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i'm strong on the surface (not all the way through)

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“Don’t fucking touch me!” Harry shouted, slapping Draco’s hand away and running away from him in a zigzag motion, jumping fast up the stairs and disappearing just like that.

Wonderful .

Draco’s chest ached, and not because of physical damage.

He followed Harry upstairs with tiny, calculated steps; Harry needed to remember Draco wasn’t going to harm him in any way. Opening the bedroom, “Harry?” he voiced, almost a whisper. Everything was quiet, though, so he closed the door and tried another room.

Harry wasn’t in the bathroom, nor in the guest room. Draco’s frown grew even more as he looked through the kitchen downstairs, the living room, and even in the garage, where Harry’s motorbike rested peacefully.

Gone was Harry and so was Draco’s patience. Deep down, he knew exactly where Harry was hiding right now, but he wanted to give him some space before he could return home to him. However, nothing happened in the next thirty minutes that followed Harry’s scene in the house: Draco knew just from this that it wasn’t going to be easy, calming Harry after this breakdown. (it didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try anyway.)

It was sufficient for him just thinking about the place, and there he was, standing in the middle of the Godric’s Hollow cemetery, a freezing breeze hitting him unceremoniously on the face.

Harry was there, sitting in front of the stone that commemorated the death of James and Lily Potter, a hand covering his face while the other gripped the stone, touching the graven letters as if they were a lifesaver.

It happened more times than Harry would’ve like to admit. When things were shit – sometimes even more than the usual – Harry just couldn’t take all the stress anymore: he would snap and yell and cry for anything, bad thoughts suddenly making him feel crowded and taking his breath away. Draco had learnt there wasn’t another place like the tomb of his parents that could help him recollect himself and stand for what was good – a lot in Harry’s life was good, but his scars would never leave him, always burning just under his skin.

Draco knew everything, because Harry had told him the first time he had a panic attack in front of him. Draco hadn’t judged him: Harry wasn’t the only one who had been hurt all his life.

“Harry,” Draco murmured when he reached Harry’s prone figure, but Harry’s hand came up to stop him right where he was.

“Quiet,” he hiccupped, not daring to turn around. “Don’t come here if you’re going to shout at me.”

Draco’s heart jumped in his ribcage. “I’m not going to shout. Harry...” Harry shook his head fast, as if he was trying to get away from his own thoughts – impossible – and all Draco saw was a deeply scarred man.

Immediately, he stepped forward, ignoring Harry’s wish to be left alone; there was no way Draco would’ve left him – ever. He touched Harry’s back with just his fingertips, and as he saw that Harry didn’t move, except from his quiet sobbing, he crouched, hugging him from behind.

Usually, it was Harry that had to bear with the difficult moments, show his bravery and face everything with his chin up. But Harry was also human, and certainly not perfect.

They stayed like this until Draco felt his feet almost freezing off of his body.

“Come home,” he murmured against Harry’s now calm body. “Life is not meant to be travelled backwards.”

Harry continued to sniff for a couple of minutes. Then he nodded, almost imperceptibly, before moving into Draco’s embrace to rest his head against Draco’s shoulder, body going pliant from the crying and the tiredness. “Take me with you,” he pleaded, voice rough.

Draco didn’t think about it twice.