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Radio Silence (Drarry)

Chapter Text

Harry has gone full radio silence, and it is freaking everyone out.

He shut himself off during the summer after the war, living at Grimmauld place alone and not talking to anyone. He told no one that he died during the war. He doesn't want to talk about it, or think about it. Only two people kind of know he died and that's Hagrid and Narcissa, because they were both there. He also really doesn't want to see anyone, which is why he refused the offer to stay at the burrow over the summer before 8th year. He feels so damn guilty all the time, and seeing Ron and George and Mrs. Weasley makes him feel worse. He's spent two months alone in agonising guilt and sorrow. He spent the first few weeks working on the house, making it feel homely and he's proud of the outcome, but he's done nothing but read, draw, play Sirius' guitar and exercise since then. The only things he could do that kept his mind occupied, because when he isn't doing things the guilt starts to creep in and quickly becomes overwhelming. This all ends today though. It's September 1st and Harry is going back to Hogwarts for the last time. His trunk is packed with everything he needs, including his broom and Sirius' guitar, and is by his front door ready for him. Kingsley is his chauffeur for today, and when he gets to Grimmauld place Harry sighs before leaving the house with him, locking the door behind him.

"Are you ready, Harry?" He asks, grabbing Harry's trunk. Harry just shrugs before taking a deep breath and nodding and they apparate to kings cross and are stood on platform 9 3/4. He forces himself not to think about how much it reminds him of when he died, and keeps his head down as Kingsley leads him to the very end of the platform.

Harry waits until the last minute to get on the train, and he manages to find an empty compartment to sit in when he's finally said goodbye and thank you to Kingsley. He spends the entire ride to Hogwarts reading. He read a mix of both wizard and muggle books over the summer, and he's even read every textbook he needs for 8th year. Right now he's finishing Persuasion. Out of the corner of his eye he sees people walk past his compartment, looking at him as they pass, he see's his friends walk past, pausing outside his compartment as if contemplating whether they should enter, before continuing their search for a compartment. Harry knows how he looks. His black hair is still a mess, but it's grown and can now be pulled into a bun, granted its small and some of his hair falls out of it. He's lost some weight but gained some muscle because of his /probably excessive/ exercising so he now has an impressive 6 pack and some decent arm and leg muscles, so he knows his body looks good, but he has bags under his eyes that are darker than the onyx ring, passed down by the Black family for generations, that he has on his right middle finger. He is glad his friends didn't come in and try to talk, he doesn't know what to say to them anyway.

 

The train arrives and Harry takes his time getting off, making sure to shove his book in the back pocket of his black skinny jeans, wanting to avoid the crowd of students. He feels the eyes of the people around him burning into him and shoves his hands in the front pocket of his hoodie that belonged to Sirius. He catches Hermione's eye as he walks towards the carriages, his heart breaking when he sees a lot more students can see the thesterals pulling them. Hermione smiles slightly at him and he takes a deep breath before walking over to her, Ron, Ginny and Luna.

"Hey, Harry." Hermione says softly as he reaches her. Harry wants to smile back at her, but he can't.

"Hi." His voice sounds raspy as he hasn't spoken in who knows how long, so he clears his throat and continues. "Sorry I didn't write much." He only wrote back so they knew he was alive.

"It's okay. We missed you. How have you been?" She asks as they climb into a carriage. Harry just shrugs.

"Well you look great." Hermione says but Harry sees concern in her eyes. He nods slightly as a thank you and spends the rest of the evening silent. All through dinner he doesn't interact with anyone and spends most of it reading, managing to finish his book, and he knows people are watching him or looking at him with worried or concerned eyes, so it's really not a surprise when Professor McGonagall asks to talk to him after dinner.

 

He follows her up to the headmasters office in silence and sits down when she gestures to the chair opposite hers.

"Harry, I am glad you came back here. I know it can't have been easy." She starts and Harry shrugs, looking at her desk rather than looking her in the eye.

"If you don't want to talk, then that's fine. But, Potter, if you ever need anything, I'm here." She says and Harry nods.

"I notice you're reading Jane Austen." McGonagall says and Harry nods again, watching with curious eyes when she stands up and taps her wand against a bookcase full of wizard books. The bookcase disappears and is replaced by a different one, and McGonagall looks at it for a while before picking up a book and bringing over to Harry.

"This one may interest you." She says and Harry looks down. Sense and Sensibility.

"Thank you." Harry says, and McGonagall smiles.

"It's good to see you, now off to bed."

 

Thankfully nearly every student is in their common rooms or already in their dorm, so his walk back to the Gryffindor common room is a quiet, uninterrupted one. When he gets to the common room, however, he hears people calling him from all over the place, and he has to keep his head down and not look up until he's in his common room. It's empty when he gets there, which he figured would be the case, so he changes into some slim fit black jogging bottoms and an old t-shirt (again, one of Sirius') and takes off his combat boots, swapping them for trainers, before putting the book from McGonagall on the bedside table and shoving his wand in his pocket. He ties his hair up into a small very messy bun to keep it out of his face before he takes off down the stairs and through the common room. He jogs down the many stairs and once he's out of the castle he breaks into a steady run, deciding to run along the lake.

It's only 9pm, and as it's the first day everyone spends the night in the common room, so he isn't interrupted. Harry doesn't pay attention to how long he has been running for, as he always just keeps running until his legs start to feel numb and he knows he needs to stop. Harry stops running and checks his watch to see it's 10:30pm. Not his longest run but he's had a long day. He takes his t-shirt off and wipes his face with it as he makes his way back up to the Gryffindor common room, he's still covered in sweat and when he enters the common room and makes his way over to the stairs leading to his dorm he can feel people watching him. His body is littered with scars, as well as the big scar over his heart from the killing curse, but he's in good shape, and he doesn't know which one is the reason for the staring, so he just keeps his head down and continues walking until he's in his dorm. He grabs some new joggers and makes his way to the showers, and when he's clean he goes back to his dorm again. It's 11pm by this point so Harry sits in his bed and picks up the book McGonagall gave him and reads until his eyelids are so heavy he physically can't keep them open.

Chapter Text

Harry wakes up at 6am and sighs, sitting up in bed and running his hand through his hair. He lets out a big yawn and stretches before climbing out of bed and pulling on some joggers and a thin hoodie along with his converse, deciding to go for a run to keep his mind at bay.

"Harry? Where you going?" Ron asks, his voice slurred with sleep, and Harry looks over to see him leaning up in bed.

"For a run." Harry whispers before walking out of the room, not bothering to wait and see if he has anything else to say before he makes his way out of the castle, stretching on his way out. He goes on a steady jog, not wanting to get too sweaty before breakfast, and at 8am, after sitting by the lake to take a breather for a few minutes, he makes his way to the great hall. Most students are already there, in their uniform as it’s Monday, but Harry doesn't care that he isn't in his, and Harry catches Malfoys eye as he enters. Draco looks good, he can't lie. He thought the exact same thing at his trial. Harry tears his gaze away and walks over to Hermione and Ron, sitting next to Hermione.

"Good run?" She asks and Harry shrugs, taking a sip of his drink.

"You go on runs a lot?" She asks, looking at him in concern. Harry just shrugs again.

"Are you eating properly?" She asks and Harry sighs, picking up a slice of toast and taking a bite. It looks like Hermione's about to say something else but Professor McGonagall has stood up and is now addressing everyone.

"Welcome back everyone, and welcome to the first years. We will shortly be handing out your timetables, but before we do, I want to say a very big well done for the people in this hall who returned after the events that occurred here, we are very proud of you all. Secondly, to the first years, I hope your time here is only full of learning and happiness. Head boy and Head Girl will be decided by the end of the week, and last, but most important. Quidditch. Those of you that want to try out for your teams, speak to your head of house by the end of the week. Okay, I won't bore you any longer, we will now pass out your timetables." She finishes before walking straight over to Harry.

"Potter. I need to see you in my office later. Come by after your last period." She says before handing him his timetable and walking away. Harry sighs as he walks out of the hall, not bothering to wait for anyone. His timetable says his first lesson is at 10am, so he has an hour and a half until class. He rushed up to his dorm, has a quick shower and pulls on his uniform, instead of wearing trousers he pulls on some skinny jeans, before grabbing his bag, which his sketchbook and reading book is in, and making his way to the lake. He sits with his back against a tree trunk and looks across the lake at the mountains in the distance. He takes out his sketchbook and a pencil, muggle objects obviously he's not going to faff with a quill and ink, and starts sketching his view, going into so much detail, detail you wouldn't even notice in real life unless you sat there studying the view for hours on end, and an hour and a half later Harry has the perfect sketch.

Harry sits in the back corner of defence against the dark arts, not bothering to take any notes or parchment out of his bag. He listens, but only partly, and he doesn't take any notes throughout the class. He knows his friends keep looking over at him, but he can't bring himself to take his eyes off the table in front of him. They get given homework, obviously, and Harry makes a mental note of what it is before silently making his way to potions. The same happens in this lesson, not taking notes and only half paying attention, and in Transfiguration and history of magic. He's made a mental note of every piece of homework they're given and begrudgingly walks with Hermione, Ron, Seamus and Dean to dinner. He sits and reads through dinner, and when he can't bare the talking and the laughter and the happiness from the people around him he stands up and leaves the hall.

 

When he gets to his dorm room he walks over to his bed and sighs, flomping down onto it. He sits on his bed and finishes the essays he was given as homework before sighing. He falls onto his back before rolling onto his side and he looks at his bed side table for a second before sitting up and opening the draw, pulling out a notebook and opening it. He shuffles back so he's sat against his headboard and starts to read through it, feeling the need to feel the pain all over again. In the notebook is a list. One long list of every shit thing that's ever happened to him. Hermione once said years ago that writing things down helps you get over them. it's not true. He just has physical proof that they happened.

Accidentally dropped a slice of toast. Wasn't allowed to eat for 3 days. - 4 years old.

Got better grades than Dudley on a spelling test. He cried. Locked in cupboard the whole weekend and had to do his homework for him. - 6 years old.

Accidentally stepped on one of aunt Petunias Hydrangeas when gardening. Smacked 20 times. - 3 years old.

Dudley and his friends beat me up and made me count how many times they hit me. Couldn't keep count so they beat me again. - 9 years old. 

They're in no particular order, just the order of which Harry remembered them and wrote them down. But the notebook is full of things like this from Harry's past. No one knows about the notebook, and no one knows any of the things written in it apart from the people that did or witnessed them. It's a book full of things Harry is ashamed of, and he doesn't want anyone to know. He hears people entering the common room and puts the book back in his bedside table before anyone comes in, instead picking up sense and sensibility. He's almost finished it when a cat patronus appears in front of him and tells him he is supposed to be in McGonagalls office, so Harry sighs, stands up and makes his way to her office.

 

"Mr. Potter." McGonagall says and Harry nods in acknowledgement, sitting opposite her.

"I want you to resume your post as Gryffindor quidditch captain." She says. She's hoping it will take Harry's mind off of everything he's been through. He used to love quidditch, and McGonagall thinks it will help. Harry looks at her in shock for a while before sighing and shaking his head. He doesn't want to be the focus of attention any more and being captain won't help.

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Professor." He says, not wanting to let her down but also not wanting to do it.

"Potter, I can't begin to imagine how hard the past few years and months have been for you, but you can't give up or stop trying. I've had some of your professors say to me that you didn't try during your lessons today." McGonagall says and Harry sighs.

"I've not given up. I'm doing my work, Professor, I just- It's hard to focus." Harry says quietly and McGonagall nods.

"I know. I'll give you time to think about it, but I really think it will be good for you."

"I- I'll think about it. But, Professor I really don't think it's a good idea. I'm already the centre of everyone's attention and to be honest I just want them all to leave me alone." Harry mumbles.

"Go and get some rest, Potter. I'll give you a week to think it over, but I'll try and think of someone else just in case you really don't want to."

"Thank you, McGonagall." Harry says and McGonagall smiles at him as he leaves her office and heads back to his dorm.

Chapter Text

"I'm going to collect your homework, and then you are free to go." Professor Slughorn says and Harry sighs when he starts walking round each table, collecting rolls of parchment from the students. When he gets to Harry he frowns, noticing there is nothing on Harry's desk.

"Homework, Harry?" He asks, snapping Harry out of his daydream. He's only been back 3 days and he's already being called out in class. Harry blinks slowly before looking up at Slughorn. Professor Slughorn is looking at him expectantly and Harry can feel the eyes of the class on him too. It seems they've all paused in the middle of packing up to watch the interaction. Harry just shrugs and Slughorn sighs.

"Detention, Harry. 6pm." He says, sounding like he really doesn't want to give Harry the detention but knowing he has to. Harry just nods and goes back to staring out the window. He's done the homework, it's in his bag and, to be honest, he wrote a bloody good essay and he's proud of it, however the thought of having to move and get it out of his bag and actually interact with anyone or do anything other than stare out the window sounds unbearable right now.

"You're all free to go." Slughorn says when he gets back to the front of the classroom. Harry sighs and picks his bag up, making sure to take his time. When the class is pretty much empty Harry stands up and takes his essay out of his bag. He walks over to Slughorn and holds it out to him.

"You did the essay?" He asks and Harry nods, shifting his backpack further onto his shoulder.

"Why didn't you give it to me earlier?" Harry shrugs, biting his lip.

"Harry, my boy, are you coping okay? Is the workload too much? Do you need additional help? I noticed you didn't take notes today."

"I'm fine, professor." Harry says quietly and Professor Slughorn frowns.

"Well, if you insist. You may go. And as you actually did the homework you do not need to come to detention." He says and Harry nods, leaving the classroom. He walks to his next lesson, History of Magic, and arrives just before the class starts. He places his essay on Professor Binns desk, who nods as a thank you, before making his way to his seat in the middle of the right row, next to Ron and behind Hermione. Draco is sat in the row behind Harry and a few seats to the left, and Harry can feel Dracos eyes on him through most of the lesson. Harry doesn't pay attention, though, and instead decides to read. Harry finishes sense and sensibility half way through the lesson and takes to looking out the window for the last half an hour. Hermione keeps turning round to ask if he's okay and Ron keeps giving him worried looks throughout the class and by the end of the hour he's had enough. The second Professor Binns says they can go Harry is out of his chair and on his way to the library before anyone can so much as call his name.

 

He enters the library and walks to the back corner, hidden by bookshelves, before sighing and collapsing onto a chair. He pulls out his charms homework and starts writing. He feels someone sit at his table at some point and glances up from his essay to see Seamus sat opposite him. He doesn't say anything, just pulls out an astronomy textbook and starts reading, so Harry gets back to his essay, realising that this is the first time he's been around people and they haven't tried to make him talk or explain.

Around 15 minutes after Seamus sat down Harry sees something being pushed across the table towards him, and he glances up to see a box of mini chocolate wands. He looks up at Seamus who nods to the box, leaving it half way between the two of them. He takes one before going back to his textbook, and Harry hesitates for a second before taking one too and going back to his essay.

An hour later both of the boys are done with their homework and the box, once containing chocolate wands, is now empty. Harry hasn't felt like this in a while, and even though he is no where near happy, he is closer than he's been in months. He also hasn't been this full in ages as all he's been eating is a mouthful of food each meal to keep the worried glances to a minimum.

"Come on, Harry." Seamus says once they've packed up their bags, and the two walk side by side towards the great hall.

"Do you wanna talk?" Seamus asks as they walk and Harry shakes his head. He appreciates Seamus sitting with him in near silence for the last hour but he can't bring himself to talk about how he died or how he’s felt ever since.

The finish the walk to the great hall in silence and when Harry sits down in between Seamus and Dean they both automatically start piling food onto his plate so they know he will eat. Harry grimaces slightly at the thought of eating any more but he forces himself to take a few bites to keep his friends happy. After eating around 3 roast potatoes and a tiny piece of chicken Harry decides thats enough. He stands up, slightly too quickly as he gets a bit light headed, and walks out of the hall. He knows his friends are watching him as he leaves and they're probably worried that he hasn't really eaten since he's been back. What they don't know is that Harry hasn't really eaten since he died. He ate a bit when Kreacher would make him food and practically force him to eat it, but he never made himself food and if it wasn't for Kreacher he would have died of starvation months ago.

Harry walks out of the castle rather than up to his dorm or to the library, walking until he reaches the edge of the forbidden forest. He would usually sit against an outer edge tree and look at the view, but today he decides to keep walking deeper into the forest. He approaches a clearing and his breath catches in his throat when he recognises it. There's a lake right in front of him and he stumbles forward, to the edge of the water, suddenly feeling sick. He falls to his knees and takes a shaky breath in, placing his hand on the floor where he once stood to save Sirius and looking across the lake. He can see the exact spot where Sirius nearly died, and he can see it happening. The memory is playing over and over again in front of him and he can't bring himself to look away. After a while of watching that moment he hears a rustle in the leaves just to the right of where he's looking as a Stag enters the clearing and Harry can't help but breath a laugh as tears stream down his face at how much of a coincidence this is. Harry takes a few deep breathes, trying to calm himself down, before slowly standing up and making his way to the other side of the lake, lying down exactly where Sirius had done, and looking up at the darkening sky through the trees. There's a cold breeze blowing across him and it's making him feel numb as he's just wearing jeans and a t-shirt and he isn't sure if he cares enough to go back to the castle or cast a heating charm, so he just lies there.

Harry isn't sure how long he's been lying on the floor. He knows there's a few little stones digging into his back and lying on solid ground isn't comfortable in the slightest but it somehow makes him feel close to Sirius. In this clearing in the middle of the forest everything is peaceful all of a sudden; Harrys brain has finally stopped to breath and all he can hear is the rustling of the leaves from the wind and a few creatures that are walking around the forest. He can't hear or see any person or reminder of the war or his past apart from the clearing he's in that no longer saddens him, but instead makes him feel close to his godfather. The stars are shining bright against the black sky and the light from them filters through the trees and Harry thinks it's one of the most beautiful things he's ever seen besides Malfoy. This view, of the stars and the trees, is what keeps Harry where he is, with limbs numb from the weather and covered in goosebumps and a body aching from the solid ground beneath him, until 7am the next morning. Because 7am is when his friends finally found him.

Chapter Text

"Maybe he's gone for a run?" Dean asks and Ron shakes his head. He, Dean, Seamus, Hermione, Ginny and Luna are walking the halls of Hogwarts, hoping they find Harry soon. He's been missing since 7pm yesterday, when he left the hall at dinner. They're used to him going to bed after they're asleep and disappearing before they wake up, but his bed wasn't slept in and no one in Gryffindor had seen him.

"He's been gone for 11 hours. Yeah he disappears sometimes but he's always back in the dorm at night." He snaps before looking at Hermione, who is biting her lip nervously.

"He could have spent the night with someone?" She says hesitantly and everyone stops to look at her.

"Mione he doesn't even talk to us. You really think he's gonna go fucking people?" Seamus says and Hermione sighs.

"Well he can't be in the castle. We've searched every floor 3 times. He must be somewhere else." She says before sighing, silently cursing the fact that they don't have the map. They know Harry still has it, but they don't even know if he brought it back to Hogwarts with him.

"Well he won't be with Hargrid, he wouldn't let Harry stay out." Ginny says and Luna nods.

"And if he was by the lake we would have seen him already." She adds.

"Okay, Hermione, Ginny and I will check the quidditch pitch. You three go check the forbidden forest. Send up sparks when we find him." Ron says and Seamus raises an eyebrow.

"Oh so you get quidditch and we get who knows what that is in that forest?" He asks and Dean sighs, grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the forest, Luna following behind them.

 

The three of them split up when they reach the forest so they can cover more ground, and they're about to lose hope when Luna sees a clearing in the trees.

"Harry?" Luna calls cautiously. Harry is lying still and Luna can't tell if he's okay. Harry sighs before turning his head in her direction, too cold and numb to do anything else.

"Harry, are you okay?" Luna rushes over and kneels beside him, touching his bare arm. "You're freezing!" She quickly casts a warming charm on him before sending up sparks so the others know she has him.

"Harry we were worried about you! What have you been doing?" She asks and Harry, who is warming up nicely, gestures to himself, briefly waving his hand at his body.

"Harry have you been lying in this cold for 11 hours?" She somehow understands what he meant, and Harry nods, gesturing up to the sky. Luna lies beside him, expanding the warming charm so she can stay warm too, and looks up.

"I see your point." She says and Harry looks back up at the sky when Seamus and Dean arrive.

"Thank fuck Harry we were worried sick!" Seamus calls and Harry sighs, sitting up. He's not really in the mood to talk to people.

"He's fine." Luna says, standing up and holding a hand out to Harry, who takes it and allows Luna to help him up.

"Doesn't mean we weren't worried, mate." Dean says and Harry nods, putting his hands in his pockets.

"Come on, lets go find the others."

 

They're met halfway between the quidditch pitch and the forest, and Harry isn't expecting Hermione to cry when she sees him. He really isn't expecting Ron to breathe a sigh of relief and pull him into a hug. Ron hates hugs.

"He's fine." Seamus says, and Hermione shakes her head.

"People that are fine do not go missing for 11 hours." She says, her tone somehow both snappy and soft towards Seamus and Harry respectively. Harry looks down at the grass beneath his feet, wanting nothing more than to go and sleep or at least shower, however they have breakfast and then classes so he can't do either of those. Except he's not hungry so he can skip breakfast for a shower.

Deciding this is a good idea, Harry starts walking towards the tower, following behind his friends, and he slips away undetected as they enter the hall before him. Harry makes his way to the dorm, grabbing his shower stuff and some clothes, before making his way to the 6th floor. There's a bathroom that not many people know about down a fairly unused hallway, and Harry knows he wont be interrupted. He strips out of his clothes and turns the water on as hot as it will go before stepping into the shower. The water is so hot that it almost feels cold as it hits Harrys cold skin and he winces slightly but doesn't turn it down, instead he steps fully under the shower head and winces again when the steaming hot water hits his scalp.

When he steps out of the shower 15 minutes later, skin still steaming from the heat, it is only because the temperature of the water was making him feel lightheaded. He staggers out of the shower and wraps a towel around his waist before turning round only to come face to face with Draco Malfoy, who had just walked into the bathroom. Harry is about to turn around when he feels lightheaded again, and Malfoy grips his arm to stop him falling over.

 

"Merlin, Potter, how hot was your shower?" He asks in shock, and Harry shrugs, steadying himself before turning back to his clothes. He doesn't blush, it's not something he ever has done, but he knows if he did his face would mirror Malfoys right now. He's almost 100% sure Malfoy saw him naked. Malfoy drops his hand from Harry's arm and takes a step back, a bright red blush across his cheeks.

"If you're gonna have a shower that hot you should open the window." Malfoy says, quieter, and Harry turns to look at him, noticing the way Malfoys eyes scan his exposed body.

"I'm fine." Harry says, but it's the first thing he's said in a while and his voice doesn't sound right. Malfoy looks at him for a few seconds before shaking his head slightly.

"No you're not." He says, and his tone is so much softer and more caring the Harry ever thought possible, and then before Harry can even respond Malfoy is turning around, opening the window and walking out of the bathroom. Harry stands still for a second, half because the room hasn't cooled down yet and he still feels dizzy, but also because his stomach is going crazy right now because Malfoy isn't just beautiful, he's also soft and caring. Although, does he care? Or is Harry seeing what he want's to see? Harry sighs before pulling on some clothes and grabbing his stuff, making his way to his dorm to put it all away before he has to go to herbology.

Chapter Text

"Harry you really shouldn't have missed breakfast." Hermione says once Harry has sat behind her, right in front of Malfoy. "You really need to eat."

Harry shrugs and looks down at the table. He can feel Malfoys eyes burning into him and all he want's to do is turn and meet his gaze. But he knows that will just raise more questions and desires and emotions and he is far too tired to even attempt to try and pretend he isn't in love with the prat so he just looks out the window and hopes everyone leaves him alone for the rest of the lesson. Of course he's not that lucky.

"Mate are you okay?" Ron keeps asking him every so often and Hermione keeps banging on about how "You should be taking notes, Harry, this is important." And Harry knows they mean well but he just can't bring himself to respond. He isn't okay. He knows this. He knows this because if he was okay he wouldn't constantly be thinking about all the people that died and how it should have been him. He wouldn't be regretting the fact that he chose to stay. He wouldn't be wishing that Voldemort would have just killed him in the forest, or in the graveyard, or in front of the mirror, or in his nursery when he was one and a half. He wouldn't constantly hear the screams and cries of people dying around him. He would be able to talk to his friends and sit and relax without feeling the guilt of surviving, or the burden of knowing if he'd just gone to meet Tom Riddle a few hours earlier, when he asked the first time, all of those people who died before they lived would still be alive.

He can't say any of this out loud, of course, so he just ignores his friends and stares out the window. If he looks careful enough he can make out Malfoys reflection and he can see him watching him and Harry just wants to turn around and - He's not sure what he wants to do but kissing him seems like a good option. He just sighs and turns back to the front of the class as the bell rings. He picks up his bag and leaves the class just in front of Malfoy, and the second he's through the door Seamus appears at his side.

"Come on, mate." He says, wrapping his arm around Harrys shoulders, and Malfoy glares at the back of Seamus' head as he leads Harry down the hallway.

 

"Harry, are you okay?" Seamus asks as he leads Harry through corridors. Harry sighs and shakes his head, wrapping his arm around Seamus' waist as they walk.

"You wanna talk?" Seamus asks and Harry shakes his head. Seamus sighs and squeezes Harrys shoulder tighter before leading him down the corridor on the left and up some stairs until they're in an empty classroom. Harry sighs and sits on a desk and Seamus shuts the door and sits next to him.

"I know you don't wanna talk, but I want to cheer you up somehow, Harry. So you don't have to say anything if you don't want to, but mate you need to help me help you." Seamus says, his tone soft and gentle, and Harry turns to look at him to see Seamus looking desperately into his eyes. Harry feels slightly guilty because he has no idea how Seamus can help him. He just want's to take his mind off of everything that happened and that's going on and his brain won't shut up and he just wants it to stop. At least for a while.

"I just want to everything to stop." Harry whispers, his voice broken and quiet since he hardly uses it, and Seamus' eyes turn sympathetic as he looks at Harry. He turns his body towards Harry and places his hands on his shoulders.

"How can I help you, Harry? How can I stop everything?" He asks softly and Harry bites his lip and diverts his gaze from Seamus' eyes to his chest as he shrugs. He isn't sure what he actually needs but he can't stop thinking about Malfoy and the war and the people that died and it drives him mad.

"I don't know." Harry whimpers, leaning forward and resting his forehead on Seamus' shoulder.

"Hey," Seamus runs his hand through Harry's hair, "Harry it's gonna be okay." Seamus whispers, and Harry meets his gaze again and the two look at each other for a minute before Seamus gets a probably crazy idea. He slowly leans forward, giving Harry the opportunity to stop him, and presses his lips against Harrys. Neither of them have romantic feelings for each other, no matter how many jokes they make or how much they flirt or how many times they hooked up during fifth and sixth year, but this is the only thing Seamus can think of that will stop Harry thinking. Harry responds to the kiss by gripping Seamus’ shirt in his fists as Seamus deepens the kiss.

