The Other

© 2005-2022 by MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

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Chapter 14

A flurry of owls entered the great hall carrying messages for the students.

Cherub smiled as he saw an owl coming for him.

"There's one for me!" Hermione said in surprise.

"I've got one too!" Harry said happily.

"I've got two." Hermione said in delight as a second letter dropped into her hands.

"Me too!" Harry said as he plucked his letter out of mid air.

Cherub opened his letter and smiled at his brother's rambling story about how he woke up and ate breakfast.

"Chuffery said that I'm pretty." Hermione said proudly.

"I wouldn't get too big a head about it Granger. He said that I'm pretty too." Draco finished with a somewhat bewildered expression.

"He said that I'm nice." Harry said in a disappointed voice.

Draco opened his mouth, ready to deliver a stinging remark when he realized that Harry was really hurt.

"Potter." Draco said firmly, drawing Harry's despondent gaze from the letter.

"Malfoy's have the best of everything. The best clothes, the best homes, the best parties and of course, the best boyfriends. I won't shower you with endless compliments because there is no need. I've chosen you, therefore you must be attractive." Draco said in his most dignified voice.

"Harry?" Cherub said quietly.

Harry turned his wondering gaze toward Cherub.

"I'm not 'A' Nightshade, I am 'The' Nightshade, and you are my boyfriend. You are going to have to reconcile yourself to the fact that you must be quite attractive to have both of us." Cherub said seriously.

"Guys. People can hear you." Hermione said nervously.

"Good. It will save me from having to make an announcement." Draco said simply.

Harry looked at Draco with shock.

"I'm not only going to be your boyfriend behind closed doors where no one can see us Harry. I'm proud of you, and proud to be your boyfriend... aren't you proud of me?" Draco finished with a note of concern.

Harry smiled and said, "Absolutely. Now more than ever."

"Ron, do you still feel like everyone is watching you?" Cherub asked with a smile.

Ron shook his head.

"Oh, this is beautiful." Hermione gushed as she took an 8x10 photograph out of the second envelope.

Cherub, Draco and Harry each hurried to open their own.

Ron looked at the picture Hermione was holding and stared with wide eyes.

"That's Chuffery, Cherub's little brother." Hermione said as she pointed.

"He's a kid." Ron said quietly.

"Well, he's nine, but he looks younger." Hermione said honestly.

Ron looked carefully at the picture, then at Harry, Draco and Cherub, all seated in a row, looking at the pictures.

"You see it, don't you?" Hermione asked.

"They're in love." Ron said in a small voice.

"That's what we've been trying to tell you." Hermione said gently.

Ron smiled and said, "I think it's great."

"Thank you Ron." Harry said in relief.

Ron smiled a grand smile in return.

* * * * *

"Do you have a minute?" a boy, taller but thinner than Cherub asked shyly as the group walked out of the great hall.

Cherub looked at the boy curiously and noticed that he was wearing a Ravenclaw crest on his robe.

"Sure, I've got plenty of time before flying. What can I help you with?" Cherub asked in a gentle voice.

The boy motioned for another boy who was watching them from just outside the doors to the great hall.

"I'm Prentice, this is Jolie. We heard... Is it true that you have two boyfriends?" Prentice asked hopefully.

Cherub looked at the boy's frightened, hopeful expression and said, "I don't know how you heard so quickly, but yes, it's true."

Prentice let out a sigh of relief, then said, "Jolie and I want to be boyfriends, but... we don't know how. Can you help us?"

Cherub smiled and led the boys toward the door that opened to the outside.

"What do you want to do that you're not already doing?" Cherub asked carefully.

"We want to do boyfriend stuff. I mean, I heard some stuff, but some of it sounded wrong and I didn't want to take a chance of hurting Jolie." Prentice said seriously.

"Okay guys. There isn't time to tell you everything right now. But if you'll answer a few questions, maybe I can help." Cherub said seriously.

Prentice and Jolie nodded and paid their full attention.

Cherub looked around and guided them away from other students before asking, "Do you hug each other?"

