Temporary Mate

BY : Lomonaaeren
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Draco
Dragon prints: 14176
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I am making no money from this story.

Title: Temporary Mate
Disclaimer: J. K. Rowling and associates own these characters. I am writing this story for fun and not profit.
Pairing: Harry/Draco, past Harry/Ginny and Harry/Michael Corner
Content Notes: Angst, violence, creature fic (Draco is a Veela), action/adventure, Auror fic, minor character death
Rating: R
Summary: Escorting Malfoy on a dangerous mission in another dimension to speak to French Veela, Harry and his fellow Aurors are attacked and left for dead. Harry and Malfoy are the only survivors, and wounds the attackers inflicted have released Malfoy’s Veela heritage. Now he’s probably going to die unless Harry can successfully bind himself to Malfoy as a temporary mate—and they still have to survive the trek to reach the Veela stronghold.
Author’s Notes: This fic will be updated whenever I finish a chapter. It should be anywhere from ten to twenty chapters long.

Temporary Mate

Chapter One—The Suddenness of Wings

Harry reeled back as a bolt of red lightning almost struck him, and then blasted off a nonverbal Burning Storm Curse. The thing he was fighting, which resembled a hunched human woman with huge black wings and greasy talons, screeched as the fiery rain fell on her, and soared away, tearing at her face and back.

Harry turned grimly around, to see the rest of the creatures hovering a “safe” distance away from him and the battlefield, where five other Aurors had already died, their blood soaking into the blue and red earth. The other poor blokes hadn’t stood a chance. The minute the creatures had begun to scream, they’d frozen in place and stared with wide eyes, not even resisting as talons slashed their throats or yanked out their hearts.

Which told Harry what these creatures were, although it was actually Muggle mythology and not wizarding knowledge that let him recognize them.

Harpies.

Harry hadn’t felt compelled to stand there and let them kill him. Probably for the same reason he could resist the Imperius Curse.

The harpies were swirling around the edges of the battlefield now, pointing at Harry with long, sharply-nailed fingers and whisper-hissing something to each other. Harry backed up slowly, feeling with his foot for a step before he did so. He was terribly afraid that he might be the only one left alive.

Then he stepped on a piece of cloth that groaned.

Harry swiftly knelt down with his hand on the shoulder of the other bloke, eyes on the harpies. They weren’t coming closer, but they had started to writhe and clap their hands in glee, which was hardly reassuring.

Harry turned his head the slightest bit, enough to catch a glimpse of pale hair out of the corner of his eye.

“Malfoy?” he breathed.

An iron-taloned hand closed on his wrist.

That’s not Malfoy, that’s a harpy with white feathers! Harry thought, and promptly turned his wand on the figure as the harpies’ giggles grew louder. But at the same time, he had to look because he couldn’t see well enough to fire a spell, and he realized it was Malfoy lying there, his expensive robes shredded and strips of flesh clinging around a huge wound in his chest.

Don’t vomit into the wound, Harry chanted to himself, and bent over Malfoy as he cast another spell at the harpies to make them hold their ground. “What happened?” he whispered, not really expecting an answer.

To his amazement, Malfoy gave one, though his voice was as harsh and clanging as the harpies’. “They—ripped me open. To survive, I had to—pull on other parts of my magic core. I have distant Veela heritage. I’m Veela now. I can survive—physically. But mentally—need a mate.”

His voice, his reasoning, sounded human, but those talons were still pulling Harry closer. Harry stared into his face and forced calm onto himself. “Are you going to eat me?”

“Need—a mate.”

Harry shivered and let the shivering pass through him like the claws must have passed through Malfoy. Then he nodded. “All right. Tell me what I have to do.” The only Veela bonding he’d heard about in even vague detail was Bill’s with Fleur, and that had been a private ceremony separate from the wedding. Harry had no idea what they’d actually done other than meet with her family in France for a few days.

A smile glided across Malfoy’s lips, and he tugged Harry closer. “Fearless—for your own good.”

Harry clamped his teeth on his tongue against the impulse to say that there was a word missing in there somewhere, and said, “Is it a spell?”

“In circumstances like this—yes.” Malfoy’s voice seemed to have got stronger even though his wound looked no better. He shot a glance at the hovering harpies. Harry did, too. They seemed to be coming no closer. Perhaps they were confused because Malfoy hadn’t eaten him yet. “It’s a temporary—bond. Just long enough until we can reach the Veela we came to see. They can give me a real one.”