”Trust me.” He whispers and he slowly pulls Harry off the desk and presses him against the closest wall. Harry turns them around so he’s pressing Seamus against the wall and moves so Seamus’ leg is in between his, Seamus' thigh pressed to Harrys crotch and their bodies pressed against each other. Seamus is gripping Harry's hips tight, and Harry grabs onto Seamus' arms. Harry gasps when Seamus starts moving his thigh against Harry, and his head lowers to Seamus' neck, where he starts sucking and kissing because he feels slightly bad that he's not giving Seamus anything in return. Seamus responds to the neck kisses by biting Harry's neck and moving his thigh harder and faster, and it's not long before Harry is gasping against his skin. Seamus can't help but pull Harry's head back and kiss him as he comes undone. He's never even considered doing anything like this with Harry, not since they fooled around in fifth and sixth year, and he figured Harry hadn't either, but he can't deny that Harry is attractive and, sure this is just a friend helping another friend out, but it doesn't mean he isn't enjoying it.

Harry breaths deeply against Seamus and realises that for the past 10 minutes his brain was completely void of any negative thoughts about the war and death. Or any thoughts at all that weren't about what Seamus was doing.

"Thank you." Harry whispers in Seamus' ear before casting a silent spell to clean himself up.

"It's my pleasure, Harry. I'm glad I could help." He whispers back, not wanting to burst this peaceful bubble they're in. Harry pulls away slightly, Seamus' leg is still in between his but they can see each others face, and he glances at Seamus' neck before biting his lip.

"Sorry." He says guiltily, and Seamus chuckles.

"Me too." They both have love bites, dark and big, on their necks, and Seamus is sure he's going to have bruises from Harry's grip, like how he's certain he's left bruises on Harry's hip.

"We should head to the common room. But seriously, Harry, if you need anything, I'm here." Seamus says, looking into Harry's eyes, and Harry nods.

"I think I'm gonna head to the library, but thank you, Seamus." Harry mumbles, and the two of them make their way out of the classroom before going their separate ways.

Chapter Text

Harry walks straight to his usual table in the back corner of the library, and when he reaches the table he almost hesitates when he sees Malfoy, Parkinson and Zabini sat at the table close to his. He considers going back to the common room, but he doesn't want to deal with his friends, so he just sits down and pulls out his sketch book. He starts to sketch his view out the window, but gives up half way through. He can tell Malfoy and his friends keep looking over at him, whether it's because they used to hate each other or because he has a dark love bite on his neck that is very visible despite his dark skin Harry isn't sure. He glances over at Malfoy to see him writing, his hair is loose and the way the sun is shining on his face makes him look so beautiful that Harry can't not draw him. He sketches Malfoy with the focused look on his face as he writes, and when Malfoy finishes his essay and is talking to his friends and Parkinson says something that makes Malfoy smile a slightly reserved smile Harry can't help but to draw him again. He takes subtle glances until he's finished the sketch, and just as he finishes adding the final touches he hears Hermione and Ron approaching. Harry quickly closes his sketchbook and shoves it in his bag before pulling out a random textbook, opening it just as Hermione and Ron reach his table.

"Hey Harry." Hermione says as she sits next to him and Ron sits opposite.

"You alright, Mate?" Ron asks and Harry looks up at them, nods, and goes back to his textbook.

"What did Seamus say?" Hermione asks and Harry shrugs. He knows he's being kind of rude and not at all helpful, but he can't bring himself to talk to them. He also really doesn't want to mention what happened with Seamus, not that he's ashamed of Seamus or what happened, it's just that he's only been back at Hogwarts for less than a week and he could really do without people talking about him more than they already are. He also knows if people found out they would be mad at Seamus and probably bombard him with questions and he wouldn't do that to him.

"Harry, are you okay?" Hermione asks and Harry can tell Malfoy, Pansy and Blaise are subtlety listening to their conversation and he can feel Malfoys eyes on him. Harry looks up from his book at Hermione and nods. Hermione frowns and looks desperately at Harry, who sighs.

"I'm fine." He mumbles quietly, knowing he's lying but not being able to make himself feel guilty. He sees Malfoy frown out of the corner of his eye and wonders what he's thinking about. However he can't exactly go and ask him so he just bites his lip and looks down. He puts his textbook in his bag and stands up, not knowing where he's going but knowing if he has to look at the worried pleading look on Hermione's face any longer he's going to break down.

"Harry," Ron says, as if he want's to ask him to stay or where he's going but deciding against it, and Harry just slings his bag over his shoulder and walks out of the library, not missing the way Malfoy watches him when he walks past.

Harry walks up to the common room and looks around, not knowing what to do. Seamus and Dean are sat on the sofa by the fire and when Seamus sees Harry he opens his arms. Harry walks over, drops his bag on the coffee table, and collapses onto the sofa. Seamus shifts so he's lying down and Harry lies next to him, neither of them saying a word. Dean rolls his eyes but lies on the other side of Harry, him and Seamus wrapping Harry up in a hug with him buried in between them.

"How you feeling?" Dean asks softly and Harry shrugs, pulling Deans arm further around him and burying his face in Seamus' neck.

"So shit then?" Seamus asks softly and Harry nods. Seamus and Dean glance at each other sadly before snuggling closer into Harry. Neither of them say anything when Harry drifts off to sleep, and when he starts to get restless and upset in his sleep they just hug him tighter and hope no one else in the common room notices. When Hermione and Ron arrive in the common room, an hour after Harry did, to see all three boys lying on the sofa asleep they just sigh in relief at the fact that at least Harry is letting someone do something to help him.

Chapter Text

“Draco, what’s wrong? You look like a lovesick puppy.” Pansy teases and Draco glares at her. It's been 2 hours since Potter left the library and he can't stop thinking about how unhappy he looked.

”He looks so sad. Like, all the time.” Draco says and Blaise rolls his eyes.

”Draco are you seriously still talking about Potter?”

”Well his friends are clearly incompetent and either haven’t noticed or are so stupid they can’t help him. I mean Weasel asked him if he was okay 5 times in Potions today, and Granger keeps telling him he should eat. Yes he should eat because it looks like he hasn’t eaten in fucking months, I know for a fact he hasn't eaten anything since we've been back here, but her talking about it is clearly just making him feel worse. They don't know how to cheer him up or make him feel better, like what kind of ridiculous friends are they?” Draco rants and Pansy glances at Blaise, who shrugs.

”Then you talk to him.” She says and Draco rolls his eyes.

"Honestly Pansy the things you come up with. How on earth am I supposed to talk to Potter? We hate each other." Draco says and Pansy chuckles.

"Really, Draco?"

"Well, I tried anyway. He didn't want help." Draco mutters, before explaining the bathroom situation.

"Well, that's a start I guess. But Draco, you need to try harder if you want to help him." Blaise says and Draco nods.

 

Harry wakes up at dinner time, and instead of going to the hall with his friends, he decides to go for a run. He knows his friends are going to be mad at him for missing dinner, and he knows going for a run, especially one as long as the runs Harry goes on, on an empty stomach when you're also dehydrated isn't the best idea, however he doesn't seem to care. Harry runs around the grounds of Hogwarts 3 times, and during his fourth he's stopped by Hagrid as he runs past his hut.

"Harry. Could you come in? I want to talk to yer for a minute." He calls over to Harry, sad smile on his face, and Harry stops running and walks over to Hagrid. His entire body covered in sweat and he uses the bottom of his top to wipe his face.

"Are you okay?" He asks and Hagrid raises an eyebrow at him.

"I should be askin' you that Harry. Come in and have a rest, would yer." Hagrid puts his hand on Harry's back and leads him into his hut. He knows Harry isn't okay, and he just want's Harry to know he can talk to him. Harry walks over and sits at the table and Hagrid passes him a glass of water before sitting down.

"'Arry, you need ter rest." Hagrid says and Harry sighs.

"I- I can't." He mutters, taking a sip, and he sees Hagrid looking at him sadly.

"I've known you since ye were a baby, Harry. You don't need to lie to me." Hagrid says and Harry looks up at the half giant that has been there for him for as long as he can remember.

"I don't let myself think about it." Harry says and Hagrid nods.

"Have you told anyone? About wha' ye went through?"

"No." Harry says sadly.

"Ye need to talk about it to someone, 'Arry. Doesn' have to be me, but someone." Harry nods. He knows Hagrid is right, he just doesn't know who, or how he would even start to explain. He also really doesn't want to burden anyone else with his problems.

"I haven't seen you talking much about anything." Hagrid says and Harry shrugs.

"I don't see the point in pretending everything is normal. People died, Hagrid. I died. But I came back. Everyone else didn't. I can't look at anyone without feeling guilty. Every time I look at Ron I think about Fred and I just- I can't- I'm not okay. I don't understand how they are." Harry breaks. He can't keep himself together anymore. Hagrid moves to the seat next to Harry and pats his back.

"They haven't been through as much as you, Harry. They were part of the war and they lost people, but you've been fighting your own battles since ye were a baby. You've been through more than any of them. That's why it affects you more than it effects them." Hagrid says and Harry nods.

"I should get back to the castle." He mumbles, finishing his glass of water. "Thank you, Hagrid."

"No worries, 'Arry." Hagrid pats his shoulder once before seeing Harry out of his hut, and Harry feels a little bit better for talking to him.

Chapter Text

Harry doesn't go to his dorm like he knows he should. He can't face Hermione's disappointment at the fact that he missed another meal, or Ron's sadness when Harry won't join in his conversations about quidditch. Quidditch. It's Wednesday, which means Harry only has 2 days to give McGonagall an answer about being Quidditch captain. Harry finds himself outside of Professor McGonagalls office and knocks on the door, hoping she's back from dinner and isn't busy.

"Come in." She calls and Harry opens the door to see three sixth year Ravenclaw's sat opposite her desk.

"Sorry, Professor. I can come back later?" Harry says and McGonagall shakes her head.

"Nonsense Potter, we were just finishing up." She says before turning back to the students, who look shocked at actually hearing Harry speak for the first time since he's been back. "So are we agreed that Miss Ramsey will tutor in Transfiguration, Mr Haywood in Potions, and Miss Gibson in Astronomy?" She asks and the three students nod.

"Good. Now get yourselves to your common room." She says with a small smile and the three students stand up and leave the room.

"How may I help you, Potter?" McGonagall asks, gesturing to the chair opposite her, which Harry sits down in.

"I was thinking about Quidditch. Like, your captain offer." Harry starts, and McGonagall nods, not saying a word.

"Do you really- I don't know if I- Do you really think it's a good idea?" He asks and McGonagall looks at him for a second.

"Harry, I made you seeker in first year for a reason. You are a great seeker, the youngest in a century, and the best I've ever seen. I made you captain because, not only does the team listen to you, but you are a great teacher and you help people work together. I believe you are and always will be a brilliant player and captain." McGonagall says, and Harry nods.

"But, the attention-"

"I will ensure that whatever players you select for the team will be respectful of you, lest they lose their place on the team." McGonagall says and Harry nods.

"Then- I- I think I want to do it. It'd be nice to have a distraction other than school work. And I miss it. A lot." Harry says and McGonagall smiles.

"I'm glad. I would have had no idea who to choose if you had said no." McGonagall says with a small grin.

"Anyway, your teachers have told me they are very impressed with your work. They tell me you are quickly becoming the best in your classes. How are you otherwise? I notice you haven't been eating a lot?" McGonagall says and Harry shrugs, sinking back into the chair.

"I'm not hungry." Harry says. McGonagall frowns slightly.

"You need to stay healthy, Potter. However I know your friends are always on your back, so I will not be. What about socially?"

"I, er, I don't talk much. Or at all, really. It's hard to talk to them. About anything, really."

"You should talk to someone, Harry. Even if you feel you can't talk to Miss Granger or Mr Weasley." McGonagall says, and Harry nods.

"I know, Professor."

"Okay, well, I will announce the quidditch captains on Friday at breakfast, and will let everyone know to come to me to sign up for Gryffindor, so you won't have to deal with the people that will use this as an excuse to talk to you and ask questions." She says and Harry smiles.

"Thank you, Professor."

"You're welcome. Now, off to bed."

 

Harry doesn't go straight to the common room, instead deciding to wander round the castle. He quickly cuts this short, however, when he turns a corner to see Malfoy and Parkinson standing close together, Parkinson's hand gripping Malfoys arm. Harry feels his heart shatter as he rushes back round the corner before either of them notice he was there. Harry didn't hear what they were saying, (if he did he would have heard Pansy teasing Draco for how pouty he was during dinner when Harry didn't show up, and Draco threatening her and trying to shut her up. Pansy was only holding Malfoys arm so he couldn't escape her teasing) but where Harry was stood it looks like something very different. Harry feels a stab in his chest as he walks back up to the common room. He knows he has feelings for Malfoy, he's had them for years, he just hadn't realised just how bad they were. Seeing Malfoy and Parkinson together was like someone had tied Harry's windpipe in a knot and left him struggling to breathe.

 

Harry walks into the common room to see his friends sat near the fire and immediately makes eye contact with Seamus. Seamus raises an eyebrow questioningly and Harry nods slightly before making his way up to his dorm, knowing Seamus is following him. The second the door closes behind him Harry turns around and Seamus looks at him carefully.

"You okay?" He asks softly and Harry shrugs, walking towards him and falling into a hug.

"I hate everything." Harry mutters and Seamus hugs him tighter.

"What happened, Harry?" Seamus asks and Harry rests his head on Seamus' shoulder.

"I don't want emotions anymore, Seamus." Harry mumbles and Seamus pulls back slightly to look at Harry.

"Tell me, Harry. Talk to me." He puts his hands on Harrys cheeks and looks him in the eyes and Harry can't help but let his heartbreak show.

"I- saw him- with- I can't-" Harry chokes, not able to say any coherent sentences, and Seamus sighs.

"Oh, Harry." He whispers, pulling him into a hug.

"Seamus I hate him." Harry whimpers and Seamus rubs Harrys back softly.

"I'm so sorry, Harry." Seamus says softly as a few tears fall down Harry's cheek. Harry looks desperately at him.

"Make me forget, Seamus." Harry pleads and Seamus nods, pulling Harry closer.

Chapter Text

Harry walks into the great hall the next morning with Seamus and Dean on either side of him, Seamus on his left with his arm wrapped around his shoulders and Dean holding his right hand. He sits in between them, his eyes immediately finding Malfoy, who is sat next to Parkinson. Seamus follows his gaze before looking at Harry. Harry didn't say who he was talking about last night but he knows know that Seamus just figured it out.

"Forget about it, Harry." Seamus whispers in Harrys ear, and Harry bites his lip and looks down at the table.

 

~ cheeky little time skip ~

 

It’s Friday. Draco still hasn’t worked up the courage to interact with Potter apart from looking at him longingly or in concern. It’s driving Pansy and Blaise mad.

Dracos gaze follows Potter as he walks into the hall and sits down, and he can't help but glare when Finnegan leans close to him. He’s been doing that a lot lately and Draco does not like it.

"Draco, you need to talk to him." Pansy says and he sighs before noticing something on Potters neck.

"He has a love bite. Pansy why does he have a love bite?" Draco mutters bitterly, staying quiet so no one can hear him.

"He's Harry Potter, You think he's not gonna get some?" Pansy asks and Draco glares at her. He doesn't mind Potter getting some, he just wants it to be him he's getting it from. Pansy knows exactly what he's thinking from the look on his face and she smirks.

"Oh, Draco, you really need to talk to him." She sighs, feeling bad for her best friend. Draco knows she's right, but how on earth is he going to even begin to talk to Potter.

 

 

"May I have your attention please." McGonagall calls as she stands up to address the students. "I am glad to say I can finally announce who the Quidditch captains for each house are." The hall erupts into chatter and excitement and Harry shrinks down slightly so he's less visible.

"For Ravenclaw, Jamie Dorling, Hufflepuff captain is Tara Freeman. Slytherin captain is Blaise Zabini, and Gryffindor captain is Harry Potter. I ask you go to your head of houses to sign up, and not the captains. I repeat, if you try to sign up by going straight to the captain you will not be allowed to tryout or be accepted onto the team." The second McGonagall stops talking people start talking excitedly again. Harry's friends look at him, a mixture of surprise and concern on their faces. Harry forgot that he didn't tell them about being captain. He just shrugs one shoulder and the second they are dismissed he makes his way to the library.

~

"Blaise! How did you not tell me that you got captain!" Draco exclaims as the two of them enter the library after breakfast. Blaise just smiles.

"Thought it would be a nice surprise. You should definitely try out for seeker though." Blaise says and Draco bites his lip as they sit down at their table.

"People aren't going to want an ex death eater on their team, Blaise." Draco says sadly and Blaise frowns.

"But you love playing quidditch. And you can't tell me you haven't missed playing against Potter." He says with a knowing smirk and Draco shoves his arm.

"Shut up, Blaise." Draco mutters, a blush spreading across his cheeks.

"Alright fine, but let's be honest here, you do love playing quidditch and you love playing against Potter and you make each other better." Blaise says and Draco sighs.

"Doesn't change the fact that no one will want me to be part of the slytherin team. And they'll assume you only picked me as a seeker because I'm your friend." Draco mutters and Blaise sighs, shaking his head but agreeing not to say anything else about it.

~

Harry curls into a ball in an armchair in the back corner of the library and starts on his herbology essay, using his textbook as a table despite the fact that there's a table right in front of him. He hears Malfoy and Zabini talking quietly as they sit somewhere near him, and frowns slightly when he hears what Malfoy says. Harry loves playing quidditch with him too and he would love it if Malfoy became slytherins seeker; he's missed playing against Malfoy. He keeps quiet, but they don't say anything else on the subject and Harry goes back to writing his essay in peaceful silence. Until Ron finds him, that is.

Chapter Text

"Mate you could have told me you were gonna be captain." Ron says and Harry looks up from his essay to see Ron looking both hurt and annoyed. Harry bites his lip and looks down at his essay to avoid Rons eyes.

"I wasn't sure I was going to be until last night." Harry mumbles, lying slightly because he knew 2 days ago, and Rons face softens slightly, probably because this is the most he's heard Harry say since the war.

"Mate, are you sure this is a good idea?" Ron asks, his voice also softer, and he sits in the chair next to him. Harry shakes his head and Ron sighs. Harry is excited about flying and playing again, but he is so terrified to be playing in front of the whole school. He already has enough attention on him as it is, and he's also scared for tryouts. He has no idea who will turn up, and he knows McGonagall is going to filter them very carefully, but people will still turn up to watch or just as a laugh, and Harry isn't sure he can deal with it.

"You gonna try out?" Harry asks quietly and Ron shakes his head, which surprises Harry.

"Nah, I really need to focus on actually passing this year, and we should give the younger years a fair chance." Ron grins and Harry rolls his eyes before noticing how similar Rons grin is to Freds. He sighs and looks back down at his almost finished essay. He just has to write a conclusion and then he has no more homework to do until he inevitably gets some on Monday. He goes back to writing, knowing Ron will probably leave, and sure enough a few minutes later he looks up from his finished essay to see he's alone.

He puts his essay in his bag along with his text book before standing up and looking round at the books on the shelves. He starts browsing books on astronomy, not only because he has the class Sunday night, but also because he likes the subject. He likes knowing that there are things that are so far away and so beautiful and it makes his worries and problems seem so insignificant, for a second, at least. He wanders round a corner, his gaze fixed on reading the spines of the books, and finally finds the one he was looking for when he feels someones gaze on him. He turns around and sees Malfoy and Zabini sat at a table, both of them watching him carefully. Harry turns back to the bookcase and picks up the book before walking back to his table, but he for some reason can't stop thinking of Malfoy and his fucking face and the fact that he had a faint blush on his cheeks which means he was probably talking about Harry, even if Harry didn't hear him. Harry felt slightly self conscious under their gaze. He's only wearing slim fit joggers and a tight t-shirt, whereas Malfoy is wearing a shirt and trousers and looking like a fucking model. Zabini isn't exactly dressed like a mess either. Harry knows he has a good body, and this t-shirt isn't exactly hiding it, but he still feels under dressed.

Harry slumps back into his chair and opens the book. As he reads he notices someone has drawn small constellations in the margins of the book and Harry finds himself paying more attention to them than to the actual words. Harry walks to the front of the library to where Madam Pince is and checks out the book, and when he gets back to his table he sees another book on his table that definitely wasn't there before. He puts the astronomy book in his bag before picking up the new book. He's surprised to see it's a muggle book, Pride and Prejudice. The copy is old but pristine, no bent corners, no marks on the cover, and no cracks in the spine. He knows it's old, however, because the pages are slightly worn which shows its been read a lot. It's definitely well looked after. Harry frowns at it, wondering where it came from. The Hogwarts library doesn't hold many muggle books, and this is definitely not one from the library, it doesn't have the Hogwarts stamp on the inside of the cover. It's a beautiful copy, and Harry hasn't read this book yet. He sinks into his chair and reads for an hour, until Hermione shows up to make Harry go to lunch. Harry grabs his bag, keeping the book in his hand, knowing he's going to read it during lunch.

"New book?" Hermione asks and Harry nods, looking down at it.

"From McGonagall?" Harry shrugs. He know's it's not. He still hasn't given her Sense and Sensibility back, which he needs to do. And she wouldn't secretly give him a book, she'd just hand it to him. When Harry enters the great hall it's already nearly full. He decides to ask McGonagall, just in case, so rather than walking over to the Gryffindor table he walks to the teachers table.

"Potter, another new book, I see." McGonagall says and Harry nods.

"Yeah, should I give yours back now or take it to your office?" Harry asks and McGonagall says she can take it now, so Harry pulls it out of his bag and hands it over.

"Thank you Harry. Where did that one come from? It looks like an original copy." She says and Harry raises an eyebrow.

"Er, I'm not sure. It was left with my stuff in the library." Harry says and McGonagall raises an eyebrow. It looks familiar, she just doesn't know where from. She glances round the hall before she notices Draco looking at Harry and she immediately remembers seeing Draco reading the book during a transfiguration class last year.

"It's a mystery." She says knowingly, before changing the subject. "I have had many people sign up for the team. I trust they have left you alone?" She enquires. Harry nods.

"No one has spoken to me about it. Ron was mad I didn't tell him. Then again I don't tell him a lot of things these days so I should probably get used to that." Harry mumbles and McGonagall frowns.

"I'm sure he will forgive you." She says. "Now go and eat something. I mean it. You're loosing too much weight." She says and Harry smiles guiltily.

"I'll try." Harry says and McGonagall sighs but knows that's better than nothing, so she nods once and Harry walks over to Hermione and Ron and sits next to Ron, opposite Hermione.

"What was that about?" Ron asks and Harry shrugs.

"Quidditch." He mutters, taking a reluctant bite of his sandwich. Hermione looks like she want's to say something else, but doesn't want to interrupt when Harry is finally eating something, so she keeps quiet.

Chapter Text

It's Monday and Harry had astronomy at 2am this morning, so he had no morning classes which is why he now has to drag himself out of bed at lunchtime so he isn't late to quidditch tryouts. He gets dressed, pulling on some joggers and a hoodie with his converses, and grabbing his bag, broomstick, and the book that hasn't left his side since he got it on Saturday before he makes his way to the pitch. He knows what to do with the people trying out, because he's done it before, he just doesn't want to think about the people that are going to watch. He walks down to the pitch with Seamus and Dean, who are there not to try out but for moral support, and they go straight into the changing room. Harry drops his stuff off before grabbing a whistle and walking onto the pitch with his broom in his hand, the whistle around his neck, and Seamus and Dean right behind him.

 

There are around 30 Gryffindors on the pitch waiting, and Harry silently thanks McGonagall for being so specific about who she allowed to tryout.

"Yo!" Dean shouts, after a nod from Harry, and the Gryffindors automatically stop talking and look at Harry. Harry tries to ignore the stands, which are full of around 50 students, and clears his throat. He hasn't spoken to this many people in a while. He catches Ginny's eye, of course she's trying out, and she smiles encouragingly at him.

"So we're gonna run a bunch of drills, but first get into groups of which position you want to be. Chasers there, Keepers there, and Beaters there." Harry says, pointing to each place the groups should stand, and the Gryffindors divide into their desired rolls.

"Okay, mount your brooms and get airborne." Harry says and he takes off and hovers in the air expertly, watching as everyone takes off and hovers in front of him, looking for people that are weaker flyers. A bonus of flying around all summer is that Harry is better at quidditch than he ever has been before.

"Alright, to warm up you just gotta fly round the outside of the pitch and avoid the bludgers." Harry nods down to Dean, who opens the box and releases the bludgers. Harry watches and makes note of the people that have trouble flying or dodging, and after a few minutes he blows the whistle and lands by Seamus and Dean, everyone following suit.

"Okay, Everyone wanting to be keeper raise your hand." Harry says and 4 people raise their hands.

"Okay, you fly to the goalposts over there," Harry points to the closest ones, "And the rest of you are gonna try and score." Harry says, mounting his broom and flying over.

 

They run a few more drills and by the end of tryouts everyone is sweating and out of breath and exhausted but excited. They all land and Harry lands in front of them. He's out of breath, having been flying up and down the pitch and running back and forth and having to shout to be heard for the past 2 and a half hours. He pulls off his hoodie, forgetting he hasn't got a top on underneath but not caring, and wipes his face with it.

"Okay, well done everyone. You all did really well. I'll post the list on the common room bulletin at some point so keep a look out." Harry says before dismissing them and walking over to Dean and Seamus, who have just put the bludgers away. Seamus wraps his arm around Harrys shoulder.

"Well done! You did so well!" He says and Harry smiles slightly, pulling Seamus and Dean into a hug.

 "I don't know what I would do without you." Harry mutters and they both grin.

"Harry that was so gay." Dean mutters and Harry chuckles and it's small and quiet but it's the first thing thats even close to a laugh that Harry has done in months and Seamus and Dean are so proud that they made that happen that they can't help but laugh with him.

Chapter Text

As Seamus, Dean and Harry leave the pitch they see some Slytherins walking towards it for their tryouts. At the back of the group is Zabini and Malfoy. Harry doesn't know if Malfoy is trying out for the team or if he is helping Zabini with his captain duties, but Harry secretly hopes for the former. He goes straight to professor McGonagall so they can discuss the quidditch team, and after a half an hour conversation they have decided on a team. Harry sticks the list to the bulletin board in the Gryffindor common room and goes straight to the library so he wont have to deal with any questions from the people that didn't get onto the team.

He manages to avoid anyone until he walks into the hall for dinner. Rhys Davies, a 7th year Gryffindor, approaches Harry before he's even reached the table.

"Hey, Harry. Just wanted to say thank you." He says and Harry shrugs.

"You were the best keeper Rhys, don't tell the others, but you're welcome." Harry forces a smile, and Rhys grins.

"You're a great captain. But seriously, thank you, I owe you one." He says and Harry shrugs.

"I like ice-cream." He jokes and Rhys chuckles.

"Consider it done." He says before walking over to his friends, and Harry walks over to Hermione and Ron.

"So how was tryouts?" Ron asks and Harry shrugs.

"Are you kidding? It was awesome!" Ginny says and Harry rolls his eyes.

"You're just saying that cause I made you chaser again." He says and she shakes her head.

"Even people that didn't make the team loved it. They said it was better than any quidditch lesson they've had." Ginny says and, as if on cue, a fifth year, Jane Campbell, walks over.

"Thanks, Harry." She says and Harry frowns slightly.

"Sorry you didn't make the team, Jane." He says and she shrugs.

"No worries, Harry. Work on my technique and try again next year, right?" She says what Harry told her to do earlier, and he nods.

"Right." He smiles slightly and she smiles before walking away.

"So, like, when are you gonna start a DA type class but for quidditch?" Ron asks and Harry bites his lip.

