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Through the Garden

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The train whistles as it moves. Across from him sits Blaise, staring solemnly out the window. Beside him is Pansy, her head resting on his shoulder. One hand is on the table, his finger tapping on the wood consistently. Although there is chatter around him, none of it is truly uplifting. Nobody is as excited as they once were. Even Draco has a twist in his stomach. The last time everyone saw the castle, except for people who left such as Blaise and Pansy, it was in ruins. It’s been rebuilt, sure, but to people like him and Harry Potter, it’ll just be a cemetery.

               “I don’t want to go back,” Blaise says.

               “None of us do,” Pansy huffs.

               Blaise goes off in a tangent about his parents. The words bounce off of Draco and hit the floor. His mom forced him to go back to Hogwarts. He didn’t want to come back. He knows how difficult it’s going to be, not only for him but for other Slytherins, too. Except, his mother knew his desire to become a Potions Master, and he hasn’t taken his NEWTS for it. He knew that his mother had planned to go to France, but she was put on house arrest and Draco… he was fortunate enough to be passed on all charges. Perhaps it was because of Potter, who spoke at his trial and his only. Draco wasn’t expecting it. He was waiting for him to be found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life in Azkaban. It’s what he deserves, anyway. But Potter pulled a few strings that left his mother crying in joy.

               He didn’t get a chance to thank him. It would have been a hollow thank you, no sincerity behind it. He wanted to go to Azkaban. Maybe it would have helped him deal with his guilt. Maybe they would  have “accidently” killed him. It would have been for the better.

               He didn’t get a chance to talk to Potter, and he never tried to after the trial. He hasn’t talked to the hero since the war.

               If he was going to say thank you for anything, it was going to be for killing the Dark Lord.

               “… bunch of prats. Have you see the Prophet? School has barely started and they’re already slandering the entire Slytherin house. “

               “I’d kill them if I could. Right, Draco? You up for killing the Prophet writers?”

               “Anything for the lovely princess,” Draco drawls.

               “You’re lucky you have your looks, my love. Let me play with your hair. “

               They switch positions so that Draco can let his head fall into Pansy’s lap, and her fingers run through his hair. He closes his eyes, but he doesn’t sleep.

 

 


 

 

 

               The Slytherin common room feels like home. The fire flickers below the mantelpiece, displaying a carved snake with glowing green eyes. Outside the windows the squid passes by as if welcoming them home. Draco sinks into his seat and watches Pansy stride over to him and sit down on his lap. She suggests lying in the beanbags, instead. Draco tells her that he wants to stay by the fire. She calls him spoiled and pats his cheek. She leaves him to talk to the younger students standing hesitantly by the doorway. She greets them with a smirk and bright eyes, similar to the carved snake. His gaze is focused on the fire.

               He hasn’t talked to anyone except Pansy and Blaise since they got on the train. Nobody has talked to him except Pansy and Blaise since they got on the train. He wonders if it’s because they can sense that he doesn’t want to have a conversation with them, or if they’re scared because he was a Death Eater.

               The unwanted Dark Mark still lies beneath his robes on his arm, white and barely noticeable. Ever since Potter killed the Dark Lord, it has been turning into nothing but a scar. He wants to pull up his sleeve and stare at it. Stare at how fucked up he is. Stare at the proof that he deserves to go to Azkaban. He was a fucking Death Eater. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t want it, it doesn’t matter that he was forced. In everyone’s eyes, he is nothing but a Death Eater.

               Pansy calls his name. She wants him to come over and speak to the 1st years staring out the window with terrified eyes. He sighs. He doesn’t want to stand. He doesn’t want to talk. He wants to melt away into the chair until he’s nothing but liquid soaked into the dark green material. That doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, but feeling comfortable enough to talk to others doesn’t seem to happening anytime soon, either, so he simply stands and goes to his dorm.

               Pansy watches him go with soft eyes.

 

 


 

 

 

               The next day isn’t any better. Most of the people in 8th year didn't return, meaning that most houses shared class. That means that the golden trio were in nearly all of his classes. He ignores them to the best of his ability. He talks to Pansy and Blaise, who are, fortunately, in most of his classes. He doesn’t pay attention to anything except his studies and his two friends.

               After Potions, both Pansy and Blaise have classes, so he has time to do his homework. He parts ways with Pansy to go back to the common room to do his homework. He’ll have to do the best of his ability with his work, because he knows that some professors will give him a rough time. Slughorn is already acting like Draco doesn’t even exist. It doesn’t matter. It’s better than throwing insults left and right and deducting points every time he inhales.

               He takes the long way because the long way has empty corridors that are rarely busy. He turns a corner and immediately stops when he sees what’s happening down the way. A group of 4 Gryffindors are surrounding a pair of Slytherins, who are pressed against the wall. Draco silently walks closer. The Gryffindors must be no more than year 3, and the Slytherins are definitely 1st years, one of them a girl with dark skin and darker hair, and the other one a boy with freckles covering his face like stars. The blond sighs. He knew this was going to happen. Between the Prophet calling all Slytherins Death Eaters and dumb little Gryffindors with big heads, this was bound to happen.

               Draco rolls his shoulders back and cracks his knuckles.

               “You’re just disgusting, freakish snake people,” a Gryffindor with fluffy auburn hair growls, raising a wand up to the Slytherin girls throat.

               “Yeah,” says the other with glasses and snake bites, a wand to the Slytherin boys throat,” I bet you’re all Death Eaters!”

               Snake bites, Draco thinks and tries not to roll his eyes, how ironic.

               “What in the bloody hell is going on?” Draco snaps.

               All of them freeze up. The Slytherins looks at Draco like they don’t know whether to be more afraid or thankful. The two Gryffindors behind the obvious leaders of their clan draw their wands up and point at him with trembling hands. He casts a nonverbal shield charm for the Slytherins, and they all gasp. If Draco wasn’t trying to be scary, he would have rolled his eyes. The Gryffindor with fluffy auburn hair steps forward, his wand pointing at Draco’s chest. This time, Draco rolls his eyes.

               “What? You think I won’t hurt you!?” Shouts the Gryffindor.

               “I’m sure you are willing, but who says I won’t hurt you first?” Draco asks, raising his eyebrows. “I could cast nonverbal spells all day long. Try me. “

               The kids eyes flash with uncertainty.

               “By the way, I’m the only Death Eater in Slytherin,” Draco mentions casually. “In fact, I have the Dark Mark to prove it. Anyone want to take a look?”

               None of them move. The girl with snakebites has gone pale, her eyes glassy. The two Gryffindors that remind Draco of Goyle and Crabbe are slowly lowering their wands. As soon as Draco takes his wand out of his robes and raises it, their wands have shot back towards him.

               Their hands are way too shaky to get anywhere near me.

               Draco hopes someone doesn’t see them and get the wrong idea.

               “Mentior!”

               The Gryffindors shriek and turn around, sprinting down the corridor, nearly running into the wall at the turn. Draco scoffs, shaking his head as he slips his wand back into his robes. He walks closer to the Slytherins and kneels down, scanning them for injuries.

               “Alright? No injuries?”

               The girl smiles with the sun in her teeth. “Thank you. “

               “Anytime, love. Are you two alright? They didn’t cast anything, did they?”

               The boy shakes his head. “We’re okay, they didn’t hurt us. “ He swallows and stares at his shoes. “Gryffindors suck. “

               The girl nods, her eyebrows furrowed and a hand settling on the boys shoulder.

               “Not all Gryffindors are mean. Did you forget about Harry Potter? He saved us twice. “

               The boy blushes. Draco ruffles his hair.

               “Don’t be bitter, be better,” Draco tells him, standing up. “Where are you headed? I’ll walk you both there. Consider me a bodyguard. “

               The girl grins. “Wow, a bodyguard with no pay? We really lucked out, huh, Adie?”

               The beginning of a smile shows on the boy’s face. “I suppose. “

               “We’re headed to the library to work on our Potions,” the girl says. “We really suck at it. “

               “It’s only your first day, I’m sure it’ll get easier. “

               “I hope so. I don’t want to disappoint Professor Slughorn. “

               Draco starts leading the way down the corridor. He wonders if they even know where the library is.

               “Being in graces with Professor Slughorn is probably the least of your worries. Focus on your studies and you’ll be just fine. “

               “What if a Professor doesn’t like me because I’m… “ the girl trails off.

               “Then tell me, and I’ll make sure things are straightened out,” Draco tells her.

               They go silent for a second.

               “You didn’t hurt those Gryffindors, did you?” The girl asks quietly.

               “We don’t want to hurt anyone,” the boy says.

               “Oh, that little spell? It didn’t do anything. I just shouted a random Latin word to scare them off.”

               The two 1st years look at each other and start giggling.   

               When they get to the library, Draco shows the two a nice place in the back where nobody can see them, just in case they’re on the run from Gryffindors and Draco isn’t nearby. He’s about to leave when the girl asks if he could help with their potions.

               “We don’t understand anything he told us. I don’t – maybe we’re just… “

               “He’s quite boring, isn’t he?” Draco replies, which makes them both smile. “I’d make a better professor than him, and I’m not even good at teaching. I’ll take pity on you and help, but don’t think this is happening again. I have better things to do than play professor. “

               The girls smile is bright, and the boys eyes are glowing. Draco sighs. How did these two get into Slytherin? They seem more like Hufflepuffs.

               Draco spends about an hour there, helping the little 1st years and giving them tips on the potions they’ll brew soon. He writes it all down and makes them promise to not tell another soul his secrets.

               “We’re Slytherins, Draco, not Hufflepuffs,” the girl says with a smirk. “If we do it right and everyone else does it wrong, Professor Slughorn will love us. “

               “If we give to others, they’ll just take away our shine,” says the boy with an eyeroll.

               Draco slowly smirks. “I would never mistake brilliant Slytherins like you two for Hufflepuffs.“

               He glances at the clock. Pansy is probably waiting for him. He stands up and stretches his arms above his head. The two Slytherins frown at him.

               “Where are you going?”

               “I do have a life outside of helping poor, innocent first years, Clara. “

               “That’s why you risk your reputation and say you’re a Death Eater to scare off Gryffindors,” she says sarcastically.

               Draco raises an eyebrow. “You think I’m bluffing about my Dark Mark?”

               Before they can say anything, he turns and leaves the library.

 

 


 

 

 

               Pansy has a worried expression when he steps into the common room. She’s sitting where he sat yesterday with Sylvia, another 8th year, beside him. She talks, throwing her hands into the air, and that’s when her eyes meet Draco’s. Pansy says something, then Sylvia gets up and walks away with an annoyed look. She pats the spot next to her with a sweet smile – too sweet of a smile.

               “Draco,” she drawls as he sits down,” I thought you were meeting me at my last class?”

               “Something came up. “

               The sweet look drops from her face. She studies his face.

               “You didn’t get into any fights, did you?”

               “Um, sort of. “

               “Draco. “

               “These dumb 3rd year Gryffindors were harassing 1st year Slytherins and I couldn’t not step in. “

               “…you didn’t…”

               “I scared them off by saying a random Latin word they believed was a spell. “

               She snorts and leans back. “Fucking cowards. “

               “These Slytherins needed help with their Potions class, so I was in the library. “

               She raises her eyebrows. “Y’serious? You, Draco Malfoy, who ignored everyone on the train and everyone in class finally broke because some little 1st years needed help on the first fucking day. “

               “Sod off, Pans. “

               “Some 11 year olds broke you with their innocence,” she says, laughing.

               Draco’s back hits the back of the chair and he closes his eyes. They were 1st years who were being bullied, and were seconds away from saying that they’re dumb simply because they don’t understand one class on Potions.

               “I’m not letting people suffer, Pansy. I want to help this time,” he says as he stands.

               “Draco, no, please don’t go. “

               The blond trudges away.

               “My love, I was joking!”

               He flees to his dorm. The bed is soft, but not as soft as his one at the manor. The atmosphere is just as uncomfortable, though. Outside the windows, he can see the castle’s ruins, and Hagrid holding a limp Potter in his huge arms. Potter, dead. His one hope lost. The one thing he was grasping onto had vanished. Inside, his entire world had been tumbling to the ground, brick after brick falling to the ground. It was all over. The Dark Lord would be forever a dark lord, and the mark on his arm will be forever stained into his skin.

               Bloody Potter and his antics. Bloody, brilliant Potter, who gave Draco a million heart attacks within that final day.

               A long sigh escapes him, and he melts into the bed. If he could sleep forever, he would.

 

 


 

 

 

               Draco can’t sleep.

               It’s already an hour past midnight, yet he can’t fall asleep no matter how hard he tries. Half of him wants to go to sleep, but the other dreads it. He still has nightmares. The war is carved into his brain like the Dark Mark. He tried using sleeping potions back at the manor, but all they do is make him feel 10 times as exhausted than he usually is the following day.

               At dinner earlier, Pansy didn’t say anything about the events that had happened before. She talked about useless things that don’t matter and Blaise talked about never wanting to write his mother again and Draco stared across the hall at Harry Potter, who was staring down at his food like he didn’t trust it. He caught Granger’s eye, then looked back at his plate, and never looked at the Gryffindor table again.

               Harry Potter is often in his nightmares, usually the ones involving the Fiendfyre. He’s climbing up, and up, but his hand slips and he falls into searing heat. It scorches his body, leaving handprints of heat across his skin. It goes down his throat and burns his lungs. Potter calls his name. He reaches up with his hand that is engulfed in flames, and he chokes on the fire burning in his throat. Potter tries to grab him, but gets too close and falls into the fire. That’s when Draco screams and wakes up with tears on his face.

               It’s 2 in the morning when Draco finds himself standing in the corridor by the Room of Requirement. Instead of walking past 3 times then going in, his back hits the wall and he slides down it until the floor finds him. His breath quickens. His chest constricts, and he can’t get a breath. He buries his face in his hands. He can feel the heat of the flame. The fire itching to taste his skin. The flicker of heat whipping against his body.

               He feels hot tears slide down his cheeks and wonders if he’ll ever be okay again.

 

 


 

 

 

               “Surprised to see you back, Malfoy. I thought all the Death Eaters were headed straight to Azkaban. “

               Draco doesn’t turn around, doesn’t stop walking down the hallway. He doesn’t have enough energy for this.

               “Did the Ministry forget about all those people you tortured and killed?”

               “I didn’t kill anyone. “

               The Ravenclaw laughs. “Keep telling people that, Malfoy, but nobody is ever going to believe you. “

               Draco swallows. He takes longer strides, desperate to get to his class. It’s his last class of the day, the only class he doesn’t have with Pansy or Blaise; of course someone would take advantage of him being alone.

               “Colloshoo!”

               Draco dives to one side of the corridor, bumping into a group of Hufflepuffs to dodge the Stickfast Hex. The Hufflepuffs gape at him, but he ignores them and breaks into a jog, dodging people as he goes. Eventually, after taking several detours, he loses the Ravenclaw. As soon as he gets to class, he leans against the wall and runs a hand down his face. Fuck Hogwarts. Fuck Ravenclaws. Fuck every single student that isn’t a Slytherin. Fuck the Dark Lord. Fuck life.

               “Malfoy?”

               Draco’s eyes find Potter, standing hesitantly a few feet away from him. He merely stares at the Gryffindor, expecting him to continue.

               “You alright?” He asks, the words sounding awkward. Everything about this is awkward.

               “Why do you care?” Draco asks.

               It doesn’t come out angrily, which causes Potter to look surprised. Draco sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose, eyes closed.

               “I didn’t think you’d come back. “

               Draco doesn’t say anything. He squeezes harder, trying to remember why the fuck he came back in the first place. Right, his mother. They were supposed to go to France, but Potter spoke at his trial instead of his mothers, which he would have preferred so she could do whatever she pleases, travel to a place nobody knows her name.

               “Right. Um… “ Potter trails off. Draco didn’t expect him to stay for this long. “If you need anything… “

               A pause after that. Then, retreating footsteps. Draco wishes he could turn back time and fall into that damned Fiendfyre.

               He doesn’t tell anyone what happened with the Ravenclaw. He sits at dinner, and he eats whatever is on his plate. He glances at whoever is talking and pretends to listen. He uses his fork and chews and swallows and takes a drink. He goes through all of the motions. It feels like 7th year over again. No, it’s worse than that, because he doesn’t have anything to look forward to. He doesn’t have any hope left inside him. The war is over, the Dark Lord is gone, the right side won and the wrong side lost like Draco was hoping. But now what? Now, Draco lives with the hatred, with people like Danny who chased him in the hallway trying to hex him. And after, once NEWTS are done, he’ll try to be a Potions Master, but will end up failing because who on earth would give service to a Death Eater who got a freebie?

               Draco looks up, across the hall, and his eyes meet Potter’s. As soon as they meet, Potter’s gaze darts away, towards the front of the hall. The blond sighs. He rests an elbow on the table and lets his chin fall into his palm. He has barely made a dent in his plate, but he doesn’t feel hungry.

               “I’m not hungry,” he says as he stands.

               “Draco.” Pansy holds a hand out to him.

               Draco ignores the offer in front of him. He turns away and leaves the Great Hall.

               The corridors are silent. Empty. It’s nice. It’s how it was during the night. He drags his feet up the staircases, up into the common room to fall down onto the couch. He closes his eyes.

               Why the hell do I keep trying when it’s all going to crash and burn?

 

 


 

 

 

                Hogwarts is a cemetery. The blood is still staining the grass, rusting. Flesh is in between the cracks in the walkways. The fear is bounded inside and is sticking to the outside of the castle. Death is woven into the castle, into the bricks and into every student in here.

               Draco is the cause of that.

               In direct terms, no, Draco isn’t the cause of that. In indirect terms, yes. He helped the Dark Lord. He helped kill Dumbledore. He helped kill someone. He tortured people. He hurt people.

               When he was younger, he thought he was going to magnificent one day. He thought he was going to be a hero. He thought he was going to become friends with Harry Potter, and they’d go off saving people. He had dreams about it. Whole, full dreams of him and the savior of the wizarding world, and every time he woke up he just wanted to go back to sleep.

               An empty laugh is eaten up by the cold air. Imagine what his younger self would say if he saw what really happened. He became the villain.

               Potter is going to have kids, Granger will have kids, everyone will have kids, and they’ll tell the story of Potter and his journey to save the world. Draco knows how the story will go when his name is brought up. The Death Eater who killed the most liked headmaster. The twat who fought Potter on a daily basis. The student who betrayed everyone and joined the Dark Lord.

               The villain who didn’t get what he deserved, but eventually, he did, because he jumped off the Astronomy Tower.

               Ironic that he killed himself where he killed Dumbledore, Potter will say, bitter yet relieved, remembering that the antagonist of his story is dead.

               He’s standing on the ledge, his hands in the air. A gust of wind could tip him over. He looks down.

               It’s ironic, Potter, he agrees.

               Draco swallows. Pansy and Blaise will be upset. His mother, too. He doubts his father will found out; his mother is forbidden to go to Azkaban. The younger Slytherins will need a new bodyguard. But the rest of the school will be relieved. They’ll see his dead body, his vacant eyes, his blood splattered across the grass and a breath will be released. The Death Eater is dead, the last evil at Hogwarts. He’ll get what he deserves.

               Three envelopes sit on his bed. One for Pansy, one for his mother, one for Blaise. The one for Pansy is the longest. He knows she likes him; has ever since school started. She’ll hurt the most. The one for his mother is short and sweet. It hurt writing it. The one for Blaise isn’t much, just an apology for leaving him, and to take care of Pansy. Although it tore up his heart writing them, he felt a sense of relief when he lined them up on his bed. It is all going to be over.

               He has no idea what happens after Death. Is it going to be a heaven, or a hell? Is he going to be judged, his heart weighed like the Egyptians? Is it nothing at all? Will it be like having a dreamless sleep, like how it was before he was even born? Will he become a ghost?

               Draco’s throat burns. He lets out a shaky breath. He needs to do this. He needs to do this. This has to be over, done with. He needs to jump.

               Jump. Please. You need to jump, he tells himself.

               As he takes in a breath, readying to jump, he freezes. He shakes his head, the tears burning his eyes. He takes a step off of the ledge, stumbling to the ground of the Astornomy Tower. He buries his face into his hands, and allows the sobs to rip out of his throat.

               The moon wonders what Draco would do if he noticed Harry Potter standing in the doorway, an Invisibility Cloak covering his body.

Chapter Text

               “You should have gotten the kiss, Malfoy! You and your bloody father!”

               Draco ignores whoever is shouting behind him. He steps into Potions and hurries to sit down. The classroom is empty save for a pair of students whispering to each other and giggling. Pansy was with him, but then got distracted with one of her 6th year friends, and he had to walk down the corridor alone. Of course someone had to take advantage of that again. Nobody seems to do it with Pansy around after she hexed someone for insulting her just the other day, but he doesn’t do anything about it, so they always come after him.

               His rests his elbows on the table and lets his head fall in his hands, closing his eyes. He should have jumped last night. He doesn’t know why he didn’t. The grass would have been painted with blood, and everyone would have been so relieved, and the letters he wrote would have been read instead of burned into ashes.

               Pansy sits down beside him without a word. He runs his hands through his hair and glances over at her, only to find it’s not Pansy – it’s not even a her.

               “Potter?” He asks, his voice barely audible.

               Potter glances over at him once he’s set his stuff down. “Hey, Malfoy. “

               Draco blinks. He never expected Potter to sit with him.

               “We’re doing partners today, uh…” he trails off, adverting his gaze to the cauldron sitting on the table. “Would you – do you want to be partners?”

               Draco stares at Potter.

               “Why?”

               Potter shrugs. “Trying to rebuild bridges that have been burned in the past. “

               If Draco was the Draco in 3rd year, he would have said I wasn’t aware we had a bridge to begin with, Potter, but he isn’t. He’s tired of fighting. He’s tired of talking. He’s tired of everything.

               “Okay. “

               “Okay?”

               “Yeah. “

               “…okay. “

               Instead of sitting there, leaving an invitation for Potter to talk more, he gets out his Charms book and does homework. They barely got any homework, and he could have this done in 5 minutes flat, but he writes his cursive slow to take up time so he doesn’t have to talk to Potter, and so he doesn’t have to see everyone’s reaction. The only reaction he notices is Pansy’s. She marches up to the table and glares at Potter.

               “What are you doing?” She snaps.

               “We’re partners. “

               She narrows her eyes. “Are you, now?”

               “Um, yes?”

               Draco closes his book. “Pansy, we’re partners. “

               Her angry state changes into one of confusion when they meet eyes. Her eyebrows furrow, and she gestures to Potter with a look of belief.

               “With him?”

               “It has to do with something about rebuilding bridges. “

               Pansy gapes at Potter for a moment. She huffs and marches to Blaise’s table. He quirks an eyebrow at her, looking from the Hufflepuff boy who is already at the chair next to him then back at Pansy’s annoyed expression. The Hufflepuff boy simply crosses his arms and stares at her. She ends up shoving him off the chair, sending him falling to the floor while she plops down onto the chair.

               “Ms. Parkinson!” Professor Slughorn scolds from the front of the room where he was writing on the board. “10 points from Slytherin!”

               Draco rolls his eyes. The Hufflepuff boy stands up, a blush covering his face as he walks to an empty chair. Slughorn is Head of the Slytherin House yet he somehow hates Slytherins – especially Draco. He ignores Draco every minute of the day. Won’t even look at the blond.

               “Today we are brewing Dicere.” Slughorn writes the Potion name on the board.

               The blond has brewed this before, with his mother. He was 8, and she wanted to play a prank.

               “Can anyone tell me what Dicere means in Latin?” Slughorn asks, turning around to face the class.

               “To speak,” a Ravenclaw says.

               “Correct. Does anyone have a guess as to what this Potion achieves?”

               Draco doesn’t say anything. He stares at the cauldron and wonders what Potter what do if he stuck his hand in there when it’s boiling with water. That wouldn’t kill him, though, just burn his skin.

               “You’ll see what it does once it’s done,” he says happily with a wink. Draco wants to throw up.

               Once the page is written on the board, Draco flips to the page and asks Potter if he could grab the ingredients they don’t already have on the table.

               “Why don’t you get them?”

               Draco sighs. It’s not angry, or frustrated, it’s just tired. Exhausted. He stands, but then Potter is setting a warm hand on his shoulder that lights Draco’s shoulder on fire.

               “I – I got it. “ Potter jumps to his feet and practically runs away.

               While Potter grabs the ingredients, Draco pours the water in and puts on the heat. He chews on his lip as he watches the water heat. His mind drifts back to Potter’s hand on his shoulder, then back to the Fiendfyre. Potter pulling him up onto his broom. Leaning on him. Staring down into the fire. Feeling the heat trying to take him back. That would have been better. Easier. Him falling. Losing grip on Potter. The heat rising, the flame engulfing him, swallowing his body and shushing him to sleep with its crackling.

               He jolts at the sound of Potter setting down the ingredients. The man pauses.

               “Alright?”

               Draco nods. He grabs the fresh fig and starts crushing it in the mortar and pestle. Potter, meanwhile, grabs the book and reads over the instructions. He grabs the ginger root and the knife to start slicing it. Draco inhales sharply and puts a hand Potter’s. Potter freezes. Their eyes meet. Draco retracts his hand immediately, his hand still running with warmth and his heart fluttering.

               “I should do that. “

               “Why can’t I do it?”

               “It needs to be exactly ¼ inch slices, or it’ll ruin the potion. “

               Potter chews his lip, hesitating. A few seconds drag by before he nods and switches positions with Draco. The Slytherin starts slicing the ginger root, the Gryffindor crushes up the fresh fig, and they wait for the water to boil. As soon as it starts boiling, Potter dumps the fig paste into the water.

               “It doesn’t say which hand to stir and which direction, but I prefer using my dominant hand and going clockwise,” Draco tells him.

               Potter rolls his eyes and opens his mouth to say something, but stops. To Draco’s surprise, he follows his advice and stirs it with his right hand in the clockwise direction.

               “5, right?”

               “Yes. “

               Just as Draco finishes slicing the ginger root, Potter finishes stirring. Draco slips each slice of ginger root in one by one.

               “Would you set it to a simmer?” Draco asks. Potter nods and turns down the heat, also to Draco’s surprise; he didn’t expect Potter to be so… unlike himself.

               The blond lets Potter stir again. He sits down, watching Potter stir, making sure he’s doing it right. Once the stirring is finished, Draco glances at the clock. They need to wait 13 minutes. By then, the water should be blood red. After turning the heat high enough to boil the water, Draco sits down and grabs his Charms book. While Draco goes back to his homework, Potter scans through the instructions again. Draco watches his lips mouth over the words, no sound coming out. He swallows, adverting his gaze back to his Charms book.

               “Just says let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. “

               “13 minutes. I’ve already checked the clock,” Draco says, flipping a page.

               Potter is silent for a few moments. Draco refuses to look up and meet green eyes. Eventually, Potter sighs and digs something out of his bag. The Slytherin ignores him and continues doing his homework, writing as slow as possible without it looking like he never wrote before.

               Thankfully, for the entire 13 minutes, Potter doesn’t say a word to him. Unfortunately, for half the time, Draco sat there doodling on a random parchment he found in his Charms book. Once the time is up, he closes his Charms book, shoves it into his bag, and checks the Potion. Just as it should be, it’s blood red. Draco tries not the think about the color as he pours vinegar into a measuring cup, measuring out ½ a cup. He slowly lowers the heat to a simmer as he pours the vinegar in the cauldron. Once he’s finished pouring it in, he glances back at Potter.

               “Stir?” He offers.

               Potter flips back a few pages in his book before setting it on the table and standing. Draco eyes the book. It’s the Potions book. Why is Potter reading the Potions book? Is he really that bored? He takes a side step so Potter can stir.

               “Dominant hand, anti-clockwise, 10 times,” Draco tells him.         

               It’s nice working with Potter. Pansy usually sits back and lets Draco do all the work, which is good sometimes since Pansy is terrible at Potions. But Potter is decent at brewing. Not good, not bad – in the middle. It’s a good thing he follows directions and doesn’t do everything his way, because Draco would be pissed off.

               When he hears footsteps, the blond glances up. He’s surprised until he realizes the professor isn’t coming over for him – he’s coming over for Potter. He presses his lips together and turns to the mortar and pestle to grind up the valerian root.

               “No troubles, Mr. Potter?” Slughorn asks, smiling brightly at Potter.

               “None at all, Professor. “ Potter manages a smile at the Professor.

               As soon as he stops stirring, Slughorn peers into the cauldron. He gasps before the largest, ugliest smile takes over half of his face.

               “An absolutely beautiful color from you, Mr. Potter! I never expect any less from you!”

               “Professor, it wasn’t really – “

               “Keep up the good work, Harry!”

               The Professor walks away before Potter can say anything else. The students stare at the cauldron for a few moments, then look back to their cauldrons, wondering how the hell Potter did his so well.

               Because of me, Draco thinks, but no, don’t give the Death Eater any credit. You might burst into flames.

               Draco glances at Potter. He’s staring at the cauldron, eyebrow furrowed, frowning.

               “That shouldn’t happen,” Potter murmurs.

               Draco goes back to turning the valerian root into a paste.

               “That shouldn’t happen,” Potter says, louder, more frustrated.

               Draco dumps the valerian root into the cauldron while turning down the heat, making sure the water isn’t hot enough to boil. Then, he searches the table for the wormwood while Potter has his breakdown about discovering inequality.

               “You don’t care, do you? Why don’t you care?”

               Draco grabs 2 sprigs of wormwood. “It’s better to receive no attention than all the attention. “

               “Why?”

               The Slytherin dumps the sprigs into the cauldron. “You’re honestly so naïve to believe I’d be receiving good attention?”

               Potter falls silent. Draco continues the Potion while Potter sits and watches. After a few minutes, Draco glances back at Potter and gestures to the cauldron. The Gryffindor stands.

               “Stir 15 times, dominant hand, anti-clockwise for 14, clockwise once. “

               Potter does so. Draco watches. He doesn’t understand why Potter would care about him. He still doesn’t understand why he chose to talk to him. It doesn’t make sense. After all that has happened, he figured Potter would focus on his friends and move on from the war, not start a conversation with a fucking Death Eater of all people.

               Once Potter stops stirring, they wait for exactly 10 minutes before Draco peers into the cauldron. Pitch black, as dark as the night sky.

               “Look, Draco; can you see the stars?”

               Soon, the potion is turning from pure black to a rich, golden yellow. He nods curtly at the color. It’s perfect. When he glances up to see Slughorn making his way from Granger and Weasley’s table to his, he drags Potter off his stool and in front of the cauldron. Instead, he sits. Just as Potter is glancing back at Draco, eyebrow furrowed, Slughorn exclaims,” Mr. Potter! Never in my years have I seen a more beautiful yellow!”

               Everyone in the class stares at Potter. From the Ravenclaws with their melting cauldron, to 2/3’s of the Golden Trio who are seemingly doing fine save for Granger’s pinched expression and Weasley’s constant moments of throwing his hands into the air and groaning.

               “Absolutely magnificent, Mr. Potter. “ Slughorn shakes his head, his smile seconds away from breaking his wrinkled face.

               “We’re a good team, professor. “

               For a split second, Slughorn meets Draco’s eye. In that millisecond, the light dies from his eyes, and the smile fades. His eyes quickly dart back to Potter to relish in the sight of the hero.

               “Great job, Harry. “

               Slughorn leaves. Draco stands and collects the ingredients. Everyone turns back to their cauldrons, stressing out more than before. While Draco collects all the ingredients, Potter says the incantation over the Dicere. Draco strides away, shelving all the ingredients. When he gets back, Potter is dipping a phial into the Dicere.

               “Would you like to drink it, or should I?” Potter asks.

               “Why would we drink it?”

               Potter corks the phial. “To see what it does. “

               Draco sits down on his chair. “It makes the drinker speak only German for 4 hours. “

               Potter stares at the phial. “Oh. Huh. Good thing you know. “ He sets the phial down.

               Draco glances over to Pansy and Blaise. Pansy is pounding the pestle down onto the valerian root, her jaw locked. Blaise, meanwhile, is stirring with slow, precise movements. Pansy meets his gaze and quirks an eyebrow.

               How’s Potter? She mouths, sending a grimace in the man’s direction.

               Draco glances at Potter. He’s shoving his Potions book into his bag. Instead of mouthing back, Draco stands and heads towards her table, leaving Potter. He watches her grind the valerian root, which is already a fine paste.

               “We finished it. It looks perfect. Pans, that valerian root is definitely a paste. “

               She stops her movements. “Why did Potter want to be your partner? Why did you agree? We’re partners, Draco. “

               “Something about mending bridges. He’s…” Draco trails off. Good at following directions, nice to me, an actual decent human being. “He’s alright. “

               Pansy dumps the paste into the cauldron. “Potter is only your partner so he can get an A, you know. Everything he said to convince you was a lie. He’s nothing but a fucking selfish prat. Blaise, but the fucking wormwood in. “

               Blaise smirks at her as he grabs the wormwood. “Jealous?”

               She glares. “Of Potter? Who would be?”

               Draco peeks back at his table, but Potter isn’t there, only his bag. He takes a look at Granger and Weasley’s table, and sure enough, Potter is helping them.

               “Draco, what does this potion even do?” She pokes his shoulder.

               “You’ll have to find out,” he says, watching Potter instruct Granger how to stir.

 


 

 

 

               Later, once class is finished, Draco takes his time shoving his stuff into his bag. He sees Pansy and Blaise still at their table. Pansy is hunched over laughing while Blaise is red in the face, arms crossed; he’s one of the few people who actually got the Potion right and is now speaking German.

               “Hey. “

               Draco peers up at Potter. Looks back down.

               “Can you… uh, I know this will sound strange since our, uh, our past, but you’re good at… well, you’re good at everything. Um, would you go to the library with me and help me with my homework?”

               Draco slowly looks up at Potter. The man is chewing his bottom lip, looking everywhere except Draco. The Slytherin blinks. Potter is being sincere.

               “What do you need help with?” Draco picks up his bag.

               “Herbology. The new professor confuses me. “  

               Draco glances at his friends. Pansy is patting Blaise’s cheek while he shoves his Potions book into his bag. They can manage without him. He doesn’t want to be around an angry, German-speaking Blaise, anyway.

               “Harry, come on!” Weasley says, walking past Potter. “Stop sympathizing with the Death Eater, we’ve got better things to do!”

               Draco blood runs cold. He sighs and pushes past Potter to trudge over to his friends.

               “Malfoy, don’t – “

               “Harry – “

               “Shut up, Ron!” Potter hisses.

               Draco leans on Pansy and Blaise’s table, listening to the 2/3 of the Golden Trio. He hears them walking out of the classroom, and Potter’s angry hisses. Pansy picks up her bag and grins at Draco.

               “Ready to ditch Blaise because he’s fucking annoying, Draco?”

               “Du arschgeige!”

               Pansy grabs Draco’s hand and runs out of the class, dragging the blond with her.

Chapter Text

“We should have been there. “

               “Pansy – “

               “No, she’s right. We knew this was going to happen, especially to you. We should have stuck together. “

               Draco sighs, sinking into the hospital bed with defeat. They’re in the hospital wing, they being Draco, Pansy, and Blaise. The two are sitting in chairs beside the bed, staring at Draco. The sun is setting outside. Not long ago, he was walking to dinner. Blaise and Pansy left earlier after Draco told them that he had to finish his homework and that he’ll be right down. 15 minutes later, Draco is trudging down the hallway. It takes less than a minute of walking when Smith comes stomping towards him, wand raised and a smirk on his face. First, his shoes stick to the ground, next, a gash runs down his left forearm, splitting his Dark Mark in two. Then, as the final blow, he was hit by a hex unknown to most people. It’s called the Dementor Hex. Once the hex hits you, it drains you of all happiness. All of your worst memories roll through your head, over and over. Mere seconds feel like hours. For what feels like hours on end, your pushed into horrible memories that you have pushed towards the back of your head. The aftermath, if the hex is untreated for a long time, is suicidal urges and severe depression.

He was found half an hour later, tears spilling down his cheeks, by Pansy. He’s thankful it wasn’t someone else, like Potter. As soon as she unstuck him, he took his wand and put it to his temple. It didn’t last for long. Soon, Blaise was attacking him, snatching the wand from him. Draco fought them with everything he had, but they ended up winning and taking him to Pomfrey.

               Now, he feels drained. Like always.

               “It doesn’t matter,” he says. “I deserved it. “

               “Draco fucking Malfoy,” Pansy hisses. She stands to tower over him, her hand grabbing his chin to make him look into her eyes. “You do not deserve that. I know that’s just the hex talking, but I will fucking slap you if you say anything like that again. That trial you had proved that you do not deserve anything like that. Understand?”

               Draco swallows. “Understand. “

               “Good. “

               She lets go of him and sits back down. Blaise gives a curt nod.

               “I agree with Pansy, but I’ll just punch you. “

               Draco manages a weak grin. “What great friends you both are. “

               “We are, aren’t we?” Pansy smiles, slapping a hand on Blaise’s shoulder.

               If only they knew that he truly meant what he said, Dementor’s Hex or not.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “Fuck off, Potter. You were the Chosen One to kill you-know-who, not the Chosen One to be Draco’s partner. “

               Pansy is sitting on the same chair Potter was sitting on just the other day, arms crossed over her chest with a glare directed at Potter. The Gryffindor is standing at the table with big, innocent eyes, looking from Draco to Pansy. Draco is seconds away from giving Pansy a good shove off the chair, but remembers what Ron had said. He presses his lips together and stays quiet.

               “You shouldn’t call him you-know-who; it’s just Voldemort. “

               Draco flinches at the name. Fury burns brighter in Pansy’s eyes.

               “I do it because certain fucking people aren’t over the war. Why don’t you ask Smith about it?”

               Potter frowns, eyes casting to Draco. The blond doesn’t look at him.

               “What did Smith do?”

               “Why don’t you go ask him?” Pansy hisses.

               Potter sighs. “Look, er, Pansy –“

               “Parkinson. “

               “Parkinson,” Potter repeats. “I just want to –“

               “Get a fucking A? Use Draco? Yeah, I know. “

               Potter’s soft gaze turns into a glare. “For fuck’s sake, no. I’m trying to get over the war and set an example, and you’re just getting in my way. “

               Pansy is quiet for a moment. She glances at Draco, an eyebrow quirked.

               “Do you want to be partners with the prat, Draco?” She asks in a soft tone.

               Draco hesitates. Potter looks at him pleadingly. He shrugs. “Couldn’t hurt, right? Let’s mend bridges. “

               She blinks. Groans. “Draco, sometimes you’re extremely dense. But fine, be with Potter, the friend of Smith. “

               She spits out Smith like a curse. Draco winces. She stands up, flinging her bag over her shoulder.

               “I’m sorry,” he says to her as Potter sits down.

               “Put a cork in it,” Pansy hisses.

               Draco sighs, running a hand down his face. He lets his hand rub his face, hoping that if he rubbed hard enough, it’d be night already. He listens to Potter shuffling his stuff around. A pause of silence.

               “Er, sorry.”

               “For what?” Draco mumbles.

               “For the fight with Pansy. “

               Draco shakes his head. “That wasn’t a fight. That was Pansy being Pansy. “

               He drops his hand to look at Potter. He looks nice, today. His eyes are as green as the Slytherin common room. His dark hair is more tame than usual. He looks healthy. It’s nice he can be so healthy after the war. Draco thought Potter would be as depressed as he is, but apparently not. Maybe it’s different since he won. Either way, whichever side won, Draco knew he would be depressed. The question was, is he going to be depressed and scared with his family or without?

               This is the better option, anyway. He’s lonely, but at least Potter is happy and alive.

               Class starts. Draco prepares the water and Potter grabs the ingredients. Potter stirs and Draco chops and cuts and pounds. Slughorn comes over, and Potter gets the credit while Draco slinks into the shadows. To Draco’s surprise, Potter doesn’t fight the attention this time, but once Slughorn walks away, his eyebrows furrow and his jaw clenches.

               It’s halfway into the potion when Potter says something not related to the task at hand. It’s when they’re waiting 10 minutes for the color to change. Draco sat down, prepared to grab his Herbology textbook and maybe help Potter a little bit, but as soon as he started messing with his bag, Potter cleared his throat. He stopped and looked at Potter, expectant. The Gryffindor rubs the back of his neck.

               “What happened with Smith?”

               Draco sighs. He stares at the cauldron, wondering if he should tell Potter or not.

               “It doesn’t matter. “

               When Draco glances at Potter, he’s frowning. “It always matters. “

               “I was in the hall alone, and he took advantage of that,” Draco says with a shrug, not looking at Potter.

               “Malfoy, what happened?” Potter says, his voice edging on a dangerous tone.

               It’s when he runs a hand through his hair that he realizes his hands are shaking. “Why do you care, Potter?”

               “The war is over,” he states, his tone hard. “The wall between us needs to be torn down. The fighting needs to stop. “

 “You should start with Weasley; he’s the one who told you to stop sympathizing with the Death Eater. “

               “He’s a prat, sometimes. He holds grudges, and I’m trying to work on it. “ Potter sighs. “Malfoy, please tell me what happened with Smith. “

               Draco finally looks at Potter, studying his face. His healthy face has torn at the edges, exhaustion creeping in. His eyes bear an anchor, holding him down, and his hair is messier than before. Maybe he does feel like Draco, just a little.

               “I was late to dinner. I walked alone down a corridor to the Great Hall, and he caught me off guard. Stickfast Hex, then a Volnus Hex going down my – my…” he trails off, clearing his throat. “And then he left, and I was found by Pansy and Blaise. “

               Potter eyes Draco skeptically. “As terrible as it is, Smith wouldn’t give you a cut then run. “

               “Isn’t that what you did?”

               Tense silences lapses between the both of them. Draco looks away. He shouldn’t have said that. Here Potter is, trying to make everything right, and he had to bring up that. Draco stands to peer into the cauldron. The color hasn’t changed all the way, but he starts slicing the African Red Peppers anyway.

               “Do you know what the Dementors Hex is?” Draco asks.

               A pause. “No. “

               The blond nods. He wishes he hadn’t said anything. Now he has to explain it.

               “You know how it feels being near a Dementor,” Draco says, continuing his work on the peppers. “That’s what the hex does. You feel – it - it makes you go through all of your worst memories. “

               Potter is silent. Draco doesn’t dare take a look at his face.

               “It’s… not fun,” the blond says quietly. He takes a step back from his sliced peppers and looks into the potion. “We should give this another minute or two, then it’ll be done. “

               To distract himself from Potter, he organizes all of the ingredients in alphabetical order. He takes his time, making sure the tops are on tight and there’s no speck of dirt on any of the bottles.

               “Malfoy, did you tell McGonagall?”

               “What did I say last Potions class?”

               “This is different,” Potter snaps.

               Draco swallows. “There’s no proof he did it. She can’t do anything. “

               “She can sure as hell try!”

               His raised voice earns a few looks from other tables, including Granger and Weasley. He sighs and stops organizing the ingredients. He turns around and looks at Potter. He’s angry, eyes full of flames like the Fiendfyre. To think he’s like this because someone hurt Draco.

               It’s not because of you, he reminds himself, it’s because of the war. Potter would do this with anyone in Slytherin, even Pansy or Blaise or Nott. I’m not special. Potter is just being the hero.

               “It’s okay,” he says softly, trying to convince Potter. “I’m used to people like Smith. “

               That only makes Potter set his jaw and clench his hands into fists. He sets a hand on Potter’s bicep instead, hoping to calm him somewhat. As soon as they make contact, Potter blinks. The fire in his eyes slowly dies out.

               “The potion needs to be stirred,” Draco tells him.

               Potter’s hands unclench. He nods. Draco steps away, letting him stand.

               “5 times, right hand,” the Slytherin states quietly.

               Potter nods and stirs. Draco doesn’t notice Granger staring from her table, too focused on Potter.

