He never thought his life would come down to Malfoy stalking him.
Over the last few weeks, Harry had been drowning his crushing emotions and feelings in a steady supply of alcohol, sometimes not even waiting for the days that he wasn’t going to Andromeda’s. He would then arrive at her home, reeking of alcohol and having the worse hangover.
He had been slowly going through Remus’s boxes, which now lived in the spare bedroom that he had made into an office. He had found a total of almost a hundred journals, more photos than he could count and vials of what looked like memories for a pensieve. He had been careful of those, putting them in a cabinet so that they were safe. He didn’t have a pensieve or even knew anyone with one.
He read the journals every night before getting drunk and passing out in random places of his house. The home improvement project was actually coming along nice. Most of the house had been torn down, replaced, repainted and redecorated. It was large and spacious with tons of natural light and bright paint. It didn’t even look like the same place at all. He had added some brickwork around the fireplaces using light colored stones. The kitchen was a light sunflower yellow, the various other rooms where white while the sitting room was colored a light bluish grey. The furniture looked more like something you would find at the Burrow, handmade and comfy. Handmade throws from Molly littered the place along with plush rugs on the hardwood floors.
Ginny and Hermione had popped by one night when he was completely pissed. He didn’t really remember what they had said or what had happened. More like snippets of conversations and faces. Faces that pitied him. He was pathetic, he knew that, he didn’t need anyone else to baby him and remind him of it. He resented the entire event and drunk more heavily. That sort of stopped when he forgot to visit Andromeda, making her worry and Teddy cry for him all that day. She gave him a stern talking to, cutting him deep. He pulled back on the drinking a bit, and spent most of his time at the garage, fixing up his motorbike. Now that his house was basically finished, he really didn’t have anything else to keep him busy on the days he wasn’t at Andromeda’s.
Draco was a bit suspicious when Pansy came over, relaying an message from his aunt. He had been talking to her through Owl over the last couple of days, ever since she had finally came over to help his mother. He knew about his cousin, but had yet to meet the toddler. Andromeda had shown him pictures and told him stories, making him curious, but yet he hesitated. He didn’t know why, but he just felt like he didn’t belong. He was the reason why the boy had no parents. It didn’t feel right to come into his life as if nothing had happened.
So it was a little odd that Andromeda sent out Pansy with a message for him. Teddy’s babysitter hadn’t shown up and she couldn’t get in touch with them. She couldn’t leave the house and had asked if Draco could maybe go find them. The address she had given him was not that far from his house actually so he agreed.
He got dressed, leaving Pansy to find food for lunch and ring him when she had a reservation. When he got to the address, it was a muggle garage. He couldn’t find the door so he walked around and through the workshop, following the sound of the loud music. He recognized the rock tune, it was one that Chris’s band had done a cover of. Nirvana was what he had said the name of the American Muggle band was if he remembered correctly.
“Hello?” He called over the music, coming around the corner and finding a pair of very fit looking legs underneath a motorbike. The legs were clad in dirty acid washed denim and a pair of old trainers. He cleared his throat. “Hello?”
“We’re closed.” Came the muffled reply from the owner of the legs, barely audible over the music.
“I can see that. But I’m trying to find someone.” Draco said, frowning. The other mumbled something but Draco couldn’t hear him. “I can’t hear you!” He yelled, moving over to the Muggle music box and hitting random buttons, hoping one would shut it off. Once he achieved that, he turned just in time to see the pair of legs emerge from under the bike. A very fit and tan naked torso, covered in grease and sweat went along with those legs. Draco bit his lip as the other emerged fully. Green eyes locked with grey and they both froze in sheer shock.
Harry’s eyes widen as he took in Malfoy’s appearance from where he was sitting on the floor, not even bothering to stand up. He had dyed his undercut a dark almost blue black with the natural white blond hanging long into his eyes. He had a piercing in his eyebrow, along with a handful of others in his ears. His eyes were lined with dark eyeliner, and he was wearing black nail polish. He had a ripped band shirt with black tight ripped denim. He had a pair of worn out trainers on and a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of his flannel shirt.
“Malfoy?” Harry asked, standing up slowly. “What are you doing here?” Though that was not the question he wanted to ask the other.
