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Fifth time's the charm

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It turns out Narcissa Malfoy takes her debts really fucking seriously.

Harry doesn’t know if this is a Malfoy thing or a Black thing or possibly something that comes from both families - when he thinks about Sirius he guesses it’s probably both - but what he does know is that Narcissa Malfoy kindly requests Mr Potter most gracious presence in her home and that she would be honored to have him as a guest for an afternoon tea. And it’s really frankly terrifying how, in the midst of all those nice words, it absolutely sounds like an order.

At first Harry obviously doesn’t have the slightest intention to answer, let alone go. Then he talks with Andromeda and she explains how Narcissa is really trying to reconnect with her, so Harry figures: how bad could one tea be?

Really fucking bad. The answer is really, really fucking bad.

Malfoy Manor is (still) terrifying, the afternoon tea is terrifying, Narcissa Malfoy is terrifying - and the fact that she’s been smiling since the moment Harry arrived is what terrifies him the most.

“Mother? Is everything- Potter?”

And Harry would really like to answer to his own name. He’d really love to say anything. To do anything. Even one small nod of his head would be much appreciated.

But Draco Malfoy is standing right in front of him, in skinny black jeans and a motherfucking crop top, and Harry’s speech faculty is suddenly non-existent. It takes a long, awkward silence for Harry to realize he still hasn’t said anything at all.

“What?”

“Eloquent as ever, Potter,” Draco scoffs then turns towards Narcissa. Harry has the best view he could possibly ask of Draco’s arse and- well, fuck. It’s not a rational thought, not really, but it’s still a thought Harry can’t drive out of his mind, no matter how hard he tries.

“Draco, my dear, be nice to our guest,” Narcissa reprimands him with just the hint of a smile - one that Harry finds equally terrifying. He doesn’t really know how Draco manages to be so calm. It probably helps that Narcissa is his mother. But still.

“Yes, mother, of course. I hope you’re enjoying your stay, Potter. Mother, if you need anything I’ll be in the garden,” Draco bends down to kiss his mother with a fluid movement and the utmost grace and Harry experiences one again the weird knot in his stomach. He doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

“Doing some gardening?”

“Not today. I want to try and finish last week’s painting.”

“Oh yes, Draco dear, do that. It really was a splendid landscape. I’m looking forward to see the final result.”

“Oh, you paint?” Harry asks almost without thinking. He doesn’t really know why but he can’t quite put together those two thing. Draco Malfoy and painting. It’s weirdly attractive and once again Harry doesn’t know what to do with this particular piece of information that his mind is supplying.

“Yes, when I have some free time.”

“That sounds nice,” and it suddenly occurs to Harry that this is probably their first conversation (the firs in their entire life) that didn’t end in insults or jinxes. Malfoy glares at him with a weird look and then just leaves.

It’s been almost eight years, since the end of the war. Eight years and this is the first time they see each other. Well, other than the trials, of course.

Eight years later Draco Malfoy is even more beautiful than Harry remembered - and he doesn’t really want to focus on what the fuck does that mean. Especially not right in front of Malfoy’s mother. Not when she’s looking at him with a poignant expression that should probably scared the shit out of him.

“He’s quite a catch, isn’t he?”

“Well, I guess painting is-”

“No, I meant he’s quite a catch in that outfit.”

Harry chokes on tea and Narcissa laughs - again, really fucking terrifying. “But yes, he does paint. One of the perks of a traditional pureblood upbringing, you see. And you should see his paintings, he’s really quite talented.”

Harry nods, holding his cup with probably too much strength, because he doesn’t really know what to say. Or how to react. He’s not even sure what exactly is happening. It almost seems like Narcissa is trying to- but no, that’s ridiculous, really.

“You should ask him to show you, the next time you come around for our tea.”

“… The next time?”

“Of course. How about next Sunday?”

Harry is left with one pressing question, above all the others: how does one say no to Narcissa Malfoy?

 

Strangely enough, the next time Harry sees Narcissa Malfoy is not because of their newly appointed regular tea.