               From there until the end of Potions, Potter remains fairly calm. Draco picks up his bag, stuffing his Potions book in it and slinging it over his shoulder. To his surprise, Potter doesn’t try and ask for help with homework this time. He lets Draco leave and head over to his friends. Luckily, his friends don’t mention the whole Potter thing, and they leave.

 

 

 

               That night, he thinks of Potter as he descends the staircase. He thinks of the anger fading from his eyes as he wanders the corridors. He thinks of the concern laced in his tone when he asked about Smith as he lays down in the courtyard and stares the sky. He gazes at the stars and thinks about touching dark, messy hair, and sharing butterbeer at Hogsmeade.

               He feels tears sting in his eyes. He lets them fall down his temple and disappear into his hair. As more tears come, he feels something brush against his arm. When he looks over, nothing is there. He wipes his face and takes a deep breath. It’s not long until he trudges back to his room, still thinking of lovely green eyes.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               It’s loud. He has Pansy at one side, Blaise at the other. Students laugh and chat away as the cold seeps into the air and clouds pass over. For the most part, students seem to love Hogsmeade. It’s a chance to get out of the damned castle they’re always in. That’s why Draco enjoys it. Others like getting candy, or going to the toy shop, or going to Three Broomsticks, or taking their date to the tea shop. Pansy seems to enjoy shopping the most. Blaise, however, doesn’t like anything; he didn’t want to come at all.

               They had a conversation at the Great Hall which consisted of Pansy demanding that they go to Hogsmeade. Draco complied easily. On the other hand, Blaise refused.

               The thing about Pansy is she’s usually an outgoing person. She respects boundaries and cares about her friends. Except, sometimes, she’s not like that. Her voice goes flat and hard, sharp at the edges. Her eyes turn into stone, and her posture turns stiff. That’s when it’s do or die. That’s when you don’t want to make her angry. Because if you do make her angry when she’s like that, she will probably hex you seven ways from Sunday and ignore you for however long she deems necessary.

               Luckily for Draco, she’s only done this to him once; he has lived and learned. Blaise has lived and learned over the multiple times she has done this. So, when she turns into this do or die persona and demands that they’re all going to Hogsmeade, he agrees.

               That doesn’t stop Blaise from grumbling the entire way here.

               “I think we should go to Honeydukes to sweeten Blaise up. “

               “As long as you buy me Pink Coconut Ice,” Draco says.

               Pansy smiles. “It’s settled, then. “

               “And buy me some Chocolate Frogs, won’t you?”

               She scoffs. “What do you think I am, a charity? Buy your own. “

               “You’re buying Draco candy!”

               “He has been nice to me the whole way here. “

               “Fuck you. “

               Pansy smirks. “Love you. “

              

               Later, with bags full of candy, they head to the Three Broomsticks. Draco sits on one side while Pansy and Blaise sit on the other. He orders butterbeer for everyone, telling them that he’ll pay, and Blaise snickers.

               “You can’t pay for candy but you can buy us all butterbeers?”

               “I decided to be nice,” Draco replies.

               When Draco glances at Pansy, she’s staring out the window with a smile. He looks outside, trying to catch whatever she’s looking at, but he can’t see anything but a crowd of people.

               “Why are you looking outside like a lunatic?” Blaise asks.

               Pansy turns to them, still smiling. “Just saw Smith’s posse outside, looking lost without him. Fucking prats, it’s what they deserve. “

               Draco’s eyebrows push together. “What happened to Smith?”

               Both of them turn to Draco in shock.

               “You don’t know?” Pansy asks.

               “Draco, we had this conversation at breakfast. “

               Draco runs a hand through his hair. “Did we? I must’ve zoned out. “

               Pansy frowns at him with soft, pained eyes. “You’ve been zoning out a lot. “

               The blond sighs. “What happened to Smith?”

               Blaise smirks, leaning forward. “Nobody really knows what happened, who did it, but when everyone woke up, they found him tied up in the hallway by the Great Hall. His face was all puffy, you couldn’t even see his eyes!“

               He pauses his story when their butterbeers are served. He takes a gulp, then continues.

               “He had antlers on his head and bats flying out of nose, all tied up on the floor of the corridor. Apparently, he started jabbering about how empty he feels, and for someone to kill him. We think the attacker, bless his bloody soul, used the Dementors Hex. People have been saying that even Smith doesn’t know who did it; he’s still in the hospital ward. “

               Draco blinks. He’s clutching his butterbeer tightly. At first, he thought the attacker might be Potter. When Draco told him in Potions, he was so furious that he could see him taking revenge on Smith. But, Potter didn’t know what the Dementors Hex was, so how on earth could he perform it? Secondly, Potter wouldn’t do that to someone, especially after the war. He’s all about peace and building bridges.

               “That fucking git got what he deserved,” Pansy hisses.

               Draco takes a sip of his butterbeer. Who would risk all of that for Draco? Maybe he got on someone else’s nerve, too, and the attacker did it for an entirely different reason. Smith is a dick, he always ticks someone off. But he doesn’t think so. They used the Dementors Hex. Of all things, they used that particular hex, unpopular and mostly unknown – until now.

               The blond drinks his butterbeer, letting the two in front of him change the topic and jump into a new conversation. He stays silent.

 

 

               Blaise ends up straying off after they drink butterbeer. Pansy huffs about it, but Draco know she doesn’t mind. They stay there for a few hours more, going into each shop and looking around. Or, Draco looks around for a few minutes until he finds nothing, then watches Pansy look at every particle of dust in the store. Once Pansy finally decides that she’s done shopping, 3 more bags on her arm, they head back to the castle with their arms linked. It doesn’t take long for Pansy to let out a long, heavy sigh. Draco tightens his grip on his bag, preparing for whatever Pansy is about to throw.

               “Draco,” she says, slow and serious. “I’m leaving Hogwarts. “

               Draco frowns. “Okay, but why –“

               Pansy shakes her head. “Not only Hogwarts: I’m leaving the world of magic. “

               It’s like a bucket of ice just got dumped on him. He blinks at the castle, trying to wrap his head around it. Pansy is leaving him. She’s leaving him and Blaise to live with muggles. If 1st year Pansy heard her say this, she’d start laughing.

               “Why?” His voice cracks.

               “Everyone hates us. We’re – we were on the wrong side of war because we were taught to be that way, because our parents decided to make our lives hell, and now the Daily Prophet has an article about us every day, for merlins sake! They don’t have to be true, either! Draco Malfoy is resurrecting the Dark Lord, fellow Slytherins throw party. We never had a party! Why would we have a party when everyone wants us dead?”

               She takes a deep breath, exhaling slowly. When she begins again, she’s calmer.

               “I want to start over. I want to go where nobody knows me so I can make a proper life for myself. Magic… all magic seems to do for me is haunt me. Magic is horrible. I – I loathe it. So, my plan is to leave in early December. We’re planning on staying with my friend’s muggle uncle in Italy. We’re going to get jobs, and get a place to rent, and – and make an actual life. “

               “We?”

               “Blaise and I, and if you agree, you, too. “

               Draco’s heart drops. “Blaise is leaving, too. “

               She nods. “He’s – yeah. He wants to leave, too. “

               The blond runs a hand through his hair, slowly shaking his head. Everyone is leaving him. His friends are leaving him to go through the rest of the school alone. How the hell is he going to manage that?

               “Please come with us,” Pansy pleads. “I know you don’t want to stay here, either. Your mother forced you. I know. But that doesn’t mean you can’t leave. You can come with us, and we can have a restart on life, and make friends with our co-workers and pet dogs in the park and read newspaper without our names in the articles. “

               “I… I don’t know…”

               “Think about it. Please, just think about it. “

               Draco swallows. “Okay. I’ll think about it. “

               The rest of the walk back to the castle is silent.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               The night air caresses his skin. He breathes out slowly, his backside meeting the grass of the Quidditch field. He lays his arms out at his side and looks up, pleading to the universe to tell him what to do. If he should jump, if he should go with Pansy and Blaise, if he should stay here. He doesn’t know what to do. He feels lost, like Smiths friends at Hogsmeade. He doesn’t know what the hell to do. After all these years following what his parents said, what the Dark Lord said, what his aunt said, he doesn’t know how to properly chose. He doesn’t want to choose, because he’s afraid. He’s afraid that he’ll make the wrong decision, and everything will be fucked up even more than it already is. He wants someone to tell him what to do, because he can’t.

               He sits up. His sleeve is pulled up. The Dark Mark is a mere white scar on his skin. He traces the line, his gut twisting. The muggles would just see this as a tattoo. He’ll see the scars on his body and think he was in the military. They’ll think he’s noble. He’s not. He’s nothing but a disgusting coward.

               With a choked sob, he grabs his wand to cast Silencio. He throws his wand out in front of him. Draco screams as hard as he can, choked sobs cutting it off. It hurts. Everything hurts. All this guilt is clawing at his chest, the regret is constricting his lungs. He wants to peel off his skin, take it off like it’s a costume and step into a different person, a better person. He doesn’t want to be himself.

               He falls backwards to the earth with a thud. Sobs shake his body. He rakes his nails over his Dark Mark; no matter what he does, the pain fizzling under his skin and the clawing at his chest doesn’t stop.

Chapter Text

Draco rests his chin on his palm, staring at the doors of the Great Hall. His plate hasn’t been touched. His mind is blank. Laughter rings out somewhere in the distance. He rubs his hand over his eyes. The Great Hall is too loud. His eyes find his plate. He stares at it, his mind blanking again. He feels someone staring at him. He looks up, meeting green eyes from the Gryffindor table. Potter. Potter’s stare lingers for no more than a second. Draco stares a little longer, eyes drifting from Potter to Granger to Weasley. They’re eating, and smiling, and talking. He rubs his eyes again. He stands up and leaves the Great Hall, ignoring Pansy’s protest.

               Instead, he tromps to his room and lays on his bed, the curtains drawn shut. He stares at the ceiling, feeling empty.

               An hour later, Blaise shouts at him until Draco gives in. They play chess while Pansy watches, trying to hide the worry. Once the game is over, Pansy drags Draco to the couch and reads to him while playing with his hair. The blond allows it, letting Pansy think she’s helping Draco somehow.

               When they finally talk about the elephant in the room, it’s by the Great Lake, right after they’ve eaten lunch. The days are growing colder. They're doing their homework, side by side on the grass.

               “Have you thought about it?” She asks quietly.

               He closes his eyes. “I don’t think I’m leaving. “

               “Why?” She’s frustrated.

               Draco sighs, slowly opening his eyes. He drags his wand out and produces bubbles from his wand nonverbally. Pansy narrows her eyes.

               “You want to stay for bubbles?” She asks. “The muggles have a toy for that, you know. “

               The blond’s shoulders cave in. “You don’t understand,” he says, shoving both his wand and his books back into his bag.

               “You’re right, I don’t, “ she snaps. “I don’t understand why you’d stay here with people who want you dead. I don’t understand why you’d stay in a house where you-know-who stayed in for ages, where he tortured and killed people. I don’t bloody understand why you’d stay in a world with all this hatred directed towards you!”

               Draco stands, picking up his bag. He starts to walk away from her, back to the castle, but she grabs his arm, whipping him around.      

               “Why?” She whispers, eyes full of tears. “Why would you stay? I can’t leave you, Draco. Please. I can’t leave you. “

               Draco pulls his arm out of her grip. “Between a world with magic and a world with you, I’d chose the world with magic. “

               He takes long, quick strides to the castle, not wanting her to catch up and tackle him to the ground. That would be better than hearing her hurt shouts as he walks away.

               “Draco? Draco, what the hell does that mean!? DRACO!”

               He runs the rest of the way, ignoring the stares.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

              

 

               For the past several hours, ever since he escaped Pansy and fled back to the castle, it’s been completely silent save for a few students coming in and out with quiet footsteps and hushed whispers. The stack of books on the table in front of him is already half the size it was when he started. Currently, he’s reading a book to the book about Thestrals. When he glances at the clock and finds that it’s 5 minutes until dinner, he doesn’t budge. He doesn’t want to see Pansy anyway; he doesn’t want to see anyone.

               Unfortunately for him, it’s only a few minutes later when he hears footsteps entering the library. He only looks up when a few minutes later, the footsteps near his table. When he peeks up, he sees no other than Potter sitting down in the chair across from him with 2 books in hand. Before they can make eye contact, Draco looks back down at his book. He hears Potter let out a breath as he opens his book.

               “Why aren’t you at dinner?” Draco asks.

               “Why aren’t you?” Potter reflects.

               “I don’t want to be around people,” Draco says.

               “Me neither. “

               Draco scoffs.

               “It’s true! They all treat me like I’m some angel, high above everyone else; it’s quite annoying. “

               “Oh, Harry!” He mocks, slapping a hand over his chest. “Would you like a biscuit? I can feed it for you! Wouldn’t want to taint the hand you saved our precious little world with!”

               Potter laughs, a hand coming up to muffle it. Draco floods with warmth. He wishes they weren’t in the library so he can hear Potter’s laugh to its full extent.

               “Take careful bites, golden boy,” Draco coos. “We don’t want you to die – again. “

               Potter’s eyes screw shut, and the laughs fall harder. A smile blossoms on Draco’s face as he watches. His laughter fades into a smile, staring at Draco with bright eyes.

               “You’re smiling,” Potter says, awed.

               Draco purses his lips and lifts his book to cover the bottom half of his face.

               “I think you’re seeing things, Potter. “

               The happiness in Potter’s face doesn’t falter. “I won’t tell anyone. “

               “Because there is nothing to tell,” Draco says simply, his eyes returning to his book.

               He scans his eyes around the pages, but he isn’t reading. He waits until Potter stops looking at him to peer above his book. The Gryffindor is leaning back in his chair, reading his book with a ghost of a smile on his face. Draco bites his bottom lip, his eyes drifting back to the page.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               Monday comes without a word to Pansy. Instead of going to the Great Hall, he goes to the library for breakfast. To his surprise, Potter comes in soon after with a tray of food. As Potter sets it on the table, Draco stares at him with wide eyes.

               “How’d you manage to sneak this past Pince?” Draco asks.

               Potter smirks. “I have my ways. “

               Draco shakes his head, eyeing all of the food on the table. “You’re – you’re ridiculous. “

               Potter grins. The blond closes his book, shoving it to the far side of the table. He grabs a piece of bacon.

               “Did you hear about what happened to Smith?” Draco asks a few minutes later.

               Potter freezes, the hand clutching his glass going still. Slowly, he raises his cup and takes a drink.

               “Yeah,” he says after he swallows. “He deserved it. “

               Draco nods. “I can guarantee he won’t be hexing anyone anytime soon. “

               The Gryffindor nods, reaching for a cherry danish. “Why didn’t you go to the Great Hall for breakfast?”

               Draco swirls the juice around in his glass. “Same reason as yesterday. And I, uh… don’t necessarily want to be around Pansy. “

               Potter frowns. “Is everything alright between you two? I heard you had a fight.”

               The blond sighs, staring down into his cup. “I don’t know. She… wants to do something, and wants me to do that something, too. But I don’t know if I want to do that something. She said she can’t do that something without me, but… I’m not sure I want to do it. “

               When he looks up at the man, his eyebrows are raised. “Sounds confusing. “

               “I would tell you, but I think she meant it to be a secret. “

               “Nothing bad, is it?”

               He shakes his head. “She wants to give up. “

               The Gryffindor takes a bite out of his danish. Draco picks up a crumpet with a furrowed brow.

               “I thought they didn’t serve crumpets at breakfast,” Draco states, inspecting the crumpet.

               “You shouldn’t do it. “

               Draco meets his gaze. “I shouldn’t eat it? Is it defective?”

               “I meant you shouldn’t give up. “

               “Oh. “

               “Giving up is the last thing you should do, even if Pansy wants you to do it. “

               Draco stares at the crumpet as if it has answers. “She just doesn’t… I’m afraid she’ll stop talking to me. “

               “Hey. “

               The blond looks up into warm, welcoming green eyes. Potter smiles reassuringly.

               “It’ll be okay. Just follow your heart. “

               Draco snorts. “What a Gryffindor thing to say. “

               The smile on Potter’s face grows. “What a Slytherin reaction. “

              

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               Draco manages to ignore Pansy all day, even though she’s in every class of his. She seems just as keen to keep up the silent treatment. When Potions comes along, he doesn’t have a problem with Pansy wanting to be his partner. She marches straight to Blaise, not casting a glance at Draco. The spot besides Draco doesn’t remain empty for long, though.

              

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               Potter brings dinner, later.

               “How’d you take this from the Great Hall without getting caught?” Draco asks.

               “I didn’t. “

               “Then how’d you get this?”

               “I went to the kitchens; the elves love me.”

               “You’re so spoiled, Potter. “

               The Gryffindor just smiles.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               This charade of his goes on until Thursday. Breakfast and dinner with Potter, skipping lunch, ignoring Pansy, barely talking to Blaise. Potter has even started talking to him in classes other than Potions. In Herbology, he asked Draco if he was doing everything right. In DADA, he mocked the new professor and made Draco smile (he ignored the strange look he got from Granger). It seemed like him and Potter were… they’re not friends, but something of that sort. Something dancing around friendship.   

               It’s all going good until Thursday night. He’s heading back to the dorm only a few minutes before curfew; him and Potter end up forgetting what time it is. When he steps into the common room, he expects a few people lounging on the couches. He expects to go straight up to his room. Instead, his eyes land on Pansy, lounging in a chair closest to the door. As soon as they make eye contact, she stands. He sighs.

               “Pansy, can we do this another time? I don’t –“

               “No,” she snaps, the dangerous edge in her tone. “I’m done walking around each other, acting like we’re not there. We’re having this conversation right now. “

               There are more people in the common room than usual at this time. He has a feeling word got out in Slytherin that Pansy and Draco were going to have another fight.

               Draco starts to walk away, but Pansy steps up to him and grabs his arm tightly.

               “Why do you always give up!?” She shouts, pushing him back against the wall. He hits it with a thud, and the room falls silent. “You run away every damn time!”

               “I thought that was what you were planning to do,” he says.

               She narrows her eyes. “I’m starting somewhere new. What are you doing? Staying here and living with all the hatred!? You’re so – you’ve been mentally vacant since the start of school, Draco! There’s no fight in you! All you do is walk around, staring at the ground and waiting for the next person to try and hex you! You’re the one who is giving up!”

               Her hands are shaking. She’s breathing heavily, her eyes full of anger.

               “Guess what, Draco? I know how you feel. I get it. My parents were a part of that, too! I saw people being tortured, I saw Harry Potter and I pleaded in my mind that he’d just die spontaneously so we didn’t have to fight. You’re not the only one who feels lost, you selfish coward. I went through the same things you did, but the only difference is that I’m trying. You? You’re not trying at all. “

               A bubble bursts inside of Draco, fury surging through him. Pansy must sense this, because her hands clench into fists, her eyes staring back at him with venom, showing him that she’s not backing down.

               “You know how it feels, do you?” He spits. A bitter laugh escapes him. “Did the Dark Lord live in your house? Did you stay up all night, listening to the screams, hoping that you wouldn’t hear your mother or your father? Did your father end up screwing something up, and you were forced to be tortured in front of everyone to punish your father?”

               The color drains from her face. A spark of satisfaction goes through him.

               “Oh, that’s not the only time I was tortured,” he hisses, making sure his voice is low enough so the others don’t hear him. “Early on, they tortured me to make sure I was loyal. My own aunt hit me with the Cruciatus curse over and over, and laughed every time I screamed. When she taught me Occlumency, she’d hex me if I messed up. But that’s not all, my love. I had to torture people myself. And I did it. Salthazar, I did it, because if I didn’t, they’d torture me. Did you go through that? Did you!?

               She swallows, taking a small step back. “N-no. “

               “I had to kill the fucking headmaster. For merlin’s sake, I had to kill a more than 100 year old wizard or the Dark Lord would kill all of us!” He yells it, now, not caring if the others hear. “He told me how. He told me that I would have to watch my mother be tortured to death, and then my father, and then finally – me. “ His voice falls into a hiss. He steps closer to her, leaning down to her ear. “He was going to starve me, torture me, but I couldn’t die from hunger. No, when I was close to death, he’d let me die from Cruciatus. Do you know how long you have to perform the Cruciatus curse to die? I bet you don’t, because you didn’t go through what I went through. “

               Her eyes are glassy, and her voice is shaking. “Draco, I’m sorry – “

               “I couldn’t even kill him!” Draco shouts, shoving Pansy backwards. She stumbles back a few steps. “He didn’t have his wand, and I still couldn’t!”

               He pushes her back again. Then, he gets out his wand and points it at her. The entire room gasps. They stare at each other, Draco’s eyes alight with anger and her eyes full of tears.

               “Draco. “ His name comes out as a sob. “I’m sorry. “

               He grips his wand tight. “Doesn’t change anything. “

               Another sob falls from her lips. Her eyes shut as a hand comes up to hide her face. The room is silent, filled only with Draco’s heavy breathing and Pansy’s cries. The other Slytherins watch, eyes wide and waiting with anticipation.

               “You’re a minger,” he hisses.

               With that, he turns and heads to his dorm.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

        

               For some reason Draco doesn’t understand, he finds himself standing in front of the Gryffindor house that night. He stares at the portrait of the Fat Lady, wand in hand. He sets his jaw and closes his eyes. After a deep inhale and slow exhale, he opens his eyes and turns, walking away from Gryffindor. Halfway down the hall, he hears Potter shout his name. He stops. Slowly, he turns around to find Potter jogging after him. He slows to a stop in front of him. He’s wearing his robes over his pajamas.

               “Hi,” says Draco.

               Potter blinks at him slowly. His hair is tousled. He still looks half asleep.

               “Hey,” breathes Potter with a small grin. “What are you doing?”

               “I don’t know,” he confesses.

               “Where are you going?”

               “I don’t know. “

               “Can I come with?”

               Draco pauses. “Sure. “

               That’s how Draco finds himself lying on his back in the middle of the Quidditch field, staring at the stars with Potter right beside him, their arms touching. It’s quiet, and the moon can’t keep their eyes off of the two. The cold doesn’t seem to affect Draco as much as before with the warmth of Potter next to him.

               “I didn’t like Astronomy,” Potter says several minutes into their star-gazing. “I did well in the class, but… “

               “I liked it. “

               Potter snorts. “Only because there’s a constellation named after you. “

               “Is that why you disliked Astronomy? ‘Cause you hated me so much that you couldn’t even look at the stars, Potter?”

               Potter takes a breath, like he’s about to say something, but stops. Instead, he sighs. Draco stares up into the sky, but he isn’t focused on star-gazing. He’s distracted by Potter. Their arms pressed together. Potter’s quiet breath. The rise and fall of his chest from the corner of Draco’s eye. It’s oddly comforting for Draco. Usually, he’s alone during his night wanderings. Now that he has company, he doesn’t want it to go back to being alone during the night. This is how he wants it to be every night. Potter touching him, the sound of his breath, the presence of him.

               An eternity of silence later, Potter asks in a hushed voice, “Can you call me Harry?”

               “If you call me Draco,” he replies.

               “It’s a deal, Draco. “

               The corners of his lips turn upwards. “Okay, Harry. “

               A sense of calm washes over Draco. It’s not Potter anymore, the teenager who hexed him in the hallways and nearly killed him in the bathroom. It’s Harry, his somewhat friend.

               Blaise would send him to St.Mungos if Draco told him that Potter and Harry aren’t the same person.

              

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

          When he walks into the library and heads to their table the next morning, he finds Harry with a tray full of food. His hair isn’t sticking every single way like last night. He’s holding a book in one hand, a slice of bacon in the other. His bright eyes are moving across the page. Draco hesitantly walks closer and sits down. Harry glances up as the Slytherin reaches for a crumpet.

               “Good morning, Draco,” Harry says with a grin, wiggling the piece of bacon at Draco.

               The blond eyes the bacon. “If that flies across and hits me, I’m going to hex you, Harry. “

               Although he just threatened the Gryffindor, his face brightens.

               “You called me Harry. “

               “That’s your name, innit? What are you reading?”

              

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               Draco doesn’t necessarily ignore Pansy, but he doesn’t voluntary speak to her, either. He does end up going to lunch, though. Except, he tells her he won’t be coming to dinner, and ditches her after his classes are done. He hurries to the common room, planning to read a book Harry had suggested, but he gets bombarded by Clara and Adie.

               When it’s 20 till dinner, he tells the two 1st years he has to meet someone, and slips out of their grasp. He steps inside the library, glancing at Madam Pince’s desk to wave, but her chair is empty. He glances at the table, but Harry isn’t here yet, as expected. To waste time, he goes through the book shelves, looking for a book to read. The blond looks through book after book, trying to find a new, interesting one. As he walks down another aisle, he hears someone enter the library. He glances at the clock. It’s too early for Harry. He continues searching. His eyes land on a book sitting on a shelf slightly taller than him. With a huff, he stands on his toes and tries to reach the book. As he touches the spine with his fingertips, he hears a voice.

               “Crucio!”

               Sharp pain lights his body on fire. It’s like a million knives made of fire stabbing into him repeatedly, injecting it’s fire into his veins. He falls to the floor, eyes screwing shut. The pain pounds into him, snapping every bone and melting his skin until it molds into the floor. Through the pain crashing over him, he feels scales brushing over his arm. He manages to open his eyes. Above him stands the Dark Lord, a wicked smile on his face that doesn’t meet his dead eyes. His fingers are curled around his wand, pointed at Draco. He writhes on the tile floor of the manor. The waves of pain flare through him over and over again, relentless. The sharp knives cut into him, slicing his skin open. He hears someone scream, ear-piercing and glass-shattering. When the Dark Lord laughs, he realizes that the scream came from him.

               “Draco!”

               The pain vanishes. The knives are taken away. The fire drains from his body. His skin sews itself back to his bones. Everything stops. He blinks up at the Dark Lord, waiting. Wondering. The Dark Lord face blurs. The ceiling blurs. He can no longer feel scales brushing against his skin. As the ceiling of the manor fades from grey to black, he can hear someone say his name again.

               Harry.

               It’s the last thought he has before he falls unconscious.

 

 

Chapter Text

The first time he wakes up, it’s still light outside, and the hospital wing is empty. Madam Pomfrey stands at his bedside, staring at him as he opens his eyes. He groans as a wave of pain rolls through him.

               “Drink this,” she demands, handing him a potion.

               He takes it down in one swallow before handing the empty phial back to her. She stares at him with a blank face. He stares back at her with eyes half-lidded.

               “Do you know what happened?”

               Draco nods, grimacing. “I do, but I wish I didn’t. “

               “Do you know what curse the attacker used?”

               Another wave of pain rolls through him. He nods, closing his eyes. Of course he knows.

              “Cruciatus. “

               Madam Pomfrey frowns. “Are you absolutely sure, Mr. Malfoy?”

               Draco manages to open his eyes to glare at her. “I’ve been tortured enough to know what Cruciatus feels like, Madam Pomfrey. “

               She sighs. “I was hoping it wasn’t an Unforgivable. I believe you understand why you’re still feeling pain. “

               “How’d you know about… “

               Her smile is gentle and sympathetic. “I’ve been around enough patients to know the symptoms. I’ll be right back. “

               She leaves. He lies there in silence, save for the loud ticking of the clock. That’s when he hears shouting from outside, muffled by the doors. He frowns, staring at the door, expecting someone to walk in. Pomfrey comes back with 2 phials, a purple one and a glittering one. She hands him one, waiting for him to drink it. He drinks it quickly with no more than a grimace as it slides down his throat.

               “What’s going on outside?” He croaks, handing the phial back. His hand twitches as she takes it. She hands him the glittering one.

               “Ms. Parkinson and Mr. Zabini. “

               He nods, drinking the glittery potion that tastes oddly like candy floss. He hands it back to her, grimacing as more pain ripples through him, like he’s being cut in half.

               “Would you like to see them?”

               “I don’t. No offense to them, of course. “

               She nods. “Get some rest, Mr. Malfoy. “

               With that, she walks away. Draco falls asleep quickly, the sound of yelling drowning out.

 

               When he wakes up again, Pomfrey is talking to someone. He slowly opens his eyes to see Harry lying in the bed next to him, holding a potion. Pomfrey is at his bedside.

               “You need to leave these things to Headmistress McGonagall,” Pomfrey scolds, shoving a potion at him.

               He takes it with an embarrassed grin. “Sorry, Madam Pomfrey. “

               An intense wave of pain crashes over him. It feels like he’s being hit with the curse again. He jolts, the pain spreading through him. A scream rips out of his throat. His skin is being peeled off, a knife made of fire dragging through his insides, his ribs snapping off one by one. He feels a hand grab his jaw, and liquid falling into his mouth. He chokes on it, trying to spit it back, but someone is holding his mouth shut. He swallows it, and the hand is released. Another scream tears through the hospital ward. Another wave of pain. Slowly, the pain begins to fade, his body pulling itself back together and his insides healing. He lays there, eyes closed, breathing heavily. A jolt runs through him.           

               “Mr. Malfoy. “

               He slowly opens his eyes. Pomfrey is holding out a potion, lips in a thin line. He takes it with a shaky hand and drinks it slowly. Another jolt, and he almost spills the potion. As he hands it back to her, another jolt. As soon as she takes it, he closes his eyes. As he jolts again, he hears Harry ask what’s happening.

               “Overexposure to a spell,” Pomfrey explains softly. “After someone is hit by a specific spell time and time again, they end up with Overexposure. Mr. Malfoy is lucky that he hasn’t gone to St. Mungos yet; I’d say he’s a few spells away. “

               One more jolt before he falls asleep, his body going still. Harry stares at Draco with wide eyes, not knowing whether he prefers a Draco who constantly jolts or this one, completely still and drained of color as if he’s dead.

 

               When he wakes up the 3rd time, the entire ward is dark. At first, he doesn’t know where he is. All he knows is there is a thin blanket on him that is not his, and the room is too large to be his dorm room. His stomach twists. In his mind, the Dark Lord is staring at him with a smile, wand pointed at him. Then, a voice. Harry’s voice calling his name. The pain leaving him.

               Draco sucks in a deep breath. Library. Cruciatus curse. Flashback. Harry. Infirmary. The potions. Falling asleep. Waking up. Pomfrey scolding Harry from the bed beside him. More pain, more potions.

               Pomfrey scolding Harry.

               Pomfrey scolding Harry from the bed beside him.

               He turns his head, staring at where Harry should be, but it’s too dark to see him.

               “Harry?”

               “Yeah,” comes the tired mumble.

               Draco relaxes after hearing his voice. “Harry. “

               “Mhm?”

               “I like saying your name. “

               A quiet, hoarse laugh. Draco feels a grin blossom on his face.

               “Draco. “

               The smile on his face grows until he remembers that they are lying in hospital beds, and it fades away.

               “Why are you here?”

               “I missed you. Dinner was lonely. “

               “I’m serious, Harry. “

               A sigh. The blanket ruffles. “I did something stupid, but I don’t regret it. “

               “When do you ever not do something stupid?”

               “I killed Voldemort. “

               Draco flinches. “You did.”

               Harry pauses. “i… sorry. “

               “No, you’re right. I’m glad you killed him. He broke my piano. “

               A surprised laugh escapes Harry. “He broke your piano?”

               Draco remembers it. He was aiming for someone, but then he directed his wand somewhere else at the last second. It was meant to scare them.

               “Yeah,” he says quietly. “It blew up. “

               It falls silent for a few moments. He listens to the ticking of the clock.

               “I never hated you. “

               “…what?”

               “You said that I hated you when we were on the Quidditch Pitch. I didn’t. I thought you hated me. “

               “You truly are dense, Harry. I never hated you. I was offended that you didn’t want to be my friend, and was jealous of Weasley and Granger, but I never hated you for it. “

               “Then why did you always fight with me?”

               “At first, I was bitter about the whole refusing my friendship, but then you kept fighting me, so I didn’t have a reason to quit. And I, uh… I liked your attention. “

               Harry laughs. “What I’m getting is that we wasted years being enemies with each other. “

               “Well, I couldn’t be friends with you. The Dark Lord would have… I don’t know what he would have done, but he surely wouldn’t have invited me out for a cup of tea.”

               It was meant to be funny, but Harry doesn’t laugh.

               “Why do you call him that?” He asks after a pause.

               “I’m afraid to call him anything else. “

               Harry pauses. “Did he… is he the reason why you have Overexposure to Cruciatus?”

               The blond swallows. “I don’t want to talk about this. “

               “Okay, that’s fine,” Harry says quickly.

               There’s a long pause between them.

               “I’m afraid he’ll find me,” Draco says quietly. “It’s daft, because he’s dead. You killed him. “

               “That’s not daft,” Harry defends. “That’s not daft at all. I still have nightmares about him. “

               “You do?”

               “Of course. There’s one where he kills me, and I’m forced to watch what happens to the world from the afterlife. “

               “That’s unpleasant. “

               “It is. “

               Draco pauses, chewing his bottom lip. “I have one where I kill him, but he only pretends to be dead. One day, when I’m happy and middle aged, he comes back and tortures my children in front of me, then kills them. Then, he makes me torture my partner. But he leaves me untouched.”

               Harry is silent. Draco’s throat thickens. He hears the blankets ruffle, then footsteps. Soon, he feels the bed dip, and Harry’s arms wrap around him. Draco curls up, his forehead touching Harry’s chin. He wraps his arms around Harry, hugging him tight. He tries to cry, but nothing comes out. Everything is dried up.

               “If he comes back, I’ll kill him before he can even raise a finger,” Harry soothes, a hand rubbing Draco’s back. “He’ll never hurt you again; he’ll never hurt anyone again. “

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               When Draco wakes up, he has arms wrapped around his torso. He slowly opens his eyes. He doesn’t see anyone in front of him. Behind him, he hears breathing. He looks down to see hands interlocked together at his stomach. Before he realizes what he’s doing, he’s placing his hands on Harry’s. He waits, listening for a change in Harry’s breath. There’s no change, so Draco keeps his hands there, and closes his eyes again. Harry pulls Draco closer to him, the side of his cheek resting on the back of Draco’s head. He stays there, his eyes closed, enjoying the moment.

               He listens to Madam Pomfrey padding across the floor to open the curtains. She hears her stop at their bed for a few seconds before heading back to her office. He listens to the clock ticking. He listens to Harry sharply inhale and begin moving his hands. Draco’s heart drops. Harry unlocks his hands, but instead of retracting his arms, he holds Draco’s hands, their fingers intertwining. A warm, fuzzy feeling spreads through him.

               “Good morning,” Draco murmurs.

               That’s when Harry freaks out, releasing Draco’s hands and pulling his arms back. The body behind him leaves, but Draco doesn’t have much time to feel hurt before he hears a loud thump. He sits up and looks over to find Harry lying on the floor on his back, grimacing. Draco is about to put a hand out to help Harry up, but hesitates. He just freaked out because he woke up spooning Draco; it’s safe to say that he probably doesn’t want to even be near Draco right now.

               But Harry doesn’t get up. He lies there, still grimacing. That’s when Draco realizes he has no glasses on.

               “… Potter?” He asks.

               Harry’s eyes fly to meet his, his features smoothing out before his expression turns pinched.

               “Sorry,” he mumbles, climbing to his feet. He slides into bed and turns his back to Draco.

                Draco’s face falls. He wishes he didn’t do that. Why did he have to go and start spilling his soul out to Harry? Why did Harry have to jump into bed with him? They could have continued with their sort-of-friendship, and Draco would be perfectly content. He’d be fine with the scraps Harry gives him; he’d be okay with anything Harry gives him.

               He falls onto the bed with a sigh. It’s only a few seconds later when his fingers twitch. He inhales sharply. Salazar, not again.

              The Slytherin ignores it. He focuses on Harry, and the feeling of his body pressed against Draco’s back. It doesn’t take long until he jolts, a ripple of pain running through him.

              "Bloody hell,” he hisses, closing his eyes shut tightly.

               “… Malfoy?”

               Malfoy. Draco wants to cry. The pain that shoots him switches his focus. He runs a hand through his hair, jolting again.

               “Should I get Madam Pomfrey?”

               Draco grits his teeth. “I’m fine.”

               “MADAM POMFREY!”

               “I thought I said – “ he cuts himself off with a groan.

               Pomfrey is at his bedside before Draco can say anything else. She shoves a potion in between Draco’s lips, tilting both his head back and the potion forward. A tear slips down his face as he swallows the potion. As soon as he finishes it, the pain starts to fade. Madam Pomfrey sighs in relief.

               “Thank you, Mr. Potter,” she says.

               Draco runs a shaky hand down his face.

               “Are you okay now, Mr. Malfoy?”

               He nods. “I’m fine. “

               She grabs his chin with two fingertips, inspecting his face. She stays there for a few more minutes, checking his temperature and making sure he’s not going to have another attack anytime soon. An eternity later, she whisks away, back to her office. The Slytherin falls back onto the mattress and stares at the ceiling.

               “Are you okay?” Harry asks hesitantly.

               Draco glances over at him. He’s sitting on the edge of his bed, chewing his bottom lip, his glasses perched on his nose. Draco looks back at the ceiling.

               “You’re the one who rolled off the bed and fell to the floor. “

               “And you’re the one who just had side effects of Overexposure. “

               Draco rolls his eyes. “Not a big deal. “

               “Draco, Overexposure is a very big deal. “

               “Oh, it’s Draco, now?”

               “It has always been Draco. “

               “Not even 10 minutes ago you called me Malfoy. “

               “Because you called me Potter!”

               “Because you were all,” Draco waves an arm around,” and fell off the bed!”

               A slow smirk spreads on Harry’s face. “I was all what again?”

               The Slytherin sighs, turning away. “Shut up.”

               “Wait, I’m sorry, I’ll be serious. “

               Draco doesn’t reply, doesn’t even look his direction.

               “I fell off the bed because I didn’t think you’d appreciate me molesting you.”

               The Slytherin laughs, glancing at Harry. “Molesting me? Harry, do you not know what cuddling is?”

               Harry shrugs and looks at the bed, drawing patterns with a finger. “I didn’t want you to hex me.“

               Draco doesn’t think he could ever hex Harry again. After finding out that Harry didn’t actually hate him, that they can actually joke with each other, that they can manage to be friends even though the war is still fresh on their minds… he couldn’t even think of hurting Harry, even if the Gryffindor casted an Unforgivable at him.

               “You really are a dolt for thinking that I would hex you.”

               Hopeful green eyes fly up to meet his. “Really?”

               “Yes, really. “

               “Does that mean –“

               Before Harry could finish, the doors are swinging open. Pansy and Blaise are rushing inside. Pansy pushes in first, stumbling over Blaise’s feet. As soon as Draco meets her wide eyes, she gasps and comes running over. Meanwhile, Blaise rubs his arm and glares at Pansy as he trudges over.

               “Draco, you’re okay!”

               She envelopes him in a big hug. He hugs back awkwardly, slowly patting her back. When she pulls back, her eyes are watering. She takes his hand and grasps it tightly.

               “You’re a fucking prat,” she hisses. “I thought – “ she cuts herself off, shaking her head. “All I could think about is the tension between us ever since the fight, and how bloody sorry I am. “

               Draco sighs. “Pansy, we already talked about this. “

               “I know, but I just feel so guilty. “

               “I’m glad you’re okay, Draco,” Blaise says, sitting down on the edge of his bed. “We were worried about you. “

               Draco swallows. All he can think about is the Astronomy Tower, and nearly jumping off.

               “Not exactly okay,” Draco drawls,” but thanks, Blaise. “

               Blaise shrugs. “You’re not dead, at least.” Then, he smirks, adding,” Although, Smith might be. “

               “Good!” Pansy shrills.

               “Why?” Draco asks.

               Blaise raises his eyebrows. “Didn’t this git tell you?” He gestures to Harry, who is blushing and looking at the clock.

               “This git didn’t tell me.” Draco eyes Harry, trying to get him to make eye contact. “What happened?”

               “It doesn’t matter what happened,” Pansy hisses, scowling at Blaise. “The only thing that matters is Draco.”

               “I’m fine, Pans,” he reassures softly. “I’ve had worse than this. “

               She closes her eyes, lifting his hand and pressing a kiss to his knuckles. She keeps his hand there, pressing against her lips. A tear falls down her face and hits his hand.

               “I just heard that you were unconscious in the hospital wing, didn’t even know what happened, exactly,” she murmurs against his hand. “I couldn’t stop breaking shit. I thought you were dead; we all thought you were. “

               Draco swallows. She takes a shaky breath, presses another kiss to the back of his hand, then lays his hand gently on the bed. She smiles at Draco.

               “Are you finished, now?” Blaise asks, arching an eyebrow. “Breakfast is in 5. “

               She nods. “Yeah, I’m done. Are you able to come with us to breakfast, Draco?”

               He grimaces and shakes his head. “Uh, probably not. Give it a few hours, maybe. “

               She pats his hand before turning and leaving with Blaise. Before they go, they tell him to get better and that they’ll be waiting for him. Once the door shuts, Draco runs a hand down his face.

               “You and Pansy seem alright,” Harry says, strained.

               “Yeah. “

               “I see why you want to give up because of her. “

               It brings Draco back to their conversation in the library about Pansy giving up, and wanting to drag him with, too.

               “She wants to leave in December and go live in Italy with the muggles. “

               There’s a long stretch of silence. Then, a tense laugh.

               “Wow, that’s a big deal. “

               Draco sighs. “It is. “

               There’s another stretch of silence. The clock keeps ticking. The silence is uncomfortable, like an itch you can’t scratch. The Slytherin glances at Harry. He’s sitting cross legged on his bed, back hunched, looking down into his lap.

               “I don’t think I’m leaving. “

               Harry pushes his glasses up. “Maybe you should. “

               “What?”

               “You should leave. With Pansy. “

               “You said I shouldn’t give up. “ Draco has never felt more confused.

               “I know, but this will give you a new start. “

               “My heart says to stay. “

               He presses a palm to his forehead, closing his eyes. “But what is your brain saying?”

               “Harry, you told me to follow my heart. “

               “Sometimes, hearts aren’t a good thing to follow,” Harry snaps.

               Draco studies him, trying to figure out what suddenly changed his mood. He was happy and content before, but ever since Blaise and Pansy left, he’s been moody. Blaise and Pansy. He thinks back, wondering what could have happened. Blaise was saying something about Smith, and Harry blushed.

               “Is this about Smith?”

               A short, bitter laugh. “No, this isn’t about him. “

               “I can’t fix the problem if I don’t know what the fuck it is. “

               “Do you want to know what the problem is?” Harry growls, lifting his head to glare at Draco.

               The blond swallows. For so long, Harry hasn’t glared at him, hasn’t got mad at Draco. All those days in the library, and lying on the Quidditch field together in silence, stargazing. They were friendly for once, and Draco loved it. But now, Harry is finally ripping at the seams. He should have known that they were never destined to be anything but enemies. Hell, Harry nearly killed him once. What type of friend nearly kills the other?

               “I don’t,” Draco says, no fire in his words, just exhaustion. Because he is truly tired. Like always. Tired of living, tired of fighting, tired of life. Tired of emotionally investing himself in a friendship just to be slapped with the hand of reality.

               Harry stares at him, clearly expecting the opposite answer. The room feels too small. There’s no air, just fire. Heat licking his skin. Falling, falling, falling into furious fire snapping up and biting him. A pull of a hand, and a broom.

               “Draco?” Harry’s hesitant, now, the anger dying into something timid.

                Draco holding on tightly, his chest pressed against Harry’s back. Slowly loosening his grip as he looks down, into the fire. The heat begs him to come closer. Reaches up, hands grasping. I’ll catch you, the fire purrs.

               “Hey, Draco. Draco. “

               Falling, falling, falling. The fire catches him, swallows him whole. The heat caresses his skin. All he can hear is crackling. Through the fire, a hand comes out and touches his cheek. A familiar hand. His eyes fly open, meeting worried green eyes. Harry is frowning.

