Chapter 1: Harry
Harry didn’t know what to do with himself now that it was all finally over. It seemed like his whole life had been spent in an effort to reach this moment, but now that he was here, his future seemed remarkably bleak. If he wanted to become an Auror, he’d have to go back to Hogwarts for another year—not impossible, but it would be strange to walk those halls without so many of people he had grown to love. And somehow going back to the Weasleys felt wrong—as much as he loved Molly and Arthur, they weren’t his parents, and with Fred gone… He knew he’d never be able to look Ginny in the eyes again. She was seventeen now, more than old enough to move past her first crush, and he’d broken it off as soon as he could. She was beautiful, but he loved her more like a sister than a girlfriend…
After much internal turmoil and discussion with all of his remaining friends, Harry decided he would go back and finish out his education. Regardless of whether he became an Auror, he knew he’d be better off if he had at least graduated.
He was called to testify at a number of the trials of the Death Eaters. The word of Harry Potter was worth something again, it seemed. He tried to be as kind as possible to as many of them as possible—he was more than ready for this whole thing to just be over, no one else needed to suffer for it. He made sure that the story of Narcissa Malfoy’s life-saving lie was known, and he spoke as well of Draco Malfoy as he could bring himself to—Harry understood better than most what it was like to feel like there was no way out. Mrs. Malfoy got out of all charges, and Draco just got probation until he completed his degree. (Great, thought Harry, another year with Malfoy.)
Because of the dysfunctionality of the previous year, a rather significant number of students were coming back from Harry’s year. Hermione, of course, and Ron as well, since he couldn’t stand the thought of being away from her for that long, in addition to some two dozen others. It was enough that the school rearranged itself so that those students would only be taking classes with like-aged witches and wizards, but few enough that most of their classes would only have one section, meaning that Harry would both have all his classes with Ron (yay!) and have all his classes with Malfoy (not so yay).
Harry felt strange leaving Grimmauld Place by himself to head off to King’s Cross, but he knew he’d be seeing his friends once he got to platform 9 ¾ . He sighed as he shut the door, calling a goodbye to Kreacher, and made his way to catch his train, the last time he would be leaving for Hogwarts (the last time he’d thought would be the last time he hadn’t realized would be the last time until it was too late to get nostalgic about it; now he had all the time in the world, and no one around to distract him). The Cab ride was uneventful; he came through the barrier after an excited-looking girl who couldn’t be older than 11. A crowd of redheads was waiting for him on the other side—Molly hugged him, Arthur shook his hand, Ginny nodded coolly, and Ron fell into step beside him, running over to greet Hermione, who’d just come through the barrier.
“I say, mate, it’s good to see you! You should’ve come over, at least for a while—the summer’s boring without you!”
Harry smiled wryly. “I’m sure you and Hermione managed to find ways to keep yourselves entertained,”—his grin broadened at Hermione’s blush—“and besides, I didn’t think it would be a good idea, what with everything with Ginny...”
Ron sighed. “She’ll come ‘round. I think it was just a bit of a shock.”
“Frankly,” Hermione put in, “I think she’s better off. She was always more in love with the idea of you than the actual person, and I think you were right when you said she was more like your sister than your girlfriend.”
“I did snog her a bit more than I would my sister, mind,” Harry said with a laugh.
“Too right you did!” Ron agreed, shaking his head.
Hermione rolled her eyes and led the way onto the train.
Unfortunately for Harry, Ron and Hermione had gotten perhaps too close over the summer. After finally relieving the sexual tension, it seemed like the two of them could barely keep their hands off each other. As much as Harry loved them, as much as he was glad they’d found each other, there was only so much of that he could stand. The start of term at Hogwarts saw him spending a lot of his time alone, or with Luna Lovegood of all people, just trying to escape the amorous couple.
Chapter 2: Draco
Draco had no idea why Harry Potter, of all people, had decided to stand up for him in court, but he wasn’t complaining. All he had to do was get through one more year with that speccy git and the Weasel, and then he would be free to do as he pleased. Draco was all too aware of how much he owed that bastard Potter—his life, several times over, and now his freedom as well—but that didn’t make him any more eager to spend time with the arrogant tosser. Mr. Harry “the world revolves around me” Potter, back with an even bigger head and even more worshipful followers, while he, Draco Malfoy, would be back as on of only three Slytherins in his year, with one of his best friends dead and the other locked away, and no real prospects. Certainly no honours. And the Malfoy name no longer commanded the respect it once had, in any circle of the wizarding community.
