Chapter One

Draco Malfoy slicked back a stray hair and checked himself in the mirror. It would never do to leave the room without looking his best but on this particular day, it would be even worse. Every girl – and quite a few boys – would be looking at him on this day, hoping to see some sign of his interest in them. The girls would, more or less openly, hope to be getting a card from him while the boys would want a ‘spare moment’ with him to give him a thoughtful gift or some such nonsense.

Valentine’s Day usually ended with Draco’s room decorated with quite a few flowers, as well as new necklaces and things that had ‘simply-reminded-this-or-that person of Draco’.

There was a knock on the door and a moment later, Pansy Parkinson came strutting into the room. She was dressed in a dressing gown that was loosely tied. Her red lace bra and underwear showed clearly, as did her legs and quite some cleavage. Draco wondered if she was using a breast-enhancing spell – it certainly looked like it.

“Draco,” she purred, “I don’t know what dress to wear tonight.”

Draco stared at her. Pansy was under the illusion that they were going to have a secret rendezvous in the Astronomy Tower and no matter what Draco told her about the likelihood of that ever happening again, she wouldn’t listen. She still believed that the single, bad fuck that they’d shared had been the best thing ever and that they were going to get married and live happily ever after.

She needed to get her head checked out.

“Pansy,” Draco said icily, “there is no way in hell we’re ever going out again. I don’t care which of those ugly dresses you decide to wear tonight, because I won’t be anywhere near you and thus won’t see you.”

Pansy looked at Draco. Then her lower lip started quivering and tears spilled down her cheeks. “Why do you have to be so mean?” she screamed at him before turning around and running out of the room.

Draco rolled his eyes at her and returned to studying his reflection.

“You look great,” the mirror told him.

“I know,” Draco said.

The Great Hall was filled with people. Everywhere, couples were kissing with their hands moving in places they really shouldn’t be when teachers were present, but on Valentine’s Day, students seemed less bothered with this fact. Pink hearts were strewn over the tables and heart-shaped clouds were floating about over the enchanted ceiling.

Draco sneered over at the Golden Trio, where two thirds – the Mudblood and the Weasel – were sticking their tongues down each other’s throats. Potter looked bored, he noted.

Draco strode into the room, well aware that the entire student body was watching him. Draco always looked good but in these new robes and the fine new boots, he looked even better. None of the girls dared to come to him though and not until Draco and his goons had taken their seats at the Slytherin table did the conversations of the Great Hall start up to the same level as they had been before he’d arrived.

Once Draco had started his breakfast, the owls came and no less than sixteen owls landed in front of Draco. It was a rather gross lot of feathers and Draco hoped none of them would be in his food once the birds were gone.

Nothing in the heap of cards and small presents looked even remotely interesting. With a bored look upon his face, Draco opened the cards – there was one from Mandy Brocklehurst, with whom Draco had… copulated mere weeks before. She’d been a good shag, but not pretty or witty enough to keep Draco’s interest. Her fellow Ravenclaw Lisa Turpin, whom Draco had never dated or even wanted to, had also sent a sugary sweet card with pink hearts on.

There were three cards from younger Hufflepuffs that Draco thought would come close to paedophilia to touch and he shuddered at the thought of dating any of them. Slytherin Prince indeed, but he had to draw some line. Megan Jones on the other hand, who sent a more tasteful card with a single heart on it, was a rather gorgeous girl Draco wouldn’t mind bringing to bed again. Though the girl had little wits, her body was definitely fine enough. The same had to be said of Wayne Hopkins, who had also sent him a card, with a note saying, ‘I had a great time last week.’ Draco nearly snorted – of course they had a great time. Draco was great.

Draco eyed through the rest of the cards; there was nothing noteworthy. So far, the day had earned him two new silver necklaces and a small dragon figure, also made of silver. No Gryffindor had sent him anything – which was unsurprising, as it would likely be called betraying the house if they did – and no Slytherin save for Pansy had made a move. That was also unsurprising as Slytherins were known for their sneakiness and sending a card to declare one’s affections was not sneaky.

Draco continued breakfast, barely socializing with his classmates because their conversations tended to be quite dull. Pansy had been draping herself over him as he opened his cards but Draco had paid her no attention and now she was thankfully ignoring him.

Finishing up, Draco was just about to leave the table when an owl flew into the room. It was one of the school owls and it bore a single, glowing red rose in its beak. The entire Hall stilled and stared as the bird flew rounds over the tables. Finally, it landed in front of Draco.

“What—” Draco mumbled under his breath, confused. The day’s deliveries had already been made.