               “You’re right,” he states quietly. “I should leave. I won’t be able to make a life here. “

               Harry bites his lip. Instead of looking into Draco’s eyes, he looks at his lips.

               “I’m sorry,” he says softly.

               “For what?”

               The Gryffindor shakes his head, letting his eyes stray away from Draco. His hand drops from the blond’s face. Draco watches him leave, heading towards Madam Pomfrey’s office. The Slytherin waits and waits and waits for the man to come back, but he never does.

 

 

Chapter Text

Harry is avoiding him.

It’s obvious.

               It hurts.

               Draco first got the hint when he went to the library for dinner on Sunday evening. He had made up some excuse to Pansy and Blaise about reading a book for a class on Monday, and they barely let it slide. He waited, reading a book Harry had suggested before someone had attacked him. Time dragged by slowly. It was 5 minutes in, no sign of Harry. 10 minutes in, no sign of Harry. 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, and then, an hour. An hour had past, and Draco was the only library, reading a book suggested by his ditcher.

               He went to the common room instead of waiting in the library until dinner ended. He sat on the couch, looking into the fire, and wondered where the hell was Harry? Did he do something wrong? Maybe he said sorry because he knew he had to miss dinner tonight.

               Draco shrugged it off – until Monday comes and Harry not only misses out library breakfast, but also ignores him in every class they have together and when they pass by in the corridors. Draco’s heart was shattering, falling to the ground as broken shards of glass.

               The worst part was Potions.

               Draco came in and sat down, preparing what he was going to say when Harry came in and sat down beside him. When the Gryffindor walked in, he didn’t sit beside him. No, he walked straight past without a glance, without acknowledging Draco, and sat at Granger and Weasleys table. His body was numb. He couldn’t think. Harry was acting like they were in 5th year. It was worse than 5th year – Harry won’t even insult him.

               When Pansy came in and immediately took the seat, she knew something was wrong. She said his name, and when Draco didn’t reply, she grabbed his shoulders and twisted him to meet her gaze. Her eyebrows were furrowed, lips in a straight line.

               “Are you okay, my love?” She asked.

               Draco hesitated. “Yeah,” he lied. “Just a little tired. “

               She nodded, but he knew that she wasn’t convinced. Her hand left his shoulder to brush his hair away from his face. A loud, piercing sound of glass shattering made Draco jump. He glanced over to see Harry standing by the ingredient shelf, staring at the shattered phial and blue fizzling liquid on the ground. Slughorn hurried over, laughing about Potter’s clumsiness.

               “Draco,” she said, her hands settling on his jaw to turn his face towards her. “Are you sure?”

               He nodded. She took her hand away with a sigh. In a split second, like turning on a light switch, her concerned face vanished and she said something snide about Zacharias Smith, who Draco hasn’t seen since the Cruciatus Incident.

               When Potions was over, he told Pansy to wait for him, he just needs to tell Harry something. She hesitated, but ended up leaving to pester Blaise as he cleaned up his table. Draco inched over to the golden trio, his heart racing. As he opened his mouth, Weasley snapped,” Piss off, Malfoy, nobody wants you here.”

               “I need to – “

               “You’re a Death Eater,” Weasley spat, scowling at him. “Nobody cares what you need. “

               Draco turned to Harry, his heart rattling in his chest. Harry wasn’t even looking at him; he was looking down at the floor, not even defending Draco. His heart went cold. His hands started to tremble.

               “I’ll be waiting, Harry. “

               Draco turned and left before Weasley could say anything else.

               For the rest of the day, he felt shaken up. All of the moments with Harry went over and over in his head, especially the moment where Weasley insulted him and Harry didn’t even do anything. He stood there, staring at his shoes. Even Granger looked alarmed, her eyebrows raised at the Weasel and something dangerous flickering in her eyes. Harry stood there. He let Weasley say that to him. At first, it only stung like a bee sting, because it was Weasley and he was used to Weasley insulting him. It was Harry, with no reaction whatsoever, that clawed his heart out and tore it to shreds in front of him.

               It’s been an entire week since that incident. An entire week of trying to get Harry alone, trying to figure out what went wrong, hiding everything from Pansy who is growing impatient, swallowing the hurt every time Harry ignores his presence. It’s been a week, and today, he finally gets the Gryffindor alone. It’s after his classes are done with. Pansy and Blaise are waiting in the courtyard for him. Blaise was about to follow him, but Draco stopped him, because he doesn’t need an entourage to simply go to the toilet. As soon as he steps inside the bathroom, he sees Harry at the sink, washing his hands. His heart jumps into his throat.

               “Harry.”

               Harry shuts the water off and whirls around, wide eyed like he just got caught burying a dead body. A rush of warmth goes through him. For the first time in a week, Harry’s green eyes have met his; he has finally acknowledged Draco.

               The warmth turns to ice when Harry whips his wand out and points it at Draco.

               “Do it,” the Slytherin snaps, throwing his arms out. “Use the same spell you did last time. “

               Harry slowly shakes his head. “Malfoy, I don’t – “

               “Oh, it’s Malfoy now?”

               “It has always been Malfoy. “

               Draco sneers. “Right. Except for the Quidditch Field, and the library, and the infirmary, where you called me my actual first name. “

               Harry swallows. Draco considers using nonverbal magic, but he knows it would never work when he’s so unfocused like this. Instead, he stares back with narrowed eyes. His arms drop back to his sides.

               “Come on,” he hisses, taking a step closer. “You killed the Dark Lord, why can’t you kill me?”

               “You’re not evil, “ the man supplies, his tone flat.

               Draco scoffs. “What do you call killing Dumbledore?”

               “You didn’t kill him. “

               “I did. I pointed my wand at him, stared him right in the face. He was begging me not to kill him.“

               “That didn’t happen and you know it. “

               He clenches his jaw. Is he that easy to read?

               “I was there,” he says, his voice strong and unwavering, eyes staring into Draco’s. “Underneath the floorboards. Even though Voldemort threatened you, you couldn’t do it. “

               Draco flinches at the name. “Don’t say his name. “

               Harry raises his eyebrows. “What? Voldemort? Don’t say Voldemort’s name?”

               In a split second, Draco has his wand out, pointing at Harry with a trembling hand. Even with the bombs bursting inside of him and his wand aimed at Harry, he knows he couldn’t hurt him; he couldn’t hurt any student. He doesn’t have the motivation. He’d rather stand there and let whoever torture the hell out of him. The wand pointing at the Gryffindor is just an empty threat that Harry is tricked by from the way he tightens his grip on his wand.

               “Just like last time, huh?” Draco spits.

               “Listen, Malfoy, I don’t want to hurt you. “

               Draco rolls his eyes. Harry glares at him.

               “All I want to do is leave and go back to my friends. “

               “And all I want to do is talk about why the bloody hell you’ve decided to act like you don’t know me. “

               Harry pauses. “I don’t – “

               “Quit the bullshit, Harry! I thought Gryffindors were supposed to be brave.”

               “Alright, Malfoy, I’ll tell you,” Harry says. He doesn’t sound like Harry anymore. He sounds like the Potter from before, the one who refused his hand, the one who hated him with his entire being.

               “I read the Prophet, you know. I read all of the articles about you. “

               The slandering, disgustingly false articles written from bias. Draco knows those articles.

               “I was suspicious of you after I read one where you wanted to resurrect Voldemort. I wanted to make sure you weren’t doing anything evil like that. You aren’t exactly a social butterfly this year, so I had to befriend you. “

               Draco’s body has gone cold. He stares at Harry, the words jumbling up in his brain.

               “But you aren’t doing anything evil. I should have known you aren’t; you’re too much of a coward to do anything like that. “ Harry rolls his eyes.

                His hand is shaking. His legs are about to give out. It feels like he just woke up from a dream, and immediately someone decided to drive a knife through his heart.  

               But then, he remembers how irritated Harry became when Slughorn ignored him and gave all the credit to Harry. When Ron told Harry to stop sympathizing with the Death Eater, and Harry snapped at him. The fury in his face when Draco explained what happened with Smith the first time, and how he was only calmed by his hand. All of the food Harry snuck into the library. Going to the Quidditch Pitch and stargazing. Harry’s voice yelling out his name in the library as the Cruciatus spell ended. Their conversations during the night in the hospital wing, and waking up to Harry’s arms wrapped around him.

               Remembering all of that, and then looking at Harry now, who is saying that all of those memories were nothing but deception, causes his skin to crawl.

               “You might be a not-so-brave Gryffindor prick, “ Draco hisses,” but I am a Slytherin who has experience with liars. You’re a shite liar, Harry. “

               Harry swallows. “I’m not lying. I hate you, and I always will. “

               “You think I’m going to believe that after you cuddled me? I don’t know what goes on with you and Weasley, but friends don’t usually spoon in each other’s bed. “

               The Gryffindor’s face goes bright red. “I was comforting you. “

               Draco arches a brow. “Sounds gay. “

               Harry takes a big breath in, slowly letting it out. “Merlin, it’s like you want me to hex you. “

               “Go for it. Use that fancy spell. Sectumsempra, was it? You can add more Sectumsempra scars to the collection. “

               His eyebrows furrow. “The spell doesn’t leave scars. “

               Draco laughs bitterly, thinking Harry is joking. But Harry doesn’t laugh; he looks more confused. The laughter dies out quickly.

               “Salazar, “ he breathes,” you actually believe it doesn’t leave scars. “

               “Because it doesn’t. “

               With a sigh, Draco slips off his robes. He pulls off his jumper, unties his tie, and begins to unbutton his under shirt.

               “Malfoy – “

               “Shut up, Harry. “

               Once the buttons are all popped, Draco takes off his shirt and chucks it to the floor with his wand, onto his robes. When he finally looks at Harry, his face has drained of color, and his wand is lowered. His eyes are focused on the white lines stretching across Draco’s chest. He takes a hesitant step forward, taking a quick glance into blue eyes before walking closer. Slowly, leaving enough time for the Slytherin to intervene, Harry reaches a hand out. His fingertips gently trail across one of his scars. Draco’s breath hitches in his throat.

               “I’m sorry,” he whispers.

               Harry’s eyes meet his, his fingertips still touching Draco’s scar. The blond hates how close Harry is. He could step back, yell at Harry for the scars, for lying, for avoiding him. But he doesn’t want to move. Harry’s eyes dart down to his lips, then back to his eyes. Draco swallows. With a pounding heart, he grabs Harry’s face and kisses him.

               It’s more than Draco dreamed of. His lips are soft against his, his hands gliding across Draco’s chest. It starts out slow and soft, then gets faster, rougher. Harry pushes against him, making the blond take stumbling steps back until his back hits the wall. His hands move from Harry’s face to his hair, fingers grasping onto his hair. When he tugs, a deep moan escapes from Harry. All of the warmth spreading throughout Draco shoots straight to his crotch. Draco pulls back, panting and too warm, even with his shirt off. When he gets a look at Harry, he almost dives right in and kisses him again. His hair is tousled, his lips are bright red, and his eyes glazed over.

               Except, after a few seconds pass, Harry takes several stumbling steps back. Slowly, his eyes widen. Draco tries to step closer, but that makes Harry take more steps back, up until his back hits a sink.

               “That - that was a mistake. “

               Draco clenches his jaw. He leans down, throwing his clothes back on as his heart shreds apart. Harry doesn’t make a sound from the other side of the bathroom. It’s only when he’s attempting to tie his tie that he realizes his hands are shaking. He swallows. He slides on his robes then slowly glances up at Harry. He’s staring back at Draco with his wide eyes and one hand tight around his wand.

               “I don’t know why you’re doing this,” Draco says, his voice heavy with exhaustion. “I don’t know why you created some fucked up story about wanting to be friends with me, and I don’t know why you kissed me back and moaned then said it was a mistake. I don’t know, Harry, but I’m fucking tired of trying to figure it out. “

               With that, the Slytherin turns and exits the bathroom. Instead of heading to the courtyard, he marches to the common room. As soon as he walks in, someone is calling his name. He glances towards the voice. His eyes land on Clara and Adie playing chest. Clara is smiling wide at him, beckoning him over. With a sigh, he walks over. He ends up losing to both of them.

               Later, at the Great Hall, he apologizes for worrying Pansy and Blaise. In the middle of Pansy’s lecture, though, he tells her that he wants to go to Italy with them. Immediately, her eyes light up. Blaise chokes on his pumpkin juice, but ends up smiling after he straightens out.               

               That night, they stay up in the common room and drink Firewhisky in celebration. All Draco can think about is Harry.

 

 

Chapter Text

It’s the end of October. The air has gotten colder. The plan is to leave on the first week of December, hopefully as soon as the 1st. Draco, Blaise, and Pansy are constantly planning, making sure everything is in order for when they leave. Every time Draco thinks about leaving, his stomach churns. He brushes it off as anxiety, ignoring the sense of wrongness that plagues him.

               He ignores everyone, still, including Harry; most of all Harry. Draco doesn’t even look at him. Sometimes, he’ll glance at his cauldron in potions to make sure he’s doing it right, or nonchalantly look at Harry’s notes in Herbology to see if he’s missing anything important. He doesn’t know why he does it because he doesn’t do anything about it. If Harry chops the knot grass with a bigger knife than recommended, he doesn’t say anything, just hopes Harry will realize that he needs a smaller knife. The same with the notes in Herbology. Draco hates it. He hates that he still cares for the utter bastard when all Harry has done is hurt him.

               Avoiding Harry has even interfered with his night adventures through the castle. He doesn’t leave his room anymore at night. He chugs a sleeping potion each night even though it makes him feel more exhausted than usual the following day. If he doesn’t take the potion, he’ll stay awake, and once it gets late, he’ll make dumb decisions like go to Gryffindor again, or go to the Quidditch Field, or to the Astronomy Tower, or to the Room of Requirement.

It’s Tuesday night, and he’s staring at the potion bottle in his hand. When he first asked Pomfrey for it, she frowned at him and started asking questions. He ended up getting the bottle with a warning of not using too much. The bottle in his hand is half empty. It’s his 3rd one. He had troubles getting this one. Pomfrey kept scolding him, telling him that he can’t drink so much of it, especially since he has Overexposure. When he started crying, he was mortified. He never wanted to cry in front of anyone, but needed this like he needed air. That’s when Pomfrey caved in, gave him the 3rd bottle, and told him that he’s only getting the next bottle in December.

He sets the potion on his bedside table. He picks up the envelope sitting there. He turns it over in his hands, staring at it, knowing how much power the contents inside it hold. It’s nothing but a parchment with his cursive letters written slow and neat. It explains the plan him, Blaise, and Pansy have without stating any names or places. The cursive words loop into an apology. It ends with Love, Draco, and a drawing of a heart that’s smeared from a tear. It’s for his mother.

Draco waits until a little after 2 to leave. He slides his robes on over his pajamas and slips out of the room.

The moon and stars watch him from the openings in the Owlery as he paces, the envelope in hand. The owls decide to watch him, too, but with more interest than the moon and stars. His palms are sweating. His stomach is twisting. He can’t make himself to send the letter.

Even though they’ve been planning for weeks now, it doesn’t feel final. He knows that he can slip out of leaving if he truly wanted to, even if it means that Pansy might hex him until his face is unrecognizable. But once he sends this letter, it’ll feel final. It’s like casting the charm over the cauldron once your potion has finished. There’s nothing else you can do after that. It’s sealed shut, ready to be put into action.

He doesn’t want to send it, but he has to. If not now, when? The day before they leave?

Draco groans.

“I’m going to turn around, and if my eyes land on a white owl, I’m sending this letter,” he tells the moon, the stars, and the owls.

He stands still, taking a deep breath. The moon watches him, snickering. The stars try to lean in closer. The owls stare in interest. When he whips around, his eyes immediately find a white and brown owl staring back at him.

“it’s brown, too,” he excuses,” so it doesn’t count. “

The moon snickers again and looks away to watch someone more interesting. The stars and the owls watch him leave the Owlery.

               Instead of going back to his room, he goes to the Astronomy Tower. The Slytherin flings himself down onto the ground, feeling hollow. It’s a daily feeling: emptiness with a table spoon of hope and a pinch of guilt. Except a troll is brewing the potion, meaning the guilt is more like several gallons than a measly pinch, but the amount of hope stays the same.

               He wishes this part of his life was over. He wishes there was a fast forward button so he didn’t have to watch the days drag by with no end. If he could, he’d fast forward his life until he was truly okay, until he was truly happy. He’d be in a house with his partner, with children in their rooms, and they’d be in the kitchen kissing. They’d stop kissing for a moment, their lips barely touching. His partner would say some inside joke that makes a rush of nostalgia run through them, and they’d laugh. Their laughter would die out, and they’d look at each other with love and adoration in their eyes. His partner’s green eyes would be bright and happy, and his would be the same. He’d tell his partner about something silly one of the children said earlier that day while his partners hands are sliding down his sides to rest at his hips. The green eyes would light up and a laugh would tumble out. He’d fall in love over again, listening to the melody dancing in his ears. They’d kiss again, his hands running through dark hair, messing it up further. They wouldn’t get far, though, because one of the children would start crying.

               Draco swallows a sob. He wants Harry. His future has Harry, not Pansy or some muggle. But he can’t. He can’t, because Harry doesn’t want him; he made that quite obvious. He doesn’t even want to be friends.

He wishes he had a Time Turner to go back. Somehow manipulate the hat and sort Harry into Slytherin, or make it so the Dark Lord never came back. He’d do it in a heartbeat if it was safe to do so. Maybe Draco’s daydream would come true. Maybe Harry and him would be friends and fall in love with each other.  

“I just need to leave,” he tells the moon, which is ignoring him. “When I settle down in Italy with the muggles, I’ll forget about this. I’ll meet my muggle soulmate, and I’ll – I’ll have muggle f-friends, and... and… “

               He trails off, a tear rolling down his temple. He quickly rubs it away. He is not going to cry. He wants this. He needs this.

 

 

 

I’ll go out one more time, he promises himself as he slips his robes on. I’ll probably never see the Quidditch Pitch again. I just want to see it one more time.

He leaves his room a little later than yesterday. He tried to sleep without the potion, but he only got about an hour of sleep before a nightmare woke him up. It wasn’t a nightmare – it was a memory. The memory of Harry’s limp body in Hagrid’s arms, receiving the news that Harry Potter is dead. The sliver of hope he had is gone. He woke up with wet cheeks.

The night is colder than before, but he doesn’t wrap his robes around himself. He shivers as he walks farther from the castle and closer to the Quidditch Pitch. As he steps onto the field, he sees a bright light. A Patronus. Beside the stag is a body lying on the grass. Draco’s breath catches in his throat, a name popping into his mind, slathered with hope.

Harry.

He strides closer, his heart in his throat. When he’s only about 15 feet away, the person finally whips into a sitting position. He freezes. Harry stares at him in shock. He opens his mouth and closes it several times before Draco realizes that coming closer was not a good idea. He swallows and turns around, about to leave, but Harry says his name with a crack in his voice, and his heart hurts too much to leave.

“Potter,” he replies without turning around.

“Did you come out here to hex me?” Harry asks.

               “I didn’t think anyone was out here. I’ll go somewhere else. “

               He is only able to take a few steps before Harry calls out,” I’m sorry. “

               Draco freezes, his body tensing.

               “I’m sorry,” the Gryffindor repeats.

               His emotions towards Harry have been building, and building, and building. He had pushed it all down. Everything to do with Harry was pushed aside. But now, with Harry apologizing just like he had done before, in the hospital wing, it all breaks. The suppressed feelings fizzle into venom, surging through his veins.

               Draco whips around. He marches forward, glaring at Harry. The man scrambles to his feet and starts backing away. Before he could get too far, Draco catches him, his hands shooting out to grasp his robes.

               “Fuck you! “ Draco shakes him. “You think two words make up for everything you’ve done? Fuck you, you sodding privileged bastard. “

               The blond throws Harry to the ground. The Gryffindor lies there for a moment, silent. Draco watches him, hands clenched into fists at his side. Harry slowly gets up onto his feet, hesitantly looking at Draco.

               “Can I say my piece?” Harry asks timidly. “You can hex me all you want after; I’m sure you’ll be dying to. “

               Draco eyes him, wondering what could be so bad that he’d want to hex Harry. After all the prat has done, he doesn’t even want to hex him now. Punch him, maybe. He stares at Draco with wide, pleading eyes and a fallen face, like he thinks Draco is going to say no.

               “Okay,” the blond says, hating how soft his voice comes out.

               Harry’s eyes widen. He stumbles over his thank you.

               “Explain. “ To his luck, his voice comes out angry this time.

               He nods. “Yeah, sorry, sorry. Er. I- I don’t know where to start. “

               Draco arches a brow. “Start somewhere or I’ll give you a time limit. “

               “Infirmary,” Harry immediately blurts. “I’ll start with the hospital wing. Um. When – after we cuddled, I freaked out because I’ve never done that before with a – a bloke. “ He turns his head to stare at the stands. The light of his stag lightens his hair but doesn’t touch his face, which stays in a blanket of darkness. “Before I could dwell on it, you were having side effects, and then Pansy comes in, affectionate, and – “ he waves a hand at Draco,” all over you. “

               Draco blinks. He didn’t expect Harry to be jealous of Pansy.

               “And I… it wasn’t until after I got angry and you went quiet, into your head, that I realized that the whole situation is more fucked up than it seems, because why the bloody hell would I get jealous over Pansy, and why – why…” he runs a hand through his hair. “Why do I look at your lips and have this desire to kiss you? Why do I want to kiss another – another bloke?

               Harry shakes his head, squeezing his eyes shut. Draco frowns as he watches, wishing he could help release the tension in his face, in his drawn shoulders. Then, he wants to smack himself, because Harry deserves that. He deserves being tense and upset after everything he has done. Except, he doesn’t. Harry doesn’t deserve to suffer. He was obviously going through a tough time, discovering his sexuality. Realizing that he’s not as straight as he thought; Draco can sympathize.

               “I dated Ginny and I – I thought some lads were attractive, but I thought it was normal to think that. And you, Draco, I was bloody obsessed with you. I thought it was because you were on the other side of the war and I had to always be on edge with you, but I have realized that I just wanted your attention. I always want your attention. That’s the problem. “

               “I tried to ignore you, after the infirmary, because I didn’t want to think about kissing you again. And then in the bathroom… You… you kissed me. And bloody fucking hell, I loved it. I love kissing you. “

               His heart is twisting and melting at the same time. His face is as hot as dragon’s breath. Harry, the prat he’s been adoring from afar, just said he loved kissing Draco. He loved kissing Draco. He loves kissing Draco.

               “I freaked out. Again. Because it wasn’t normal. I wasn’t normal. “

               Draco’s heart stops moving and his eyebrows furrow. “Harry, being gay is normal. “

               He shakes his head. “I know that being gay is normal. I had trouble with finding out that I liked kissing girls as much as I liked kissing you. “

               The blond’s face clears. That’s where Harry got stuck. Bisexuality.

               “I didn’t know,” Harry says quietly, his eyes pained and a crease between his eyebrows. “I didn’t know I could fancy both genders. I was trying to convince myself that fancying you was strange, and I was being greedy, that I’m just – I’m lonely.” He huffs out a sad laugh.” Godric, I can defeat one of the darkest wizards ever yet I couldn’t come to terms with liking both genders.”

               “But you came to terms with it,” Draco says.

               He nods. “With help. “

               The blond raises his eyebrows. “Granger?”

               Harry smiles weakly. “Yeah. “

               If he didn’t have a weak, vulnerable Harry in front of him, Draco would have gone up to the Gryffindor tower and hugged the life out of Granger. Thank Merlin she helped him. Thank bloody Salazar Slytherin. Hell, thank Godric, Rowena, and Helga. He couldn’t stand it if Harry went his entire life thinking he was wrong.

               “I’m sorry,” he repeats, his voice breaking, Draco’s heart breaking along with it.

               “I’m still pissed off,” Draco says, crossing his arms.

               He’s not pissed off at Harry. He’s pissed off at their situation. If Harry would have explained this all in the toilet, it’d be fine. They’d be together. Draco would be staying here. Neither of them wouldn’t have gone through so much hurt within the last month and a half.

               “You want to hex me, don’t you?”

               “I want to punch you, not hex you. “

               Harry nods curtly. He clenches his hands into fists at his sides and closes his eyes tight. Draco stares.

               “What the hell are you doing?” He asks.

               “Go ahead and punch me,” Harry says.

               Draco snorts. “Harry, I’m not going to hurt you. “

               “You shoved me to the ground. “

               “Tell me that hurt you. “

               He stays silent.

               “Exactly. I see you’re a proper Gryffindor now, brave and all that, but I genuinely don’t want to hurt you. “

               Harry shakes his head, squeezing his eyes tighter. “Won’t move until you hit me. “

               Draco sighs. He walks up to Harry and, instead of hurting him, he taps his nose. Harry’s eyes fly open. They stare at each other in silence, Harry’s green eyes wide and Draco’s blue eyes simply staring back at him.

               “That was barely a tap,” Harry says quietly.

               “You don’t think you’re greedy, do you? For wanting to kiss me?”

               Harry swallows. “No, not anymore.”

               “Do you want to kiss me?” Draco asks, his heart racing.

               “What kind of question is that?”

               Subconsciously, Draco licks his lips. Harry’s eyes follow the movement.

               “Can I –“ Harry starts, then stops, because Draco is grabbing the lapels of his robes and pulling him closer until their foreheads touch.

               “I’m still pissed off,” Draco murmurs, his lips brushing over Harry’s.

               “Not enough to punch me,” harry says.

               “Not enough to not kiss you. “

               Harry’s lips twitch upwards in a small grin, his eyes filling with warmth. Draco leans forward, kissing Harry, and he kisses back.

               It’s nice. The kiss. It’s not rough; Draco isn’t pulling on Harry’s hair like in the bathroom. It’s soft and warm, makes Draco’s hands tingle. He releases his hands to set them lightly on Harry’s waist. Harry’s hands end up on his face, his thumb brushing over Draco’s cheek. When they pull back, Harry is smiling, eyes sparkling. Draco feels his lips twitch into a small grin before leaning in and kissing him again.

 

 

               Somehow, somewhere along the way, they end up on the ground. Draco’s lying on his back, staring up at the sky. Harry’s head is resting on his chest. He cards his fingers through Harry’s hair. It’s silent. The Patronous is gone. The only source of light is the moon and all the stars.    

               “I think I like Astronomy now. “

               Draco laughs. “It’s too late to take the class, Harry. “

               “You can be the professor. Where’s the Draco constellation?”

               “Can’t see it from here, darling. “

               Harry pauses. “Are we – can we be boyfriends?”

               A cold feeling spreads through Draco, like the cold air has finally pushed passed his skin and is swimming through his body. Boyfriends. He never thought Harry would even ask that after everything that has happened.

He’d say yes if it wasn’t for Italy. He’s been so set on leaving for the past month that he hasn’t entertained the idea of staying. He’s been asking Blaise about cooking just to receive a shrug and a “we’ll figure it out”. He asked Pansy about phones, and she started stressing for an hour before writing a letter to the man they will be staying with. When Draco asked Clara and Adie about the muggle world, they just shrugged and told him that they’re purebloods so they don’t know much about it. Although he doesn’t have any knowledge about the world of muggles, he’s excited. He's excited to wake up in the morning and grab the newspaper to find normal news, without his name or Pansy’s name or mentions of Death Eaters.

               He has also been thinking about what he’d say if he ended up having sex with a muggle. He could use a disillusionment charm for his Dark Mark and all of his scars from Dark Magic, but Pansy had said at the beginning of October that they can only use magic in life or death situations. They need to grow familiar with the ‘ways of the muggle’.

               Before, he wanted to stay. He loves magic. He loves brewing potions. He loves his wand and his robes and everything about magic. The only thing he dislikes is the hatred, the slandering, the constant hexes casted at him. He’s been daydreaming about going to Italy and having an actual life without hatred, even though he’ll lose magic.

               But Harry. Now he has Harry. He’s not only leaving magic and potions but he’s also leaving Harry, who wants to be his boyfriend.

               “Boyfriends?” Draco chokes out.

               “Fuck, sorry, is there a pureblood ritual or something?” Harry rushes out.

               “There is, but I’m not – it’s not about that,” Draco says. “I’m leaving in a month, Harry. We can’t be boyfriends when I’m leaving the country in 4 weeks. “

               Harry exhales sharply. “Merlin’s beard, I forgot. “

               The blond closes his eyes. “Me too. “

               After a long pause of silent, Harry says,” You know what? Let’s forget you’re leaving. “

               Draco sighs. “We can’t –“

               “We can, “ Harry insists, sitting up. He takes Draco’s hands and pulls him up to sit in front of him. Harry doesn’t pull his hands away, simply squeezes them.

               “I can’t let you go. Not yet. “

               “Harry…”

               “Please. Please,” he says weakly, his voice dropping to a quieter tone.

               Draco runs a hand over his face. This isn’t a good idea. This is going to end in hurt and pain and everything Draco doesn’t want in life. Everything Draco has already had in life, too much of it. It would be easier to continue ignoring Harry.

               It’s going to end in one of two ways. One, they’re going to be in a relationship, and it’s going to grow and grow so much that Draco will be head over heels in love with Harry by the time it’s December, which means so much heartbreak that he could have avoided. Two, he’s going to stay, and his friends are going to be pissed the fuck off, because he promised he’d go. He promised. They’re expecting him to go. And, he does want to go. Some part of him wants to see films and how technology works and how muggles go about their days. If he stays, he won’t be able to see that. And, Pansy will probably hex him while Blaise cuts his dick up like a hot dog.

               But. It’s Harry. Bloody, brilliant, beautiful Harry. He’s been craving Harry’s attention since the first day of Hogwarts. Now, he can have it. All of it. He can take all of Harry’s attention away. He can be selfish, just this one time. Just for 4 weeks.

               He knows he’s caving in before he even speaks; he wants anything Harry is willing to give him, and if that means 4 weeks of this… he’s fine with it.

               “I’ll meet you here tomorrow,” Draco says.

               Harry rubs his arm. “Er, is that a maybe?”

               “Maybe.”

               Harry rolls his eyes. “You’re ridiculous. “

               Draco can’t help the grin that blossoms on his face. “We’re a perfect match. “

               Before the Gryffindor can say anything, Draco stands up and yanks Harry up with him. Draco tugs Harry to the castle, their fingers intertwined.

               “So… Quidditch Pitch, same time?” Harry proposes once they get to the entrance of the Slytherin common room, because of course Harry offered to walk him back.

               “Yeah. No breakfast or dinner; the shock of this is going to fade away, and I’ll probably want to punch you. Actually punch you with actual anger. “

               Harry nods. “That’s fine. I’ll, um, see you tomorrow. “

               Draco quickly kisses Harry on the cheek before rushing into the common room, a smile planted on his face. He takes a glance before the entrance closes to see Harry staring back at him with a big smile and red cheeks.

Chapter Text

Harry won’t stop staring at him.

               Draco hasn’t even sent him a glance, but he can feel his green eyes burning into his face from across the Great Hall. He doesn’t look up because, like he expected, he’s angry. If Harry would have explained in the bathroom instead of just stabbing Draco and twisting the knife, things would have been fine. Draco probably wouldn’t have agreed on leaving, him and Harry would be in a happy relationship, and he’d be genuinely happy for once in his life. No, Harry had to be a bloody dolt. The wizarding world had to fuck him over one last time before he leaves. He’s going to walk out of Hogwarts with his middle finger up, he knows that for sure.

               “Alright, Draco?” Pansy asks.

               Draco stabs his scrambled eggs. He doesn’t even like eggs. “Thinking about stuff. “

               “Italy?”

               No, the sodding tosser sitting at the Gryffindor table who asked to be my boyfriend.

               “Yeah,” he says, dropping his fork to rub his eyes.

               “It’ll be great. We have everything situated and it’s not even November, yet,” she tries to reassure.       

               Draco sighs. “I know, it’s just – “ Harry Potter wants to be my fucking boyfriend and I’m afraid I’ll end up doing something dumb like killing him and being sent to Azkaban, or deciding to stay because of him and then YOU’LL end up in Azkaban for killing me once you find out. “

               She rubs his arm while Blaise says,” If I punched you, would you stop feeling stressed?”

               “Mate, if you punch me I will hex you to hell and back. “

               Blaise laughs. Draco feels his lips twitch into a grin. Pansy slaps his shoulder with an eye roll and returns to her breakfast.

               “But seriously, stop stressing,” Blaise insists. “We’ve got this under control. “

               Draco nods. He takes a drink of his pumpkin juice. As he’s setting it back down, he feels the stare again. The green-eyed stare. Biting his lip, he finally decides to look over at the Gryffindor table. As soon as they make eye contact, Harry adverts his gaze to the front of the hall. Draco continues staring. It doesn’t take long for Harry’s gaze to return. Slowly, a grin spreads across Harry’s face and he waves hesitantly. Salazar, he wants to be angry at Harry, he really does, but his face apparently doesn’t understand that because before he knows it, he’s smiling. Quickly, he looks down at his plate and purses his lips, knocking the smile right off. When he looks up at his friends, they’re staring at him quizzically.

               “What?” He snaps.

               Pansy clears her throat. “Nothing at all.” She turns to the girl sitting beside her and starts talking.

               He glances at Blaise. He’s already shoving food into his mouth to avoid answering.

               A little while later, Draco sneaks another look at Harry. This time, they don’t meet eyes. Harry’s eyes are closed, laughing. Before Harry can notice his stare, he looks down at his plate, biting his lip so his face doesn’t betray him again.

 

               The staring doesn’t end. It continues. In every class, Draco can feel it. Harry staring. But every time he looks up, Harry looks away. When Pansy finally realized, she glared at Harry, but that didn’t stop him.

               Draco’s waiting on the Quidditch Pitch, arms crossed and lips pressed together. It only takes a few minutes of waiting in the cold air for his eyes to find Harry in the darkness. Draco wants to reach out and fix Harry’s ridiculously disheveled hair, but he controls himself. The Gryffindor stops in front of him, chewing his bottom lip.

               “Are you, erm, still pissed off?”

               “I’m a little frustrated, actually. “

               Harry frowns.

               “You kept bloody staring at me the entire damn day. “

               He laughs nervously. “Ah, sorry. “

               Draco rolls his eyes. “You really thought I’d say no, didn’t you?”

               Harry purses his lip and stares at the ground.

               He shakes his head, sighing. “You’re such an idiot, Harry. Seriously. How on earth did you manage to defeat the Dark Lord?”

               Harry laughs and kicks Draco’s ankle lightly. “I’m the Chosen One, you know. “

               Draco snorts. He takes Harry’s hand and drags him to the ground so they’re both on their backs, staring up at the sky, their clasped hands in between them. The blond closes his eyes. He can hear Harry’s breath. Can feel Harry’s fingers tighten. Can feel Harry move closer to him so their arms are pressed together.

               “I’d like to be your boyfriend,” Draco admits.

               “I’d like to be yours, too,” Harry replies, a smile in his voice.

               “But, I uh… I think I need some time,” he confesses. “It’s not a no, it’s a maybe, since you are the Chosen One and I simply can’t turn you down. “

               “That’s – yeah. That’s great, actually. It’s not a no.”

               “Definitely not a no.”

               Draco opens his eyes to look at the stars. They sky is clear tonight. The stars are twinkling.

               “After I walked you to Slytherin, I was going to head to the library and find a book on purebloods, and how to woo them into boyfriendry," says Harry after a long pause.

               Draco scoffs, turning his head to glare at Harry. “I’m going to ignore the fact that you just said boyfriendry and focus on that part where you were going to turn into Granger, because I highly doubt it.“

               Harry turns his head to meet Draco’s eyes, a bright smile on his face. “I was. Except, I figured you’d be more cross with me for not giving you space. But I was going to go through with it. Whatever the book said, I was going to do. Slay a million basilisk and bathe in their blood. Wrestle a Nundu.  Anything. “

               The unwavering confidence in Harry’s eyes is too much for Draco to look at. He turns his head and looks back at the stars; if he continues staring at Harry, he’s afraid he’s going to kiss him.

               “I really don’t like you,” Draco says a moment later.

               “That’s why we’re holding hands, yeah?”

               “All enemies hold hands, didn’t you know?”

               “Ah that’s right, I forgot about that one time I held hands with you-know-who.“

               The image of the Dark Lord taking Draco’s spot on the Quidditch Pitch flashes through his mind. Draco laughs so hard that his eyes shut and tears leak out of the corners.

               “We skipped around in meadows and shite, didn’t you know? I kissed him as well. “

               With his free hand, he slaps Harry’s chest lightly, still laughing too hard to talk. Soon, their laughter runs out, leaving nothing but comfortable silence.

               “I really like you, Harry,” he says sincerely, then adds with a smirk,” Even if you didn’t ask me to be your boyfriend the pureblood way. “

               Harry sighs dramatically. Draco laughs.

               “You’ve ruined your chances, Harry. Never going to forgive you. I take back my maybe, it’s definitely a no, now. It’s all your fault. All you had to do was open a book and learn how to woo a pureblood into boyfriendry. “

               Harry groans. He brings their connected hands to his forehead and knocks their knuckles against his forehead.

               “You’re never going to let that go, are you?” He huffs, throwing their hands back on the ground between them.

               Draco grins at him and squeezes his hand. “Never.”

 

 

              


 

 

 

 

               The entire castle is buzzing with excitement. Draco is, too. It’s Hallowe’en, the best day of the year. Except Christmas, maybe. They’re definitely tied.

               The only downside is that Blaise gets way too excited over Hallowe’en and practically forces his friends to spend the entire Saturday with him. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every second in between. When Draco asked why the hell he’s this excited, because he’s always excited for Hallowe’en but never this excited, he frowns and says,” This is our last bank holiday at Hogwarts. “ Draco shuts up after that.

               It’s their last celebration at Hogwarts. Their last celebration with wizards. Their last celebration with floating pumpkins and wands and magic. Their last magical celebration.

               Draco’s heart strings are snapping one by one.

               To distract himself from the depressing thought, he looks across the Great Hall at breakfast and sees Harry taking a drink. Harry meets his gaze. His green eyes widen. Pumpkin juice ends up spilling down his chin and onto his robes and jumper. Draco slaps a hand over his mouth as he watches, trying to contain his laughter for the sake of Harry’s pride. He wouldn’t be surprised if Harry’s eyes fall out of their sockets and fall onto his plate judging by how large they are. He sets his cup on the table. Granger grabs a napkin and starts dabbing at his robes and his jumper, but it’s no use, he’ll definitely have to change. Draco’s shoulders are shaking with his silent laughter, his hand still covering his mouth. Harry meets his gaze again. A fierce blush rapidly covers Harry’s face.

               I hate you, Harry mouths.

               Draco drops the hand from his mouth to pick up his cup. He wiggles his eyebrows at Harry as he takes a sip. In response, he gets the middle finger, and Draco nearly dies of choking because he laughs so hard.

               “Don’t think you’ve laughed like that since 5th year, mate,” Blaise says after he stops laughing, oddly serious.

               Draco shrugs, not looking at his friends. “I laugh a lot. You’re just never around to see it. “

               Pansy snorts. “Sure, Draco. Sure. What was so funny, anyway?”

               The blond immediately shakes his head. “Doesn’t matter, does it? Let’s focus on that fact that  it’s bloody Hallowe’en. “

               At that, Blaise brightens, and the topic changes.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “I can’t believe you spilled pumpkin juice on yourself,” Draco says that night when they’re lying on the Quidditch Pitch, staring up at the sky.

               “This is the hundredth time you’ve said that,” Harry huffs.

               “I can’t believe I make such an impression on you,” Draco continues, ignoring Harry’s comment. “Is my face that attractive?”

               “Shut up, you wanker. “

               “I swear you were going to blow up, your face was so red – “

               Harry clamps a hand over Draco’s mouth and glares at him. Draco rolls his eyes. After a long moment of simply staring at each other, Harry slowly pulls back. The blond is silent for a moment, letting Harry settle back down, resting his head on Draco’s chest once again and linking their hands back together.

               “At least we can have breakfast together tomorrow,” Draco murmurs, taking his hand out of Harry’s to run his hand through his hair. Also because Harry might break his hand. “We can have breakfast, and who knows, maybe you’ll dump the whole cup on yourself. “

               Draco breaks out in uncontrollable laughter when Harry groans and stomps off to the castle. By the time the blond stumbles to the castle, trying to dampen his laughter, Harry is standing there, waiting for him with a soft smile and warm eyes.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               When Draco mentions Harry spilling his pumpkin juice the next morning in the library while they’re eating breakfast, Harry chucks a slice of toast at him. Draco ducks, and it goes flying across the library. Before it can hit anyone, or anything, Harry scrambles for his wand and stops the toast, maneuvering it back to the table.

               “You can’t even hit me with a piece of toast, how are you going to be an Auror?” Draco asks.        

               Harry’s eyebrows furrow. “How do you know I’m looking to be an Auror?”

               “You’re Harry Potter. The Chosen One. The Boy Who Lived. You ended the Second Wizarding War. Everyone has eyes on you."

               He frowns down at his cereal, which he is idly stirring. “Thought that meant receiving tons of love potions, not people nosing into my career choice. “

               Draco’s eye twitches at love potions. “It’s not a huge deal. I expected that from you. “

               Harry sighs and releases his spoon, letting it hit the side of the bowl loudly. He falls backwards and hits the back of the chair. “I don’t even want to be an Auror. I know I’ll be good at it, everyone knows I’ll be good at it - not to sound big-headed or anything. “

               He shakes his head. He knows Harry would be a good Auror. He killed one of the most powerful wizards in history. He fought through his entire childhood. He’s brave. He’d be an amazing Auror.

               Harry pushes his fingers through his hair. “I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want to be thrown back into action. Merlin, I sound spoiled. “

               Draco frowns. “You don’t sound spoiled. You’ve just been through war, Harry. You just fought in a war. Your entire life has been nothing but a detailed plan on how to win. You’re allowed to have negative feelings about fighting. “

               Harry’s startled by his burst of praise, but he doesn’t take back a thing he said.

               “Thank you,” Harry says quietly.

               Draco shrugs and picks up the toast he had thrown earlier, trying to stray away from their oddly serious conversation. Those conversations are meant to be at night, under the stars, so they can pretend it never happened in the morning. But they’re having a deep conversation in the light of day, and it makes everything between them seem so much more real.

               “So, what do you want to do?” Draco asks. “Become a musician? Join the Weird Sisters? “

               Harry smiles. “Music is not my forte. I think I want to be a professor. “

               Draco freezes, his toast halfway to his mouth. He slowly sets the toast back down. “What?”

               “I-I know it’s not saving people, it’s not what I should be doing, but –“

               “No, it’s not about that. I didn’t expect you to want to stay here at Hogwarts. I look outside and all I see is blood, all I hear is screaming. “

               Harry’s face falls. “Blimey, Draco. “

               “It’s not that bad,” Draco insists, trying to get the sad expression off of Harry’s face. “I’m used to it. It’s like staying at the manor. “

               That makes Harry look even more sad. Draco points a finger at him. “I’m going to slap you if you don’t get that kicked puppy expression off your face. “

               “I look like a kicked puppy?”

               “Yes, you do, and it’s awfully cute but tugging at my heart strings a little. I’m doing fairly well for a boy who has just been through a war. Stop. “

               Harry holds his hands up in surrender, but the sad look is still on his face. “Okay. “

               Draco sighs, shaking his head. “You’re a lost cause. Anyways, you should do what you want to do, Harry, not what you think you should do, or what people expect you to do. People expected me to go to Azkaban, and they expected me to be banned from Hogwarts, but look where I am. “

               He nods. He looks even more sad. Draco wishes he never said anything. He picks up the toast and chucks it at Harry. Before the Gryffindor can duck, it’s flying across the table and hitting his face. Draco is laughing under his hand as the toast slides down his face and hits his lap. Harry glares at Draco, but he has the hint of a grin on his face.

               “You’re bloody ridiculous,” he grumbles.