"Be right back." He mutters before walking over to McGonagall.

 

"Potter, I hear everyone enjoyed your coaching." She says and Harry nods.

"Professor this is what I didn't want to happen." He mutters.

"I know, Potter, but it must be some consolation that they all think your teaching is brilliant." She says with a small smile. Harry shrugs a shoulder.

"No offence, professor, but not really." He says before going over to the Gryffindor table.

 

"So when's first practice?" Ginny asks as soon as Harry sits down opposite her and he shrugs.

"Maybe Wednesday. I know sixth years have astronomy tonight, which means all of their classes tomorrow will be in the afternoon. I think fourth years have defence Thursday night. I don't want to wait until Friday or the weekend." Harry says and she nods.

"Should I tell the team?"

"Nah I'll do it." Harry says before standing up and moving further down the table to sit next to Rhys and Will Cameron, one of the new Beaters, who is in sixth year.

"Hey, Harry." Will says and Harry nods.

"Hey Will. First practice is gonna be this Wednesday, either of you have any classes in the afternoon?" He asks.

"I have transfiguration but it finishes at 4. I know fifth year has double herbology but I think it finishes at 3." Will says.

"Alright, I'll go check with Lizzie and the others and I'll let you know at some point what time it will be." Harry says.

"You need us to do anything in preparation, Captain?" Rhys asks and Harry rolls his eyes.

"Stay alive and don't break a bone." Harry jokes before going off to find Lizzie Callaghan, fifth year chaser.

 

Harry manages to find Lizzie and the other members of the team, sixth year Sam Foster who is a beater, and fourth year Matthew Whitford, who is a chaser, and he decides 5pm on Wednesday will suit everyone. He lets his team know before making his way up to the library, hiding in his corner and reading his book.

Chapter Text

Wednesday comes quicker than expected. Harry spent the last day and a half reading and not paying much attention in class but still getting top marks for his homework. He walks down to the pitch at 4:30 and gets changed into his quidditch uniform before picking up his broom and the trunk of balls and walking onto the pitch. He sets up for a warm up and just as he finishes his team exit the changing room, all in their quidditch uniform.

"Okay, congrats on making the team everyone. First we're gonna warm up so just, you know, fly laps." Harry says and he and the team mount their brooms and start flying laps. Practice lasts an hour and a half, and ends when Harry notices the Slytherin team waiting to use the pitch for their practice. He lands and calls his team over, praising them for a great first practice, then walks over to Blaise and hands him the key to the chest, trying not to look disappointed when he realises that Malfoy isn't on the team.

 

Harry spends most of his time over the next 2 weeks either in the library or on the quidditch pitch, when he's not zoned out in a lesson. He only goes to the hall for meals a couple of times a week and he goes on 2 or 3 runs a day. He walks into potions on Friday afternoon and sits in the back corner, next to Seamus, and sighs. He hasn't eaten in two days and he is so tired because he hasn't slept in ages either.

"Okay class." Professor Slughorn announces and Harry winces slightly. He has a headache and that isn't helping. "Today we start our paired projects. I will pair you up with someone who will be your potions partner for the rest of this term." He says and Harry sighs. Whoever he gets best not be chatty because he might kill them.

"Hermione and Ernie, Pansy and Anthony, Draco and Trevor, Ron and Theodore, Blaise and Harry..." Harry zones out after that. He's not exactly thrilled that he's paired with Blaise Zabini, but at least he won't talk to him and it's better than having to deal with his friends constant worried glances. When Professor Slughorn finishes listing the pairs everyone moves to sit with their partner. Blaise moves over to Harry's table once Seamus has moved, and he sets his bag down silently. Slughorn starts talking about the potion they need to make in this lesson and when he says they can start Blaise turns to Harry.

"I'll get the ingredients?" He offers and Harry nods. Blaise goes over to the store cupboard with half the class, Harry notices he says something to Draco, whilst Harry sets up the cauldron and other equipment. They start working in near silence, only talking about the work they're doing, whilst most other pairs are talking casually.

"I, er, saw you and your team practising again the other day..." Blaise says quietly whilst he stirs the potion and Harry pauses before continuing to measure out the syrup of hellebore. He stays quiet and lets Blaise continue.

"You got a good team together." He finishes and Harry looks up at him, shocked at the compliment.

"They still need work, but thanks. You too." He says, pouring the syrup into the cauldron as Blaise stirs. The liquid goes from a bright pink to a deep blue.

"Thank you." Blaise says before his gaze shifts from the potion to the book on top of Harry's potions textbook. He knows exactly what that book is, having seen it on Dracos bedside table at the top of a small pile of muggle books for most of their Hogwarts life, and he has to fight the urge to smirk or grin at the fact that Harry has had it for weeks and still carries it everywhere. Harry notices Blaise is looking at the book and frowns for a second before changing his focus back to the potion. He adds the powdered unicorn horn and Blaise stirs it thrice more. The potion turns a pretty turquoise blue and Blaise stops stirring.

"I'd say that's pretty much perfect." Blaise mutters as he sits down next to Harry, who nods.

"That is perfect." Harry corrects him and Blaise smiles slightly. They both sit quietly, occasionally talking, whilst they write up the process of making the potion as they wait for the other pairs to finish, and after 10 minutes Slughorn starts walking round the class. He gets to Harry and Blaise and smiles when he looks at their potion.

"Why it's Perfect. Absolutely perfect. I can feel it calming me down from here." He grins before moving on to the next pair.

"Good job, Potter." Blaise says quietly so he doesn't interrupt Slughorn as he talks to the next pair, and Harry half smiles.

"You too, Zabini."

Chapter Text

After potions Harry heads straight to his dorm so he can change into some joggers and go for a run. It's 4pm, he has no more classes today and he doesn't want to eat, so he runs along the lake and down to the quidditch pitch before running into the forest. He knows it's still not safe and students shouldn't be in there but he can't bring himself to care, so he just keeps running. He finds himself running a familiar route, and almost chokes on his breath when he realises where he is. He's stood in the clearing he was stood in 4 months ago. The clearing where he was hit with the killing curse. The clearing where he died. Harry takes a shaky breath in and continues running. He can't think about that right now because he will break down and he does not want to break down in the middle of a forest. After a minute he feels something dig into his shoe and huffs, figuring it's a stone. He stops and rubs the bottom of his shoe against a tree and his eyes widen when he sees something fall. It's a stone, of sorts, but not a regular stone. He picks it up and frowns. He thought for sure he would never see it again.

Harry holds the stone in his fist and shuts his eyes. He doesn't know how it works, last time he used it was basically just luck, but he's hoping it somehow works again. He opens his eyes and sighs when he sees no one in front of him. He spins round and huffs again. Nothing. Harry frowns and puts the stone in his pocket, deciding to figure out how to use it properly. He continues running in the forest before deciding to get out of the trees. He runs along the edge of the lake and round the castle twice before checking his watch. 6:30pm. He's dripping sweat and out of breath and he can't feel his legs any longer, so he does one more lap of the school before heading into the castle. He walks past the hall without going in and walks towards the kitchen.

"Mister Potter sir." Winky says in shock as Harry enters and he smiles slightly at her as he walks over to the sink.

"Hey, Winky."

"Mister Harry Potter should be in the great hall for dinner, sir." She says confused and Harry shakes his head as he gets a glass of water.

"I'm not really hungry, Winky."

"But you must eat, sir. Winky insists." She says and Harry sighs, forcing down a few bites of the roll she hands him. Winky doesn't look pleased but seems to be fine with the fact that he's actually eaten something, and hands him another glass of water, which Harry downs gratefully.

"Thank you." He says and Winky smiles.

"Of course, Mister Potter. Mr Potter helped Winky and now Winky helps Mister Potter." She says and Harry smiles at her before heading back out of the kitchen and towards the stairs.

 

"Harry!" Hermione calls and Harry sighs. People have started leaving the hall now and those around are looking at him and Hermione. Harry stops walking, halfway up the stairs, and turns to look at Hermione. He pulls the bottom of his top up so he can wipe his face with it whilst he's waiting and when Hermione gets to him she frowns.

"You missed dinner again." She says quietly, and Harry shrugs a shoulder.

"Went for a run. I ate in the kitchen, ask Winky." Harry mutters and Hermione looks at him for a second before deciding against arguing.

"How was potions?" She asks instead, and Harry shrugs.

"Not bad, actually." He says and before she can say anything else Harry is running up the stairs towards to dorm. He showers and changes before making his way to the library, deciding to start his research now. He searches the shelves for anything relating to the resurrection stone or the deathly hallows and, after a slightly awkward talk with Madam Pince in which he had to promise he wasn't trying to do anything wrong or against the school rules and was simply interested, he ends up carrying 10 textbooks back to his table in the corner. He starts to skim through them, getting lost in the theory and rules and consequences, and when he finally looks up from the fifth textbook he notices it's pitch black outside and, after a glance around the library, he notices only a few people left. 3 doing last minute work, frantically writing, and 1 fast asleep. Harry debates whether he should sit in the library all night or actually go and sleep, but eventually his exhaustion beats his unwillingness to have another nightmare. He leaves the books in a pile, leaving a note on top that they're being used so Madam Pince doesn't put them away, and makes his way up to his dorm, collapsing in bed and falling asleep immediately.

Chapter Text

It's 12am the next day when Harry finally finishes reading the books and thinks he has an understanding of how the stone works. He takes a deep breath and runs his hands through his hair before standing up and picking up the books. He puts them all back on their respective shelves before leaving the library. He walks down the stairs to the entrance-way, intending on going to the forest, but runs into Rhys and Will from his team.

"Harry! You coming to Hogsmeade?" Will asks and Harry shakes his head.

"Got something I need to do." He says when he gets closer to them.

"But I still owe you that ice-cream." Rhys says, smiling slightly, and Harry shakes his head.

"Sorry guys. We can all go get ice-cream next weekend." Harry says and both of the boys smile.

"Sounds like a plan." Will says before he and Rhys leave the castle.

 

Harry walks through the forest until he finds a clearing and he stops, takes a deep breath, and pulls the resurrection stone out of his pocket. He holds it in his fist and closes his eyes, doing everything he read he should do. When he opens his eyes again he almost cries. There's one more person here now than there was last time. His parents, Sirius, and Remus are still there, keeping their promise that they wouldn't leave his side, but when he looks around and sees Fred he chokes on his breath.

"Hey, Harry." Fred says quietly before reaching out and hugging him. "I miss you. Tell George I'm okay and I'm watching over him. Make sure Ron and Ginny are okay. Tell Charlie if he doesn't marry Oliver then I will haunt him." He jokes and Harry nods. He didn't know he would be able to feel them, and upon realising this he squeezes Fred tight before turning to Sirius. He's missed his hugs so much, and when he's pulled into Sirius' chest and feels Sirius' chin on his head he can't help but cry into his chest.

"We're so proud of you, Harry." Sirius whispers in his hair and Harry takes a deep breath before turning to hug Remus.

"Thank you for looking after Teddy. I knew we could count on you." Harry nods before turning to his parents. He hasn't felt a hug from them since he was a baby, and he doesn't remember what it feels like, so when they both circle their arms around him and pull him into a hug his last remaining defences crumble and he instead of the quiet tears he starts sobbing.

"Harry we love you so much. Please look after yourself, love." Lily whispers and Harry nods.

"I'm sorry." He whimpers and James shakes his head.

"Don't be sorry, son. We'll always be here for you. We are so proud of you. Keep the stone, Harry. Use it if you need us." He says and Harry nods. He knows he can't keep them here for too long so he says goodbye. Just before he lets them go, however, Fred pulls him into another hug.

"Don't give anyone the stone, Harry. Not Ron or George or Ginny. It will break them. Tell George I love him." He whispers and Harry nods.

"I will, promise."

"Good. Now I know you still have a thing for Malfoy, so you best do something about it before I haunt you too." Fred says quietly and Harry blushes but nods before turning to address everyone.

"I miss you." He whispers before dropping the stone into his pocket and watching as the people disappear. He wipes his face on his shirt before taking a deep breath and starting to walk back to the castle. He wanders aimlessly around the castle before sighing and making his way to the quad. He sits on the wall, leaning against one of the arches with his feet up and knees bent, and pulls out his book. He's gone through 5 of McGonagalls in the past few weeks, and he's now back to pride and prejudice. He still has no idea where it came from, and whoever gave it to him has not yet asked for it back. He opens it and scans through it again. He only read it once, and he didn't look at the pages for a clue as to who the book belongs to. There is nothing in the book that gives away where it came from, apart from small neat writing on the title page in the top right corner that reads for you but that hardly gives anything away, it could have been written centuries ago. Even though there's a nagging in the back of his mind that he swears he's seen this writing before. Harry closes the book with a sigh and puts it on the wall in front of him, not knowing where to go from here. He's never going to figure out where the book came from. Whoever gave it to him obviously doesn't want the book back, unless they're going to ask him for it, but he seriously doubts that. He just sighs, grabs the book and hops off the wall before making his way to his usual table in the corner of the library.

Harry pulls his potions homework towards him along with his textbook and starts writing, getting about a quarter of the way through before he realises he needs more information. He stands up and wanders over to the shelves that he knows holds the book he needs, and when he finds it and goes to reach for it his hands bumps someone else's, who is also reaching for the same book. Harry pulls his hand back at the same time as the other person, and when he looks to see who it is he see's Blaise.

"Oh, hey Potter." Blaise says and Harry smiles slightly.

"Hi, Zabini."

"Did you..." Blaise trails off as he looks at Harry. "Are you okay?" He asks, seeing the subtle redness of Harry's eyes and he's seen Draco like this enough to know that this means he's been crying.

"Yeah. Tired. You can, er, you can take the book." Harry says, pulling the book off the shelf and holding it out for Blaise to take, and Blaise knows he's lying and he also knows that none of Harry's friends are here and none of them ever manage to cheer him up, so he knows he has to do something.

"Don't worry, you take it." Blaise says and Harry smiles.

"Thanks, see you later." He says, slightly awkward, and just as he's about to turn and go back to his table Blaise stops him.

"Do you, er, are you sure you're okay?" Blaise asks and Harry nods.

"I'm fine. I'll see you in potions." He says with a small smile before walking back to his table and continuing his essay.

 

"Sooooo..." Blaise says as he sits back down at his table, smirking. Draco looks up and raises an eyebrow.

"Yes?" He asks slowly before frowning. "Where's the book?"

"Well I ran into your future husband and we both reached for the book so I let him take it." Blaise says and Draco's eyes widen.

"You ran into- what? You spoke to him?" Draco whispers and Blaise nods.

"He's been crying." Blaise says and Draco frowns.

"How do you- why?"

"He didn't say, but I could tell. He didn't say much." Blaise says and Draco sighs but doesn't say anything and Blaise sighs again.

"When are you gonna talk to him?" Blaise asks and Draco shrugs.

"I don't know how I would even begin to talk to him."

"Well you need to get your book back at some point, don't you?" Draco bites his lip.

"I didn't plan this far ahead when I gave it to him."

"Well I thought you were going to write a note in it so he knew it was from you."

"I was, but then I ended up writing something that could have been written by anyone..." Draco trails off and Blaise rolls his eyes.

"So, he should still know it's you by the handwriting, no?"

"Well when does he see my writing, Blaise?" Draco snaps and Blaise chuckles.

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry, I'll drop it." Blaise says and Draco sighs, looking back down at the potions essay he can't finish yet. He knows Blaise means well but he really wants to talk Harry and make him feel better and hopefully make him fall in love with him but he's so scared of doing anything wrong or messing up or making Harry hate him.

 

Harry manages to finish his potions essay after an hour and takes a deep breath, running his hands through his hair, before standing up and grabbing the book. He know's Blaise is still in the library because from where Harry is he would have seen and heard him leave, so he figures he should give him the book so he can use it. Harry walks round a corner to where he knows Blaise usually sits and freezes slightly when he sees Blaise is sat with Malfoy. They both look up when they hear Harry's steps and Blaise smiles slightly.

"Hi, er, thanks." Harry says, handing the book to Blaise who takes it and places it on the desk in front of Draco, who is watching Harry with a weird look that Harry has never seen on anyone before.

"No worries, Potter." Blaise smiles and Harry nods before turning around and walking back to his table. He has no more homework to do, but he decides to read about occlumency and legilimency. He got pretty good at it but he would like to master it. He reads for an hour or so before deciding to go for a jog. He picks up his stuff and walks up to his dorm so he can drop his stuff off and get changed before taking off on a run around the grounds.

He misses dinner and he knows Hermione and Ron are going to complain but Harry doesn't care. He runs until every thought of the people he lost and the people that gave their lives are out of his head and all he can think about is the autumn breeze blowing through his hair and the fact that his legs are feeling numb and his chest is tight and he knows he should stop running soon but he's been running around the castle and to the quidditch pitch and through the forest and along the lake for nearly 3 hours and it's only 9pm and Harry doesn't know what he'd do when he stops running and has to go back to the castle. He thinks as he runs of what he could do to keep the thoughts away, and considers Seamus for a second before realising his legs are literally numb and he's exhausted so that might not be ideal. Harry settles on sketching when he looks up at the sky as he runs and sees the moon that reminds him of Malfoys eyes, feeling the urge to draw him.

He runs back to the castle and by the time he's back in the castle he's breathing heavily and has to slowly walk up to the common room. He showers and changes into some joggers and a soft hoodie before grabbing his sketchbook and a pencil and settling in a comfy armchair by the fire, starting his sketch of Malfoy and how he looked when he was looking at Harry earlier, glad that none of his friends are here to question him about why he missed dinner. Harry isn't sure where his friends are as he didn't see anyone in the dorm room, but he's so relieved that there's no one giving him concerned looks or asking him how he is that he can't bring himself to worry.

Chapter Text

It turns out that his friends were all in the girls dorm room, probably having fun without Harry. He heard laughter when he walked past as he was on his way to bed at 3am. He figures him being depressed is too much for his friends to deal with, so he decides that if they can't be around him then he shouldn't force his presence upon them. He wakes up at 5am on Sunday after a series of nightmares, and showers and gets ready before going straight to the library. He sits in a different corner to his usual one, knowing his friends won't look anywhere other than there. He sits in a corner right next to the restricted section as no one really goes in there, and settles into an armchair, pulling out another muggle book. He knows he shouldn't be surprised but he still feels his chest ache with every hour that passes. He doubts his friends are even looking for him. Why would anyone look for him. He doubts they've even noticed his absence. Harry runs his hands through his hair and grips it tight, trying to force the thoughts out of his head, to no avail. He sighs and puts his book down, making his way up to the hospital wing. It's empty which is to be expected, and when Harry walks over to Madam Pomfrey she looks at him in shock.

"Mister Potter when was the last time you had a decent night sleep?" She asks, immediately noticing the bags under his eyes. Harry shrugs.

"Beginning of second year?" He mumbles, sitting on the edge of the bed that Madam Pomfrey gestures to. She gives him a stern look and he shrinks under her gaze.

"I've had a lot going on." He mutters and her gaze softens.

"I know, Potter. Now what can I do for you?" She asks and he shrugs.

"I don't know. I'm not even sure if you can." He says, his voice quiet and broken.

"What's the problem?"

"I can't stop thinking, I just need my brain to shut up and it wont stop. I just want it to stop." Harry whimpers and Madam Pomfrey frowns.

"Well, I can give you some calming draught, but Harry I don't want you to become reliant on it. It seems to me you have not properly processed all of the things that have happened to you. Which is understandable, considering just how many things have happened to you. You haven't really had time to. Having such a big weight placed on your shoulders when you were so young, along with everything else, has not been good for your mental health." She says and Harry feels a tear fall down his cheek. He knows all of this, but hearing someone else tell him he's so messed up is hard to hear.

"I know." He chokes quietly and she sighs.

"Harry I am willing to give you some calming draught, but I can't give you too much. It will last a few hours, but then you will be back to how you are now. You need to decide if you will be able to cope once the draught has worn off as you will no longer be used to this." She says and Harry sighs. He knows this too. He knows if he gets rid of the thoughts and the fear and the pain for even a minute the second it comes back it'll be twice as bad. 

"I can't do it." He whimpers and Madam Pomfrey nods.

"It's okay, Potter." She says and he takes a deep breath before looking over her shoulder to see Blaise and Malfoy walking in, Blaise with his arm wrapped around Malfoys middle and Malfoy wincing with every step.

"Would you like me to give you some dreamless sleep?" Madam Pomfrey asks and Harry shakes his head, getting off the bed.

"No thank you, I'm fine." He says quietly and Madam Pomfrey frowns before she turns around and quickly walks over to Malfoy when she sees him, helping him sit on a bed, and Harry decides he should probably leave them to it. He about to walk out when Madam Pomfrey calls him.

"Mister Potter I was not finished with you yet!" She says sternly, wanting to give him some dreamless sleep or see if there was anything else she could do. Harry glances at her before biting his lip. He really doesn't like to disrespect her, so he just sighs and sits back down on the bed, his back to Blaise and Malfoy.

"What happened, Mr. Malfoy?" Madam Pomfrey asks and Harry listens carefully so he can hear their conversation.

"Nothing." He says and Blaise speaks over him.

"He was hexed by some 6th year." He says and Harry frowns, he didn't know people were bullying Malfoy, but now that he does know he's going to make a point to shout at or hex anyone he sees hexing Malfoy.

"When did this happen? Do you know what hex it was?" Madam Pomfrey asks.

"About an hour ago." Malfoy says quietly and Harry hears Madam Pomfrey sigh.

"I thought I told you to come straight to me when this happened." She says but Harry can tell she's worried about Malfoy, and now he's wondering how many times this has happened since they've been back at Hogwarts.

He sits and waits for a few minutes before madam Pomfrey returns to his side.

"Potter are you sure dreamless sleep would not be beneficial to you?" She asks and Harry shakes his head.

"It will just make it worse when I don't take it." Harry mutters and Madam Pomfrey nods.

"Okay then. If you are sure." She says and when Harry nods she sighs but nods.

"You may go, Mister Potter. But if you change your mind you are welcome to come back and ask for some." She says and Harry nods, trying to ignore the fact that Malfoy and Blaise watch him carefully as he walks out of the hospital wing.

 

His friends, surprise surprise, still aren't looking for him, so he manages to make it back to the library without anyone trying to talk to him or lecture him. When he gets there, however, he isn't actually sure what to do. He can't read again, he's been doing that all morning and it clearly isn't helping anything, so he decides to draw instead. He sketches the way Malfoy looked when he entered the hospital wing, in pain but trying to look strong, like he still doesn't want to show any weakness. Which is understandable. But it still breaks Harry's heart because he hates seeing Malfoy so vulnerable. He was always so confident.

Harry spends an hour sketching Malfoy, making sure he gets every little detail correct, down to the pain and fear in his eyes, before looking at the picture and deeming it complete. He closes his sketch book and takes a breath in before rubbing his eyes. It's 3pm and he's missed lunch. By now Hermione would usually have come and found him to lecture him about how he shouldn't miss meals, or Ron would have come to ask him if he's okay. Of course, they haven't. They've given up, it seems. All of his friends have. Harry doesn't know what he feels at this realisation; sadness, relief, anger. All he knows is that he feels like he's about to start crying. He grabs his bag and takes it to his dorm before leaving the castle, going into the woods. He walks deep into the forest before collapsing against a tree trunk and sinking to the floor. He pulls his knees to his chest and lets all the emotion in him show, bursting into tears that he can't even try and stop.

Chapter Text

Harry isn't entirely sure how long he spends crying in the forbidden forest. All he knows is that it's dark and there's no one around. Also it's cold. Really cold. Fucking freezing. Harry hadn't realised how cold he was until he stood up and tried to walk back to the castle. His teeth are chattering and his entire body is covered in goosebumps. He rushes back to the castle and goes straight to the kitchen.

"Mister Potter, Sir." Winky says as Harry enters.

"Hey, c-can I get sumfin t-to warm m-me up?" Harry asks and a mug of hot chocolate is handed to him immediately from Winky as a different house-elf wraps a blanket round his shoulders.

"Th-thanks."

"It is not a problem, Mister Potter." Winky says and Harry forces a smile before taking a sip of his drink. It's still very hot and Harry can feel it burn all the way down his throat. He welcomes the heat as it slowly spreads throughout his body, along with the heavy blanket that's wrapped around him to warm him up. He stays in the kitchen for a while before sighing. He's exhausted. He know's he is. All he needs to do is go up to his dorm, fall asleep, and hopefully not dream about the war. He know's this is too much to ask, though. He can't remember the last time he actually slept without waking up gasping or sweating or crying. He drags himself out of the chair, letting the blanket fall off of him, puts his mug in the closest sink, and takes a deep breath before leaving the kitchen. He makes his way up to his dorm, dreading getting there because he has no idea where his friends are, and when he opens the portrait he finds his friends are nowhere to be seen. Harry shouldn't feel hurt or upset by this, but his heart aches nonetheless.

It hurts even more, however, when he reaches his dorm room and sees his friends all sleeping soundly. He checks the time, finally, and sees that it's midnight. Harry whimpers quietly, feeling his eyes brimming with tears, and he climbs into bed. He pulls the curtains closed and casts colloportus to keep them shut before getting under his duvet and silently crying himself to sleep.

 

He doesn't dream of the war. He doesn't dream of Voldemort. He doesn't dream of dying. He doesn't dream of all the people he lost. What he does dream of is much, much worse. He dreamt of his friends, and they told him that they hate him and that he is an inconvenience and that they don't care about him. They told him that he's useless and that they wished he died in the war. He dreams of the weasleys telling him it should have been him that died, not Fred. He dreams of Draco telling him he'll never love him. Harry wakes with a lump in his throat and sits up, shifting back so his back is against the headboard, breathing heavily as he tries to swallow the emotion and choke back the tears.

He opens his curtains slightly to see everyone is still asleep in their beds and sighs. He wants to think it was just his mind making that up, but he still believes it. He watches Ron for a moment as he sleeps peacefully and knows all he has to do is look into his mind and see what he really thinks. It would take seconds, and Harry got so good at legilimency that Ron wouldn't even notice what's happening. Then again Harry isn't sure he actually wants to know.

He gets up and showers before getting dressed, grabbing his bag and making his way to the library. He has potions first thing for 2 hours, and as he's partnered with Zabini he won't have to talk to anyone, not until herbology third period. Harry reads until 8am when he makes his way to potions. He's half an hour early but he doesn't care.

"Harry, my boy, you're here early." Professor Slughorn says as he reaches the classroom.

"Sorry Professor." Harry mumbles.

"It's not a problem, my boy, do come in." Harry follows professor Slughorn into the class. Harry sits at his regular desk in the corner and places his bag on the table before pulling his homework out of taking it to Professor Slughorn.

"Ah, brilliant! I must say, Harry, I am very impressed with your work this year. Your last essay was impeccable. I couldn't fault it. I hear your other professors agree with me." He says, sifting through some parchment on his desk before handing harry his last piece of homework which has outstanding written on the top.

"Thank you, professor." Harry says as more students filter slowly into the class. Harry walks back to his desk and sits down just as Blaise sits next to him.

 

"Morning, Potter." He says quietly and Harry looks at him for a second, not expecting him to talk to him.

"Morning, Zabini." Harry replies just as Professor Slughorn starts the class. He tells the class what potion they need to make and lets them get started.