“All right,” Harry said. From the lack of other voices and movement, he was starting to think he and Malfoy really were the only ones that had survived the harpies’ attack. That meant he had to do anything he could to keep Malfoy alive. He knelt, as much as he could with Malfoy holding him, on the alien, gritty blue soil underneath them. “Tell me the incantation of the spell.”

Malfoy remained silent, frowning, searching Harry’s eyes. Harry tapped the wand on his abdomen in impatience. He assumed the spell would at least partially heal Malfoy’s injury, or he would have said something about it before now.

“You have to really mean it,” Malfoy whispered.

“I do really mean it,” Harry said, and did his best to soften his expression when he saw the way Malfoy continued to look at him. “I mean it enough to keep you alive. If you mean, have I fallen in love with you? N—”

This time, the other taloned hand slammed across his mouth, the edges of Malfoy’s claws cutting his lips. Harry winced and watched a small trickle of blood move down his cheek to fall onto the claws.

“Don’t say it, don’t say it.” Malfoy’s voice was more a deep, hoarse screech than words. “Don’t do anything the Veela might think of as rejection!”

“All right,” Harry said, while through his mind there flashed a vision, absurdly, of him rejecting Malfoy’s hand on their first train ride. He eased a smile onto his lips and knelt closer, as close as he could get without touching Malfoy’s wound. “I mean it. I want to keep you alive. I want to make sure we reach our destination safely. I want you to have what everyone should have, shelter and food and love.”

Malfoy sighed out like a snake complaining about its tail being hurt, and then draped a hand around Harry’s neck and lifted his lips.

Harry bent and kissed him. He had no objection to kissing men, but this was different in that most men didn’t try to probe between his lips with their tongue like a woodpecker hunting grubs, or writhe around under him and stain his shirt with blood in the meantime.

At least Malfoy didn’t seem to be getting worse, for all the smears on Harry’s Auror robes. Harry pulled back, aware of the harpies that had started to hover nearer to them, and asked with a little gasp, “All right?”

“Yes,” Malfoy said, his eyes clearing, although his hands didn’t let go of Harry’s wrist or neck. “Listen to me, and repeat the syllables carefully. There’s no second chance if you mess this up, not with the way that the spell is going to pull on my magic.”

Harry refrained from rolling his eyes—it was probably good practice—and poised his wand. Malfoy had it aiming at his chest, more or less in between his wound and his heart.

Ignis, aqua, terra, sol,” said Malfoy, his lips ending in a silent gasp on the last word. A bubble of blood popped past them.

Ignis, aqua, terra, sol,” Harry said, his eyes not moving from Malfoy’s. A faint glow began to spiral around his wand, first red, then blue, then brown, then gold.

Harry could recognize the power of elemental magic, even though he had only studied it and never used it. As long as it would save Malfoy, he didn’t really care what it looked like or what else it did.

Amor, odium, semper,” Malfoy said. His body arched in silent pain, and Harry would have tried to ease back so that he wasn’t coming so close to actually crushing the injury, but Malfoy’s hands were doing a good job of holding him motionless.

Amor, odium, semper.”

The lights flashing around Harry’s wand had turned all sorts of colors by now, brilliant orange and heart-stopping purple included among them. Harry tried not to watch them, afraid they would get him dizzy or confused. He only looked into Malfoy’s eyes, and Malfoy managed to smile and nod a little as if that was exactly the right course to take.

“Now, speak your name and mine,” Malfoy whispered. “In that order. Then end the sentence with coniungo.”

Harry swallowed back any protests he might have wanted to make. This wasn’t walking into the Forbidden Forest. This wasn’t binding himself for life. It was doing what he had to do to make sure they both got to the Veela and completed the mission.

“Harry Potter,” he said. Malfoy’s eyes never wavered from his face. “Draco Malfoy.” The lights around his wand sizzle so hard that Harry felt them more than he did Malfoy’s hand digging into the back of his neck. “Coniungo.”

The silent explosion of power between them lifted Malfoy off the ground. Harry gasped and reached towards him, concerned for his wound, but he didn’t touch him. There was so much white and blue slanting past them that Harry was drifting in the middle of it, not burned, borne, but unable to feel anything else.