“Oh, Mr Potter, how nice to see you here,” she sounds courtly as always and yet there’s a particular glint in her eyes that keeps nagging at Harry’s sixth sense. He’s a trained Auror and he trusts his sixth sense. Even if Hermione still snorts loudly every time he says he trusts his instincts.

The Ministry is throwing yet another ball - honestly Harry doesn’t even remember what for - and he’s obviously required to attend. Harry usually tries to find any excuse he can to avoid them, but this time he had no luck.

So he’s standing there, dressed in his slightly fancier Auror robes, right in front of Narcissa and Draco Malfoy - and he can’t seem to stop looking at his former schoolmate. Draco is dressed like a fucking dream, in the most elegant robes Harry has ever seen, looking like a goddamn model. And, once again, fuck.

“Potter,” Malfoy greets him in the usual manner but without any sneer, in a way that almost feels softer.

“Malfoy,” Harry manages to blurt out, hoping not to sound as thirsty as he suddenly feels.

“I’ll leave you boys to it,” Narcissa chirps, and just like that she’s gone, leaving them alone. Not that they’re actually alone, not when they’re surrounded by the whole Ministry. And still, Harry can’t help but feeling weird.

“Are you enjoying yourself, Potter?” Malfoy asks, elegantly  sipping - how does one sip elegantly, for fuck’s sake? - from his champagne glass. “I think you should be able to escape this hell of a party if you wait for the right moment.”

Harry can’t help but look surprised after those words, whispered way too close to his ear. “How do you know I don’t wanna be here?”

“Oh, honestly. It doesn’t take a genius. And I should know, since my intellect is obviously superior.”

Harry doesn’t bother to say anything and when Draco understands he's not getting an actual answer, he rolls his eyes. “The Ministry organizes one of these events every few months and my mother is quite adamant we attend whenever we can. You know, with our reputations being positively ghastly and everything else. I've noticed you a few other times and the look on your face is quite telling, really."

"What look on my face?”

"This one, exactly," Malfoy snickers and Harry is about to ask him what the fuck does that mean when other people suddenly join them.

"Minister Shacklebolt," Harry greets with the most convincing smile he can muster. Shacklebolt is with three other men and Harry doesn't have the slightest idea who they are. So, of course, they're all looking at him like they're waiting to be entertained. Harry can already feel his temper flaring - he doesn't like to be paraded around and it doesn't really matter that Shacklebolt doesn't actually want to do that.

“Minister. How delightful to see you," Malfoy beams with a gracious smile.

“Draco,” Shacklebolt answers with a nod and Harry is left with exactly 3.5 seconds to wonder since when they’re on first name basis. A handful of seconds and then, just as usual, he’ll have to go through a long ass conversation with a shitton of people he doesn’t even know - and he’ll end up embarrassing himself and Shacklebolt and the whole Auror department because Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived To Be Paraded Around can’t be social enough to make a good impression-

“Mr Bobbin, I must say: the public reaction to the bill you proposed is positively medieval.”

And then, out of nowhere, Draco Malfoy’s voice cuts through all the anxiety and pressure that were starting to threaten Harry’s stability. He doesn’t even understand exactly how this is happening, but Malfoy manages to turn a potential disaster in an absolutely brilliant conversation. He engages the other three men - and they seem delighted by the fact that Draco knows who they are and what they do to such an extent -, he manages to steer Harry into the conversation so in such a perfect way that he only has to nods a few times and yet his role in the conversation seems to be greatly appreciated.

“That was absolutely brilliant,” Harry finds himself whispering a few minutes later, eyes fixed on Draco even from the other side of the room. He’s unable to focus on anything else other than the way Draco’s positively glowing under the attention. If Harry knows him just a tiny bit - and he’s pretty sure stalking someone for a whole year must mean something -, Draco’s thriving under this particular challenge.

"Of course it was brilliant. My son has been training since he was a child to be able to successfully tread in both idle and serious conversations. Another perk of a traditional pureblood upbringing," Narcissa Malfoy whispers near his ear and Harry can feel his face heating up. He doesn’t even bother to wonder where she came from or how she knows exactly what he was thinking.

"A most useful perk too, don't you think? Something one would look for in a future partner. Especially one who is often required to attend these kind of parties."