"I'll get the ingredients." Harry says, figuring it's only fair since Blaise got them last time. He walks over to the cupboard, ignoring the looks Hermione and Seamus give him. Harry reaches for the scurvy grass at the same time as Malfoy and Harry notices the other boy blush when their hands touch. They both pull their hands back quickly, and when Malfoy doesn't reach for it again Harry takes the jar off the shelf and holds it out to Malfoy. Malfoy looks shocked for a second, not meeting Harry's gaze, before he takes 5 blades of grass.

"Thanks." He mumbles as he walks past Harry and out of the store cupboard, his arm brushing Harry's on the way out and both boys feel a wave of butterfly's in their stomach. Harry grabs the scurvy grass and the rest of the ingredients before returning to his table.

 

The two work in silence for around 10 minutes, and then Zabini is talking again.

"So, how are you?" He asks quietly and Harry looks at him over the cauldron.

"Fine, you?"

"I'm okay, and I don't mean to pry but Potter even I can tell that you're not okay." He says softly and Harry shrugs.

"I'll survive."

"Doubtful considering you haven't eaten in days." Blaise says, concerned, and Harry frowns, staring intently at the potion. The only person who has shown even the smallest ounce of worry for Harry and he's Blaise Zabini, best friend of Harry's 'enemy.'

"I know it's nothing to do with me but I figured someone should check on you." Blaise says softly and Harry looks at him, seeing genuine worry, and he sighs.

"Thank you, Blaise." Blaise smiles, adding some powdered moonstone.

"How about we get our teams together on Wednesday and have a friendly game of quidditch? Like joint practice." Blaise suggests and Harry thinks for a second. It would be good to see how his team play against other people before an official match. Besides, Blaise is a nice guy and Harry wouldn't mind hanging out with him more.

"Yeah, sure." Harry forces a smile and Blaise grins.

"Brilliant!"

 

"What have you done?" Draco mutters and Blaise chuckles.

"By making sure your future husband is okay? You should be thanking me." Blaise say, placing his hand over his chest feigning offence.

"You can't befriend him, Blaise! If you befriend him it will mean he notices you more which means he'll notice me more and I can't have that pressure on me!" Draco whisper yells and Blaise rolls his eyes.

"Draco he notices you anyway." Pansy says smirking. They're making their way to the library after potions and when they get there they sit at their usual table.

"Shut up, Zabini. Don't you start Parkinson." Draco mutters and Blaise chuckles.

"Oh you last named me? Must mean you like me." Blaise jokes and Draco glares at him.

"I don't last name people I like."

"Of course, my mistake. You last name people you hate, but then you also last name a certain person that you are totally in love with."

"Fuck off, Blaise." Draco mutters, blushing, and Blaise smirks triumphantly.

"So are you going to partake in the friendly game?" Pansy asks.

"Absolutely not." Draco snaps.

"You're not gonna watch?" Blaise asks.

"Why would I watch?"

"Firstly because you are a supportive friend, secondly because there's a certain seeker you love watching." Draco glares at him and Blaise and Pansy roll their eyes.

"Oh so I'm not even allowed to tease you anymore? Rude." Blaise jokes and Draco just shakes his head, smiling slightly, and pulling his book out of his bag, ignoring his best friends.

Chapter Text

"Hey captain, what we doing today?" Rhys asks and Harry shifts his gaze from Matthew, who was talking about something or another with Lizzie, to Rhys, who is walking over to him. Half of Harry's team and most of Zabini's team are already there and waiting for the last few people.

"We're having our first game." Harry says and Rhys raises an eyebrow.

"Sure you're ready captain? You don't need more practice?" He asks jokingly and Harry rolls his eyes and shoves his shoulder lightly.

"I will not hesitate to kick you off the team, Davies." Harry says and Rhys raises an eyebrow.

"As if you could find a better keeper." Rhys says just as the final few arrive. Blaise, who had been watching the interaction between Harry and Rhys closely and not liking it at all because they're far too close and Draco is his best friend and he really would love it if Harry and Draco got together and if Rhys gets in the way that won't happen, moves so he's next to Harry before addressing the two teams.

"Okay, we decided that for today's practice we could play against each other. Now this is a friendly game, not a competition. If there's any foul play I will kick you off the team." He says to his Slytherin team and Harry nods. Ginny, who had been confused why the Slytherins were here, is frowning. When did Harry and Zabini get friendly?

"Same goes for you too, Gryffindors. Now mount your brooms." He says and both teams do, each keeper flying to the ends of the pitch and the rest hovering above their captains.

"Ready, Potter?" Blaise asks, an excited smile on his face, and Harry nods.

"Ready." He says, releasing the bludgers and the snitch, throwing the quaffle in the air. Harry and Blaise quickly mount their brooms and join their teams and when Blaise blows the whistle they begin.

 

An hour and a half, and 6 friendly games of quidditch later, both teams land on the grass out of breath and laughing their asses off as Will and Glenn, the 5th year slytherin chaser, argue about who fell of their brooms in the coolest way when they collided midair, both of them crying with laughter as they reenact it. Harry is laughing too, and although he's feeling joy he still has his usual depressing thoughts. Ginny doesn't know where this side of Harry came from but he's more himself than he has been in months and she really hopes it's not because of Blaise.

"Okay. I think that's enough practice for today." Blaise announces through breaths as he slowly composes himself and the two teams turn to look at Harry and Blaise.

"Good job Gryffindor, Slytherin, there's always next time." Harry teases as Gryffindor won 3 out of the 5 games they played.

"Will there be a next time?" Joey, sixth year Slytherin beater, asks sounding excited, and Harry and Blaise look at each other for a second as if having a silent conversation.

"Absolutely." Blaise says before they dismiss their teams and carry the chest back to the store cupboard.

"You've got yourself a good team there, Harry." He did notice Weasley glaring at him the whole time they were practising but he can't deny she's good.

"As do you, Blaise." Harry got on surprisingly well with the Slytherins.

"And they get on way more than I ever though Gryffindors and Slytherins could."

"I know, I almost feel bad that we have to play against each other competitively." Harry says as he shuts the cupboard door. The two of them start to leave the pitch and walk up to the castle together and after a minute Blaise glances at Harry.

"Are you okay?" He asks and Harry bites the inside of his cheek. He would usually lie, especially to people he supposedly hated a few weeks ago, but for some reason, maybe because his friends haven't bothered to ask him in half a week, he just want's to be honest.

"Not really." He says and Blaise is shocked for a second, having been expecting a lie, before recovering.

"You wanna come to the library with me? We can talk? Or we can sit in silence if you don't want to talk." He suggests and Harry looks at the castle, now in view but still a couple of minutes walk away.

"Er, no, it's okay, I'm gonna go for a run."

"After an hour and a half of flying?"

"Yeah."

"Fuck dude no wonder you're ripped." Blaise mutters, trying to hide his genuine worry behind some banter, and Harry breathes a laugh through his nose, trying to hide how not okay he is behind a fake laugh.

"I'll see you later, Blaise."

Chapter Text

"What!" Ron asks, his voice a mix of anger and confusion, and Ginny shrugs. She came straight to the boys dorm after practice, where Hermione is sat at a desk, Neville and Ron are on their respective beds, and Seamus is lying in between Dean's legs, resting back against his chest.

"We turned up for practice and the Slytherin team was there too and apparently they had arranged a joint practice."

"He's talking to the Slytherins?!" Ginny nods.

"And from what I could tell he's actually becoming friendly with Zabini."

"But how?" Hermione asks and Ginny shrugs.

"During practice they we're chatting and making jokes and stuff, like it was the most I've seen Harry talk since before the war."

"Why would he go to the snakes?" Ron asks and Seamus frowns.

"Maybe he's being tactical, I mean they have to play quidditch against each other, maybe he just did it so he could see their game plan." He says, trying to give their friend the benefit of the doubt, and Dean shakes his head.

"He'd never do that." Harry is stood outside his dorm room, listening. He heard voices coming from inside and decided to listen to what his 'friends' are saying.

"So what's he doing? Why is he talking to Zabini."

"Well they're partnered in potions." Hermione says and Ginny shakes her head.

"They weren't having a chat about the potion they made, they we're talking. Like actually talking."

"Well why would he rather talk to a snake than to us?" Harry sighs before deciding to put a stop to this. He opens the door, walks over to his bed and sits down. The room went silent when he entered, and no one speaks as Harry changes from his quidditch boots to his trainers.

"Hey, mate." Ron says and Harry looks up as he finishes tying his lace. He nods in recognition before pulling off his jersey and pulling on a t-shirt.

"Where you going, Harry?" Seamus asks and Harry walks over to the door again.

"Run." He says briefly before leaving the room. He knows they're going to start talking about him again once he's gone but he can't bring himself to care. He takes off down the stairs and through the castle until he's outside, and then he starts running around Hogwarts grounds. On his third lap of the castle it starts to rain slightly and Harry regrets not putting on a jacket on. He's been running for an hour but he doesn't want to stop, so he continues running in the rain. His white t-shirt is now completely see through but there's no one here to see him anyway.

 

After another half an hour of running Harry decides to give his chattering teeth a break and go back to the castle. He walks into the entrance hall, embracing the warmth, and pauses when he looks into the great hall to see it full of students. He thought it was later than only 7:30. People are still eating dinner, and when they heard the door to the castle open a few of them turned to look at him. Harry sees Blaise sitting with Malfoy and Parkinson, and when he catches his eye Blaise frowns. Harry feels slightly self conscious considering his body is extremely visible, his white t-shirt covered in both rain and sweat, and when McGonagall notices him he knows he's fucked.

"Potter." She calls from the teachers table at the end of the hall, and every head turns to look at him. Harry bites his lip and as he starts walking towards her he wandlessly and silently casts a hot air charm to dry himself.

"Yes, professor?" Harry asks, half smiling slightly guiltily, as he reaches the table.

"Potter you missed dinner and you were out in a storm." McGonagall says softly so only he can hear, sounding like she doesn't know what she's going to do with him, and Harry bites his lip. He hates upsetting or disappointing her.

"I know." He says and she frowns.

"We've had this discussion before."

"I just- I don't- I don't know." He sighs and McGonagall nods.

"Go to my office, Potter. This is not a discussion we should have in front of the whole school. I'll have a house elf bring you some food and a warm beverage." She says and Harry nods, shoving his hands in his back pockets as he walks back out of the hall. He starts to walk up the staircase when Blaise calls out to him. People are starting to leave the hall, and Blaise is stood at the bottom of the stairs with Malfoy and Parkinson either side of him.

"Harry!" He calls and Harry stops walking and turns around. Malfoy looks nervous and awkward, blushing slightly when Harry looks at him, but Blaise looks concerned. Harry walks back down the stairs and stops in front of Blaise.

"Hi." He says, awkward because Malfoy is looking at him with slightly worried eyes and his eyes are a beautiful silvery blue and Harry doesn't want to look away.

"Harry are you okay?" Blaise asks and Harry bites his cheek and gives Blaise a sort of pained look that says 'no but there's people near by, including Ron and Hermione who have just left the hall, that can hear us so I won't actually say that.' Blaise seems to understand, because he nods slowly and steps slightly closer.

"How about a one on one seeker match later? Or we can just chat?" He mutters quietly, and Harry thinks for a second. He can see a confused almost annoyed look on his friends faces out of the corner of his eye, but he figures at least Blaise cares enough to try and help him.

"Yeah, okay." He says quietly and Blaise smiles slightly.

"Meet me on the quidditch pitch at midnight." Blaise says quietly and Harry nods just as he's called again.

"Potter." McGonagall says, telling him to get a move on, and Harry looks at her before sighing.

"I'll see you later." He says quietly to Blaise before walking up the stairs and heading to McGonagalls office.

 

"Potter do I need to talk to Madam Pomfrey and see if there's any way she can help you?" McGonagall asks and Harry sighs and shakes his head.

"She offered me some potions and stuff, but if I take them then the second they wear off everything will be twice as painful."

"Okay. I saw you and Mr. Zabini talking earlier. Was that something I should be concerned about?"

"No. No it's okay." Harry says automatically.

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah, we're partnered in potions and we had joint practice earlier. He's not all bad, I guess."

"And are there other motives for your blooming friendship with Mr. Zabini?" McGonagall asks with a knowing smirk and Harry frowns.

"Like what?"

"Like the fact that he is the best friend of Mr. Malfoy." She says with a smirk and Harry's eyes widen slightly before he quickly looks down, fiddling with the bottom of his shirt.

"I don't know what you mean..." He says. He loves McGonagall like a mother but he hates how she can read him so easily.

"Harry." She says softly and Harry sighs.

"It's not the reason I'm talking to Blaise. In fact it makes it slightly more awkward."

"However if you and Mr. Zabini are wanting to spend time together as you are now friends then by happy coincidence you will also have to spend more time with Mr. Malfoy."

"Well it wouldn't be the worst thing." He mumbles and McGonagall smiles at him.

"So why don't you just talk to Draco?"

"Because he's beautiful and terrifying." Harry mutters, knowing he can be open with her.

"As are you to him, I am sure." Harry looks down. He highly doubts that.

"Maybe you should talk to him."

"What would I say?"

"I'm sure you will think of something, Harry." McGonagall smiles and Harry nods. He figures he might as well try.

Chapter Text

"Hey, Harry." Ginny calls as he enters the common room after his chat with McGonagall. Harry looks up and nods once in recognition before continuing to walk up to his dorm room. Ron is the only one there when he enters and Harry bites his lip as he walks over to his bed.

"Hey, mate." Ron says. Harry looks at him and forces a smile as a way of hello.

"You alright?" Ron sounds hesitant and Harry wonders what's going on.

"Yeah."

"Mate, how come you're talking to Zabini?"

"We're partners in potions." Harry says, picking up a book and sitting on his bed.

"But you talk outside of potions." Ron says and Harry really doesn't know what he's getting at.

"What do you want from me, Ron?" Harry asks. He can't be bothered to beat around the bush, he just wants Ron to get to the point so he can read his book.

"Why are you talking to him more than you're talking to us?" Ron asks and Harry sighs, putting his book down on the bed in front of him.

"Ron I- Where did you all disappear to at the weekend?" Harry asks, changing the subject, and Ron frowns.

"We were just- we were in the room of requirement."

"Without me."

"Well you always say no anyway."

"You've never asked me."

"And you're always sad."

"So I bring the tone down? Depress the rest of you because I'm sad?"

"Exactly!" Ron says before his eyes widen, realising what he's said, and Harry stands up, shocked.

"Seriously, mate?" He mutters and Ron bites his lip.

"No! Well... sometimes we just want to have a laugh, mate." He mumbles, hesitant, and Harry instantly feels nauseous. He knows he shouldn't but he can't help it. Before he can stop himself he's looking into Rons mind.

~

"Party in the room of requirement?" Dean calls and Ron grins.

"Yeah!" He shouts back across the common room, standing up to join them,

"Should we get Harry this time?" Seamus asks and Ron and Hermione look at each other.

"No. He's probably on a run somewhere." Hermione says as they walk to the ROR

"All he does is run and read. It's so boring! Like we get it you beat you know who and now everyone loves you and thinks you're some sort of god. Everyone thinks you're a saint and you can do no wrong. Wow your life must be so hard!" Ron mimics and everyone laughs.

~

Harry jumps out of Rons memory after that, feeling like he'd been stabbed in the chest 50 times over.

"Is that really what you think of me?" He asks, his voice small.

"You can't just go into my head, Harry!"

"Why not? I'm basically a god, right? Everyone loves me, right? I can do no wrong?" Harry shouts.

"Mate you know we didn't-"

"No, Ron! I don't know! You exclude me because I am still fucked up because of the war? Because I still miss the people we lost, the people that died because of me? Because I lost every single person that was even close to family I ever had? Because I have nightmares and flashbacks to when I actually died? Because I died during the war, Ron! But no one knows that! No one knows! You can't even fucking begin to know what I went through!" Harry shouts, finally snapping, as tears fall down his cheeks. He doesn't understand how everyone is so okay.

Ron is looking at him in shock and Harry can't take it anymore. He just sighs, grabs his book, and leaves the room, walking past Hermione, Ginny, Dean and Seamus, who apparently were all listening at the door. They look guiltily at Harry as he walks past but he doesn't stop to listen to them try and defend themselves, instead walking down the stairs and straight out of the common room. He doesn't know where he's going, but he needs to get away from his friends. He walks around, trying to keep the tears from running down his cheeks, until he finds himself outside of the headmasters office. He debates whether or not he should knock, before deciding against it. He doesn't want to disrupt her. He continues wondering the castle, and as it's only 8:30 there are still a few people walking around. Harry doesn't know what he needs or wants to do, but when he sees a third year Slytherin on the ground floor he feels the need to talk to Blaise.

 

"Hey," Harry calls, trying not to scare her as he walks towards the third year, who looks at Harry with wide shocked eyes.

"Me?" The kid asks and Harry nods, walking towards the girl.

"Do you know where Blaise Zabini is?"

"Er, I think he's in our common room." Harry bites his lip and runs a hand through his messy hair before looking back at the girl.

"Can you please do me a favour?" Harry asks and she nods.

"Can you go tell him I need to talk to him?"

"Yeah, okay." She says, looking at him for a second before turning around and walking towards the dungeon.

 

"Blaise?" A third year walks over to him and Draco, looking slightly nervous and worried. Pansy went to bed a few minutes ago, and Blaise and Draco have been sat chatting by the fire.

"Yeah..."

"Lucy." She says before continuing, "Er, Harry Potter just asked me to come and get you." She says quietly and Blaise frowns, glancing at Draco who looks worried, before looking back at Lucy.

"Did he say why?"

"No, but he didn't look too good." She says and Blaise nods.

"Thank's, Lucy. Where is he?"

"By the entrance hall." Blaise stands up immediately and, after a look to Draco that he hoped told him everything would be fine, he leaves the common room.

 

Blaise finds Harry sat on the bottom step in the entrance hall fiddling with a book in his lap, his eyes red, bloodshot, and puffy, and he walks over and sits next to him.

"You alright, Harry?" He asks. Harry shakes his head.

"Wanna tell me what happened?"

"I shouted at Ron. They don't want me around anymore cause apparently I'm always sad and bring the tone down." Harry mumbles but his voice is void of emotion and he's staring straight ahead. Blaise stays quiet to see if Harry wants to continue, and when he doesn't Blaise frowns.

"What happened?"

"He asked why I'm talking to you now rather than them. I looked into his mind. I didn't mean to but I couldn't help it. I saw what he thinks and I saw what the others said." Harry whimpers and Blaise shuffles closer to Harry so his side is pressed against his, hoping it will provide some sort of comfort.

"I get why us talking is weird, but what did they say? Why don't they want you around?"

"During the war when I went to the forest to see Voldemort, he killed me. I died, and no one knew until today." Harry says and Blaise's eyes widen.

"So going back to the Gryffindor common room is off the table?"

"Well all of my other supposed friends were listening to the conversation so yeah." Harry mutters, not knowing what he's going to do. He really can't face anyone. Not now they know he died and especially not after what he saw in Ron's mind.

"Wanna stay in our dorm tonight? It's only me and Draco in our room cause not that many people came back this year." Blaise asks and Harry bites his cheek. He would rather stay in a Slytherin dorm than go and face his 'friends' again, but he looks awful and doesn't really want Draco to see him, also if he sleeps in the same room as him he might wake up from a nightmare and he doesn't want that.

"I'm not sure that's a good idea." Harry says quietly and Blaise looks at him.

"Draco won't mind." Blaise says and Harry shakes his head.

"I just don't want anyone seeing me this messed up." He says quietly and Blaise smiles slightly. He know's Harry doesn't mean 'anyone'; He doesn't want Draco to see him like this.

"You could look near death and I don't think Draco would mind." He says softly and Harry bites his cheek again.

"Come on, at least come and sit in the common room rather than on this cold step." Blaise says, standing up, and Harry hesitates before standing up and following Blaise down to the common room. Blaise says the password and enters before waiting for Harry to enter after him. The common room is pretty empty save for a few students still working or chatting, and when Harry see's Draco his heart flutters slightly. He's sat by the fire and it's casting a warm glow across his face, which looks so soft and calm and serene that Harry almost doesn't want anyone to interrupt him.

"C'mon." Blaise says, leading Harry over to Draco. Harry follows nervously. He's been in the Slytherin common room once before but he was disguised as a Slytherin at the time. It's still pretty much the same though. Blaise puts his hand on Harry's shoulder and leads him to an arm chair next to where Draco is sat, pushing him down gently so he's sat down.

"I've temporarily adopted a Gryffindor. Be nice." Blaise says to Draco as he sits on the sofa next to him, and Draco looks up, apparently just noticing Harry was in the common room. The second Draco looks at Harry's face his heart breaks. He looks so vulnerable with his red puffy eyes with dark circles under them and the fact that his hoodie sleeves are pulled down over his hands and he looks so small despite the fact that he's hench as fuck and Draco wants to hug him until he's better. But he can't, for obvious reasons.

"Potter." Draco says in recognition before looking back at his book.

"No, Draco. Now is not the time to read." Blaise says, taking the book from him, and Draco raises an eyebrow at his best friend.

"We're going to go play quidditch." Blaise says.

"Maybe you are." Draco says, reaching for the book, and Blaise holds it out to his side so Draco can't reach it. Harry bites his lip to stop himself from laughing as the two of them struggle for a minute. Draco eventually gives up with a sigh.

"You're an arse." He mutters and Blaise grins.

"Yay! Lets go!" He says, standing up and pulling Draco up by the arm. He looks at Harry, who is now gripping his book too because he kind of just wants to finish it.

"Oh come on, not you as well! What is it with you two and reading?" Blaise grabs Harrys hand and pulls him up, putting his book on the coffee table with Dracos.

"Are you joking?" Blaise says, looking at the books in disbelief. They're both reading Jane Austen. Blaise rolls his eyes whilst Harry and Draco look at each other incredulously.

"Fucking perfect for each other, you two." Blaise mutters under his breath, yet Harry and Draco both hear him, and he turns them both round and leads them out of the common room, the both of them blushing slightly and refusing to look at each other.

Chapter Text

"You know, I don't have my broom." Harry mutters as they walk to the quidditch pitch, and Blaise rolls his eyes.

"You're not getting out of this." Blaise says, smiling slightly. Harry sighs but rolls his eyes and holds out his hand, silently accio'ing his broom, which flies right into his hand within around 15 seconds.

"That's the spirit." Blaise says and Harry notices Draco pointedly not looking at him and wonders if there's something wrong. He just shrugs.

"Where's your broom then, captain?" Harry asks and Blaise chuckles.

"I left it in the store cupboard." He says as they reach the pitch and he starts walking over to the cupboard. Draco has stayed quiet since they left the common room, and Harry can't tell what he's thinking and it worries him slightly.

"You don't have to play just cause Blaise is trying to cheer me up." Harry says quietly to Draco whilst Blaise is getting his broom and the snitch. Draco looks at Harry surprised.

"I mean, you were reading and I kind of interrupted you." Harry says, slightly quieter, and Draco rolls his eyes. Harry is so broken and sad that he doesn't even sound confident when talking to the boy he supposedly hates. And it breaks Draco's heart.

"Firstly, there's no way Blaise would let me not take part in whatever he's about to start, and secondly... I wouldn't be here if I didn't want to be." He starts talking confidently, but his voice is smaller and quieter during the second half of his sentence, and Harry feels his chest warm up slightly because Draco wants to be there.

"Where's your broom?"

"Pretty sure Blaise planned for this so..." Draco nods in the direction of the cupboard and Harry sees Blaise appear with two brooms and a snitch.

"Alright losers lets play." He grins and Harry rolls his eyes, mounting his broom and kicking off.

 

"What the fuck is that noise?" Dean asks and Ron looks over at Harrys bed to see his broom shuffling out from under his bed.

"Open the window." He says quickly, and Neville jumps up to open the window just as the broom flies through it at top speed.

"What the fuck?"

"Is he playing quidditch?" Seamus asks and Neville looks out the window towards the quidditch pitch.

"I don't see anything..." He keeps watching for a few minutes before talking again. "Oh, hang on, someone's flying."

"Well that's probably Harry then." Ron mutters.

"He's not alone!" Neville gasps and Ron jumps out of his bed.

"If he's with Zabini again-" He cuts himself off and everyone jumps up and runs to the window.

"We have got to stop this!" Dean mutters and Hermione sighs.

"Guys I don't think we're the people he want's to see right now. Not after what happened earlier." She says and Seamus shakes his head.

"Hermione he is our friend and he is flying with a snake. Literally." He says and Hermione sighs.

"You're just going to upset him more."

"We're trying to help him. We need to help him."

 

Harry flies straight towards the snitch at the same time as Draco and Blaise, and just as his fingers close around the snitch they all collide and fall off their brooms, luckily they're only a few feet off the ground, and when they land they land in a heap, all of them laughing.

"5-3-2! You're slacking, Blaise." Harry chuckles and Blaise laughs,

"Well at least I'm not losing!" He teases, knowing Draco is far too distracted by Harry to actually play properly.

"Fuck off." Draco mutters and Harry chuckles again.

"Harry!" Ron calls and the three of them stop laughing and look over to see Ron, Seamus, Dean, Hermione, and Neville standing by the entrance to the pitch. Blaise is the first one to stand up, holding a hand out to Harry who takes it, letting Blaise pull him up. He whimpers when Ron walks closer and Draco stands up too, standing next to Harry.

"What do you want, Weasley?" Blaise asks and Ron looks at Harry, ignoring the Slytherins either side of him.

"Mate what are you doing?" Ron asks and Harry doesn't know what to do. Everyone is looking at him and he hates it when everyone is looking at him and Draco and Blaise are just waiting to see what Harry says but Ron and Dean and everyone is looking at him expectantly and he can't help it. Before he can stop himself he's looking into Rons head again, seeing the conversation he had earlier with the rest of the guys, and takes a shaky breath in as he leaves his mind.

"Harry stop looking in my head!" Ron snaps and Harry glares at him.

"Then leave me alone!" Harry snaps back.

"Then come back to the common room!" Ron shouts and Blaise takes a step forward.

"I think you should leave now." He says calmly and Harry's eyes widen when Dean and Ron raise their wands. Harry immediately raises his back and a hurt look flashes across their face.

"Harry, mate, you're not gonna curse us." Dean says and Harry's gaze hardens and his jaw sets. Yes he fucking will.

"I think you need to leave." Draco speaks for the first time and his voice is dark and threatening. Ron keeps his eyes on Harry, and when Harry doesn't back down he falters slightly.

"Mate?" He asks and Harry feels his eyes brim with tears. He can't stand it. Why is everyone so okay when it comes to what happened? Why are his 'friends' insistent that he can't talk to Blaise just because he's a slytherin?

"Please just go." Harry can't bring himself to speak, so he projects his voice into his friends heads so he doesn't have to. Once he's done it they look at him in shock before giving in and leaving, and Blaise and Draco look at Harry in shocked confusion.

"What...?" Blaise asks and Harry takes a shaky breath in.

"Legilimency." He breathes, his gaze fixed on where Ron used to be and his wand still raised. Draco carefully reaches out and places his hand on Harry's, lowering his arm.

"Potter?" He asks quietly and Harry blinks rapidly.

"I- I'm fine. I just- dizzy." He mutters and Blaise wraps his arm around Harrys waist.

"Okay lets go to Madam Pomfrey." He says, practically carrying Harry to the hospital wing.

 

"What happened?" Madam Pomfrey asks as she helps Blaise sit Harry on a bed.