Then he became aware that he was tumbling back towards the earth. Harry tried to go as limp as he could, tried to twist so that he would less chance of breaking a bone or his wand—

Hands came around him and caught him millimeters from slamming into the red grass and blue, gleaming twists of soil.

Harry looked up. Malfoy was hovering in the air, huge white-silver wings cutting it. Harry could hear the hiss of it parting around those feathers, in fact.

But it was hard to notice much else. Malfoy’s gaze was locked on his face, and Harry couldn’t look beyond it. Malfoy’s eyes had an actual, blazing flame behind them, as if they had become transparent windows onto a wasteland of silver fire.

“You’re my mate,” Malfoy said, in a voice deeper than it had been before. His healed chest vibrated against Harry’s and distracted him in all sorts of ways that he shouldn’t be distracted in the middle of an Auror mission.

Harry took a deep breath, reclaimed some of the courage that seemed to have deserted him in the last few seconds, and said, “Yes.”

*

Draco had never felt so released.

Bonds constraining him—human body, human desires—had simply dissolved. He had long known that he had the opportunity to become a Veela if he wanted to, but it had never seemed worth the risk. Why would he banish his human body when it meant he would have to have a mate and wings it was hard to hide?

Hovering in mid-air and embracing Harry, Draco thought such old fears foolish and weak.

He bent down and kissed Harry once, lingeringly, just enough that Harry gasped and squirmed against him. Then Draco flew downwards and put Harry tenderly on the ground, in between the bodies. He avoided the blood.

These men had not been as important as Harry. But they had died fighting beside him, and their deaths had hurt him. That meant Draco had to avenge them.

He turned to face the harpies.

They had drawn back and were hovering as if they were afraid of him, but that wasn’t entirely unexpected. Draco met their eyes and smiled.

A few peeled off from the back of the flock and flew away. The rest descended upon him, their claws spread and their screeches rising into the air as if they thought they could make Draco back off because of the sheer volume of noise.

Draco placed his palms together and bowed his head a little. They would probably interpret the gesture as one of fear—well, not all of them, he amended in his head as a few others flew away. They must have faced Veela before.

He was fighting for his mate.

The words exploded out of his mouth as a vicious song, like the noise of a scythe ripping through the air. At the same moment, Draco opened his hands and let the fireball follow them.

Two of the harpies died immediately, consumed by the sheer heat of the flames. Only a few scraps of cloth and drifting feathers remained. A few others flew out of range with a shriek, and kept on flying. But two spiraled down with only singed wings, and landed on the ground near Harry.

Draco set his wings and dived.

He didn’t think about it. He only knew his mate was in danger and he had to defend him. It was as simple as that.

His claws cleaved through one harpy’s neck, and he tossed her head at her companion, distracting her just as she started to line up to battle Harry. Harry promptly caught her with a curse and bound her on the soil.

Draco landed beside her and stomped down with one foot, staving in her ribs and making her shriek turn into a bubble of blood and soundless breath. Then he cut her head off, too, and tossed it to rest next to the other.

When he looked up, his mate was staring at him with wide eyes. Draco cocked his head and made a soft, clucking, scolding noise. “You have no reason to do that. I was only protecting you.”

“You—killed them.”

“You did the same thing with others,” Draco said, and gestured to the motionless harpy bodies on the ground that Harry had dueled before his transformation came. He frowned a little at the thought. He didn’t like Harry having to do that.

Well, he wouldn’t have to do it anymore, not now that Draco was here. Draco turned back to Harry with a satisfied nod, in time to find him sliding his wand back into his sleeve and sighing. “Not that violently.”

“If the blood bothers you, then I can do it less violently next time.” The flames were probably his most potent weapon, and ought to be deft and quick enough to satisfy Harry. Draco lowered his wings and his head at the same time. “Now come here.”

Harry looked as if he would speak up, but then he simply walked over to Draco and kissed him lightly on the cheek. Draco twisted his head to catch him on the lips, sighing as the torrent of power flooded him. He was transparent, he thought, and burning from the inside out with the flame that was Harry.

He started to press Harry gently to the ground. There were things he had neglected, the proper introduction of a Veela to his mate, and he was willing to make up for them now.

Harry gasped, then said, “Not—here. I don’t want to—do anything in blood and gore.” He looked at the Aurors’ bodies, and his face twisted. “What are we going to do with them?”

