnings: Fairy tale, Romance, Humour, EWE
Word Count: ~8,500
Author's Notes: Firstly thank you to renleek for a prompt which left me salivating with excitement. I hope you enjoy the fic, although I have deviated a little from your request. I wanted the story to be creepy and romantic and like all good fairy tales I wanted a happily ever after. Thank you to V and M for beta reading and cheering me on, and thanks to the lovely FJ for cheerleading, a thorough and helpful beta read and her patience with my delay.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Once Upon A Time.
Draco ran his finger over the black lettering on the front of the manila file. The papers inside were creased and well-thumbed as if someone had been looking through it before being called away suddenly, forced to leave everything as it was. Harry’s entire office looked like that, with a half-eaten chocolate bar left out on the desk, the foil wrapping pushed back and the indent of Harry’s teeth marking the soft caramel and chocolate.
The desk was littered with papers and scribbled notes. It hadn’t escaped Draco’s notice that the notes also contained the smallest doodle of a ‘DM’ in the corner as if Harry had been distracted and started subconsciously tracing Draco’s initials onto the parchment. Draco could picture him, sucking the end of his quill thoughtfully and raking a hand through messy hair, trying to solve the case they had been working on for months and tracing Draco’s initials onto his notes without even noticing what he was doing.
With a sigh, Draco moved to sit in Harry’s chair, picking up the discarded quill and tapping it against his own lips thoughtfully. Harry had been missing for over a week now. A team of Aurors had been combing the countryside for any sign of him while the Prophet speculated about the return of the Dark Lord. He ran his fingers along the desk, feeling the smooth mahogany wood beneath his fingertips and remembering the last time he had seen Harry before he disappeared, a smile pulling at the corners of his lips despite his worry.
“This case is going to be the death of me, Malfoy.”
Harry leant back against the desk, glaring at Draco as if it was his fault that their lives had been completely consumed by the disappearance of Ron Weasley three months ago. Weasley had been investigating the disappearance of a number of Wizarding children who had seemingly vanished from the face of the earth, before vanishing himself. His desk was left untidy, papers strewn around it, as if he had been in the middle of something and had been called urgently away. No one had heard from him since.
“Well it’s hardly a picnic for me either, Potter – spending most of my time in your office and trying to save your sorry arse as you leap from one bird brained scheme to another.” Draco sniffed and looked Potter up and down as if he offended him, when it was really just a good excuse to ogle him. “I can assure you, I have much better things to do with my time.”
“I’m sure you do,” Harry looked disbelievingly at Draco. “Finding the perfect accessories to compliment your Dark Mark or trying out a new hair gel?”
Draco moved towards Potter, feeling the familiar sort of anger only he could incite and leaned close to him, fisting a hand into his robes and glaring at him, trying to ignore the fact he smelled like grass and chocolate and coming home. “I hate you, Potter - how the hell I managed to end up trying to save the world with you, I’ll never know.”
Potter’s breathing was ragged as he glared right back at Draco. He pressed his hands onto Draco’s chest as if to push him away, meeting his eyes straight on and then leaned forward until they were nose to nose. Draco could hear that he was talking and knew he was saying something uncomplimentary, but he found it rather difficult to focus when Potter was close enough to kiss, his green eyes flashing and his cheeks flushed, no doubt with the exertion of thinking up ways to insult Draco. If he tilted his head just a little, they would be kissing. His own breathing came a little heavier at the thought and it was only after a long moment that he realised Potter had stopped yelling and was watching him curiously with a raised eyebrow.
“Is that so?” Draco sneered, trying to ignore the way Potter was looking at him and the fact he smelled good enough to eat.
“Malfoy…were you about to k-”
“Shut up, Potter! Shut up.” Because Draco couldn’t bear to hear the words come out of Potter’s mouth, he shut him up the only way he could think of; he crushed their lips together, sliding his hand into Potter’s ridiculous hair, giving it a sharp tug as if it annoyed him even when he had his eyes closed. He was wondering how the hell he was going to explain this when he felt the hands on his chest fist in the front of his robes, tugging him closer, and heard a sound that was possibly a whimper coming from Potter. It was the most delicious sound he had ever heard. It was another hazy moment before he felt the mouth beneath his lips open to him and realised with complete astonishment that Potter was kissing back.
“I hate you too, Malfoy. You’re a right git.” Potter was sitting on the desk now and tugging Draco closer, wrapping his legs around him, his words sounding almost fond as he tilted his head and crushed his lips against Draco’s again for the longest moment. Draco wondered if he might die from finally having Harry in his arms, tasting like chocolate and pumpkin juice. He wondered how hell he was going to manage working alongside Harry without kissing him all of the damn time?
Draco didn’t trust himself to speak. Without breaking the kiss he reached between them, unbuckling Harry’s belt, a question in his eyes which Harry responded to by lifting his hips eagerly to help Draco, pulling him in a deeper kiss. Draco pressed him back onto the messy desk, brushing aside some papers and files and moved over him to capture his lips again, wondering dimly why he had waited so long to do this, as he took his time, relishing the feeling of Harry beneath his hands, slowly coming apart.
