Our Relationship Quantified in Five Boxes
It had been five years. No, six years. Harry didn’t remember. They’d literally stumbled upon each other at a pub and Draco had thrown the first punch. Of course Draco had thrown the first punch because Harry knew better than to fight with a drunken man--even if the drunk man was Draco Malfoy.
Malfoy was dead.
It was surreal. Was this really happening? The cause of death was unknown. They never even found a body. He’d just disappeared. He was reported missing for over four years, no maybe five years. It was a year or two after Harry had last seen him. He’d gone missing. No one had seen him for several months, then his mother filed a report and now he was assumed dead.
Draco was dead.
Harry didn’t know if he should have felt sad. Should he have felt anything? He was just numb. They had ended things on such a bad note that when he’d first gone missing Harry hadn’t even cared. He’d made sure everyone knew that he didn’t care. But now he was dead. Now Harry should have felt bad. Now he should have just admitted to himself that he cared because a man that he’d cared about--possibly the only person he’d ever felt romantic love for--was dead.
And Harry was left with all of his stuff.
When Draco was declared dead, his Will was read. Why Draco had kept a Will at such an early age was unknown. Everyone was surprised that Draco’s Will left everything to Harry. It did not indicate any other recipient, not even his parents, and it further denoted that whatever wealth and value would have been bestowed upon Draco from his inheritance should also be granted to Harry.
Draco’s parents were still alive and Harry was glad about that. He figured now they had enough time to change their own Wills to ensure that Harry wouldn’t end up claiming their estate. Not that Harry would have wanted to, just like he didn’t want Draco’s things. But he was stuck with those.
Harry arrived at number 56, Catarina Drive. Along with the Will he was also given a set of keys; why Draco simply didn’t have magical wards set up for the flat was also a mystery and Harry supposed it would remain a mystery. For someone who hated all things Muggles and especially Muggleborns, Draco had eventually, voluntarily, driven himself towards the culture. Harry wondered if Draco’s parents ever visited the flat during his absence; he would be glad to walk into the flat and see it completely emptied out. Maybe they went in after Draco was declared deceased.
He tried the first key in the set he was given. It didn’t work. Neither did the second one. The third key was different looking than the first two, and Harry should have known that it would be the front door key. It even had the previous owner’s initials etched in it. Harry stared at the key for a moment and rubbed his thumb across the initials. A memory slowly came back to him.
Draco had Harry pressed against the wall in one of the tiny Ministry supply closets. Harry wasn’t sure how that had ended up happening but he was glad that it did. Draco ran his thumb across the place where Harry's initials were embroidered on the chest of his Auror robes, and Harry remembered how fast his heart had been pounding beneath that finger, as though it was ready to jump out of his chest. Draco had leaned in and kissed the initials, had kissed him right over his heart. Then Draco had looked up and caught Harry’s gaze. And he'd smiled. Harry had never seen Draco be so gentle before. He was so different, so tender, that Harry believed he was another man with Draco's face.
Draco was really gone. The reality hit him again at that moment. This time more with shock rather than apathy.
Harry placed the key in the lock and turned it. The creak of the door opening was almost haunting. He was stepping into his past.
It had been years since he’d been on Catarina Drive. Continuing with the Muggle tradition that was all over Draco’s former flat, Harry didn’t need his wand to light the hallway. His hand, almost instinctively, found the switch and turned it on.
Harry walked through the long hallway into the sitting room. It was exactly the same. A long black leather sofa faced the fireplace that probably hadn’t been lit in five years. Harry spotted the cotton throw that Draco would spread before they’d shag on the sofa, given how sticky the leather could get on one’s skin.
The small coffee table still held a neat stack of old newspapers. Harry chuckled. He remembered how livid Draco would get if Harry would mess up the order. The wall colour had changed, but Harry wasn’t surprised. Harry had picked the old colour, so Draco must have changed it after they had ended things.
Random Muggle art still hung on the walls—Picasso, Dali, even Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait that Harry had given him. Draco had told him that he’d destroyed it. Harry should have known it was a lie. Now he was simply staring into Frida’s eyes as though she were mocking him.
Harry looked down at the other two keys in the set. He wanted to know what they opened. He was sure that one of them was for the attic; Draco never allowed Harry in the attic. That was his next destination.
