“ Never thought a train goin' any place could've changed my life
Never thought I'd say I could go insane, 'til I saw your eyes
And I had to take another look to know for sure
That you could be for real
You found an empty seat sittin' next to me
And I asked your name
Where you comin' from? ”
That’s how it all started. The blond boy from Madam Malkin’s came to sit with Harry and Ron on the way to Hogwarts. He realised that he and Harry had gotten off on the wrong foot and wanted to try over again. Harry thought the same. And it worked. The boy became friends with both Harry and Ron. Their friendships grew strong enough during the train ride, so that when Harry and Ron were sorted into Gryffindor and Draco, naturally, was sorted into Slytherin, they still got along perfectly well. Hermione might’ve disagreed about that ‘perfectly well’ part, because Harry and Draco bickered slightly too much for her taste. Though, maybe she shouldn’t be one to talk with all the small fights she had with Ron.
Their first year at Hogwarts presented quite an adventure, as they learnt that there was something hidden in the school. And Harry’s scar kept hurting. And Draco let jealousy get the best of him when Harry made the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. But after an explanation of how it all had come to be because Morag MacDougal had teased Neville, and after some time, he came back around. In the end, he even turned out to be Harry’s greatest supporter.
By working together, the four eleven year olds managed to solve the riddles about the hidden stone, prevented the Dark Lord from rising and grew a even stronger bond between each other. The House Cup that year was shared between Slytherin and Gryffindor.
Second year had offered yet another matter that sparked Draco’s — by now well-known — jealousy: Harry being a Parselmouth. But it didn’t take long until Draco saw how pained Harry was by all the looks that the other students gave him, and his desire to protect the Golden Boy grew stronger than his envy. Whenever he could, he’d sit by the Gryffindor’s side, helping him to keep his mind off the sneers that were sent his way.
Together, he, Ron and Harry went into the Chamber of Secrets, while Hermione laid petrified in the Hospital Wing. When Ron got stuck with the obliviated Gilderoy Lockhart, Draco and Harry continued deeper into the Chamber. After Harry, with the help of Fawkes, defeated the basilisk, Draco destroyed the diary. Though neither of them noticed when Ginny woke up, for both of them were busy hugging each other close while crying, as they both believed that Harry would be dead in less than a minute. That did not happen, though, as a few tears from the Phoenix healed the wound.
That year, the House Cup was won by Slytherin, but the Quidditch Cup went to Gryffindor.
Now, it had come to be their third year. While Harry had spent the last part of his summer vacation between first and second year at the Burrow, he lived the last few weeks of this summer at Malfoy Manor. With that a lot of new things had come to happen. First, he had gotten to know Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Lucius seemed a bit shady, for he seemed more interested in Harry being Harry Potter than being Draco’s friend. But Narcissa was fine. And spending time with Draco was amazing. There was so much to do and play with and there were not really any rules. Harry had never been so free in his life. Yet, most of the time, he and Draco had just sat in Draco’s wing and talked. For they understand each other so much better than anyone else did. And even though Harry had gotten a wing of his own, he spent most of his nights in Draco’s bed. The presence of someone else seemed necessary for him to not be pestered by nightmares.
Thanks to this, the two boys were closer than ever when they returned to Hogwarts. But it was also because of this that Harry did not know about the escaped murderer Sirius Black and how he was probably trying to get ahold of Harry. And once he did get to know about him, he couldn’t quite get it to add up. The story about the Marauders and the betrayal didn’t make sense, and neither did the belief that Black was after him just because .
While no one in Gryffindor Tower seemed to agree (actually, they thought Harry to be quite mad), Draco was there to see the situation through Harry’s view from the start. Ron and Hermione worked on trying to get Harry to hide or take on preventions so that Black couldn’t get to him, but Draco helped him to get the story straight. With Draco’s help, and after lots of research they decided that the official story about Black’s betrayal must be false and they set up a plan for how Harry was going to meet up with the man. Their sneaking around did not go unnoticed though, as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin, was observant enough to see the two boys planning something. When they went to see Black in the Shrieking Shack, he followed them and since he stayed behind the door to eavesdrop on them, he go to hear the true story about Pettigrew’s mistake.
When the story had been told, Lupin burst through the door and threw his arms around the other man in a tight embrace. Trembling, he mumbled apology after apology for not trusting in him more. Sirius only shook his head and hugged him back while explaining that he understood. All the evidence had pointed at him. And he also explained that he didn’t blame Pettigrew for it all either, since it had been obvious back then that he was under a lot of pressure and, most of all, fear. They all knew how horrible the Dark Lord could be, and they all should’ve helped Peter earlier when they saw him getting more and more unsure of himself. Because they had seen it. But they hadn’t done anything about it. And they regretted it.
Right after this, Ron stormed into the shack, for he had realised that Draco and Harry had gone to confront the infamous Sirius Black.