The owl picked at him with its foot so that he would take the rose. For a second, Draco wondered if it was from his father or the Dark Lord, but he told himself that was stupid. Why would either of them send him a glowing rose? No, this was clearly someone’s Valentine’s gift for him.

He snatched the rose from the owl’s beak. The bird picked a few crumbs off the table before flying off.

“Who’s it from?” It was Millicent who asked. Draco sneered at her. If any of the Slytherin’s would have been stupid enough to send him a Valentine’s, it would be her. She wouldn’t know wit if her life depended on it.

“That’s none of your business,” Draco said to her. It wasn’t, but the truth was that Draco didn’t know who the rose was from. Though he had an idea…

As Draco walked to his first lesson, leaving his goons behind, Draco thought back over the last few weeks. The rose wasn’t the first strange, anonymous gift he had received. Stashed in his bedside table were other little things that had appeared by owl at odd hours. There was a drawing of Draco that he knew Dean Thomas in Gryffindor had done a few months earlier. That Thomas would be behind the anonymous gifts was unlikely, though – he was madly in love with Finnegan, another Gryffindor. Besides, Thomas was known for having drawn every person in the entire seventh year class.

And there had been more gifts. A jade ring, made up of a dragon biting its own tail and thus forming jewellery that fit Draco perfectly. The only reason Draco didn’t wear it was that it would raise too many questions.

He had received a single turquoise gemstone set in a beautiful amulet – Draco’s birthstone and a protection stone in one. The craftsmanship was perfect and the amulet now hung below Draco’s shirt. He had, of course, checked the amulet with all the curse detection spells he knew but there had been nothing. There was strong magic on it, but it was all protection and good magic.

Now there was the rose. Though it was as beautiful as all the other gifts Draco had received, Draco was getting irritated with the whole thing – he wanted to figure out who was sending him these things. So far, he had only come to a few conclusions: It was unlikely that his secret admirer was much younger than him; the protection charms on the gem stone were far too complicated to be cast by a young student. The gifts were thoughtful and not based on a simple crush. They took much too long – and were much too expensive for that.

And there was the second conclusion – the person had to have money. Both the ring and the turquoise amulet were the real thing and thus very expensive. Draco was glad for this – it ruled out the Weasleys as possible admirers.

Further than that, Draco didn’t get. He didn’t know if the admirer was a girl or a boy, nor in which House he was. He’d briefly thought that it could be one of the Professors, but quickly dismissed the thought. None of the Hogwarts teachers were the kind of person to send anonymous gifts like this, especially not to a student.

Draco arrived in Transfigurations. He sat down and spied over the class as Professor McGonagall continued her lessons in transfiguring living things into other living things.

“It is my goal that every person in here shall be able to transform a small living creature into another before the year is over,” McGonagall said. “It is not nearly as easy as you may imagine it to be – when transfiguring living things, it is crucial that not only the outside but the inside as well is transfigured correctly. A rat transfigured into a rabbit will not survive if only its appearance and not its insides is changed.”

Draco resisted a yawn. He’d heard it all before and had been forced to read about it before that. McGonagall glanced at Draco. Then she opened a small can and removed a mouse from it. She stood and walked to Draco’s seat.

“Mr. Malfoy,” she said, “since you are looking so sure of yourself, you don’t mind showing the class how to transfigure this mouse into a ferret?”

Draco heard sniggering throughout the classroom and glared, first at his classmates and then at McGonagall. No one would ever let him forget that embarrassing event in his fourth year.

Draco produced his wand and forced himself to be calm. He might have read about this sort of thing, but he had never had to actually do it.

“Transeo pasco demuto,” he said, pointing his wand at the mouse. A bit of light engulfed the mouse but when it subsided, all that had changed on the mouse was it’s fur – from a dull brown one to longer, nearly white strands.

“I suppose you will have to listen a bit more carefully, Mr. Malfoy,” McGonagall said with a meaningful look.

Draco held back a sneer. He wanted to retort, but knew it would do nothing but give him a detention. He sunk back in his seat and glared at those of his classmates who dared to so much as look at him. Curiously, one of those who did dare to look was Potter – and he wasn’t glaring; he was watching. It was disconcerting and after a quick sneer, Draco looked away.

The day passed. Between Transfiguration and Potions, Draco was pulled into an abandoned classroom and received a thorough snog. It wasn’t until Draco pulled back, short of breath, and asked, “Who are you?” that the girl stopped abruptly. Her eyes filled with tears and she ran out of the classroom. Draco scratched his head but couldn’t find it in himself to care – surely, she was one of his many one-night-stands, but why did the girls always think that meant something?