But he had to finish this one year, one last year, and then he could change his name and move to France. He’d learned French on his Grand-mère’s knee, and the wizards there would never guess that this pale stranger was an Englishman.
It didn’t help that he literally had every class with Potter and the Weasel, either. From Day 1, Draco could tell this was going to be torture. Thankfully the Mudblood was only in half his classes—now that she was dating the Weasel, having all his classes with both of them might really have been too much to take. Potter was enough of a know-it-all for the class, anyway.
Apparently Potter had had a falling out with the Weaslette over the summer, because he seemed to be spending much more time in the library and study halls alone than with either her or the Weasel. Unfortunately, so did Draco, seeing as no one in Slytherin wanted to have anything to do with him. For the first two weeks of term, Draco would come into the library and make his way towards the most secluded study carrel, only to find it already occupied by none other than Potty the Chosen One. After stalking off in a huff a dozen times, he got used to just heading for his second choice in the first place. Draco’s second choice carrel just happened to be situated so that its occupant could easily view the occupant of Potter’s, but that was a total coincidence. There was no reason why he would ever want to watch Potter (Except, why was he always off by himself? Surely the Boy Who Lived had hordes of people vying for his affections. But lately the only one he’d been seen with was that vacant girl everyone called Loony).
Today, for example, there was Potter, sitting in Draco’s favourite carrel, and beside him sat the wispy blonde Ravenclaw. They seemed to be talking quietly, heads leaning together over some old tome. Draco felt a flare of rage at the quiet laughter drifting across the library. He stood up, slamming shut the book he had been pretending to read and stalking over to the giggling couple.
“What part of ‘this is a library’ do you not understand?” He hissed at them. “I would think Potty-the-Great could find a better place to meet his girlfriend.”
Potter’s face turned purple, but Loony replied before he could. “Oh, I’m not Harry’s girlfriend. He’s gay.” Her tone was somehow matter-of-fact and dreamy at the same time.
Draco did a double take, and Harry’s face, if anything, turned impossibly redder. “Luna...”
“You are, aren’t you? That’s why you broke up with Ginny.” She tilted her head at him. “Don’t worry, I think it’s wonderful.”
Draco spluttered a little before forcing out, “I’m sure that’s great for you, disgusting faggot, but I still can’t abide your noise in the library.” (Hypocrite! A tiny voice in the back of his head screamed. He told it to piss off.)
Potter looked like he was about to explode, out of anger or embarrassment, Draco couldn’t tell. He stuffed the book into his bag and ran out of the library.
“Oh dear,” said Luna. “That didn’t go very well, did it? I should go talk to him.”
She seemed to float out of the library, leaving Draco staring after her in total disbelief.
So, Potter was gay. That certainly wasn’t going to help things, now was it? After the battle, Potter had gotten his eyes fixed, and Draco had to admit that seeing those green eyes unhidden had given him quite a shock at his trial. Harry was, for lack of a better word, striking. And despite his upbringing, Draco knew that he didn’t really want to spend the rest of his life with a woman. The traumatic experience with Pansy Parkinson when he was sixteen had been enough to prove that to him. But that didn’t mean he was okay with the idea of liking Potter; the little prick had spent the last eight years trying to make Draco’s life hell. What sort of “saviour of wizardkind” tries to kill a boy he finds crying? (So maybe Draco had pulled his wand first. Still.)
But Harry was gay. Even if his head was still screaming that the Chosen One was bad news, his prick seemed to think that was practically an invitation. Lewd images of Harry-bloody-Potter doing obscene things to him popped into his mind unbidden, and he was grateful for the seclusion of his carrel. Oh, this was not good, not good at all...
Draco quickly focused on the taste of the Polyjuice potion and fled to his dormitory, pleased that he was the only boy in his year and as such had a room to himself. Although he set up extra wards as an added precaution—it wouldn’t do to anyone walking in on him wanking to thoughts of Potter.
“I don’t want to talk to you right now, Luna.” Harry had stopped and curled himself into an alcove down the hall from the library.
“I’m sorry, Harry. Draco wasn’t very nice, was he?” Luna sat down beside him, ignoring Harry’s angry glare.