“Get you wand down and stand back unless you want to confront me in a duel!” he shouted, pointing his raised wand right at the two wizards standing in front of him. The scenery wasn’t what he had expected though, and seeing Professor Lupin hugging the supposed murderer caught him quite off guard. “Wait, what’s going on?” he asked.
“Long story, mate, long story.” Harry answered with a pat on Ron’s shoulder and gave him a look that told him that he and Draco would tell it all later. “For now, I think we need to talk to Dumbledore. There are a few details in Sirius’ crime record that are amiss.”
Soon enough, it was all settled and after a new trial, Sirius Black went out to be a free man. That night, Draco and all his Hogwarts friends celebrated. Though they were still way too young to consume anything spirituous, the amount of sugary drinks they drank was enough to create a rather enlightened mood. In the euphoria of a sugar kick, they all settled in the Gryffindor Common Room to eat snacks and play games. With time, Harry and Draco automatically shifted closer and closer to each other on the sofa they were sharing and when it was nearing curfew, and only their closest friends were left, Harry was placed with his head in Draco’s lap. Absentmindedly, Draco traced his fingers through Harry’s hair and massaged his scalp lightly while he watched the boy smile and laugh with his friends.
It struck him like a lightning bolt, matching the scar on Harry’s forehead. Merlin’s beard, he was only thirteen years old, but he was falling in love with his best friend. And even worse, he was falling in love with Harry Potter. Despite their fights, despite both of them having a fair share of flaws, he was falling deeply for the Gryffindor. How did this even happen? Though, not sharing the other boy’s talent for jumping straight into things without thinking, Draco didn’t dare do anything about it. At least not yet.
Draco didn’t pay attention to who won either of the Cups this year. He was busy sorting through his thoughts about how beautiful Harry was looking at his table on the other side of the room.
Excluding the few days that Harry had to spend in Little Whinging, most of his summer break between his third and fourth year was spent at Grimmauld Place, where he further got to know Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. He learned more about his parents and their life at Hogwarts. And he learned about the relationship that the two of them had shared, which made the thought of Sirius’ betrayal even more heartbreaking for Remus. With this newfound knowledge, his weeks at Malfoy Manor got rather interesting. He was constantly wondering and evaluating his feelings for he had started to realise there might be something else mixed within what he felt for his best friend Draco Malfoy. The summer didn’t end too well though. With Harry constantly thinking, he wasn’t paying much attention to what happened around him, and that resulted in Draco getting quite pissed at him. What Harry didn’t know was that this happened because Draco thought they were growing apart and it was breaking his heart.
With those differences between each other, the start of their fourth year was rugged. It was starting to get better when the two friends spent hours and hours on end discussing the students from the visiting schools, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. But just as it almost were back to normal, Harry’s name was thrown out of the burning Goblet. Just as Ron, Draco got envious but he also felt betrayed once again. It didn’t get better when Harry seemed to show a certain interest in the other Hogwarts Champion, Cedric Diggory. With all that jealousy and envy, Draco got along quite well with Ron for a few weeks during which they talked behind Harry’s back.
However, as the first task was drawing closer, they both started to really notice how uncertain and lonely Harry was. Draco was especially reminded about how it had been in second year, and there was no longer any space for animosity in his heart. Together, he and Ron worked down their degrading feelings toward Harry and by the time Rita Skeeter got especially nagging towards Harry, they were both there to protect him. And during Harry’s battle with the Hungarian Horntail, they were the ones to cheer the loudest.
There was still some uneasiness in Draco and Harry’s relationship though. The feeling of being betrayed was still present just under Draco’s current feelings and Harry was constantly fearing that the other boy would leave again. This led to the Slytherin snapping at Harry every other day and both of them got into rows even more often than usual, something that did not work in Harry’s favour when it came to figuring out the clue for the next Triwizard task. He hated these proper fights he had with Draco, yet nothing seemed to stop them from happening.
It wasn’t only Harry and Draco that suffered from it. Ron and Hermione were constantly caught in between, and it happened fairly often that they uttered a comment or two about Draco and Harry acting as if they were a married couple: Because they always fought about irrelevant tasks or small things that truly weren’t worth fighting about, yet they always got back together after each conflict.
The second task drew closer and yet Harry did not know what to do about it. He hadn’t cracked the egg’s riddle and it was only half a week left. Draco didn’t help much, and while Hermione did lots of research, Harry found he didn’t have the energy to confront the topic her way, or even with her. She had a totally different way of approaching problems and even though he knew she meant well, it just wasn’t the way that fit him the best.
Cedric Diggory saved him. As a thanks for Harry tipping him off about the dragons before the first task, he gave back a clue as for how to prepare. This encounter though did not only have a positive outgoing. Despite it leading to Harry getting to hear the message in the Prefect’s bathtub, it also lead to another jealous fit on Draco’s side. The last days before the task, they didn’t talk at all and it had Harry utterly miserable.