Draco took a deep breath, finding his voice after a moment. “Andromeda sent me. She said something about babysitting.” He scoffed, mostly chastising himself for the lapse of sanity where he had thought that Potter was fit, in any way.
“Weird, she told me that she was going out today and that she wouldn’t be home at all.” He knitted his eyebrows.
It's a bloody fucking set up. It smelled like a fucking set up. Fucking Pansy. Draco thought, internal rage boiling over. First Weasley and Granger. Now this.
“Well don’t look at me Potter, I am just a messenger. You should really sort out your affairs before galivanting off to do weird Muggle things.” He snarled, some of the angry that he had for Pansy boiling over the surface.
“Watch it Malfoy.” Harry snapped back. “It’s not my fault that you can’t come up with a better excuse than that to see me.”
Draco started to laugh. “See you?” He asked, appalled at the very thought. “You wish! Did you lose some marbles over the last few months?” He asked, glaring at him. “No one would want to come here voluntarily. No one likes you.”
Harry frowned. “Then why are you here, Malfoy?”
“Don’t you listen, I told you why I was. Pay attention, you can do that simple thing can’t you?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Leave, I have lunch.”
“Gladly. So do I.” He turned around and started to walk off, trying to be elegant with his proud strut and his head held high, like he had done in school but it didn’t really work with trainers and jeans. He tripped over his own feet, hearing a snigger of barely concealed laughter behind him.
He bit his lip, growling in frustration before marching off, making an obscene gesture with his finger at Harry as he left.
Harry burst out laughing when he left, walking over and fixing everything that Malfoy had wrecked trying to turn off the radio.
“This is not going to end well.” Pansy hissed from where she was standing outside the café with Hermione. “I’ve already gotten three angry texts.” She said, holding up her mobile. “I can practically see him doing the ‘I’m not talking to you but I have this whole bag of judgmental looks I’m going to try out on you later,’ thing that he does.”
Hermione giggled a bit. “Technically it was not us, it was Andromeda’s idea.” She said as Draco hurried around the corner. Pansy sighed, rolling her eyes as she went to greet him. Not a second later did Harry show up, smiling at Hermione. He raised an eyebrow when he saw Malfoy there, confused. “Are you following me now?” He asked, a little weirded out.
“No, Potter. Technically I am in my city. And you are invading it with your unwanted presence.” He said, pulling Pansy into the café without another word.
Just like old times, Pansy thought as she hurried off.
“And then he starts being a complete prat.” Harry told her as he stuffed his face with bread. “What?” He asked. Hermione smiled at him, shaking her head. “I haven’t seen you this lively in a while. Also it feels like we are back in Hogwarts.” She told him.
He shook his head. “I’m a high school dropout, Hermione. Nothing for me now.”
“We are all basically high school dropouts. I was thinking of maybe going to a muggle university… but I don’t know. I want to stay with Ron, but he is clueless of muggle things.”
Harry smiled at her. “You can get whatever job you want. You have the skills for anything.”
“So do you.” She said, patting his hand. Harry snuck a look at Malfoy.
“What are you playing at?” Draco asked Pansy as the other sipped her tea. “Not playing at anything.” She said through closed lips. “Potter is looking at me again.” He hissed, staring straight at her. Pansy smirked. “Just like old times.” She muttered.
“Oh no, you are not doing this to me.” He said, shaking his head. “First it was with Chris, now with Potter. I do not fancy Potter. We have been over this.” He muttered. “And he’s looking at me again.” He rolled his eyes, picking at the food in front of him.
“So I want to talk about your birthday.” Hermione smiled as she received her food. “I don’t want to do anything.” He groaned.
“It’s your 18th birthday, of course we are going to do something. Not only are you of age in the wizarding world, you will be of age in the muggle world as well. You could possibly get a muggle job, if that is the sort of thing you want to do.” She said softly.
“What makes you say that?” He asked, surprised.
“If I tell you something, you can not tell Ron by any means.” She told him.
“ ‘mione what’s going on?” He leaned forward concerned.
“Me and Ginny have been hanging out with Pansy.” She told her slowly. “Pansy?” He asked, raising an eyebrow. “I thought she might be seeing someone, so that makes since now.”