Draco watched as Harry’s eyes widened and his lips parted as their eyes met. After using every trick he could think of to make Harry come undone, Draco finally slid into him with a low moan, as he pressed his head against Harry’s neck.
“Move - Draco, please…”
Harry’s voice in the still room made everything real. In response, Draco gave an urgent snap of his hips and began to move. Harry’s eyes connected with his, hazy and unfocused as Draco snapped his hips again. He bent to lick at the salty skin of Harry’s neck, flicking his tongue over the hollow of his throat.
“You taste fucking delicious.”
Harry’s response was a breathless sort of chuckle, “You too, Malfoy.”
Afterwards, they collapsed onto the desk, the rustling of papers and the sounds of ragged breathing the only noise in the quiet room.
The silence between them was deafening.
Draco pulled out of his daydream, shifting in his seat. The fingers tracing the wood of the desk connected with a large, leather-bound book with ornate gold lettering and the picture of a tree on the front, its branches sprawling over the cover and one red, shiny apple hanging from its branches.
“Once Upon a Fairy Tale…” Draco traced his fingers over the embossed gold lettering and then looked back at the folder and Harry’s scribbled notes, trying to make some sense of them. “Merlin, Potter, even your handwriting is a complete disaster.” With a frown, fed up of trying to make any sort of sense from Potter’s messy notes, Draco opened the book to a page that appeared to be marked, staring at the picture of a dense forest. As he looked at the picture he felt the office swirl around him and a tug at his navel, like a portkey. He reached into his pocket for his wand, blinking and looking around.
The woods surrounded Draco, deep and dark. Tall trees stretched into the sky and small foot-worn paths snaked out from the clearing in different directions. The clearing itself was covered in small flowers and leaves from the trees, green against the lavender buds. The scene looked exactly as it had in the book on Harry’s desk.
With a growl, Draco moved around the edges of the clearing and looking at the various paths which all seemed to stretch out into darkness and shadows as the trees became thicker and the woods almost entirely obscured the light from the sun. The wind whispered in the trees and small lights flickered in and out of the branches which lined the paths.
With a roll of his eyes, Draco paced towards the trees. “For fucks sake, Potter, you complete and utter arse – where in the name of Salazar are you?” Hearing the faintest sound of childish laughter he selected the lightest of the numerous paths and strode into the forest, cursing and shaking his head, his irritation with Potter, who had no doubt leapt headlong into some sort of mortal danger, conveniently distracting him from his own dilemma.
“Are you looking for someone?”
Brandishing his wand, Draco whirled to see a girl dressed in a scarlet cape, a hood over her head and a basket in her hand. She didn’t look particularly threatening, he thought, taking in her small frame and the basket full of flowers and cake.
“You could say that.” Still not pocketing his wand, just to be on the safe side, Draco dropped his hand to his side and looked around before returning his gaze the girl. “I’m looking for a man about this tall…” He gestured to his shoulder and frowned a little. “He has the most ridiculous hair, black and looks like he hasn’t been to a decent hairdressers since – well – since forever, and he has a stupid sort of scar, like a lightning bolt, on his forehead. He’s probably babbling about needing to save someone or the Dark Lord or some such nonsense.” Draco tapped his finger to the side of his head and leaned forward conspiratorially. “He’s completely insane.”
The young girl looked up at the sky which had become a little darker, barely visible through the trees and smiled at Draco.
“I know just who you mean. Come with me, I’ll take you to him. I’m Red. Red Riding Hood.” She held out a small hand to Draco which he ignored, pocketing his wand with a shrug and falling into step beside her. Finding Potter was turning out to be much easier than expected and he wondered if he would be up for a bit of desk fucking when they got back to his office. He smirked to himself at the thought of it, shivering pleasantly despite the oppressive woods and the darkening sky.
“It’s very kind of you to help me.” Draco nodded at his companion, his Malfoy manners impeccable as always, and took the opportunity to observe her a little more closely as they walked, taking in her oversized cape and innocuous looking basket of flowers. Hearing a twig snap behind him he turned to look back, but saw nothing but thick trees, swaying in the light wind. Feeling strangely edgy he gripped his wand. “I thought I heard something, did you hear anything?” Draco refused to let the nervous tremor he felt enter his voice, his smooth delivery sounding far more composed than he actually felt, a skill he had learned during his time spent in the company of the Dark Lord.
“Oh yes, the woods are alive, you know.”
“Alive?” Draco looked around again, peering into the dim light he tried to see if the trees were moving towards them as the oppressive feeling became overwhelming. He began to think about the Forbidden Forest and the creatures hidden in the darkness there, his free hand curling into a fist, his nails pressing into the skin of his palm as he peered at every shadow, every flicker of light, startling when he heard another twig snapping behind them and a strange sort of growl. “Where are we, anyway?”