Thanks to the Gillyweed Neville gave him, Harry was as ready as he could be on the morning of the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. Yet, he felt nowhere near ready, because he was out of himself with worry. He hadn’t seen Draco all day, and since Hermione too was gone, Ron had left to search for her. He was completely alone, and Merlin did he miss Draco. He missed his smile and his encouraging words. He missed his shining silver eyes and calming hands. He missed having him close, to hug him.
Only one minute before Crouch Sr let the pistol go off to mark the start of the task, Harry realised he was in love with Draco Malfoy. The thought made a thousand others swim around in his head, but he pushed it all into the back of his mind so he could focus on the task and then find a boy he really needed to talk to.
In the end, it worked out easier than Harry ever had thought it would. Since it was made very clear how important Draco was to Harry, all the bad blood that had run between them during the past months was forgotten. Though neither of them was ready to confess yet, they both knew their importance to the other now. It seemed nothing would be able to break them apart again.
Everything seemed perfect during the Spring Ball as they went together as each other’s dates. Perfect enough, so that they almost fooled themselves into believing their dancing meant something else. Something more. They got shaken into reality though, because of the horrendous fight that happened between one torn Hermione and one jealous Ron.
Yet, it still felt perfect for Draco and Harry. Though the fight between Hermione and Ron was of higher seriousness than usual, it still wasn’t something uncommon, and everything felt normal for someone who was fourteen years old.
Of course that sense of perfectness couldn’t stay forever. Everyone knew that nothing gold can stay. But Draco thought that this time fate was quite a bit too cruel to Harry, because this time, the perfection was ruined by an absolute catastrophe. It was ruined by the return of the Dark Lord.
After Barty Crouch Jr had been caught, Harry was finally allowed to go and tell his friends about what had happened. He told them about the graveyard and the potion. He told them about Pettigrew and how he’d tormented him and Cedric with the Cruciatus Curse while preparing Voldemort’s uprising. But it had seemed like he was under the Imperius Curse based on his glazed eyes and rigid moves. Then he told them about the Death Eaters assembling and he gave Draco a look that told him that there was something else, something that he couldn’t tell here when Ron and Hermione were listening. At last he told them about the duel he had been forced into and his parents’ energies coming to his rescue, and how it enabled his and Cedric’s escape.
Harry followed Draco to the dungeons afterwards. And during that promenade, Harry told him about his father. And he explained how this worried him because he was unsure about how this would affect Draco and his mother. It was utter bullshit, really, how Harry could care more about Draco and Narcissa’s well-beings than about his own, even though everyone knew that the Dark Lord would be chasing him. Yet, Harry kept ranting about it so Draco stopped him in his track to ask:
“ Where you headed to this Saturday?
'Cause I'm gonna be out on the town
As long as you are goin' there with me .”
When the confusion had settled, Harry smiled and answered yes, he would very gladly go to Hogsmeade with Draco.
That weekend was the best Hogsmeade weekend Draco had ever had. He and Harry went through the village and talked and looked at the shops. It was like it had been when Harry stayed at the Manor before their third year, and Draco thrived in it. If he could decide, he would make them stay there forever, in this exact day, for it was so great. Even though they didn’t only talk about good things — how could they with the threat of the Dark Lord hanging in the air? — it was still great to spend the day alone with Harry, doing nothing in particular. They ate lunch together in a private booth at Three Broomsticks and then stayed in there for the rest of the afternoon, while just continuing to talk about everything and nothing.
“Hey, Dray,” Harry said when they were on their way back to the castle. “Can you promise me something?”
“When you get home to… your home, and it’s really bad with… you know… you promise that you’ll try to escape right? And that you’ll tell me if that happens. You can always come and live at Grimmauld Place.”
“Harry, nothing’s gonna happen. But yes, I promise.” Draco snuck an arm around Harry’s shoulders and hugged him sideways. “I promise, if you promise that you’ll eat enough this summer.”
A small, uncertain smile appeared on Harry’s face as he nodded, but he couldn’t quite meet Draco’s eye, and it worried the blond a lot. He squeezed Harry’s shoulder before he tried to change the subject into the upcoming feast that was only a few days away.
Draco knew that his promise wasn’t very reassuring, for he had no idea what was going on with his father. All he knew was that Cedric and Harry had seen him at the assembly in the graveyard, wearing the same black robes as the other Death Eaters. It was something that scared Draco slightly, but he was certain that his father wouldn’t hurt him, and if he did try to touch Draco, his mother would interfere. So there wasn’t really anything to worry about, was it?
Those worries clouded Draco’s thoughts as well as Harry’s during the Ending Ceremony, so neither of them noticed who won the House Cup this year either.