Draco reached down to dig his claws into the blue soil. The red didn’t always obey a Veela, but the blue was the color of their eyes, the color of the heavens they flew through, sometimes the color of their wings. It promptly rolled up, chilled, and grabbed the Aurors’ bodies, burying them like twisting ropes.

“That will keep the bodies safe?” Harry was watching the mounds of shining earth, and Draco gently reached out and tipped his face back until Harry was looking at him. He’d done enough of sharing his mate with others.

“Yes. It will preserve them perfectly. When we reach the Veela enclave, then we can talk to them about retrieving the bodies and returning them to the human world.”

Harry nodded. “So we can take them with us when we go.”

Draco blinked. It felt as if his eyes took longer to move than usual. At least Harry was watching them with the right kind of fascination. “So the Aurors can come and collect them. You don’t think we’ll be returning to the human world, do you?”

Harry didn’t respond for a second. Then he said carefully, “You said that when we reach the Veela, they’ll be able to unbind us and give you a permanent mate. So even if you decide to stay here, I’ll go back myself.”

“I said that? It’s true enough, but I must have been mad. I can’t imagine wanting any other mate than you.”

Harry moved a step closer to him, reached out, and gently cupped Draco’s cheek. Silent, afraid of shaking the fragile bond between them, Draco reached out with one wing to slide a tip down Harry’s cheek.

“We can’t fly all the way, you know.” Harry’s voice was a whisper. “You’ll get tired. Do you think you can put your wings away and we’ll walk for a little while? I don’t want to stay here even if the blood and guts are mostly gone.”

Draco would have agreed to a lot worse requests at that point. He found himself nodding agreeably and pulling in his wings. For a moment they dangled behind his back down to his boots; then he concentrated, and he felt them turn into cool mist and dissolve into his back. They would look like nothing more than the tattoos of silver wings to whoever looked at them.

And the world changed.

*

Harry sighed a little as he watched Malfoy sink to his knees. He had heard once that a Veela’s wings were a big part of their mindset, and if they put them away, then they would stop being so bird-like and become human.

Since Malfoy was a Veela forced into the transformation, it made sense that he would see things in a more human way once his wings were tucked away.

“What have I done?” Malfoy hissed.

“What you needed to to survive.” Harry didn’t want to deal with a possessive Veela who wouldn’t let him do anything on his own, but on the other hand, he wouldn’t let Malfoy blame himself. He sat down next to Malfoy and clasped his hand. Even in this form, Malfoy instinctively clutched his fingers. “We’ll get there, Malfoy. We’ll find the Veela and give them your message and get them to give you a mate who will be happy to stay with you for always.” He actually didn’t know what the message Malfoy was supposed to tell the Veela was. That had been confidential. The Aurors were there to protect him, not try to discover secrets.

Malfoy’s head jerked up, his silver hair stinging along his ears. “You don’t want to stay with me for always?”

Harry remembered the warning Malfoy had given him about not doing anything that could be interpreted as rejecting the Veela. “I want to make sure that you have a good mate. A worthy one. If that means stepping aside when we find the enclave, that’s what I’ll do.”

Malfoy watched him as suspiciously as a wolf, but in the end he nodded and bent down to kiss Harry’s knuckles. Then he sighed and stood. “We need to aim in that direction.” He nodded to a distant part of the glowing horizon. Since the glow extended in a circle of the same brightness all around them, Harry didn’t know if he was right, but he had to trust Malfoy sometime.

“All right.”

“You’ve been very agreeable about all this.”

“I told you. We’ll do what we can. And I want to survive. I know you want to, too.” Harry hesitated for a second. “I couldn’t save the others. I want to make sure at least one of the people I was supposed to be helping reaches the end of this journey.”

Malfoy snorted and began to walk past one of the blue mounds that contained the bodies. “You think you were there to protect the other Aurors, Potter?”

Harry did. He knew he was the best of them, and he didn’t know the rest of them well, and now they were dead.

Malfoy got a few steps ahead. Harry lingered to look at the blue mounds.

“I’m sorry,” he said at last. “Rest well.”

“Potter!”

The ground was dimming, the blue turning purple, the red orange, which was the substitute for nighttime in this dimension. Harry turned and hurried after Malfoy.



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