“Shouldn’t have expected anything better from the slimy git. I should’ve expected he’d be a bigoted homophobe. ‘Purebloods only’ tends to mean ‘conformist Purebloods only’.”
“Oh, I don’t know. He seemed more frightened than anything.”
“Well, that is technically what ‘homophobe’ means.”
Luna shook her head at him. “You know that’s not what I meant, Harry.”
Harry lifted his head off his knees, surprised at the trace of steel in her tone. “What did you mean, then?”
“He seemed like he was more afraid of himself than of you, I imagine because he’s gay as well.”
“Draco is gay too. Pansy told me about it after he broke up with her. Poor thing; I found her crying in the bathroom.”
“And she told you he was gay?”
“No, she told me about what happened, and I knew,” Luna said, her voice now completely back to its normal almost-singsong. “It really isn’t that difficult, Harry. I knew about you, didn’t I?”
“Well, yes, but...” Harry spluttered, “but you’re friends with me, and you barely even know Malfoy.”
The girl shrugged and stood up. “I’m going back to my common room now. Don’t be too upset with him.”
Harry watched her go, and wondered how he’d gone from being furious with her to considering letting Malfoy off the hook because of her in such a short space of time. Why hadn’t he been closer to Luna before? There was something about her, the way she was eerily perceptive and not afraid of speaking her mind, that Harry loved.
He walked back to the Gryffindor common room on autopilot, still thinking about what Luna had told him. So Draco was gay, was he? And the little bastard had the nerve to call him a disgusting faggot? Pot, meet kettle (or in this case, Potter, meet Malfoy). God, that boy was one fucked up wizard. You’d think, even disregarding that, that he’d be nicer to Harry, seeing as Harry had saved his life at least twice by then, probably more. And you know, the fact that Harry had saved the entire wizarding community. But Draco just looked down his gorgeous nose at Harry, and insulted him with those kissable lips...
Fuck, when had he started to think of Draco that way? Why was this his life? Merlin’s Beard, he was fucked.
Sorry this chapter was a little short...I'll try to get another one up soon!
Chapter 4: Draco
Draco spent the next two weeks doing his absolute best to avoid his feelings and what they might mean. He sat mute in the back of his classes, avoiding all eye contact. When he had free time, he hid in his room. On some level, he was aware that it was childish, but all alternatives seemed worse. Draco Malfoy was not allowed to want Harry “I-defeated-the-Dark-Lord” Potter, it was wrong on so many levels! First off, Potter was behind the destruction of his entire previous way of life, sending his father to Azkaban and smashing his worldview in the process. Second, Potter was a wizard, and no self-respecting Malfoy would ever deign to have a homosexual relationship (even if Draco knew that that was the common factor between everyone who caught his eye—he was still certain his future held a beautiful bride). Third, they’d hated each other since the age of eleven (and when had that changed? Because denial or not, Draco realised he truly didn’t hate Harry anymore). Fourth, Potter was a selfish bastard who thought the world should revolve around him. Fifth, Potter hated Draco (and it didn’t matter if he was gay if he wasn’t specifically interested, did it?). Sixth, his mother would kill him if she ever found out. Seventh, his relationship with Potter had always been so intense that he couldn’t imagine it being anything less than all-consuming if it did cross into the romantic category.
Two Mondays after this whole thing began, Draco realized he had to choose between going back to the library to do research or failing History of Magic. They had an exorbitantly long paper to write on the history of cauldron design (a subject Draco knew next to nothing about), and he’d put it off until the last minute in an effort to avoid any place where he might encounter Potter. Which is how he found himself back at his same carrel, flipping through the umpteenth book on Potions History (because no one wrote books just on cauldrons, of course. That would be too easy), when Potter and the Weasel walked in and sat in Potter’s Carrel (as he’d taken to referring to it).
Of course, the Weasel noticed Draco immediately and just had to start insulting him immediately. “Look who’s finally poked his head out of his cave! I wondered if he’d forgotten how to read completely!”
Draco stiffened and sucked in a breath to retort, but Potter beat him to it. “Shut it, Ron. We’re in the library.”
Draco was so startled he forgot what he’d been going to say.
“What’s gotten into you lately Harry? Since when did you turn into Hermione?” apparently the Weasel was having a similar reaction.
“I don’t know, but I sincerely hope you’re not planning to start spending you time with me the way you do with her.” Potter stormed off, leaving a flabbergasted Weasel staring after him.