"I really thought you would have a bigger reaction than that." She stated, staring at him confused.
"Hermione, nothing really surprises me anymore." He told her honestly with a shrug.
Hermione cleared her throat before continuing, “It was something that Malfoy said the other day. He said that after everything that happened, you would want peace.”
“He said that did he?” He muttered, looking at the blond. “When did he start to look like that? Mr. Prim and Proper with piercings and tattoos.”
Hermione giggled. “I’m not sure when it happened, but looks nice.” She said making Harry choke on his drink, turning red.
Hermione laughed at the expression on his face. “Seamus and Dean are going to be there. They just came back from Ireland. Needed to get away. Luna also said that she will be able to come. I haven’t been able to get in touch with Neville though.” She nodded. “I have a place to have your party but if you aren’t up to see anyone, we can really not do it.” She assured him.
“No, if everyone wants to meet… I haven’t seen Luna in so long, and Dean and Seamus.. I really want to see them.” He nodded.
The next day Harry was at his DIY Centre picking up somethings, being a little more self-conscious around the shop keep than he had been before. He heard low muttering as he picked out some stuff for his kitchen.
“Merlin stripped pants I am putting the fucking bloody muggle money into the slot.” Draco fumed softly, the loud computer generated voice of the checking machine screaming at him about his purchase.
Harry bit his lip, watching him as he struggled. The blond got so frustrated he started to hit the thing, cursing it out loudly. This brought the shop keep over yelling at Draco to stop it.
“Zach, it’s fine, I’ve got it.” He said, popping out of his hiding spot as Draco rounded on the other.
“What are you doing here?” Harry asked, taking the money from Draco and flattening it out. “ None of your business Potter.” He glared at Harry as the other placed the money in the slot and the checking machine went silent. It spit out his change and his receipt within seconds.
He glanced at the receipt before putting it in the bag and handing it to the blond. “Why are you buying a spout?” He asked curiously.
“Honestly I don’t know, Pansy said that our thing was broken and that I needed one to make food.” He frowned, looking down inside the bag.
Harry bit his lip, trying to hold his smile back. “What exactly is broke?” He asked.
“The muggle food thing, that produces fire and you cook on it.” He told him with a huff, as if Harry was a complete idiot.
“And you needed a spout for that?” He asked, his whole body shaking with held in laughter.
“Of course, weren’t you listening?” He snapped.
“Malfoy, a spout is for your sink.” He said, laughing a bit. “It helps water come out. It has nothing to do with your stove.” He looked up at him with a smile.
“Oh, fuck this bloody shit!” He yelled, throwing the bag at Harry, hitting him square in the chest. He stormed off without another word.
Harry caught the bag. “Malfoy, wait!” He called after him with a sigh. When the other one didn’t turn back, he moved back to the checking machine and grabbed his change.
He got Zach to help him return the part before he went back to pick out the part that Malfoy probably needed if his stove wasn’t working. He left the store after paying for the purchase, standing there biting his lip. He knew that Malfoy lived in Camden, but he didn’t really know where exactly.
He kind of was glad that nothing had changed between him and Malfoy. The other didn’t tip toe around him, or act like he was pathetic. He didn’t even act like he owed Harry anything for what he had done at his trial. It was refreshing. Hermione was right, he had been the most lively then he had been in a while. Might have been that and the glimpses that he had caught of Malfoy, the king of composure, tripping up. Muggle life had been good to the other.
Though, it seemed like the other kept seeking him out to say something, but didn’t go through with it in the end. Even though he had been trying to pull it out of him. He could see it in his eyes, the way they flickered, the way that he held himself back. He recognized the mask the other wore, because it was the same one that he wore for Andromeda and Hermione. He also recognized the skittish movements the other did, because he had the same reactions to large crowds.
He took his mobile out of his pocket, walking down the pavement as he texted Hermione to ask Pansy for Malfoy’s address.
Pansy was sitting with Draco in his room, the other smoking out of his window. He hadn’t said anything other than a short rant about how “Potter thinks he’s so bloody brilliant, the git.” and that Draco hadn’t gotten the part for the stove. After a bit of silence, she ordered them Chinese takeaway.