"We played quidditch. He might have hit his head when we collided. But he said something about legilimency too." Blaise says and Madam Pomfrey sighs.

"Potter, have you used legilimency before?" She asks and Harry nods.

"You need to be trained in it." She says.

"I am."

"You need extensive training." She clarifies and Harry almost rolls his eyes.

"I know."

"Do you usually get like this after using it?"

"No. But I've never done it on 5 people at once when I'm in the middle of an emotional breakdown before." Harry mutters, his words slurred.

"Do you want to reconsider my offer of dreamless sleep?"

"No." Harry says immediately and Madam Pomfrey sighs.

"And have you eaten anything?" Harry presses his lips together and avoids the gaze of the three people around him.

"Potter what are we going to do with you?" Madam Pomfrey asks as she walks over to a cupboard and a sink. "Mister Zabini, Mister Malfoy, could one of you please fetch Professor McGonagall?"

"No!" Harry groans. He doesn't need McGonagall worrying.

"Potter you are in no position to tell me no." Pomfrey says, walking back over to Harry with some water. Harry glares halfheartedly at her as he takes the glass.

"I'll be right back, Harry." Blaise says and Harry nods, slumping back against the pillows. Madam Pomfrey goes to find some sort of potion and Harry realises he's alone with Draco. Draco is stood awkwardly at the end of the bed and Harry has to stop from smiling at how cute he is.

"You can sit down, you know." Harry murmurs and Draco blushes before sitting in the chair next to Harry's bed. Harry tilts his head to the side, still feeling very dizzy and nauseous, but so he can see Draco. He looks worried and it makes Harry's heart flutter. Draco is watching him carefully, as if Harry is about to fall apart any minute. Harry whimpers after a few minutes and starts to feel overwhelmingly hot, and Draco frowns just as madam Pomfrey rushes over.

"What's wrong, Potter?" She asks, pressing her hand against his forehead before wincing. "Okay, lets get this hoodie off you." She grabs his hand and pulls him so he's sat up and Harry takes his hoodie off. He accidentally grabs his shirt in the process and pulls it off with his hoodie but he's so hot and drowsy and tired that he doesn't care. The second he's rid of his hoodie and t-shirt madam Pomfrey lays him back against the bed.

"Harry finish your water." Madam Pomfrey says and Harry sighs, sitting up slightly so he can drink. The water cools him slightly and when he finishes it and lies back down Draco frowns at him.

"Are you okay?" He asks quietly and Harry turns his head to look at Draco again.

"No." He admits.

"I know this is a bad time, but I never hated you." Draco says nervously, a light blush spreading across his cheeks, and Harry half smiles lazily.

"I never hated you, either." He says and Draco smiles slightly.

"That legilimency thing, you've never used that on me, right?" He asks and Harry breathes a laugh.

"No. I didn't mean to use it on Ron I just couldn't help it." He says and Draco nods.

"Why do you know how to do that? Only the most powerful wizards can use legilimency." Draco asks just as the doors open.

"That is my question exactly." McGonagall says and Harry sighs when she walks over.

"Potter." She says and Harry tries to give her his best puppy dog face.

"Oh don't look at me like that. What happened?"

"I'm not too sure. Feel dizzy." He mumbles and she frowns.

"Why do you know how to use legilimency?"

"A few years ago Dumbledore made Snape teach me cause Voldemort kept looking into my head and putting things there or trying to find information and I had to stop him doing that. Also cause then I could look into his mind and find out what he was planning or where he is and stuff." He's never told anyone that before, and McGonagall sighs.

"Okay, well get some rest and eat some food." She says and when Harry grimaces she looks sternly at him.

"Mister Zabini, Mister Malfoy, if you will come with me." She says and Harry watches as Draco and Blaise leave the hospital wing, both of them looking shocked at the information Harry just told McGonagall.

Chapter Text

"Okay gentlemen. Take a seat." McGonagall says as she sits at her desk, and Blaise and Draco sit nervously opposite her.

"I'm not blaming you for what happened to mister Potter. I merely want to know what happened." She says and Blaise nods.

"He came to find me a few hours ago. He said he had a fight with Weasley and that he looked into his mind and saw what they thought and they had a fight about it. I took him to the Slytherin common room but he was sad so I wanted to cheer him up, and suggested a little 1v1 game. Well, it was the three of us so I guess 1v1v1." Blaise pauses to make sure McGonagall is okay with what he's saying, and when she nods he continues.

"We were playing for about half an hour and we all went for the snitch at the same time and kind of collided mid air and fell but we were all laughing and fine so I don't think that's why he's not well. Anyway whilst we were still recovering from the collision we noticed Weasley and the other Gryffindors and they were saying that he should go with them. Thomas and Weasley raised their wands, and Harry raised his in defence, but no one shot any curses. Basically they aren't happy that he's hanging out with me more, but then they pretty much abandoned him and they clearly don't care so someone needs to make sure he's okay."

"Then?" McGonagall asks.

"I think Harry said something to them all, but like, in their heads, because they sort of just, left." Draco says.

"But that's when Harry got all dizzy and looked like he was going to pass out so we took him to the hospital wing." Blaise finishes and McGonagall nods.

"And you're sure no one shot any spells?" McGonagall asks and Blaise and Draco glance at each other before looking back at McGonagall.

"I don't think they would curse him." Draco says and McGonagall nods slowly.

"Maybe not, but if they were trying to curse you there's a high possibility that mister Potter redirected the curse onto himself."

"I didn't see anything come from Harry's wand though."

"Mister Potter does not need a wand to perform magic, I'm sure he only raised his wand to let the other Gryffindors know he would stick up for you. He is a powerful wizard. He can perform wandless and silent magic with ease. Which is why he is able to use Legilimency." McGonagall says and Blaise frowns.

"But surely we would have seen if a Gryffindor cursed?"

"Were you looking at the Gryffindors or were you looking at mister Potter?" The boys pause. As soon as Harry raised his wand they both turned to look at him, surprised that Harry was going to fight his friends.

"Oh." Blaise mutters and McGonagall nods.

"I will have a word with the Gryffindors in question. Meanwhile, you should get to bed." She says, dismissing them, and they both nod before leaving.

 

As they walk down to their common room Blaise looks over at Draco and smiles slightly.

"You're so in love, man." He says softly and Draco blushes but doesn't respond.

"Did McGonagall and I interrupt something earlier?"

"Not really. I told him I don't hate him. He said he didn't hate me." Draco mumbles before sighing. "I just don't know what I'm going to do, Blaise. He's so damn cute it makes me want to kill him."

"Okay firstly, don't kill him." Blaise jokes and Draco rolls his eyes.

"Well obviously."

"Seriously though, Draco. What are you gonna do?" Blaise asks as they enter the now empty common room.

"I don't know." Draco walks over and picks up his and Harry's books before sighing.

"I still can't believe you're reading the same author." Blaise chuckles and Draco looks down at Harry's book before looking back up at Blaise.

"Lets just go to bed." Draco says quietly and Blaise nods. They both crawl into bed when an idea idea strikes Draco. He waits until Blaise is fast asleep before climbing out of bed quietly and grabbing Harry's book and a bit of parchment, before he writes a small note.

I thought you might need this in case you can't sleep

He leaves the common room and makes his way to the hospital wing and over to Harry's bed. He's asleep, but Draco can tell he's having a nightmare. His body is covered in a layer of sweat and he's whining quietly in his sleep, and if he wasn't clearly in distress Draco would be admiring his body. Draco puts the book on the table next to Harry's bed with the note on top before sneaking back to his dorm room.

 

Harry wakes up at around 4am with a cry and breathing heavily. He takes in a deep breath before sitting up, wincing when his head spins. He looks to his side to grab the glass of water there and frowns when he sees his book. He grabs the book and reads the note that was on top of it. He's slightly confused as to who left the book. It has to have been either Blaise or Draco but he's not sure which one it was. Blaise makes more sense, but Harry would like to think that Draco is that thoughtful. He decides to read until madam Pomfrey comes over at 7am to check on him.

"How are you, Harry?" She asks and Harry shrugs. He doesn't feel too dizzy anymore but his head aches slightly. He voices this to madam Pomfrey and she nods.

"Okay, do you want anything? I can give you an anti dizziness draught but I shouldn't really do that until we're certain what caused the dizziness." She says and Harry nods slightly.

"It's not as bad today." He mumbles as Professor McGonagall walks into the hospital wing.

"Mister Potter, I know you are still not completely better, however I must ask you something." She says and Harry looks nervously at her.

"I spoke to Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Zabini last night, and it's really important that you tell me the truth, Harry. Did you redirect a curse?" She asks and Harry sighs.

"Not at me. I noticed Ron shoot a curse and I directed it to the side. It hit the other end of the pitch. I think I'm just tired and emotional and I used legilimency on 5 people and then silently and wandlessly redirected a curse." Harry says and McGonagall nods.

"Who did Mr. Weasley throw the curse at?"

"I don't know. It happened so fast. I don't even know if he meant to." Harry admits and McGonagall nods.

"Okay, Potter. Well, I have informed your professors that you will not be in class today so stay here and rest." She says and Harry sighs but nods. He would really rather do something to distract him from his thoughts but he knows Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall are going to make him stay here.

 

An hour later, after Madam Pomfrey forced Harry to eat a bowl of porridge, he's sat up in bed sketching. Professor McGonagall brought his sketchbook down from his dorm room earlier for him and he's drawing Draco from when he was sat at his bedside last night. Just before first period starts Blaise comes to visit Harry.

"Hey, how you feeling?" He asks and Harry quickly closes his sketchbook and looks over at him.

"'M okay." He says. He's still shirtless as his fever hasn't quite gone yet and he would be quite embarrassed if it wasn't for the fact that he's so tired.

"You not coming classes today then?" Harry shakes his head slightly.

"McGonagall won't let me."

"Have you spoken to her?"

"Yeah. She spoke to you yesterday, right?"

"She told us about how you redirected a curse." Blaise says softly.

"Yeah." Blaise looks at him for a second before smiling.

"Thank you."

"Any time." Harry smiles back.

"You came to get your book?" Blaise asks, noticing the book on Harry's bedside, and Harry shakes his head.

"It was there when I woke up." Harry says, realising that if Blaise didn't know about it then Draco must have brought it. Blaise must notice the same thing because his eyes widen slightly before he smirks.

"Oh... Well wasn't that thoughtful." He grins and Harry presses his lips together and glances at the book which has the note tucked inside it, not answering Blaise because yes it was thoughtful but knowing Draco cared enough to actually bring Harry something that would help him makes his stomach flutter. Blaise looks at Harry for a few second before a knowing look spreads across his face.

"I need to get to class but I'll come see you again later, yeah?"

"Yeah okay." Harry says and Blaise smiles.

"I'll bring Draco with me." Blaise smirks before turning to walk away, leaving Harry sputtering and feeling slightly nervous.

Chapter Text

"Where'd you go?" Draco mutters as Blaise sits next to him in herbology.

"To visit Harry." He says back just as quietly, not wanting to interrupt the lesson he was a few minutes late for.

"How is he?" Draco is pretending he's merely making conversation but Blaise can see he's worried.

"He's okay. He did redirect a curse, by the way." Blaise says and Draco frowns.

"He's such a moron." Draco sighs and Blaise chuckles.

"You know, the strangest thing happened though. Turns out someone was being thoughtful and gave him his book." Blaise says knowingly and Draco blushes slightly and looks down at his parchment.

"That was nice of them." He mutters and Blaise smirks.

"Wasn't it just." He agrees before he catches Weasleys eye and he immediately stops smiling before turning back to look at Professor Sprout.

"So I'm gonna go see him again after transfiguration." Blaise says and Draco doesn't look at him but Blaise knows he's listening.

"And?"

"You coming?"

"Why would I come?"

"Draco..."

"Okay fine I'll go with you." Draco mutters and Blaise smiles slightly.

"He'll be happy to see you." He says quietly and Draco blushes darker.

 

"Harry!" Blaise grins as he enters the hospital wing. There's a sixth year Ravenclaw in a bed near the door that jumps at the loud greeting, and Blaise smiles when Harry sits up straighter and closes his sketchbook.

"Hi." Harry says and he sounds tired and he looks tired and Blaise wonders if he's slept at all. Blaise walks over, Draco following behind him, and he sits on the end of Harry's bed, kicking his feet up so he's lounging.

"Make yourself at home." Harry mutters jokingly and Blaise chuckles.

"Oh I will. You gonna sit down, Draco?" Draco blushes slightly before sitting on the chair next to Harry's bed.

"How you feeling?" Blaise asks and Harry shrugs.

"Not a fan of being stuck here." He mutters just as madam Pomfrey enters the wing holding a glass of something.

"You will continue to be 'stuck here', Mister Potter, until you learn that eating and sleeping are basic requirements for those whom want to stay alive." She says as she walks over to the Ravenclaw, who laughs. Harry rolls his eyes.

"Shut up, Billy." He says to the kid, not really meaning it.

"And you, Mister Standing, will need to drink all of this potion, not just some of it, if you want to get better." Madam Pomfrey says and Billy stop laughing immediately. Harry chuckles slightly and Billy glares at him.

"Shut up, Harry."

"Honestly what am I going to do with the pair of you?" Madam Pomfrey asks, exasperated, as she walks over to Harry.

"Did you eat what I gave you?" Harry can feel Blaise and Draco looking at him and he bites his lip.

"Yes." He says, and it's obvious that he's lying, and madam Pomfrey raises an eyebrow.

"Potter?"

"Alright fine, I vanished it. But I ate breakfast so to be honest I don't see the big deal." Harry mutters and Madam Pomfrey sighs before accioing some sort of potion.

"Drink this, Potter."

"What is it?" Harry looks at the liquid wearily.

"Anti dizziness potion."

"Anti dizziness potion is light blue, not purple. You gave me anti dizziness potion last night." Harry says, glaring at the potion in her hand.

"Potter, just drink it." Harry takes the glass and smells it before gasping.

"I feel so betrayed!" He says and Billy laughs at his over-exaggeration again. "This is an appetite boosting potion! Madam Pomfrey I am shocked!" He gasps dramatically meanwhile Blaise and Draco are shocked an impressed that Harry can identify a potion by smelling it.

"Minerva has informed me to tell her if you refuse food and I think we both know this is the better option." She says and Harry puts the potion on the table next to his bed and shakes his head.

"Is that why I have to stay here?"

"That and the fact that you over-exhausted yourself." She says sternly and Harry shrinks into his pillow. He knows she's right but he doesn't need Draco and Blaise to know how fucked up he is. Pomfrey sighs and leaves the potion on his bedside table before walking away and Blaise looks at Harry.

"I will force that down your throat." He says and Harry breaths a laugh when Billy shouts "ooh kinky."

"Fuck off, Billy." Harry calls back lightly while Draco blushes and Blaise laughs.

"Seriously though." Blaise says and Harry shrugs, looking past Blaise and out the window. It's not raining but not too hot. Perfect running weather. And Harry would kill to be able to go for a run. But alas he's stuck in the hospital wing until McGonagall lets him go.

"So how was class?" Harry asks.

"Bit boring. Weasleys still not keen on us apparently." Blaise says and Harry sighs.

"I'm sorry."

"It's not your fault." Blaise says, smiling slightly, before standing up.

"I'll be right back." He's going to talk to McGonagall about Harry, but he mainly just wants to leave him and Draco alone in the hopes that they pull themselves together and make out or something. Harry and Draco watch him leave before Harry sighs and leans back against the pillows. Draco watches him carefully and when Harry turns to look at him he blushes slightly.

"Thank you." Harry says and Draco frowns.

"For what?"

"My book. I figured it was you, cause it was either you or Blaise and unless he's a better actor than I thought he had no idea it was here." Harry says, smiling slightly, and Dracos eyes flicker from Harry's face to the book and back again.

"I figured you'd want it." Draco says softly and Harry smiles slightly.

"You figured right." Harry says.

"Thank you." Draco says and Harry looks at him for a second.

"What for?"

"Redirecting that curse."

"Any time." Harry says genuinely as McGonagall and Blaise walk into the wing. Blaise looking please with himself as he sits himself back down on the end of Harry's bed. Harry eyes him nervously as McGonagall walks over.

"Potter." She says and Harry almost laughs because she sounds so formal and reluctant.

"Minerva." Harry says and McGonagall rolls her eyes.

"I have spoken to Mister Zabini, who has informed me that you are not particularly happy that you are 'stuck here'." She says and Harry glances at Blaise before looking at McGonagall again.

"Slight understatement." He says and McGonagall tries to stop a smile.

"I have decided that you are allowed to go to your classes, on the premise that you return here and attend meal times in the great hall, and as much as you can I would like you to stay near Blaise, or Draco, in case your dizziness gets worse. This way you are not staying in the hospital wing all day, but we will be able to keep an eye on you." McGonagall says and Harry bites his cheek. He will be able to actually get up and leave the wing, but he will also have to go to meals and eat. That will suck. McGonagall must sense his reluctance because her face turns from 'determined teacher' to 'sympathetic mother figure.'

"Potter?" She asks and Harry can feel Draco and Blaise staring at him so he nods, despite the fact that he feels sick thinking about having to eat every meal.

"Okay." He says, but everyone can hear how nervous he is about it. McGonagall looks at him for a second before walking back towards the doors. As she opens them she runs into Ron and Hermione.

 

"I do not think it's a good idea for you to see Mister Potter at this moment in time." She says and Harry frowns, sitting up slightly. He hears Rons voice and silently, wandlessly pulls the curtain so they can't see him. Harry can tell that McGonagall is having a hard time telling them to leave so he uses legilimency to tell her that he won't cope if he sees them. It was a mistake, he knows, using silent, wandless magic and legilimency, because his head is spinning and Blaise reaches out to steady him.

"You have got to stop using that." Blaise mutters, his hands on Harry's shoulders, and Harry nods. He's gripping Blaise's arms tight and he hopes he isn't hurting him

"Mister Weasley I am afraid I must insist that you go to your next class." McGonagall says, her voice firm, and Harry prays that Ron listens to her and goes away. He definitely wont be able to go to his classes today, since he is now dizzy and he can't see right, but now he's kind of dreading going to any of them.

"Professor we just want to talk to him!" Harry closes his eyes tight, willing the dizziness to go away, and Draco stands up.

"I'll go get madam Pomfrey." He says, and the second he walks out from behind the curtain Ron starts complaining.

"You'll let the Slytherins in but not us?"

"Mister Malfoy and Mister Zabini are not causing Mister Potter any harm." McGonagall snaps, closing the door behind her so Ron can no longer see into the wing. Madam Pomfrey appears in front of Harry with a light blue potion, and Harry drinks it in one go, praying it takes affect fast. Blaise still has a hand on Harry's right shoulder and Harry is still gripping his upper arm, and when the dizziness starts to go down he loosens his grip and takes a deep breath.

"Well... Transfiguration is gonna be fun next period." Blaise says and Harry smiles slightly at his attempt to lighten the mood.

Chapter Text

"Ron can we not just be happy that he's actually talking to someone?" Hermione asks quietly as Ron fumes whilst glaring at the back of Blaise and Draco's heads.

"'Mione he could talk to us."

"Obviously not, Ronald." Hermione sighs, "Besides, we should be happy for him. He's finally getting along with Malfoy."

"And we should be happy about that?" Ron snaps and Hermione rolls her eyes.

"Ron he's been in love with him for years, maybe now they're finally conversing without fighting he can actually do something about it."

"Hermione it's Malfoy!" Ron snaps quietly, and Hermione sighs when he turns to face Professor McGonagall. She gets why Ron and everyone else is so upset but it's not Harry's fault he's sad. The second transfiguration ends Hermione makes her way to the hospital wing alone.

 

Harry glances over when he hears the hospital wing door open and sighs when he sees Hermione, turning his head to look away from her. Billy fell asleep 20 minutes ago and Harry is so bored which is not a good thing, but he really doesn't want to talk to any of his so called 'friends.' He hears Hermione getting closer and contemplates pretending he's asleep, but he's too tired to pretend.

"Hi, Harry." Hermione sounds hesitant and nervous and Harry has to stop himself from rolling his eyes.

"What d'you want?" He asks, not sounding as annoyed as he'd like, but sounding extremely tired.

"I didn't want to be a part of any of this." She says and Harry sighs.

"Seemed like you did." Harry mutters. If she's just going to lie he doesn't want her to be here.

"I didn't, Harry." She insists.

"I'm tired." He says, trying to tell her to leave.

"I'm glad you're talking to someone, Harry. Even if it isn't us." She says and Harry turns his head to look at her. The second they lock eyes Harry has to force himself not to wince. All he can think of when he looks at her is hearing her scream in Malfoy Manner.

"Then leave me alone." He whimpers and Hermione looks shocked and hurt and Harry feels bad, he does, but the longer he looks at her the guiltier he feels.

"Harry why won't you talk to us?" She asks and Harry sighs, moving so he's looking straight up at the ceiling because he can't bare to look at her anymore. Her screams haunt him.

"I can't." He says and his heart is racing and all he can think about is Fred and Sirius and Lupin and Hedwig and Dobby and Colin and there's screams in his head and before Hermione can say anything else Madam Pomfrey is rushing over.

"Miss Granger I'm going to have to insist that you leave." She says as Harry shoots up, gasping for air, and he sat up so fast his head is spinning and he feels sick. Madam Pomfrey gives him a potion that Harry recognises as a calming draught and Harry has a sip of it before taking a deep breath and falling carefully against his pillows, shaking

"Potter are you okay?"

"No." He whimpers and Madam Pomfrey frowns.

"Try and get some sleep, Potter. I'll make sure no one else comes to see you." She says softly and Harry nods before sinking back and closing his eyes, praying the nightmares stay away.

 

"Why can't we come in?" Draco asks nervously when Madam Pomfrey refuses him and Blaise access to the hospital wing, assuming something bad had happened.

"It is nothing personal, Mister Malfoy, I just need Mister Potter to try and get as much rest as he can today. He had a visitor earlier and it did not do him any good." Madam Pomfrey explains and Draco frowns but nods.

"Who visited him?" Blaise asks.

"I shouldn't say, Mister Zabini." Madam Pomfrey says and Blaise frowns.

"Was it Weasley?"

"It was not."

"Can we come and see him later?" Draco asks and Madam Pomfrey shakes her head.

"It is best if we leave him to rest for today, but hopefully he will be in his classes tomorrow so you will see him them." Draco and Blaise aren't happy about it, but they both want Harry to get better so they agree to leave him be for today before making their way to their next class.

 

Harry sleeps for most of the day only to be woken up at 8pm for dinner by Madam Pomfrey.

"Finally Harry! I was bored sitting here alone!" Billy jokes and Harry sits up, smiling over at Billy, before taking the plate off of madam Pomfrey.

"Potter how are you?" She asks and Harry shrugs, forcing himself to take a bite of a potato. He may have slept for a few hours but it was full of fear and nightmares and he still feels exhausted.

"I'm tired." He admits, and Pomfrey nods.

"I've spoken to Professor McGonagall and a few healers from St. Mungos. We think you have PTSD, Harry." She says softly and Harry looks at her for a second before nodding. It makes sense. Sirius told him that he had PTSD when he was in Azkaban, about the war, and then when he got out of Azkaban about being in prison. Harry recognised his symptoms from when Sirius would tell him about it.

"Yeah, sounds about right." Harry admits and madam Pomfrey looks at him empathetically.

"Okay Potter. We'll talk about it more later. Finish your dinner."

 

Two hours later and Harry has eaten just under half of his dinner and is now playing exploding snap with Billy, who is sat on the end of his bed. Billy is only in the hospital wing until tomorrow morning because he was only in here until the slight affects of the potion he accidentally ingested during class are healed. They have to be careful as to not interrupt madam Pomfrey, so they're talking quietly.

"So what are you gonna do when I get out of here?" Billy asks and Harry chuckles.

"I'm going to my classes tomorrow and hopefully I'll be out of here soon."

"Yeah but it's not the same as me being here." Billy grins and Harry rolls his eyes.

"Of course not." They stay awake playing snap and chatting quietly until 2am when they both feel so tired they can't keep their eyes open, and Billy goes back to his own bed.

 

Harry wakes up on Friday morning to madam Pomfrey giving him a bowl of porridge. Harry grumbles as he eats some of it, about half, before getting up and dressed. McGonagall brought him some clothes and his bag earlier this morning, according to Pomfrey, and she's agreed Harry can go to his classes as long as he doesn't try and do anything that will make him dizzy or overwhelmed. He walks out of the hospital wing with his bag slung over his shoulder. He reads as he walks, having decided to re-read sense and sensibility, and he almost walks into Blaise outside their potions classroom.

"Harry! How you feeling?" Blaise steadies him before looking him over. When he's satisfied that Harry seems okay he looks him in the eyes again.

"I'm okay." Harry says and Blaise frowns.

"Pomfrey wouldn't tell us who visited you yesterday." Blaise says softly and Harry nods.

"She said she wouldn't let anyone in."

"Yeah she told me and Draco." Blaise says as they walk into the classroom. Harry see's Ron and Hermione immediately and has to force himself to look away. He walks over to the back table and sits in his usual seat, Blaise sitting next to him.

"Draco gave me his essay as I didn't take any notes last lesson." Blaise explains as he sets the essay in between the both of them so they can read it and get an idea of what they're doing today. Harry looks around and notices Draco isn't there.

"Where is he?"

"McGonagall needed him for something. He's missing this class but he should be in History of Magic." Harry nods and looks at the parchment between them. He immediately stops reading after the first sentence.

Pepperup Potion.

The pepperup potion is designed to improve one's health. For you to use it effectively you must take...

Harry can't read past those two words. The way For you is written is identical to the writing in his book. Surely it wasn't Draco that gave it to him? But he does read these sorts of books. And this writing is identical. Harry glances at the book that is on top of his potions textbook and presses his lips together. He wasn't even talking to Blaise when he was given the book, so why would Draco give it to him?

"Harry?" Blaise asks, looking at him carefully, just in case he's dizzy and might pass out or something.

"Yeah?" Harry brings his gaze to Blaise and Blaise studies his face.

"You okay?" Harry blinks slowly before nodding.

"Yes. Yeah I'm fine." Blaise looks at him for a second before deciding to accept that he's okay.

"Alright, you stay here and I'll get the ingredients." Blaise stands up and Harry still isn't sure what they're actually meant to be making. Are they making a pepperup potion? Or did they just have to write about it? He doesn't remember this essay being set. Slughorn walks over and Harry looks up at him.

"Harry, My boy, how are you?"

"I'm fine. Professor I don't think I wrote this essay."

"It's fine, Harry. It was set yesterday. You do not need to write it."

"Are you sure?" Harry asks just as Blaise walks back over.

"I am sure. As for you, Mister Zabini, you also do not need to write it. I know you have been caring for Harry so I will allow it." He smiles warmly before walking over to the next pair, and Blaise looks at Harry.

"Well okay then." They start making the potion, Harry just listening to what Blaise is saying, and when he adds the four fire seeds he realises that they are making the pepperup potion.

"We're making pepperup?" He asks Blaise to make sure, and Blaise looks at him over the cauldron.

"Yeah. Mate you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah I'm fine." He says, throwing some mandrake root into the cauldron.

"Did you read the essay?"

"I started to. It made my head spin." Harry says, which is kind of true, he can't read too much without feeling dizzy at the moment.

"Maybe when we've finished this potion you can drink some." Blaise says, stirring it slowly. It turns from muddy green to vibrant green. Harry huffs a laugh at his attempt to cheer him up, and Blaise smiles slightly.