Leaving the abandoned classroom, Draco strode down the stairs to the Potions classroom. Snape didn’t say anything as he entered.

“Today, we will be starting to cover the Truth Serums. These include Veritaserum, the Folium potion and the Juroserum. We will start with the Juroserum. Can anyone tell me what the Juroserum does?”

Granger did, as always, have her hand up but Snape, as always, ignored her. Instead he nodded to Draco who had lazily raised his hand.

“The Juroserum is the weakest of the Truth Serums,” Draco drawled. “A person dosed with Juro will still be in control over his or her deepest, darkest secrets, but will not be able to keep from telling the truth about things he or she is thinking about at the moment.”

“Correct,” Snape said. “Five points to Slytherin. As the other Truth Serums, the use of Juroserum is strictly controlled by the Ministry. Before they passed the laws on how the potion was allowed to be used, it was often used in seemingly harmless pranks that in the end turned out very badly indeed.”

He continued the lecture. Draco, who had already read the literature about the potion, sat back and thought of what he would use the potion for if he’d had it. It would definitely be a lot of fun to give Potter some of it and hear him spill all about what he thought of Draco. It would be even more fun to see Potter in detention for using the words he surely would – and Draco would of course see to it that Snape was in the near vicinity.

“Collect the ingredients and start on your potions,” Draco heard Snape say. “This potion is a hard one to make, but it is a quick one. A single mistake, a single second of simmering too long will make the potion useless.”

Draco had watched Snape make this potion before and knew the importance of using the exact measurements and counting the seconds.

It didn’t take Draco long to have the potion simmering quietly, the colour a perfect light purple. Having Snape for a godfather had been a bit tedious when Draco grew up because Draco’s father had always made him have lessons for Snape. Entering first year, Draco knew quite a bit more about potions than most of the other children – and now, he was happy that his father had forced Snape to teach him.

It was exactly thirty-six seconds until Draco was to add the chopped dragon’s tongue into the potion, when an explosion shook the walls of the dungeons.

“Mr. Weasley, you are taking NEWT-level Potions lessons,” Snape said bitingly to Ron Weasley, “shouldn’t that mean that you would be at least able to read? Five points from Gryffindor for sheer stupidity.”

Draco saw the Weasel’s face turning the same colour as his hair, but the redhead didn’t say anything. Draco saw Potter place a calming hand on the Weasel’s arm.

“And detention tonight at seven, Mr. Weasley,” Snape said.

Draco sniggered quietly and the Weasel sent him a deadly glare. Potter just looked at Draco – his face was almost completely blank and his eyes lacked the usual hatred. For the second time that day, Draco felt unsure of what was going on in Potter’s head. Finally, he smirked at Potter and turned back to his potion, adding the dragon’s tongue just in time.

After lessons ended, Draco returned to his room to relax for a while before dinner. Another few Valentine’s cards had arrived during lunch and Draco placed them before him on his bed. Though he didn’t want to admit it, he hoped that one of the letters or gifts before him was from his secret admirer.

He grew quickly disappointed as he opened envelope after envelope and found only stupid cards from silly Hufflepuffs. They were without doubt the most idiotic people on the entire planet.

In the end, Draco had only one thing left unopened on the bed. It was a wrapped box with a small card on it. There was nothing written on the card, though – only a rather badly drawn rose that was the exact same colour as the rose Draco had received in the morning.

Carefully opening the package, Draco smiled slightly when he found a box of chocolate. The chocolates were all the shape of hearts and as he was alone in the room, Draco allowed himself to smile. The small pieces looked delicious. He reached out and picked one up. Then he wanted to slap himself for his stupidity because behind his navel –

– Draco felt the pull of a Port Key.

Draco landed with his wand drawn. Pointing it wildly around the room, Draco soon realised that there seemed to be no imminent danger around. He was standing in a room that, for all that Draco saw, could be one of the old, unused classrooms at Hogwarts. There were student desks and chairs, all looking like they hadn’t been used in several decades, and a large one in the front that reminded Draco of McGonagall’s desk.

The lighting in the room was nothing like a classroom, however. On every desk stood multiple candles, all lit to give the room an unearthly feel. There were no windows, so none of the late afternoon light filtered in – had the candles been put out, the room would have been in complete darkness.

Hesitantly, Draco took a few steps further into the room. He still held his wand out, ready for any attack. The floor creaked beneath his weight.

“There’s nothing dangerous in this room, Draco,” said a voice.

Draco looked around the room but he couldn’t tell where the voice had come from. He didn’t recognize the voice; it was much deeper than anyone Draco knew. Then again, there were lots of spells to change one’s voice.