               Before Draco knows it, a fried sausage is slapping him in the face. He gapes at Harry, wide eyed. The git is smiling brightly, marmalade still smeared across his forehead.

               “I hate you.”

               Harry laughs. “Hate you, too. “

Chapter Text

Draco realizes that he’s so incredibly, extremely, super fucked over that evening. It starts with strolling into the library, catching Harry reading a book about purebloods. He was going to sneak up behind Harry and act like his hand was a spider crawling up his neck and into his hair, but as he peaks out from behind a bookshelf, he sees Harry reading a book. A pureblood book. The food in front of him is there, steam rising off of the plates, but he doesn’t pay attention to it. He’s leaning back in his chair, one leg crossed over the other, and in his hands is a bloody pureblood book. He thinks about the first action in courting someone, and his face heats up. The first thing is writing a love poem. Draco doesn’t mind that part. He would gladly let Harry attempt to write him a love poem. It would be terrible and full of similes comparing his eyes to the ocean and his skin to the new fallen snow in December, but he’d enjoy it, because he enjoys anything that Harry does. However, the second part of that is to recite the love poem to the person you’re courting in front of a group of people. Harry is definitely not allowed to do that. He stomps forward and snatches the book out of Harry’s hands.

               “Was reading that,” Harry huffs.

               “Oh, didn’t know,” Draco replies, sitting down in his chair. He skims through the pages Harry was on. It’s about the history.

               “You know I don’t care if you don’t court me, right?” he asks, closing the book and setting it on the table. “This relationship between this isn’t traditional at all. “

               “How so?” Harry asks before taking a bite of his sandwich.

               “First of all,” he begins, holding up a finger,” you’re a half-blood.” He lifts a second as he says, “Secondly, you’re a boy. “

               “Man,” Harry says with food still in his mouth.

               “Man,” Draco corrects.

               “Wait,” Harry says, swallowing,” how is being a man not traditional?”

               The blond arches a brow, dropping his hand. “Harry, purebloods are all about conceiving children. “

               He blinks. “Oh. I mean, we could try if you wanted to. “

               Draco grins. “Try to get pregnant? You think your dick is that powerful?”

               Harry slowly smirks. “Are you assuming I’m the top in this relationship?”

               The blond feels a blush coming on. “What relationship? We’re friends. “

               He snorts, shaking his head. “Friends, of course.”

                “Brilliant, we’re on the same page. “

He reaches for the sandwich Harry was eating and takes a bite. Harry reaches forward and tries to snatch it back, but Draco shoves the whole thing into his mouth before he could. He grins as he tries to chew, his mouth so full that his cheeks puff out.

               “Why do I like you?” He asks.

               Draco gestures to his face and body. Harry smiles and rolls his eyes.

               It’s not until that night, while they’re lying beneath the dark sky, that he realizes that he’s truly fucked. It’s when he laughs at something Harry said, and then Harry looks at him with stars in his eyes and a soft smile.

               “What?” He asks, feeling self-conscious.

               “Your laugh is nice,” Harry answers.        

               Draco can’t go on like this. He can’t act like they’re friends. He can’t smack a no wheat label on a fucking loaf of bread. Harry just said his laugh is nice, and his laugh is possibly the least attractive thing in the entire Universe.

               Before the blond can come to his senses, he leans over Harry, planting both palms on either side of his head. He leans down and presses a kiss to his forehead. When he pulls back, Harry is grinning.

               “Missed my lips,” he teases.

               Draco sighs. “I already regret deciding to be your boyfriend. “

               Immediately, Harry’s face lights up like the sun. “You want to be my boyfriend?”

               Draco smiles. He brushes the hair away from Harry’s face. “Who wouldn’t?”

               Harry’s eyes widen. Draco’s afraid he’s done something wrong until he says,” We should come up with cute endearments for each other to beat the other couples at Hogwarts. “

               The blond gives him an incredulous look. “Relationships aren’t a competition. “

               “Are you okay with me calling you babe?” Harry asks, ignoring what he said. “Merlin, I can’t wait to see the look on Hermione and Ron’s faces. “

               Draco leans down to kiss Harry’s nose. “Sure, shnookums. “

               A horrified expression crosses Harry’s face. The blond laughs as Harry pulls his hands up to cover his face. He leans down and peppers the backs of Harry’s hands with kisses.

               “Honeybear, sunshine, cutiepie, love muffin,” He says in between kisses.

               Harry groans. “No, please stop. “

               “Are you embarrassed, snuggluffagus?”

               “What the actual fuck, Draco. “

               “You said we need to beat the other couples, didn’t you?” He leans down and kisses Harry’s hair. “I’m practicing. “

               Harry slowly lowers his hands so his eyes are visible. Draco grins, leaning down to kiss him between his eyes, on the bridge of his nose.

               “Let’s stick to the basics,” the Gryffindor decides, reaching up to smack Draco’s cheek lightly.

               Draco presses one last kiss to Harry’s forehead before lying back on the grass beside his boyfriend. He takes Harry’s hand in his.

               “Although the basics are boring,” Draco drawls,” I guess I’ll manage without all the disgusting pet names. “

               There’s a long stretch of silence. So long, in fact, that Draco thought they dropped the subject entirely. He’s looking at the stars, trying to sort through his knowledge of Astronomy for something interesting to tell his boyfriend.

               “Er, I quite like one of the pet names you called me,” Harry says quietly.

               “Please, oh merlin please tell me it’s not snuggluffagus.”

               He laughs. “No, definitely not. It’s – sunshine. I like that.”

               Draco hates the way his heart bursts into a million butterflies. He hates the way his body gets warm. He hates that a smile instantly blossoms on his face. Harry wants him to call him sunshine; that’s the cutest thing Draco has ever heard. The blond squeezes Harry’s hand.

               “Okay, sunshine.”

               He can feel the happiness radiating off of Harry. In that moment, he knows for a fact that he is totally, utterly fucked.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “I have to tutor Clara and Adie,” is what Draco says as an excuse 10 minutes before breakfast.

               Usually, he manages to slip out of Pansy and Blaise’s grasp before breakfast and dinner. They don’t usually ask where he went, just eyes him suspiciously. Once they nonchalantly check him for injuries, they brush it aside. But today, this morning, Pansy and Blaise are waiting in the common room for him. It’s like they know he has a boyfriend.

               “Right now?” Blaise asks with a frown.

               Draco nods, subtly stepping away from them. “Right now. “

               Pansy eyes him. “What class?”

               “Potions,” he says automatically. He takes a step back.

               “You’re not stressing about Italy, are you?”

               Draco shakes his head. “Not at all. I’m over that. Oh, wait, did you hear that? Sounds like Clara and Adie’s cries of distress over their difficult Potions homework that will, for me, be as easy as flying. “

               Before either of them could say another word, Draco is turning around and rushing out of the common room. He knows that Pansy and Blaise know that he’s lying, but he can’t tell them that he needs to go to the library to eat breakfast with Harry Potter, aka his new boyfriend. She will probably kill both Draco and Harry. No, not probably – she will. She will murder both of them and then escape with Blaise to Italy.

               Draco sighs as he steps into the library and walks towards their usual table. Blaise will help bury their bodies in the Forbidden Forest. Their bodies will never be found. Pansy and Blaise will live in Italy and laugh about it.             

               When he walks to their table, his eyes land on Harry. He’s staring at Draco with a tired smile, soft green eyes behind his crooked glasses, and fluffy hair.

               That’s my boyfriend. This is my boyfriend. This magnificent, sleepy creature is my boyfriend.

               He walks towards Harry to lean down and fix his glasses. But once he’s done, he doesn’t pull away. He lets his hands trail down to cup his face. Harry’s gaze flickers from his eyes to his lips. It doesn’t take long before Draco is leaning in and kissing him. He feels Harry grasping his jumper and pulling them closer. Draco pulls away before Harry is able to pull him onto his lap; he’s not snogging the hell out of Harry in the library when delicious food is sitting right there and his stomach is completely empty. He sits down and immediately goes to grab a piece of toast before noticing the beautiful fudge sitting on a plate.

               “Dessert for breakfast?” He asks, noticing the carrot cake. “I think you’re trying to plump me up, sunshine.”

               Harry brightens at the endearment. “I figured this was a way to woo you.”

               Draco grabs a piece of fudge. “Offering your potential partner sweets is not a way to court someone, sadly.”

               “I would know if you didn’t snatch the book away from me. “

               “Shush, have some fudge.”

               Draco hands him the piece of fudge between his fingers. Instead of taking it with his hand, he leans forward and eats it off his fingers. The blond’s eyebrows raise, a blush heating up his face. Harry grins as he chews.

               “I’m not your servant, I’m your boyfriend,” Draco huffs, grabbing a jelly filled doughnut.

               Harry smirks. “Even better.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Draco could die. His stomach is full of the most delicious, sugary treats, Harry Potter is in front of him, and they’re holding hands from across the table. With his free hand, he’s feeding his boyfriend the last treacle tart. As he’s watching Harry chew and hum a song by the Weird Sisters, he realizes how much he genuinely likes Harry. Before, it was ‘Harry is an attractive bloke with a nice personality and I love his attention’. But now, watching Harry hum with the most relaxed expression on his face after bringing dessert for breakfast, he realizes that it’s so much more. It’s more than a school crush, or simply wanting to date him, or imaging what-if scenarios. He adores Harry more than his heart can handle.

               Once Harry is finished chewing, Draco leans across the table, pressing his forehead against Harry’s.

               “I really like you,” he blurts.

               “I hope you bloody like me, we’re kind of boyfriends.”

               Draco blushes. “Shut up, Harry. “

               Harry laughs. He leans in, about to kiss Draco, when he hears voices nearing their table. His breath hitches. He flings himself backwards, releasing Harry’s hand to set it in his lap. Harry stares at him, eyes wide. Draco glances at the two girls walking by. They both look up, but not at Draco – at Harry. They both wave. Harry grins and waves back. As they walk away, their voices turn into whispers. Draco watches them leave.             

               “You don’t want people to know?” Harry asks, frowning.

               “I want people to know,” Draco insists.

               “Draco, you nearly fell of your chair because two girls walked by when we were about to kiss. “

               The blond looks away. “I – I was surprised by them. “

               “Draco. “

               He sighs and looks back at Harry. His hands are clasped together on the table, eyebrows raised like he’s a boss about to fire a worker.

               It’s not that he’s ashamed of being in a relationship with Harry. He absolutely loves being able to call Harry his boyfriend. He wouldn’t mind saying it to everyone who passes him in the hallways. Hey, did you know my boyfriend is Harry Potter? Yeah, THE Harry Potter. He kisses me. He fancies me. He actually smiles at me and thinks I’m attractive. Except, Pansy and Blaise cannot know. Not yet. They don’t even know he’s gay. It’s not entirely because it’s a bloke, though. It’s because they might think Harry will try to convince him to stay here. Or, they’ll think Draco will decide to stay on his own because of his eternal love for Harry. Knowing his friends, they’d end up chasing Harry away. They’d harass him until he leaves Draco alone. For the remainder of their time together, Draco doesn’t want anything to get in the way. He just wants Harry for himself.

               “Pansy and Blaise don’t even know I’m gay, Harry,” he says quietly, not looking at him. “And if they find out I’m dating you, they’d probably kill you.”

               When he looks at Harry, he’s grinning. “Voldemort couldn’t even kill me, Draco. “

               Draco flinches. Harry’s eyes widen.

               “Merlin, sorry,” he rushes out. “I didn’t – I’m sorry. “

               “It’s fine,” he says, waving a hand. “I should get used to it since I’ll be around you a lot more. “

               Harry grins sheepishly. “I’ll try not to say it. “

               “It’s okay, Harry, I’m just being daft. “

               “You’re not. I thought we had this conversation right before I molested you in the hospital wing.“

               Draco grins. “Right before you fell to the floor like a dolt and got jealous of Pansy. “

               Harry groans, his head falling into his hands. Draco laughs. He reaches over and strokes a hand down one of his arms. When the Gryffindor peeks through his fingers at Draco, the parts of his face Draco can see are red.

               “You’re blushing, sunshine. “ Draco smirks.

               Harry groans again and closes his fingers so he can’t see his face. Draco smiles, wishing that Harry was sorted into Slytherin and the Dark Lord never came back so they could have spent all their school years like this.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               They’ve been together for exactly 5 days and Draco already wants to break up with him. He decides that he’s definitely going to break up with him tonight when they’re in Herbology. The new Professor is going on and on about something nobody is paying attention to. He’s fairly certain most students don’t like him. He has slicked back hair and a comb that always seems to be in his hand, messes with his wedding ring way too much, a body so thin that twigs are jealous, and a patchy mustache. Not to his surprise, it’s not even 5 minutes into class when he feels Harry’s stare and hears him snapping. Actual snapping with his fingers like he’s a dog. Maybe he is a dog, because he looks over at Harry before he could even snap twice. When Draco arches a brow, Harry just smirks. After a glance at the Professor to make sure he’s not looking at Harry, he holds his finger sideways above his lip like a mustache. He sucks his cheeks in as well as his stomach. With his other hand, he pretends to comb his hair back. Draco bites his lip, trying to suppress his laughter. A small snort escapes him when Harry wiggles his eyebrows. Immediately, a hand flies up to cover his mouth. Behind his hand, he’s smiling so wide his face might break. Merlin, his boyfriend is such a bloody dolt. It’s no surprise when only 10 minutes later, Draco ends up breaking out in laughter. He’s bent over, gripping his knees, laughter tumbling into the greenhouse. The professor falls silent. Everyone stares at him in shock, like they can’t believe that Draco Malfoy has the ability to laugh. Even Pansy and Blaise stare at him with strange expressions.

               And really, the fact that he ends up with a deduction of 50 points from Slytherin by the end of the class isn’t a surprise, either. He bloody hates Harry.

               “I’m breaking up with you,” is the first thing Draco says to Harry that evening at dinner.

               The Gryffindor just laughs. Draco sits on his boyfriends lap and kisses him quiet.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Draco must like Harry a lot, because he ends up slipping up the next day, on Saturday. They were doing well keeping their relationship secret. They’d stare at each other in class, sure. Sometimes Harry pulls a silly face or mocks the professor. Sometimes they just stare at each other until one of them blushes and they both end up looking away, trying to hide their smiles. Sometimes Draco will throw food at Harry in the library, and Harry will pull his wand out and threaten him with Cantis. Sometimes Draco will tell Harry about planets and stars while they’re lying outside during the night, even though they were already taught in Astronomy.

               But. Draco slips up.

               The day starts out good. Great, even. Pansy and Blaise are in high spirits. Draco is sitting in an armchair, rubbing his hand over his tired eyes. Seconds later, he yawns.

               “Late night?” A 6th year sitting by him asks with a smirk.

               Draco drops his hand from his eyes and sighs. This is where it goes wrong. He could have said that he didn’t get a lot of sleep. Could have stated that he kept waking up. Anything. Anything at all, except for what he said.

               “Who knew cuddling is exhausting?” He jokes.

               Jokes. Because he’s been fairly content ever since he’s been with Harry, save for the bouts of depression that hits him randomly, the voice at the back of his head worrying about Italy, and the occasional run through the corridor because someone has a wand pointed at him. He’s been doing better than he has all year. Not a whole lot, just a little bit above rock bottom, but at least he’s climbing upwards.

               “Cuddling?” Pansy says from the couch, and he freezes.

               Draco closes his eyes, letting out a slow breath.

               “You’re with someone?” Blaise questions, because of course he’s here, right beside Pansy.

               He looks at them. Blaise has his eyebrows raised, shock written into every inch of his face. Pansy is the exact replica, except she has a danger sign flashing on her forehead.

               “I’m not – “ he starts, then stops, because he is with someone. He’s with Harry.

               Before he can fuck himself over more, he stands and flees the scene, his heart racing. He can hear Pansy shouting at his back,” We’re talking about this eventually!”

               He hurries to the library before anyone can stop him. When he gets there, Harry is there as usual with a bright smile and a tray of food. Ever since they made up and became what they are now, Harry has been arriving here earlier than usual. When Draco asked about it the other day, Harry said,” I don’t want the Cruciatus thing to happen all over again,” and Draco’s heart has been a puddle ever since.

               “Alright?” Harry asks with a frown as Draco falls into his chair. “You’re out of breath. “

               “Hurried here.”

               “Did someone do something? I already yelled at the entire common room but I can do it again. “

               “No, it’s – what?” Draco blinks. “You… yelled at the Gryffindors for hexing me? When?”

               “After the Cruciatus Incident. “

               Draco’s heart reforms in his chest, swelling up like a balloon.

               Harry shakes his head. “We’re getting off track. What happened?”

               What happened. Pansy and Blaise discovering that he has a significant other is what happened. He sighs, reaching for a crumpet.

               “I slipped up,” he confessed, not looking at his boyfriend. “I was yawning and some Slytherin asked me if I had a late night, and I said that cuddling is exhausting. Pansy was instantly all over me about it. “

               When he looks up at Harry, he’s tapping his fork against his lips, eyebrows furrowed.

               “Maybe we shouldn’t stay out so late anymore,” he says thoughtfully.

               Draco accidentally squeezes the crumpet. “Harry, they know I’m in a relationship. “

               Harry sighs and sets the fork down, like he has a reason to be exasperated.

               “Love, you’re the one who wanted to keep the relationship a secret, not me. You wanted to keep a secret because of your friends. Maybe this is a good thing. “

               The blond scrubs a hand over his face. “I don’t want them to know and end up hexing you, thinking you’re trying to convince me to stay. Or, if I stay, I don’t want you and I to end up in a hole 6 feet deep while they run off with blood on their hands. “

               Harry freezes. He closes his eyes and sighs. “I keep forgetting that you’re leaving soon.”

               Draco eyes him, frowning. He keeps forgetting he’s leaving soon, too. He doesn’t like thinking about it. He doesn’t like the sad atmosphere it brings.

               “Let’s move on from this topic, yeah?” Draco asks softly, setting a hand out on the table, his palm facing up. “Let’s save the heavy stuff for the times we’re not in the library eating breakfast. “

               Harry slowly opens his eyes. His heart wrenches when he sees tears swimming in his green eyes. He wiggles his fingers so his boyfriend would notice. With a weak grin, Harry takes his hand and squeezes. Draco starts to grin, but a yawn interrupts him.

               “Let’s talk about getting you to bed earlier,” Harry says sternly.

               He rolls his eyes. “I get plenty of sleep. “

               “How many hours do you sleep a night?”

               Draco takes a bite of his squished crumpet to stall his answer. He doesn’t usually sleep from lights out to his time with Harry. By the time he gets back to his dorm, it’s usually 4. Doesn’t take him long to fall asleep after being near Harry for so long; his boyfriend radiates calmness, somehow. When he wakes up it’s around 7.

               Around 3 hours.

               “Uh,” Draco says when he swallows and his method of stalling is gone. He can’t say he sleeps for 3 hours.

               Harry’s stare grows even more intense. “I need a number, Draco.”

               “6… 5 hours?”

               “Been around you enough to notice your lies, no matter how Slytherin you are.”

               Draco sighs, adverting his gaze. “Around 3 hours.”

               Harry chokes. “Blimey, Draco! That’s worse than me!”

               The blond tries to retract his hand, but Harry holds on tighter. “Draco, you can’t – we can’t – “

               “Don’t say we can’t see each other during the night anymore,” he pleads, looking at Harry. “Please don’t.”

               “I wasn’t going to say that. I have a plan.”

               Draco arches a brow. “Don’t leave me in the dark, love.”

               “I’ll tell you later. Tonight.”

               The blond sighs dramatically. “Okay, fine, but only because you’re cute.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               He’s sitting on a bench in the courtyard when his friends find him. He sat here with Harry for a while until too many people started staring and Draco became uncomfortable. Harry left, telling Draco that he’ll go find his friends and that he can stay here. It doesn’t take long for Pansy and Blaise to sit down on either side of him. They talk for a while like Draco isn’t even there, like he doesn’t know what their intent is. After several long minutes of being ignored, he sighs and runs a hand down his face.

               “I know what you both are trying to do,” he snaps.

               Blaise gives him an innocent look. “Don’t know what you mean. “

               Draco glares at him. “You don’t want to know about my lover, then?”

               Pansy gasps. “I knew it! It’s a Gryffindor, isn’t it?”

               The color drains from his face. He tries to say that no, his lover is not a Gryffindor, but Pansy’s eyes are already wide and shining and her hands are already on his shoulders, shaking him.

               “You didn’t tell us?” She asks incredulously. “Why?”

               Draco pries her hands off his shoulders. “Sorry if I don’t want you to harass the hell out of – her.”


               Blaise looks puzzled. Pansy doesn’t catch his almost slip up, simply staring at him with a look of disbelief.

               “Don’t tell me that you’re afraid of her convincing me to stay,” he bites, crossing his arms. “I know what you’re capable of, and I’m not risking it. “

               She scoffs. “I’m not going to harass your lover. “

               Draco lifts his eyebrows. She sighs.

               “Okay, maybe, but that’s only because I want the best for you, and that means getting out of this hell hole and starting over. “

               “Is there something else you’re not telling us?” Blaise asks.

               It takes one glance at Blaise to know that he knows something is up. Thankfully, Pansy interrupts by saying, “Although I wish she was Slytherin, or any other house apart from Gryffindor, it’s your life and I’m still happy for you. I guess. “ Pansy flicks her hair over her shoulder. “But tells me if she tries to – “

               “Okay, mum. “ Draco rolls his eyes and ignores Blaise’s stare. “That’s enough talk about my love life. Do you know who is playing Quidditch? I heard we have a shite Seeker this year. “

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “I bloody knew you had it, stop acting like a proper snob. “

               Harry smirks. “Oh, sure, act like you’re not impressed finding out your boyfriend has an Invisibility Cloak.”

               “Shut up, you insufferable prat. I knew since 3rd year when I saw you and your floating head.”

               At Harry’s puzzled expression, he adds,” Outside the Shrieking Shack, when – when I was with Crabbe and Goyle. It slid off your face. You were a floating head. And on the train, you know. "

               “…I’m still allowed to brag.”

               “Sure, love. Now tell me how this is going to solve our problems. “ Draco gestures to the cloak Harry is holding.

               They’re on the Quidditch Pitch in the dark with Draco’s wand lighting up the area with Lumos. When he saw Harry strolling out with an ugly cloak in hand, he immediately knew what is was. It was the thing that haunted him for years.

               “After dinner each night,” Harry says slowly,” you’re going under that cloak and coming with me to my room, and we can sleep together. “

               Draco swallows thickly. He’s thought about having sex with Harry. He has thought about Harry’s remark about assuming he’s a top, and wonders if Harry strictly sticks to one position. He has worried about the dynamics of it. Worried about not being good enough. Worried about not satisfying Harry enough, and it leading to a terrible break up. He has heard of that happening, before, and it scares the hell out of him. He wants to be good enough for Harry.

               Unless the Gryffindor ends up being asexual, which would be fine, because then Draco doesn’t have to worry about making a fool out of himself.

               He didn’t think having sex with Harry would happen this soon, though. He thought they’d wait until they knew each other better. They haven’t even seen each other naked, yet. They haven’t done anything other than kissing and a few remarks about sex. He didn’t expect it to spring out of nowhere when they haven’t done anything.

               “Sleep together?” he croaks.

               Harry’s eyes widen. “Oh, fuck, not like that!” He says frantically. “I didn’t mean we had to do anything sexual, love. “

               Draco’s heartbeat starts to slow. “What do you mean, then?”

               He takes a step forward and touches his cheek. “We can lie in bed and talk. Cuddle, if you want. And we can sleep together, as in lie beside each other and sleep. I don’t want to stop talking to you at night, but you should get more sleep. This way, we can be in each other’s company. “

               His heart turns into goo. His eyes burn. He shouldn’t be getting emotional over this. Harry must thing he said something wrong again, because his eyes are full of panic and he says,” Er, if you want to. We don’t have to go to our rooms, either. The – uh, the common rooms are fine.

               “It sounds lovely, Harry,” Draco interrupts, smiling.

               Harry lets out a breath of relief. “Thank Merlin,” he mumbles. “I thought you were going to slap me. “

               The blond ruffles Harry’s hair. “You’re a dolt for thinking I’d hurt you. I’ll race you to Gryffindor, yeah?”

               Before Harry can respond, Draco snatches the cloak, throwing it over himself as he runs. He’s smiling as he runs, listening to his heavy footsteps on the ground and Harry calling him a git from behind him. He quickly whispers Nox as he approaches the castle.

               When he’s running down the corridor, he realizes he doesn’t hear Harry anymore. He slowly comes to a stop. He listens, but he can’t hear anything. Did he lose him? Did Harry get caught by Filch?

               Before he can worry about it further, he sees Harry flying down the corridor towards him. His eyes widen as Harry comes barreling into him. Draco flies backwards, landing on his back. His cloak flies off of him, and his wand clatters somewhere to his right. He stares at Harry, who is lying on top of him, staring back with a smile and amusement in his eyes.

               “That hurt,” Draco tells him, even though it didn’t.

               Harry leans down and kisses his lips softly. “Did I make it better?” he murmurs against his lips.

               The blond swallows. “I think a few more will do. “

               The Gryffindor grins against his lips. Draco wraps his arms around Harry and rolls them over so Harry is the one who is on his back. Draco grins above him, hands planted on either side of his head. Harry’s hands rest at his waist.

               “Close your eyes,” he whispers, and Harry does.

               He leans down, kissing Harry’s lips softly before pulling back. Then, he smirks down at Harry, who still has his eyes closed. In a split second, he’s running down the corridor again, slipping his wand in his robes and throwing the cloak on. He hears Harry curse and start running after him. He doesn’t stop until he reaches the staircases, glancing behind him to see if Harry is close by. It doesn’t take long for Harry to come stumbling into sight. He smirks when the staircase moves before Harry can walk on.

               He arrives at the Fat Lady before Harry, as he expected. He waits there, standing in front of her with the cloak on. It takes a few minutes for Harry to stride up the steps and stop in front of the Front Lady. Instead of going inside, or simply calling Draco’s name, he starts flailing his arms. He ends up smacking Draco in the face. He groans in pain, and Harry freezes.

               “Draco?” He whispers.

               “Thanks for smacking me in the face, sunshine,” He grumbles.

               “Oh, Godric, sorry,” Harry rushes out, trying to find Draco again with more controlled hands. All he does is pat at the space beside him.

               The blond lifts the cloak and looks at Harry, a brow arched. “I want to see the Gryffindor common room, Harry.”

               Harry’s eyes land on him. He grins.

               “Let me do this first.”

               He steps forward, grabs Draco’s face, and kisses him hard. Draco makes a surprised sound, but doesn’t pull back. He leans in closer to Harry, deepening the kiss. When they pull back, it’s because the Fat Lady clears her throat. Harry has a beautiful blush dusting across his face. Although nobody sees the affect Draco has on Harry other than the Fat Lady, he’s wearing a smug smirk as they walk into the Gryffindor common room.

               This…. is definitely not what he was expecting. He was expecting something loud and expensive, something brag worthy, not a worn, red couch matching several worn chairs and dusty bookshelves. The only thing he did expect was the different shades of red covering the room. It’s… homey. Warm. He could imagine Harry in his Gryffindor scarf sitting by the fire with a cup of tea. Harry fits.

               Draco, however, doesn’t. That doesn’t stop Harry from guiding him to the couch and lighting the fire. The blond hesitantly begins to take off the cloak, only throwing it aside when Harry gives a nod of approval. He sits beside Harry on the couch, tense and gripping his knees tight. It’s strange. It feels like the fire is going to turn into Fiendfyre and lash out at him. Or the scarlet tapestry is going to jump off the wall and strangle him. Or a Weasley is going to stumble into the common room and Avada Kedavra him.

               He inhales sharply when harry throws an arm around his waist and tugs him closer so they’re pressed against each other. He holds his breath, staring at the fire wide-eyed. It’s only when he feels Harry’s lips press a chaste kiss below his ear that he relaxes, dropping his shoulders and letting out a breath. He rests his head on Harry’s shoulder.

               He doesn’t know how long they stay like that until sleep creeps up on him. All he remembers is feeling safe.

 

Chapter Text

When Draco wakes up, he’s alone. He slowly opens his eyes. The first thing he sees is a scarlet curtain. He frowns. He tries to find his wand in his robes, but he’s not wearing them; he isn’t even wearing his jumper. All he is wearing is his white button up shirt with his tie and trousers. He tenses when he hears a voice behind him mumbling,” it’s my fault… please, m’sorry… please…”

               Draco slowly turns around to see Harry beside him, curled up and facing away from him. He leans over his curled up boyfriend and looks at his face. His eyebrows are furrowed, eyes screwed shut, and quiet murmurs are escaping his lips that Draco can’t hear. He pokes Harry’s cheek. That doesn’t do anything. He leans forward and presses kisses against each of Harry’s eyelids. He jerks himself backwards when Harry gasps and a sob tumbles into the air. He stares at his boyfriend with wide eyes as he cries into his pillow. This time, he grabs Harry’s shoulders and shakes him.

               “Harry,” he hisses. “Wake up, or I won’t call you sunshine anymore. “

               Harry sniffles. Draco thinks he may have woken up, but that thought gets crushed when his boyfriend chokes out another sob. His heart wrenches. If he doesn’t wake Harry up soon, he’s going to start crying himself. He gives Harry another hard shake and leans down to his ear, hissing out his name. This does the trick. Except, not as Draco hoped. He starts swinging his arms everywhere. Draco squeezes his eyes shut as the hands start bumping into his face. He manages to grasp onto his hands, holding them tightly as he opens his eyes. Harry is staring at him with lips parted and eyes full of tears. His heart cracks.

               “Draco?” He whispers.

               “Yeah, it’s me, darling,” the blond says, pressing a kiss to Harry’s knuckles.

               Harry closes his eyes, a shuddering breath escaping him that sounds like a corpse of a sob.

               “Oh, sunshine…” Draco murmurs. “You don’t look too sunny right now.”

               “Sorry,” Harry replies, opening his red-rimmed eyes.

               He shakes his head. “Don’t be. Do you want to talk about it?”

               As Draco expected, Harry shakes his head vigorously. He can’t blame his boyfriend; he hates talking about his nightmares, too.

               He’s about to ask if they are in Harry’s bed, and if they are, why didn’t Harry wake him up to change, or walk up here himself, but the questions vanish as soon as they float into his head. He drops Harry’s hands to lay back down. Harry starts to say something, but the words die out when Draco wraps his arms around his torso and pulls him to his chest. He can feel the tension draining from Harry’s body.

               “You aren’t going to shove me away like last time, are you?”

               “I promise I won’t.”

               “Good. “

 

 


 

 

              

              

               The next time Draco wakes up, he’s not hugging Harry to his chest. Instead, Harry is on his back, and he’s wrapped around Harry’s side like koala, their legs tangled together. He doesn’t move, though. He lies there for a moment, eyes closed, his head on Harry’s chest. When he feels Harry’s fingers run through his hair, he grins.

               “Good morning,” he murmurs.

               “G’morning,” Harry replies, his voice raspy.

               “What time is it?”

               “Only half past 6, love.”

               “Did you carry me up here? To your bed?”

               “Maybe.”

               “You should have woken me up.”

               “Wanted you to sleep since you barely get enough. “

               Draco sighs. Harry presses a kiss to his hair.

               “Thank you,” Harry says.

               “For what?”

               “For last night. For comforting me.”

               Draco frowns, remembering Harry’s distress. The incoherent mumbles. The crying.

               “It’s no problem, sunshine,” the blond says, lifting his head to look at Harry.

               His hair is messy, his eyes are bleary, glasses aren’t perched on his nose like usual, and his grin is soft and tired. He places his hands on Draco’s jaw to cup his face, running a thumb over his cheek.

               “You’re incredibly gorgeous, you know that?” Harry murmurs.

               Heat rushes to his face. He looks down, avoiding Harry’s gaze. The red in his cheeks doesn’t last long, though.

               “Harry?” Weasley calls from outside Harry’s curtained bed.

               Draco freezes, all the color draining from his face. He forgot that not only is he in Gryffindor territory, but that Harry shares a room with other Gryffindors. When he glances at Harry, he looks just as panicked as Draco feels.

               “Are you talking to yourself again?” Weasley questions, walking by the bed.

               “Er, no?”

               Draco’s eyes widen. Harry clamps a hand over his mouth before he can start cursing Harry out. To his relief, he hears Weasley laugh and say,” Sure, mate, just be down by 7, yeah? Everyone’s already down there. “

               They listen to Weasley walk out of the room and shut the door before sighing in relief. Harry’s hands drop from Draco’s face to run through his hair. Draco shifts so he’s sitting up with his legs thrown across Harry’s stomach, because they need to talk about how Draco is in the Gryffindor Tower. He’s lying in bed with scarlet curtains. The common room is covered in red and is teeming with Gryffindor gits. How the hell is he going to make it out of here alive?

               “Harry, how am I supposed to leave unnoticed?”

               “The cloak,” Harry says simply.

               The blond blinks. “You – you expect me to get under that and – what if someone bumps into me? Oh, sorry, there’s an invisible mass there!”

               “I’ll protect you, obviously. “

               Draco opens his mouth to vent some more, but he stops. He stares at Harry, his heart fluttering.

               “You’ll protect me?” He asks weakly.

               Harry smiles softly. “Of course. I’ll always protect you.”

               Draco swallows. If he doesn’t turn the direction of this conversation, he’s going to burst into tears. He clears his throat.

               “Tonight, you can come to my room if you’d like.”

               Harry’s eyes light up. “Yeah, I’d love to.”              

               “But,” he says, stabbing a finger into Harry’s chest, “we have to be careful. Do you know what could have happened if Weasley opened the curtain?”

               Harry takes Draco’s hand, intertwining their fingers. “Your funeral?”

               “Yes, Harry, he – stop laughing! I’m being serious here. “

               The Gryffindor smiles at him. “Ron probably would have screamed and ran out of here. “

               Draco arches a brow. “To tell the entire Gryffindor common room, and then they’ll run in here and kill me because they think I gave you a love potion. “

               “Didn’t I tell you that I’ll protect you?”

               The blond rolls his eyes. He’s about to say something, but Harry releases his hand to grab his legs, giving him a threatening look.

               “You are not going to throw me off this bed,” Draco says.

               Harry smirks. “Say you trust me, first. “

               The blond narrows his eyes. “I don’t trust other Gryffindors to kill me when you’re not looking. “

               Harry lifts Draco’s legs up slightly. Draco’s eyes widen, and he grasps onto Harry’s shirt.

               “I’m a Slytherin, Harry, you can’t expect me to give in,” he says, glaring at his boyfriend with no heat in his gaze.

               “I was going to be a Slytherin, Draco, you can’t expect me to give up.”

               Draco pauses. “What?”

               “I was going to be a Slytherin,” Harry says nonchalantly, like they’re talking about the weather. “The Sorting Hat said I was going to go far in Slytherin, but I didn’t want to. “

               He blinks. Fuck. Sure, he's had day dreams about what it would be like if Harry was in Slytherin, but he didn't realize that his day dream was nearly a reality. If Harry was in Slytherin, they could have been friends - well, secret ones, at least. They could have been boyfriends already. They wouldn’t have to do this, sneaking out with Invisibility Cloaks and waking up to Weasley’s voice. They could have been waking up to emerald curtains that matches Harry’s eyes. Oh bloody hell. Harry could be wearing a tie that matches his eyes. He could be wearing a scarf that matches his eyes. He could be wearing robes that matches his eyes. He could be lounging in the common room next to Draco, and Draco would be surrounded by greengreengreen, everything matching Harry and his beautiful eyes.

               “Draco?”

               He inhales sharply. “Right. Hi. “

               Harry looks amused. “Hi. “

               Draco glares at him. “I can’t believe you didn’t let the hat sort you into Slytherin. Your eyes would’ve matched everything you wore. “

               “You’re thinking about what I’d be wearing?”

               He shrugs. “Amongst other things. Like not having to sneak around like this. “

               “Ah, right, I forgot,” Harry says, wiggling his eyebrows as he moves Draco’s legs up slightly.

               Draco crosses his arms. “Go ahead and do it, but I can’t promise that I won’t break up with you.”

               Harry shrugs. He starts tipping Draco’s legs up, and up, and up, and Draco panics and blurts,”Okay, I fucking trust you!”

               The Gryffindor – or almost Slytherin – smirks as he sets Draco’s legs back down, letting them rest on his stomach. Draco swings his legs off the bed and pushes past the curtain, avoiding Harry’s smug face.

               He isn’t expecting another bed to be right in front of him, only a few feet away. He eyes it, and then the rest of the room. He didn’t know the Gryffindor dormitory was so small. It’s like Hogwarts ran out of room for another dormitory, so they just threw everything in this tiny circular room. He looks at the clothes scattering the floors beside the beds, and the trunks that have rubbish thrown on top of them. They’re so messy. Is it that hard to simply fold your clothes and put them away? To put your candy wrappers in the rubbish bin?

               “Merlin’s beard,” he breathes.

               “What?” Harry asks as he climbs to his feet beside Draco.

               “You Gryffindors… “ he shakes his head.

               “S’it better than yours?” Harry asks, smirking.

               “No, it’s bloody not! You have your clothes strewn across the floor, wrappers everywhere – is – is that a Potions books on the floor?”

               Harry shrugs. “It’s not that bad. “

               Draco nearly chokes. “You – fucking hell, love. Do Gryffindors not know how to cast a simple cleaning spell?”

               “I bet yours is just as bad,” he says as he walks to his trunk.

               “I can’t wait for you to see what your missing out on,” Draco says, following his boyfriend. “You should have been sorted into Slytherin. You know we have beanbags in our common room?”

               Harry glances back at Draco. “Really?”

               He smirks. “Indeed. Too bad you decided to be sorted into Gryffindor, with all the –“ he waves a hand around,” mess and smallness. “

               The Gryffindor looks around the room, shrugs, and goes back to his trunk. He throws the Invisibility Cloak on the floor. When he turns around, he has Draco’s robes, jumper, and wand bundled up in his hands.

               “You couldn’t fold them?” Draco asks incredulously, snatching the jumper from Harry’s hand.

               “Didn’t know you were so clean and neat, love,” Harry comments, amused as he watches Draco shakes out the jumper.

               “Harry, there are wrinkles. Do you know what Pansy and Blaise are going to think?” He studies the jumper with a grimace.

               He can just imagine their faces when he sees them. They’re going to take one look at his wrinkly jumper and robes, remember that he wasn’t there this morning, and start prodding at him and teasing him. They’re going to think he fucked his ‘girlfriend’ last night. He groans, hiding his face in his jumper. Harry laughs.

               “It’s not that bad. Go to your room and grab a different jumper. “

               Draco sighs. He pulls the jumper on. “I hate you.”

               Harry smiles at him. Once he has his jumper on, Harry helps him pull on his robes, then hands Draco his wand. It takes every ounce of willpower he has to not clean the Gryffindor dorm. He slips his wand into the inside pocket of his robe, then grabs the cloak off the floor.

               “I’m trusting you to protect me, sunshine,” Draco says as he pulls the cloak on.

               “Touch my arm, okay? Or my back, some part of me,” Harry says, his back to Draco as he takes off his sleep shirt and slips on his button-up shirt.

               Once Harry is dressed and Draco attempts to tame his boyfriend’s wild hair, they make their way to the common room with his hand wrapped around Harry’s wrist. His heart is racing in his throat when they make it down the steps. There are many Gryffindors in here already. He didn’t expect this many. Lounging on the couch, chatting, putting up flyers on the bulletin board. Everyone in Slytherin would be taking showers and getting ready for the day.

               “Harry, mate!” Weasley crows, bounding over to them. “Finally. You’re usually down by now. “

               Harry smiles. “Sorry, slept in a bit.”

                Weasley’s voice drops to a quieter tone as he says,” Are your nightmares getting better? I didn’t hear you scream last night. “

               Draco frowns. Harry screams in his sleep due to nightmares? His boyfriend’s smile dims, and he looks away.

               “I got lucky, I suppose. I better get going. “

               Harry takes a few steps, but Weasley walks with them. “Riiiight, I forgot about your study sessions. “

               “What’s that supposed to mean?”

               “It means that I forgot about your study session,” Weasley states.

               Someone walks past Draco, nearly coming into contact with him. He inhales sharply, grip tightening on Harry’s wrist subconsciously. Harry starts walking faster.

               “I’ve got to go,” Harry rushes out.

               Weasley grins. “Have fun at your study session, mate. “

               They step out, into the nice, fresh air of the castle that isn’t infected by Gryffindors. Except, it’s not empty, and there are a lot of students passing by. Draco presses up against Harry as they escape to a more secluded area, trying to dodge students. They end up stumbling into the closest bathroom. Draco breathes out a sigh of relief as he takes off the cloak after Harry checks to make sure nobody else is in the bathroom with them.

               “I think I died several times,” Draco says, handing the cloak back to Harry.

               Harry grins. “I’ll meet you in the library, yeah?”

               The blond nods, smiling. “Yeah. “

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Blaise catches him as he’s pulling off his robes.

               He managed to sneak into Slytherin without anyone noticing. He managed to sneak into the toilet to brush his teeth and comb through his hair. He managed to slip into his empty, clean dormitory. He managed to open his trunk and begin to slide an arm out of his robe. It’s as he’s sliding his other arm out that Blaise walks in. As soon as he hears the door swing shut, he closes his eyes, accepting defeat. He takes off his robes, letting them fall to the floor before turning around to meet Blaise’s gaze.

               “Hey,” he greets.

               His eyes trail down to Draco’s jumper. He purses his lips. The blond whips around and takes off his wrinkly jumper.

               “Pansy would have tackled you if she saw your jumper. “

               Draco tugs a clean jumper on. “That’s why I’m changing. “

               “You used protection, yeah?”

               The blond slams his trunk shut. “None of your business. “

               When he turns around to scowl at Blaise, he’s leaning against the wall with an amused smirk.

               “Shut up,” he sneers, grabbing his wand off the bed. “Nothing happened. “

               Blaise’s smirk grows. “Tell that to your wrinkly jumper. “

               Draco continues to glare at him as he walks past. He swings open the door and hurries down the steps into the common room. There’s plenty of people, but not as many people as in the Gryffindor common room. Draco strides across the room, rushing to the exit.

               “Make sure to throw away the condom wrapper!” Blaise shouts as he steps out of the common room.

               He flips Blaise the middle finger before he steps into the corridor and heads to the library.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “Draco had an eventful night,” Blaise comments, plopping down beside him in the common room half an hour after breakfast.

               Draco leans away from him and continues staring at his book, acting as if he’s still reading. Pansy sits down on the other side of him.

               “Did you?” Pansy questions.

               Draco rolls his eyes, “I didn’t – “

               “Blaise tells me your jumper was all wrinkled,” Pansy cuts in. “I wonder how that could have happened.”

               Draco rubs a hand over his face. Of course Blaise told Pansy.

               “Listen, I’m not going to get anyone pregnant. “

               Blaise laughs. “I’m sure you’re not,” he says.

               Something in his tone, in the amusement flickering in his eyes tells Draco that he knows. He knows it’s not a girl. He probably doesn’t know it’s Harry, but he knows that it’s a bloke. Draco swallows.

               He’s not sure what Blaise is going to think about him being attracted to boys.

               Men, Harry corrects in his mind.

               Blaise hasn’t talked about it. None of them have. They don’t gossip about Dean and Seamus, or the Auror that came out as gay last week. They don’t discuss those matters. Not because any of them grow uncomfortable, just because Pansy doesn’t mention it, Blaise doesn’t mention it, and Draco is too scared to mention it. What if they act badly not because they are homophobic, but because it’s not a normal thing with purebloods? Purebloods want to extend their family tree, and that isn’t possible with homosexuals. He’s never heard of a pureblood being gay before. What if they start guilt-tripping him for being with a man and not being able to have a child? Or, what if they are homophobic and refuse to be friends anymore? Pansy and Blaise are his only friends, and he doesn’t want to lose them.

