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Growing up, Draco Malfoy’s favorite color was green. Not forest, not pale, but a bright, leafy green.

Maybe this preference came from the positive influence the color had- the young boy would often lay in his preferred hideout residing in the Manor Garden, behind the Hibernating Hydrangeas and completely enveloped in nature of the color. He was likely reading Recognizing Potion Ingredients or Introduction to Charms while absentmindedly twiddling a piece of tall grass between his fingers. 

Possibly it was how much he loved to sneak down into the Manor Kitchens, hiding in the shadows and peaking from behind the railings of the stairs as his family’s house elves' magic chopped colorful and crunchy greens for stews and salads as he sat admiring the chores that happened behind closed doors.

Maybe it was Christmas- the one time of the year his family seemed to have no worries. Father was dragged away from the Ministry, always standing tall at Mother's side, watching Draco open presents with his chin high. The sitting room decorated with not one, but three (one for each Malfoy, of course) rich green Christmas trees, dusted with faux snow. Each bobbled with ornaments of gold and silver, with Fairies secured with sticking charms and a pile of green and silver wrapped presents underneath. 

Or maybe it was the banner that hung in his Father’s study, with Slytherin colors and the proud looking serpent. His father would tell him stories of his Slytherin class, how honored he was to be a part of it and how proud he would be if- no, when- Draco was sorted into Slytherin himself.

Before his departure to Hogwarts, his room was mainly black, with inserts of grey and only subtle green accents (Draco was never one to over-do things). Then he sat watching the hills of Scotland roll past, transforming into steep mountains as he felt a stripe of homesickness mixed with anticipation inside his heart.

That night, Draco, following his Father’s orders, found himself with an outstretched hand facing a boy of his age whom had a troublesome past and scar on his forehead. Only ever doing what he was taught to succeed, Draco was confused (and dare say, hurt) to be rejected by the boy, and only noticed just then how green the boy’s eyes were.

Over the next few years, negative and spiteful interactions with the not-so-young-anymore boy continued, and Draco’s love for the color depleted.

When Draco was 17, he became familiar with a hazy, mute, numbness. Familiar with the stale air in his bedroom he spent so much time locked in- reflecting the dead garden he no longer visited. If during this time Draco contemplated his least favorite color- it would be red. Red for the blood on the walls. Red for the anger in his eyes. Red for the Fiendfyre that licked his ankles. And red for the House that the boy who saved his life- the boy he was sure he hated- belonged to.

Draco Malfoy is 18 now, sitting secluded on the hard bench at the Slytherin table with the sound of hundreds of voices in his ears. It’s the first morning of his Eighth year- having returned with a few others to complete his N.E.W.T.s after the traumatic events that took place in the past year (a fucking war to be exact). He looks down at his coffee, the reflection of the famous Great Hall candles dancing on the surface. A sigh escapes his mouth and he rests his chin on his hand, head filled with what Draco thinks must be Wrackspurts he’s so bored. And tired.

Tired of the stares from other House members (Slytherins remained loyal- though respectful of Draco’s space and left him alone). Tired of the poorly whispered comments behind his back in and outside the school. Tired of the apathy he's received from his teachers and paid mentors. And tired from the lack of sleep he gets, because he can still remember the feel of the Dark Lord's presence, hear the snake on the Manor's hardwood floors, the cackles of his Aunt ringing through the house, the smell of rotten bodies and he can still see the flashes of green light when he closes his eyes to sleep at night. 

A sudden round of applause brings Draco out of his thoughts, and he realizes he's missed the morning announcements from the Headmistress. The clatter of silverware hitting plates and benches being pushed out fills the air as his peers all stand and slowly make their way out of the Great Hall. With another sigh, Draco retains his composure and stands, looking at his barely eaten toast and now empty mug. His mind is full of thoughts again; the way to Arithmancy, should have eaten more, probably purple under my eyes.

Now a part of the last to leave the hall, Draco joins the crowd near the doors, ignoring the looks of worry he receives from the oh-so-tiny first years. His eyes find the floor as he joins the awkward shuffle out, his left arm holding onto his satchel and his right hanging heavily and-

It happens so fast. Someone else's hand brushes against his own, warm knuckles swiping over his cold ones. Draco cant help but flinch at the contact, no longer used to the feeling of someone else's skin. He looks over, seeing black robes lined with red over broad shoulders, an awkward stance and a mess of hair and it's Potter. 

"Er- sorry, Draco. Hello." Potter says, and Draco stops and almost gasps at the sound of his name, his first name, coming from Potter's mouth.

Potter's now stopped too, and they're close, and Draco now looks up at him and first sees Potters stupid lop-sided smile, his nose, where Draco can swear he can just see the scar from where he broke it, and then Potter's eyes. It's Potter's eyes, his green- his beautifully bright, emerald green- eyes, somehow full of life that's pouring into Draco's grey ones that makes Draco's heart jump and electricity shoot to his fingertips. In that moment, unbeknownst to Draco, it's Potter's eyes that cause Draco's absolute favorite color to be green again. Not forest, not pale, but Potter's eyes green.

Still staring, Draco clears his throat, "Hello."