“Show yourself,” Draco said. “If you’re nothing dangerous, then you won’t mind my being able to see you.”

The voice sighed. “I’m not dangerous, Draco. Just put the wand down, please?”

Though Draco still didn’t recognize the voice, there was something about it that was very familiar. It didn’t sound threatening at all, so after a few moments hesitation, Draco lowered his wand.

“Are you the one who’s been sending me gifts over the last few weeks?” Draco asked.

There was no answer. Instead Draco heard the rustling of fabric and a faint, whispered ‘finite incantatum’. He turned around to where the sound had come from and he gasped.

“Potter?” he asked, his voice filled with immediate horror. What was Potter doing, bringing him places like this? Was Potter finally going to kill him?

“Uh, hi,” said Potter, sounding nothing like someone who was about to commit murder. But then, nothing about the situation indicated that Potter wanted him dead – the multitude of candles gave the room an almost romantic feeling and Potter’s behaviour seemed more like a nervous first year.

Suddenly, Draco recalled what the Port Key that brought him to the room had looked like. A box filled with heart-shaped chocolates with a small drawing of the rose he’d received earlier a card. The gifts he’d received over the last few weeks flew through his head and the protective amulet suddenly burned against his skin.

“You are my secret admirer?” Draco asked, pure disgust in his voice.

Potter’s cheeks reddened. He asked timidly, “Did you like the gifts?”

Draco’s face scrunched up in revulsion as he realised that he’d guessed right. Potter was the one who’d sent him all the gifts! He was the one who had given him the protective amulet he was now wearing! Draco didn’t know who he had been hoping would be behind the gifts, but it certainly wasn’t the Gryffindor Golden Boy!

“Draco?” Harry asked softly.

“I have never given you permission to call me by my name,” Draco spat at Harry. Then, after a short pause, he said, “I could never like anything you’d ever give me, Potter. You disgust me.”

Harry’s face fell. At that very moment, Draco realised what those looks Potter had been giving him earlier during the day – and, to be honest, in the last few weeks – meant. They meant this – that Potter was his anonymous admirer!

“But—” Harry began but Draco didn’t let him finish.

“What?” he asked, his voice hard and cold. “Did you think I’d fall into your arms? That I’d tell you that I loved the gifts and that I hoped it was you? That I have feelings for you? That I love you?” His voice turned more and more taunting with every word. Then, with a look at Harry’s face, he laughed cruelly. “Oh Merlin, you did. You did hope all that! Oh, this is priceless. What are you, in love with me?”

Harry didn’t answer. Draco could see him swallow hard.

Draco shook his head and smiled nastily at Harry. “I could never love you, Potter. You are so far below me that even dirt is more worth.”

He strode past the door, which had been just behind Potter all along. When he passed, he heard Potter’s quick breath and he smirked to himself, knowing that he was finally getting to crush the Boy Who Lived.

Draco strode down the hallway, realising as he did so that the Port Key had taken him only to the second floor of Hogwarts.

“Draco, please,” he heard behind him.

Draco turned around and glared coldly at Potter. “I told you, you don’t have permission to use my name.”

Draco was by the stairs by that time and other students were passing by. A few stopped, which lead to others pausing to see what they were watching. Within moments, a crowd had gathered.

“Can’t we just—”

“Just what, Potter?” sneered Draco. “’Just talk’? I don’t think so. Just spending time in the same room as you has made me feel dirty. There is nothing and will never be anything to talk about, you disgusting Mudblood.”

A collective gasp went through the crowd and Draco’s malicious smile widened. He walked closer to Potter, preparing himself for giving Potter the final blow.

“The mere sight of you makes me feel sick,” Draco said, “and the thought of you being in love with me makes me want to kill myself.”

He said it just loud enough for the crowd to hear and mumbling immediately started. Potter fell to his knees.

Draco turned from Potter and strode away.

Potter didn’t eat dinner in the Great Hall that evening. Draco sat at his seat, his classmates happily slapping his back and telling him how great it had been to see Draco finally putting Potter in his place. The ones who hadn’t been present when it had happened had quickly been told and Draco knew that the whole school already had found out about Harry Potter’s love for Draco Malfoy.

That night, Draco was definitely the king of Slytherin as he sat in the Common Room being congratulated on how he had crushed Potter.

Only a slight nagging at his heart told Draco that he had done something wrong. Draco didn’t listen to it and when he came back to his room and found the chocolates on the bed, he threw them away together with the drawing, the necklace, the ring and the rose.

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