               “We didn’t have sex,” he admits, glancing at Pansy. She doesn’t look angry or upset, just interested. “We – we did stuff,” he lies,” but not that. Nobody is at the risk of getting pregnant yet. “

               Blaise snorts. Draco ignores him. Pansy smirks.

               “Was she good?” She purrs.

               “I – I’m not going to kiss and tell!”

               Pansy throws her head back and laughs while Draco glares at her.

               “I’m sure we’ll get it out of you eventually,” Blaise says.

               He’s looking at Draco with a smirk like Pansy’s, but to Draco, it’s definitely not like Pansy’s. Pansy was teasing him. Blaise is telling Draco that he knows, and that he’s going to get Draco to confess eventually.

               “Sod off,” he hisses, leaning back and peering back into his book. “You’re interrupting my precious reading time. “

              

 

 


 

 

 

 

               “Are you ready to see what you missed out on?” Draco asks as they make their way to the dungeons.

               “I’m ready to see these beanbags you have been talking about.”

               Once they reach the entrance of the Slytherin common room, Harry puts on the cloak. Draco murmurs the password, not caring if Harry hears. The wall opens up into an archway, allowing the two to walk into the common room. Once the entrance shuts and Draco looks around to make sure nobody is in the common room, Harry takes off the cloak. He studies the room.

               “Hasn’t changed too much,” he says mostly to himself.

               Draco’s eyebrows furrow. “You’ve been in here before?”

               Harry laughs nervously. “Er, maybe. “

               The blond rolls his eyes. “What did I expect from you? You probably that we were hiding the Dark Lord in here or summat. “           

               His boyfriend laughs again, this time with relief. “Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. Merlin, was that the Giant Squid?”

               Draco follows where he’s looking. It’s at the window, which shows the depths of the Great Lake. The squid is already gone.

               “Probably. “

               Draco takes Harry’s hand and leads them to the beanbags, which are right by the fireplace. Harry smiles brightly and falls backwards onto a beanbag. Draco watches him with a grin as he rolls around on the beanbags.

               “You’re having way too much fun. “

               “Why do you lot get beanbags and we don’t?”

               Because McGonagall pities us, he doesn’t say.

               “Because we’re better,” he says instead. “Now, are you quite finished? I’d like to sleep in my bed and not in the common room. “

               “You’re nice and neat headquarters with your nice and neat bed?” Harry questions with a smirk, like he doesn’t believe Draco’s room is neat.

               “Yes. “ Draco holds out a hand for Harry to take. Harry grabs hold of it, and Draco pulls him up. Their hands stay connected as they walk up the stairs to the boy’s dormitory. He stops at the door, glancing at Harry. He’s trying to put the cloak on one-handed. Draco releases his hand so Harry can pull it on. He opens the door, peeking inside. This is risky, especially when Blaise 1, knows he’s dating a bloke, and 2, shares a room with him. He studies each bed. All of the curtains are closed around the beds, and no voices or light seems to be coming from any of them. He takes his wand out, casting a  Muffliato for him and Harry, and then opens the door wide enough for Harry to step inside. He hears Harry take a sharp inhale.

               “Godric, you Slytherins are neat freaks,” Harry murmurs. “And the room is bigger. “

               Unlike the Gryffindor dormitory, the Slytherin dorms aren’t circular. They are squarely shaped and fairly big, with plenty of space between the beds, unlike the Gryffindors. He starts walking past the other beds towards his, hoping that his boyfriend is following him. He opens his trunk quietly, pulling out two sleep shirts and two pairs of joggers. He throws one shirt and one pair of joggers behind him, hoping that Harry catches them. Luckily, he does, because Draco doesn’t hear the clothes drop to the floor. He quickly changes out of his outfit and into his pajamas, hoping Harry isn’t creepily watching him. Once he has changed, he climbs into bed, under the covers, and waits for Harry. His boyfriend pulls back the curtain a minute later, looking timid. Draco grins and pats at the space beside him. Harry’s eyes drag down to the bed, and they widen.

               “Bloody hell, your bed is way bigger than mine,” Harry murmurs as he climbs under the covers.

               “You’re missing out, sunshine,” Draco says, throwing an arm over Harry’s middle and tugging him closer. “All because you wanted to be in Gryffindor. “

               “Has your dorm always been this big?” Harry asks.

               “Yes. At one point, we had a water fountain in the middle, but it somehow got out and the Ravenclaws started complaining. “

               “I didn’t hear about this. “

               “It was during the Triwizard Tournaments. Ravenclaws just wanted to get cross with us and let out their frustration over the fact that you outsmarted them and got your name in the Goblet of Fire. “

               Harry frowns. “I didn’t do it. “

               “They thought you did. “

               “They’re daft. “

               “Calling the Ravenclaws daft. Aren’t you a rebel?”

               “S’why we’re perfect for each other. “

               Draco smiles. Harry’s fingertip dances across his arm idly. He doesn’t pay attention at first, but when he does, he realizes that he’s spelling out Draco’s name.

               “Spell out a word and I’ll try to guess it,” Draco suggests.

               Harry starts near his elbow, lightly drawing a horizontal line, then a vertical one in the middle of his arm, then another horizontal line, then another horizontal line, then a dot.

               “Hi? That’s the best you can come up with?”

               “Shut up,” Harry huffs, but Draco can hear the smile in his voice.

               “I thought you were going to spell out my name again, or Slytherin sucks, but all you do is spell out hi. “

               “You’re hurting my feelings.”

               “You’re hurting mine by spelling out a simple, two-worded greeting. “

               Harry laughs quietly, running his hand down Draco’s arm until it meets his hand. He takes Draco’s hand, intertwining their fingers. Draco shuts his eyes.

               Several minutes of silence pass. The blond’s slowly drifting off into a half-sleep half-awake state. His head is resting on Harry’s chest, the same position as when he woke up. This time, though, their hands are connected. He thinks about Harry, and how life would be if he was a Slytherin and the Dark Lord was after a different person, not Harry. Cheering at Quidditch matches with each other. Pranking other Slytherins. Partnering up in Potions. Talking shit about other houses. Sneaking into each other’s bed. Wearing each others’ robes and having the feeling of being near each other even when they’re apart.

               “Draco?” Harry whispers.

               Draco is pulled out of his Slytherin Harry thoughts. He’s not awake enough to reply, so he doesn’t. Harry sighs.

               “I don’t know how I’m going to manage when you leave,” Harry whispers, a hand running through Draco’s hair. “I hope we can hold onto what we have, because… I don’t want to throw it all away. I don’t want you to leave and forget about me. “

               Draco’s heart twists. He squeezes his eyes shut. Fortunately, Harry doesn’t say anything else, letting the Slytherin repeat those words over and over in his head.

               I’m leaving Hogwarts, not you, he wants to say. Never. I’m sticking to you for as long as you let me, even if that means we can only talk through letters. And honestly, I don’t think I could ever forget about you, even if I tried. I’m holding onto you for as long as possible.

              

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Harry leaves before the sun comes up. Draco wakes up and shakes Harry awake, telling him he should leave if he doesn’t want to risk getting caught. After several minutes of Harry trying to convince Draco let him stay, he gives in and leaves. He kisses Draco on the forehead before he leaves, and tells him that he’s keeping Draco’s sleepwear. The blond lets him.

               In the morning, Blaise doesn’t say anything. He shoots him a look before he leaves to the library, but that’s all, fortunately.

               As the day goes by, Blaise continues to glance at him. It bothers him, especially when he notices Blaise staring at him after Harry makes him laugh during class. He’s sure that if Draco keeps up his and Harry’s act of sneaking glances at each other and trying to get the other to laugh, Blaise is going to figure it out.

               At lunch, he sits in the Great Hall with his friends, drinking tea. Blaise says something about how he hates liars, especially after everything that’s happened, and Draco’s grip tightens on his cup.

               “Is this about me liking coffee instead of tea?” Draco snaps.

               Blaise looks at him, unbothered. “What are you talking about?”

               “Are you cross because I’m not like you and Pansy? Because I prefer coffee?” Draco bites.

               Blaise arches a brow. “I think you’re assuming things. “

               Draco slams his cup down. “Why do you care? Do you not like people like us?”

               He can feel Pansy’s confusion. He ignores it to scowl at Blaise.

               “Draco,” he says slowly, like Draco’s insane,” I don’t bloody care if you like coffee or tea. Pansy doesn’t, either. “

               “Yeah,” Pansy chimes, looking at Draco with furrowed eyebrows. “Tea and coffee are lovely. But if you don’t like tea, why are you drinking it now?”

               “I think he’s having a breakdown,” Blaise says, raising his cup to his lips.

               Draco glares at Blaise while Pansy throws an arm over his shoulders and pulls him against her.

               “Poor Draco,” she coos.

               Draco continues glaring at Blaise, but he ignores it.

 

 

 


 

 

 

              

               “I don’t know,” Draco whispers to Harry that night, lying in Harry’s small bed. “I think he’s going to try and torture it out of me, to be quite honest. Does anyone other than Granger know about your bisexuality?”

               “Nah, only Hermione knows. I know Ron is going to be okay with it, but... I’m afraid it’s going to change things. I don’t want him to get uncomfortable around me. “

               “If he does anything, tell me. “

               “Draco, I don’t want you to hurt my friends. “

               “I won’t hurt him. I’ll do something passive aggressive, like pour honey all over his bed and trunk and cast a spell so he can’t use magic to clean it up. Or I’ll brew a potion that makes all food taste like cardboard to him.”

               “That’s some strong passive-aggressiveness. More of a slightly aggressive prank. “

               “Tell me and I’ll do it. I’ll have Pansy and Blaise help, they’d be ecstatic. “

               “I’m sure they would be. I’ll let you know if Ron acts like a bastard. Tell me if anyone acts different with you as well, love. “

               “I will. I can torture Ron while you can torture whoever is treating me badly. Aren’t we amazing boyfriends? Threatening to do slightly aggressive pranks, as you called it, towards people who treat the other badly?”

               Harry laughs. “We’re the best couple in Hogwarts. “

               “See, Harry, we didn’t have to have gross pet names, all we had to do was threaten people!”

               “’Cept I’m not exactly great at being passive aggressive, or even with slightly aggressive pranks.”

               “What? Sure you are.”

               “Remember Smith? Wasn’t exactly passive aggressive with him. “

               Draco gasps. “Bloody hell, I knew it! Where’d you learn the Dementor spell?”

               “Hermione.”

               “Oh, obviously. Fuck, he was such a prat.”

               “Er, it wasn’t the only time.”

               “…really?”

               “Yeah. After you were Crucio’d in the library.”

               He pauses. “Is that why he doesn’t attend Hogwarts anymore?”

               “Merlin, Draco, I didn’t kill him. “

               “What’d you do, then?”

               “Enough. “

               “You aren’t going to tell me, your lovely, beautiful boyfriend?”

               “Don’t really want to.”

               “I’ll ask Blaise if you don’t tell me; he seemed like he knew back in the infirmary.”

               Harry sighs. “It was just a spell or two. “

               “Wait, that’s why you were in the hospital ward with me! Because you got into a fight! Oh, you fought over me? Sunshine…”

               “Not – not necessarily. He was hurting you. I was, naturally, furious. After I checked on you, I went and… “

               Draco pokes Harry’s stomach. “And?”

               “It’s… quite illegal.”

               “You killed him, didn’t you?”

               “No, Draco, I didn’t kill him. I made his head grow a few sizes to match his metaphorical big head, he hit me with a Stinging Hex then an Imperius, which I dodged, and since he already attempted to Imperio me, a rather harsh self-defense spell seemed appropriate. “

               “And?”

               “I did the same thing he did to you. “

               “Harry,” Draco breathes. “Salazar Slytherin, that’s a bit dark. You used an Unforgivable for me.”

               “It – it was kind of done on impulse. “

               “Don’t be guilty. He did it to me first. “

               “I’m not. I’m glad I did it. “

               “Good. “

               “S’it a bit strange we’re agreeing that using Cruciatus and not feeling guilty about it is a good thing?”

               “Depends on the circumstance. In this one, it’s not. “

               Another bed in the room creaks. The couple freezes. Blankets ruffle around. There’s a pause of silence. Harry casts a quiet Muffliato.

               “Tell me something,” Draco says, settling back into his warm, comfortable state. “Anything about you. “

               “Something dark, since we’re already on the subject?”

               “Sure.”

               “Um. I – my parents are dead.”

               “Wow, didn’t know that,” he drawls.

               Harry grins fondly. “Hush, Draco. I lived with muggles up until I came here. They weren’t… they weren’t the best people.”

               The air shifts. It’s heavy, now, heavier than before.

               “I was different, and they were afraid. Didn’t even have my own room for the longest time. Lived in a cupboard beneath the stairs. The only friends I had were the ones who constructed webs while I slept. I… I think I was abused. Not in a physical way, but – emotional. I was neglected.”

               “That definitely qualifies as mental abuse, sunshine.”

               Harry swallows. “I’ve never talked about this before. I trust you.”

               “Yeah? I trust you, too, Harry. So much.”

               “It’s your turn. Tell me something.”

               “Sure. I’m not going too dark, though. “

               “S’fine. You could even tell me your favorite animal and I’d be satisfied.”

               Draco hesitates. Swallows. “I’ll go with the first time I experienced the Cruciatus curse. I don’t remember where it was at, or when, but I remember the Dark Lord staring down at me with his wand in hand. Everyone was watching me. I was in a chair, in front of everyone. They wanted to make sure I was loyal.”

               He pauses to take a deep, shaky breath. “I had to say that I was loyal to him, basically. Over and over while he Crucio’d me. It hurt. It was bad. I fell out of the chair and onto the floor. Each time he stopped, he asked who I was loyal to. Eventually, he didn’t have to ask. That was the first time. Not the most memorable time, nor the most difficult, but the first.”

               Harry exhales, long and heavy. “Fuck. I thought you said it wasn’t going to be too dark.”

               “It’s not, compared to the other stuff.”

               “Bloody hell, Draco.”

               “Hey, I’m okay now. I’m a little damaged, but you’ll protect me from being completely broken.”

               “Of fucking course I’ll protect you, always.”

               “Even if we have a spat?”

               “Don’t you know what always means?”

               “Just making sure. “

               “I think we’ve finished with our dark conversation, yeah? Can we talk about rainbows and baby animals, now?”

               Draco grins and rolls his eyes. “Go ahead, talk me to sleep. “

               Harry ends up falling asleep first, but Draco doesn’t mind.

              

 

Chapter Text

They’re sitting on Harry’s bed, facing each other with legs crossed. In the space between them are two separate piles of toffee, 10 in each pile. From the end of the bed, Draco rubs his hands together and smirks.

               “I’m going to win,” he says, “and you’ll have to walk out wearing my lovely green and silver scarf all day.”

               “Or, “ Harry says,” you’ll walk out wearing a dashing red and yellow scarf; can’t wait to see your friends’ faces. “

               Thursday evening didn’t start out like this. It started with heading up here early, before dinner was over. They sat on Harry’s bed for a while until Draco asked if he had any candy from Honeydukes, because he’d been craving toffee all day, and the next Hogsmeade is next weekend, too far away for him to wait. Harry didn’t have any, so he went over to Weasley’s trunk and snooped around for a jar of toffee. They ate a few, but of course, they had to make a competition out of it: whoever unwraps and eats all of their toffee first wins. Harry had asked what the winner gets. Draco thought for a while until he came across the lovely image of Harry walking into the Great Hall for breakfast wearing his green and silver scarf. The looks on those precious Gryffindor faces would be hysterical. Hell, everyone’s faces would be, finding out their little golden boy is in cahoots with a Slytherin. He suggested wearing each others scarves to his boyfriend, who smiled big and immediately agreed.

               Here they are, preparing to find out who will wear the scarf.

               Draco doesn't mind if he ends up wearing the Gryffindor scarf. Pansy and Blaise already know he’s dating a Gryffindor, and the looks on everyone’s faces will still be hilarious. It’s more about winning and being about to tease Harry senseless about it.

               But, there is anxiety lingering in the air. Doing something so open. Draco is the one who wanted to keep their relationship a secret, but they’re both nervous deep down. Scared of someone figuring it out and outing them.

               It’s only a small anxiety, though. It’s just a scarf.

               In the end, neither of them end up winning. Half way through, Draco starts pelting toffee at Harry, and Harry throws them right back. Somehow, Draco ends up on the floor with toffee surrounding him.

               Later that night, when the couple are already half asleep, Weasley comes up. They both are awaken by his shout.

               “Harry! Why is there an empty toffee container on my bed!?”

               Harry slips out of bed to excuse himself to Weasley. Draco tries not to laugh.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Time goes on. Blaise stops prodding Draco for answers, but every time his girlfriend is brought up, he shoots Draco a knowing look. Him and Harry spend time in places other than the dorms and the library and become more open with their relationship. On Saturday, they went to the first Quidditch match together, and on Sunday, they had a Quidditch match with just 8th years and had a picnic by the Great Lake together. Well. Not exactly. More of a our-group-of-friends-sat-near-your-group-of-friends,- close-enough-that-we-could-constantly-glance-at-each-other-and-I-could-see-the-stars-in-your-eyes on Saturday. And more of a I-watched-you-creepily-from-the-window-while-you-played-Quidditch-with-your-Gryffindor-friends. Their picnic by the Great Lake was just that, though – sitting beside each other by the Great Lake while eating food. Except, it was during dinner when everyone was at the Great Hall.

               It all goes to shit the following Wednesday.

               The day is a relatively good day; any day he gets to see Harry is a good day. Except, Draco is feeling slightly down. There isn’t a reason, just one of those days where his depression is hanging heavy over him, bearing down on his shoulders. Harry senses it immediately and asks what’s wrong the second he enters the library. He tells his boyfriend it’s one of those days, and asks if he could just listen to whatever Harry has to say. Harry seems to understand. He talks, and Draco listens.

               Classes drag by. Harry sends him smiles and hands him toffee in Transfiguration, and again in the corridor, and again at dinner. When Draco asks where he got all this toffee, he grinned and said he found a ton under his bed from their competition. That brings a smile to Draco’s face.

               Instead of heading back to the Gryffindor dormitory later that night, they wander the castle. At one point, Filch nearly catches them, but Harry pulls them into an alcove behind a tapestry. They sit there, waiting for Filch to leave. When he does, Draco asks how the hell he knows about this, and Harry smirks and brings out a map from inside his robes. He tells him it’s called the Marauder’s Map, and that it’s a map of the entirety of Hogwarts. But it’s not just a map – it shows where every person at Hogwarts is at all times. Draco looks down at their names, sitting beside each other on the map. For some reason, seeing their two names together makes his heart flutter.

               They’re standing outside the Fat Lady’s portrait by 11. She takes a look at Draco and sighs exaggeratedly. A few days ago they came here late like this, deciding to go out and star gaze like before, and Harry didn’t bring the cloak. When Draco came up and Harry said the password with no hesitation, the portrait gasped and started ranting about Draco. Eventually, they had to tell her that they’re friends now. She doesn’t go on long rants about how she hates Slytherins, but she does give him shit when he appears.

               “Pax,” Harry states.

               “It changed,” she huffs, glaring at Draco.

               “It hasn’t. Pax. “

               “Let us in,” Draco sneers,” or I’ll cut your portrait up, except this time, you won’t be able to be put back together.”

               The Fat Lady looks at Harry pointedly. “That’s why that is not the password anymore. “

               Harry sighs. “We’ll just go to the dungeons, then. “

               They start to turn, but before they could take a step, she’s saying quickly,” Don’t go!”

               They turn around. Draco arches a brow.

               “Slytherin dungeons are no place for you, Harry,” she states, glaring at Draco.

               The Slytherin rolls his eyes. Before either student can reply, she’s swinging her portrait open and allowing them to step inside. Harry takes Draco’s hand as they step inside. Instead of heading up to his dorm, they head to the armchair. Harry sits down and pulls Draco on top of him. The blond sinks into his boyfriend like butter, leaning his head against Harry’s. He murmurs an incantation, and the fireplace roars to life. Harry wraps his arms around Draco’s middle.

               “You’re adorable,” the Gryffindor says.

               “You mean dangerously sexy; Slytherins cannot be adorable.”

               “Then how are you so bloody adorable?”

               Draco squirms, trying to stand up, but Harry’s arms hold him down. It doesn’t take long for him to huff out a breath and sink back into Harry.

               “Not adorable,” he grumbles.

               “You are. “

               “I’m going to bloody hex you.”

               “Awh, that’s so adorable,” Harry drawls.

               Draco turns his head to glare at his grinning boyfriend. Harry just smiles wider and reaches up to pinch Draco’s cheek. He swats the hand away.

               “Why am I with you?”

               Harry tightens his hold on Draco’s middle. The Slytherin leans back, letting his head hit the back of the chair.

               “Because I’m absolutely irresistible. I’m a proper supermodel. “

               Draco furrows his eyebrows. He leans his head against Harry’s again. “What’s a supermodel?”

               “A muggle thing. I assure you that it’s a good thing. “

               “Huh. Tell me more muggle things. “

               Draco rests his hands over Harry’s. Harry hums.

               “They have kitchens where they have to make food on their own. Toasters and microwaves and refrigerators. “

               He blinks at the wall. He didn’t understand any of what Harry said. He’s going to live with muggles in less than a month and he doesn’t even know what’s in a muggle kitchen.

               “I’m going to get myself fucking killed,” he groans.

               “You’ll be fine, love,” Harry reassures, his thumb brushing over the back of Draco’s hand.

               “I don’t even know what a – a toaster is. “

               “It’s a machine with slots that you put bread into to toast the bread. “

               Draco frowns, trying to imagine it. “A whole loaf of bread?”

               A burst of laughter escapes Harry. “No, not an entire loaf of bread, Draco.”

               “And a microwave?”

               “It’s a box with a door that you put food in to heat it up. “

               “…being a muggle has a lot of unnecessary things. “

               “It’s not unnecessary for them, they don’t have magic. “

               “Yeah, I guess not. “

               Draco stares at the fire flickering in the fireplace. He knows next to nothing about the muggle world, yet he’s escaping to it in less than a month. He takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly.

               “I’m going to miss you,” he says quietly.

               “I’m going to miss you, too,” his boyfriend replies, just as quiet.

               They stay like that for a long while. Relaxing in each others presence. Savoring it. Bathing in the other’s warmth. Draco has his eyes closed. Harry’s arms have relaxed around him. It’s quiet, and the fire is crackling. It’s nice.

               Until Draco hears footsteps. His eyes fly open. Beneath him, Harry tenses. Draco’s holding his breath as he looks towards the dormitory stairs. His eyes meet brown ones. She stands there, slowly stepping closer to the couple like they’re a pair of rabid wolves about to attack.

               “Malfoy?” She says quietly, eyes wide when they find Harry. “Harry?”

               Draco swallows thickly. He needs to move. Jump off of Harry, run to the door, escape, go back to his dormitory and hope that the entire school won’t know tomorrow. But he can’t. He’s frozen, staring at Granger in her sleep clothes, who is staring at his boyfriend.

               “Hermione,” Harry breathes.

               His heart is racing in his chest. He pries his trembling hands off of Harry’s. Slowly, watching Granger to make sure she doesn’t reach for her wand, he gets off of Harry and to his feet. Harry stands beside him, close enough that if Draco shifts his weight to one foot, their shoulders would touch. He doesn’t, though, not when Granger is staring at the two of them like they’re insane.

               “What is – “ she starts, but the words die out.

               Draco inhales sharply, eyes widening when Harry wraps an arm around his waist and pulls him closer. He’s pressed up against Harry’s side, the grip on his waist tight. Granger’s eyes dart to the hand placed on his waist to the way Draco is pressed against Harry’s side, then to their faces, flickering back and forth between Harry and Draco.

               “We’re boyfriends,” Draco blurts, his voice weak and cracking at the end.

               Granger gapes. She blinks at Harry. Harry bites his lip and nods, adding,” Secretly. Nobody knows. “

               “Except for me,” she states,” I know now. “

               “Yes, you do,” Harry replies.

               She stares at them a moment longer before she rubs her eyes, like if she rubs hard enough she’ll look up and they won’t be there. When she looks up, they’re still there. She huffs out a humorless laugh and looks at the ceiling.

               “You decide you fancy him now,” she says, shaking her head. When she looks back at them, she demands more than asks,” Harry, can I speak to you in private?”

               Harry glances at Draco with a questioning gaze. The blond nods immediately. He doesn’t want to ruin any friendships, he just wants to be happy, and Harry makes him happy. Harry’s arm drops from his waist, and Draco takes a step away. He feels cold, now. Vulnerable. Exposed. Harry presses a kiss against his temple and whispers,” Go to my dormitory, love. “

               Draco does. He eyes Granger with a hard gaze as he walks past, daring her to do anything to him. She looks back at him with her lips pressed together. He pulls open the door to the boys dorm and closes it. He walks up enough steps for them to be satisfied if they’re listening to him to make sure he’s gone. Instead of going all the way up, he quietly steps back down and sits on the third stair, listening.

               “Harry,” she says calmly,” I thought you and Malfoy were just friends. “

               “We were,” Harry replies, just as calmly,” until we weren’t. “

               Granger sighs. “What are you doing, Harry?”

               “I’m dating Draco,” he says simply.

               “Have you forgotten the things he has done? Have you forgotten about the mark on his arm?”

               Draco swallows thickly. He subconsciously itches his left forearm.

               “You think he chose to become a Death Eater?” Harry snaps.

               The blond digs his nails into his forearm. He should go to Harry’s dorm like he told him to do. Bring the blankets over his head and block everything out. But he stays, wanting to hear what Granger has to say.

               Granger replies, but her voice is too low and quiet for Draco to hear it. Cautiously, he makes his way down the remaining steps and presses his ear against the door.

               “Yeah, he was going to put his parents in danger and join our side, that’s reasonable,” Harry bites out sarcastically.

               “I – I understand that may be far-fetched, but you can’t forget the things he has done. He nearly killed Katie Bell and Ron, tried to kill Dumbledore – “

               “Do you not understand that Voldemort was watching his every move?” Harry asks, his voice growing louder, harder.

               Draco winces at the name, squeezing his eyes shut. He quickly opens them after seeing the wicked smile printed on his eyelids.   

               “He made bloody buttons to irritate you! Tell me Voldemort made him do that!” Granger shrills.

               “And I nearly fucking killed him in the toilet!” Harry yells. “If it wasn’t for Snape, he would have bled to death. He made annoying buttons, and I almost killed him. “

               He hears a thump from the boy’s dormitory. He has a feeling that if his boyfriend and Granger keep up the loud fighting, they’re going to be eavesdropping like Draco.

               “Are you joking? He’s a Death Eater, Harry! I bet he has actually killed people. I bet he has tortured people. “

               “He didn’t have a bloody choice. “

               Granger sighs again. “You know what? Go ahead and forgive him. Ignore that Dark Mark on his arm, yeah? Ignore his status as a Death Eater. But the public isn’t going to ignore the facts. They aren’t going to be sympathetic because he has an attractive face and nice eyes. They’re going to rip into you like they do the entire Slytherin house. They’re going to treat you like a Slytherin, Harry, not like the hero you are. “

               Draco stares at the wall, eyes wide and throat closing up. He didn’t think about that. He didn’t think about what people will say when they come out with their relationship. He didn’t think that Harry’s reputation will be on the line.

               “And? I’m bloody happy with Draco, they can go screw themselves. “

               “You’re not going to be thinking that when you come out. You’re going to receive Howlers and hate mail, and he’s going to receive more shit than he already has. “

               His blood has gone cold. If this was Weasley and he fought Harry about how he’s a disgusting Death Eater and he’s no good for Harry, he would have been fine. A little hurt, sure, but he doesn’t like Weasley and doesn’t care about what he has to say. It’s Granger. She’s the intelligent one. She wouldn’t do this to hurt Harry or Draco, she’s saying this because it’s the facts. It’s all true. Harry’s going to receive backlash, and a lot of it.

               “What? Why?”

               “Ever since school started, people have been throwing themselves on you. They’re going to be bloody mad with jealousy.”

               “We’ll ignore it. That simple. I can live like a Slytherin, I’ll be fine. “

               Draco’s heart twists. He doesn’t want Harry to burn newspapers because of the articles slandering him. He doesn’t want people to glare at Harry, treat him like a big bad Slytherin, because he isn’t. He’s golden. He has warm eyes, a bright smile, and the sun beneath his skin.

               “Harry,” Granger says, exasperated,” it’s going to be fucking bad. Can you imagine what the Prophet is going to say?”

               Tears burn in his eyes. He can picture it. Boy who defeated Voldemort now dating one of his followers.

               And he’s going to leave. Draco is going to leave soon, and that means that Harry has to take it by himself. He’ll have to deal with everything without Draco comforting him. Draco has dealt with this, he’s used all the hatred. Harry, however…

               “I’ve dealt with the Prophet before – “

               Granger cuts him off, and there’s creaking upstairs, but Draco isn’t listening. He’s so stupid. Harry’s the sliver of hope everyone stores inside themselves, imagine what it would be like finding out their hope has become a traitor. Dating a fucking Death Eater. How could he ever forget that he’s the villain of this story, and Harry’s the hero with angel wings and a halo that everyone puts on a pedestal? What is he thinking?

               “Hermione – “

               “Don’t deny it, Harry. He’s going to ruin your reputation because the public are smart enough to know that people don’t change.

               A sob itches behind the lump in his throat. He feels hollow except for the sad realization settling into his skin and wrapping around his stomach like a snake. It squeezes his stomach, his lungs, constricting his breath. He lets out a breathless sob. Before he can realize what he’s doing, his hand is banging the door open. The blurry red common room meets his eyes. He takes long strides to the exit, hurriedly stepping out of the common room. He takes off down the stairs, nearly tripping over his own feet.

               When he hears Harry behind him, yelling his name, he runs faster. As he yells Draco’s name again, he hopes Filch will catch Harry so he doesn’t catch up to Draco. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for him to lose his boyfriend. He steps onto a staircase, and right before Harry can step on, it moves. He glances over his shoulder. He sees a blurry Harry standing there, shoulders caved in and chest heaving. He looks back and continues running.

              

               He ends up stumbling into the Room of Requirement. He didn’t think of anything deliberately, but he still knows what he’s going to find before he steps inside. He stands there in the doorway, staring with teary eyes at the piles and towers of burnt rubbish. Most of the towers have fallen and have turned into mounds. Some of them still stand proudly. A tear slips down his cheek as he walks into the room. The door slams shut behind him.

               He trudges through the burnt remains, eyeing all the objects with a blurry vision and wet cheeks. He thinks of Crabbe falling. Harry’s hand grabbing his. Granger’s loud voice, reminding Draco of what he’s forgotten. He pulls up his sleeve and stares at his Dark Mark. It’s white. It’s barely noticeable. It’s practically a scar. But it’s there. It’s there as evidence, showing him that he will never be worth anything. He has tortured people. He has nearly killed people. He was on the different side of the war. He was under the Dark Lord’s wing. Fuck, he calls him the Dark Lord. Pansy doesn’t, Blaise doesn’t, nobody does, not anymore. All except him. Maybe he isn’t scared of the Dark Lord like he thinks. Maybe, deep down, he’s still loyal to him.

               Draco’s stomach twists. He falls to his knees, a sob ripping out of his chest. Bloody hell. What if he’s still loyal to him? What if deep down, in his subconscious, he’s still fucking loyal to the Dark Lord? Maybe that’s why he’s obsessed with Harry. That’s why he’s completely, utterly infatuated.

               The Slytherin stands up and marches to a have burnt table. He kicks it, over and over and over, sobs spilling from his lips. He rips one of the legs off the table and throws it as far away as possible. He kicks it again, but he’s crying too hard to do any more damage. He collapses again, exhaustion bearing down on him like an anchor. From the corner of his eye, he spots a book. He reaches over and grabs it, gritting his teeth as he rips each page out one by one. Once the pages are all torn out, littered around him like confetti, he chucks the skeleton of the book. He stares at it as it falls, hitting the floor beside the table leg.

               Just like how I should have fell, he thinks bitterly, from Harry’s sodding broom.

               He hugs his knees to his chest and screams as loud as he can, the sound bouncing off the walls of the room and spilling to the floor. As the cloth covering his knees grow wet with tears, he wonders how the fuck he got wrapped up in Harry without remembering how disgusting he is, too disgusting to ever possibly have a happy ending.  

 

              

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

               “My love, what happened?” Pansy asks the next morning when he falls onto the couch in the common room. She touches his cheek gently. “You look terrible. “

               He huffs out a bitter laugh.

               She frowns, eyebrows stitching together. “What happened?”

               He shakes his head, closing his eyes. He can see Harry and Granger, the fire, the broom, the headlines.

               “Is it something to do with Potter?” She asks softly.

               He tenses. She sighs.

               “Want me to keep him away from you, my love?”

               He nods.

               “Want me to hex him?”

               He shakes his head. No hurting Harry.

               “Okay. No hexing, I guess. “ She runs her fingers through his hair. “Want to go down to breakfast early? Or do you want to stay here?”

                Draco doesn’t want to do anything. He wants to slip back into bed and hide beneath his blankets. Class can go fuck itself, he’s leaving soon anyway.

               Except, he doesn’t want to worry Pansy. She worries too much as it is.

               “We can go to breakfast,” he says, his voice hoarse from crying. He spent the entire night in the Room of Requirement.

               “I can read to you after, yeah?” She offers. “Or I can help sneak you off to spend time with your girlfriend. “

               He swallows, immediately shaking his head.

               “Okay, okay, or not,” she quickly soothes. “Just me and you, then. Maybe Blaise. Probably Blaise; I’ll force him to ditch with us. “

               Blaise doesn’t need any convincing. As soon as Pansy offers and he catches sight of Draco, he agrees. They go to breakfast, and they try to cheer him up. Draco doesn’t have to look up to know that Harry is here, sitting at his table directly across from where Draco is sitting. He doesn’t have to look up to know that Harry is trying to catch his gaze. He doesn’t have to look up to know that their table is full of tension between Harry and Granger while the others are simply curious about what’s going on between the two Gryffindors.

               They spend the day hanging out together, doing simple things like playing games and eating candy Blaise had stashed for a special occasion. It doesn’t help Draco with his situation, but it does bring him a sense of calmness. He loves his friends, loves spending time with them.

               They go to lunch and they go to dinner together. Harry stares and Draco doesn’t acknowledge him. They hang out in the common room, and other Slytherins join them. It turns into a party, sort of, between all the Slytherins. Someone breaks out bottles of Firewhisky, someone turns on music, and people start dancing. Draco finds himself in the middle of it all, the corners of his lip tugging upwards when he sees Pansy dancing and wiggling her eyebrows at him. She takes his hand and twirls him around.            

               Somewhere along the way, he gets drunk. Extremely drunk. Maybe a little bit high. And he doesn’t care. He takes a pipe from someone’s offering hand and sucks, then passes the pipe to another person just to receive another. He chugs an entire bottle while people encourage him with chanting. Once he’s finished, he smiles and smashes the bottle on the ground. Everyone cheers. He’s happy. Everything is slowing down like molasses, and he feels warm and fuzzy and everything is happy and great. He’s great. He’s happy. But he needs air. Air. Sounds like hair, which sounds like Harry. It makes him laugh. He doesn’t need Harry, he needs air.

               He doesn’t know how he ended up on the Quidditch Pitch, but now he’s there and he’s looking around. There’s air. He is surrounded by air, yet it’s not enough. He runs his hand through his hair and tugs. He needed air, but now there’s air, why isn’t he happy again? Why isn’t he happy?

               He opens his eyes. When did he close his eyes? He stretches his arms and legs out. He’s on the ground. He looks up at the sky, at all the twinkling stars and a burst of laughter escapes him. He smiles at the sky, blinking at the stars.

               “Draco?”

               He doesn’t look over, because he knows who it is. He laughs again. Maybe he does need Harry, not air. Air didn’t help him. Air didn’t do anything. He doesn’t need air.

               There’s hands pulling him up into a sitting position. Harry is there, crouched in between his legs with a concerned frown and eyebrows furrowed. He smiles. Maybe he needs Harry.

               Then he remembers he can’t need Harry, because Harry is golden. The moon shines directly onto him. He’s an angel. He’s golden.

               “Are you – drunk?”

               Draco laughs. It’s a strange word. Drunk. Harry looks more concerned. He holds a hand out and clumsily pats Harry’s cheek.

               “Yes, yes, yes,” he chants.

               Harry takes Draco’s hand away from his cheek. He thinks he’s going to hold it, intertwine their fingers and kiss his knuckles, but all he does is set it back on the ground. Draco frowns. Right. Harry is golden. Harry is beautiful and brilliant and bloody lovely and the sun, and Draco is – what is he? He glances up at the sky. What’s in the sky?

               Stars. Twinkling stars. Draco grins. He’s a constellation, how’d he forget?

               “You know,” Draco slurs, swaying slightly, “the Draco constellation doesn’t have many bright stars? And it has one of the least brightest galaxies in space?”

               “S’cause all the bright stars are in your eyes, love. “

               He laughs, because that’s not true, not true because he has seen his dull eyes, they’re so dull and lifeless, how can stars be in his eyes?

               “No, “ Draco says, shaking his head,” no, no, no. It’s – it’s ‘cause I – I’m not great like the other ‘stellations. M’not worth anything at all. “

               “Draco,” Harry says, sounding pained,” you’re incredibly worthy. “

               “One legend said I was slain by Hercules,” Draco slurs, hiccupping at the end.

               “You – “

               “I’m barely noticeable because my stars are so dim, “ he chokes out. “My – my galaxy is a bloody dwarf galaxy, and it contains a – a fucking shit load of dark matter. “

               A mix of a sob and a laugh escapes him. “Isn’t that bloody great, sunshine?” his eyes burn with tears. “You’re the sodding sun, and imma barely noticeable constellation drowning in d – dark matter. “

               Harry wipes his cheek with his thumb. That’s when he realizes that he’s crying. He doesn’t know how that happened. He doesn’t know when it started. He lets out a shuddering breath. Why isn’t he happy? He needs to be happy, again. He needs to go back, drink more. He’ll be happy again.

               “I need to go – go back. “

               “Go back where?”

               “Blaise and – and Pans.” He laughs. “Pots and pans. Muggle kitchens are strange. “

               Harry frowns at him. He pokes Harry’s cheek. “You should drink, too, it – it makes you happy. “

               “It makes you happy?”

               Draco nods, closing his eyes. “S’happy. Not for a long time. Short time. It’s good. I like being happy. “

               Harry makes a pained sound. Draco doesn’t have enough motivation to open his eyes. He feels Harry’s arms and his chest and the ground escaping him. Maybe he is a constellation. Maybe he’s in the sky right now. He giggles and opens his eyes. He sees Harry’s face, his eyes looking ahead. He leans up, pressing a kiss to Harry’s jaw before going limp in Harry’s arms, closing his eyes. It doesn’t take him long to fall asleep.

 

Chapter Text

 

               Draco wakes up with his entire body aching. He groans, rolling over on the bed. His entire body aches. His head is pounding. Nausea is rising. His stomach is churning and twisting and he’s dying, and it doesn’t feel good at all, he’s not happy, and he wishes he didn’t do whatever he did last night because this is absolute hell. Absolute hell.

               With a grunt, he rolls onto his back and tries to blink his eyes open. After light blinds him, he screws his eyes shut again and flings his arm over his eyes. His head throbs. His body aches. Nausea is swirling in his stomach. Rising, rising, rising and – oh fuck.

               Draco rushes to the bathroom with eyes closed, because the light is too bloody bright, and he ends up knocking into walls and shrieking people until he squints his eyes open and finds the toilet, thank Merlin. He falls to his knees and releases everything. Not everything, actually. All the regret and pain and the ache shaking his entire body is still there.

               Afterwards, he slips back to bed. Ignores everyone. Throws the blanket over him and lets himself feel like death in the comforting darkness. He stays there until he catches flashes of what happened last night. It shows up one by one, slowly at first, but then it hits him all it once like a punch. All he can focus on is Harry. Harryharryharryharry. He groans, rolling across the bed until he reaches the end and falls to the floor. He lies there, wrapped up in his blanket. He wouldn’t mind if he suffocated.

               Draco is in too much pain to be embarrassed. Humiliated. Actually, no, he’s incredibly embarrassed and humiliated, because he told his boyfriend that he’s a fucking constellation that is not as great as the others, one that is dim and – and fuck. He can’t face Harry.

               He groans again. Somewhere inside of him is motivation, a small broken piece, and he catches it in his hands so he can wiggle out of the blanket, throw it back on the bed, and chug the water on his bedside table. He drinks the other jug sitting there, which is probably a potion Pansy left him, but at this point he doesn’t care.

               He sits on the edge of the bed, rubbing his temples as he waits for the pain to dial down. It doesn’t take long. His head still hurts and his body still aches, but he can function, at least. He changes into his robes and makes himself decent enough for people to see. He ends up stumbling downstairs, meeting his friends at the bottom. Blaise shoots a hand out to grab his shoulder, steadying him.

               “Hungover?” Pansy asks, guiding the way to the exit.

               Draco groans. She grins at him sympathetically.

               “How did I…” he starts, because he doesn’t remember coming back here from the Quidditch Pitch.

               “How’d you get back?” Blaise finishes, arching a brow. “Not on your own, that’s for sure. We found Harry Potter outside with you unconscious in his arms. “

               Pansy frowns at him. “I thought you two weren’t on good terms, love. Is he your friend, again?”

               Draco blinks. He stops. Shakes Blaise’s hand off his shoulder. Harry carried him all the way back here. Harry carried him back here, and bloody fucking hell, it feels like the tables have turned. The roles have switched, and Draco is now the one ignoring Harry, and Harry’s the one that just wants to talk, just like after the infirmary. He doesn’t want history to repeat itself. He wants to talk to Harry about it and not let anyone suffer again. He doesn’t want Harry to suffer.

               He stops abruptly. His friends look at him curiously.

               “I – I’m skipping breakfast,” he hurriedly says before walking away from them.

               “What?” Blaise says, following close behind him. “Why?”

               Draco clenches his jaw. He stops again, and Blaise nearly runs into the back of him. He whips around to find Pansy following close behind Blaise. He sighs and runs a hand down his face.     

               “I have a boyfriend,” he says slowly, looking at Blaise’s shoulder because he cannot look into their eyes,” and his name is Harry and I need to have a chat with him.”

               When he glances up to catch their faces, Blaise simply looks curious, which isn’t the reaction he expected. Pansy at least has her eyebrows raise, though other than that she looks curious, too, and he didn’t expect that. He expected a shout and a dramatic jaw drop, not curiosity.

               While he has the chance to slip out of their fingers, he does just that. He makes his way past other Slytherins and steps out of the common room. He heads to the library, and hopes that Harry will take a glance at his stalker map and see his name alone, walking to the library.

               When he gets there, their table is empty. He expected it, but it doesn’t make his heart hurt any less. As he sits down, he remembers that soon enough, he’ll be leaving, Harry will be going back to eating at the Great Hall, and this table will be occupied by other students. Students that aren’t Draco and Harry. The thought makes him frown. It feels like it’s their table, they own it.

               That’s why his boyfriend finds him stabbing his wand into the middle of the table, trying to carve out their initials with a heart around it.

               “What the hell are you doing?”

               Draco’s wide eyes land on Harry, his movements frozen. He slowly drops his wand, letting it rest on the table.

               “Nothing,” he says while Harry sits down.

               As Draco predicted, Harry doesn’t have any food. He sits there, eyes glued on Draco, his shoulders tense. The blond rubs a hand over his face and sighs.

               “I’m sorry for last night,” is what he decides to say.

               The Gryffindor frowns at him. He holds his palm out on the table, and Draco immediately takes it.