“Blimey,” the redhead muttered as he walked off. “Touchy much?”
Draco remained frozen in place, staring at the place where Harry had practically defended him moments before. Perhaps he had just wanted to fight with the Weasel, and yet... there were other ways to have done so, ways that didn’t involve having listened to Draco about something.
He was still sitting in more or less the same position when he heard a soft voice speaking behind him. “He doesn’t hate you, you know.”
Draco whirled around to see that Luna girl who’d outed Harry to him. "What?"
"Harry. He doesn't hate you. He hasn't for a while, actually. It bothers him, the things he's done to you."
Draco was shocked. Since when did Potter the Elevated care one whit about him? "Are you sure you're talking about the same Harry? His life goal is to torment me as much as possible! And now you say 'it bothers him'? If it 'bothers him' so much, why doesn't he stop?"
"Well, you don't really invite his friendship, do you?"
Draco sighed. "I did."
"Neither of you is the same person you were when you were eleven."
“What do you know about it, anyway?” The defensiveness was back in his tone.
“Oh, nothing, I suppose. But I think he’d like to talk to you.” With that she walked away.
Well, that hadn’t gone as expected.
Chapter 5: Harry
Harry and Ron’s relationship had been shaky since the beginning of the summer (or, more accurately, since Harry’d broken up with Ginny), but they were still both trying. So when Hermione was ensconced in a massive report for her Ancient Runic class, Harry was more than willing to hang out with Ron. They both needed to work on their Cauldron report for HoM, though, so Harry was once again in the library. He’d noticed that Malfoy had been rather conspicuously absent from his favourite niche ever since The Conversation, which only served to support Luna’s analysis. But today, there he was, sitting in the same spot as though he’d never left.
Apparently Ron had noticed this as well. “Look who’s finally poked his head out of his cave! I wondered if he’d forgotten how to read completely!” He said in a voice obviously designed to carry.
For reasons he didn’t want to look at too closely, Harry felt his blood boil. “Shut it, Ron. We’re in the library.”
Ron recoiled in surprise. “What’s gotten into you lately Harry? Since when did you turn into Hermione?”
Harry felt the unexpected urge to punch his best friend. “I don’t know, but I sincerely hope you’re not planning to start spending you time with me the way you do with her.” He said, trying to keep his voice even but unable to keep all of the edge out of it. He swept out of the room, not stopping to let Ron follow him.
He was halfway down the hall before the running footsteps caught up with him. “I’m sorry, Harry, but what the hell?”
“Please go away.” Harry felt tears threatening his eyes—really, what was wrong with him?—but his voice was only barely shaking. “I want to be alone.”
“Where is this coming from, Harry? All I did was insult Malfoy...”
Harry shot him a glare and walked faster.
“It was bloody Malfoy, Harry! What do you want me to do? Bring him flowers and ask if he’s been ill?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “I just think he’s been through enough. His father’s in Azkaban, he’s on probation...”
“Since when do you care about Malfoy?”
“Since I walked in on him crying in a bathroom and almost killed him for it.”
“Merlin’s Beard, Harry! You’re not still upset about that? After all the times you’ve saved the little ferret’s life?”
Harry looked down. “How can I not be? He’s crying, and my first reaction is to use the nastiest spell I know? What sort of person does that make me? And I don’t know if you understand, Ron, exactly what it’s like for other people, growing up without a family like yours. You have brothers, a sister, and parents you know love you unconditionally. Malfoy’s spent his entire life trying to please a family that’s never satisfied, trying to do what he could to fit in with the people he most respected. It’s not his fault his father’s a fucked up son of a bitch, or that his mother comes from one of the nastiest wizarding families around, any more than you chose to be the son of parents on the side of ‘good’.”
Ron looked like Harry had slapped him. “Blimey, Harry, I...”
“Please let me be alone.”
This time Ron didn’t follow him when he stormed off.
Harry went to the Room of Requirement, asking it to give him a place to be alone. The door opened into a room with a comfortable armchair, an open window, and a pile of novels. He sank gratefully into the plush chair and gazed absently out the window, trying to figure out exactly what had just happened. If Ron’s casual insulting of Malfoy was enough to get him this riled up, what exactly did that say about where his feelings stood at the moment? When had Malfoy become more important than Ron?
Since Ron had started spending all his time alone with Hermione, leaving Harry alone with Luna. Since Luna had talked to him about actually seeing things from Malfoy’s perspective. Since he’d realized Malfoy was probably the hottest guy he’d ever met, and that that kind of thing mattered.