"Yes. We like that." Prentice said with a smile.

"Good. What about kissing?" Cherub asked quietly.

"We kiss, but I'm not sure we're doing it right." Prentice said seriously.

"Do you both enjoy it?" Cherub asked cautiously.

Both boys nodded enthusiastically.

"Then you're probably doing it right. When we have more time, I'll give you a few ideas of different things to try. What about wanking?" Cherub asked carefully, wishing he had a less vulgar word to use.

Prentice and Jolie looked at him in confusion.

Cherub made the universal hand gesture, and realization came to both their eyes.

"Oh yes. We've done that." Prentice said with a scarlet blush.

"To each other?" Cherub asked carefully.

Prentice and Jolie both looked at Cherub with wonder.

"You'll need to do that. Just a hint, get some lotion,? you'll love it." Cherub said with a smile.

"What else?" Jolie asked with excitement, speaking for the first time.

"Why don't you two do that and tell me how it goes. I'm busy after class today, but if you can get with me after dinner tomorrow night, I'll be able to tell you some new things and give you hints on what you already know." Cherub said seriously.

"We'll be there. Thank you Nightshade." Prentice said quickly.

"Please, both of you call me Cherub... in fact, would you two like to sit with me at the Slytherin table tomorrow for dinner? That way you could meet my boyfriends." Cherub asked hopefully.

"Really? That would be... I mean, Jolie, do you want to?" Prentice asked hopefully.

Jolie nodded quickly.

Something caught Cherub's eye. He smiled as he noticed that Jolie had a Hufflepuff emblem on his robe.

"I'll see you at dinner tomorrow then. It's nearly time for class now. You two have fun." Cherub said happily.

"We will." Prentice said with a giggle.

* * * * *

"Madame Hooch, would you mind if I used the class time this week to help Ron catch up with the rest of the class?" Harry asked hopefully.

"I think that's a very good idea Mr. Potter. Just be sure that you're teaching him safety before you teach him that fancy flying you're so well known for." Madame Hooch said sternly.

"I promise, safety first." Harry said as a solemn vow.

Madame Hooch nodded once, then walked to the gathering of other students to outline their flight plan for the day.

"I know how to fly." Ron said quietly.

"I know. But it's best if I cover what she's taught us anyway. That way you'll be ready if she asks." Harry said seriously.

"I'm sorry about, you know, before." Ron said quietly.

"Headmaster Dumbledore told us there was a reason you acted as you did. That's all we needed to know." Harry said as he led Ron farther away from the others.

"But what if it happens again?" Ron asked anxiously.

"Then we'll take you right up to Headmaster Dumbledore and he'll call your counselor straight away." Harry said frankly.

"You know about her?" Ron asked with wide eyes.

"I didn't know it was a her, but we were told you would be seeing a counselor after classes each day." Harry said simply as he stopped and looked around.

Ron looked as if he were going to have a panic attack on the spot.

"Ron, if I had an injured knee, would you want to stay away from me, or would you want to walk beside me to catch me in case it gave out?" Harry asked seriously.

"It's not the same." Ron said in an aggravated tone.

"Why not? Let me walk with you to help you if you slip. I know you'd do the same for me." Harry said as he tried to look Ron in the eyes.

After a long moment of thought, Ron finally nodded.

"Good. Now let's go up about ten feet and hover."

* * * * *

"Are you okay Cherub?" Hermione asked with concern as she walked into the infirmary.

"Fine. Is Professor McGonigal coming?" Cherub asked with irritation.

"She said she had to get something for you and she'd be here as soon as possible. What happened?" Hermione asked gently.

"Neville's transfiguration spell went wrong and rebounded on me." Cherub said in a grumpy voice.

Hermione looked at Cherub carefully and finally realized that he had his hands hidden under the table.

"Can I see?" Hermione asked carefully.

"As long as you promise not to tell everyone." Cherub said darkly.

Hermione nodded, her promise showing in her eyes.

Cherub pulled his hands out to reveal his elongated thin arms and long thin hands which ended in razor sharp talons.