“You’re in a fairy tale of course.”
Draco felt his body give an involuntary shudder at the response, seemingly so innocuous, but he understood the truth of it. As the sun dipped below the trees, the leaves rustled and the steady crunching of their footfalls seemed to echo around them. Draco looked around warily. Small lights from the thickest parts of the forest looked like eyes and settled on him. He turned to look behind him and noticed that they were now far from the clearing he had originally arrived in. Although he squinted into the distance he couldn’t even see where the path he had originally taken had begun, as it looked as if the trees had closed in around them, barring any route back to where he had originally started.
“How far have we got left to go?” Speaking with something of a sneer, well-practiced at hiding fear, Draco schooled his face into a look of disinterest, ensuring his voice held no hint of a tremble.
“Not far. It’s a full moon tonight.”
“Full moon…” It seemed like an odd sort of thing to say, the voice of his companion lilting and alluring in the quiet light of dusk, and Draco turned to face the girl. As he looked at her, she dropped her basket of snow drops, the white flowers spilling out onto the forest floor like small flecks of snow on the dark earth, glistening in the watery light of the moon. Draco watched, feeling a strange sense of something not quite right as the girl made no move to collect her spilled flowers but instead arched her body into the moon, with a laugh which danced on the wind. He noticed her hands seemed rather big for such a small girl. As his eyes raked over her he noticed the entire shape of her body appeared to be shifting.
Keeping his wand carefully trained on her beneath the sleeve of his robes, Draco watched, mesmerised as her body began to shift and change. Her back lengthened, her hands stretched out before her, nails shooting from split fingers and bones cracked down her spine as a terrible scream pierced the darkness. Her body bucked as the red robes split, tearing over her body like spilled blood as her delicate frame twisted and morphed into something else entirely.
“Werewolf…” After too long under the cruel hand of Fenrir, Draco knew exactly what sort of risks the wolf posed to him as the girl, now fully transformed, crouched down onto all fours. With teeth bared and salivating, she looked ready to pounce, her lips pulled back into a wolfish sort of smile. With a crack, Draco drew his wand and Apparated out of the clearing. The wolf howled.
Panting, Draco looked up to see where he had managed to Apparate to and saw that he was in a clearing, surrounded by a thick growth of forest. “Don’t talk to strangers in woods, fool.” Taking a moment to catch his breath, he turned in a full circle, his wand drawn. A cracking twig from behind him made him spin around and ask in a slightly shaky voice, “Who’s there? Show yourself.”
He was answered only by a sort of snuffling sound and something which sounded like a growl. He shivered, thinking of the wolf. As he tried to squint into the darkness between the trees he felt something caressing his shoulder, a furry sort of touch to his neck which made him shiver as he froze, something felt incredibly wrong.
Draco could hear the sound of scuttling all around him, the darkness and shadows advancing towards him as the furry caress to his neck became pincer like. With a yell he started casting spells around him, flashes of green and red streaking from his wand as he put a hand to his face, not sure what was surrounding him but knowing there were insects, hundreds if not thousands of them on the floor, the ground underneath him moving with the little bodies crawling over his feet and beginning to move up his body, sharp teeth sinking into his flesh through his clothes.
He closed his eyes with a moan, his spells faltering as the insects began to swarm up his body and whatever was behind him moved closer, so he could feel warmth against his body and the long, furry touch wrapping around his neck. Draco was about to spin around and fight, fight for himself and for Potter, when a horrible-looking beast, huge and lumbering advanced out of the trees towards Draco, its teeth bared and snarling as it ran straight towards him. As it advanced, the thing around his neck seemed to disappear with a scuttling sound and the insects around his feet and over his body scuttled away, a sea of black parting to reveal the forest floor as Draco quickly gathered himself and with a crack, Apparated to another spot in the forest.
Shaking, his entire body trembling and shaking from his experiences, Draco finally collapsed onto the ground, as he tried to steady his breathing.
“For fuck’s sake, Harry…where the hell are you?” His voice sounded cracked and desperate in the dark woods as he put his head in his hands and let his silent tears of fear and relief fall.
It was a long time afterwards when Draco finally lifted his head and looked around the clearing. Seeing no signs of scuttling insects, werewolves, or strange beasts he sighed and looked ruefully at a leaf on the floor next to him. Picking it up, suddenly cold and exhausted, he ran it between his fingers before transfiguring it into a tent and then with a flick of his wand and another couple of items, transfigured a camp bed and a sleeping bag.
With a scowl, he thought longing of his satin sheets and comfortable bed at the Manor. He thought about the photo of Potter by his bedside, taken from an interview with the Prophet just over a year ago, his smile wide and his head thrown back in laughter. Sometimes before Draco went to bed at night, photo-Potter would wink at him and lately he had started blowing kisses. Draco glowered to himself. Bloody Potter and his hero complex, getting them both into this mess, it was typical.