“Are you ever going to tell me what happened?” She asked as her mobile went off. Draco rolled his eyes. “I went to buy the stupid thing and Potter was there of all people, and was being a complete prat!” He growled.
Pansy looked over her message before sitting up straight, eyes wide. “Well that’s not anything new.” She muttered, typing out the address for Granger to forward. This was actually working out a lot better than she thought it would back at the concert. Of course Draco had been extremely upset with her at first, but she had been able to pushed it off like none of it was her fault. After the garage, she had been able to get Andromeda to apologize about not remembering that she gave Potter the day off. She was able to write off the café incident as she went with Ginny and Granger to it a few weeks ago and wanted Draco to try it. Apparently, Granger had the same idea with Potter, she told Draco with a chuckle.
Draco was very suspicious of her still, but didn’t think that Pansy was able to do all of this by herself so he brushed it off. Not only did she have to worry about the Potter Plot, she had to worry about Chris. Draco had been pushing him away and she could tell that the other was getting a bit irritated by Draco’s push and pull. As much as Pansy had tried to break him of that Draco was still battling himself.
It was his signature move. He would push and pull until he pushed the person to the point of not even wanting to bother with him anymore. He would let himself have what he wanted for a moment’s notice before his mind realized it, pulling back and doing what he thought other people expected of him. Mostly his parents. He would talk himself out of anything that brought him an ounce of happiness, feeling the compulsion to be this rigid model that his parents had cut out for him.
Which was why they had dated for a few years before Draco had come out to her, in a strangled voice with retched sobs. She had known it for a while but she didn’t tell him that. She had talked him through it, offering to be his beard for the next few years while they were at Hogwarts. When his father started to ride him about producing an heir, Pansy had even promised to marry him in hopes that Lucius would either give up on the idea or die. After the war, when they were given a second chance, Pansy refused to let him be like that anymore. Not many people were given second chances. Most of their friends were dead or in Azkaban, or just didn’t want to associate with them anymore. Draco was all she had left. Without him, she was alone in a world that hated her. Which was one of the reasons she had made amends with Ginny and Granger. Even though the war was over, her and Draco were still in survival mode. They were both trying everything and anything to keep from drowning. And over her dead body would she let her best friend drown. So she did the one thing she could, reaching out to the only person that could possibly understand what Draco was feeling. A deal with the devil. A calculated gamble. Anything to help him. Anything.
She had noticed the push and pull when it came to Potter years and years ago. Most everyone else had seen it as bullying, but she saw what it really was. The internal battle had spilled out and manifested into snips and comments. Those were acceptable for his rigid box. Liking another boy had been taboo enough and had maybe been something they would have been able to work with. But Draco, a person that did nothing by halves by any means had attached himself to Harry bloody Potter. Anyone else, it would have been simple, but Draco knew it was impossible from the start. Which made him lash out more and more as the years went on. It came to a head when Potter had used Sectumsempra spell on him. She had seen the scars. She had seen his face afterwards, he was completely shocked. Everyone had been. No one had thought Potter had been capable of using such dark arts. It had been easy to persuade Draco to drop his affection for Potter then, but apparently not enough because he had done everything in his power to help the other out.
She jerked out of her thoughts when her mobile beeped again, Granger telling her that Potter would be there soon. Draco was going to kill her.
Harry had stopped to get something to snack on while he waited for the address and was eating chips when his mobile beeped. He read off the address before looking around. He wasn’t that far from it actually, nor did the other live far from himself. He shoved the rest of the chips into his mouth before replying that he would be there in a bit and headed off. When he arrived at Malfoy’s house, he spotted the other hanging out of his window, smoking. He stopped right before his garden gate, watching him. He noticed how his lips held the cigarette by themselves, emitting small puffs of smoke. How he was staring off in the distance as if it held all the answers he was searching for. He licked his lips before shaking his head, hitching the shopping bag up higher on his shoulder.
Pansy answered the door when he knocked, hiding halfway behind it. She eyed him warily, before jutting her head towards the bag. “Is that what he left?” She asked him. Harry nodded, dropping his head and holding out the bag. “I-“ He started to say but was interrupted. “His parents aren’t here, so you can… come in..” She said, a bit hesitant.