Since the world had been saved, and for the first time in eighteen years, Harry had finally been able to stop and ask himself “What do I want?” not “What do I have to do?”
Draco was still wrestling with what Luna had told him when he went to class on Tuesday morning. If Harry didn’t hate him...and Harry was gay...and Harry wanted to talk to him? ‘Maybe I should go talk to him...’ Draco thought. ‘What’s the worst that could happen? I don’t think our relationship could get any worse.’
Class was coming to a close and he realized he had no idea what Professor McGonagall had been talking about. Hopefully it wouldn’t show up on a test soon...
The bell rang, and Draco moved to pack away his things, so distracted he didn’t notice Potter walking up to him.
“Can I—I mean, I was wondering if maybe...we could talk?” The brunet stuttered, looking anxiously over his shoulder.
Draco followed his gaze to see Granger and the Weasel tongue wrestling by the front of the classroom. He looked down quickly, not wanting to burn his eyes out. “Why not?”
Potter looked relieved, and hurried out of the classroom, Draco on his heels.
“So,” Draco said once they had hidden behind a tapestry down the hall. His nerves made his voice a little harsher than intended. “What did you wish to discuss with me?”
Harry was looking resolutely at his hands when he blurted, “I’m sorry.”
Of all the things he’d expected Potter to say, that hadn’t even been on the list. “You’re—sorry?”
Harry nodded slightly. “I know I’ve been a jerk to you, and I—what?”
Draco had started laughing hysterically. “You’ve—been—a jerk—to me?” He took a deep breath trying to steady himself. “Gods, Harry, if there was an opportunity for me to make your life worse and I didn’t take it, I’m not as clever as I thought.”
“I’ve been trying to convince myself to come and apologise to you ever since that day at the library when I—well, you remember.” Draco took another deep breath as more giggles escaped. “I know don’t deserve it, but everything is different now, you know? I was sort ofhoping...we could start over. Luna said you don’t hate me, and I don’t know if that’s true, but Harry, I—”
“That’s the second time you’ve called me Harry,” Harry interrupted, finally meeting the blonde’s eyes.
Draco’s heart surged at the sound of his given name on Harry’s lips. “Yes?”
“Do you want to go out with me?”
Draco’s mouth fell open and his cheeks flamed. “Um...yes?”
“Good,” Harry said, and kissed him.
Thanks for hanging with me! (Sorry about any oocness in this chapter) Almost done!
Harry and Draco had been doing this—thing, this dating-y thing, for two months, and so far they’d managed to keep it a secret from everyone except perhaps Luna (it was so hard to tell with her sometimes, and anyway, it wasn’t as though she would tell anyone). Harry was actually kind of surprised at how easy it had been to not tell Ron and Hermione, but apparently there really were so caught up in each other that they didn’t even notice that Harry was barely around. He and Draco were spending a lot of time in the library, like before, except now they spent it together instead of watching from a distance. They also spent time together other places (remote, forgotten corridors providing perfect cover for a solid snogging session), particularly whenever Ron would suggest a shared study session.
“This is absurd,” Harry said one morning, as they walked to their Defence Against the Dark Arts class. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with Us, and I’d rather sit beside you than a pair of doe-eyed lovers who won’t even notice I’m gone.”
Draco grinned at him and took his hand. “Come on then.”
And Harry did.
And the world didn’t break.
And when Ron finally looked up and saw Harry and Malfoy sitting next to each other, holding hands beneath the table and turned to Hermione in astonishment, she just grinned at him and said, “Took them long enough, didn’t it?” and then Ron had nothing at all to say.
And when, a year later, Harry and Draco announced their engagement during Ron and Hermione’s wedding reception, the only one who was surprised was Cho Chang.
Though we have travelled long
Though our road has not run straight
Still you and I will be
As we were always meant to be
If we have the time
And I have the courage
And you have the will
All things will come around
Wrongs be made right
Though nemeses we began
Lovers we will come to be
If you have the will
And I have the courage
And we have the time.
Thank you for reading! (Sorry the epilogue took so long,it REALLY didn't want to write. Also, I apologize for the cheesetastic poem, it just needed something and I was in a poem mood) I love comments!
Hugs to you all!
(Follow me on tumblr deyrbnogardi.tumblr.com)