"How could Neville do that?" Hermione asked in confusion.

"I was wearing an amulet to transfigure my hands so they look normal. He hit the amulet and killed the charm." Cherub said as he put his hands back under the table.

"So that's what you really look like?" Hermione asked in wonder.

"That's right. My mother transfigured into a harpy while she was pregnant with me. That's how I got the wings and the hands." Cherub said as he felt depression washing over him.

"How horrible. Why would she do that? Didn't she know that would happen?" Hermione asked in disbelief.

"I don't know if she knew or cared. From what I've been told, when she got pregnant, she went insane. After my birth, she got a little better, but when she was pregnant with Chuffery, she went crazy again. After he was born, she ran away and no one's seen her since." Cherub said in a distant voice.

"I had no idea. I mean, I overheard a few people speculating on why you have wings, but I never would have imagined..." Hermione trailed off.

"What did they say?" Cherub asked curiously.


"What ideas did they come up with for my wings? I'd like to know." Cherub asked with a curious smile.

"Okay. But some of them aren't too nice." Hermione said in warning.

"Neither is the truth." Cherub said honestly.

"Well, one idea was that your father impregnated a vulture." Hermione said seriously.

"No, my father wouldn't do that, a falcon maybe, but not a vulture, too common." Cherub said in his haughty voice.

Hermione smiled and said, "It was suggested that you're a half-demon."

"My father impregnating a demon... I could see that." Cherub said with a nod.

"From what I've heard of him, I can too." Hermione said with a chuckle.

"What else?" Cherub asked with a smile.

"A failed magical experiment." Hermione said, this time without humor.

Cherub looked her in the eyes and thought about it.

"Of course, you know the truth. So it doesn't matter." Hermione said quickly.

"I know what I've been told. In my family, truth is a rare commodity." Cherub said seriously.

"Do you think it might be true?" Hermione asked with concern.

"I think that it is a possibility. Now that I'm aware of it, I can be on the lookout for evidence." Cherub said in a cold voice.

"Here we are. I have already put the enchantment on the amulet so you simply have to put it on." Professor McGonigal said pleasantly.

Cherub hesitantly took the bracelet and slipped it onto his wrist.

Soon his hands returned to their usual appearance.

"Very good. We should be returning to class now. They should be finished with the reading assignment." Professor McGonigal said quickly.

Cherub got up and started walking toward the door when Hermione said, "Thanks for telling me."

Cherub smiled at her and said, "You too."

* * * * *

Ron made his way into the infirmary filled with apprehension.

"Hello Ron, did you have a good day?" Madame Crustemple asked pleasantly.

Ron thought about the question for a moment before saying, "Yes. I think I did."

* * * * *

"Where is everyone?" Cherub asked as he walked into his bedroom to find Draco sitting on his bed.

"Well, Harry is trying to get his Quidditch thing straightened out, T, Crabbe and Goyle are in the library with Darla and Pansy. Ron is with his counselor, and I think Widget is with Percy." Draco said in thought.

"We're alone!" Cherub said with surprise.

Draco got a mischievous smile and said, "We are."

"Do you think Harry would mind if we started without him?" Cherub asked as he walked to stand before Draco.

"I'm sure he wouldn't mind at all." Draco said as he stood.

Cherub pulled Draco into a firm hug and kissed him deeply.

A minute later, Draco asked, "Is something wrong? You seemed to need that kiss worse than usual."

"Yeah. It's just been a long day for me." Cherub said seriously.

"Did the thing that happened in transfigurations hurt you?" Draco asked with concern.

"No. I just hurried out so no one would see my hands." Cherub said as he held Draco tightly.

"That's what I thought. So what's wrong?" Draco asked as he eased Cherub to sit on the bed.

"Just all of it. As long as you'll hold me I'll be fine." Cherub said peacefully.

"You never have to worry about that. I'm here for you." Draco said warmly.

"I'm here for you too, you know." Cherub said in a whisper.

"I know. It's hard for me to let it loose. I know when I need you, that you'll be here for me." Draco said quietly.