               “You ran away from me,” harry states, and Draco swallows,” after Hermione and I fought, so I reckon you heard enough. Then you skipped all your classes and ignored me. Then you got drunk.“

               “And you carried me to the dungeons,” Draco finishes quietly.

               “I have a feeling this is about the fight, yeah?”

               The blond nods. “It’s… everything she said is right, you know. Everything. Except I – I didn’t kill anyone, Harry, you have to believe that I didn’t kill anyone. “

               Harry’s eyes have gone soft and sad. He squeezes Draco’s hand. “I believe you, love, of course I do. Maybe she was right about some things but I’m not going to stay away from you. “

               “But – “

               “Draco, I genuinely don’t care what happens,” he says, reaching out to take Draco’s other hand. He holds them tightly and leans forward, looking into his eyes. “I want to be with you, no matter what others think. I don’t know if you know this, but I kind of like you. “

               A weak smile cracks onto Draco’s face. “Kind of like you, too. “

               “Then we shouldn’t worry about what others have to say.“

               The Slytherin drops his boyfriend’s gaze. He shakes his head. “You shouldn’t have to – “

               “I want to,” Harry persists. “Don’t you dare make decisions for me. I want to do this. This is my decision, being with you. I want to tell people. I want to show off my lovely, handsome boyfriend with his love for potions. “

               Draco shakes his head vigorously, squeezing his eyes shut to stop the tears. Fuck, why is he getting emotional about this?

               “You shouldn’t – we shouldn’t come out,” he says. “I’m going to Italy soon, and what will happen then? We would have came out for nothing. “

               “Then in the future, I can talk about you when I’m old and dying, and say how absolutely lovely you are. “

               Draco tears his hands away from Harry to hide his face. He can’t believe Harry wants him this bad. It’s strange. He doesn’t even want himself.

               “I don’t understand,” he chokes out. “How can you like me so much? I – I don’t understand. “

               “You’re amazing, Draco,” his boyfriend says softly, confidently,” you’re so bloody amazing and lovely, and such an amazing person. After everything that has happened, you’re not cruel, or bitter. You don’t hex people even when they’re fucking chasing you, which I wish you would. You’re practically an angel, Draco. “ 

               He presses the heel of his hands against his hands. He can feel his bottom lip trembling.

               “I’m not an angel,” he disagrees weakly.

               “You are. You’re magnificent, love. “

               Draco swallows thickly. He presses harder until he sees spots behind his eyelids. “You’ve gotten better at lying. “

               “I’m still shit at lying, I can promise you that. “

               The blond takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. He sniffles, then drops his hands. He blinks away the tears trying to form. His eyes drag up to meet Harry’s soft, warm ones.               

               “Okay,” he croaks. “I’ll – okay. I mean, I’ve already told Blaise and Pansy. “

               Harry’s eyes widen. “Really?”

               He nods. “Before I came into the library. “

               He blinks. “Wow. Okay. Um, I haven’t even told Ron. “

               “It was a bit of a spontaneous thing. They wouldn’t stop bothering me, so I told them I had to talk to you, my boyfriend. “ He traces a finger on the table in the shape of their initials. “They didn’t look too shaken. “

               Harry huffs out a laugh. “Only you would come out and immediately leave. “

               Draco grins weakly. “Least we didn’t fight about it. “

               At that, Harry’s face falls. Draco wants to kick himself.

               “I’m sorry about her. She’s still quite… “

               Draco nods. “I understand. She was fighting against people like me not too long ago. Death Eaters and such. “

               “You’re not a Death Eater. “

               “I am. “

               “You didn’t have a choice.”

               He sighs. “Can we have this talk later? I’m a bit sad, still. “

               “Of course, love. Do you want to go down and eat breakfast?”

               Draco thinks. He’s hungry, but he doesn’t want to leave his boyfriend just yet. He shakes his head and waves his hand around with raised eyebrows. Harry grins as he takes his hand, holding it tightly on the table. Draco picks up his wand again and continues trying to scratch out their initials.

               “Wasn’t nothing,” Harry says.

               “This is our table, even when we’re gone,” Draco explains,” and I need to claim ownership. “

               When Harry doesn’t reply, he glances up. Harry’s looking back at him with a small smile and fond eyes. He can pinpoint each star in his green eyes.

               “I quite like you,” Harry says.

               Draco ducks his head so Harry doesn’t see his embarrassingly huge smile.

               “Cheers, darling, the feeling is quite mutual,” he says, continuing his attempt at carving the table.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               The day goes on but oddly enough, he doesn’t feel much better. He talked to his boyfriend about everything, they had their chat, but he doesn’t feel any different. He still feels like Harry’s going to regret coming out because now he is labeled as a traitor and all other nasty things people are going to write him off as. Harry reassured him in the library, and in the corridors with soft smiles and light touches when they walk past each other, but. But he doesn’t want to fuck Harry’s life up. He doesn’t want Harry to result in running away from the magic world, because he belongs here. He belongs here, with fame and adoring fans. He deserves to be cherished.

               They haven’t even talked about when they should come out with their relationship, though. Draco wonders if he could just continue putting it off. Except, he has already told Blaise and Pansy, who were the whole reason he decided to stay quiet, and if he told his boyfriend he didn’t want to come out still, Harry would see right through it.

               Speaking of Blaise and Pansy, he hasn’t talked to them about it. He’s glad they haven’t gone blabbing their mouths to everyone, but he still doesn’t want to talk about it. He mostly ignores them the whole day to put off the inevitable conversation. They try and ask him at lunch, but he waves them off.

               It’s when he’s walking through the corridor late in the afternoon that he sees something strange. He was just in Herbology, asking about something to do with the assignment they received the other day that he had a question on. He doesn’t know why he cares about school anymore. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in him. When he’s walking back, he turns a corner and sees Pansy, Blaise, and Harry to the side, out of everyone’s way. He frowns at them, slowing his walk. It’s definitely Pansy, Blaise, and Harry. He’s been friends with the two for long enough, and he’s been obsessing over Harry long enough to know. He stares at them as he continues walking. He can’t see his friends faces, but he can see Harry’s. He’s blushing, and his eyebrows are furrowed, and he’s waving his hands about. Draco blinks, stopping in the middle of the hall. He stares for a second longer before someone shoves into him without an apology. He continues walking, tearing his eyes from Harry.

               He doesn’t see his friends all that afternoon. He hangs around in the common room and helps Clara’s first year friends with their homework until dinner comes around. He goes to the library, his heart warming when he sees Harry there with food all set out. When they meet eyes, Harry smiles nervously, and Draco nearly frowns. He falls into his seat and eyes his boyfriend.

               “Alright?” He asks.

               Harry nods, his smile widening. “Great. Lovely. “

               Draco snorts. “Not a good liar. “

               “I’m a plenty good liar. “

               “Sure, sure, I believe you,” Draco says flatly.

               “Shut up, I hate you. “

               Draco debates telling Harry what he saw earlier. He wonders if his friends threatened Harry. he wouldn’t be surprised. He decides to not mention it yet, because Harry is starting to tell a story, laughing before he’s even begun, and Draco would rather not ruin his boyfriend’s happiness.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               “We’re going to Hogsmeade,” Pansy declares the next morning from where she’s perched on Draco’s legs.

               In reply, Draco groans and tries to kick her off, but she stays despite it all.

               “I just woke up,” he huffs, words slurred from his exhaustion, because he just woke up.

               “We’re going to Hogsmeade,” she repeats, crossing her arms.

               “You’re not even going to ask me about Harry again?” He asks, rubbing his eyes.

               “We’re going to Hogsmeade,” she repeats, starting to get that dangerous edge in her tone.

               Draco has no other choice. He sighs and gives in. He tells her to shove off and he’ll get ready, not even checking the time. She grins, pats his cheek, says something encouraging, and dashes away. He lies in bed for a minute more, wishing he went to Gryffindor with Harry. Harry had asked last night at dinner if he’d like to come over and cuddle, like they usually do, but Draco thought of last time and shook his head. When Harry suggested coming over to Slytherin, Draco grimaced and shook his head again. He didn’t want another Granger incident. That scarred him for life. Harry frowned at him, but after Draco peppered his face with kisses he turned into the sun again.

               And now he’s in the library, his hair still damp from the shower, sitting across from his boyfriend.

               “Are you going to Hogsmeade?” Harry asks. “Last day. “

               “Pansy is forcing me,” he says.

               I’d rather go with you, he doesn’t say.

               “Are you?” he does say.

               Harry shrugs. “Dunno. “

               Draco eyes him. He’s a bad liar. He would have drowned in Slytherin. Or maybe Draco is too good at reading his boyfriend.

               “I wish I could go with you,” he ends ups saying quietly, staring at the table. He lifts his head when he feels Harry’s thumb drifting over his jawline.

               “You’re lovely, “ Harry says, just as quietly.

               Draco bites his lip. Harry’s thumb slowly drags across his jaw, from his ear to his chin and back up again. Harry’s eyes follow his thumb, not looking into Draco’s eyes.

               I love you, Draco thinks suddenly, and his heart stops.

               He does. He genuinely does. He loves Harry. He’s in love with Harry.

               Fuck.

               “I feel like…” Harry sighs. Shakes his head. He drops his hand, and Draco’s heart falls. “You’re lovely,” he repeats.

               “You are, too,” Draco murmurs, reaching out to catch Harry’s hand before he pulls all the way back. He tangles their fingers together. “You’re the loveliest. “

               Harry smiles as he stares at their hands. “You have the cutest hands. “

               Draco blinks. Snatches his hands away and holds it to his chest, gaping at Harry.

               “I do not,” he hisses. “My hands are sexy and – and nothing about me is cute, thank you very much. “

               Harry laughs into his fist. “Okay, Draco. “

               Draco glares at him. Harry laughs harder.

               “I’ll throw a bloody piece of toast at you again if you keep it up,” Draco grumbles, already reaching for the toast.

               His boyfriend holds his hands up in surrender, but he still has a huge smile on his face. Draco waves the toast at Harry threateningly.

               “It’s butter this time, not marmalade,” Draco says.

               “I see that. “ Harry’s smile turns into a smirk. “Would you lick it off my face?”

               Draco throws the toast. Harry catches it and laughs. He finds himself smiling into his cup of pumpkin juice.

               I love you, he thinks again as he’s taking a drink and Harry is chewing the buttered toast. I love you. I love you. I love you.

               He thinks about leaving, and the warm words turn into a knife, stabbing into his heart relentlessly.

               His chest physically hurts by the time he leaves the library.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               “Nobody is asking me about my boyfriend?” Draco asks incredulously as they walk to Hogsmeade.

               Blaise shrugs. Pansy shakes her head. Draco feels like he’s going insane.

               “You’re not curious, not at all. You’re not wondering when we got together, if we’ve shagged – “

               “I’d rather not know if you two have shagged, if I’m honest,” Blaise says, grimacing.

               “I’d like to know,” Pansy chimes with a lewd smile. “I’d especially like to know who the top is. “

               “Are you serious? You don’t have any normal questions?”

               “We talked to Potter,” Blaise says. For some reason, Pansy glares at him. “What? It’s true! We talked to him and found out most details from him. “

               “You went to my boyfriend instead of your best friend? Or is that code for hexing him?”

               Pansy laughs. “Ahh, sweet, sweet Draco. We wouldn’t hex your boyfriend.”

               Draco raises his eyebrows. Her smile falters.

               “Okay, maybe we tried to,” she admits. “But that’s only because he was a bloody arse to you before! In general he’s a bloody arse, honestly. And we needed to let him know that we won’t tolerate him hurting you. “

               “You hurt him!?”

               “We didn’t hurt him, calm yourself. “ She sighs, like she’s disappointed that they didn’t get to hex Harry. “He blocked it at the last second, and well, we kind of interrogated him. “

               “You interrogated him,” Draco says, flat.

               “Indeed we did, my love,” Pansy says before slinging an arm around Draco’s shoulders and pulling him close to her. “It’s all good, though. He said he would never dream of hurting you, we poked our wands at his chest a bit, maybe we punched him –“

               “Pansy – “

               “I’m kidding, Merlin!” She shakes her head.

               “How are you both not, I don’t know, surprised?”

               “I mean, I knew you were into blokes,” Blaise says with a shrug, looking out at landscape. “And you were obsessed with Potter ever since the first day of school, so. “

               “I didn’t know you were into blokes,” Pansy explains, hugging Draco closer to her,” but I knew you were a proper fucking stalker with Potter, and it’s really no wonder you’re together. “

               Draco blinks. “You – you’re not surprised.”

               Blaise groans. “Draco, you weren’t exactly fucking sneaky about your obsession with Potter back in the day. The only missing puzzle piece was your bloody sexuality. “

               The blond rubs his eyes. “Am I just – oblivious to these things?”

               “Yes,” pansy and blaise say at the same time.

               Draco sighs. He’s definitely going insane.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               It’s a few hours later when they all end up outside of Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop. He blinks at the building, then at his friends, then at the building again.

               “What the fuck are we doing here? Are you asking me if you’d like to be in a polyamorous relationship with Harry and me or something?” Draco asks.

               Pansy snorts. “No, no, a definite no. I still think Potter is a huge fucking prat. Not as much as before, but he’s still a prat. “

               “Then why – “

               “We want tea, alright?” Blaise huffs, already walking into the shop.

               Pansy follows after him, and Draco has no choice but to follow. Blaise ends up at a table with two seats towards the back of the shop, an isolated section. Draco frowns. Pansy sits in Blaise’s lap. She smiles at him, a secretive smile, and gestures to the chair across from them. Slowly, he sits down, eyeing his friends slowly.

               “I’ll get the tea, lads, “ Pansy suddenly says, jumping to her feet. “And some pastries, yeah? Yorkshire sound good?”

               Before he can open his mouth, she’s striding away. He leans back in his chair with a sigh, eyes flickering to Blaise. He’s staring at him with a half-smile.

               “What?” He snaps.

               “Potter is a bit mad for you, you know. “

               A blush lights his face on fire. “Yeah. “

               His half-smile turns into a full fledged smile. “Just so you know, if we didn’t talk to Potter, Pansy would probably be jumping all over you. “

               Draco furrows his brow. “What did you lot talk about?”

               He shakes his head and stands. “Nothing. Nothing at all, mate. “

               He sends Draco a wink before he walks away, leaving the blond confused and wondering if his Overexposure finally drove him into insanity.

               Soon, he’s sitting there alone in the tea shop with a fancy kettle full of Yorkshire tea, two tea cups sitting in saucers, a plate of different colored macaroons, and a different plate of several triangle sandwiches. He stares at it all, blinking slowly. Eventually, he reaches fort the kettle and pours tea into his cup. As he’s taking his first sip, someone falls into the chair in front of him. He nearly drops the tea on his lap. He swallows, immediately wincing at the hot tea scorching his throat. He’s frozen in his seat, clutching his tea cup with a burnt tongue and throat while his boyfriend sits across from him, a parchment in his hand and his eyes wide and his hair tame for once. He’s wearing his Gryffindor robes, and his sweater, but he’s wearing Draco’s Slytherin scarf. Draco’s brain short circuits.

               He’s wearing my scarf, he’s wearing my scarf, fucking hell, how’d he get my scarf –

               “You have a star,” Harry starts, looking at his parchment, “ that is 471 times more luminous than me. Your dwarf galaxy isn’t large, yet it contains millions of stars. Your star is 471 times more luminous than me, and I wonder how I appear so much brighter. “

               Draco’s eyes widen. His heart is fluttering like a dragon fly’s wings. He suddenly understands what Harry is doing; he’s reciting a poem. A freeverse poem. For Draco.

               “Maybe it’s because you were torn apart,” he continues, his eyes trained on the parchment,” becoming a galaxy merger, a swirl of stars. Your 471 times more luminous than me, yet I appear brighter, because I am loud, open, I demand attention, while you hide yourself away. Your brighter than me, 471 times more luminous. You have the potential to be the brightest constellation in space, brighter than the current brightest constellation. Your 471 times more luminous than the sun, and I understand why. But for some reason, you don’t. “

               Draco is about to burst into tears. He’s frozen, staring at his boyfriend, wondering how he got so lucky. Slowly, Harry’s eyes drift up to meet his. He smiles nervously. Draco is about to burst into tears.

               “It’s not in front of a group of people,” he chokes out.

               Harry grins and gestures to the people in the shop. “Didn’t say the group of people had to listen.“

               His throat thickens. He can feel the tears at the back of his eyes, ready to create a downpour on his face.  He opens his mouth, but closes it and squeezes his eyes shut.

               “Oh no, love, what’s wrong?”

               “You’re such a fucking prat,” Draco lets out, his sentence ending in a sob. He opens his eyes to see Harry watching him worriedly. “I – I want to fucking punch you. “

               Harry grins, but it’s confused. “Not the reaction I was looking for?”          

               He lets out a laugh that sounds more like a sob. “You’re – you’re so bloody great, Harry, I don’t deserve you. “

               “Hey, what did I just say in my poem?”

               A smile breaks out on Draco’s face. He shakes his head. “You bloody dolt. Did you write all that?”

               Harry grins, rubbing the back of his neck. “Erm, yeah. Got some help from Hermione with the whole research thing, but I wrote it all. “

               Warm. That’s all Draco feels. Warmth and love for the Gryffindor in front of him wearing a green and silver scarf with messy hair and red cheeks.

               “Thank you,” he says. “Thank you so much, Harry. You’re – you’re brilliant. “

               Harry smiles. “You liked the poem, then? Even though it wasn’t rhymey?”

               “I like anything you do,” Draco admits.

               His boyfriend grins at the table. Draco wants to snog the life out of him.

               “I’ve actually gotten you something else, as well,” he says, sounding shy.

               “Oh fuck, more? I’m going to walk out of here sobbing. “

               Harry laughs. “You’re still beautiful when you cry.”

               Draco runs a hand over his face to try and cover his blush. “Get on with it, won’t you?”

               “Yeah, of course.”

               Harry reaches down, into the bag sitting by his chair. Draco watches him pull something out, clamping his hands over it so he can’t see. He stands up and walks behind Draco. He sets a warm hand on his shoulder and murmurs in his ear, “Close your eyes, love. “

               It’s frightening how fast Draco closes his eyes. It shows how much he trusts his boyfriend. He doesn’t open his eyes, even when he feels something heavy settling on his chest. He feels Harry’s fingers brushing over the back of his neck, and wonders if it’s a necklace.

               He did read a pureblood book, he realizes, because the third step to courting is giving the person a necklace with something symbolic as the pendant, something sentimental.

               (the second step is spending sunset to sunrise with each other, but they’ve already done that many times before)

               He hears Harry walk back to his chair and sit down. He doesn’t open his eyes until Harry says he can. Slowly, he opens his eyes. Instead of looking at his necklace, he looks at Harry and his bright eyes. He peers down at his chest to find a coin. A shiny five pound coin hanging from his neck. His fingertips brush over the coin.

               “I was forced to become a hero,” Harry explains,” and you were forced to become a Death Eater. We didn’t really have any choices in our lives. Our parents kind of decided everything, intentional or not. Have you heard of the saying two sides of the same coin?”

               Draco nods, his eyes still on the coin. He picks it up, running his thumb over the face on the coin. It feels like the breath has been stolen from his lungs.           

               “I thought we were a bit like that. Two sides of the same coin. Although we were on different sides of the war, we didn’t have a choice. “

               Draco’s head lifts to gaze at Harry, at his happy face and his soft smile. His fingers drop from the coin.

               “but now I do,” Harry says, leaning forward,” and I choose you. “

               He swallows thickly. “I choose you, too, Harry. “

               Harry beams at him. “That’s – that’s good. I’m glad. “

               Draco forces a laugh, trying to get the urge to cry out of his system. “You think I’d say no?”

               He shrugs. “Maybe. “

               The blond smiles at him, and allows the tears to burn in his eyes.

               “Thank you,” he whispers.

               I’m so fucking in love with you, Harry Potter.

               “You’re welcome. Now, are we going to let this tea go cold or what?”

               Draco watches his boyfriend pick up the kettle and pour the tea into his tea cup. He stares at Harry, his heart bursting in his chest like a potion gone wrong. Harry sets the kettle back down. As he’s taking a sip, their eyes meet. Harry wiggles his eyebrows, and Draco smiles so wide his face might crack.

              

               They end up spending the rest of the day together. They go to Honeydukes and buy more candy (toffee, lots of toffee), the Quill shop because Harry needs more ink, and Three Broomsticks to share a butterbeer. A few people stare. First, they see Harry’s scarf, and then they find Draco and their eyes nearly fall out of their sockets. At first, it bothered Draco, because he realized that their relationship isn’t going to be secret anymore. But then he remembered Harry’s poem and the coin hanging from his neck, and decides that it’s worth it.

               They don’t hold hands. They both non-verbally agreed to not hold hands. The most romantic thing they did was share a butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks. Maybe they held hands across the table. Maybe they played footsies like they were children. But it doesn’t matter, anyway.

               They go back to the castle together. Draco offers for Harry to go to the Slytherin common room with him.             

               “With or without the cloak?” Harry asks.

               “Without?”

               “As long as you’re comfortable, Draco. “

               “Harry. You’re wearing my scarf. You wrote me a poem. You gave me a necklace. “

               He laughs. “Just checking. “

               They go to the Slytherin common room. They walk past all the Slytherins who glance at his scarf and look away before looking back because what that is Harry Potter he’s not a Slytherin. Draco shoves Harry onto the armchair near the fire and sits down on his lap sideways, his feet dangling over the arm rest. He glares at the Slytherins watching them, and they immediately look away.

               “Hey, Malfoy, what’s the prat doing here?” A 6th year shouts.

               Draco sighs and turns to scowl at the girl who is on one of the couches, eyeing the couple with a grimace.

               “He’s my bloody boyfriend,” Draco sneers.

               The girl’s eyebrows lift, but she’s still grimacing. “Seriously?”

               “He wrote him a poem, you know,” the girl with dark hair says, elbowing her grimacing friend.

               “You wrote him a poem?” The grimacing girl asks Harry.

               Harry nods. “Of course. Even got him a necklace. “

               The girls, and everyone who is listening, drop their gaze to the coin hanging from Draco’s neck.

               “Proper courting,” Sylvia, an 8th year girl, says from where she’s standing by the fireplace.

               Harry nods again. “Of course. “

               Draco glares at all of them. “Now sod off, won’t you? Stop interrogating us. “

               Most of them fuck off after that. A few of their stares linger, but none of them say anything else. Draco turns to Harry and touches his cheek softly.

               “Courting you won me some Slytherin points, I guess, “ Harry says.

               Draco runs his fingertips across Harry’s collarbone. Harry glances at his lips, then back into his eyes with a sly grin. The blond sighs dramatically and leans in to give Harry a quick kiss.

               “Can we go to your dorm and eat toffee, love?” Harry asks. “And maybe have an actual competition?”

               Draco grins and kisses Harry’s nose. “Anything for you, sunshine. “

              

               Draco ends up losing on purpose so he could wear Harry’s Gryffindor scarf. Harry snogs him until someone yells at them to at least close the curtains around his bed.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

               The Prophet is fast. By the time Draco is in the common room Monday evening, finishing his Herbology assignment, he sees someone holding up the newspaper. On the front page is a moving picture of him and Harry walking in Hogsmeade, smiling at each other. Above the picture it says in bolded print, Harry Potter and Death Eaters: Friend or Foe? Draco swallows. It wasn’t a negative headline, per se, but when they find out they’re boyfriends, it’s definitely going to turn negative.

               He sighs. Shoves his homework back into his bag. Maybe he’ll go to the library early. He stands with his bag slung over his shoulder and walks out of the common room.

               He’s nearly there, turning a corner, when he feels someone tugging the back of his jumper and dragging him to the side of the corridor. He whips around, about to grab his wand, when he sees Granger staring back at him. He blinks.

               “Granger?”

               She nods curtly. Sighs. Looks away. “Listen, Malfoy, I’m sorry. “

               Draco blinks again. “What?”

               “I’m sorry. I really wasn’t fair, was I? I didn’t even give you a chance. I’ve barely seen you since the start of school. You’re usually to yourself. Well, I thought you were usually to yourself.”

               “Thank you for your apology,” he says, clutching the strap of his bag. “I forgive you. “

               She turns back to him, looking pained. “Don’t. You forgive too easily.”

               He shrugs. “Past is the past,” he says, a little harsher than he intended.

               She nods slowly. “I’ll try to forgive and forget, yeah? I’ve just… your family killed a lot of my family. “

               Draco swallows. “I apologize, but you must understand that their actions can’t be placed on me.“

               “I understand that, but when your boyfriend is crying over his dead brother and waking up from night terrors focused on his death, you must understand why I don’t trust Death Eaters. “

               He flinches. Takes a step back. “I was forced,” he says quietly. “I – my parents forced me. He would have killed us.”

               She stares at him, her face blank. “I know. I’m sorry for that, too. “

               Before another breath is taken, she’s walking away, into the crowd of people. Draco stands there, staring at Granger walking away until she turns a corner. Even then, he stays there. When he moves, it’s because someone bumps into him. He takes a deep breath, brushes his fingertips over the coin hanging from his neck, and continues his walk to the library.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

                Draco and Harry are on the cover of the Daily Prophet the next day. They’re sitting in The Three Broomsticks, sharing a butterbeer with their hands clasped together over the table. It’s the moment where they were both drinking from straws in a single butterbeer, but Draco stops drinking to kiss Harry’s forehead. Harry smiles around his straw. Draco watches it over and over again until Pansy snatches the paper from his hands. He doesn’t even catch the headline before she crumples it up, drops it, and crushes it beneath her foot. For good measure, she aims her wand and shouts Diffindo.

               It doesn’t matter, because later, he catches someone reading it in the courtyard as he’s walking past with Blaise. He catches Death Eater and Love Potion before Blaise is grabbing his arm and tugging him away.

               At dinner in the library, Draco walks to their table to find Harry with his eyes squeezed shut, clenching his jaw with his shoulders drawn up. He frowns. He walks over, setting his hands on his shoulders to give him a massage. Harry jumps at the contact.

               “It’s me, sunshine,” Draco soothes, running his hand down the side of Harry’s neck. He kisses his hair. Harry sighs and leans back in the chair.

               “Sorry,” he replies.

               “It’s okay.” He starts massaging Harry’s shoulders and his neck. “You’re upset.”

               “Yeah.”

               “Because of the Prophet?”

               “Yeah.”

               Draco frowns. “What’d they say? I didn’t get to read the headline. “

               “It’s daft,” Harry hisses. “Bloody daft. They’re such prats.”

               “It’s what they do, love, they just like to stir up drama.”

               “They said you used a love potion on me.”

               “Maybe I did,” Draco teases.

               Harry shakes his head. “You’d never. They’re fucking – I can’t believe – no, no I can, I can believe, because they’re pathetic.”

               “Thought you said you handled them before,” Draco says, not accusingly, just an acknowledgment.

               “I l – you’re – you’re my boyfriend, it’s different when they’re targeting you instead of me. “

               Draco leans down and nuzzles his nose in Harry’s hair. “Least they got a good picture, yeah? I want to cut it out and put it in my trunk. “

               He feels the Gryffindor shake with laughter. “That’s the only good part.”

               Draco stays there a while longer, massaging Harry, before his boyfriend swats him away and tells him to sit down and eat. He does. They eat, and the Prophet isn’t brought up again.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               The Prophet is brought up again Wednesday afternoon. Draco sits on the end of the bed, legs crossed, watching Harry pace the room, his hand gripping the Prophet. Only one other Slytherin is in the room, rummaging through their trunk. Once the Slytherin slips past Harry and the door shuts, Draco sighs.

               “Sunshine,” he tries to soothe,” it’s okay. “

               “It’s not okay!” He shouts. He stops in front of Draco’s bed, throwing his hands up. “It’s not okay, they called you – they said – bloody hell, they’re such fucking liars!”

               The Gryffindor throws the newspaper to the floor and scrubs his hands over his face. Draco slowly gets up and strides over to his boyfriend, setting his hands on his waist.

               “You shouldn’t have read the article, babe,” Draco says softly, running his hands up and down his sides. “All their articles are shite. “

               Harry’s hands slide down his face and fall back to his sides.

               “And yet the entirety of England believes every word they spill,” Harry says with a bitter laugh. “S’not fair. “

               “Part of why I’m leaving,” Draco says, stepping closer to kiss his boyfriend’s forehead.

               “I hate them,” Harry growls. “I hate all the bloody writers, I hate the fucking air they breathe. Do you think if I let them interview me they’ll stop?”

               “You know they’ll just twist your words. “

               Harry groans. He steps away, turning his back on Draco. “Merlin, I fucking know, but I don’t know what the hell I should do! They’re disgusting! It’s – they think you’re a fucking full grown insane criminal, like bloody Bellatrix, but you just turned 18!”

               Draco frowns. He steps closer and rubs a hand between Harry’s shoulder blades. Eventually, he hears Harry sigh, his shoulders slumping. He turns around and buries his face in the crook of Draco’s neck. The blond wraps his arms around his boyfriend, rubbing his hand in circles on his back. When Harry pulls back, his eyes are still alight with fire. Draco retracts his hands and cups Harry’s face.

               “Harry, when am I leaving?” He asks.

               Harry blinks. It takes a second before the fire dies and is replaced with sadness. “In a week. “

               He runs his thumb across Harry’s cheek. “Exactly, sunshine, and I don’t want to spend my last week with you obsessing over something that doesn’t matter, okay?”

               “Okay,” he whispers, nodding.

               Draco offers a small smile. “Good. Now, you are going to go to the kitchens and grab some food for an early dinner, and I’m going to wait in the library for you, yeah?”

               “Yeah. “

               Draco kisses Harry for a long time before they depart.

 

 

 


 

 

 

              

               Draco doesn’t end up going to the Gryffindor tower until Saturday night, after the Quidditch match between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. He sat beside Harry, holding his hand, and ignored the stares the other Gryffindors gave him. They talked throughout the match in low voices instead of playing, pointing out the new players and if they’re good or not, and talking about the things they should have done instead. It’s nice talking to his boyfriend about Quidditch. They both played it through the years, and it’s fun to finally see it from the outside.

               The game ends, and Draco doesn’t know who won because during the last 10 minutes of the game he was busy with Harry. It started with whispers, suggesting that they stay up late and eat candy they got from Honeydukes. Draco then suggested playing pranks, so they started discussing that. Somehow it led to snogging. Then, everyone’s leaving and they don’t know who won.

               They walk hand in hand back to the castle. Harry asks him if he wants to come up to Gryffindor.

               “Everyone will be in a happy mood,” he persuades. “After Quidditch matches, everyone’s always in a good mood.”

               Draco kisses Harry’s cheek, ignoring the uneasiness swirling in his stomach. “I’ll go up to Gryffindor, love, just for you.”             

               The common room is… loud. Energetic. Everyone’s playing games. Chess. Exploding snap. Sharing Firewhisky by the fire. Eating candy on the worn couches. Putting up things on the bulletin board. There’s music as loud as the chatter.

               “Merlin, is it always like this after matches?”

               “Usually. It’s worse after we win. Do you want to sit down?”

               At Draco’s nod, Harry tugs him over to the sofa. He sits down, and the blond is about to sit in the space beside him when Harry wraps his arms around Draco’s waist and pulls him onto his lap. The Gryffindors seem to finally notice the Slytherin in the room. Draco hears someone loudly say love potion, and he shrinks back into his boyfriend.

               “Harry, you finally brought your boyfriend!” A girl slurs from the floor by the fire.

               Harry grins at her and his grip around his waist tightens. “I did. “

               Draco jumps when Weasley marches over and plops beside the two. Weasley eyes him, and Draco stares at anything except him.

               “Harry tells me, “ Weasley says slowly, suspiciously,” that you’re the one who convinced him to take my jar of toffee.”

               The Slytherin blinks. “I definitely did not. Harry’s the one who snooped through your trunk.”

               Weasley narrows his eyes at Harry.

               “Ah, Draco, c’mon,” Harry whines.

               “I’m getting you back for that,” Weasley growls, then turns to Draco with a grin. “Glad you’re able to join us, er,” he glances at Harry,” mate.

               Draco stares at Weasley walk away. He blinks. “Did Ron Weasley just call me his mate?”

               He can feel Harry shake with laughter. “Yeah, love.”

               “Why?”

               Harry runs his hand up and down Draco’s arm. “Maybe I threatened the Gryffindors a bit.”

               The blond snorts. “A bit. A bit is Weasley smiling at me, not calling me mate.”

               “A bit is definitely calling you mate. A lot would be him snogging you, and I’d rather not have him do that.”

               “Hm, maybe I’d like Weasley snogging me,” Draco teases.

               He inhales sharply when Harry licks a stripe up his neck. “Harry.”

               “Yeah?” Harry asks nonchalantly, pressing a kiss to his neck.

               “What are you doing?” He whispers.

               “Kind of want to turn into a vampire, “ Harry says against his skin.

               Draco’s eyebrows furrow. Before he can say what the hell are you on about, Harry attaches his lips to the side of his neck and sucks hard. All the breath empties from his lungs. His eyes fall shut. He bites his bottom lip hard until Harry pulls away. He brushes his thumb over Draco’s neck.

               “That was… “ Draco trails off, opening his eyes.

               “Me turning into a vampire,” Harry finishes simply.

               The blond sinks back into Harry and closes his eyes once more. “You gave me a love bite. “

               “I did,” he says, sounding proud.

               “That felt better than I thought. “

               “Yeah?”

               “Yeah,” Draco sighs. It felt a lot better than he thought, as in he now feels hot all over. It’s not even because of the feeling of receiving the love bite. It’s like wearing Harry’s Gryffindor scarf. Wearing something that shows that he is Harry’s.

               The moment is ruined when someone shouts Harry’s name.

               “Come over and join us, Harry!” A student shouts. Draco sighs and opens his eyes. Harry takes hold of his hands.

               “I’m a bit busy,” Harry replies.

               “He can join us as well!”

               “I don’t think he wants to play alcoholic exploding snap, mate.”

               “Alcoholic exploding snap?” Draco asks under his breath. “The fuck is that?”

               “You drink each time a card explodes, “ he explains.

               “Why do I not want to play that?”

               “Do you not remember the last time you got drunk?”

               Draco frowns. “I was a little high as well, don’t blame it all on the alcohol.”

               “What? Off what? I didn’t know we were to allowed to have drugs. “

               “It smelled like weed ‘cept it was blue, and no, we are not allowed to have drugs.”

               “Rebellious. “

               “That’s my middle name, didn’t you know?”

               “Draco Rebellious Malfoy, what a pleasure to meet you. “

               “A please to meet you as well, Harry Handsome Potter.”

               Harry laughs. “That’s the best you can come up with?”

               Draco smiles. “Shut up, I fucking hate you.”

               He squeezes Draco’s hands. “You adore me.”

               “I hate you. Can we go to your dorm, now? I want to steal some of your chocolate.”

               They head upstairs after a few minutes. Thankfully, the dorm is empty and quiet. Draco collapses onto the bed, stretching his limbs out, taking up enough space so that Harry can’t sit anywhere. Once Harry takes all of the candy out of the trunk, he walks over and stares at Draco, eyebrows raised.

               “I’m going to sit on you,” he warns.

               Draco smirks. “Try me.”

               True to his word, Harry climbs on Draco without hesitation. He sits on his thighs, straddling him. He lays out all the candy on the empty spaces the Slytherin doesn’t take up. All Draco can think about is Harry’s crotch being so bloody close to his. That is until Harry throws a piece of toffee at him. He narrows his eyes at his smiling, chewing boyfriend.

               “Sorry,” he says, muffled from the candy he’s chewing.

               “Harry, pick up your manners, they’re on the floor,” Draco huffs, picking up the toffee that fell to his chest and throwing it at his boyfriend.

               Harry easily ducks, and it falls to the floor. He swallows the candy and smirks.

               “Guess you don’t want my candy since you insulted me… said I didn’t have manners…”

               Draco groans. “I’ve changed my mind, your middle named is actually insufferable. “

               Harry laughs. He pauses for a second before his eyebrows lift. “I’ve got an idea.”

               “Oh joy,” Draco says in a monotone voice.

               “You’ll close your eyes, I’ll give you candy, and you’ll have to guess what it is.”

               The blond sighs. “Okay, I’ll let you indulge in your little game. If I guess more than half correct, I win, and vice versa.”

               Harry nods. “What’s the prize?”

               Draco pauses. Thinks. “Loser feeds winner meals for a day?”

               “Two days,” Harry challenges.

               He smirks. “And lunch.”

               Harry nods, smiling. “You’re on.”

               That’s why Draco finds himself with Harry’s scarf wrapped around his eyes, and Harry leaning over his body to feed him candy. Harry’s stomach is pressed against his crotch. He might cry. He hopes the curtains are closed.

               When Harry gives him the first piece of candy, he lets his tongue drag across his fingers. He chews slowly. It doesn’t take him long to figure it out.

               “Treacle fudge,” he declares triumphantly.

               When Harry sighs exaggeratedly, he grins.

               “Told you I’m gonna win,” Draco says.

               “Over my dead body.”

               They go from chocolate to toffee to crystalized pineapple. Draco gets most of them right, and he’s ecstatic. He has his mouth open, waiting for his next candy, but instead he feels Harry’s lips. He immediately kisses him hard, hands reaching out to grip his waist. Draco pulls back after a few moments, but Harry chases after him, shifting his body upward, which makes Harry’s crotch brush over his. Harry sucks in a sharp breath. Draco holds back his moan. Harry definitely has bulge in his trousers. He just felt it, holy fuck.

               He nearly gives in. He almost grabs Harry’s hips, ruts against him, and snogs him again. But he can’t. He’s winning.

               Draco plants a hand on his boyfriend’s chest, gently pushing him back. “Your lips aren’t candy.”

               Harry sits back on Draco’s thighs. His hand drops back to the bed. He hopes the curtains are closed.

               The next one is his favorite, and he smiles as he announces the answer the second it hits his tongue.

               “Pink Coconut Ice is my favorite,” he says as he waits for the next candy.

               Except, the next one isn’t candy. He feels Harry’s finger in his mouth and wonders for a second what the fuck until he realizes there’s a liquid coating his finger, a flavor. Naturally, his lips close and he sucks on his boyfriend’s finger. Harry’s breath hitches, and his fingers grasp onto Draco’s jumper. He lets go of Harry’s finger and smirks.

               “Pumpkin Fizz!”

               Almost immediately after the answer spills from his lips, he feels something cold drip onto his neck and jaw. He frowns, reaching a hand up to wipe it off, but Harry grabs his wrist and gently sets it back down on the bed.

               “I’ll get it,” he says, his voice lower, raspier. Draco swallows.

               Harry leans down. Draco bites his lip at the pressure on his crotch. His fingers grasp onto the blanket when he feels Harry sucking and licking on his jaw.

               “Harry,” he breathes.

               Harry hums against his neck. After a difficult moment of trying to reign everything in, his boyfriend grounds his hips into Draco’s.

               “Fuck,” he hisses.

               “What was that, love?” Harry asks against his neck, sounding innocent. Draco clenches his jaw.

               “You’re such a dick,” he says, but it comes out breathless instead of angry.

               Harry’s response is to leave another love bite on the other side of his neck. He can’t help the moan that escapes his lips, his hips rising to meet Harry’s. He hears Harry make a strangled noise against his neck. He’s too hot. He’s too hot, his dick is throbbing, and he can’t even see anything. He doesn’t even know if the curtains are shut. He doesn’t know if a Gryffindor is going to walk in and see them like this, Harry on top of him, sucking on his neck while Draco grinds upwards against his boyfriend.

               “You’re distracting me from winning,” Draco says, his voice embarrassingly weak.

               “Doesn’t look like you’re complaining.”

               Harry grinds his hips downward, and Draco lets out a strangled moan. His fingers tighten on the blanket. Bloody hell. Harry pulls away from his neck, and he’s about to complain when he feels lips against his. He instantly kisses back, his hands gripping Harry’s hair. He tugs on Harry’s hair, drawing a moan from him. Draco snaps his hips up, grinding their bulges together, which makes them both moan. Draco pulls back to plead,” Harry, Harry, take this scarf off, please.”

               Harry quickly unties it quickly and throws it to the floor. As soon as the scarf is off, their eyes meet. Harry’s pupils are dilated, his cheeks are pink, and his lips are parted. It makes him feel even hotter, like fire is coursing through his veins. He plants his hand on the back of Harry’s neck and pushes him downward so they can kiss again. That’s until Harry thrusts his hips downward hard, and Draco throws his head back and moans.      

               “Fuck, Draco,” Harry breathes.

               Instead of kissing him again, Harry starts sucking on Draco’s neck, his jaw, while grinding down and holy fucking hell. He can’t do anything but squeeze his eyes shut while breathless moans escape his lips.            

               “Harry,” he moans.

               “You’re so hot,” Harry murmurs. “You should look at yourself, Draco, you’re so bloody hot. “    

               Draco wraps a leg around Harry’s hip as they meet lips again.

               “Harry, I – “ he cuts himself off when Harry grinds down harder,” Oh fuck. “

               Suddenly, Harry stops moving. Draco whines high in his throat and tugs on his boyfriend’s hair. Harry lets out a breathless sound, closing his eyes briefly.

               “I have an idea,” Harry says lowly.

               The blond swallows. “Does it involve getting me off?”

               His boyfriend smirks. Draco almost comes right then and there. “Of course. “

               He nods vigorously. “Yes, yes, please, Harry.”

               “Love, I haven’t even told you what I want to do yet.”

               Draco takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. He’s so turned on it’s not even funny. His dick is hard and throbbing, desperate for any sort of attention. He’s head is swimming. He exhales slowly.

               “What do you have in mind?” He asks, licking his lips.

               Harry tugs on Draco’s tie so it slips out from beneath his jumper. He starts untying it, and Draco stops breathing.         

               “I thought I could wank us both at the same time,” he says nonchalantly as he takes the Slytherin tie off and throws it to the floor. “As in, one hand. “

               A rush of fire burns through him. Blissful, pleasurable fire that makes him harder. He doesn’t think he’s ever been this hard in his life. His boyfriend wants to get him off. Harry wants to touch his dick. Not only that, but he said one hand and wank us both at the same time. Does that mean – fuck. Draco shudders, his eyes fluttering shut. Harry wants to rub them off together.

               They’re not just going to touch each other’s dicks, they’re going to touch each other’s dicks with each other’s dicks.

               “Yeah,” he says quietly when he finally opens his eyes.

               Harry trails his thumb across Draco’s bottom lip.

               “I’ll be right back,” he says as he pulls himself away. Draco wants to cry, beg him to come back. “Get undressed, yeah?”

               Before he can come up with a coherent response, his boyfriend is slipping through the curtain, away from view. It takes him several long seconds before his brain catches up to him. Harry’s last words echo through his head. He sits up, ignoring his painful hard-on, and starts undressing.

               It doesn’t take long. He probably gets undressed way too fast. He lies there on the covers, on Harry’s bed, in a scarlet room with Gryffindors down the stairs. He should be more hesitant about this, but he isn’t. All he can think about is Harry. His low, raspy voice, his pink cheeks, his moans, fucking hell. He’s a walking dream. No, he’s better. He’s better than anything anyone can dream up.

               It only takes a long minute of lying there, waiting, before Draco gets impatient. He licks his hand before he trails it down his chest, down to his dick. He wraps his hand around the base and tugs. He exhales sharply at the pleasure coursing through him. Finally, he thinks, rubbing his thumb across the head, finally some relief.

               That’s, of course, when the curtain opens and his boyfriend appears. Draco’s hand stops. He stares at his tan chest, his arms, his face, his parted lips, his dilated eyes. Without thinking, he tugs his hand again and bites his lip to stop the moan from escaping. Harry’s eyes dart to where his hand has now stilled around his dick.

               “Merlin, Draco,” Harry breathes out.

