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The Secret of the Sea

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Till my soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Draco walks along the sea shore years after Harry’s death, because it was one of Harry’s favourite places.

Harry loved the ocean. He loved standing with his feet in the sand because it kept him grounded and reminded him that even though the rest of the world called him the Saviour, he was just one human with endless possibilities. Then he would turn and smile, making Draco’s breath hitch and his heart beat faster, before Harry slung him across his back and ran into the ocean together.

Draco would sink into the darkness where the cold would steal his breath away. It wouldn’t take long before his limbs would thrash in the water as he tried to make his way to the surface to breathe. His panic would increase the longer he stayed underwater, especially when a pair of arms would wrap around his chest, holding him close so that he couldn’t escape.

At that point, Draco would be pulled to the surface, taking in lungfuls of air until he could open his eyes to be greeted by the sight of a blue sky with bright, yellow sunlight and Harry’s wide smile. He didn’t know which of the two was brighter, but he would do his best to forget the cold by hugging and kissing Harry.

Draco didn’t particularly like the ocean for one specific reason, but he indulged Harry and was willing to go every year even though he promised himself it would be the last time. Harry could stay out in the sun for as long as he wanted, because he would tan easily and have beautiful sun-kissed skin by the end of each visit. Draco, however, was not so fortunate and was stuck with red skin as it burned and then peeled later, no matter how much sun lotion and healing charms he used.

And on each visit, while Draco hid in the shadows of an umbrella, he would watch Harry walk along the shore. Every so often, Harry would collect something from the ground and place it in the bucket that swung from his hands. The first time, when Draco had taken a look inside and had only seen sea glass, he said, “I just don’t why you would want broken glass.”

“It’s not just broken glass,” Harry said, taking out two green and white pieces of sea glass that were almost star-shaped. “See? It’s something marvelous. It took years and years of nature to take a piece of glass, jagged-edged and broken, to keep at it until it became smooth and frosted, something beautiful.”

It had taken Draco a knowing look and another warm smile from Harry for him to understand the message. Like you. And that’s when Draco knew that he had fallen hard for Harry Potter.

Draco had held onto those two pieces and had them embedded on their wedding bands so that they could have that memory with them at all times. This was what he thought of on every visit to the ocean. Draco could feel Harry’s presence here the most, hear it calling out to him with every wave that crashed on shore, the shrill cry of the sea gulls, the salty air, and the warmth of the sun setting over him.

“Papa!” A voice calls out to him and Draco turns around as a young boy runs towards him with a bucket swinging at his side. His unruly blond hair is made a mess with sand and water slicking it down and it will be near impossible to clean. The boy wears only bright red swim trunks and his skin is turning a golden brown as the sun begins to set. Despite the cold the evening brings, his bright green eyes are filled with happiness as he finally reaches Draco.

“What is it, Lucas?” Draco bends down so that he is at eye level with his son.

“Look,” he says excitedly, unclenching his fist to show him, “do you like it?”

It’s a flat piece of green sea glass, the exact shade of Lucas James Potter’s eyes, but on one side there is a lightning-shaped scratch. Draco has to look away so that his son doesn’t see the anguished look on his face.

“Wonderful,” he says instead and his face is composed when he turns and lifts his son into his arms, holding onto the bucket with one hand. “Are you ready to go home, or do you want to collect more sea glass?”

“No, I’m ready, Papa. Do you think it will be enough?’ Without looking inside the bucket, Draco nods and Lucas’ face splits into a wide smile. On every visit, Lucas and Draco collect sea glass so that when they arrive home, Draco spells the glass onto the window in their kitchen. It is a mosaic of greens, whites and a hint of blue and every time Draco looks at it, he feels a sense of comfort settle over him. It’s almost complete.

However, with this lightning bolt sea glass, Draco will craft it into an amulet for Lucas to wear for protection, almost as if Harry is out there watching over his son. And for the first time since his heart shattered with Harry’s death, Draco can feel it slowly starting to heal.