Cherub kissed Draco gently, then pulled back to look in his eyes.

"I do have a question." Draco said hesitantly.

"I have lots of answers." Cherub said with a gentle smile.

"You remember when the three of us got together, how you said that you knew all about... everything. You know, sex." Draco said seriously.

"Yes. I wasn't bragging, I just wanted you both to know that I wasn't guessing or making it up." Cherub said in a more serious tone.

"On the day before classes, I asked if I could call you 'cherry'..." Draco trailed off.

"Oh. Yeah." Cherub said quietly.

"You've never talked about how you know all that stuff, but you've done it, haven't you?" Draco asked with concern.

"Most of it. The rest I've been told in great detail." Cherub answered quietly.

"I'm not going to ask you about it. I know you'll tell me if you want to. But there is one thing I really need to know." Draco said with worry.

"What's that?" Cherub asked, feeling concern at Draco's tone.

"Were you made to do anything you didn't want to do? I mean, were you forced?" Draco asked cautiously.

Cherub smiled and said, "No Draco. I was never forced at all. I was shown how to have sex and make love in the most gentle and wonderful way you could imagine. It was so special that when we're ready, I want to be able to share everything that I learned with you and Harry the same way."

Draco smiled and said, "I'm glad. It sounded like someone took advantage of you when you were too young to know better."

"No. It was perfect. I wish everyone could learn about sex the way I did." Cherub said with a peaceful smile.

"By doing?" Draco asked with a full smile.

"It's better than following step-by-step instructions." Cherub said with a giggle at the thought.

Draco pulled Cherub close into a hug and said, "I'll never let anyone hurt you or Harry if I can prevent it."

"Thank you Draco. Everything that was bothering me seems alright now." Cherub said peacefully.

* * * * *

Ron walked into the great hall to find the first students preparing for dinner.

"Can we talk?" Percy asked in a low voice.

Ron looked up at Percy with a trace of fear, but nodded and followed.

When they got out into the hall and away from other students, Percy said, "You really hurt Mom and Dad a lot."

"I know." Ron said quietly.

"They said that you're still not quite right and we're supposed to keep an eye on you." Percy said firmly.

Ron looked at Percy with renewed fear.

Percy noticed his youngest brother's expression and shook his head as he said, "Wait here."

Ron nodded as Percy hurried back into the great hall.

A minute later Percy returned with someone Ron vaguely recognized.

"Ronnie, this is Eldon Widget. He's a prefect like me. I've told him everything that's happened here and at home... everything." Percy emphasized.

Ron nodded his understanding.

"I don't know how to talk to you anymore Ronnie. Maybe if you talk to Widget about things and he talks to me, we can find some way that we can talk to each other again." Percy said in frustration.

Ron looked from Percy to Widget and nodded.

"I'm going to my table now." Percy said firmly and walked away.

"Thank you Percy." Ron called out.

Percy stopped in mid-step and turned with a look of question, then a brief smile crossed his face.

"Don't worry Ronnie. We can just talk about things and maybe we'll figure something out." Widget said in an easy going tone.

Ron nodded shyly.

"Come on in and have a seat with me. It's still a few minutes before dinner." Widget said warmly.

"Yeah. Thanks." Ron mumbled.

* * * * *

"I've got to do potions work with Ron this evening." Cherub said with regret.

"That's okay. I promised Crabbe that I'd work with him on spell casting tonight." Draco said casually as they walked out of the Slytherin rooms.

"Is he having trouble?" Cherub asked with concern.

"Just on one particular spell. He can't seem to get the gesture right. I'll work with him." Draco said with assurance.

"What have you got going tomorrow?" Cherub asked carefully.

"Pansy and I are going to discuss some Slytherin things." Draco said in a bored tone.

"I've got to give love lessons." Cherub said weakly.

"You what?" Draco asked suddenly.

"I met a couple of guys who are in love and haven't been told anything at all about sex." Cherub said seriously.

"Ouch. At least my dad had 'the talk' with me before I left." Draco said with a smile.