 

45 minutes later they've got a 'perfect pepperup potion' according to Slughorn, and Harry and Blaise are walking out of potions and towards History of Magic. They have to walk slow because the fumes from being in potions have made Harry feel lightheaded and dizzy. Harry's bag is slung over his shoulder and the book Harry is now convinced belongs to Draco is in his right hand. He want's to ask Draco about it, he just has no idea how to.

He sits in the very back corner during History of Magic, next to Blaise, and when Draco enters the classroom he sits on the other side of Blaise, Pansy next to Draco. Harry hasn't seen Pansy much, and he hasn't spoken to her at all, but she gives him a sympathetic smile as she sits down and Harry figures she's not that bad. Professor Binns is rambling on about something or another and Harry sighs, feeling the thoughts and emotions and fear taking over, and he knows he needs to get the hell out of the class before he has a full on breakdown.

His hands are shaking, and Blaise has noticed.

"Harry?" He asks and Harry shakes his head.

"I can't- I need to-" Harry grabs his bag and walks out of the classroom and down a corridor, sitting on a windowsill in a slightly hidden alcove, and within seconds Blaise is in front of him. His hands are shaking and his head is spinning and he is getting really fucking tired of his stupid brain being so fucking loud.

"Harry do you want me to get Madam Pomfrey?"

"No, I'm sorry, I'm fine. Go back to class." Harry says quietly and Blaise shakes his head.

"Harry I'm not going anywhere until you're okay." Blaise says, crouching down so he's eye level.

"I'm okay. I'll be fine." Harry just desperately wants to go for a run and forget about everything that's going on or has happened.

"Harry?"

"Please Blaise. I promise I'll go to Pomfrey if I need to." Blaise looks conflicted and Harry feels bad.

"I'll see you at lunch." Harry promises and Blaise sighs.

"Okay. But if you don't turn up for lunch I will personally drag you there." He says and he looks at Harry for a second longer before sighing again and patting Harry's leg.

"See you at lunch." He says and with a final squeeze of Harry's shoulder he walks back down the hallway to the classroom. As he enters the class turn to look at him, Ron looking pissed off, but Hermione looks gratefully at him. It doesn't seem like Binns even noticed that two of his students had left the room, and when Blaise sits back down Draco turns to him.

"What happened?"

"He's gonna be fine." Blaise says and he's sure Hermione, Ron and the other Gryffindors are listening to him.

"Are you sure?"

"He promised he'd be at lunch, he just needed to not be in here." Blaise says, and Draco frowns but nods, turning back to pay attention again.

Chapter Text

Harry goes for a run for the rest of period 3 and although it was only a 40 minute run he sprinted most of the time so he's panting and aching when he finally stops. He walks into the hall nervously, and walks straight to McGonagall.

"Potter, I hear you made a perfect potion again." She says and Harry nods.

"So Slughorn said."

"And Poppy told you about PTSD?" Harry nods.

"Sirius had it too. It makes sense, I guess."

"And how do you feel about it?"

"I'm not gonna lie professor it sucks." He mutters and McGonagall smiles slightly.

"I know, Potter. And may I say Poppy told me you have been eating and I am very proud of you." Harry bites his lip and looks down.

"It's hard." He admits quietly.

"But you do it. Speaking of which, you should go and eat."

"But if I sit at the Slytherin table everyone will stare at me and I really don't want to sit at the Gryffindor table." Harry says and McGonagall thinks for a moment before seemingly deciding on something. She stands up and walks towards the door by the side of the teachers table.

"Come with me, Potter." She says and Harry follows her through the door and into the kitchen.

"Winky, would you be so kind as to get Harry some lunch? And then make sure he eats it. He doesn't have to eat it all, just as much as he can."  Winky agrees and McGonagall nods, satisfied, before leaving. Harry sits and eats half of the soup he's given before thanking Winky and leaving the kitchen, intending on going straight to herbology, despite being 10 minutes early. However as he walks past the entrance to greenhouse 2 a hand grabs his arm and pulls him into it. Harry frowns and looks up to see Seamus.

 

"Listen I know you're mad at us and that's understandable but we miss you Harry, and we're worried about you." He says and Harry pulls his arm out of Seamus' grip.

"Harry?" Seamus asks and Harry looks past him at the wall of the greenhouse before sighing.

"What do you want?" Harry mutters and Seamus frowns.

"We want you to hang out with us again." Seamus says and Harry shakes his head.

"You think I didn't see what you all said?" Harry asks and Seamus sighs.

"Harry I know we weren't supportive but you didn't tell us anything."

"Well I don't really like talking about how I fucking died, Seamus!" Harry snaps just as Blaise, Pansy and Draco walk past, and they definitely heard him. Blaise walks straight over and looks between Seamus and Harry a few times before seeing the look on Harry's face. He's angry and sad and tired and he needs to calm down.

"What's going on?" Blaise asks, slowly walking over to stand beside Harry, Draco and Pansy waiting in the doorway to the greenhouse.

"This doesn't concern you, Zabini."

"I think it might." He says and Harry doesn't like where this is going.

"We were just talking." Seamus says, looking at Harry in a pleading way, as if he desperately want's to talk to him. Blaise looks at Harry and he looks conflicted.

"It- We're fine, Blaise. I'll see you in class." Harry says quietly and Seamus looks relieved and if it wasn't for the fact that Blaise knew Harry is incredible at legilimency he would think he was being mind controlled.

"You sure?" Harry nods slightly and Blaise presses his lips together.

"We'll see you soon then." He says, glaring at Seamus for a moment before leaving the greenhouse.

 

"Did he say he died?" Pansy whispers and Blaise nods. Draco is looking at the floor intently, wanting to hug Harry and make him feel better but knowing that he can't.

"I guess he'll tell us about that later." Blaise says before they walk to greenhouse 6. He know's Harry told him he died already, but he doesn't know anything more about it.

 

"Thank you, Harry." Seamus says and Harry sighs.

"I'm not gonna talk about it."

"Why don't you talk to us but you talk to them?" Seamus asks and Harry takes a shaky breath.

"Because I can't look at Ron without seeing Fred. I can't look at Hermione without remembering what Bellatrix did to her because of me. You remind me of what happened. And who we lost because of me. I can't- I'm not- I can't." Harry says before he walks out of the greenhouse and over to greenhouse 6. He walks straight to the back corner and sits down, not bothering to see where anyone is sat, he just keeps his head down, pulling his sleeves over his hands in a lame attempt to stop them shaking. Seamus walks in and sits down silently, not knowing how to tell the others what Harry said. No wonder he hasn't spoken to them. How did no one realise what he was going through?

 

"What happened?" Dean asks when they convene in the boys dorm after herbology. Seamus is leaning against his chest as usual, the others spread around the dorm room. Seamus explains his conversation with Harry and what Harry said and by the end of it everyone is looking guilty.

"Like, We're terrible friends. We should have realised." Seamus says and Ginny frowns.

"Well he didn't tell us." She says defensively.

"But we knew something was wrong. We just didn't do anything about it." Seamus says.

"No wonder he hates us." Ron mutters and Hermione leans her head on his shoulder.

"At least he has Zabini looking out for him." She mutters and Ron shakes his head.

"I'm gonna fix this." He stands up, and no one stops him when he leaves the dorm room.

 

Harry is sitting on his hospital wing bed, Draco is sat on the chair next to Harry's bed, Pansy is lounging on the next bed over and Blaise is lying at the end of Harry's bed. They've been chatting for the past 20 minutes, Harry chipping in occasionally, and Harry knows they're waiting to hear about him dying, but he really doesn't want to talk about it right now, so he's just sitting and listening, wondering how he's going to mention to Draco that he knows the book is from him and wondering what the gesture meant. The hospital wing door opens and Harry sits up straighter when he sees Ron. He's so tired and he really doesn't feel like arguing, but he sees Rons face and how he doesn't look annoyed or mad, and he thinks maybe there won't be a fight today.

 

"Hey." Ron says awkwardly, and Blaise, Draco and Pansy glance at Harry, who isn't meeting Rons gaze.

"You okay?" Blaise asks and Harry nods. Blaise hesitates for a second before nodding, and him, Draco and Pansy leave the hospital wing. Harry knows they're waiting just outside the door, which makes him feel a bit better.

"Harry I'm sorry." Ron says and Harry bites his lip. One glance in Rons eyes and he knows he's sincere, but he can't look at him for long. Ron notices this.

"Harry you're family to me and my family. You know that. And I'm sorry that I wasn't there for you." Ron says, walking closer. Harry presses his lips together.

"I should have realised that the war affected you so much more than it did us, I mean, you were the one that had to stop it. That was a lot of pressure on you, and I should have helped you through that." Ron says and Harry takes a shaky breath in.

"I know you still can't talk to me because of Fred. But it's okay, Harry. We miss him, but we're okay. None of us blame you. You don't need to feel guilty, Harry." Ron says and Harry feels a tear roll down his cheeks.

"He told me to make sure you're okay." Harry whispers and Ron frowns.

"What?"

"I have the resurrection stone. I had it during the war, and then I found it again. During the war I saw my parents, Remus and Sirius. I used it again last week, cause I was desperate to see them. And Fred was there too." Harry says, tears falling down his cheeks.

"Wha- Why didn't you tell me?" He doesn't sound angry or upset, just confused.

"I was going to, and then I couldn't find you. And then shit hit the fan."

"Is- Is he okay?" Harry nods.

"He told me to tell George he's watching over him. He told me to tell Charlie to marry Oliver. He told me to make sure you are okay and Ginny is coping. But he told me not to give you the stone." Harry explains, his voice steady but tears streaming down his face, and he finally looks at Ron to see he's crying too.

"Thank you." He whispers, and Harry stands up just in time for Ron to pull him into a bone crushing hug.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you."

"I'm sorry I didn't help you. You know, that's the most I've heard you say in months." Ron jokes, and Harry smiles slightly.

"You have to tell George. I can't do it." Harry says, pulling away, and Ron nods.

"I will. And I get it if you can't talk to us or look at us, but we miss you, Harry. And we went the wrong way about it but we miss you. And I get you're friends with the Slytherins now but can we arrange joint custody or something cause we miss having you around." Harry smiles slightly, wiping his eyes, and Ron smiles.

"Oh, and I'm hoping now that you're talking to Malfoy you're gonna do something about the being in love situation?" Ron asks and Harry rolls his eyes.

"Shove off, mate." He jokes and Ron grins.

"I'm sorry I cursed your friends and caused you to use too much magic." Ron says seriously, and Harry nods.

"I forgive you. I'm sorry I threatened to curse you."

"I'll see you later, mate." Ron says with a grin and Harry finally sees him as Ron and not Fred's younger brother for the first time in months.

"See you later."

Chapter Text

Harry sit's back on the end of his bed when Ron leaves, and shortly after Draco, Blaise, and Pansy come back over and sit down. Pansy takes the chair by the bed, Blaise lies on the bed next to Harry's and Draco nervously sits at the end of Harry's bed. Harry's exhausted, and he yawns as they settle down.

"You want us to leave so you can sleep?" Pansy asks and Harry shakes his head.

"It's okay. We have transfiguration in a minute." Harry says but he's slurring and his eyelids feel heavy and he doesn't want to sleep because he's scared of the nightmares.

"Lets go then." Blaise says, and Harry nods, standing up slowly.

Ron smiles at him when he walks into the classroom, and Harry nods in recognition, avoiding Dean's eyes for now. He's still not sure he's forgiven Dean. Harry sits next to Pansy, on the table behind Draco and Blaise, Blaise in front of Harry and Draco in front of Pansy, and half way through the lesson he gets bored and starts to draw. He sketches Draco as he can see him now in the corner of his parchment, and he notices Pansy watching him, transfixed, so he quickly sketches Blaise too, even though it's pretty much just the back of his head.

"You're not bad, you know." She says quietly, and Harry smiles slightly. No one's seen anything he's drawn before, mainly because he only really draws Draco.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." Harry stops sketching after that and goes back to trying to listen to Professor McGonagall.

 

"Potter. I would like a word with you." McGonagall says at the end of the lesson as everyone is leaving, and Harry bites his lip but walks over to her desk. The class file out of the room and when they're all gone McGonagall turns to Harry.

"How have you been today?"

"I don't know. I had a bit of a freak out in history of magic, and herbology wasn't the best." Harry shrugs and McGonagall nods.

"Pomona mentioned you were out of it. Poppy said you had a visitor after lunch."

"Well just before herbology Seamus asked why I won't talk to them and I had a bit of a breakdown and shouted at him and I guess he told Ron." Harry explains briefly what happened and McGonagall nods.

"And do you feel you can talk to mister Weasley now?" Harry thinks for a moment before looking down and shaking his head.

"It's okay, Harry." She says and Harry looks up at her.

"I still can't look at them, but I also don't want to talk to them. I don't really want to talk to anyone."

"Except mister Zabini and mister Malfoy."

"I guess."

"It's okay, you know. Not to want to talk about what happened. You've been through a lot, Potter. More than anyone should have to go through. And if you feel that now it's all over you need a break then that's okay."

"But people expect me to be okay. They still think I'm some sort of saviour."

"People are none of your concern, Harry. You need to worry about yourself now. Which is why, should you want to, Poppy and I have arranged a Healer, therapist is his official title I think, from a muggle hospital in London to see you. It can be once a week, once a month, every day, however often you choose, and it can be here or at the hospital, wherever will make you comfortable. Do you think it would help?" McGonagall says. Sirius used to tell Harry he wished he had a sort of therapist for his PTSD. Vernon and Petunia always said that people that need therapists were freaks, but Harry knows it would probably help him, and if Sirius was strong enough to admit he needed one then so was Harry. He nods.

"I think so." He says nervously.

"Have a think about where, you can figure out how often later. And he's been security checked and everything will be confidential. He has family members who are wizards, however he himself is a muggle, meaning he is not aware of what happened in full but he is aware of who you are and you will be able to talk to him about magic." Harry nods.

"Okay, now I will ask Poppy to arrange a time and day you are free, and we will let you know. And Potter if there is anything you need let me know." McGonagall says with a smile and Harry nods.

"Can I go on a run?" McGonagall thinks for a second.

"You ate at breakfast and lunch?" Harry nods.

"Are you feeling dizzy or lightheaded?" Harry shakes his head.

"I will allow you to go for a run as long as you are in the great hall for dinner." She says and Harry smiles.

"Thank you." He rushes to his dorm room, knowing it's empty, and drops his bag off before taking off for his run. There are students on the grass outside who watch him as he jogs past them, but Harry ignores them and keeps running. He has no idea what to do now. Ron is going to expect him to talk to him now that they've made up, and so is Seamus. Harry really doesn't want to talk to them. On Harry's second lap of the grounds he hears footsteps behind him and looks to see Rhys running behind him.

"Okay if I join you, captain?" He calls, panting slightly, and Harry thinks for a second. They can't do much talking as they run, so why not.

"Sure." He says and he slows to let Rhys catch up with him before continuing round the grounds.

"Sure you're gonna be able to keep up?" Harry asks, glancing at Rhys, who nods.

"Oh yeah, I'll be fine." Rhys says, and Harry knows he's not going to be able to keep up with him but carries on running anyway. Harry can run for hours on end, his longest run was 5 and a half hours. It was just after the war and he kept running until he was on the verge of passing out because he just needed a distraction. He knows this is probably not normal and definitely not healthy, but there's only an hour until dinner so maybe Rhys can keep up until then.

He can't. 20 minutes later Rhys is heavy panting and sweating like crazy.

"Fuck, Harry. How- how do- you- do this?" Rhys pants and he's slowing down and Harry slows down with him.

"Dunno." He says, not tired at all and only slightly sweating. Rhys reaches out and grabs Harry's arm to stop him.

"Harry- this- aren't you- thirsty?" He asks and Harry shakes his head.

"No."

"You're not human I swear." Rhys says, leaning on Harry's shoulder, and Harry can feel that he's putting a lot of his weight on Harry because he's so tired.

"Told you you wouldn't keep up." Harry teases, trying to take the attention away from how fucked up he is, and Rhys rolls his eyes.

"Come back to the castle, man. It's almost dinner time and you need to drink some water or something." Rhys says and Harry shakes his head.

"We've got half an hour til dinner. I'll meet you there." He says, patting Rhys on the shoulder before turning and continuing his run.

Chapter Text

Harry reluctantly walks into the great hall after 40 minutes of running. He doesn't know what to expect when he enters, so he pauses in the doorway. He sees Ron looking at him expectantly and then Rhys waves him over and he glances at the Slytherin table to see Blaise watching him carefully. Harry takes a deep breath before deciding he can't deal with this. He doesn't enter the hall, instead walking to the kitchen. He knows McGonagall will be mad if he doesn't eat and he figures eating in the kitchen again will be okay. He knows she saw him and he hopes she realises he's going to the kitchen and not skipping the meal.

"Mister Potter, sir." Winky says as he enters and Harry sits at a table.

"Hey Winky, Is it okay if I eat in here again?"

"Of course mister Potter sir." Winky puts a plate of food in front of him and Harry grimaces at it. It's pie. He likes pie. He just can't bring himself to eat. He takes a small amount of mash on his fork and slowly forces himself to eat it. He manages to eat almost half of the pie and a few mouthfuls of mash before putting his fork down, deciding he can't make himself eat any more. He leaves the kitchen and manages to get half way to the hospital wing when he runs into McGonagall.

"Potter. Did you have dinner today?"

"Yes, I sat in the kitchen. Ask Winky." He says and she nods.

"I believe you, Potter. I just wanted to check. How was your run?"

"It was okay."

"Are you feeling okay?" Harry nods.

"Okay Potter." She looks at him for a moment longer before walking away. Harry makes his way to the hospital wing and sits down on the edge of his bed. He's not tired and he doesn't feel dizzy, he's just fed up. He misses Sirius. He wants to listen to Remus and Sirius tell him about his parents and the things they got up to, he wants to see his parents, he wants to hug them. He needs a hug. He reaches over the side of his bed, into his bag, and grabs the resurrection stone from the inside pocket. He lies back in bed, the stone grasped firmly in his fist, and closes his eyes.

"Harry?" He hears a soft voice call him and he opens his eyes to see he's surrounded by everyone, except this time Fred isn't there.

"Where's Fred?" He asks quietly, worried.

"He's watching over Ron at the moment." His mum says and Harry's nods. He would go and let Ron see Fred but he knows Fred doesn't want that and Ron doesn't need that. It wouldn't end well.

"What's wrong, pup?" Sirius asks, sitting on the bed next to him, and Harry whimpers when Sirius pulls him into a hug.

"I can't do it." He whimpers as Sirius' fingers thread through his hair. His parents sit at the end of his bed, rubbing his legs comfortingly.

"Can't do what, sweetheart?"

"I miss you." He chokes, not able to say what he really thinks because it'll worry his parents and Sirius and Remus will hate it too.

"We miss you too, but you're doing so well, Harry." James says and Harry shakes his head.

"I'm a mess."

"A beautiful mess. Harry considering what you went through you're doing amazing, darling." Lily says and Harry nods.

"But-"

"No. No buts. Harry you are top of all of your classes and you are eating again, albeit reluctantly, and you accepted McGonagalls offer of a therapist, and you're talking to people. Granted it's mainly McGonagall, Pomfrey and a few Slytherins but Harry we're proud of you." Remus says and Harry looks at him with watery eyes.

"They're nice slytherins." Harry mutters and everyone chuckles.

"Harry, son, you're only saying that cause you're in love with one of them." James says and Harry blushes.

"You don't like him?"

"I think he was a bit of an arse. But so was I. Sirius still is." James jokes and Harry chuckles.

"What he means is, Harry you can't help who you fall in love with. Trust me." Lily says and James gasps at her.

"And what is that supposed to mean?" He asks dramatically and Harry chuckles when Lily rolls her eyes.

"Harry he's a good kid. He cares about you. That's all that matters to us." Remus says and Harry smiles slightly, never realising how much he would appreciate their approval until now.

"Really?"

"Really. The world isn't split into good people and death eaters." Sirius says with a knowing smile and Harry nods.

"I still miss you."

"We miss you too, kiddo. We're always going to be here for you."

Chapter Text

Blaise enters the hospital wing and looks over at Harry's bed to see him fast asleep, one arm across his stomach and the other hanging over the side of the bed. He looks somewhat peaceful for the first time in ages and Blaise smiles slightly, hoping Harry is actually getting some decent sleep for once. Blaise sits in the chair next to Harry's bed and after a few minutes Harry starts whimpering. Blaise watches helplessly for a minute before Harry whimpers and his eyes snap open with a gasp.

"Harry? You okay" Blaise asks and Harry nods, groggily sitting up.

"Yeah, sorry." Harry says, voice thick with exhaustion.

"What's up?" Harry shrugs.

"Nothing I just- It's nothing."

"Ah Mister Potter," Madam Pomfrey talks before Blaise can ask anything else. "I have some news." Harry frowns and sits up straighter.

"Professor McGonagall and I have agreed you are now allowed to go back to your dorm room tomorrow so this will be your last night here." She says and Harry bites his lip.

"Oh, er, okay. Thank you." He says and Pomfrey smiles. He's still not okay with Dean, and he's not been looking forward to going back.

"Mister Zabini would you be so kind as to give us a moment?" Pomfrey asks and Blaise nods, standing up and leaving the hospital wing.

 

"Minerva spoke to you about therapy?" Harry nods.

"And you're sure you want to?" Harry nods again.

"Okay well his name is Michael Burns. He can come to you or you can go to him, however is best for you."

"Can he come here? At least for the first visit?"

"Of course. And when would you like that to be?" Harry shrugs. It's Saturday tomorrow so he could see him then, although he did promise his team they could all go out for ice cream.

"Could we- maybe like... Is tomorrow too soon? But it would have to be, like, after 3 ish, if that's okay? Cause I promised my team we could go to hogsmeade together." Harry stutters and Pomfrey nods with a smile.

"Of course, I'll let him know."

"Thank you." Madam Pomfrey walks over to her office and Harry sighs back against the pillow before sending Blaise a message that he can come back in.

 

"You need to stop doing that." Blaise says the second he enters the wing and Harry shrugs, not moving his gaze from the ceiling.

"Couldn't be bothered to get up and come get you." He mutters and Blaise rolls his eyes, jumping onto Harrys bed to lie next to him. Harry shifts over to make room and Blaise looks at him.

"So how are you?"

"I don't know." Harry says, keeping his gaze on the ceiling. Blaise is silent for a few seconds, watching him. Harry's eyes flicker to different spots on the ceiling and Blaise can tell he's thinking.

"What you thinking about?" Harry's brain is moving a million miles a second and it's driving him slightly mad.

"Everything."

"Such as?"

"Going back to my dorm. Going out with the team tomorrow. Ron and Hermione and Seamus and Dean..." Harry pauses, blushing slightly. "Malfoy." He admits and Blaise smiles slightly.

"Well I can solve one of those things." Blaise smirks and Harry glances at him nervously. Blaise must know about the book.

"What about Draco?" Harry is about to talk about the book, but then he stops himself. Does he really want Blaise to know he knows? Blaise might tell Draco, and Harry wants to be the one to do that. If he ever figures out how to mention it, or if he ever get's Draco alone.

"Er, nothing. Forget I said anything." He says quickly and Blaise raises an eyebrow at him.

"If it's that you have a thing for him then I know." Harry's gaze snaps to Blaise and Blaise rolls his eyes with a chuckle.

"How?"

"Cause I know everything." Blaise says and Harry bites his lip and looks back up at the ceiling.

"Does he know?"

"Of course he doesn't know. He's so oblivious." The two lie in silence after that. Harry wondering what the fuck he's going to do, Blaise wondering how he's going to help Harry if he's moving back to the Gryffindor tower where not only is Blaise not allowed to go, but where he most definitely is not welcome.

"So you're going out with your team tomorrow?" Blaise asks after a while, having not thought of any ideas.

"Yeah." Harry sighs and Blaise frowns, looking at him.

"I thought you liked your team?"

"I do. But my team includes Ginny. And I still haven't spoken to her about, well, everything."

"Then just stick with the others. Not too closely though cause Rhys definitely has a thing for you." Blaise says and Harry raises an eyebrow.

"Come off it, Blaise."

"I'm being 100% serious, Harry." Harry just rolls his eyes before sighing and closing them.

"You okay?" Harry nods.

"Tired." He mumbles and Blaise nods despite the fact that Harry can't see him.

"Go to sleep, Harry." Blaise whispers before carefully getting out of the bed. Harry's asleep in minutes.

Chapter Text

"Okay team, lets go." Harry says, slightly dreading it but he knows it will build his teams spirit and it's a good bonding experience and all that. The team walk to Hogsmeade together, chatting about whatever, and when they get to the the ice cream parlour they grab a table in the corner. Harry sits in the very corner, next to Will and opposite Rhys. He joins in the conversation as much as he can, so not much, and he eats ice cream and avoids Ginny's gaze as he listens to his team. They're bonding and getting along well and Harry is glad he has such a good team and his chest fills with pride. They talk about strategy for their first game in a few weeks and they make jokes and at 2 Harry realises he needs to start making his way back to Hogwarts. Most of the team want to stay in Hogsmeade, but Rhys says he'll walk Harry back because 'we can't leave the captain alone and vulnerable, one of the other teams might kidnap and torture him to get our game plan!'

 

"You could have stayed in Hogsmeade, you know." Harry says lightly and Rhys scoffs.

"Yeah, I also could have had cake for breakfast. Doesn't mean I should." Harry rolls his eyes.

"I need to get going, but thanks for coming back with me." Harry says and Rhys grins.

"Any time. See you round, captain."

"You don't have to call me captain, you know."

"Oh I know, but I think it suits you." Rhys smirks and Harry rolls his eyes before making his way to the hospital wing.

 

"Harry, this is Mr Burns." Harry shakes the hand of the man in front of him. He looks nice and friendly, with glasses and a short beard.

"Nice to meet you, Mister Potter." Mr Burns says and Harry nods.

"You too, Mr Burns." He says, nervously.

"Call me Michael. Now, where would you like to have our first meeting? Anywhere that will make you more comfortable?" Harry shrugs.

"Room of requirement?" He asks, looking at Madam Pomfrey, who nods.

"Of course." They make their way there and when the door appears and they enter the room it's a nice, cosy room. There's sofas and big armchairs facing a big grand fireplace and a coffee table and it's relaxing and calming and Harry thinks it's pretty much perfect.

"So," Michael says, sitting in an armchair, "This first visit is just a general overview and get to know each other session."

"Okay." Harry says, sitting on the sofa and leaning against the arm.

"Basically you can just talk, get everything out there, spill your brain, and I'll listen. I wont interrupt you. I might ask questions but if you don't want to answer them then that's fine. You do not have to say anything you don't want to, however it is generally best if you tell me everything on your mind rather than keeping things to yourself." Harry nods.

"Where would you like to begin?"

"Well I guess the biggest thing that happened was the war, but I think the main thing that fucked me up was Sirius dying." Harry and Michael talk for an hour and a half, Harry telling Michael a brief overview of all the things that happened to him and Michael chipping in every once in a while to ask a question. At the end of the hour and a half session Harry walks with Michael back to the hospital wing.

"So when would you like to meet again?" Michael asks as they enter the wing.

"Same time next week?" Harry asks. He really enjoyed talking to someone about everything that has happened, especially someone that wasn't there.

"I'll see you then." Harry shakes Michael's hand before he leaves.