Harry walked through the kitchen and it was impeccably clean. There was not a spot of dust on site; the house-elves still stopped by to keep the place tidy.
Harry went down the narrow passageway that led to the secret door to the stairs to the attic. Draco had purposely bought this particular flat because the attic would only be known to a select few and even fewer individuals would know how to go about finding it. The door to the staircase was locked and Harry tried one of the keys. It worked.
He took the steps two at a time, as though if he didn’t rush Draco would catch him and he’d lose his one and only chance to see what was hidden up the stairs. Draco wouldn’t catch him. Draco was dead.
There wasn’t much in the attic. Harry spotted old school books neatly organised on a bookshelf along with empty potions phials, and an old television set, which he found odd. Then he saw a box with his name on it. Harry was astonished to see a big cardboard box with his name, well his surname, sitting in the corner. That was Draco’s secret: a box of Harry’s stuff, stuff Draco never wanted Harry to see. That didn’t make any sense.
Unable to hide his curiosity from himself, Harry made his way towards the box. It wasn’t heavy so he didn’t need magic to lift it and bring it to the centre of the room where there was more light. Harry opened it and found five small boxes inside. Draco’s handwriting was obvious as each small box was neatly numbered with green ink. Now Harry was even more intrigued.
Harry opened the first box: it was a tie. It was part of the Gryffindor uniform. It was Harry’s tie, and the bite marks were still on it.
Harry’s mind floated back again, and he didn’t need a Pensieve to see the memory that was flashing in front of his eyes. He remembered it as though it happened yesterday.
It was in the midst of the Triwizard tournament, and Harry had narrowly escaped death twice. He couldn’t figure out the next challenge. He couldn’t eat, He couldn’t sleep. He was never left alone so he couldn’t even give himself the one release he required. That all changed on the twelfth of May in fourth-year.
Malfoy bumped into him in the hallway. He was still Malfoy back then. They had glared at each other—their hatred of each other was well known but no one knew of Harry’s secret—his lust for Malfoy.
Malfoy challenged him to a fight and Harry accepted. They found themselves in the first floor girls’ toilet. Harry removed his tie and he was preparing himself for hand to hand combat as they'd agreed. Malfoy did the same, rolling up his sleeves and removing his green and silver tie.
Harry was caught by surprise when Malfoy tangled his tie around Harry’s wrists. He hadn’t even used his wand, but he’d done it with magic. Malfoy had the ability to perform wandless magic. He then progressed to push Harry into the stall. As Harry was about to scream, Malfoy took Harry’s tie and tied it around his mouth. He'd tried to bite out of it, but Draco had performed some sort of weird magic on that too.
Harry was sure Malfoy was going to punch him in the gut when Malfoy surprised him by doing something he had never imagined. Malfoy’s hand rubbed his own crotch through his trousers. Harry stopped fighting against the tie that was wrapped around his mouth, and his gaze fell towards Malfoy’s groin. Malfoy was hard.
Malfoy’s eyes twinkled when he’d realised that Harry liked it. Malfoy had seen his interest. Malfoy shortened the distance between them and gently rubbed his hand on Harry’s trousers right against his cock. Harry attempted to will his erection to go down, but his body failed him as Malfoy continued to tease. If his hands hadn't been tied, Harry would have shoved Malfoy against the wall and kissed him.
Harry had always wanted to kiss him. He had no idea how Malfoy knew.
Malfoy’s movements became faster, and Harry didn’t make a sound. He rested his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. Moments later he felt his trousers getting unbuttoned, the only sound between the two boys was of the zipper being pulled down. Harry’s breath hitched. He jerked his head and looked at Malfoy again. Malfoy nodded as if he were asking Harry to trust him. Harry had no reason to trust him but he nodded back. Soon the trousers were on the floor and Malfoy was staring at Harry’s hard cock as he licked his lips. Harry wanted to bite that lower lip so desperately instead he just bit on the tie that was clenched around his mouth.
Malfoy rubbed his hand on Harry’s cock right after he had unbuttoned his own trousers and they’d fallen on the floor. He soon tugged Harry’s cock with his right hand as he stroked his own erection with his left. Harry’s hands were still tied and hung in between their two bodies. He was helpless and hated himself for the fact that he was loving it. Malfoy pressed his hard cock on Harry’s and glided their erections together. Malfoy closed his eyes to perhaps enjoy the sensation more but Harry kept his eyes on Malfoy. He watched as Malfoy took pleasure in what he was doing. Harry came all over Malfoy’s hand while Harry watched him bite his lower lip and furrow his brow. He was beautiful.