As he fingered his wand for a moment, Draco thought about the spells he could use to try to find Harry. Without any real sense for where he might be or the danger he could be in, Draco didn’t want to do anything that might place Potter in more danger than he had probably already managed to get himself into. Frowning at his wand, he decided the safest option would be to send a Patronus which could simply investigate. If Harry was in a position to be able to send one of his own, Draco had no doubt he would do so and at least he knew it was a spell Harry would be well able to manage if he had his wand with him.
“Expecto Patronum.” Draco watched his Patronus leave his wand and the opening of the tent as it gambolled off into the moonlit night. He grimaced as he always did when he saw its form, “A bloody lion cub – Potter gets a stag and I get a lion cub.”
Draco shook his head, watching it disappear into the forest and remembered discovering the form of his Patronus at Auror training. Potter had laughed when the small lion cub gambolled over to his stag, nuzzling against it and practically purring as Draco had watched aghast, feeling his face heating with embarrassment. Potter had turned to grin at Draco expressing shock at the fact Draco had enough happy thoughts to manage to conjure a Patronus at all, let alone one so cute. Draco snorted softly at the memory. At least Potter was so rubbish at Legilimency he couldn’t have known that Draco's happy thought had been Potter on his knees wearing only his Gryffindor tie, sucking Draco off with enthusiasm.
Lighting a fire a safe distance outside the tent with a flick of his wand, he reached into his pocket, frowning at the packet of mints and thinking that if he was going to start having to save Potter on a regular basis, he really should start carrying emergency rations just in case. As he chewed on one of his mints, he tried to settle himself in for the night, keeping a watchful look out through the small gap in the tent for his Patronus. As Draco waited, he thought about what had happened after his first time with Harry, dropping his head back to the pillows, trying to remember every detail.
“So, now you’ve fucked me over my desk do you think we could grab a drink sometime?”
Potter was grinning insanely widely at Draco and he found himself glaring back, wanting to kiss the grin and feel Potter smiling against his lips. He clenched his hands into fists for a moment to stop himself for reaching out to the idiot.
“Why on earth would we want to do that, Potter? This was a mistake. It won’t be happening again.”
“Oh.” Potter didn’t look too put out by this response and shrugged, bending over to collect his clothes. Draco felt his cock twitch again with interest and his mouth went dry at the sight of Potter bent over and entirely naked, biting back a groan at the sight. He felt his eyes narrow as he realised Potter was taking rather a long time to collect a scruffy pair of jeans and a t-shirt off the floor and he was fairly sure he had just been wiggled at.
“Potter…” He was almost embarrassed at the way his voice sounded, a husky sort of growl which was intended to be threatening but came out as something else entirely.
“What?” Draco found himself meeting innocent green eyes, wide and surprised as if Potter hadn’t just been flaunting himself and wiggling about in front of Draco to drive him to distraction.
“You know exactly what, you….” Draco was at rather a loss for the right word to describe his irritation with Potter but it didn’t really matter because he was cut off by lips pressing against his own, forceful and insistent, and he suddenly held an armful of Harry, closely, as if he never wanted to let him go.
“Shut up you prat and snog me senseless.”
With a groan that was part arousal and part resignation, Draco tangled a hand into Harry’s hair, tugging him closer and sliding their tongues together in a hot kiss.
“If I go for a drink with you, I expect you to dress in something half decent and get that bloody hair of yours cut.” Harry smiled against Draco’s lips and with another groan Draco pushed him back against the desk and brought his hand down between them, loving the responsive gasps that came from Harry’s lips, swallowing them down with his kisses. “Next time we’re doing this in bed.”
There hadn’t been a next time, because Potter had chosen the next day to disappear off the face of the earth and Draco had been forced to spend the better part of a week looking for him. The front of the tent rustled and his Patronus returned. Draco looked out into the darkness but there was no sign of a stag, or Harry. With a soft sigh into the darkness, Draco closed his eyes against the whispering of the woods, keeping his wand clutched into his hand.
“Good night, Harry. I really hope you’re still alive, you git.”
But only the wind in the trees and a soft, crunching, snuffling sort of sound answered him, as Draco drifted off to sleep.
As the sun rose over the trees, Draco allowed himself to relax and forget about what lurked in the forest. With a frown, he glanced around and no idea where to go next, he sighed and began to walk. He cursed Potter again, having become quite fond of talking aloud to Potter and telling him what a complete and utter idiot he was in an effort to keep his mind from playing tricks on him as the forest moved in the breeze.
“Do you have my slipper?”
With a sneer, Draco looked at the girl sitting on what appeared to be a large toadstool and looking slightly lost as she stared up at him. Having learned his lesson about talking to strange, innocent-looking girls in woods, he frowned and clutched his wand in his pocket, glaring at her.
“No. I don’t have your slipper.”
“Oh.” She looked a bit upset for a moment and then looked hopefully back up at Draco. “So you’re not Prince Charming?”