 

Harry decides to go for a walk, having been in a warm room for almost 2 hours and needing fresh air. The grounds are pretty vacant considering most people are in Hogsmeade, so he strolls along the river. He sees Malfoy sitting against a tree, scribbling away at what Harry assumes is an essay, and he admires the way the sun illuminates him making him look like some ethereal being. Malfoy looks up, and Harry moves his gaze to the mountains in the distance, hoping Malfoy didn't catch him staring.

Harry was definitely watching him. Draco's heart goes into overdrive and he bites his lip as Harry walks along the lake, getting closer. He wants nothing more than to sit and talk, or walk and talk, anything and talk to be honest. He just wants to be in Harry's presence. He's just about to give up, Harry walking past him slightly, when Harry stops, turns around and walks over.

"Mind if I join you?" Harry asks, sounding no where near as nervous as he feels. Draco nods, moving his bag so Harry can sit and lean against the tree next to him.

"I thought you were going Hogsmeade?" Draco asks and Harry nods.

"Did. Had to come back." Draco nods and turns back to his parchment. Harry can't help but think this is the perfect opportunity to tell Malfoy about his book, but then again he thinks maybe he should tell him about how he died too. He doesn't feel quite ready to tell him that yet.

Instead Harry just alternates between admiring the view and admiring Draco as he writes. They sit there for half an hour before Draco finishes his essay. He knows Harry has been watching him, and the way he's sat so close their shoulders are touching meant he could barely focus, but he wrote a probably average essay and that'll do.

Neither of them know what to say or do. Harry stretches his legs out in front of him and leans his head back against the tree behind them and Draco puts his essay in his bag. They sit in a relatively awkward silence for a while as they both just exist next to each other and they figure maybe they don't need to say anything; they can both just be.

Chapter Text

"Are you coming to dinner?" Draco asks quietly. They've been sat together for 2 hours and it's 5:30 now. It's quite early still so the hall wont be busy yet and Harry figures he might get away with sitting with Draco. Harry looks at him for a second before nodding.

"Yeah." They both stand up, legs aching slightly from being sat down on the hard ground for so long, and make their way up to the castle. When they enter the great hall there's only a few first and second years there so Harry follows Draco over to the Slytherin table and sits next to him. No one casts a second glance and Harry feels slight relief wash over him.

 

"So Blaise says you're going back to the Lions den?" Draco says quietly. They're almost done with dinner and they've been having quiet conversations about nothing in particular. Harry nods, pushing his food around his plate. The hall is slowly filling up now, not with many people from his year or seventh year, but there's enough people to make Harry feel awkward.

"Don't need to be in the hospital wing anymore. s'long as I come to meals and stuff." Harry says, frowning slightly, and Draco looks at him for a second.

"You not happy about it? Thought you hated being in the hospital wing?" Harry shrugs.

"I did, I just- still don't know how I feel about Dean. Neville's harmless and Ron is okay and I guess Seamus is too but I still don't wanna be in a room with them. Not after-" Harry cuts himself off, putting his fork down.

"After what?" Draco asks, not prying but asking in case Harry wants to talk about it.

"Everything, I guess." Harry feels sick all of a sudden, the memory of everything washing over him like a tidal wave.

"You want some air?" Draco asks and Harry nods slightly. Draco stands up and waits for Harry before they walk out of the hall together. They see Ron, Hermione and Ginny as they walk out of the castle and Harry really needs air and Draco resits the urge to grab his hand and drag him outside.

 

They start walking side by side, Harry breathing deeply, trying to calm down, and Draco glancing at him every once in a while to make sure he's okay.

"I died." Harry says suddenly, 10 minutes into their walk. Draco's head snaps to look at him. But Harry keeps his gaze forward.

"When I went to see Voldemort in the forest. He hit me with the killing curse, and it worked." He adds and Draco is looking at him in shock.

"You went to see him?"

"I had to. When he hit me with a curse when I was a baby and my mother stopped him, the spell rebounded. His soul latched onto me. I was a horcrux. Granted he didn't mean to make me one, it was an accident. But I was a horcrux. I had to die so we could stop him. He had to kill me." Harry's hands are shaking so he shoves them in his hoodie pocket. "I guess... When he killed me I- okay I'm going to sound batshit crazy here- but I was in some sort of place. It was all in my head but it felt so real. When he hit me with the killing curse he killed that part of him in me. He broke the horcrux. I could come back if I wanted to. I had a choice." Harry stops, his eyes filling with tears.

"You chose to come back." Draco says and Harry nods.

"I wasn't going to." Harry says, voice quiet and wobbly as a tear falls from his eye. Draco reaches over and wipes it away.

"I only came back because I knew if I didn't he would have killed everyone. I couldn't let that happen." Harry whispers and Draco's right hand nudges his left as they walk and Harry links their little fingers.

"I'm glad you came back." Draco says, voice softer than Harry has ever heard it, and Harry glances at him for the first time since they started this conversation as he stops walking.

"Sometimes I wish I didn't." He admits and Draco just look at him.

"Why?" He asks, turning his body towards Harry but keeping their little fingers connected.

"It hurts. Surviving hurts. Living hurts. The guilt hurts. No one else got to choose. So many people died and they didn't get to come back." Harry's never told anyone this before and Draco can tell from the look in his eyes.

"You also saved so many people, Harry." And it's the first time Harry has ever heard Draco call him Harry and his heart skips a beat. Harry wants to believe him but he doesn't. He just stays quiet and continues walking with Draco next to him, their little fingers still linked.

"You saved me." Draco says and Harry shrugs one shoulder.

"You saved me first." He says with a small smile and Draco tries so hard to suppress his smile but Harry still sees the corners of his lips twitch upwards.

"'s not a competition." Draco jokes and Harry rolls his eyes.

"Makes a change." Harry breathes a laugh and Draco smiles properly.

Their walk lasts for an hour in total. Most of it in silence but they keep their little fingers linked the whole time. When they reach the castle Harry unlinks their fingers and bids Draco a good night before making his way to the Gryffindor common room. Harry is dreading going back to his dorm, but since it's only 8pm when he enters the room it's empty. Harry figures no one will bother him if he's asleep so he decides to go straight to bed.

Chapter Text

Harry wakes up to see an almost empty dorm. Seamus is still asleep but everyone else is gone. Harry gets up and showers before pulling on some jeans and a white t-shirt. He's about to leave the dorm and go for a walk before he notices how windy and cold it looks outside, so he grabs a leather jacket that used to belong to Sirius before heading out of the dorm room. He hasn't seen Hagrid in a while, so he leaves the castle and makes his way down to Hagrid's hut.

"'Arry! Come in!" Harry smiles when Hagrid pulls him into a bone-crushing hug before he sits at the table.

"Hey Hagrid."

"How ye bin?" Harry shrugs.

"I see ye with Malfoy las' night. Ye getting along?" Hagrid asks as he hands Harry a mug of tea.

"I told him about the war." Hagrid looks at him in slight shock.

"Really?"

"Yeah. Not too sure why but we were walking and then I told him I died and he said he's glad I came back." Harry says briefly and Hagrid smiles.

"I'm glad ye finally getting along with him."

"Me too."

"An how are things with Ron an that?"

"Well I'm back in the dorm now, but it's awkward. I haven't really spoken to them." Harry says quietly.

"Do you want to?" Harry shrugs.

"I don't really feel like talking to anyone." He mutters before sighing. "But then if I don't talk to anyone I feel bad cause people will think I'm ignoring them or something." Harry rests his chin on his hand.

"Doesn't matter what other people think, Harry. What matters is that you're okay." Harry nods, knowing he's not okay at all.

"So are ye going to breakfast?"

"Probably sit in the kitchen again."

"Best get a move on then, McGonagall wont like it if you skip a meal." Hagrid says with a smile and Harry nods.

"Thanks Hagrid."

"Anytime, 'arry."

 

"Mister Potter sir. Winky thought you'd need breakfast." Winky says as Harry sits at his usual spot at the table. He looks at the food on the plate and grimaces. The thought of eating anything makes him feel sick, and he really doesn't want to eat.

"Winky please don't tell anyone if I don't eat." He says and Winky looks at him.

"The headmistress said you must eat at every meal."

"I know, but I'm not hungry. Please Winky." Harry pleads and when Winky reluctantly nods Harry smiles slightly.

"Thank you." He gets up and walks out the kitchen, thankful that almost everyone is in the hall eating. Harry's not sure what to do now. He can't go see Hagrid again, because he told him he was going to eat, and he doesn't really want to talk to anyone. Harry makes his way up to his dorm and grabs Sirius' guitar. He hasn't played it at all since being back. Harry looks at it for a second, running his finger over the S.B  J.P  R.L carved one on top of the next into the back of the neck, and smiles slightly before frowning and looking at his bed post. He walks over and looks at the J.P carved into the base of the post and smiles slightly. He noticed it in second year. Ron's has S.B carved into his, and Seamus has R.L. It didn't occur to him it could be his dad. Harry runs his finger over the neck of the guitar again before picking it up and leaving the dorm. He makes his way up to the one eyed witch and slips behind it undetected before making his way to the shrieking shack.

Harry sits on the sofa and holds the guitar, his hand pausing over the strings. He learnt quite a few songs during summer, ones he knows his dad and Sirius loved, as well as a few he knew his mum loved. Harry starts strumming a Beatles song, muttering the words quietly. He's not the best singer in the world but he can carry a tune, and he's no Jimi Hendrix but he learnt pretty quick and he's not awful, especially since Petunia signed him up for the free after school Piano and Guitar classes when he was in primary school to keep him out of the house for longer, so he already knew the chords and a few tunes.

Harry plays for what feels like hours. He feels closer to Sirius with the guitar in his arms and the jacket wrapped around him, and when he plays songs he remembers his parents singing to him he feels closer to them, too. Harry starts crying half way through 'Your song' by Elton John and when he chokes out the last few words he puts the guitar down and accios the blanket on the chair to his right, wrapping it around him, lying on the sofa and closing his eyes.

Chapter Text

Harry's not sure how long he's asleep for, but it's raining heavy when he wakes up and he walks over to the window to see a dark thundery sky. It's not late, because the sky is only dark because of the weather, not because it's night. He guesses it's somewhere around 3pm, maybe 4, but he doesn't care enough to check. He goes back over to the sofa and curls up under the blanket again.

 

It's 6:30pm. Harry doesn't know how he managed to waste an entire day doing nothing but playing guitar and having nightmare filled naps, but he sighs as he stands up. He knows he needs to go back to the castle, and he knows McGonagall is going to be mad at him for missing all of the meals today so he should at least try and make it to dinner which he could, but he just really doesn't want to. He does want to go back to the castle and have a long hot shower though so he puts his jacket back on and grabs his guitar before making his way back through the passageway. He manages to avoid anyone important as he drops his guitar off in the dorm room and makes his way to the sixth floor bathroom.

It's empty, as usual, so he strips down and gets in the shower, turning the water on so it's nearly unbearably hot. The room quickly fills with steam and Harry likes the fact that he can barely see the other side of the bathroom through it. Harry thinks when he showers. His mind drifts, and sometimes it goes to nice places, happy memories, and good times. Other times he's 6 years old and he's locked in the cupboard because Vernon has work friends over and they mustn't know Harry exists, or he's 12 and he's locked in the cupboard because Dudley said he tried to curse him, even though Harry didn't have his wand and he didn't yet know how to use magic without it. Right now he isn't any of these things. He's 18 and he's walking along the lake with Malfoy and their little fingers are linked and they're not saying anything but they're both just existing. Harry sighs and rests his head against his forearm against the side of the shower, letting the hot water run down his back.

He can't stop thinking about Malfoy lately. The way the sun shines through his hair making it look like he's glowing, the way his grey/blue eyes shine, the way he was looking at Harry when he was lying in the hospital wing. Harry thinks about Malfoy for slightly too long, imagining what it would be like to kiss him, and touch him, and hold him. His hands are so soft and Harry would kill to feel those wrapped around him. Harry moves his left hand slowly down his body, imagining it was Malfoy, and when he reaches his dick he lets out a shaky breath. His hand wraps around his dick and starts to slowly stroke his length and Harry shivers despite the hot water still running down his back. He pumps his dick steadily, picturing Malfoys lips pressed against his and his body flush against his and his hands in his hair and after a few minutes Harry is gasping as he arrives, head spinning and he's not sure if it's because of the wank or because he didn't open the window and the shower is boiling and the heat is getting to him.

Harry mutters a cleaning spell, because he may be in the shower but he knows not to leave that sort of mess, before turning off the water and stepping out of the shower, wrapping a towel around his waist. He walks over to the window, remembering what Malfoy said, and pushes it open. It's still raining hard and Harry would love to go and stand in it but he knows McGonagall would kill him. Harry stands at the window for a while watching the rain, and when he turns around to get dressed the steam in the room is gone and he can see clearly. Harry checks the time to see it's 7:15 and he knows he needs to try and avoid everyone on his way back to the dorm because they're definitely going to be mad at him for missing every meal. Harry gets dressed into joggers and a t-shirt and pulls on his converse before sending his stuff back to his dorm so he doesn't have to carry it. His hair is still damp and he could use a spell to dry it but it's always softer and curlier and fluffier when he lets it air dry so he doesn't bother. He exits the bathroom and walks down the hallway, managing to get half way to the floor above when before he runs into someone.

 

"Harry?" Blaise asks and Harry sighs. Blaise won't lecture him as much as McGonagall, probably, but he could still have done without the interruption.

"Blaise." Harry says and Blaise raises an eyebrow.

"Where you been?" Harry shrugs.

"How come you're up here?"

"McGonagall wanted to talk to us."

"Us?"

"Yeah, Draco's still in there. She wanted to ask us about you."

"Me?" Blaise nods and Harry frowns.

"You missed every meal today, Harry. You told her you wouldn't do that."

"But why bring you and Malfoy into it?" Harry asks, annoyed with her, just as the Gargoyle springs into motion and Malfoy and McGonagall exit the doorway.

 

"Mister Potter." McGonagall says sternly and Harry presses his lips together. He knew she'd be upset with him but he doesn't like hearing the disappointment in her voice. He's flat out refusing to look at Malfoy.

"Professor." He knows she's mad at him so he doesn't try and call her anything else.

"My office." Harry knew this was coming. He walks past the three of them and makes his way up to McGonagalls office, noticing McGonagall didn't follow him which means she's still talking to Malfoy and Blaise. Harry stands in front of the desk, waiting.

"You can sit down, Potter." She says as she enters the office. Harry sits in the chair closest to him. McGonagall is silent as she walks round her desk and sits down before looking at Harry for a few minutes before sighing.

"So where did you disappear to?"

"Nowhere?" Harry says, voice uncertain. McGonagall raises an eyebrow.

"That's funny because I didn't see you at any meals, and Mister Zabini and Mister Malfoy haven't seen you all day."

"I was at the shrieking shack." He mumbles and McGonagall almost laughs because she remembers having this exact conversation with James.

"And what were you doing there?" She asks. Harry is fiddling with the drawstring on his joggers and he isn't meeting her gaze.

"Harry?"

"Being alone." His eyes are watering and he didn't think he'd cry and by the looks of it neither did McGonagall. She smiles sadly at him.

"You can't miss meals, Harry. That wasn't part of our deal." Harry nods.

"You were also supposed to stay with either Blaise or Draco."

"I know."

"You may go, Potter." Harry looks at her in shock.

"I can?"

"You need to attend meals tomorrow, but yes, you may go." Harry smiles slightly with relief.

"Thank you, Professor."

"Enough of that, Potter. We both know you don't call me Professor unless you think you're in trouble." She says with a knowing smile and Harry smiles a little more.

"Thank you, Minerva." He says with a cheeky grin and she smiles as Harry leaves the office.

Chapter Text

Harry's tired.

He didn't sleep much, and the sleep he did get was useless. He's considering skipping breakfast, not feeling hungry, but he has transfiguration this morning and he knows if he skips breakfast McGonagall will probably bring food to class for him. He wouldn't put it past her, so Harry shoves on jeans and a hoodie before making his way down to the kitchen, refusing to go to the hall. Winky gives him a plate of food and Harry frowns at it, not at all hungry. He forces himself to eat a few bites of the croissant before leaving for class.

"Potter, you're early." McGonagall says as Harry enters the empty class. He's only a few minutes early.

"I had breakfast." He says and she smiles.

"I know, Winky let me know. Well done."

"I didn't want to." He adds and McGonagall smiles sadly.

"I know. I never asked-" McGonagall lowers her voice as students start arriving "How did it go with Mr. Burns? You think it'll help?"

"Yeah, maybe. Sirius used to say he was going to see a therapist at some point. Died before he could, but if he thought it would help him then it can help me." Harry says, a look of sad longing in his eyes, and McGonagall smiles.

"I hope so. Take a seat Potter." She says with a smile and Harry turns around to see most of the class is here. He walks over to his table in the back corner and sits down, pulling his hoodie sleeves over his hands. He knows people are watching him, his money is on Ron and Blaise, but he doesn't lift his gaze from the desk in front of him to check. McGonagall starts the class and Harry decides to spend the lesson writing his essay for potions, since he knows everything McGonagall is talking about.

 

At the end of the lesson Harry waits until the rest of the class have left before leaving the classroom. Blaise is waiting for him outside and he smiles when Harry leaves the room.

"So what did McGonagall say last night?" He asks as they start walking to Potions.

"Nothing much. Told me I'm meant to eat. Also told me I'm meant to stay with you or Malfoy. Nothing else really." He says and Blaise nods.

"She said we need to keep an eye on you." Blaise says and Harry sighs as they enter the potions class.

"Yeah, go figure."

 

"Today I need you to tell me what each of the potions on your tables are and then select one to replicate, obviously some of these can't be made in one day but just get as far as you can. You can smell and inspect the potion, you must not drink any." Harry sighs, glancing at the 7 bottles on the table. He writes the numbers 1-7 on his parchment before glancing at the first bottle. Veritaserum. He's seen enough of it to know immediately what it is. The second is Wolfsbane and the third is Felix Felicis. He picks up the fourth and smells it to confirm it's confusing concoction. The fifth could be one of two, so he smells that one too. It smells like broomstick wax and the air after a storm with a slight flowery smell. Amortentia.

"That smells good, what is that?" Blaise asks, having been working quietly next to him.

"Amortentia." Harry hands him the bottle and Blaise smells it properly whilst Harry goes back to work. The sixth potion is blood-replenishing potion and the last is Essence of Dittany.

"How did you know those so fast?" Blaise asks, glancing at Harry's parchment, and Harry shrugs.

"Dunno."

"You identified that potion in the hospital wing just by seeing and smelling it too."

"I read about potions a lot during summer and I guess I learnt something." Harry shrugs and Blaise looks at him for a second.

"Okay, which one should we make?"

"Not the fifth one. Not sure I could deal with that." Harry says, sparing a glance at Draco who smells one of his potions and immediately looks at Harry. Harry looks back at the list and presses his lips together, wondering if everyone has the same 7 potions.

"How about 1?" Harry shrugs.

"Yeah, okay. I'll get the ingredients." Harry walks over to the supply closet and starts grabbing what they'll need. He and Blaise are, it seems, the first pair to either state which each potion was or decide which one they want to make because Harry manages to get everything they need and take it over to their table before anyone else stands up.

"So what happened to you yesterday?" Blaise asks once everyone has started brewing and Harry pauses mid stir.

"I just- I was around." Harry mutters, continuing to stir the potion. Blaise watches him carefully as Harry keeps his gaze on the potion, as if trying to avoid everyone or pretend there's no one else there.

"Okay." Blaise says, not wanting to force Harry to talk, and Harry is shocked slightly but continues with the work, thankful that Blaise isn't prying.

Chapter Text

Blaise has Quidditch practice after potions so Harry leaves the class with Malfoy. They're walking in a comfortable silence, Harry feeling lightheaded for some reason and Draco is walking next to him, staying alert just in case Harry collapses. Harry isn't sure where they're going and he's certain that Malfoy doesn't know either, they're just walking side by side. Harry gets a weird prickly feeling in the back of his neck and pauses slightly. He knows this feeling, and it worries him. Draco stops next to him and frowns. He's about to ask what's wrong when Harry's eyes widen and he pushes Draco to the side just as a spell shoots past him, narrowly avoiding Harry. Harry spins around with a dark look clouding his face and he casts expelliarmus silently at the fifth year behind them before taking in a shaky breath. The fifth year runs off down the hall and Harry reaches out and grabs Draco's arm to keep himself steady.

"Potter?"

"Are you okay?" Harry asks and Draco looks at him in disbelief.

"Me? Potter are you okay?" Harry shakes his head and grips Draco's arm tighter when he feels a wave of dizziness hit him. Draco wraps his arm around Harry to keep him up and sighs.

"Okay I'm taking you to the hospital wing." Harry shakes his head.

"Please don't- dorm." Harry mutters, and Draco really doesn't want to go to the Gryffindor common room but he knows Harry wont let him take him to Pomfrey so he sighs, half carrying Harry down the corridor. They get to the painting and stop.

"Password?" The fat lady asks and Draco freezes. He forgot about that.

"Potter?" Draco asks softly and Harry blinks heavily before looking up.

"Hippogriff feather." Harry murmurs and Draco doesn't even know if the fat lady heard him but she opens anyway. The common room isn't full but it's not empty either, there's around 12 kids sat around working or chatting, and when Draco enters the common room they all watch him carefully, until they realise he's supporting Harry, when they promptly mind their own business.

"Potter I don't know where I'm going." Draco mutters and Harry almost rolls his eyes at how ridiculous this scenario is.

"Stairs by the notice board." Harry tries to walk without putting too much weight on Draco but he's so tired and dizzy that he can barely keep his eyes open. Draco all but carries Harry up the stairs and follows his directions to his dorm room.

 

The room is empty when they enter it and Draco leads Harry over to his bed, carefully sitting him down.

"Thank you." Harry whispers and Draco shakes his head.

"Thank you, Potter." Harry rolls his eyes slightly before sighing.

"Stay here for a bit?" Harry asks, not wanting Draco to leave, and Draco glances hesitantly around the room. Harry grabs Dracos wrist lightly, tugging him closer so he sits on the edge of the bed next to Harry.

"I don't think your dorm-mates will like it much if they find a snake here." Draco says and Harry shifts away from Draco slightly before lying down, his head in Dracos lap. He'll blame exhaustion if Draco questions him.

"'s not up to them." Harry breathes and Draco relaxes slightly.

"Are you sure you don't need Pomfrey?" Harry nods, his hair falling across Draco's thighs, and Draco has to remind himself to breath. He doesn't really know what to do, so he figures he might as well just commit to this and he slowly starts threading his fingers through Harry's hair, hoping he's helping to calm him down. It must have worked, because after a few minutes Harry's breathing evens out and when Draco looks down at him his eyes are shut.

Draco watches Harry sleep for a while, admiring how fucking beautiful and peaceful he looks, before looking around the room. He's never been in Gryffindor common room before, let alone a dorm. His eyes travel to Harry's bedside table, the photo of Harry with someone Draco doesn't recognise, next to a photo of Harry and Teddy.

The drawer of the table is open slightly and Draco can see a few books in it and he knows he shouldn't but he's curious and Harry's asleep and there's no one else here. He reaches over, careful not to jostle Harry, and opens the drawer more. The top book is the one Draco gave him and Draco's heart beats a little faster. The second book is what looks like a notebook. Draco pulls it out of the drawer, curious, and opens it to the first page. What he sees causes all of the oxygen to leave his lungs and he has to remind himself to breath again.

He's looking at a perfect drawing of him. Every single detail is perfect and if Draco wasn't physically holding it he would think it was a black and white picture. Draco turns the page with bated breath, and almost chokes when he sees another picture of himself. The more he flips through the book the more his feeling of love for the boy on his lap grows. Not every picture is of him, but most of them are, and every one is beautiful. Draco closes the book and puts it back before looking down at Harry again, wondering how long he's been drawing him. The first picture must have been from before summer because there were a couple of drawings of the castle after the war. Draco just looks back down at Harry and starts threading his fingers through his hair again. He would do anything to make Harry okay again, but for now he's hoping this is at least keeping nightmares at bay.

Chapter Text

Draco doesn't know if it's better or worse that Harry is still asleep when Weasley comes up to the dorm. He does know that the fact Harry is still lying on his lap makes it a whole lot more awkward though.

"Malfoy?" Weasley asks, sounding more shocked than anything else, and Draco's gaze snaps over to him.

"Weasley." Draco greets before turning his attention back to Harry. He's been asleep for 3 hours and Draco knows he should wake him up for lunch but he's finally sleeping and he doesn't want to interrupt that.

"What you doing here?"

"Potter felt dizzy." Malfoy says simply and Ron stands in the doorway in silence for a few moments before frowning. Draco is expecting him to ask more questions or tell him to get out or tell him to leave Harry alone, so when Ron simply picks up a quill from the desk and walks back out of the room Draco is more than surprised. He looks back down at Harry, noticing his hand is still threading through his hair, and releases the breath he didn't realise he was holding.

 

"Dude, did you not get my book?" Seamus asks when Ron sits in the armchair he occupied a few minutes ago. Ron frowns for a second before realising what he was talking about.

"Oh, sorry. Forgot. You can just use mine." Ron says, holding out his textbook.

"No worries I'll get it." Seamus says, standing up, and Ron grabs his arm.

"No, really, use mine." He doesn't want to admit it but seeing Harry sleeping so peacefully was so reassuring that he doesn't want anyone to interrupt him, and Ron's sure he was so peaceful because Malfoy was there.

"Okay... Why?" Ron sighs.

"Okay, listen, Harry's asleep and he actually for once looks peaceful and if he's getting proper sleep I don't want to interrupt him." He leaves out the Malfoy part because he knows Dean and Seamus will probably go and interrupt them.

 

Harry wakes up to something warm and hard under his head and something warm and soft in his hair and frowns slightly before remembering that he's lying on Draco's lap. He shifts slightly, turning his face further into Draco's thigh and takes a deep breath.

"You okay?" Draco asks, voice soft and quiet. Harry isn't sure so he checks. He still feels a little bit dizzy, and he has a slight headache but the hand that is still rhythmically threading through his hair, as if unconsciously, is helping a great deal to both ease the headache and relax him.

"Not really." Harry breaths and the hand stops moving, as if Draco's noticed he's still doing it. Harry whimpers and moves his head, trying to tell Draco not to stop. It seems to work because he starts moving the hand again.

"What's wrong?"

"Headache. Dizzy."

"'s cause you cast a silent charm again." Draco says knowingly and Harry huffs a laugh.

"Didn't want him to curse you, did I." Harry says and Draco blushes.

"As much as I despise the fact that you refuse to do anything that isn't self destructive, I appreciate what you did." Harry smiles slightly and turns his head so he's looking up at Draco, before frowning.

"How long was I asleep?"

"3 hours, why?"

"Were you sat like that for 3 hours?" Draco nods and Harry sits up.

"That can't have been comfortable." Harry says and Draco shrugs, stretching his back which, admittedly, is aching, but he didn't want to interrupt Harry.

"Wasn't as uncomfortable as when Weasley walked in a few minutes ago."

"Did he do something?" Harry asks and Draco huffs a laugh.

"No, he just asked why I'm here then left." Harry presses his lips together and glances at Draco, meeting his gaze. Draco is watching Harry carefully, thinking about the drawings he saw and how soft Harry's hair is. Harry frowns slightly, his head tilting to the side slightly.