Malfoy eventually released Harry’s hands and untied the tie from around his mouth. They stared at each other in silence—more like shock for Harry. Malfoy had just wanked them both off—how was he supposed to react after that?
They heard faint conversation. The risk of being discovered worried them and both quickly and silently dressed. Malfoy left the stall first. He rushed out without looking back and Harry followed moments later. It wasn’t until Harry had nearly reached the Gryffindor Tower had he realised that he was wearing Malfoy’s tie.
Draco still had the tie. That had happened nearly fourteen years ago. Harry still had Malfoy’s tie as well. It was Draco’s tie. Harry still had Draco’s tie.
Guilt swelled up inside Harry. The Gryffindor tie brought out emotions that he had been hiding. Desire. Then remorse.
At first glance he remembered the pleasure of being with Draco in that girls’ toilet. Soon after he remembered how two years later, he’d nearly killed Draco at almost the exact same spot.
Harry opened up the second box.
The second box had a newspaper clipping from the Prophet. It was the day Harry had argued on behalf of Draco and Narcissa so that they avoided an Azkaban prison sentence. The clipping had a picture of Draco, Harry, Narcissa and their solicitor. The three of them were looking at the camera and Harry was watching Draco.
Harry had never seen that picture before. Draco had kept the newspaper clipping in essentially mint condition.
Harry opened the third box.
He wasn’t as deeply moved by the items as he had by the first two but he still appreciated them just as much. It seemed that Draco had kept all the receipts of the restaurants they’d frequented in their short courtship as adults. Draco had also kept all the receipts of any overnight hotel stays when their arguments led to impromptu sexual needs. Harry chuckled to himself, as he remembered those arguments. As frustrating as they had been at the time, the end result—the make-up sex—had been equally rewarding.
Harry leaned back and rested for a moment. His emotions had taken a toll on him. How had he never realised that Draco cared so much? He knew that the façade Draco put up wasn’t real but he didn’t know that there was this much passion hidden under. Passion for Harry. He’d been a fool—both of them had been fools.
And now Draco was gone—forever.
Harry opened the fourth box.
The contents were wrapped as though they had been a Christmas present. Harry recalled that their last encounter had been a week before Christmas. They had gotten into a huge fight that night over spending time at the Burrow and with the Weasleys. They were Harry’s family and Draco didn’t seem to care at all.
Harry had foolishly given Draco an ultimatum which he didn’t accept. They never saw each other after that. Harry received news of Draco being admitted to St Mungo’s shortly after Christmas but he wasn’t allowed any visitors. After his release Draco returned Harry’s owls unanswered--his letters were unopened. Harry ultimately gave up and concentrated on his career. Now he regretted that decision. He should have tried harder.
He worked on long projects, took undercover assignments in foreign countries. It had been a year before Harry even took a holiday.
A year later—and Draco was reported missing by his parents. And now, five years later, he’d been assumed dead. Even though Harry chose not to remember exactly how long it had been, wizards have to be missing for five years before they are presumed dead.
Draco was dead.
Harry began to sob. He was holding his Christmas present from Draco as his tears ruined the perfect ribbon that fastened on top.
Finally finding the courage, he opened the wrapping. Inside the tiny container was a keychain with a love poem etched on it along with a set of keys. The same set of keys that Harry was given previously that week. Draco was opening up his home to Harry. Was he going to ask him to move in, or was he simply sharing the private things with Harry that he never shared with anyone?
Harry had been in love with Draco, but he’d never expressed that to him. When Draco walked away, Harry had believed…assumed…Now he discovered that Draco loved him back just as much.
Harry had been a fool. He should have fought for him. He should have chased after him. Maybe then—Draco would still be alive.
He wasn’t ready to open the fifth box, but he decided that he might as well get it over with. He couldn’t even imagine what the fifth box would contain. Their life together had been reduced to four boxes.
Harry didn’t understand the contents of the fifth box. It held only one thing: a tiny hospital bracelet, the kind that babies receive when they are born. It indicated a name, just a first name. It didn’t mean anything to Harry. The height, the weight, the date of birth. Harry didn’t understand.