With a snort, Draco couldn’t help but preen slightly because at last someone in this godforsaken place seemed to recognise him for what he was, but then shook his head. “I can see why you might think that because I am very charming but…” He eyed her with some suspicion. “Who are you?”
“Oh, I’m Cinderella…I am waiting for my Prince Charming. He’s going to rescue me and then we’ll live happily ever after.” She gave a dreamy sort of smile and Draco snorted again, arching an eyebrow at her.
“I don’t suppose you ever thought of saving yourself?”
She stared at him for a long moment and then frowned, “That’s not really how it works.”
Draco stared for a moment and then glared at her again. “To be honest, I don’t really care. Have you seen a man with black hair which looks like a bird has nested in it wandering around, probably somewhere close to mortal danger?” He jabbed his forehead, “He has a ridiculous sort of scar just around here.”
Cinderella stared at Draco for a while and then seemed to perk up. “No. Do you think he might have my slipper? Maybe he’s my Prince Charming.”
Draco tried rather unsuccessfully to hide a slightly strangled sob of frustration as he shook his head, muttering to himself. “Trust me - Potter is definitely not your Prince Charming. Prince Idiot, more like.” With a grumbled sigh he looked into the forest. “Well, you obviously can’t help me. I suppose I’ll just be off.”
Draco noticed Cinderella seemed to be looking at him thoughtfully and then she laughed at him, quietly. “Hang on, are you Goldilocks? I’ve heard about you. The Three Bears are very cross with you, you know.”
Draco raked a hand through his hair and let out another frustrated sort of growl. “I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Merlin!” He muttered under his breath, looking around with a frown. All of the paths looked the same to him and he wasn’t entirely sure where exactly he should be off to. Scowling again and muttering something uncomplimentary about Potter, he looked at the path ahead of him he saw two people walking out of the trees, a woman with dark hair and blood red lips, and a man who looked all too familiar, with a shock of vile red hair on his head, clutching what appeared to be a glass slipper.
“Oh, just when things couldn’t get any worse…” With a furious snarl, Draco advanced towards Weasley brandishing his wand and grabbing the front of his torn robes until they were nose to nose. “Where the bloody hell is Potter and where in the name of Merlin have you been for the last three months?”
“Malfoy? Oh bloody hell, out of an entire team of Aurors it would have to be you they send to save me, you poncy git. What did they expect you to do, apart from maybe run and hide or change sides?”
“I’m not here to save you, I’m here for Potter, who seems to have got himself trapped in here trying to save your sorry arse.”
“Harry?” Draco released Weasley with a forceful shove as Ron watched him, looking confused and still clutching a glass shoe rather uselessly in his hand. “Harry’s trapped in here too?” Weasley gulped and looked around before dipping his head to Draco and whispering urgently, “There are spiders, you know. Bloody woods are full of them….worse than the Forbidden Forest, it is.”
Draco thought about the strange insects surrounding him in the forest and shuddered involuntarily. He noticed the girl with Weasley appeared to be looking closely at him and he scowled at her, before arching an eyebrow at Weasley. Ron looked from Draco to the girl at his side and back again with a grimace and a hushed whisper.
“It’s not what it looks like. Hermione is going to bloody kill me. She thinks I’m some sort of prince. I’ve been staying with her and a bunch of goblins, trying to get the hell out of this place.”
“They are dwarves, not goblins.”
Draco stared at the dark haired woman for a moment and frowned at her, “Who are you?”
“Snow White. I live with the seven dwarves. They really wouldn’t appreciate being referred to as goblins. Goblins are quite different.”
Draco grabbed Weasley with a growl of frustration and yanked him out of earshot of the two women who moved towards each other and began to talk. He gripped a hand in Weasley’s robes and pulled him nearer, hissing in his face.
“This is all your fault and you have been playing Prince Charming to someone who isn’t your wife, while Potter has been going out of his mind with worry. He jumped headlong into this mess to try to save you, dragging me along with him in the process - I am furious with you.” Draco took a step back for a moment, his breathing heavy as he glared at Weasley. “I knew there was a reason I never liked you.”
“I haven’t been playing anything…” Weasley glared at Draco and after a moment, looking like he was going to punch him in the jaw. “I would never do that to Hermione, how dare you? I swear to Merlin, if you try to feed her any lies when we get back, I will hex your bloody bollocks off.”
“That assumes we will get back at all, something which is looking increasingly less likely. All you appear to have done after three months in this place is put a perfectly attractive woman off men for good.”
“What the hell do you mean by that, Malfoy?”
Draco jerked his head towards Cinderella and Snow White who had moved closer to one another on the toadstool, not really looking as if either of them was currently pining for a Prince. He watched the looks between them become a little more intense and Cinderella brushed her fingers lightly over Snow White’s arm. Draco bit back a groan missing Potter and his stupid grin more than ever and wanting to get the hell out of this place.