"From the way you described what he told you, it's a wonder you were ever conceived. You're poor mother." Cherub said with a shake of his head.

"Yes. Do you think I should tell him about foreplay when I visit for the holiday?" Draco asked with a smile.

Cherub thought about it for a second, then said in a conspiratorial whisper, "Maybe you should tell your mother."

Draco started laughing so suddenly and so hard that he choked.

* * * * *

"Percy is really worried about you Ronnie, he just feels like you betrayed your whole family when you told the family secrets." Widget said carefully.

"I know." Ron said quietly.

"Why don't you tell me your side of it. Like Percy said, I know everything that he knows. But maybe if you tell me why you did it, I can help Percy understand so he can feel comfortable with you again." Widget said seriously.

"I don't know if I can explain it. Everything got to be too much. I thought I was finally away from all the secrets and lies. I came to Hogwart's and thought that here I could find some real, honest people who I could be friends with and be happy. I met Harry on the train and he was nice. I mean, he's the-boy-who-lived, he's got to be a real good honest person, right?" Ron asked in a begging tone.

Widget nodded cautiously.

"Then I saw him being drawn away, into Slytherin. Malfoy and Nightshade lured him away... and when he came back. He was one of them. I mean... that's how I was feeling then. Now... I've spent some time with Draco and Cherub and they've been nothing but nice to me." Ron finished quickly.

"But then, you saw your good, decent friend being changed, corrupted, turned against you. Right?" Widget asked carefully.

"Yes. I attacked Cherub, if I'd gotten that spell right I would have hurt him. I'm so glad I messed it up." Ron said quietly.

"Then you were in the hearing." Widget prompted.

"I was so angry. I was wishing I'd been able to hurt him, hurt all of them for what they did to Harry." Ron said in a low voice.

"Then you were sent home." Widget said in a leading tone.

"My father was upset because I'd been sent back and started yelling at me, making me feel small and afraid... then something snapped. I couldn't stop myself... I yelled back. Something inside me that I didn't even know I had just let loose with everything I thought and felt and every single thing I'd kept hidden. I don't even know how long that lasted, the next thing I remember is being in a doctor's office." Ron said distantly.

"So now Percy feels that anything you see him do, anything he tells you, anything you even suspect about him is going to be yelled out for the world to hear if you lose it again." Widget said simply.

Ron nodded in thought.

"Do you think he can trust you?" Widget asked carefully.

"I want him to be able to, I just don't know how he can. I can't even trust myself." Ron said quietly.

"We don't have to find the answer today Ronnie. We've just shared what you're feeling and what Percy's feeling. It's probably best if we all think on it for a while and talk again later. Just keep in mind that he's trying. He hasn't given up." Widget said seriously.

"Thank you Widget. It really helps to know that." Ron said as he looked up into Widget's eyes.

"Cheer up, the guys are here." Widget said with a smile.

Ron turned in time to see Draco and Cherub walking into the dining room.

"Eldon! How are you doing today?" Cherub asked with a grand smile.

"I'm fine Cherub. You seem unusually happy." Eldon said with a smile.

Cherub smirked at Draco and said, "It's his fault. He started talking dirty to me."

Draco tried to look innocent, but it couldn't hold up for two seconds before he broke up into laughter.

"Really guys, what's so funny?" Eldon asked, drawn unwillingly into their laughter.

"I promise you Eldon, you'll be much better off not hearing about it before dinner." Cherub said through his giggles.

"You goofballs sit down. You're friend could use a good dose of your cheer." Eldon said with a smile at Ron.

"Hey Ron. Is everything going okay?" Cherub asked happily.

"Um. Yeah, I guess. Are you alright? I mean, did Neville hurt you?" Ron asked with concern.

"I'm fine now." Cherub said with a smile.

"Why are you guys so happy?" Ron asked curiously.

"We just got to laughing about something right before we walked in." Cherub said with a smile.

"What was it?" Ron asked curiously.

"If Harry's painting bothered you then I'm fairly sure you won't want to hear it before eating." Cherub said seriously.