There's a voice in Harry's mind chanting what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck. Narcissa Malfoy's kind smile is more terrifying than ever.

 

No one could possibly blame Harry if the next time the Ministry is throwing a ball it takes a lot less work to convince him. Hermione looks at him like he’s a new puzzle to be solved and Ron just shrugs. Harry doesn’t really want to overthink this, so he asks Luna to accompany him and that’s it.

A second ball in less than three months and Harry is there - the Minister is almost shocked and Robards asks him, with a concerned look on his face, if Harry needs to take a few days off work.

(And it’s the first time since he became an Auror that anyone tries to tell Harry to just stop and rest for a moment. It’s the first time in eight years that there isn’t someone trying to force Harry to do things, trying to force him to do interviews or attend some high-end event. The first time in five years and Harry doesn’t think it should be like this. At all.)

A second ball in less than three months. Harry is attending. Draco Malfoy looks like Merlin’s second coming. And that last thing has nothing to do with Harry’s presence. Nothing at all, that’s completely ridiculous.

There’s a part of him that keeps constantly trying to focus on why is he doing all of these things. Why is he following Malfoy around - in a complete different way from how Harry followed him around during their sixth year in Hogwarts. At least that’s what he thinks - he’s pretty sure Hermione would have something to say about this, about the true reason he followed Malfoy in school. She always has something to say. She always had.

But the fact is, Harry doesn’t want to know. Harry doesn’t want to think about the how and the why of this particular thing. Maybe he’s following Malfoy because his guts is telling him there’s something wrong. Maybe he’s following Malfoy because after eight years of doing what he’s told to, following Malfoy is something Harry can do for himself. And it’s not like he’s doing something wrong, is it? He’s just- in the same place as Malfoy appears to be. Nothing wrong with that.

So Harry shushes his mind, locks the questions out of his brain and just keeps on doing what he’s doing. Which, at the moment, consists in watching Draco dancing without any effort - and, you know what? Fuck him - and talking with a lot of people Harry doesn’t even know.

“Una conversazione illuminante, dottore, davvero,” Draco sounds amazing even though Harry has no clue what he’s saying. Or who is he talking to. “Sarei felice di continuarla in futuro. E sarei felice di condividere con lei i miei appunti sull’uso di questo particolare ingrediente nelle pozioni.”

Harry thinks he could just go on watching Draco Malfoy for the rest of his entire night - and it’s in that exact moment that Narcissa Malfoy makes her way through the crowd and towards him. She looks elegant and beautiful and scary, as usual, and the smile she’s sporting - when she looks between Harry and her son - tells him that she’s definitely up to something. Judging from their past interactions, Harry has a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen right now.

“He’s proficient in three different languages, you know. Pureblood upbringing, as usual. Lucius started teaching him French the day he was born. It was quite adorable, really, hearing those two chat in French every time they had the occasion. Draco absolutely loved that. I guess he thought it was something that brought he and his father together. Then, of course, we hired a private tutor for German before we decided against sending Draco to Durmstrang. Quite a shame that my Draco didn’t need all those lessons. But he’s still skilled, you see.”

Harry nods politely and tries to keep a silent snort to himself - he remembers Draco talking about how his mother didn’t want him so far away from her and from what he knows about Narcissa Malfoy, Harry is pretty sure there’s something entirely different behind that particular “we decided”.

There’s a part of him that can’t help but admire this woman. It’s definitely not something he would’ve thought possible, admiring Narcissa Malfoy. And yet, she’s resourceful and strong and she clearly gets what she wants. She reminds him of Molly. She reminds him of what everybody told him about his own mother.

“He also speaks perfect Italian, as you just have heard. We have a summer residence in Liguria and Draco also used to spend quite some time with Blaise Zabini and his mother during summer.”

Harry nods again, eyes fixed on Draco as he waltzes through the crowd, looking like he really belongs there. Unlike Harry - this is most definitely not his place.

“So that makes it three different languages other than English and Latin, of course, like every good wizard or witch.”

“Of course,” Harry manages to nods while a voice in his head keeps asking why the fuck would someone be proficient in fucking Latin.