               He eyes him, trying to figure out if that’s a positive or negative reaction. He doesn’t have much time to think it over, because Harry is suddenly straddling his hips, and their cocks are brushing together, and it’s more than anything he could ever imagine. Harry leans forward, their cocks pressing together, and a moan rips out of his throat. It’s abruptly cut off by his boyfriend, who crashes his lips against Draco’s. He kisses back, and there’s tongue, and he’s not sure what’s happening with the kiss, but he doesn’t really care. He runs his hands over Harry’s chest, his shoulders, his arms, his back, touching every part of his boyfriend that he can. When he pulls back to catch a breath, he murmurs against Harry’s lips,” You’re so bloody fit, Harry, Salazar.”

               Harry runs his tongue across Draco’s bottom lip, and he shudders. “You’re the one talking. You’re gorgeous, love.”

               Draco really can’t take it anymore. He kisses Harry again.

               Eventually, when their kiss grows sloppy and they can no longer breathe, Harry pulls back and sits on his thighs. They stay like that for a long moment, trying to catch their breaths while also waiting for their thoughts to unscramble. Harry’s hands are placed on his hips, thumbs rubbing in circles idly, and that’s what grounds him to earth.

               “I’ve never done this before,” he says, his voice weak and strung out.

               Harry shakes his head. “Me neither. “

               Draco slowly grins. “No, really? That’s such a shock since you just figured out you’re not straight like, a month ago. “

               Harry shakes his head again, but he’s smiling. “Shut up. I – “

               He stops, his face falling. Draco’s grin slips off his face. He follows his boyfriend’s gaze to his chest, and. Oh. Sectumsempra scars. Harry’s staring at his Sectumsempra scars.

               “Sunshine,” Draco whispers soothingly,” we can talk about this all you want later, yeah? Because my dick is right there, and yours is right there, and I’m fairly certain I might explode if you don’t bloody do something about it. Right now.”

               That snaps Harry out of his stupor. He takes in a shaky breath and nods. Looks at their cocks. Nods again. His eyes dart to Draco.

               “Are we really about to do this?” Harry asks quietly.

               He understands. Harry is giving him an out. He can refuse, and they can take cold showers separately, or Draco can go back to Slytherin and wank alone. But he doesn’t want to. He wants this.

               Draco nods. “Yeah. “

               That’s all Harry needs. He leans over Draco, placing one hand on one side of his head, murmuring an incantation as he aligns their cocks together. His breath catches in his throat at the feeling of feeling of Harry’s dick pressing against his own. His fingers grasp onto the blanket. He tries not to snap his hips up, because fuck, Harry’s cock is thick and hot and hard. He stares at Harry, waiting for something, anything. As soon as they lock eyes, Harry drags his hand up. Draco lets out a breathy moan at the same time Harry releases a low, raspy moan. He tugs his hand up and down again and again at a consistent speed, and he can’t believe how good it all feels. He’s never felt anything like this before. He has gotten off before, but this is nothing close to that.

                Harry leans closer and plants kisses on his neck that soon turns into sucking and biting. Draco tips his head back.

               “Harry,” he breathes out shakily.

               I love you, he thinks.

               Harry pulls away. He grabs Draco’s chin, tilting his head back down to kiss him. Draco tears his hands away from the blanket to grab Harry’s face, pulling him as close as possible. His hands make their way to his hair, tugging hard. Harry pulls away with eyes closed and a low moan. When his thumb presses against Draco’s slit, his hands fly back to the blanket with a gasp, fingers curling around the material. Harry licks his lips before stilling his hand. He simply messes with the head of Draco’s cock, thumb drifting over the slit.

               “Harry, please,” he whines. His boyfriend smirks down at him.

               Harry trails his thumb down one side and up the other, again and again, ghosting his fingers over his length. His dick is throbbing again. Everything is throbbing. He’s desperate. He needs Harry. That’s why he knocks Harry’s hand away, and grabs both of their cocks with his own hand. A rush of satisfaction goes through him when he hears Harry’s breath hitch. He starts pumping them, watching as Harry’s face screws up in pleasure. 

               "Draco," he moans, "fuck, feels so - so good."

               Draco moans out Harry’s name softly like a reply. Harry ducks back down to his neck. He gasps as Harry gives him another love bite. His breathing turns shallow as his boyfriend stays at his neck, forgetting about his hand that has fallen back to the bed. It doesn’t take long for Harry to pull away, his hand trailing back to their cocks. He holds them together loosely, but doesn’t do anything. Draco’s about to complain when – fuck.

               Harry snaps his hips up, his dick sliding against Draco’s, causing the blond to choke out a moan. He tips his head back, eyes squeezing shut. Harry does it again, sliding his dick against Draco’s, and bloody fucking hell. He bucks his hips up, his lips parting at the sensation but nothing coming out. Harry’s hand starts rubbing them off again, faster this time. Draco tries to contain his moans to listen to Harry. When his boyfriend moans his name, extended and raspy and so fucking hot, Draco can’t help but gasp out Harry’s name in return.

               “So good,” Harry murmurs, “you’re – oh, you’re bloody amazing, fuck. “

               Draco can feel everything in him tightening, the pleasure growing and growing. “I’m – I’m –“

               He’s cut off by an embarrassingly high-pitched moan when Harry’s thumb brushes over the head of his cock.

               “Gonna come, love?” Harry says lowly. “Gonna come for me?”

               All he can do is moan Harry’s name. He forces his eyes open to see Harry and his heart stutters. His eyes are glassy, his face is flushed, a few pieces of hair are sticking to his forehead, and his lips are parted. That’s all he needs.

               “Fuck, Harry!”

               He throws his head back, eyes squeezing shut, mouth gaping although no sounds come out as his orgasm rips through him. Harry’s hand continues flying up and down, milking it out of him. His toes curl, and his fingers grab the blanket, and it feels so fucking good. It’s nonstop. It rolls through him over and over again, making him dizzy with pleasure. He hears Harry moan his name, long and deep, can feel something wet and sticky on his chest, his stomach. After an eternity, he opens his eyes and finds his boyfriend with his eyes shut, chest heaving. After a moment, he opens his eyes and lies beside Draco, breathing hard. Draco stares at the ceiling, trying to catch his breath, trying to put his brain back together. Bloody hell. Bloody fucking hell.

               “You just touched my dick,” Draco blurts, his voice hoarse.

               Harry laughs breathlessly. “I did. S’a nice dick. “

               The blond turns his head to find his boyfriend already staring at him. A smile lights up Draco’s face.

               “Yours was pretty nice, as well. “

               Harry grins. He ducks his head, pressing his forehead against Draco’s shoulder to hide his face. Draco reaches over and pets damp his hair.

               “We just…” Harry trails off, his breath hitting Draco’s arm.

               “We did. “

               “Yeah.”

               “It felt nice. “

               He can feel Harry’s wide smile. “It did. “

               He drags his fingers through Harry’s hair. “I still win. “

               Harry groans. “I thought you’d forget that. “

               “Have not. I’m quite tired, but I didn’t forget my rightful place as winner. “

               The Gryffindor lifts his head, searching his face. “You’re tired?”

               Draco raises his eyebrows. “Aren’t you?”

               Harry shrugs. “I guess. You can go ahead and sleep, I’ll clean all this up. “

               The blond is suddenly very aware of how sticky and wet his stomach and chest is. His face heats up, and he adverts his gaze. Harry presses a kiss to his cheek before saying an incantation. Instantly, the wetness is gone. He helps Draco get under the blanket before pressing one last kiss to his forehead.    

               “Sleep, love,” he says softly, trailing a finger down his cheek. “I’ll be here. “

               The Slytherin listens to Harry shift around on the bed, cleaning up the candy, most of which fell off the bed. It doesn’t take long for him to fall asleep.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               True to his word, Harry is beside Draco when he wakes up. He’s behind the Slytherin, arms wrapped around him, his back pressed against Harry’s chest. He exhales slowly. The room is dark, silent. He can feel Harry’s breath against the back of his neck. That brings him back to what they did before he fell asleep. Harry’s flushed face, his plump parted lips, his glassy eyes screwing shut –

               He needs to stop thinking about it before he gets hard again.

               As soon as Harry leaves his head, Italy floats in, and he frowns. He’d rather get hard from thinking of Harry’s face while jacking off than think about leaving.

               With a sigh, he closes his eyes again and tries to fall back asleep. It’s easier to sleep with his boyfriend behind him.

    

 

 


 

 

 

          

               When he wakes up again, it’s light and he hears voices from beyond the curtains. He flips onto his back, frowning when he realizes that his boyfriend isn’t with him. He’s about to throw the blanket off of him when he realizes he is still naked. No pants, no trousers, no shirt. Nothing. He swallows as a blush crawls up his neck.

               “Harry?” He calls out.

               “He’s in the shower, mate,” Weasley’s voice responds.

               “Ah. Alright. “

               “Need something?”

               My clothes.

               “Nope. “

               He doesn’t know where his wand is, even. He doesn’t know where anything is. He’ll have to stay until Harry comes back. With a sigh, he throws his arms out on the bed and stares at the ceiling. Listens to students walking around, talking. The door opening and closing. Several minutes pass before the curtain is opening. Draco inhales sharply, wide eyes landing on the intruder. Harry smiles at him with wet hair and a drop of water rolling down his forehead. Draco leans forward to brush away the drop.

               “Good morning,” Harry chirps.

               “Morning,” Draco replies. He lets the blanket fall to his lap. Harry’s eyes trail over his chest.

               “You need clothes, yeah?”

               “No, I’m going to walk around Hogwarts naked,” he says flatly.

               Harry grins. “One second,” he says, and walks away.

               When he comes back, he has a pile of folded clothes in hand. “Nobody is in here, I kicked them all out. I reckon you want to take a shower?”

               “You want me to walk to the toilet naked? Harry, what if someone accidentally walks in here. Oh, hey, fellow Gryffindor, here’s my fucking dick. “

               Harry snorts. “I locked the doors. “

               He raises his eyebrows. “There are spells to unlock doors. “

               “I’ll shield you. “

               Draco sighs.

               “Do you want me to get the cloak?”

               “No, it’s okay. I’ll just suffer. “

               Draco hesitantly pulls the blanket off of him, wondering if his boyfriend might see him differently in the light of day, without hormones raging. When he lifts his head, Harry is grinning softly at him.

               “You look scared,” he says quietly, setting a hand on his jaw.

               “Self-conscious, more like,” Draco murmurs, throwing his legs over the side of the bed.

               Harry’s eyebrows pull together. “You shouldn’t be. You’re beautiful. “

               He doesn’t meet Harry’s gaze. He tries to keep the blush off his face as he stands up. Harry leads the way out of the dorm to a door. He opens it, holding it open for Draco. He steps in to find that it’s not too different from the Slytherin dorm bathroom, apart from the colors. Harry closes and locks the doors, then guides Draco to the showers.

               He steps inside, but before Harry leaves, before he shuts the glass door, he asks,” Will you – will you stay?”

               Immediately, Harry smiles. “Of course, love. Want me to wash your hair?”

               Several minutes later, Draco finds himself naked with his boyfriend in the shower. The hot spray of water hits his chest as Harry stands behind him, lathering his hair with hair wash. He slowly rubs Draco’s scalp, taking far longer than average, but the Slytherin doesn’t mind. He closes his eyes. He keeps them closed when Harry gently grabs his shoulders to turn him around. He guides him back a step and tilts his head back so the water hits his hair. Harry rinses it out for him, combing his fingers through his hair. Once he’s finished, he guides Draco a step away from the water so it’s on his back instead. That’s when he feels Harry’s fingers splayed across his abdomen. He slowly opens his eyes. Through the steam, he finds Harry’s sad green eyes.

               “I didn’t know, “ he says weakly,” what the spell would do.”

               Draco blinks. His eyebrows furrow. “First of all, you’re an irresponsible dolt for using a spell on someone you didn’t know the consequences. Secondly, do you not know what Sectumsempra means in Latin?”

               He shakes his head, frowning. The blond sighs.

               “Harry, Sectum means cut in Latin. Sempra isn’t a word, but semper is; it means always. It’s literally cut always. Cut forever. “

               Harry’s face falls. He gazes at Draco with wide eyes. “I – I didn’t – “

               “It’s okay,” Draco soothes, grabbing Harry’s hands. He kisses his boyfriend’s nose. “You’re just a bit daft, yeah? It’s okay.”

               “Merlin, if I just knew simple Latin – “

               “Hey,” Draco says sternly, frowning at him,” stop. The past is the past. I don’t care. I honestly don’t quite mind the scars. Because of them, I kissed you for the first time.”

               Harry’s face seems to lift before it falls again and he looks away. “And then I ignored you and hurt you.”

               Draco sighs. “Sunshine. I tried to Crucio you before you even thought of using Sectumsempra. Do you know how much worse that is?”

               He runs a hand over his face. “But – “

               “We have done bad things, Harry,” he says, squeezing Harry’s hands,” but we learn. We forgive, and we learn, and we move on. Okay?”

               Harry just sighs, so Draco says,” I’m not kissing you until you say okay, Draco, you’re right, as always.”

               The Gryffindor snorts. “Okay, Draco, you’re right this time. “

               Once Draco is showered and dressed, he steps into the common room. He makes his way through the Gryffindors, ignoring their remarks about his marked up neck, to Harry, who is sitting on the couch talking to Weasley. He falls beside Harry, leaning up against him and looks at Weasley. He’s staring at his neck with wide eyes.

               Draco knows the state of his neck. He saw it in the mirror and almost fainted. There are love bites all over. All over. The only thing that will cover it up is if he wears a scarf, but he doesn’t want to. He likes it, weirdly enough. He likes finally letting people know that Harry is his, and he is Harry’s.

               “Mate, it looks like you were bloody attacked or summat,” Weasley says in awe, leaning closer to inspect Draco’s neck.

               “A vampire attacked me,” Draco says nonchalantly, giving Harry a look. His boyfriend merely smirks at him.

               “Good morning Harry,” Granger says, striding over with a smile. “Good morning – Draco. “

               His name comes out as a gasp. At first he thinks she’s surprised to see him here, but then he realizes that her eyes are on his neck. He bites his lip. It’s not that bad.

               “It’s not that bad,” Harry huffs. He wraps an arm around Draco’s waist and pulls him closer.

               “You might want to put a scarf on,” Granger says.

               Draco leans his head against Harry’s. “I’ll be okay. “

               Her gaze lingers before falling onto Weasley. “Ron, let’s go. “

               “We should go to the Great Hall,” Draco says as the two leave the common room along with several other Gryffindors.

               “Why’s that?”

               “You can sit at the Slytherin table and everyone can watch you feed me. “

               Harry groans. “I forgot about that. “

               Draco grins. “You mean you hoped I forgot about that. “

               “I thought my amazing hand job skills would’ve made you forget. “

               He bites his lip, thinking back on last night. “I never forget about winning. “

               They end up in the library. Draco sits on his boyfriend’s lap as he feeds him breakfast. At lunch, Harry sits at the mostly empty Slytherin table and they share a cup of tea.

               It’s safe to say that Draco is 100% head over heels in love with him.

Chapter Text

 

               It’s Sunday night. They’re sitting in the deserted common room. The only source of light is the blazing fire. Harry’s lying across the couch, his head in Draco’s lap as he runs his fingers through his boyfriend’s hair. They listen to the crackling fire.

               It doesn’t take long for Draco’s content glass bubble to shatter. All it takes is the realization that on Tuesday, he’s going to leave. He’s going to leave Harry.

               For the past month, he’s been pushing it to the back of his head. Each time it tried to crawl forward, he’d push it back again and again and again. He doesn’t want to think about it. He pretends that it’s not happening, he’s not leaving. He stays in the present and doesn’t dwell on the future. But now, he has to dwell on the future. It’s Sunday night, an hour until it’s Monday, and soon it’ll be Tuesday, and he’ll have to leave.

               They’re meeting with McGonagall tomorrow. Since they’re all 18, they decided to go to her office and tell her that they are leaving whether it’s by Hogwarts train or not. That’s the first thing to do on Draco’s checklist. The second thing is to write his mother a letter, since he backed out last time, when he was supposed to send one. He doesn’t know if he should explain Harry in it, too. He’s fairly certain she doesn’t read the Prophet, but she might read Witch Weekly, and he has heard from several sources that Witch Weekly dedicated an entire spread just for Harry and Draco. She might have even heard from gossip with her friends. Does she even spend time with her friends? Does she have friends? She must, right?

               Draco closes his eyes and tips his head back against the couch. Tomorrow is it. Everything will be sealed. He’ll be waiting to leave. Leave Harry.

               The more and more he thinks about it, the more he doesn’t want to leave. After all this time with Harry, he doesn’t want to separate. It has been the best month in his entire life. Even after everything that has happened, this has been the best month he has had. He actually laughs. He doesn’t want to kill himself at every moment of his existence. He’s enjoying life. He has his moments, his slumps, but Harry helps him resurface. Harry stops him from drowning.

               Harry is the best thing that has ever happened, and he has to leave him on Tuesday.

               He has thought about a long-distance relationship. It has crossed his mind several times. But would Harry want that? And for how long would they be long-distance? Harry still wants to be in the wizarding world, and Draco has no desire to drag him out of it. Harry wants to be a professor. A Hogwarts professor. He’ll have to stay close to Hogwarts, and a muggle city in Italy is not close to Hogwarts. Even if Harry ends up being an Auror, they’d still be long-distance, because the headquarters is in the UK, not Italy. They could try, of course. Draco would try anything to be with Harry. Except, Harry would be busy. Really busy. And Apparating to different countries is way too dangerous; he doesn’t want Harry to Splinch himself just to see him. So they’d have to do muggle transportation, and that takes forever. They would barely be able to see each other. They won’t even be able to get a flat together, a house together. Imagine a married couple living in different countries their whole life. Fuck.

               He drags his fingers away from Harry’s hair to trace his collarbones instead.

               “Harry?”

               “Yeah,” comes the tired mumble.

               Draco swallows thickly. “Harry. “

               “Mhm?”

               “I’ve been thinking. “

               A quiet, tired laugh.

               “What a bloody shocker, Draco Malfoy thinking? The world is coming to an end. “

               Draco feels a grin blossom on his face. He realizes that no, the world isn’t ending, their relationship is, and his grin fades away.

               “I want to stay here. “

               Harry’s eyes fly open. He looks at Draco, startled. “What?”

               Draco watches his fingertip trail across Harry’s collarbone. “The plan is to leave Tuesday, but I don’t… I don’t want to. I want to stay. “

               “Draco, what brought this on?” Harry asks, his eyebrows furrowing.

               “Nothing. I just realized that I can’t – I can’t leave. “

               “Stop bullshitting me. It’s not nothing, and you know it. “

               Draco pulls his hand away from his collarbone to run his hand down his face. He wishes Harry would just agree, let him stay, and they could live happily ever after, run off into the sunset together on a horse.

               “I don’t want to leave you, Harry,” he confesses his quietly, his voice cracking.

               Harry’s eyes soften. He reaches up, touching Draco’s cheek softly. “Love…”

               He shakes his head, closing his eyes. He’s not going to cry. He’s not. He’s going to ignore the lump in his throat and the burning behind his eyes. He’s not going to cry.

               “I’d rather stay and be with you. I’d rather deal with the hatred. “

               A sigh. Harry moves his head off Draco’s lap and sits up, legs crossed, facing Draco. The blond eyes him, his furrowed brow and frown and concerned, soft eyes, and wishes he did give the Gryffindor a love potion so he’d agree blindly with Draco and kiss him hard, let him stay.

               “You and I both know you shouldn’t stay,” he says. It feels like a slap to his face.

               “I should, “ he insists.

               Harry goes to set a hand on his shoulder, sympathetic and eyes soft, but Draco doesn’t let him. He flinches back and scowls at Harry. His heart twinges at the hurt that passes over his boyfriend’s face. His hand lingers in the air for a moment before it slowly returns to his lap.

               “Do you – do you not want to be with me?” Draco asks, his voice dropping to a whisper. “Do you just want to get rid of me?”

               His green eyes go wide. “No, Draco, no – “ he tries to reach out, touch Draco reassuringly, but the Slytherin flies off the couch and stands several steps away, hands placed out in front of him to guard his boyfriend off. Harry remains on the couch, looking so pained that Draco’s heart shreds.

               “Then I should stay. You should want me to stay. “ He hates the tears burning in his eyes.

               Harry’s face turns blurry. Draco is thankful he can’t see his hurt expression anymore.

               “It’s not that I don’t want to be with you, love. You should be able to live without all this hatred surrounding you. “

               “I can deal with it! I – I can deal with it for you. “

               Harry sighs. Draco’s heart weighs heavy in his chest. “Draco, why do you want to stay?”

               His eyebrows furrow. He thought he made that clear. “You. For you. “ He blinks. A tear falls down his cheek.

               The Gryffindor shakes his head. “You can’t make important decisions based off of me. “

               “Why the fuck not?” He snaps.

               “You can’t be dependent on me. That’s – that’s extremely unhealthy, love. “

               Anger shoots through him. “Wanting to be with my bloody boyfriend is unhealthy?”

               “Deciding to stay only because of me is unhealthy. What happens if we break up later in the year? If we have a fight in January, or February, and we’re no longer together?”

               “Then I’ll leave,” Draco says simply.

               “Your world can’t revolve around me,” Harry tells him softly. “Your world has to revolve around you. “

               His face falls. He presses the heels of his palms to his eyes. He wants to tear his hair out. He wants to cry, and scream, like a fucking kid because Harry is just – he’s being a huge prat. When he takes his hands away, they’re wet.

               “So you’re just going to push me off to Italy?” He asks, his voice thick with tears. “You’re going to pretend this past month never happened? “

               Harry stands up from the couch. “I couldn’t forget any moment with you. “

               Draco laughs. It comes out wet and slightly hysterical. “Then why – why?”

               He takes a few steps closer. He hesitantly places his warm hands on Draco’s jaw, cupping his face. He stares into Draco’s eyes with unwavering confidence.

               “You deserve a good life. “

               Draco sniffles. “It’ll be a good life with you. “

               Harry shakes his head slowly. “You can’t wrap around me. You can’t live off of me. “

               “What’s going to happen, then?” He croaks. His eyes fill with tears again. “We’re going to kiss goodbye and never speak again?”

               “You know I’m up for a long-distance relationship, right?”

               The blond swallows. “It won’t work out. You – you want to be a professor, and I want to live with the – with the muggles. “

               Harry drags his thumb over Draco’s cheek. “We can work it out. We can make a few sacrifices for each other. “ He presses his forehead against Draco’s. He closes his eyes, savoring Harry’s warm presence, wrapped around him and tangling with his heart. “I believe in us. “

               Harry presses a kiss to his lips. He kisses back. It’s slow, and he tries to push all of his love into it, tell Harry how much he loves him without words.

               “You taste like tears,” Harry murmurs against his lips.

               “Sorry. “

               “I love you. “

               Draco’s breath hitches. He stares at Harry, wide eyed, because holy fuck Harry Potter loves me, oh bloody hell, fuck. Harry offers a tentative smile. Draco ignores the sob itching at his throat. “I love you, too, Harry. So bloody much. “

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

               Draco falls in the space beside Harry. He closes his eyes and rests his head on Harry’s shoulder. The Gryffindor table seems to quieten slightly. He can feel their eyes on him, but he doesn’t care. He’s mentally exhausted. Harry wraps his arm around Draco’s waist. He slides his hand beneath his jumper to rub circles with his thumb on his skin.

               “How’d it go?” He asks.

               “The train will be waiting Tuesday morning. “

               Harry presses a kiss to the top of his head. “That’s great, love. “

               “Yeah. I – I wish the train would come later, though. Spend more time with you. “

               He feels something poke at his lips. He parts his lips without hesitation. He bites down into bacon.

               “I love you,” Draco says several moments later.

               He can feel Harry freeze up, his breath stutter. He kisses the top of Draco’s head again.

               “I love you,” he replies.

               Someone sputters. Draco slowly opens his eyes to see Weasley staring at the two of them with wide eyes. He opens and closes his mouth several times before he chokes out,” Did you say you love him?”

               Draco arches a brow. “Yes, and?”

               Weasley stares at him for another second before he rubs his eyes. “I’m hallucinating. Fuck. “

               “You’re not hallucinating, mate,” Harry says, amused.

               “I never thought I’d hear you tell Draco bloody Malfoy that you love him, merlin’s beard. “

               Draco grins. He picks his head off Harry’s shoulder to steal his cup of pumpkin juice. Harry lets him without a glance.

He doesn’t talk much. He listens to Harry talk to his friends. Loves the way his eyes light up when they talk about Quidditch, and the slight grimace on his face when they mention a team he hates. When he hears Weasley snort, he glances over at him. Weasley is grinning at him, smug. He narrows his eyes.

               “What?” He asks sharply.

               Weasley shakes his head. “Nothing, mate. It’s just the way you look at him. “

               “And how do I look at him?”

               Weasley shrugs. Stuffs food into his mouth. Unlike Blaise and Pansy, Weasley doesn’t use stuffing his face as an excuse to stop talking. He continues talking, even with his mouth full of food,” ‘ou wea’y ‘ove ‘ih.”

               Draco rolls his eyes. “I can’t understand you. “

               Weasley huffs, speaking again once he has chewed and swallowed,” You really love him. “

               “Of course I do. Harry’s amazing. “

               Hearing his name, Harry glances over at him. Draco grins at him and his confused expression. The confused expression melts away into a content smile. He presses a kiss to Draco’s temple before turning back to his conversation with Longbottom. When Draco turns back to Weasley, he’s grinning from ear to ear. Draco glares at him, but there isn’t any anger or hatred in it.

               Breakfast goes by far too quickly far his liking. Once it’s over, Draco walks Harry to his first class, hand in hand. They get a few stares. A lot of stares, actually. But Draco ignores them.

               “I could ditch,” Harry says, nudging his shoulder.

               “Sunshine, it’ll just be boring for you. I have to make sure everything’s in order. Pack up my stuff, send a letter to my mum…”

               “You haven’t told her?”

               Draco bites his lip. Shakes his head.

               “Blimey, you better get on that.”

               He sighs. “Yeah. I’ll see you at lunch, though. And when you’re free. And tonight. “

               Harry nods. “Ron and I were thinking about a game of Quidditch later if you’d like to join.”

               Draco hesitates. The last time he was on a broom, it was Harry’s, and they were flying out of the Room of Requirement. The last time he was on a broom, someone died. He almost died.

               “Maybe,” is what he settles on.

              

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               He’s in his room, staring at his trunk. His packed trunk in his clean room that is ready for Draco to leave. Leave forever. Fuck.

               He’s doing it. He’s about to bloody leave the wizarding world. He’s leaving to live in Italy with Pansy and Blaise, without wizard robes or newspaper articles about him or worrying about people chasing him down corridors. He’s leaving magic and brewing potions, coming up with alternative ingredients and studying the works of Potion Masters. He’s leaving moving staircases and talking portraits. He’s leaving all of this for a muggle life. A life that he has never considered any other time in his very magical, pureblood life. Draco stares at his trunk with all of his extra sets of Slytherin robes and realizes that he won’t wear them again. He won’t wear his Slytherin tie again, or his scarf, any of it.

               He hears footsteps slowly draw closer. The floorboard creaks. Harry is standing there in his Quidditch uniform with a small smile. Draco sighs, his tense shoulders dropping. Instead of kissing his boyfriend, or at least saying hi, he sits on the edge of the bed and pinches the bridge of his nose. It’s not long until he feels fingers threading through his hair. He leans forward, pressing his cheek against Harry’s stomach. The material of the uniform is uncomfortable, but it’s Harry, so he doesn’t mind as much as he would have.

               “I didn’t see you at lunch,” Harry says.

               “It’s been stressful. “

               Harry hums. It’s relaxing, simply existing here with Harry as he combs his fingers through Draco’s hair. It’s nice. This is nice. Harry’s presence is nice.

               Soon, he won’t have Harry’s presence anymore. He’ll have to live without Harry for months. His heart drops to his stomach.

               “I’m going to miss you,” he murmurs.

               “I’m going to miss you, too. But we’ll write letters, and I’ll send you pictures the Prophet took of us. “

               Draco grins. “I’ll hold you to it. “

               Draco ends up walking with Harry to the Quidditch Pitch a while later, after Draco gets all of his cuddling needs out of the way and composes himself. He wants to get on the broom and play, but… he doesn’t want something to happen. He doesn’t want to get up there and have a flashback, end up falling off his broom. On purpose. He’d rather not go to the hospital ward the day before he leaves, and he’d also rather not explain why he suddenly dropped from the broom like a rock. So, he simply watches his boyfriend from the stands. He can’t help but smile when half way through the match, Harry stops to smile and wave at Draco. Harry continues playing, and Draco revels in the opportunity to watch his gorgeous boyfriend play.

              

               Later, they walk to the castle hand in hand. When they eat dinner together in the library, one last time, Harry sticks one of the knives into the table and carves out their initials. When he puts the knife down, Draco picks it back up to draw a heart around them. He ends up in Harry’s lap, kissing like the world is ending.

               They go back to the Slytherin common room to find everyone sitting on the floor and the couches, talking and laughing. When the two walk in, someone cheers. Pansy stands up from where she sat on the couch with a smile and gestures for them to walk over.

               “What’s going on?” Draco asks once they reach her.

               “They planned a party for us! Sweet, innit?”

               Draco thinks back on the last time they had a party and grimaces.

               “No alcohol,” Blaise chimes in, reading Draco like a book. “There are 1st years here, so we limited it to candy from Honeydukes and lots of food stolen from the kitchens. “

               He glances over at Harry and asks if he’d like to stay. Harry immediately nods, and they find a spot on the couch beside his friends.

               They play truth or dare. Draco and Harry don’t join in, but they watch. It’s fun. Everyone laughs at the dares people come up with, and the red-faces when someone asks an embarrassing truth. Harry is smiling, laughing. Draco isn’t. He’s watching everyone have fun, all the Slytherins making fun of each other like – like they’re family. It doesn’t make him feel better at all. Draco’s stomach has dropped to the floor. When Harry glances over him with a smile that slowly starts to fade into a concerned look, Draco tries to plaster on a smile. It’s heavy. Harry wraps an arm around his waist and pulls him as close as possible. Draco rests his head on Harry’s shoulder and acts like he’s having fun.

               When the party winds down into something mellow, nothing more than quiet chatter and mingling, Draco drags Harry over to where Clara and Adie are throwing candy into each other’s mouth on the floor by the fire. They look up at Draco and smile wide. Clara jumps up and hugs Draco tight. The blond blinks in surprise, but slowly wraps his arms around the 1st year. He catches Adie standing a few steps away, rubbing his arm and biting his lip.

               “Join in,” he tells him, opening his arms again for Adie.

               Adie beams. He bounds over, and Draco wraps his arm around him. When they break away, Clara says,” You’re leaving!”

               Draco nods. “I am. “

               “You didn’t tell us,” she adds, pouting.

               He arches a brow. “Didn’t tell anyone. “

               “You told him,” Adie says, gesturing to Harry.

               Draco glances back at Harry, forgetting that he’s there. He smiles first at Draco, then at the 1st years. He steps closer and wraps an arm around his waist.

               “Only because I’m his boyfriend,” Harry explains.

               Clara sighs exaggeratedly. “I guess that’s reasonable… but I’ll miss you. “

               “I’ll miss you, too, Clara,” he says. “You, too, Adie. I’ll miss you both. “

               Adie drops his chin to his chest and grins at the ground while wringing his hands. Clara smiles wide before dropping to the floor and grabbing an unopened bottle of Pumpkin Fizz. She hands it to Draco.

               “A parting present!”

               Draco eyes it as he takes it. He arches a brow at her. “Why don’t you open it for me?”

               She blinks. “Uhhhhh I can’t! Hands are slippery. Sweaty. “

               He snorts as he hands it back to her. “Yeah, sure. “

               “I can open it,” Adie says, taking the bottle from Draco’s hand.

               Draco and Clara watch with wide eyes as Adie’s hand goes to the cap. Draco is about to tell him to stop, but then he’s twisting the cap off. He takes a step back with Harry as the Pumpkin Fizz bursts, spraying Adie in the face. Draco claps a hand over his mouth. Adie stares at the bottle, blinking slowly. There’s Pumpkin Fizz dripping from his face, his hair. He slowly looks at Clara with a glare. She laughs nervously.

               “Oops?”

               He sets down the bottle to tackle her to the floor. Draco bites his lip to stop his smile. He turns away, dragging Harry with him.

               “Who were they?” Harry asks with a confused yet amused tone.               

               “Just some first years I took under my wing, kind of. Do you want to go up to my dorm? Cuddle?”

               Harry nods. “I’m always up for a cuddle. “

               They go up to Draco’s dorm without anyone noticing. It’s quiet up here. Harry collapses onto Draco’s bed. The Slytherin pulls off his robes and tie before joining Harry. He wraps around Harrys’ side, their legs tangling together and an arm thrown over his stomach. Draco rests his head on Harry’s chest and closes his eyes.

               “Alright?” Harry asks, worry in his tone.

               “I feel like I’m giving my life up,” Draco admits quietly. “I – I feel like… I don’t know. “

               “It’s okay to feel that way, love. “

               Draco sighs heavily. “I know. It’s just difficult to deal with. “

               He feels Harry’s hand rub up and down his back. He hates how his throat closes up, hates the tears trying to burn in his eyes.

               “Talk?” He asks weakly. “Just – can you talk to me? About anything. Please. “

               Harry does. He tells Draco stories. In primary school, before he knew he was a wizard and was living with muggles, he accidentally turned his teachers hair blue. Apparently, at dinner once, he blew up his Aunt Marge like a balloon. Then he talks about Hogwarts, and stories about Ron being daft. It’s nice. It’s nice until Draco can’t hold back the tears. They trail down his temple and hit Harry’s jumper. His boyfriend, thankfully, doesn’t notice. He does notice when Draco sniffles, however.

               He tried to be casual about it. It was right in the middle of Harry’s story, as he’s saying something with a laugh. He thought it’d be quiet and Harry would continue his story. But that doesn’t happen. Harry stops mid-sentence. Draco winces. He didn’t want to draw attention.

               “…Draco? Love?”

               Draco chokes out a sob. Harry’s voice is so bloody soft, he’s so bloody caring, he can’t believe he’s leaving him tomorrow. He’s leaving the love of his life tomorrow.

               “Love, what’s wrong? What’s happening?” Harry says, growing panicked.

               Another sob falls into the air. He clutches Harry’s hip tight and hides his face in his chest. Harry rubs his back slowly.

               “I’m going to miss you,” Draco chokes out.

               “Oh, Draco…”

               He sniffles. “I – I’m sorry, I’m getting your – your jumper all bloody wet – “

               “You don’t have to apologize for crying.”

               “Well, I fucking am,” Draco says, his voice thick,” so you better bloody deal with it. “

               The Slytherin tries to compose himself while Harry rubs his back soothingly. He tries to push Italy out of his mind and focus on Harry. it barely works. He sniffles, but right after that, a sob falls from his lips. And another. And another. And soon, he’s just sobbing into Harry’s chest. It’s gross, and ugly, and he can barely catch a breath.

               “Sorry,” he manages to say before another wave of sadness crashes over him. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. “

               “Don’t apologize,” Harry says softly, sounding pained.

               “I’m sorry,” he sobs, clutching Harry’s hip tighter.

               “Love, you’ve got nothing to be sorry about. “

               “I’m such a – a fucking mess, “ he says, holding back his sobs. He breathes out shakily. “A right, proper mess. Salazar. “

               “Draco, stop beating yourself up. Look at me. “

               It takes a long moment until Draco forces his head up to look at Harry. He looks pained, and confused, and worried, all at the same time. He removes his hand from his back to wipe a tear off of Draco’s cheek.

               “I love you,” Draco chokes out before his brain catches up.

               Harry looks surprised, but it fades quickly. He smiles softly and pushes Draco’s hair away from his face.

               “I love you, too. “

               For some reason, that makes another wave of tears hit Draco. He slaps a hand over his mouth to muffle the strangled sob that escapes. Hot tears trail down his cheeks and hit his hand. Harry looks even more pained.

               “I’m sorry,” is the first thing Draco says when he pulls his hand away.

               “Nothing to be sorry for,” Harry says simply. “What are you worked up about?”

               Draco swallows thickly. “Leaving you. “

               Harry’s face crumples. “Oh, Draco, you’re not even leaving me, not really. “

               He shakes his head. “I – I am, I’m fucking selfish, and I – “

               “You’re not selfish,” Harry says firmly, looking at Draco intently. “Not selfish, love. “

               Draco laughs bitterly. If he doesn’t form it into a laugh it’ll come out as a sob. “That’s what all the papers say. “

               “Someone once told me that all the articles the Prophet write are shite. “ Harry raises his eyebrows. “D’you know you said that?”

               The blond sniffles. “I did. “

               “Exactly. You’re not selfish, Draco. “

               Draco rubs his wet eyes. “Do you really think we can… we can do this? Stay together? You – you want to miss out on dates to – to Hogsmeade and – and kissing your partner every day?”

               Harry frowns. “All I want is you. I don’t want anyone else. I’ll do anything for us. “

               I’ll do anything for us. It echoes in Draco’s head. He bites his lip hard, not surprised when he tastes blood.

               “I love you, Draco Rebellious Malfoy,” Harry says with a half-smile.

               Draco smiles. A laugh tumbles out of him. “I love you, Harry Insufferable Potter. “

               “I’m willing to write you letters and only be able to kiss the parchment if that’s what I have to do,” he says.

               The blond nods. “Me too. “

               Harry leans up and gives him a chaste kiss. “Good. It’s mutual, then. “

               Draco nods. “Very mutual. “ Then, he adds, just because he can, “ I love you. “

               Harry beams at him. Draco’s heart flutters. “I love you. Now, will you kiss me, Draco Rebellious Malfoy?”

               He leans down, but before he kisses his boyfriend, he murmurs,” I will indeed kiss you, Harry Insufferable Potter. “

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

               Harry gets emotional in the morning.

               It’s not a surprise. Draco was waiting on it. He was expecting it sooner or later. He sobbed out all his sadness last night, and Harry needed to, as well. They laid in bed for a while before Draco’s stomach growled. He tore himself away from Harry and stood up, stretching his arms above his head. He’s about to take a step when Harry’s arms wrap around his waist and holds him in place. Harry presses his forehead against Draco’s shoulder, his face pressing into his shoulder blade.

               “I have to take a shower, sunshine,” Draco coos.

               “Stay,” Harry mumbles against his jumper.

               “I am; you’re not letting me move,” he replies, smiling. He reaches his arms behind him, blindly patting Harry. “How about we make a deal, yeah? I’ll carry you to the shower if you let go. “

               “Don’t wanna,” Harry whines.

               Draco tries to twist around to face Harry, but his boyfriends grip only grows tighter. He sighs and rests his hands atop of Harry’s. “Sunshine, what’s wrong?”

               “You’re leaving. “

               “I am. “

               Harry sniffles. Draco’s eyes widen. He pries Harry’s hands off of him to turn around. Harry looks at him with a sad smile and teary eyes.

               “Don’t cry,” he says, interlacing their fingers. “I’m going to cry if you cry. “

               Harry wipes his nose with his sleeve. “Sorry. I’m trying not to. “

               Draco rubs his thumb over Harry’s knuckles. He leans down to pepper Harry’s face with kisses. Harry’s sad smile turns brighter as he continues, pressing kisses to each eyebrow, his forehead, his nose, his cheeks, his chin, his temples, under his eyes. When he pulls back, Harry is beaming.

               “I love you,” Draco whispers, enforcing his statement with a kiss. Harry smiles into the kiss, and his heart swells.

               “I love you, too,” Harry murmurs against his lips. “S’why I’m going to miss you. You know who else I’m going to miss?”

               Draco quirks an eyebrow. “Pansy?” He asks.

               Harry laughs. He inhales sharply when he feels Harry run a finger up his thigh, up to – oh.

               “You’re going to miss my dick?” Draco sputters.

               Harry smirks. “Of course. I’m going to miss every part of you. Your lips,” he gives Draco a chaste kiss,” your warm hands, “ he squeezes Draco’s hand,” your lovely, lovely thighs,” he gives one of Draco’s thighs a squeeze, which makes Draco squeak,” and… y’know,” he finishes, his palm landing gently over the growing bulge in Draco’s trousers.

               “Right,” Draco breathes out.

               Harry idly palms Draco as he says,” Didn’t you say you were going to carry me to the shower?”

               The Slytherin swallows. “Have to let me go. “

               Harry sighs loudly. He takes both hands away and places his hands on his hips instead. He looks at Draco, eyebrows raised.

               “You actually want me to carry you?” Draco asks, trying to gather his wits.

               “Yes. “

               “Really. “

               Harry licks his lips. “I’ll give you a blowjob in the shower if you do. “

               Draco’s breath hitches. “You’ll – you’ll what?”

               “I’ll give you a blowjob. You know, wrap my lips around your – “

               “Okay!” Draco ignores the blush rising from his neck to his face. “Okay, okay, shut up. “

               Harry laughs. “What, you don’t want me to talk about sucking – “

               He’s cut off when Draco grabs him and throwing him over his shoulder. He carries his boyfriend out of the room, ignoring the looks he receives from the other Slytherins.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

              

               “I love you,” Draco says for the 100th time.

               The train is behind him, waiting for Draco. Pansy and Blaise are already inside, getting settled. Harry’s hands on his waist tug him closer until their foreheads are pressed together.

               “I love you,” Harry murmurs before giving Draco the longest, deepest, most passionate kiss he has ever received.

               It abruptly gets cut off by Pansy yelling at him from the door of the train.

               Draco pulls back reluctantly. He blinks away the tears trying to form. He runs his hands through Harry’s hair, trying to memorize the way it feels. He touches his boyfriend’s cheek gently and closes his eyes, memorizing everything so he doesn’t forget.

               “I love you,” he says again, opening his eyes. Harry is smiling at him.

               “I love you, too. “ He presses a kiss to Draco’s forehead. “You better get inside before Pansy hexes me. “

               Draco sighs. “Yeah. “

               Before he turns to leave, he hugs Harry tight, snuggling his face in the crook of his boyfriend’s neck. He squeezes him tight, breathes him in. Harry’s arms are just as tight around him. He doesn’t want to let go. He doesn’t want to leave him.    

               But he has to. So he lets go, and he takes a step back so he’s not tempted to make their goodbye any longer. He looks at Harry, into his beautiful green eyes, and he knows he won’t be able to hold the tears back for much longer.

               “I’m going to send you a letter as soon as I get my owl,” Draco says.

               “I’ll be waiting. “

               The Slytherin takes a deep breath. “Bye, Harry. “

               His boyfriend smiles sadly. “Goodbye, Draco. “

               He turns around just as tears fill his eyes. He boards the train without looking back. If he does, Harry will see the tears falling down his face, and he doesn’t want that to be the last thing Harry sees. He sits on the train, Pansy and Blaise in front of him. Harry stands out there, wearing Draco’s jumper that hasn’t been washed, and his Slytherin scarf. He squints against the cold wind.

               The train whistles as it lurches to life. He watches Harry wave, a sob growing behind the lump in his throat. Harry gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller, until he vanishes from view. That’s when Draco starts crying.

 

 

Chapter Text

                                                                                                                                                             1 December 1998

Dear Harry Potter,

               Is it depressing to say that I already miss you? I’m sitting in a room in Diagon Alley, on a bed, and all I can think about is you and your comfy bed. At least this bed doesn’t have an ugly red Gryffindor curtain.

               I bought an owl earlier with Pansy. I looked for at least an hour, Harry. A bloody hour. I didn’t think it’d be that difficult to buy an owl. My other owl was purchased by my father, so I didn’t have the pleasurable experience of listening to owls shrieking while trying to find the right one.