He stared at the contents of the five boxes laid out in front of him and didn’t understand. Who was this baby?
Harry packed everything away again and stood up. He spotted a cabinet in the corner of the attic and tried to open it—it was locked. Harry reached in his trouser pockets and took out the set of keys again. The third key worked.
Inside the cabinet he discovered a multitude of maps, travel brochures and residential information on Australia. Harry had always thought that Australia would have be the perfect country for him if he ever wished to run away from it all and settle down. What was Draco trying to reveal now?
He’d often expressed to Draco why Australia, where he would go, and what he’d do. They had once foolishly dreamt of living in a tiny Muggle village and hiding away from it all. The idea of living amongst Muggles and owning a small shop selling flowers that they’d magically grow seemed entertaining. It would have been the perfect life—away from wizarding celebrity gossip—no remnants of the war.
Harry stared at the contents again. A circled spot on a map. This was really happening. Had Draco waited five years to disclose his desire--five years for Harry to recognise his still-present-yearning?
Maybe Draco had everything ready after the first year and it took Harry five more years to wake up to the realisation. Harry was the fool.
The memories of their relationship, insinuations towards a new life, and a map. This was really happening.
Harry didn’t waste any time. He closed the cabinet doors, grabbed the cardboard box of memorabilia, and practically ran out of Draco’s flat. He quickly Disapparated home and then headed to the Ministry. He needed to get to the Department of Magical Transportation; he required an emergency Portkey to get to Herberton, Queensland, Australia.
In a matter of two hours, Harry had everything he required: a suitcase full of clothes along with the five relics of his relationship with Draco under the Undetectable Extension Charm, and an enchanted Portkey to deliver him to Herberton. It was a Muggle village so Harry would have to arrive under his Invisibility Cloak. He was desperately prepared for this trip.
Right before his departure, Harry placed a resignation letter on Kingsley’s desk. He probably wasn’t going to be back for a very long time—or he would be back in no time. He had no idea.
When Harry arrived at his destination, it was pitch dark. He hadn’t accounted for the time difference between England and Australia. He hadn’t even considered that it was the opposite season. It must have been somewhere around nine o’clock at night. What was he going to do until morning?
He spotted a police station, tiny houses and one inn. He looked around and, ensuring that he was alone, removed his Invisibility Cloak. As he walked towards the inn he saw an advertisement for a flower show. That would be his first stop the next day. Draco had a green thumb he’d acquired from his mother and being a gardener fit in perfectly with their original plan to run away.
Harry opened the gate to a long narrow passageway that led to the front doors of the inn. He glanced over at the small garden on his right. It was full of plants that were forest green and silver. On the left he spotted crimson roses and daffodils. Harry was immediately reminded of his house colours and the other side was quite similar to Slytherin. Harry hoped for his luck to only improve.
When he opened the main door of the inn, a bell rang and the attendant at the counter turned around and looked up. Harry’s breath immediately hitched--for Draco Malfoy was staring at him.
He looked down at Harry’s attire and smiled softly. He was wearing a white button down shirt with dark blue denims, but Draco was staring at Harry’s green and silver Slytherin tie.
Draco came around from behind the counter to stand face to face with Harry. Harry immediately dropped his luggage and took Draco into his arms, his lips instantaneously attaching to Draco’s. Hands flew everywhere as lips refused to part even just to take in a breath. Harry didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. He wanted to do both. His heart felt heavy and light at the same time. He really loved Draco and didn’t know if he’d ever let go of him from his arms.
It wasn’t until Harry heard the laughter of a small child that he finally released Draco from his grip. Harry turned to his right and saw a tiny human around the age of four or five with Draco’s hair and complexion but Harry’s eyes. The child was laughing at them; it would seem silly to a child that two grown men were snogging madly in the middle of the night.
Draco took Harry’s hand and introduced him to his son, Scorpius James Potter-Malfoy. The mixed feeling of relief and guilt came across Harry again. He was happy to meet his son, but he couldn’t believe that he’d missed watching him grow up for five years.
After everything that happened, it still had been the happiest day in Harry’s life. He had gone from being utterly alone to having a family in moments.
Also, Draco Malfoy was very much alive.