“Whatever you have been doing to seduce her, it appears to have had quite the opposite effect.” Draco looked disdainfully at Weasley with a roll of his eyes, “I can’t say I am surprised.”
“I wasn’t trying to bloody seduce her.” Ron blushed as he looked over at Cinderella and Snow White, his mouth falling open slightly in what Draco considered to be a gormless expression, before he turned back to Draco with a frown. “We might as well find somewhere to stay tonight, then try to find this Jack bloke. I don’t think we will get much more from these two.”
“Yeah, I’ll tell you as we walk. He’s got some sort of giant plant or something. Apparently it’s the gateway to another world. Maybe Harry met this Jack bloke and ended up there.”
“You can’t be serious - he might not even be here?” Draco glared at Weasley with all of the ferocity he could muster, trying to mask the fact that the thought that Harry might not be here at all actually made him want to cry.
“I just don’t know. It’s a strange place, this.” Weasley looked around with a shrug, seemingly oblivious to Draco’s distress, “That way?”
With a sigh and a nod, Draco followed Weasley as he gripped his wand and looked around a few times before starting to walk into the forest.
“Please be okay, Harry.”
“What was that?”
“Nothing,” Draco shook his head and pointed to the path in front of them, “Let’s just get as far as we can before nightfall.”
With another shrug and a slightly distrustful glance at Draco, Weasley turned on his heel and they began to walk.
“C’mon, Sleeping Beauty, time to wake up.”
Draco yelped and woke from a rather peaceful sleep as Weasley poked him in the side a couple of times and threw him a piece of gingerbread which he nibbled at with some disdain. “Gingerbread. It’s probably poisoned.”
“Nope, that’s the apples.” Weasley held up a particularly juicy looking red apple which made Draco salivate. “Riddled with it, it would send you into a sleep for a hundred years or something. I was hoping we could use it as a weapon.”
Draco stared at Weasley for a long moment and then smirked at him, “Wonderful. When we’re being attacked by a werewolf, vampire children or spiders you should feel free to offer them a snack.”
“Do you have a better idea?” Ron was flushed red with anger and glaring at Draco who really couldn’t care less as he withdrew his wand with a flick.
“Cruciatus? Avada Kedavra?” Draco fingered his wand and looked at Ron thoughtfully, his voice heavy with sarcasm. “But no, you’re probably right. They will be less likely to kill us if we provide them with one of their five a day. Merlin.”
With a flick of his wand he made sure his hair was perfectly coiffed as ever and cast a cleaning charm on his robes as he stood and exited the tent, looking around him and waiting for Weasley to emerge.
“I think we should go in that direction.” Draco pointed into the wood where a yellow brick path extended out between the trees.
“It seems like a bad idea to me. It’s like an invitation, and that can’t be a good thing. I say we go that way.” Ron pointed towards another path, which was overrun with briars, the bows of the trees darkening the way as they stretched together over the path, blocking out the sky.
With a nod, Draco began to walk, “As much as it pains me to say it, you’re probably right.”
They walked in silence, picking their way through the undergrowth in search of the elusive Jack. Draco kept his eyes ahead of him, not wishing to see what lurked around him. He thought about Harry – the only thing lately, which seemed to stop him from going completely barmy.
“So what happens now?”
“What do you mean, what happens now, Potter? We leave this office and forget this ever happened.”
Harry laughed and shook his head at Draco, “Don’t. I don’t believe it for a second. Seriously, I’m not one for flings, and as much as you irritate the hell out of me, Malfoy, I actually sort of like you. Have for a while I suppose.” Harry shrugged with a sheepish looking sort of smile and watched Draco carefully, who tried to make his face appear as devoid of emotion as possible.
“I’m not sure what makes you think I like you?”
“Dunno.” Harry grinned and moved towards Draco who found himself being kissed on the nose before he could move away. “Maybe because you’ve been checking out my arse since you first started working with me - possibly because you’re blushing now.”
“I don’t blush.”
“Of course you don’t,” Harry nodded seriously, “Must be the light in here making my eyes go funny.”
Draco sat on the chair in the office as Harry watched him and frowned at the easy smile and the wink thrown in his direction. He didn’t know what the hell was going to happen now.
Draco only knew that for him, it had always been Harry.
“Well this is no good. No good at all.”
Draco was snapped out of his reverie by the sound of Weasley’s voice as he looked up to see two identical paths forking off in different directions. With a grimace, Draco gripped his wand tighter in his pocket.
“We should separate?”
“Yeah - I think we have to, cover more ground and stuff.” Draco was pleased to note that Weasley didn’t look any more thrilled by the idea than he himself was, and he sniffed, looking at the path to the right.
“I will take that one.”
“Fine,” Weasley nodded and began to move towards the other path, “Send a Patronus - if you need me.”
With a nod, Draco turned and walked toward the path, the footfalls of his only companion fading into the distance as the wind in the trees whispered around him.