"Um. Oh. It's about sex?" Ron asked hesitantly.

"Yes. If you really want to know, ask me after dinner and I'll tell you." Cherub said with a smile, then waved as Harry and Hermione walked in.

* * * * *

Ron sat through dinner quietly and watched the people around him talking and eating, generally having a good time.

Afterward, he and Cherub walked to the potions lab with Professor Snape.

"I trust you will leave the potions lab in the condition you found it?" Professor Snape asked with a tone of warning in his voice.

"Of course. Thank you for doing this. We'll have Ron caught up with everyone else before the end of the night." Cherub said in contentment.

Professor Snape opened the door and said, "I have no doubt in your ability or your word, so I will consider it done."

Ron barely heard Cherub's whispered response, "Thanks Dad."

* * * * *

"Well, now all you have to do is let it brew." Cherub said seriously.

"That wasn't so difficult. Everything we covered in class is making more sense now that I can see it for myself." Ron said as he carefully stirred the potion.

"That's one of the reasons why we're here. The other is that you need the practice. No matter how many times you read it, you can't really know certain things unless you do them." Cherub said in thought.

"I can see that. Like this stirring technique. I never would have thought it would make a difference how you stir the potion." Ron said seriously.

"I think after this, you'll be up to speed with everyone else. Anything you missed, Hermione can fill in for you." Cherub said as he started looking through the potion book again.

"Can I ask you a question?" Ron asked apprehensively.

"Anything." Cherub answered immediately and looked up from his book.

"Why are you being nice to me? I mean, are you just doing it because the Headmaster asked you to?" Ron asked as he kept his gaze focused on the potion.

"No. I'm doing it for Harry." Cherub said in a soft voice.

Ron looked up from the potion in question.

Cherub noticed the look and continued, "I was with Harry when things went badly between you, I was in the hearing. I saw how much losing your friendship hurt him. I love Harry and I'll do whatever I can to make him happy."

Ron nodded slightly and focused back on his potion before asking in a small voice, "So you're willing to put up with 'low class rabble' for Harry?"

Cherub gave a pained smile as he said, "Ron, I'd be lying if I said that there would be much of a chance of us being friends otherwise. As snobbish as it sounds, we come from different worlds, different classes. I really believe that if it were not for Harry, we wouldn't have enough in common to become even casual friends."

"We're both the same age and take the same classes. We're not really that different." Ron said into the cauldron.

"Ron. I was raised completely different from you. You had parents, brothers and sisters, friends, and a life outside your home. I grew up in a mansion with a household staff that took care of me. We were raised with completely different values and philosophies. I don't claim that the way I grew up is better, but I doubt we could overcome those differences and become friends if not for Harry." Cherub said carefully.

"So you don't think I'm inferior?" Ron asked and looked up from the cauldron.

"No Ron. Not inferior, just raised very differently from me." Cherub said with a gentle smile.

Ron nodded and looked back into the cauldron.

A knock on the door interrupted the introspective moment.

"Cherub, Draco wanted me to give you a message." Eldon said as he walked in.

"What is it Eldon?" Cherub asked with concern at Eldon's serious voice.

"He said to tell you that he needs you." Eldon said firmly.

"What's going on?" Cherub asked with a thread of panic running through him.

"His father is here. I don't know what else is going on, but we heard them screaming all the way in the common room. Then Draco asked that I get you and Harry and give you that message." Eldon said seriously.

"Have you already told Harry?" Cherub asked quickly.

"Yes. He's on his way."

"Will you help Ron finish this potion?" Cherub asked as he put his notes and potion book into his bag.

"Of course." Eldon said and walked to Ron's side.

"Sorry Ron..." Cherub began to say.

"Go on. He needs you." Ron said in understanding.

Cherub gave a smile as he hurried out of the room.

* * * * *

"Cherub, would you secure the room so we may speak privately?" Draco asked casually.

Cherub only thought about the request for an instant before realizing that Draco was probably asking him to secure the room as a demonstration of power. In the interest of helping Draco, he began working a locking spell on the door, then weaving his best privacy spell throughout the room.

