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To Dwell on Dreams

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The first time Draco Malfoy came across the mirror, he was sure it was all a dream. He had been having those a lot lately—half-formed, hazy images that crept into his mind at night—glimpses of a reality twisted and skewed. He would often wake abruptly, startled and breathing heavily, his body slick with sweat.

Draco stared at the vision before him and had been certain he was trapped in another dream. In no reality would Potter be staring at Draco with such adoration, desire vividly painted across his face. Nor would he bite and lick at Draco’s neck and chest, hands travelling across naked flesh. No, Draco must be caught in another dream, and yet he was in no rush to wake up.

He sat before that mirror for hours, staring and imagining just how sweet such a dream might be in reality.

Realising he must have nodded off for real, he woke and found that the images in the mirror still remained. Draco was reluctant to leave this fantasy mirror behind but it wouldn’t do to fall further behind in his classes.

///

Draco snuck out of the dorms the very next night, eager to return to the mesmerising
mirror. A brief trip to the library brought him no answers as to what sort of magical object this mirror was, but Draco wasn’t too concerned. He had been around many dark artefacts throughout his life, and this one seemed rather benign compared to the rest. How could Draco resist, in any case? There was no way he could turn away from the alluring images the mirror supplied.

In this other world, Draco was the centre of Potter’s universe. Those large green eyes followed him everywhere, not with distrust and suspicion but with affection and fondness. Potter always wanted to touch him; sometimes a gentle caress across his cheek, other times a brutal kiss that left Draco’s lips swollen red. Either way, Draco was enchanted. Every night found him in this dusty abandoned room, fighting off sleep until the break of dawn as he watched the alternate version of himself receive the attentions of the boy who lived. If he showed up to class bleary-eyed, with dark shadows and a gaunt face—well, no one said a word about it.

///

At times it was difficult to tell where fantasy ended and reality began. The lines blurred, fuzzy and incoherent, until Draco wasn’t sure what was real anymore.

Potter stood at the edge of the Quidditch pitch, the wind whipping around his robes with his back facing Draco. He seemed to be distracted, looking off into the distance while the rest of his team finished their practice. Why was Potter looking that way? Shouldn’t his eyes be on Draco like they always were? Draco quickly closed the distance between them, wrapping his arms around Potter’s back, his mouth pressing against Potter’s neck.

Potter whipped around, eyes wide and startled until they focused on Draco’s face and narrowed in response.

“What the hell, Malfoy!?”

“What? I—, but…”

Potter’s angry expression morphed into one of pitiful concern, so unlike the usual adoration that it made Draco’s stomach clench painfully.

“What’s wrong with you, Malfoy? You don’t look good at all.”

Now that was certainly something his Potter would never say. He loved the way Draco looked, often whispered it into his ear as he wanked him. Such pretty words of praise would fall from his lips and Draco would melt into his touch, lean his head against Potter’s shoulder, and let him take whatever he wanted.

“Malfoy?” Potter’s furrowed brow bothered Draco, he wanted to place his thumb there and smooth it away.

Draco could see Potter’s eyes looking him up and down, taking in the wrecked image before him. It was true the circles under Draco’s eyes had only deepened, but who needed sleep anyway? Perhaps he had lost rather a lot of weight this past month, but was eating really necessary? The only sustenance Draco required was that of the mirror and the intoxicating images they'd provide.

No, this was not reality. Not this Potter standing here with disgust and pity spread across his face, staring helplessly at a deteriorating Draco. The truth lay in that dusty room, within that majestic mirror. There was the proper Harry Potter, with his broad smile and strong hands that he could never seem to keep off Draco. Draco was healthy there; his pale hair shiny, his skin flushed pink, his eyes dancing with merriment.

“Excuse me, Potter,” Draco grunted, pushing past him, and heading back to the castle.

///

Eventually they came for him.

Draco should have known it was inevitable. How could he continue to be blessed with the good fortune of Harry Potter’s affections? There was no need to sleep, no need to eat, and soon enough no need to attend class. Why should Draco have had to leave the beautiful sanctuary of the all-knowing mirror?

But of course, they didn’t understand; they couldn’t see that their reality was wrong. Within that shiny surface was the truth, where Draco actually belonged, not in that harsh world outside. He wasn’t sure how many days or weeks had passed before they found him, weak and crumpled before the mirror. Draco had little energy left, but there was enough to attempt to fight away his intruders: the professors and wizards who claimed they were there to help.

Didn’t they see they were destroying him? His hands shot towards the mirror, fingers clawing at the smooth surface but they were stronger. Draco screamed and cried out, but the perfect image of Harry Potter paid no mind to the chaos outside of his world. That Harry Potter just smiled into Draco’s neck, pressing kisses along his jaw. How could they take this away from Draco?

They dragged him through the halls, yelling and kicking the whole way as they pulled him towards the Headmaster’s office. Draco saw the stupid trio, watching with wide-eyes from outside a classroom door. That Potter imposter looked shocked and sad, disgusting pity filling his eyes.

“You’re not real,” Draco hollered at the false boy. “You’re not real!”

One of the wizards cast a spell and Draco’s vision began to dim, a reluctant pull to unconsciousness beckoning him closer.

Sedation would become something very familiar to Draco and his days were spent mostly sleeping. His dreams, however, weren’t quite the same. This watered down Potter was unreliable and paper-thin, a ghost of his true self.

The real Harry Potter was still trapped in that mirror along with the last of Draco’s fleeting happiness.

///