"What?" He asks quietly and Draco shakes his head, pink dusting his cheeks.

"Nothing. We should go to lunch." He says and Harry's eyes widen slightly.

"Oh... Or we can not?" Harry asks and Draco rolls his eyes.

"Or we can go to lunch because we don't want McGonagall to kill us."

"Or we can stay here and hope McGonagall will find it in her heart to forgive us?" Harry has a cheeky smile on his face and Draco wants to give in but he knows he can't.

"Well I would quite like to eat." Draco says, hoping Harry will agree to go to lunch. Harry pouts and Draco shakes his head with a small smile, standing up.

"Come on, Potter." He says and Harry sighs, standing up too.

"I don't like you, Draco." Harry mumbles as he walks towards the door, and Draco watches him with a small smile.

"That's a shame, Harry." Draco breathes a laugh as he follows Harry out of the dorm.

"Are you feeling better though?" Draco asks as they make their way down the stairs when Harry stumbles slightly into Draco.

"Just a bit dizzy."

"And that's why you need to eat." Draco mutters and Harry rolls his eyes as they reach the bottom of the staircase. The common room is empty except for a few students who pay Harry and Draco no attention as the two leave through the portrait hole. Harry doesn't want to face anyone at the moment so he just makes his way to the kitchen after saying goodbye to Draco. He's not hungry, so he sits in the kitchen for a while before leaving, the food Winky put on his plate untouched, and he makes his way to herbology.

Chapter Text

Draco can't stop looking at Harry. It's been 4 days since Harry fell asleep with his head on Draco's lap. 4 Days since Draco saw the sketch book. It's all he can think about. Especially today. He saw Harry sitting in the corner of the library with the sketchbook open in front of him, and Draco is wondering whether Harry is drawing him again. Harry hasn't said anything since Monday; He's gone back to how he was when they first came back to Hogwarts. He's closed off and silent and does nothing but work and he goes on at least 3 runs a day. Draco can't help but wonder if it's because of him. Harry was getting better, and then he stopped that curse and fell asleep with Draco there and now he's like this again.

Harry goes on his fourth run of the day, having to fit them in between classes. He's confused and sad and so damn tired and the sleep he had when he was lying on Draco was the first time in years that Harry didn't wake up from a nightmare and he knows it was because of Draco being there. He's top of every class, and he attends meals but doesn't eat, secretly vanishing food when Winky isn't looking to keep McGonagall off his back, and he's dizzy a lot and he's always exhausted and the dark bags under his eyes are a permanent part of his appearance now because he can't sleep for longer than 10 minutes before he's waking up from a nightmare. He showers because it's something to do but he puts no effort into his appearance and he's a mess and he lives in joggers and hoodies or muggle band t-shirts that belonged to Sirius.

Everything seems meaningless. He assumed he'd be dead by this point, figured he'd die before he was old enough to drink, before he was old enough to live, like his parents did. But he didn't and now he has to think about a future he never in a million years imagined he would have. He doesn't know how to plan for anything further away than a few months, because more than that has never seemed plausible. Now he knows he could have 30, 40, 50 years, he's not even sure he wants them. He's given up entirely, and he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know what to do, so he just runs. He runs and he doesn't stop, even when the wind stings as it hits his eyes and the rain burns his freezing skin and the ground hurts his feet with every step.

He runs and he keeps running until his legs go numb; and when he finally feels like his lungs are on fire and he's struggling to breath he slows to a light jog and runs for another half an hour before he stops, breathing heavily, and makes his way to his dorm so he can shower. He's not sure what time it is. He knows he missed dinner and it's dark outside but not too dark, so it's probably around 9pm. Harry showers on the sixth floor and by the time he gets back to his dorm he's exhausted. It's around quarter to ten and the beds in his dorm are unoccupied so he walks over and sits down, pulling the curtains around so he's hidden. He reaches into his trunk and grabs the notebook that he hid under clothes before sitting back against his headboard. He doesn't always open and read the notebook, and he doesn't always add to it, sometimes he just holds it, because even that is enough to remind him of every single thing that's ever happened to him. Today is one of those days. He's not adding anything new to the innumerable pages that he's written over the years. He's simply sitting there, on a Friday night, in the dark, the rain hitting the window and the distant sound of thunder accompanied by the occasional flash of lightning, wallowing in the horrific nightmare that is his past.

 

Chapter Text

Harry decides as he drags himself out of bed that he's not even going to pretend to eat anymore. He doesn't care enough to keep up the illusion anymore. He's too exhausted to do anything and honestly what's the worst that could happen. He goes to the library and sits in the back corner. He wants to give Draco's book back to him, and thank him for it, but he's not sure how he can go about doing that. Harry sighs and rests his head in his arms on the desk. He's so damn tired, but he doesn't dare fall asleep where he is, knowing that he'll almost definitely wake up crying or screaming and he really doesn't want that to happen in a library. He hears someone sit down opposite him and someone else sits to his left, and only knows who it is because he can smell Draco. They sit in silence for a few minutes before the person opposite speaks.

"When was the last time you slept, Harry?" Blaise asks quietly, and Harry shrugs his shoulders, not lifting his head from his arms. He hears Blaise sigh and after a few moments Draco's arm moves slightly, like he's hesitating, and he shifts his chair closer to Harry. Harry is confused for a second before he feels a soft hand thread through the back of his hair hesitantly. The second the hand touches his head his eyes flutter shut. Draco, seemingly encouraged, threads his fingers carefully through Harry's hair. Harry feels himself getting sleepier and his eyes are harder and harder to open until he eventually gives in, allowing sleep to consume him.

 

Blaise and Draco share a look when Harry shrugs. Draco knows, he thinks, a way to help Harry sleep, and he would never do this in public, but Harry is clearly exhausted and he wants desperately to help him. He hesitates slightly before moving closer and slowly lifting his left hand and running his fingers through Harry's hair. Harry all but melts under his touch and Draco feels his chest flutter, continuing the movement until Harry is breathing evenly. Blaise watches the two of them with wonder and amazement on his face, and Draco glances at him with a frown.

"What?" He whispers, and Blaise's smile widens.

"You're perfect for each other." He says, voice quiet and genuine. Draco blushes, but his hand doesn't stop threading through the mess of curls on Harry's head.

Harry shifts his head slightly, burying his face deeper into his elbow as a small, quiet whimper escapes his lips. Draco bites his lip before an idea hits him. He only hesitates until Harry whimpers quietly again, before placing his right hand on Harry's back, drawing patters lightly over the soft t-shirt, his left hand not stopping it's movement through his hair. Harry stops whimpering and relaxes slightly, and Draco releases a breath he didn't realise he was holding as he continues running his fingers lightly across Harry's spine.

 

Harry has been asleep for 3 hours. Pansy came to join Blaise and Draco, glancing at Harry and Draco before smiling slightly as she sits next to Blaise. The three are talking quietly and joking around like they usually do, just at a lower volume, all the while Draco doesn't stop moving his hands through Harry's hair and across his back and down his sides.

"And then he was all 'well I think we should break up then' and I was like 'fucking finally' cause you know I've wanted him to break up with me for like 5 weeks." Pansy says and Draco rolls his eyes.

"You're ruthless, Pans."

"Well I didn't want to be the one to break up with him, that's messy."

"But is distancing yourself until he gives up really the way to go?" Blaise asks.

"Well it worked, didn't it?" She asks just as Seamus rounds the corner and freezes. He looks between the Slytherins before his eyes land on Harry, clearly asleep but not writhing around or screaming and crying like he usually is. Seamus' eyes widen slightly.

"Is he asleep?" He asks, almost as if he doesn't quite believe it. Draco looks between Blaise and Pansy before looking back at Seamus, his hands still moving softly across Harry. He's expecting him to flip out at the fact that they are with Harry, but Seamus isn't holding a wand and he probably wouldn't try anything in the library.

"Yeah." He says apprehensively. Seamus looks at Harry, watching Draco's hands for a moment, knowing that Draco is probably the one allowing Harry to sleep so soundly. Seamus turns his gaze to Draco, looking at him thoughtfully. He know's Harry is in love with him, which is probably why Draco is helping him sleep, but why would Draco actually willingly sit there running his hands through Harry's hair unless he loved him too. He nods at him before turning back round the corner.

Chapter Text

"Hey, Ron?" Seamus whispers as he sits down opposite him.

"Hmm?" Ron is in the middle of writing his seemingly never ending essay for Herbology.

"When- last week when you wouldn't let me go in our dorm to get a book... Why'd you stop me?" Ron looks up and frowns.

"...Why?"

"Cause it wasn't just cause he was asleep, was it?"

"I don't know what you mean..." Ron says slowly, not really wanting to tell Seamus about Malfoy.

"He was with Malfoy wasn't he?" Well there goes that plan.

"What?"

"Malfoy was there. That's why he slept so well?"

"How-"

"Cause Harry is currently fast asleep and I reckon the only reason he's sleeping peacefully is cause Malfoy is rubbing his back and stroking his hair." Ron looks at Seamus for a second before sighing.

"He's helping him."

"I see that. Does he know that, though?"

"Who Malfoy? I guess so."

"Is Harry letting him help?" Ron shrugs.

"He hasn't slept in almost a week, so I don't think so."

"Do you- Should we talk to Malfoy?" Ron frowns.

"What about?"

"Well he's the only person that can help Harry, and we should thank him for it."

 

Harry wakes up slowly, keeping his eyes shut, not wanting to interrupt the flow of conversation around him. Blaise is talking about a band he wants to see and he's so enthusiastic about it. Harry feels hands in his hair and on his back and forces himself not to smile. It's comforting, and he doesn't want it to stop. It's then that he realises what day it is, and that he has no idea what time it is. He blinks a few times and the hands retract from his body as he sits up slowly. Draco, Blaise and Pansy fall quiet as they look at Harry. His hair is a mess from where Draco had been running his hand through it, and his eyes are slightly puffy with exhaustion. He's adorable.

"Look who woke up." Blaise jokes as Harry yawns.

"What time is it?" He asks, voice deeper than usual and laced with sleep. Draco feels his heart stutter.

"Nearly 2." Harry nods before his eyes widen slightly.

"Shit." He sighs, standing up, slightly wobbly from being asleep for 4 hours.

"What's up? Where you going?" Blaise asks, ready to stand up in case Harry gets dizzy.

"Need to see Madam Pomfrey." Harry says, leaving the library and rushing to the hospital wing.

 

His session with Michael today was mainly about the past week. Harry tells Michael about how he doesn't see the point, how he can't sleep, doesn't feel like eating.

"And you never eat much anyway?"

"I can't help but feel guilty. When I was younger I wasn't given much food, and I had to eat it fast or my cousin would take it. Most of the time I just wouldn't get the chance to eat." Harry says and Michael tries to hide the shocked look on his face.

"And you lived with your aunt and uncle, yes?" Harry nods before going into a spiel about how his family treated him. How he winces if he spills anything, flinches if someone reaches out for him, even if they mean it in a comforting way, how he subconsciously prepares to pick up his plate to wash up after every meal, and how he naturally walks quietly because if his family heard him walking around they'd lock him in his cupboard. The fact that he still calls it his cupboard shows how badly it messed him up. Michael listens, like he did last week, only talking to ask a question or ask Harry to elaborate further. The session lasts an hour, and Harry feels both better for finally telling someone this but also worse as telling someone the trials and tribulations of your childhood is emotionally exhausting. Harry bids Michael goodbye before making his way up to the astronomy tower. It's 3 o'clock and there's no classes tonight so he can stay there as long as he wants and wont be interrupted. He reaches the tower and walks over to the edge, sitting on the wall and throwing his legs over the edge so his feet are hanging over the edge of the tower. Grey clouds cover the mountains and Harry watches as rain bounces off of the lake. It's peaceful, he thinks, sitting on the wall with the world below him.

Chapter Text

"Malfoy, can I have a word?" Ron asks, and Malfoy looks up at him confused before nodding, following Ron out of the library. Ron turns to look at Malfoy and Malfoy can see the desperate look in his eyes.

"You need to help him, Malfoy." He says and Draco raises an eyebrow.

"What?" He was expecting Weasley to tell him to leave Harry alone. He wasn't expecting this.

"Please, Malfoy."

"Why are you asking me?"

"Because he is my best friend and I don't want to lose him."

"But what's that got to do with me?"

"It has everything to do with you."

"I don't follow." Draco is very confused now.

"He slept, Malfoy. With you. He slept when you were there. He slept peacefully. For the first time in months. When you were with him. No one else has made that happen." Ron says and Draco's eyes flash with realisation.

"I- How?" Ron frowns.

"How what?"

"How can I help him? What can I do? It's not like I can sit with him whilst he sleeps every night." Draco says, genuinely asking for ideas. Ron presses his lips together.

"I don't know." He sighs. "We'll think of something." Draco nods.

"Anyway, I should get going."

"Thank you, Malfoy." Draco nods before walking back into the library.

 

 

Draco walks up the stairs to the astronomy tower and breathes a sigh of relief when he sees Harry. He hasn't been able to find him since he left the library 4 hours ago. Harry hears footsteps approach and knows who it is immediately.

"You okay, Potter?" Draco asks once he's stood next to him. Harry just shrugs.

"You?"

"I'd feel a lot better if you weren't sat on the edge of the tower." Draco says and Harry laughs through his nose.

"'s nice up here." He says softly, watching the heavy rain fall. Draco watches Harry, wondering why he's the only one that can help Harry sleep.

"It's also not safe." Harry feels his heart flutter at the fact that Draco sounds worried.

"Worried about me, Draco?" Harry asks and he means it as a joke but he sounds curious and sincere as he says it. Draco is quiet for a minute.

"Of course, Potter. You're a menace." He says and Harry chuckles.

"Fine." He says, exasperated, before getting down and standing next to Draco.

 

"So where'd you go?" Draco asks after a few minutes and Harry glances at him before his gaze returns to the view. Harry is about to make something up, say Pomfrey just needed to check up on him, but he stops himself before the words can leave his mouth, deciding to tell the truth.

"I, er- I see a therapist." Then after a second he adds "Apparently I'm more fucked up than everyone thought." He jokes slightly and Draco looks at him for a second, and if Harry had turned to meet his gaze he would have seen pain and sympathy in his eyes.

"You don't have to do that, you know." He says softly and Harry frowns.

"Do what?"

"Laugh it off." Draco's voice is so soft and Harry's heart flutters.

"People assume I'm strong. They think I'm a hero. If they found out I have a therapist then they'll-"

"They'll think you're even stronger. Harry admitting you need help is the bravest thing you've ever done." A tear falls down Harry's cheek and Draco wipes it away. The rain is falling so hard now that the pair can barely see the mountains and the lake through it.

"You know, you've done a lot of stuff for the benefit of everyone else. This is the first time you're doing something purely to help you."

"But everyone expects me to be okay." More tears fall and Draco can't catch them all.

"Stop thinking of others Harry."

"But- It's like I'm not a person. I was only alive for the purpose of ending the war. Of ending Voldemort. Dumbledore said himself, I was raised so I could die. I was never expected to survive. I was never meant to survive. I was raised like a pig for slaughter. As long as I did what I was meant to no one cared that I was meant to die as I did it. No one cared that I was only 17, or if it hurt, or if I was alone, or if I was scared, or if I didn't want to die. I was merely a weapon to end the war, or die trying. My only purpose was to defeat Voldemort. And I did that, and I died but then I survived even though I shouldn't have. I don't have a purpose anymore, and I'm living on stolen time, time that shouldn't be mine, time that no one thought I'd have. And I'm just so tired. And maybe what's dead should stay dead." There are tears falling rapidly now, and Draco almost can't believe what he's hearing. He's grabbing Harry in a hug before he can even comprehend what he's doing, and Harry is shaking against his chest. Draco places a hand on the back on Harry's head, playing with the hair at the nape of his neck, trying to calm him down.

"You are a person Harry. You bleed and you cry and you feel. And you were made to do things no one should have to do, and you had expectations of you that no one should have of them. But the war is over, and you're alive. And- I'm glad you are." And Draco doesn't know what else to say but Harry then holds him tighter and rests his head on Dracos shoulder and maybe he doesn't need to say anything else.

Chapter Text

Harry and Draco stayed in the tower, just existing in each others presence, for hours. Draco eventually had to go to dinner, Harry flat out refusing to go with him, and when Draco had finished eating he saw Harry jogging around the castle and knew there was no way he would be able to talk to him for the rest of the day.

Sunday morning sees a quidditch game between Ravenclaw and Slytherin end with a 230-70 win for Slytherin, and the teams soaked by the end of the match due to the heavy rain. Draco kept his eyes peeled, but there was no sign of Harry, and even though he knew Harry wouldn't show up at lunch he still looks out for him. After searching the places Harry usually vacates, he makes his way to the tower, sure he'll find Harry there. He doesn't, and now he's worried. He didn't see him jogging, so he must be somewhere in the castle. Draco is rounding a corner on the fourth floor, near a corridor that's unused, when he hears music. He walks round a few corners before he sees Harry sat on a deep windowsill with his guitar, singing a song Draco doesn't know but he knows Harry is amazing at playing guitar and his voice is heavenly.

"-floating in a most peculiar way. And the stars look very different today... For here am I sitting in a tin can... far above the world... planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do... Though I'm past one hundred thous-" Harry freezes when he hears footsteps and looks up to see Draco.

"I didn't mean to interrupt..." Draco says and Harry shrugs. No one has heard him play before, apart from Kreacher and Sirius, who taught him, and he's not sure how he feels about it.

"It's okay." Harry stands the guitar up against the wall next to him and shuffles into the corner of the windowsill, crossing his legs.

"I need to talk to you a sec." Harry sounds nervous and Draco hesitates before sitting next to him.

"What's wrong?" Harry knows this is the best chance he's going to get to tell Draco about the book. He also has no bloody idea how to tell him. Harry sits, legs crossed, looking at Draco, his eyes skimming over every inch of his face, trying to come up with a way to tell him; to thank him.

"I know about the book." He says, wanting to punch himself because of all the ways he could have said that he made himself sound so stupid. Draco's eyes widen slightly.

"W-what book?" He asks, worrying his bottom lip. He doesn't think Harry would have found out he saw his sketchbook, but that means he must know Draco gave him Pride and Prejudice. He didn't think Harry would ever find out who gave him that book. Maybe he was just hoping Harry wouldn't figure it out so he didn't have to deal with his reaction.

"Pride and Prejudice."

"How did you figure it out?" Draco asks after a few minutes of avoiding Harry's eyes, settling them on the wall opposite them.

"Your handwriting." Harry says and his voice is quiet and nervous but Draco hears a hint of determination as if Harry has been wanting to say this for a while.

"You know my handwriting?"

"Well no, but then you gave Blaise your essay for us to use." Draco finally meets Harry's gaze, biting his lip.

"Thought you'd like it." He mutters, blushing, and Harry smiles at how adorable Draco is.

"Thank you." He says and Draco blushes darker and looks down again.

"You're welcome."

 

They sit in silence for a while, Draco looking at Harry and Harry looking out of the window, neither of them saying anything but just basking in each other's company.

 "Did you get any sleep last night?" Draco asks, voice quiet like he doesn't think he should be asking the question, and Harry shifts his gaze from the window to Draco.

"No." He answers honestly. Draco nods, he knew that anyway. He knew there was no way Harry got any sleep last night; he can tell by the look on his face.

"Do- do you want to try and get some sleep now?" Harry presses his lips together. He would usually immediately say no to sleep, knowing that he will have nightmares, but if Draco is asking it might mean that he's going to stay with Harry whilst he sleeps, which means Harry wont have nightmares. Draco is watching Harry have some sort of internal battle, and waits patiently until Harry finally nods, eyes nervous for a split second before they shine with mischief.

"Your place or mine?" Harry asks with a small smirk, and Draco blushes slightly but rolls his eyes.

"Well usually I like a guy to buy me dinner first." Draco teases back and Harry smiles.

"So yours?"

"Honestly I'd rather not enter the lions den again so soon." Harry nods and grabs his guitar before following Draco to the Slytherin common room. They make their way up to Draco's dorm room, both of them feeling extremely awkward, and when they get there they stand awkwardly. Harry is just now realising how tired he is, and the thought of sleeping feels enticing for once rather than terrifying, but when Draco took him to his room the other day Harry was pretty much out of it and it wasn't this awkward. Draco sits on the side of what Harry is assuming is his bed, and Harry sighs before sitting next to him.

"You're not gonna sleep sitting up, Potter." Draco mumbles, and Harry breathes a laugh before sighing and lying down, his head on Draco's ridiculously soft pillow. Draco looks at him for a second and Harry takes a deep breath before looking up at him.

"Lie with me?" He asks and Draco blushes dark but lies down next to Harry. They both lie there looking up at the ceiling, Draco's blush a dark contrast against his pale skin, until Harry rolls onto his side so he can look at Draco.

"This isn't working." He says, voice quiet and soft.

"Well that's cause you're not trying hard enough." Draco says, rolling onto his side too. Harry bites his lip.

"Maybe you've lost your touch." Harry jokes quietly and Draco rolls his eyes and reaches his left hand up to run through Harry's hair.

"I don't think so." He says softly and Harry sighs as his eyes close.

"Me neither." He breathes and Draco watches him closely, the way his eyelashes brush his cheeks and how his hair falls when Draco's fingers run through it. Harry is asleep within a minute, and when his breathing becomes deeper Draco watches him, memorising his face, every feature, just because he can.

Chapter Text

Draco almost falls asleep too, what with Harry's even breathing being the only thing Draco can hear. Draco isn't running his hand through Harry's hair anymore, instead his arm is resting on Harry's side and he's running his fingers across the parts of Harry's side and back that he can reach whilst still lying comfortably. Harry has been asleep for 4 hours, and Draco may have dozed off for a few minutes but he's spent most of it watching Harry sleep. It's around 5pm now, and even though they both missed lunch Draco isn't that hungry and he knows Harry wont eat anyway so he doesn't bother waking him up. He needs to sleep more than he needs to eat at the moment, and they can deal with the not eating thing later. If he's going to help Harry he's going to have to do it one thing at a time, and right now Draco needs to sort out his lack of sleep. Harry shifts slightly, and his face is suddenly a lot closer to Draco's than he ever thought it would be and their foreheads are practically touching and Draco doesn't know if his heart beats faster or if it stops all together. Draco carefully moves forward so his forehead is pressed against Harry's and closes his eyes, enjoying the feeling of being this close to him.

Draco opens his eyes again a few minutes later and when he pulls away from Harry he can see a small smile on his face. His breathing is still even so he's definitely asleep, and Draco feels his heart flutter because Harry looks so beautiful when he's sleeping. Harry frowns, and Draco panics slightly that his touches aren't working but thinks maybe Harry is just dreaming, so he carefully moves his hand to Harry's forehead and runs his finger across Harry's forehead and across his temple, following the line of his cheekbone before ghosting over his lips and across his jaw. Harry's face immediately softens, and Draco smiles slightly as he continues softly tracing Harry's features. After a while Harry's breath stops being even and Draco knows he's awake. Harry keeps his eyes shut, just enjoying the feeling of Draco's finger moving softly from his forehead to his temple, and despite knowing he's awake, Draco keeps dragging his finger carefully across his skin.

"I know you're awake." Draco whispers into the space between them, and Harry's lips twitch into a small smile.

"I know." Harry whispers back, keeping his eyes shut. Draco stays silent for a few minutes.

"It's dinner time." He says, and Harry finally opens his eyes, locking them with Draco's, giving him a pleading look.

"I'm gonna go eat. You can... stay here. If you want?" Harry nods slightly and Draco blushes slightly.

"You want me to bring you anything?" Harry shakes his head and watches as Draco gets up.

 

Draco rushes through dinner, wanting to get back to Harry as soon as possible so he can go back to sleep. Blaise is watching him as he all but inhales his food.

"Draco do you want to maybe breathe at some point?" Blaise asks as Draco takes bite after bite. Draco pauses and looks at him.

"What?"

"I don't think you've taken a breath the whole time you've been here."

"Yeah I have." Draco says, blushing slightly, and Blaise raises an eyebrow.

"Why are you rushing?" He asks, and Draco's mind immediately goes to Harry in their dorm. How long has he been gone? What if Harry has fallen asleep again and is having a nightmare? What if he decided he didn't want to stay in the dorm and has gone back to his own. He definitely wont sleep in his own dorm. Not unless Draco is there.

"I'm not." He denies even though he knows they all know he's lying.

"Yeah you are." Pansy says, looking concerned, and Draco sighs. He knows he can tell them the truth, and he knows he needs to tell Blaise anyway because Harry is in their dorm room, but for some reason he feels like he shouldn't, or doesn't want to.

"I need to help Harry." He says simply, and Blaise and Pansy let it go.

 

When Draco gets back to his dorm he finds Harry sitting up in his bed, guitar in his arms. He's still wearing the joggers he was wearing earlier but he seems to have found one of the few muggle clothing items that Draco owns, a black hoodie, and is now wearing that too. He looks up when Draco enters and smiles almost sheepishly.

"I got cold." He explains and Draco rolls his eyes but smiles slightly, Harry looks adorable all the time, but when he's wearing Draco's hoodie he looks amazing. Draco walks over and sits opposite Harry, cross legged. He's looking at the guitar, remembering how amazing Harry sounded when he played it, and wishing he could hear it again.

"Did you sleep any more?" Draco asks quietly, looking up at Harry, and Harry shakes his head.

"Stared at the ceiling, stared out the window, played guitar, wallowed in self misery, all that fun stuff." Harry says with a sad smile, and Draco wants to wrap him in a hug and never let go.

"How many songs do you know?" He asks instead, nodding to the guitar, and Harry shrugs.

"A few."

"Ca- Can you play one?" Harry presses his lips together to stop from smiling at how adorable Draco is being.

"Yeah, er..." Harry thinks for a second before smiling slightly. He starts strumming a few chords and Draco watches his face as he seems to relax.

"It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside, I'm not one of those who can easily hide..." Draco's never heard this song before, but the way Harry is singing it makes Draco's heart beat faster.

"I don't have much money, but boy if I did, I'd buy a big house where we both could live..." Harry looks up at Draco as he sings, and it takes Draco until the chorus to figure out this is a love song, and he blushes at the words Harry is singing because he's looking into his eyes and singing them to him and Draco is so bloody in love with him and he really hopes Harry feels the same way and didn't just pick this song because he likes it.

"You see I've forgotten if they're green or they're blue. Anyway, the thing is, what I really mean... yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen." Harry continues looking Draco in the eyes, and Draco knows his face is bright red but for whatever reason he can't break the eye contact. Harry's expression is unreadable as he continues, but he's admiring the way Draco is looking at him.

"I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind, that I put down in words... How wonderful life is while you're in the world." Harry finishes with a deep breath before finally breaking their eye contact so he can put his guitar down.

"Who-"

"Elton John, pop legend." Harry says with a small smile. "Wrote some pretty relatable songs, eh?" Draco nods and Harry smiles before he yawns.

"Sleep?" Draco asks and Harry nods, lying down. Draco quickly changes into some comfier clothing before lying down next to Harry. They're both lying facing each other, and Draco is sure there's still a blush on his cheeks.

"Why'd you pick that song?" Draco whispers and Harry's eyes dart between Dracos eyes.

"Seemed appropriate." He whispers back and Draco blushes darker.

"How so?" Harry shrugs, promptly ending the conversation and leaving Draco wondering what that meant.