As the night drew in and the sun dipped below the trees, Draco continued to walk in the watery light of the moon, glancing over his shoulder, each time the sound of leaves crunching and twigs snapping echoed into the still night. There had been no sign of anyone called Jack or any oversized plant which might lead to another world, and night was rapidly closing in. Hearing a strange sort of snuffling sound, Draco turned, the shadows moving around him as a huge shape stepped out from behind the trees. He tried to stifle a gasp, clutching his wand and stumbling backwards a little as the shape moved closer, hunched over and limping, the body covered in thick black fur and sharp teeth glinting in the moonlight.
Draco sounded more in control than he felt as the beast lumbered towards him, its lips pulling back from its teeth is a wolfish sort of grin and its eyes fixed on Draco like the beast was about to devour him. Pursing his lips and thinking that he was not going to let himself be defeated by some sort of overgrown teddy bear, Draco peered into the eyes of the beast momentarily, his face set in a scowl.
The beast continued to lumber forwards clumsily, giving Draco the same bizarre sort of grin, green eyes glowing with something that wasn’t so very frightening at all, giving him a look which was suddenly achingly familiar to Draco, and he felt his eyes widen and the hand holding his wand dropped down to his side.
The beast snarled at him, moving more quickly towards Draco, before reaching him and leaning forwards. Draco braced himself for the feeling of teeth sinking into his flesh, but instead he felt a rough tongue lick a stripe along his neck before the beast dropped its head to Draco’s hand and began to nuzzle into it. With a slightly hysterical laugh, Draco carded his hand through the beast’s hair hearing a contented sort of growl coming from him as he shook his head.
“Potter, I think you should know the fact your hair is now covering your entire body does not make you look any better. You stupid prat. How the hell did this happen?” With an aching sense of relief that Potter was here and alive, even if he looked like something from a Muggle horror film, Draco wrapped his arms tightly around the beast, nestling into his fur and then kissed him, right on the tip of his ugly nose.
With a whirling crackle of magic, the forest began to creep in on them and the sounds of a wolf howling in the distance sent shivers of fear running through Draco’s body. He clung to Harry more tightly. The dark night sky began to shatter and break into hundreds of thousands of shards of black glass, which fell to the earth where they held one another, Harry’s huge paws digging into Draco’s back as he covered Draco’s body with his own as if trying to shield him from the jagged edges of the falling sky. The sound of children laughing, high pitched and eerie danced on the wind towards them and Draco squeezed his eyes tightly shut, nestled into Harry and waiting for death to claim them both.
It was a long time before Draco realised that the howling and the laughter had dissipated and that his face was buried in the soft skin of Harry’s neck. He cracked an eye open to see the familiar sight of Harry’s messy office as they clung to each other, sitting on the floor.
The sound of Harry’s voice, not growling or snarling, and the feeling of his lithe, muscular body beneath Draco’s hands brought him back to his surroundings and he launched himself at Harry, knocking him from his seating position onto the floor, laughing at the startled yelp he made as Draco began to cover his face and that stupid bloody scar with kisses.
“Are we safe?” Harry’s voice forced Draco to pull back from his kissing for a moment and he looked at Harry lying beneath him, his face flushed and his eyes sparkling, his mouth breaking into a familiar, crooked grin as he looked up at Draco.
“No thanks to you, Potter.” He wanted to scowl at Harry, but the relief of having finally found him safe and apparently not permanently damaged, meant he couldn’t quite school his face into the right sort of expression as he covered Harry’s body with his own, sliding his hand up his side and cupping his face, running his thumb in small circles over Harry’s cheek. “You really are the most foolhardy Gryffindor idiot.”
“And you are a perfectly poncy sort of Prince Charming, you git. My hero.” With a wide smile, Harry wrapped his arms around Draco and tilted his face up for more kissing. With a snort and a roll of his eyes Draco couldn’t help but oblige, pulling back momentarily a little breathless.
“You look like you haven’t showered for a week, Potter. I’m taking you back to the Manor to scrub your back.” Draco tangled his hands into Harry’s hair and leaned down to kiss him again, pressing into Harry so he could feel Draco hard against his thigh.
“Oh…oh” Harry grinned up at Draco and hummed happily at the hands in his hair, letting out a soft groan as Draco moved against him, letting his legs fall open and wrapping his arms around Draco more tightly. “Apparate us?”
“You’re such a princess, Potter.” With a smirk down at Harry, Draco Apparated them straight onto his bed in the Manor, refusing to be embarrassed by his Slytherin green satin sheets.
“Hm?” Draco was too busy trailing kisses along Harry’s jaw to notice his head was tilted to the side, looking at the picture on Draco’s bedside cabinet, until he pulled back to see what was distracting Harry and with a strangled sort of sound quickly flicked his wand at it, sending it careering across the room and out of Harry’s eye line. “Dammit, Potter, it doesn’t mean anything.” He could feel the heat rising to his cheeks and rolled off Harry quickly, moving to perch on the edge of the bed and refusing to look at him.