"We can speak freely now." Cherub said slowly and noticed that Harry was already in the room.

"Father came to tell me that I'm not living up to the Malfoy name. I asked you to come so I could enlighten him." Draco said in a cold voice.

"What can we do?" Cherub asked cautiously.

"Father believes I am disgracing the family by not being at the top athletically and academically. He has heard that a first year student was allowed to play on the house Quidditch team and it was not me. He also knows that I do not have the highest overall grade of all first year students. He is here to motivate me to work harder." Draco said with an icy glance at his father.

Cherub looked at Harry with disbelief.

"Father, let me tell you some facts that may have eluded you." Draco said in a cold voice.

Lucious Malfoy had a look of anger that seemed to be on the verge of erupting.

"Harry is the first year student who plays on the house team.? I have no desire to be on the Quidditch team at this time. Likewise, I am satisfied being one of the top five first year students at Hogwart's. Cherub has the highest overall grade. Such diversions are great fun, but I have been working to establish myself in the political structure of Slytherin and Hogwart's. At this point in time, any actions taken by first year Slytherin will be brought to me for approval. I am involved in the decision making process for all first year students." Draco said seriously.

"What does this have to do with anything?" Mr. Malfoy asked irritably.

"Harry, Cherub and I function as one. Harry is our public face. Everyone knows him, he is quite popular and his Quidditch only improves his standing. He is also arguably the leader of the first year Gryffindor students and likely to become the leader of our overall year. Cherub is our academic. He devotes the majority of his attention to studies then imparts his findings to Harry and I. I am their leader. I coordinate our public actions and oversee that we are all represented in the most favorable light." Draco said, holding his father's gaze.

"What I am saying is that Harry and Cherub's achievements don't diminish me. We work collectively and each of our achievements are enjoyed by us all." Draco finished seriously.

Lucious thought for a moment before saying, "Those are just words. Easily said, but ultimately meaningless. I believe in actions."

Draco looked at his father without expression.

"You ordered your prefect to summon your companions as if he were a common house servant and he obeyed. You sent these two a message to come and they came without question. It proves your claim of being a leader better than the most dramatic speech. I withdraw my earlier complaints." Lucious said calmly.

"Thank you Father." Draco said formally, then continued, "They are also my boyfriends."

Mr. Malfoy looked at his son in shock before saying, "You can't. You are going to destroy the family."

"How will I do that?" Draco asked curiously.

"You have to marry well to maintain our place in society. You have to provide an heir. To throw away your legacy on a ball player and this winged-creature is out of the question. I won't allow it! You will be disowned and disinherited." Mr. Malfoy said firmly.

"This ball player, as I have said, is the leader of Gryffindor's first year students and has enough influence to do just about anything he wants in that house. He is also known by everyone in the wizarding world as the-boy-who-lived." Draco said firmly.

"Harry... Potter?" Mr. Malfoy asked in surprise.

"Correct." Draco said coldly as Harry casually moved his hair to show the scar on his forehead.

"But..." Mr. Malfoy began to say as he looked at Cherub.

"My other boyfriend has more money than you do. He is the sole heir to the Nightshade family estate." Draco said seriously.

"Cherub Nightshade?" Mr. Malfoy asked in a whisper.

Cherub nodded.

"So you see Father. My social standing won't suffer due to my association with Harry and Cherub. As far as providing an heir, I'm sure that when the time comes, we can find a woman of sufficient breeding who will gladly accept the chance to become a part of the Malfoy family by being a mother to my child. That is, if I'm not disowned and disinherited. Your other choice would seem to be going home to mother and 'doing your duty as a husband', and make a child to replace me." Draco said seriously.

Mr. Malfoy stared at Draco as if looking right through him.

"Cherub, if he disinherits me, will you see that I'm not thrown out in the street like a beggar?" Draco asked gently.

"Just say the word and I'll buy you your own house, wherever you want." Cherub said with a smile.

"I'll remember that." Draco said happily.

To Be Continued...