Draco sat up in bed and looked at the clock. The hands showed 11 o'clock. He sighed happily. This was the first day he had slept properly for a very long time, as his father was no longer there to wake him up ridiculously early for 'Pureblood training', and the Manor was no longer being inhabited by a madman. That sort of thing tended to cause a lot of sleepless nights.
The war trials were kind to Draco Malfoy and his mother Narcissa. To their immense surprise, yesterday Harry Potter had shown up to testify for both. As a result, Draco had been completely cleared of all charges that afternoon, on the basis that he had been a minor who was coerced into committing small crimes to protect his family from Voldemort. Harry had also surprisingly explained the events of the night Dumbledore had died, which resulted in a pardon for his godfather Severus Snape, who was admittedly a much better father figure than his own sire, despite his hatred of children and clean hair.
His mother had been saved by her own compassion. Her lack of participation in any of Voldemort's killings or torture sessions at their manor, and of course saving the life of the Boy Who Lived, had meant no charges were pressed against her. They both walked free from the courtroom as individuals respected for their bravery in situations many would be happy never to experience.
The same could not be said for his father. In addition to the numerous despicable acts he had committed as a Death Eater in both wars, Draco himself had testified that he had never been under the Imperius curse while performing them and Harry had added everything he knew about the Chamber of Secrets incident in their second year and the graveyard in fourth year. His father was sentenced to Azkaban for life without parole. And to be frank, Draco wasn't at all worried that he would never see the man who 'raised' him again. Lucius Malfoy had been the direct cause of Draco taking the Dark Mark, getting involved in the war, and the psychological trauma that resulted. There was no love lost - there had been none in the first place. The man's parenting ability had only extended so far as to make sure Draco was going to carry on the Malfoy line, and give him the 'Pureblood lessons', ones which Draco heartily regretted having actually listened to in the first 17 or so years of his life.
Draco knew the press would be having a field day with the results of the Malfoy trial. As a result, he had not yet set foot out of the house, knowing there would be reporters camped as close to the ward line as they could get without suffering from some nasty anti-intruder jinxes. But that afternoon, he knew he would have to. He had to thank Harry.
Draco was a little worried about this. He had been Harry's nemesis in school, always taunting him and his friends, and trying to make his life hell since he had refused Draco's friendship on the train. Which Draco totally understood now that he knew what manners were. He had been a total arse, after all. But Harry had put their differences aside for some reason and helped both him and his mother when literally no one else in Wizarding Britain would have. Before the trial, they had never even had a conversation where one didn't insult the other, and he had no idea what to expect now that it was no longer acceptable for them to fight.
After he had eaten lunch, he walked into the back garden where there was a secret hole in the wards, stepped through, and Disapparated to Grimmauld Place. Dumbledore had told them the location so they had a safe house if anything drastic happened during the war and they needed to escape. He reappeared in a dingy old square with an unkempt patch of grass in the middle. At first, he could not see a Number 12 anywhere. But as soon as he thought the number, a house loomed into existence.
The outside Number 12 Grimmauld Place was imposing enough when Draco stepped up to the front door, but his gut was telling him to be more afraid of the man inside. He knocked three times then clenched his hands in fists by his side in an effort to stop them shaking. For a few seconds there was no noise, then he heard bolts sliding back and the door swung open silently. There was a horrible pause, during which Draco stared at his shoes, not quite daring to look up. Then...
Draco flinched involuntarily at the use of his surname. He wasn't too fond of it any more. "Er, could I come in?" he mumbled to his shoes.
"Erm... sure." Harry stepped back while Draco moved past him into the house. Then, without another word, he closed the front door and walked into a nearby room. Draco assumed he should follow.
"Would you, uh, like some tea or something?" Harry asked once they were both awkwardly seated on armchairs facing each other.
"No thanks." There was another painfully drawn out pause. Draco still hadn't looked up.
After about 30 seconds of silence, Harry seemed to have had enough.
"Okay, I don't mean to sound rude or anything, but why exactly are you here, Malfoy?" Harry asked, sounding genuinely puzzled. But Draco failed to notice this possible indication of friendliness. He was too busy flinching at the use of his surname again.
However, he recognised that he probably needed to say something so he didn't look like a complete idiot, so he tentatively began, now looking at Harry's knees. "I'm sorry to show up unannounced, but I had something I wanted to say to you. I wanted to thank you on behalf of my mother and me for what you did for us at our trial. I thought we were going to go to Azkaban because of what Father did, but you saved us even though you had no reason to help a Death Eater's family. We are so grateful to be free. I also want to apologise for how I treated you and your friends these last seven years at Hogwarts. My father had taught me that that was an acceptable way to act and I now realise how wrong I was to accept that blindly. I hope I can have your forgiveness in time."
There was a ringing silence. Harry was, to put it mildly, gobsmacked. He felt a rather sudden urge to reassess his entire life. He also temporarily resisted the compulsion to check the sky outside for flying pigs. But he did let his jaw drop. He did have to express the astonishment somehow, after all.
Eventually, his brain unfogged enough for him to realise it was still silent, and Malfoy was still staring at his shoes. It was an unsettling picture. To him, Malfoy had always been a sharp, sarcastic person, yet here he was looking soft and hiding his face and giving thanks and sounding sincere and having a whole host of other un-Malfoyish qualities.
Dimly, a small corner of Harry's brain registered that it quite liked this nice Draco Malfoy. The rest of his brain then attempted to squash that thought. Nice Malfoys were strange creatures and he needed his full wits about him to work out what was going on. Harry decided to say something before his brain could have any more disturbing revelations.
"It was nothing more than what you deserved, you know. You were innocent. And of course I forgive you. I think you should call me Harry. Surnames are so impersonal."
What Harry did not expect was for Malfoy to then look up properly for the first time since walking in, and positively beam at Harry, his silvery eyes glittering. The overall effect was like having a light bulb shone in his face, it was sudden and blinding, and made him feel rather uncomfortably warm. That small treacherous part of Harry's brain promptly decided it really liked that smile. He tried to repress that thought too.
Then Malfoy said, "Please, call me Draco then, Harry."
Harry was reminded of an incident on the Hogwarts Express seven years ago, when making friends hadn't been quite so frictionless. He had an idea, and stuck out his hand and smiled. "I don't think you're the wrong sort any more, either, Draco."
Draco's eyes went slightly wide as he recognised the significance of that last sentence. He focused on Harry's hand as he reached out to shake it and said, "You're not so bad yourself."
They both laughed at that. The tension had been broken well and truly.
"So, how about that tea?" Harry asked. "I usually have a cup round about now."
"Okay. Milk and two sugars, please?"
In the kitchen, Harry marvelled at the change in Draco Malfoy. Maybe they could be good friends, he thought. It was always good to have more friends, and it was certainly nicer to make friends than enemies.
They drank their tea in silence, this time much more companiable though, and Draco got up about twenty minutes later. "I have to be getting back to the Manor now. Will I see you around?"
Harry had another inspiration. "I'm going to Hogwarts to help McGonagall with the rebuilding day after tomorrow. You could come along with me if you want?"
Draco furrowed his brow. He seemed to be thinking over the offer. Then he said, "Okay. I'll be there at ten."
Harry rose to see Draco out of the front door. Just before Draco Disapparated from the step, he grinned at Harry, flashing his very straight white teeth. Harry couldn't help but grin back. That smile was really contagious.