He looked up at her. “I can fix it… If you want.” He offered as she took the bag. She opened the door, silently inviting him in. He ducked into the foyer, kicking off his trainers before walking towards the kitchen.
Pansy shut the door, locking up before following him. She pointed to the stove, handing him the bag. “What happened to it?” He asked, opening it up. “Draco’s mother happened to it.” She muttered, crossing her arms.
Harry bit his lip to hold in his laugh as he opened the bag, getting to work.
Harry had dismantled most of the stove, figuring out what was the problem by the time the takeaway arrived. Pansy called Draco down, sitting out two plates and opening containers. Draco came running down the stairs, dressed in nothing but boxers and a band shirt.
“I got you rice with your noodles, I hope that is alright.” She told the blond. “As long as it isn’t meat, than it is fine.” He confirmed, moving to the table and looking inside different containers. He froze when he heard a loud bang and a muttered curse from the person halfway inside his stove.
“Who Is in my stove?” He hissed at Pansy. The girl opened her mouth to reply but before she could Harry resurfaced. “She burnt up the wires at the terminal, but I can fix it.” He said to Pansy before turning to Malfoy.
He let a small smirk cross his lips as he looked him over. “Nice pants.” He commented, making Draco’s face twinge a bit of pink. “This is my house, Potter. I can do whatever I want. Why are you here? We could have fixed it!” He spat at him.
“I doubt that.” He chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. “You bought a spout.”
Pansy coughed to cover up the laugh she couldn’t hold in. Draco’s head snapped to her. “Traitor.” He whispered to her. She broke down a bit, laughing softly. “You bought a spout..” She muttered, covering her face with her hands.
“If you are so smart, fix it then.” Draco hissed at Harry. “That was the plan. I wouldn’t want you to go without a stove.” Harry smirked. “Though, don’t let your mum touch it again..” He said, turning back to it, stripping the wires off and started to put the new ones on.
“How did you get my address?” He asked, biting his lip as Harry’s shirt rode up a bit, showing off a scar. Pansy pulled out her mobile and started to text Granger, a smirk on her face.
“Hermione had it.” He said, leaving Pansy completely out of it, which she was grateful for.
Draco looked at her, giving her a death glare. “Wonder where she got it from?” He asked her. She busied herself with making her plate.
Oh she was so dead, he thought, imagining all the ways he could kill her without magic.
“Who said you could come in my house? Maybe I didn’t want to fix it. What makes you think you are wanted? Why are you always around?” He growled.
Harry stopped what he was doing, turning to him. “Me? You are the one that is stalking me.”
“Stalking you?! That’s rich!” He yelled, scoffing at the other.
“You’ve been at my work, my shop, my café all while I was there!” Harry accused. “Seems like stalking to me.” He said his voice angry but his facial expression didn’t match his voice.
Pansy watched him, curious as the dark haired man seem to take utter joy in pushing her best friend’s buttons.
“You were the one stalking me! You’ve been completely obsessed with me!” Draco yelled, stepping closer to Harry in his anger.
“I’m not obsessed with you! You wished I was!” He fired back.
“No one likes you Potter! You are a waste of space!” He yelled in Harry’s face, breathing hard.
That seem like the wrong thing to say. Pansy caught the immediate reaction. Potter had gone from proudly gloating Draco into arguing to almost a complete shutdown. It was like almost a Draco type of shutting down and pulling away. He just completely stopped.
Draco caught it too the moment the words left his mouth. Potter’s eyes had gone big, his mouth slacked and he seem to not breath for almost a minute afterwards. He pulled back, his eyes dropping to the floor and the cocky bit of arrogance that he had a second before was gone.
Draco froze, knowing and recognizing the all too familiar feeling. He knew he had crossed some line. He just didn’t know how to bring himself back to the safe side. It was the same feeling he got whenever his father looked at him, or commented on his behavior or snidely scolded him for the silliest of things. Something that had been ingrained in Potter for years. A set of words that cut deep. Deeper than Draco had imagined.
He took a step back, grabbing his food. “Just fix the blasted Muggle thing. Pansy will give you whatever you need.” He said lamely before running off up the stairs.
Harry watched him go, confused before turning to the dark haired woman. She shrugged, grabbing her own food before following after the blond.
That was odd… He thought turning back to the stove.