“You have a picture of me…by your bed. Why is that, Malfoy?” Draco felt Harry’s strong arms circle around his waist as he moved behind him and felt Harry’s lips against the nape of his neck, cursing under his breath as he leaned back into the touch.
“I need something to remind me how not to dress in the morning.” Draco cursed again under his breath, tilting his head to the side as Harry started kissing his neck and wrapped his arms more tightly around Draco with a delighted sounding laugh.
“You do like me, you prat. I bloody knew it.”
“Of course I don’t like you, Potter.” Despite himself, Draco leaned back into Harry’s distracting kisses, feeling complete for the first time since Harry had disappeared. “You drive me completely batty, you have an awful hero complex, you get yourself into far too much trouble and you really could make more of yourself.” Draco scowled, refusing to admit that if Harry made more of himself and started actually wearing something tailored for once he would probably never get any work done because Potter really was far too distracting at the best of times.
“Well that’s okay then.” Harry murmured into Draco’s ear, his lips pressing against the shell of it in a soft kiss, the heat of his breath sent ripples of pleasure through Draco’s body and made his trousers even more uncomfortably tight. “Because I don’t like you much either. You make me so angry sometimes it’s like I can’t breathe, you spend far too much time looking at yourself in the mirror and you always give me this look when I try to tell you something, as if I am completely stupid.”
“You are stupid, Potter.” Draco was a little embarrassed by the husky note to his voice as Harry’s lips moved against his ear while speaking and cleared his throat quickly. “Only a total idiot would get themselves trapped in a book of fairy tales and turned into an overgrown teddy bear.”
With a laugh, Harry began to kiss Draco’s neck again. “There is some truth in that, I suppose. Lucky I had my own Prince Charming to come and save me.”
With a sniff, Draco turned his head a little awkwardly to capture Harry’s lips in his own. “Yes, lucky for you, you total prat.” He preened a little and smiled against Harry’s lips. “I am rather charming, aren’t I?” Draco paused for a moment, moving reluctantly away from Harry’s warm lips and the circle of his arms as he heard the fluttering of an owl against his bedroom window. Standing, he moved to let it in, reading the note it brought with it, his face breaking into a smile as he ignored the pecking at his fingers.
“It’s Weasley. He’s back, woke up in his office he said and the children that were missing have all returned home. The children don’t remember anything apparently, just falling asleep and then waking up in their beds.” He moved quickly to Harry on the bed and kissed him on the nose again. “We broke the spell. It’s over.”
“You broke the spell, Malfoy.” Harry rubbed his nose and gave Draco a sheepish grin. “As you so rightly pointed out, I simply got trapped in a book and turned into a fairy tale character - fat lot of use that was.”
Draco puffed his chest out a little and arched an eyebrow at Harry. “You’re right of course, Potter. You were entirely unhelpful.” He smiled and kissed Harry on the nose again. “I saved the world.”
With a laugh, Harry leaned forward to brush his lips against Draco’s lips, a happy sigh falling from his lips. “You did. Hey, Malfoy?”
“What happens now? I mean…the case is over and we’re…well…” Harry gestured between the two of them on the bed together, looking a bit worried. “I don’t want this to be over too.”
Draco felt his heart constrict at the thought of losing Harry again but quickly masked his face for fear of looking like a Hufflepuff. “Don’t be ridiculous, Potter. I am hardly likely to get rid of you that quickly, you always seem to be underfoot and no doubt you will do something so infinitely stupid I will be forced to rescue you again. I should probably just keep an eye on you for a while - try to keep you out of trouble.” Draco frowned at Harry, raking his eyes over his body. “And maybe take you shopping. That outfit is a crime against fashion.”
“Shower, shopping and…” Harry trailed off, a happy grin on his face and looked at Draco, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. “What’s next, Malfoy?”
Draco rolled his eyes and stood, taking Harry’s hand to lead him to the shower. “Haven’t you paid any attention to those fairy tales you spent the last few months studying, Harry? Surely you know what comes next?”
Following Draco eagerly, Harry shook his head. “No idea, what happens next?”
Draco smirked at Harry, pulling his body against his own and dropping his hands down to cup his arse, squeezing lightly and enjoying the little whimpers falling from Harry’s lips.
“We live happily ever after, of course.”
“I like the sound of that.”
With another grin and a wink at Draco, Harry wrapped his arms around his neck and tugged him into a deep kiss. Draco felt Harry melt against him as their tongues slid together and he let out a soft moan to pull Harry nearer to him, relishing the feeling of him wrapped tightly in his arms. He smiled into the kiss, sliding his hands from Harry’s arse up his sides and clenching them into his hair, as the kiss became more demanding.
Happily ever after.
As he nudged Harry towards the shower with a playful swat to his arse, chuckling at the offended yelp from Harry, Draco thought he rather liked the sound of that too.
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand
FN: Quotes from WB Yeats – The Stolen Child