               I ended up with an eagle owl, again. It’s black and white, and I’m already falling in love with her; it looks like you have competition. I was looking at owls that weren’t European eagle-owls, but the spotted owls scared me, the barn owls looked creepy, and I simply didn’t like the other species of owl. I was looking at a screech owl when Pansy started elbowing me in the ribs and pointing to a beautiful black and white eagle, the one that I ended up buying. When Pansy and I walked out of the shop, cage in hand, she asked what I’m going to name her. I’m not sure. Do you have any suggestions?

               I hope you’re doing okay. It’s barely been a day, but I miss you. It’s weird how I’m only in Diagon Alley, yet I feel like I’m already in a different country. I love you.

                                                                                                                                       Sincerely, Draco

              

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      2 December 1998

Dear Draco,

               It’s not depressing to say you already miss me. I already miss you, too. Hermione says I was moping all day yesterday. In my opinion, I have the right to mope, my boyfriend just left, she can piss off. Or maybe she’s right, because I accidentally went to our table in the library for dinner and almost started crying when I realized you wouldn’t be there. I stayed there anyway and ate, because I needed to study for a Herbology exam.

               My Gryffindor curtains are absolutely lovely, shut your beautiful mouth, Draco.

               It’s barely been a day and I already have competition! Good thing you’re gay. Good things bestiality is also illegal, yeah? How are barn owls creepy, they’re so cute! I should get a barn owl just to mess with you. Maybe you’ll come back and hex me.

               Sorry. I don’t actually want you to come back. You deserve to get out of this messy world and into a better one. I miss you, is all. I don’t know how I’m going to survive without you beside me. I’ll be okay. I hope YOU’RE doing okay. This is a big change, love. Take care for me. xx

               p.s. name her Thuban! That’s one of the stars in the Draco Constellation!

 

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      4 December 1998

 

Dear Harry Potter,

               It’s… strange here. Everyone is in muggle clothing, and they don’t have wands, and they have things called cell phones? It’s like the Floo, but so much more. You can type things into the internet and things will pop up correlating to what you typed. It’s not magic, but it seems like it. It’s a different kind of magic. Muggle magic. There’s also computers with internet, but you can’t Floo people from your computer, I don’t think.

               Turns out there are different types of Floo? There’s one called text message, another called email. It’s so strange, Harry. I wish you were here. it’s bloody overwhelming. I nearly burned down the kitchen this morning. We don’t have house elves, obviously, so I have to learn how to cook stuff. One of Tom’s friends came over and was making breakfast. Scrambled eggs. His cell phone went off in the other room (a song came out of it? I don’t understand why, but apparently when it does that, you need to touch your cell phone immediately) and told me to take care of the eggs. So I tried. I stared at them. I took the spoon and stirred them around. And then a fire started in the pan, and I thought it was normal. Apparently, it’s not, because when he came back he started screaming. I guess you’re not supposed to let fires start in pans while cooking eggs. I don’t quite know how it happened. I guess it’s like brewing potions, except… with food. Merlin. It’s so weird.

               That’s weird as well. I’ll say Merlin out loud and people stare at me with confused expressions. Or Salazar. Do muggles not say that? I don’t really understand.

               I wish you were here to help me with this. I asked Thuban, but she just blinked at me really, really slowly. I’m so confused, sunshine.

               How did your Herbology exam go? High marks and all? I’ll be forced to go back to Hogwarts and strangle you if you don’t get high marks, Harry!!!

 

                                                                                                                                       Sincerely, Draco

 

--

                                                                                                                                                      5 December 1998

Dear Draco,

               Yes, love, I received high marks on my exam. High marks and all. Don’t you worry about me, worry about your cooking problem. I expect you to know how to cook when we get a flat together. You know, make me breakfast in bed, answer all my phone calls like I’m a proper prince, yeah?

               You can contact people using cell phones like the floo, yeah, except you can’t see them. You can only hear their voice. And every cell phone has a specific number. To contact people, you can type that number into your contacts and have the option to write a message, like a letter but it takes 2 seconds to send, or a call. You should talk to Tom about the internet, I’m not very good at explaining that.

               People usually say ‘Christ’ or ‘Jesus’ instead of merlin and Salazar. But some people get offended, because religion and stuff. You know about Christianity. And don’t lose all of your wizardness ☹ ! say merlin and Salazar if you want to, love.

               I wish I was there, too. But it’s alright! You can learn a bunch of things and impress me when I see you again.

               It’s Hagrid’s birthday tomorrow, so I may not respond too quickly. I love you, Draco. xx

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      6 December 1998

Dear Harry Potter,

               Hey Harry. How was Hagrid’s birthday? I would tell you to tell him happy birthday from me, but I don’t think he likes me. Maybe just telepathically tell him. Kidding. Please don’t.

               I’m sitting at my desk in my room (my own room, singular bed and everything. It’s amazing) with Thuban. She’s sitting in the window sill, sleeping. Don’t know why she’s by the window. She’s quite odd. She barely talks to me. I can barely get a hoot out of her. All she does is blink at me. Very, very slowly. If she’s irritated she’ll turn her head all the way around again and again until I stop looking at her. I’m still fond of her, though. Looks like you still have competition, sunshine, but at least you don’t spin your head 270 degrees when you’re irritated.

               I asked Tom about the internet! He explained it well. I’m amazed by muggles. Their Muggle Magic involves electricity. It’s not as good as real magic, but it’s still interesting. I also saw muggle writing utensils for the first time at a restaurant. A pizza shop. The waiter wrote on a tiny notepad with a pencil. Blaise thought it was a tiny wand. Pansy laughed at us. I guess she knows more than we do. I might go to the shop today and buy some pencils. Pens. Such an odd word. It’s so close to a rude word. Pens. Pens. Pens.

               Christ, I didn’t know that, Harry! See what I did there? Proper muggle. I have joined the muggles. Kidding. I’ll always say Merlin and Salazar, sunshine, you don’t need to worry.

               I asked Tom to show me how to make scrambled eggs just for you. I burnt my finger. I hate you.

               I don’t like this. I’m supposed to say I hate you, and you’re supposed to say “no, you adore me” or “you love me” but I’m just here, waiting to hear your voice but receiving nothing but silence. I miss you.

                                                                                                                                       Sincerely, Draco

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      12 December 1998

Dear Draco,

               Hi, love. It’s been snowing all day today and I can’t catch a break. I step outside for 2 seconds and come back in to have my clothes all wet and my hair full of snowflakes. Good thing I still have your scarf. It doesn’t smell like you anymore, though, which is sad. I miss you and how good you smell.

               Is it snowing there? I don’t know much about Italy. You’re in Naples, yeah? Are you spending your Christmas there? I’m spending mine with Ron and his family. I think Hermione is coming with us.

               I’m nervous. It’s the first Christmas with the Weasley’s. It’s Ron’s first Christmas without his brother. I’m not sure how festive it’s going to be this year. I’ll have to blast Jingle Bells if there’s too much negativity. I’ll whip out your jumper (it didn’t retain your smell either, sadly) and your scarf so people will be so distracted by my green scarf to be sad anymore. Distract everyone.

               Has your mum wrote you a letter back? Are you spending Christmas in Naples? If you come back to the UK, you’ll have to visit me. I miss you. A lot. I’m cuddled up with your jumper right now in my bed as I write this. Ron walked by and told me I’m a huge, disgusting sap. I am for you. I love you. xox

                                                                                                                                                      Love, Harry

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      13 December 1998

Dear Harry,

               Sunshine, there’s no sunshine here, in both ways. It rains. It doesn’t snow, it just rains really bloody hard, and you’d hate it, especially with your glasses. Your cute glasses that I miss seeing. I’m tempted to subscribe to the Prophet just so I can see your face. Didn’t you say you’d send photos of us from the paper?

               Bloody git. I don’t have anything of yours except these fading love bites. And your necklace you gave me. And your poem, actually. Sorry, I stole it from you when you were asleep one day. I keep it under my pillow. Embarrassing, huh? You cuddle with my jumper and I keep your poem under my pillow. We’re so disgusting. At least my friends haven’t noticed. Send your Gryffindor scarf to me. It’s not fair. I want a piece of your clothing ))):

               My mother hasn’t sent me a letter back. I’m planning on spending Christmas here. We’ve just set up the tree yesterday. Thuban helped decorate. She put the star up top and helped hang some tinsel. Absolutely lovely, she is. Even pecked at Pansy’s hand after she insulted me. A true blessing. You’re still better than her. You don’t peck at people’s hands, you use a bloody Unforgivable.

               Weasley, of course you’re spending Christmas there. With Ginny and all them. That’s another reason I’d rather stay here than head home. All the death. It’s not the same, is it? It’ll never be quite the same.

               What is Jingle Bells? Blast it? I’m confused.

                                                                                                                                       Sincerely, Draco

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                       14 December 1998

Dear Draco,

               I attached a photo of us. It’s us drinking Butterbeer and you kissing my forehead. I’m quite fond of this moment. I’m quite fond of every moment with you.

               I’ll send my scarf with you Christmas present, love. I’ll even send you my jumper. Maybe I’ll get Mrs. Weasley to make a jumper for you. She knits jumpers for everyone with their first initial on the front. I’m sure she’ll love to make you one.

               Jingle Bells! It’s a muggle Christmas song. Bloody hell, I can’t believe you haven’t discovered muggle Christmas songs yet! Ask Tom to show you Christmas music. It’ll get you in the festive cheer. The Gryffindor common room has a whole track of Christmas music playing at all times to put people in the festive mood. Have you heard any other muggle music? I’ll have to send you a list of music to check out. I don’t know any new music, but I do know a few old artists that I used to enjoy.

               By the way, what do you want for Christmas? Asking for a friend, of course… before you ask what I want for Christmas, all I want is YOU. Get it? You won’t. it’s a Christmas song by Mariah Carey. You should check her out as well.

               I love you, Draco. Have a happy Christmas in Italy for me, love. xx

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      24 December 1998

Dear Harry,

               Harry! By the time you get this, it will be Christmas! Aren’t you excited? Today, all of us have been baking. Ever since we woke up this morning. Baking, baking, baking. Tom goes to all of his neighbors in the evening with baskets of biscuits and other desserts, so that’s why we’re baking. And because we love eating good food, especially desserts. No treacle tart here, though. And no Honeydukes candy. The two things I miss from Hogwarts are you and the candy.

               I’m taking a break right now. We just finished the cannoli’s. They’re making the zeppole right now. It seems fairly easy to make, so I left the other three at it so I can write this letter for my gorgeous, insufferable boyfriend. I hope you’re having a happy Christmas. I hope things aren’t too sad there. I’m… kind of sad right now. My mum hasn’t sent me a letter back. I’m starting to think that she doesn’t plan on writing me back. But I have Thuban, Pansy, Blaise, Tom, and you, so I’ll be okay.

               I wish you were here. I’d be so much fun baking with you. Next year, we’re spending Christmas together, and we’re going to make bloody awesome cannoli’s in this minging rainy weather and feed each them to each other while I sit in your lap. Preferably naked. Wearing nothing but a bow, like I’m your present you get to unwrap.

               Next year I’ll be your present you can unwrap, I promise. I hope you’re having a good time with the Weasley’s, sunshine. I love you so much. You’re all I dream about, all I think about. I hope you like my present.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

               p.s. I was making everyone listen to Last Christmas by Wham! on repeat as we were making cannoli’s. I was dancing to it as I baked. Blaise kept teasing me, and Pansy rolled her eyes, and Tom just laughed. Couldn’t stop thinking about you as I shook my bum xox

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      25 December 1998

Dear Draco,

               Draco ! Happy Christmas, love! The love of my life! My favorite present! My cutie pie! My baby! My babe, my love muffin, my heart and soul.

               I want to eat your cannoli, if you get what I’m saying. Wink wink. But I’m stuck with Mrs. Weasley’s cooking. Her cooking is spectacular, but I’d much rather have you and your cannoli.

               Truthfully, It’s not much of a happy Christmas here. Everyone keeps skirting past what happened. I don’t blame them at all, but it’s… I don’t know. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable, not like a real Christmas. We already opened presents and everything, and everyone was happy, but it was a bit forced. Sorry, I shouldn’t be adding to your rainy weather.

               I want to be there with you. Not because I love you or anything, just because I want to see you dancing to Last Christmas. I bet you’re a great dancer. That was sarcasm, by the way, take note.

               I’m sure your mum will come through, Draco. She’s probably getting into the festive cheer. She really loves you. Even I know that, and I have barely seen her.

               Ron is calling me. I need to go. It’s busy here, very crowded. Next year it’ll be you and I in our little flat together with Thuban dancing to Christmas muggle music as we dance and wait for our dessert to finish baking in the oven. I love you, happy Christmas! xx

               (sorry Mrs. Weasley wouldn’t make you a jumper. I sent you mine to make up for it. Send me the hideous Christmas jumper Pansy gave you! The one that lights up! I’ll wear it on the train back to Hogwarts)

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      1 January 1999

Dear Harry,

               Fuck. I love you so much, Harry. so much. So so much. So. Much. I love you. It’s 1999, and I love you just as much as I did in 1998. I love you. I love you so much. When everyone was counting down all I oculd think of was you. You didn’t kiss ginny did you? I hoepe you didn’t . I love you. I miss you. I’m wearing the jumper you sent me. I miss you.

                                                                                                                                       Draco

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      2 January 1999

Dear Draco,

               Hey, love. I assume you were drunk while writing that letter for many reasons, one of them being your handwriting was so sloppy I could barely read it, and usually, your handwriting is neat and elegant. I’d just like to reassure you that I didn’t kiss Ginny. I didn’t even think about kissing her. All I thought about was you. Your smile and your lips and your laugh and you. Everything about you. Not to come on too strong or anything, but I love you.

               I’m wearing the present you gave me. I love it. I guess you courted me as well, yeah? Just need to write me a poem and gather a group of people. We might need to be in the same country, too. For now, I’ll settle on this necklace you gave me with a sun pendant. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

               I’ll keep this short, since I’m sure you have a hangover. Here’s to a new year that I will spend with my magnificent boyfriend.

               Keep warm. I might have given Thuban some owl treats. She likes them. I have made friends with my competition, it seems.

               I miss and love you. xx

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      8 January 1999

Dear Harry,

               Hello, my beautiful boyfriend. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop with Thuban. She’s sitting on the table, blinking slowly at me as I write this later. Everyone keeps eyeing me and Thuban like we’re mad. I guess they haven’t heard of owl messenger, all they use is text message and email. I haven’t gotten a cell phone yet. They seem confusing. I’ll stick to my owl.

               I’m drinking a bicerin. I don’t know what it is, but it’s bloody amazing. I came in here and stared at the menu, which is all in Italian. I assumed that none of the workers speak English. There was a miniature chalkboard on the counter with the word Speciale on the top, so I assumed it was the special of the day. I only know ‘ that’ ‘ this’ and ‘please’ in Italian, so I pointed to the chalkboard with a please. She seemed to understand. The worst part is that when I said thank you in English, she responded with a thank you also in English. I wanted to pour the fucking coffee all over myself.

               But. It’s really good. Still have no idea what it is, but it’s spectacular. If I could send it to you, I would. I should ask for the recipe. I doubt they’d give it to me.

               Yesterday, Tom taught me how to cook pasta. We went to the store and he showed me all the different kinds of noodles. Blimey, Harry, there are so many different kinds. It’s mad. Then he showed me how to cook it. It seems pretty easy. It’s like brewing potions, except the goal is to make good food and not something like luck, or morph into a different person. It’s just… making delicious food.

               I’ve made pasta 5 times. I’m pretty sure Tom is growing annoyed with me, but I have to perfect my skill so I can actually cook something for you once we get a flat together. You can wrap your arms around my waist while I stir, and I’ll tell you I hate you, and you’ll kiss my cheek and say that i don’t, I love you, and I’ll agree, and you’ll set the table while I finish cooking the pasta. And we can eat together in our flat. And that will be normal with us, because we’ll live together and see each other every day.

               If you couldn’t tell, I really miss you.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      9 January 1999

Dear Draco,

               Hello, my handsome boyfriend. I’m curious about Bicerin. I’ll have to try it some time. Did Thuban taste some? She seems cheerful this morning. She sat at the table and hooted at me. I gave her a small piece of bacon and she hooted at me a second time. I think she likes me. Oh no, I’m becoming friends with my enemy! Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it?              

               Pasta! I love pasta. Before Hogwarts, I had leftover pasta all the time. Well. I mostly ate leftovers secretly, when everyone was out of the kitchen and busy doing something. I’d sneak into the kitchen and take some. I have a feeling that it’s better warm and fresh than cold and old.

               I’d love to eat your pasta. You can make a different type of noodle every night. We’ll sit at the table, I’ll close my eyes, and you’ll feed me some. I’ll have to guess what kind of noodle it is. I’ll probably get it wrong, because noodle identification is not my forte, but you’ll kiss my anyway because you love me.

               Merlin. I miss you so much. I can’t wait to see you again. It’s been more than a week since Christmas but I’m still wearing your horrendous Christmas jumper that lights up. All the others give me shit for it but I love it, because I love you, and it still smells like you.

               I should go. Hermione keeps hissing at me. We’re in the library, and we’re supposed to be writing an essay, but I got a little distracted.

(by the way, you can make pasta as much as you’d like when we live together. I’ll eat all of it.)

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      11 January 1999

Dear Draco,

               Hi, love. Is everything alright? I didn’t say anything wrong, did I? You haven’t written since the 8th… I hope I didn’t scare you off or anything, love. I miss hearing from you.

               I aced my essay. Did a bit bad on my potion yesterday, though. Professor Slughorn was kind of disappointed. I played some Quidditch, and Ron accidentally knocked me off my broom, so I’ve been lying in the hospital ward thinking about you. Missing you.

               Hope you’re okay. Love you xx

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

      

 

 

                                                                                                                                                12 January 1999

Dear sunshine,

               I’m sorry! I apologize greatly, Harry. I didn’t mean to disappear for several days. Tom, Pansy, Blaise, and I went to Rome this weekend, but it lasted a bit longer than expected. I meant to tell you in my last letter, but it slipped my mind, and I didn’t bring Thuban along. Fuck, I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to worry you.

               You aced your essay! That’s absolutely fantastic, sunshine, I’m so proud of you. Except, shame on you for that bad potion. What was it? What did you slip up on? I’m about 3,000 km away but I can still help you with your classes, darling. Do you have any injuries? From Ron during Quidditch? Do I have to go back to Hogwarts to hex someone? Please tell me you’re okay. I don’t like my sunshine being hurt. Clouds aren’t supposed to prevent the sun from shining.

               Really sorry again, Harry. Rome was hectic. There were so many people there. All I could think about was you to calm me down. We went to a lot of historical sights. It was interesting to see the history of something other than wizards. Rome is a beautiful city, even after all these years. The first place we went to was the Colosseum. We were a bit disgusted when we discovered what they used it for. Fights. Animal fights. Human fights. But it was still incredible. Very magnificent. Almost as impressive as you.

               Wish you were here, and that we had sex in the hot tub that was in my hotel room, so I could say ‘when in rome’, because that’s a phrase that I learned and I love it. That should be our first holiday as a couple. Or one of our holiday’s, just so I can say that, yeah? You up for it? I’ll be sure to buy a room at the most luxurious hotel. Or you can exchange some galleons for Italian dough. Merlin knows you have too much bloody money. I’m up for it. (;

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      18 January 1999

Dear boyfriend,

Ciao! Buongirono? L’uoma la donna, La mela! Una mela! L’acqua e il pane! I don’t know if you can tell but I’m learning Italian! It’s really fun. I love the language. I can’t wait to see you and show off. I only know a handful of words currently, but I’m learning.

I went to the shop today and bought some cd’s like you told me to. Tom helped me pick some out. He suggested The Beatles. Have you heard of them? Odd name for a band, innit? Insects? They are named after in insect except they put in an A. Are muggles aware that they’re named after an insect? Or are they fooled because there is an A? I told Tom it’s a strange name and he just shrugged. Salazar, muggles are a strange species.

Anyways, I’m putting the cd into my stereo, the one Blaise bought me for Christmas. They sound decent. Thuban is staring at the radio like it’s threatening her. First time I’ve seen her appear threatened. I don’t think she likes it.

It’s been a few songs. She no longer looks threatened. She’s sleeping now. I think she is tolerating it.

               I’m now listening to the Spice Girls with Pansy. She seems to enjoy them. Have you heard of them, sunshine? When I picked their cd out at the shop, Tom started laughing. Pansy isn’t laughing, though. I guess it’s a muggle inside joke I don’t understand.

               Thuban seems to like the Spice Girls as well. She keeps swaying along with the beat. I don’t blame her.

               Hope you’re having a nice day, love!

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      20 January 1999

Dear boyfriend,

               Ciao! That’s the only word I understood. And mela means apple, I believe. I’m not too familiar with Italian. You better teach me when we see each other again.

               The Beatles are great! My muggle family used to listen to them a lot. Plenty of things are named odd things, but people just don’t realize. For example, my name. My name is hairy but swapped the ‘i’ with a r. Didn’t even notice, did you? The Spice Girls are great as well, don’t pay attention to Tom. It seems like you spend a lot of time with him.

               The Gryffindors are absolute knobheads this year in Quidditch. Haven’t won a game yet. The Ravenclaws are in the lead. I miss playing it. I suppose I’ll have to settle with unofficial Quidditch matches with my mates.

               Hermione is already studying for NEWTS. Can you believe her? They’re months away. I’m losing my mind, love.

               Hope you’re enjoying Italy, love xx

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

     

 

 

                                                                                                                                                 23 January 1999

Dear Harry,

               Hi sunshine! I’ve been real busy these past few days. We all went shopping together, because I guess I don’t have enough clothes. I guess that’s fair since all I own is the clothes Tom lent me and my jumpers from school. So we went to Florence first, and Pansy bought a leather purse from a vendor while Blaise bought a nice leather jacket. From vendors we went to a mall. I ended up with a tracksuit, two pairs of shoes, and a green jumper. Pansy bought a high waisted skirt with knee high socks. Blaise bought several polo shirts. Then we went to Milan and bought MORE things. I bought a polka dotted jumper and a black blazer. I didn’t mean to get the blazer. Pansy practically forced it on me and gasped once I had it on. She made me buy it. For some reason, when we were buying our clothing, Tom had a hand over his chest and started sputtering. Don’t understand why. When we walked out of the shop, he kept staring at the receipt with wide eyes. I asked Pansy, and she just smirked and said that I’m richer than Tom expected. I got worried because I didn’t want to seem inconsiderate or brag – ish, so we went back into the shop and I let him pick out a shirt he liked. For some reason Blaise called me a baby sugardaddy when we were walking out. I don’t really understand what he meant, but when I asked about it, he just smirked and shook his head.

               Anyways, we’re back in Naples. I’m sitting at my desk with Thuban. Blaise is finding a show on the telly. Pansy is trying on her new clothes. Tom is popping popcorn in the microwave. I still can’t believe microwaves. They’re so weird. I know you told me about them, but they’re so strange to watch in action.

               Tell Hermione I say to not stress you out! Too early to start stressing for NEWTS! Focus on the fun of your last year there! Play some alcoholic exploding snap!

               Love you with all my heart, Harry. I can’t wait to eat pasta and listen to Christmas music with you. And maybe the Spice Girls, because I’ve been liking them more and more.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      25 January 1999

Dear Draco,

               That sounds like a lot of fun, love. I’m really happy you’re enjoying it there. I bet shopping was plenty better than shopping here; all we have is a shop or two in Hogsmeade. I bet you look absolutely lovely in all your new clothes.

               I told Hermione, and she just sighed at me. I think she was about 2 seconds away from going on a long, miserable lecture about careers and the future. I’m 99% sure I’d like to be a professor, and that will be easy to achieve since all I have to do is get high marks in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Fairly simple. It’s not so simple for Hermione, because she wants a career in the Ministry. Ron wants to be an Auror, I think.

               Sorry for the short letter, I’ve been a bit busy here. Love you, Draco

                                                                                                                                       Love, Harry

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      27 January 1999

Dear sunshine boyfriend Harry,

               Don’t knock the shops in Hogsmeade, they’re quite nice! Not as nice as the ones in Diagon Alley, though. My mum bought all her clothes from one shop there. She still hasn’t written me a letter. I wonder if it got lost. Maybe the owl died during flight and it fell into the ocean. Tragic as it is, it’d be preferred to the alternative reason that I don’t want to think about.

               I look like a proper muggle now, Harry. I’ve turned to the dark side. With Darth Vader. Have you watched Star Wars? It’s really good! Strange, but all muggle things are strange. Pansy said she’s only watching because she’s in love with Luke Skywalker. Blaise shoved her and said it’s a bloody good film. I’m only watching it because they are. And, to be fair, Luke is an alright looking bloke, but you are 100 times more attractive. Sei bello. Sei mio. Sono tuo. Significhi tutto per me, e ti amo.

               Thuban is in love with you, I think. Every time I break out the parchment and ink, she snaps out of her sleep to stare at me. She doesn’t even blink. Only stares very intently. A bit creepy, actually.

               Ah I should hurry up. Tom keeps calling my name. He’s about to teach me how to cook marmite chicken. Excited ! I love and miss you, sunshine.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      30 January 1999

Dear Harry,

               Helloooo love! Alright, sunshine? Haven’t heard back from you in a few days. Take a trip to Rome without telling me?

               It’s been raining less. I like the rainy weather, though. At first it was irritating, but now it’s rather lovely. I like to open the windows and listen to the rain as I read. I went to the book store the other day with Tom and stocked up on a bunch of books. I’m currently reading Dr. Seuss. He’s a children’s author but his books are still decent. Shut up, okay, I’m trying to fit in! What if a muggle asks me about my favorite childhood book? I must have an answer.

               It’s been nice here, but lonely. I miss you and your letters. You must be busy with school, I know, but your boyfriend still misses you!

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      1 February 1999

Dear Harry,

               Is everything okay, sunshine? Please tell me you didn’t die during Quidditch. I’m really worried about you. Can’t stop thinking about you. Paranoia is killing me alive. Please send a life signal. My own mum doesn’t even write me letters, Harry, please don’t turn into her. Please write me back.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco, your concerned boyfriend

   

 

 

 

           

                                                                                                                                                      5 February 1999

Harry,

               It’s been an entire week, Harry. please tell me what is going on. I’ll bloody come to Hogwarts right now if you don’t write me back. Thugan is getting depressed.

               Please. I love you.

                                                                                                                                       Love, Draco

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                      9 February 1999

Draco,

               What are we doing? You left. You’re in bloody Italy right now, going to Milan and Florence with your friends and some bloke named Tom who I’ve been getting pathetically jealous of for no fucking reason. You’re there, happy and healthy, and I’m here, like a fucking anchor, keeping you chained to a life you’re trying to leave. I don’t want to hold you back, Draco. Merlin, that’s the last bloody thing I want to do. I love you. I want you to be happy. You deserve everything. You deserve to be fucking happy. How am I going to keep you happy? Because once Hogwarts starts again in September, I’ll be a professor at Hogwarts, in Scotland. You’ll be 3,000 km away in Italy wearing Prada and Gucci and Armani and seeing historical sights and going to the beach, but you won’t be able to ogle at blokes or hold someone’s hand as you walk along the sand, the water hitting your ankles. Because I’ll be here. and you’ll be there. And how did we ever think this was going to work, Draco? We want different things in life. I don’t… Blimey. I love you too much to hold you back.

               Fuck, Draco, I don’t know if I want to ask you to comfort and reassure me or break up with me. I don’t know. Fucking hell.

                                                                                                                                         Harry

    

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                  10 February 1999

Dear daft fucking dolt bloody sunshine boyfriend named Harry Insufferable Potter,

               This is why your goddamn middle name is fucking insufferable! I cannot believe you! The bloody audacity you have! Guess what, you utter bloody dolt? I’m not going to comfort you OR break up with you. I’m going to get angry with you, because I’m really fucking angry.

               Harry James Potter. I’m in love with you. I love your lips, your protectiveness, your leadership, your warm hands, your messy hair, your gorgeous eyes. I love you. YOU. Not bloody Tom. He’s basically the landlord/professor, teaching us the class titled ‘ how to live with muggles’. He is nothing romantic or sexual. He fucking helped me pick out your Christmas AND Valentine’s gift, you bloody tosser. Fucking non ho occhi che per te, prick.

               I don’t want to forget about the wizarding world. I DON’T WANT TO FORGET ABOUT THE WIZARDING WORLD. I would be screaming this at you if I was there. I love magic. You know this! You know I miss magic, Harry! I just don’t like the hatred! Because fucking SURPRISE, I have the Dark Mark on my arm! And there was just a war and my side lost! Not saying I’m unhappy my side lost, I’m real fucking happy your alive and Voldemort is gone, but I was on the losing side. People hate me. That’s why I left. Not because I want to disassociate with wizardry, but because of the hatred. I love magic, fuck you.

               Don’t you get it? YOU make me happy. Y.O.U. I’ve never been happier, Harry. Ask Pansy. Hell, ask Blaise. Owl them. Fucking do it, you fucking git. I’m happy with you. I’m happy with you. I’ll repeat it until you believe it. I’m happy with you I’m happy with you I’m happy with you I’m happy with you I’m happy with you I’M BLOODY HAPPY WITH YOU FOR MERLIN’S SAKE.

               And you know what people who love each other, and are happy together, do? They make sacrifices. Doesn’t that sound familiar, Harry? SACRIFICES. Because I LOVE YOU AND YOU MAKE ME HAPPY. I’ll fucking move to Scotland. We’ll get a bloody summer home in Italy and an autumn, winter, spring home in goddamn Scotland. Because I love you. You love me. We’ll make sacrifices.

               I believe in us, Harry. Do you?

                                                                                                                                       Draco

 

 

Chapter Text

 

                                                                                                                                                      6 September 1999

 

( 7 months later )

 

               Draco runs a hand down his face. He leans back against the counter and stares out the window of the coffee shop. Crowds of people are walking down the sidewalk, cars are flying past, the sun is slowly being tugged down to earth. Inside the shop, it’s not as busy. There’s only a few people in here, and they’re relatively quiet save for the bloke on the phone by the window. He’s talking too softly for Draco to make any of the words out, but he keeps smiling so hard that his eyes close. With a sigh, he walks towards the display of pastries and takes one of the blueberry scones. As he’s taking a bite, his co-worker passes by and smacks his shoulder with a rolled up newspaper.

               “Not supposed be eating the desserts, Draco,” she scolds as she hoists herself onto the counter.

               Draco snorts. “Not supposed to be sitting on the counter. "

               He glances at the cover of the newspaper. The large bolded print says Artane Pupils ‘Were Killed’ with a picture of a muggle school building below it.

               “You read the paper?” He questions before taking another bite of the scone.

               “I read the comics,” she corrects.

               He hums. The silence settles in for a while after that. He walks over to his notebook sitting on the back counter and picks up a pencil. He twirls it while looking over his ideas for the new Autumn menu.

               Draco has been working at the coffee shop for a little over a month, but he’s already got everyone wrapped around his finger. He can’t blame them; he’s quite a charmer. Also, he’s incredibly good at making coffee. For some reason, his coffee tastes the best. When his co-workers ask what the hell he does, because people keep coming back asking specifically for Draco to make the drink, he just grins and says he adds a secret something that he can’t say. (the secret something might be magic). Then, for their once a month meeting, he brought in some biscuits with his own recipe, and everyone practically fell in love with him. His own magic recipe, because he adores baking. Once he started cooking more and more, he fell in love with it, and started tweaking the muggle recipes into something more magical.

               Not that anyone at the coffee shop knows.

               That’s why he now has the task to come up with a new dessert as an Autumn special. He stares down at his notebook that contains all his recipes. He’s not sure what type of dessert he wanted to do, but after that scone… He stops twirling the pencil to jot down scone. He stops in the middle of the word to yawn.

               “Need a cuppa?” Darcey asks, already folding up the newspaper.

               He finishes the rest of the word. “Maybe. “

               She hops off the counter to grab a mug and stick it under the espresso machine. Draco eyes the notebook again, biting his lip. With a sigh, he drops the pencil and turns around to be met with a mug of espresso in his face. He takes it from Darcey with a thankful smile. She pats him on the head.

               “After that cuppa, you should head home,” she says, jumping back onto the counter.

               “There’s 3 hours until closing. “

               “You started work at 7, love. You’ve been working your bum off all day. “

               “I wouldn’t be if fucking Elliot didn’t give his shifts to me 5 times a week,” he huffs.

               “I swear, Elliot and the F-word are always in the same bloody sentence,” she says. She dislikes Elliot just as much as Draco. “But really, Draco, you should go. Cook some dinner. “

               Draco peers out the window. It looks cold. Windy. “I didn’t bring my coat. “

               “Stop being dramatic, it’s only 18 degrees. Now shush and finish that cuppa so you can head home early. “

               Draco stays silent and drains the rest of his espresso. It’s been a long day. A long, long day full of hurriedly baking before the pastries run out, nearly saying a charm too loud for someone else to overhear, and many, many rude customers. It must be the weather dropping. Last week it was 24, 23 degrees, and now it’s down to 18 C. He didn’t think it would turn out that cold today. He should have checked the weather, at least.

               Once he empties the cup, he helps Darcey clean the machines then hangs up his apron and leaves. The cold London air smacks him as he steps outside. He grimaces. All he has is a jumper on. As he walks, he glances at the road and decides no, there is too much traffic right now to catch a cab. It’d be quicker getting home by foot, and if that means struggling through the cold so be it.

               Draco moved back to the UK at the beginning of August. Before that, he lived in Italy. Towards the end of April, he ended up buying a summer home in Rome while Blaise and Pansy bought a flat together in Venice. He stayed in Rome for a while, going out and meeting new people, but towards the end of summer, he bought a flat in London.

               He hasn’t told anyone that he works with that he still owns his house back in Italy. He just says he sold it, because he doesn’t want to come off as… snobby. Or greedy, or other traits of rich people. And because he doesn’t want them to take advantage of him.

               Once he gets back to his flat, he kicks off his shoes and immediately collapses onto the couch. He closes his eyes and lets out a long sigh. Today has been a long bloody day. After a minute or two, he grabs the remote to turn the TV on. He flips through shows, stopping at Friends. Once he realizes it's towards the end of the show, he frowns and glances at the clock. It's nearly 7. He watches the remainder of the episode before turning off the telly. He heaves himself to his feet, but before he walks to the kitchen, he turns on the stereo. He strides to the kitchen and hums along to the song. He flings open the cupboard and eyes the shelves. Quietly singing along to the music, he grabs the first box of noodles he sees and closes the cupboards.

               It’s as he is stirring the pasta sauce that he hears the door of the flat creak open and close softly. He bites his lip to keep himself from grinning. He continues stirring the sauce as he listens to the soft footsteps making their way from the front door to the kitchen. He can’t help the bright smile that slips onto his face when he feels arms wrap around his waist and a chin resting on his shoulder.

               “How was your day?” Draco asks.

               “Better now,” he replies. “Spice Girls?”

               “Mhm. “

               Harry kisses his temple. “Something wrong?”

               Draco sighs. “Had to cover for Elliot. “

               “Again? Godric, Draco, you need to tell this guy to fuck off. “

               “I’ve tried, he just won’t quit. Salazar. Sometimes I wish we stayed in Rome together. Why did we come back?”

               “Because as much fun we had this summer in Rome, I’d like to come home from work like all those telly shows, yell out that I’m home, and have you kiss me until we can’t breathe. “

               He leans the wooden spoon against the side of the pot before spinning around. He grins at Harry before grabbing his face and kissing him hard. Harry’s hands settle on his hips. His hands trail from his hips up to his waist, down over his bum and back to his hips again. Draco pushes him backwards, away from the hot stove. It’s not until Draco realizes that oh yeah, hot stove, I’m cooking pasta, that he pulls away. Harry chases after his lips. They end up kissing for a little more.

               “Harry,” he breathes, taking a step back. Harry’s hands are still gripping his hips. “Go – go set the table. “

               Harry gives him a kiss on the cheek before walking away. Draco turns back to his sauce and his noodles. As he’s spooning out a noodle on the counter to test, he hears the cupboard slam open and a plate clanking. He sighs.

               “Harry,” he says slowly,” we don’t use magic in the flat. “

               “Didn’t hear you complaining last night. “

               He blushes. “I wasn’t going to wait for you to grab the lube, you’re too slow!”

               “Oh, I’m too slow?” Harry drawls. “You want me to do it faster next time?”

               “Harry.

               Harry laughs. “Sorry, love,” he says, even though he sounds nothing close to apologetic.

               “You’re a prat. “

               “Says the prat,” Harry responds, taking out two plates with his hands.

               “To the bigger prat,” Draco says before taste testing the noodle. He turns off the heat on both the noodles and the sauce.

               “You’re such a child,” his boyfriend says. As he walks past, he slaps Draco’s bum.                              

               “But I’m your – “ Draco stops. Harry freezes. The blond blinks at him. “I’m not going to finish that. “

               A burst of laughter escapes Harry. “For fuck’s sake, Draco. “

               Draco shakes his head. He’s smiling. “I hate you. “

               “You love me. “

 

               Soon, they’re sitting at the dining table. Harry has his eyes closed, and Draco is lifting the fork up to his mouth. He slowly takes a bite. He hums as he chews. Draco sets the fork back down and clasps his hands together as he waits.

               “Orzo,” he states a moment later.

               The blond’s eyebrows shoot up. Harry opens his eyes. “That’s the first one you got right. “

               “Really?” He asks, beaming. “Are you going to kiss me now?”

               Draco leans forward to give Harry a chaste kiss. As he pulls back, Harry frowns.

               “That was a millisecond,” he says as Draco takes a sip of his wine.

               “Sorry, sunshine, but you already got your long kiss earlier. “

               “Dracoooo. “

               “Harryyyy.”

               “Kiss me again. “

               Draco snorts. “Just because you’re a professor doesn’t mean you can boss me around. “

               Harry pouts. An actual pout, with his bottom lip sticking out and his beautiful green eyes big and pleading. Draco lets out a heavy, exasperated sigh before leaning back in and kissing his boyfriend again, longer this time.

               Towards the end of dinner, when their plates are nearly empty, Harry clears his throat and says,” I visited Teddy earlier. S’why I was a bit late. “

               Draco nods slowly. Takes a sip of his wine. “Is Andromeda doing any better?”

               Harry shakes his head. “They don’t think she’s going to make it. St.Mungos is doing all they can, but… it’s not enough. “

               The blond rubs his face. “Christ. She’s been in there for two months. “

               “I know, love. She… I talked to her. “

               “Yeah?” Draco lifts his head. “What’d she say?”

               Harry looks away. He fiddles with his fork. “She said she needs someone to take care of Teddy. “

               He nods. “Yes, of course. Has she found anyone?”

               His boyfriend bites his lip. Draco eyes him, wondering what has him so hesitant. He eats another bite before Harry says quietly, “she doesn’t really trust anyone, and the people she does aren’t prepared to be mums or dads. “

               Draco frowns. “That’s terrible. We should help her. “

               “We should." Harry's eyes meet his. "Daddy. “

               Draco’s heart stutters. He stares at Harry, searching his face, but he's not amused, or joking. His face is serious. Nervous. Draco's mind flashes back to all those hours researching kinks in case Harry wanted to try one out, just so Harry wouldn't be a nervous mess about it. He didn't think his research would be put into use. 

               “I’ve researched this!" Draco blurts. "I researched in case you liked it, and I must admit that it was a bit strange to me at first, but the more I read about it, the more I understood it. “

               For some reason, Harry has his eyebrows furrowed. Draco’s eyes widen, and his blood runs cold.

               “Fuck, I didn’t say something wrong, did I? I – I mean, I’m okay with it all now! Though I thought I’d be calling you that, since I’m a little more – uh – submi – “

               “Draco, “ he cuts off, wide eyed and confused,” the hell are you talking about?”

               Draco blinks slowly. “Sex. “

               “Sex?” Harry chokes out, his hands gripping the edge of the table. “Draco – I don’t – what?”

               The blond frowns. “You called me daddy. “

               Harry stares at him for several long, silent seconds before running a hand through his hair.

               “Merlin. Merlin. This isn’t – Draco, I’m trying to ask you if you’d like to take care of Teddy with me. “

               Draco stares at Harry, who is looking back at him with eyes so intense that he can't look away. All the thoughts about sex and kinks drain away. His mind goes blank for a moment. He opens his mouth, but his throat is closed up and he doesn't know what to say, so he closes it. He hears the Spice Girls playing softly in the background, and that's when it all hits him. Andromeda dying in St. Mungos with an incurable wizard disease and Teddy on her hands. Teddy, who is only a year old. she doesn't trust anyone, and the people she does aren't prepared to be mums or dads. dads. dads. Draco feels his eyes burning with tears. 

               “You want to take care of a child with me?” Draco croaks.

               Harry smiles softly at him. He intertwines their fingers on the table. His green eyes go soft, warm, and Draco swears he can see shooting stars. "Of course I want to take care of a child with you. I kind of love you. "

               Draco chokes out a laugh. "I kind of love you, too, Harry. "

               The blond shoots up from his chair to scramble onto his boyfriend's lap and kiss him, soft and sweet and full of tears. They aren't sad. They're tears full of joy. Happiness.

               For the first time in a long, long time, Draco is truly happy. 

              

 

( they raise Teddy together. When he's 3 years old, Draco's last name changes to Potter. When he's 4 years old, Harry sneaks home the sorting hat. They aren't surprised when it says Teddy is Hufflepuff. Harry makes a joke about needing another child and for them to be sorted into Ravenclaw so they can have all the houses in one house. Draco gives him a wide-eyed look and asks if he'd like another child. A year later, they have Scorpius James Potter. He's sorted into Slytherin. Harry makes another joke, but Draco pokes him in the ribs and tells him 2 is enough. )

 

 

 

Chapter Text

heyo my dudes, long time no see? if you hadn't realized, i've been gone for like, a month. i feel really bad for not replying to any comments, but i'll make sure to do that soon. i really do appreciate all the lovely things you all say.

basically, long story short: my cat died, i had a stroke, and now i have a therapist

long(ish) story: the week after school started, aka not long after i finished the fic, my cat was taken to the vet yet again because his pills weren't working. they decided to do a surgery to explore and see what was up. he didn't have heart disease, but cancer. it was all over his spleen. the vet said they could have taken out his spleen, but the cancer had already spread elsewhere.

so: if you're cat gets really really fat all of a sudden (that's what happened to mine) PLEASE please please do surgery on your cat right away, so hopefully your cat is helped and if your cat has cancer, it doesnt spread too far

it really hurt because you never really expect your cat to have cancer. like i remember asking my mom if the cat can get cancer, and she says it's really uncommon and... that exact thing happened to my cat. it was horrible.

i honestly don't know how much time passed between my cat and the stroke, it was all such a blur, but basically i did something really really REALLY stupid and then one morning before school, i was doing my makeup, and one side of my face went numb. like, my lips, my cheek, everything. and then my right arm just... collapsed. it was really really weak. a minute later, it was gone, so i thought nothing of it. but it kept happening, and about the 3rd or 4th time it happened, i could barely speak. i kept slurring my words. and i googled it and found out i had probably been having mini strokes because of the stupid thing i did, but i couldn't tell my mom because 1 how do you tell your mom you think you're having mini strokes like tf and 2 i'd probably have to admit the stupid thing i did. that was up until i actually fainted, and y'know. went to the hospital. now i'm in therapy, and the after-effects of stroke really suck. like, i'll have moments of slurred speech and every few days i'll have the worst migraine ever and my depression has stooped to this plane of emptiness, so i haven't been wanting to write or really do anything lately. soo... don't! do! dumb! things! take! care! of! your! body!

anyways congrats if you've gotten this far lmao, i wanted to explain because i felt bad just ditching out and not replying to any comments or posting any new works. i've just realized this is a really sad, tragic author's note i'm sorry.

sorry anyways i'm trying to get back into writing, and duh i have to write some oneshots, so does anyone have any suggestions for one shot ideas for my drarry pair?