It’s easier to focus on this rather than the fact that, apparently, Draco Malfoy is groomed to be practically perfect in every way.

 

Harry goes to Malfoy Manor every other week to have his afternoon tea with Narcissa Malfoy and the whole experience is just as scary as it was the first time.

Draco isn’t there, most of the time. Harry hasn’t seen him since the last Ministry party and he doesn’t really know why.

(He doesn’t really know why he cares. He doesn’t really know why he’d like to see Draco. He doesn’t really want to know.)

Mostly, he doesn’t know how to ask Narcissa without sounding too eager - or having to explain why he cares.

She talks about her son constantly and never mentions why Harry never sees him, not once time. Harry starts wondering if something bad happened. It takes him a few weeks to muster enough courage to ask the damn question.

“Mrs Malfoy?”

“You should really call me Narcissa, Harry dear,” she sips elegantly from her cup and her eyes shine like she already knows what he’s going to ask. And honestly? That’s probably true.

“I was wondering… is Mal- Draco okay? Is Draco okay?”

“I’m so glad you asked,” she smiles triumphantly and Harry is suddenly very glad he had to deal with Voldemort and not Narcissa Malfoy. He’s not sure he would’ve won. “Yes, of course, Draco is perfectly fine. It’s just that he has this silly idea- he doesn’t want to bother you, you see.”

“But this is his home,” Harry replies, almost puzzled. It’s a strange thought, Malfoy being concerned about someone other than himself. Malfoy being concerned about him.

“Yes, that’s quite right,” Narcissa is smiling again but this time it’s almost a soft smile. “But Draco is a doting son. He knows how important this is for me and he’s afraid the rather… intense history you share could ruin it somehow.”

Harry doesn’t answer right away, too busy focusing on what he just learned. It doesn’t come as a surprise, not really. If he looks behind the whole though act Malfoy hid behind while in Hogwarts, it’s not difficult to see the doting son. A son who would’ve done anything for his family.

“I can’t say I blame him for considering this possibility. I’m quite aware of what happened between you two. I love my son more than anything in the whole world but I’m not too proud to admit he made his fair share of mistakes. We all did.”

“You all did,” Harry replies quietly, trying to convey everything he’s feeling right now. “And I won’t pretend those things didn’t happen. But at the same time, the war happened. It’s hard to look back at the issues me and Draco had and consider them at the same level of Voldemort trying to kill me and everyone I loved.”

Narcissa flinches but doesn’t react in any other way to that name. Instead, she smiles kindly and brushes her hand against Harry’s.

“I’m glad you feel this way, dear. Shall we go and find Draco, then?”

“Find Draco?”

“Yes, find Draco. So you can tell him he doesn’t have to hide anymore. It’s quite a tiresome matter, frankly”

A few seconds later they’re strolling through the Manor and Harry doesn’t even have enough time to consider what’s happening. It’s pretty clear that Narcissa always gets what she wants - and, judging from what happens every time Molly asks something, Harry isn’t really equipped to stop a strong-headed mother. An evil Dark Lord, yes. A mother? Not so much.

Harry doesn’t know where exactly Malfoy is but when they get to the gardens it becomes suddenly very clear that this is going to be difficult. Malfoy Manor is huge and the gardens are right up to the challenge. Narcissa shows him the infamous peacocks, the rose bushes and all the flowerbeds - Draco loves to garden with me and he’s so good with plants. She leads him to a huge swimming pool set into the ground and she explains how this is one small part of the many renovations Draco oversaw in the last few years. Her eyes gleams with mirth when she points at an enormous inflatable flamingo, shocking pink and filled with glitter, that floats into the water.

“Draco bought it,” and Harry would like to point out that this is pretty obvious - he doesn’t really picture Lucius Malfoy going into a Muggle shop to buy that. “The pool was his idea, too. I never thought- the gardens are meant to be purely decorative. A pool in a traditional pureblood home is most unbecoming. So this is all very exciting, you see.”

And Harry can see it, really. It’s pretty clear that Narcissa Malfoy appreciate this new direction of her life. Hell, it’s pretty clear Draco was definitely on board too, since everything Harry just saw was apparently his idea. He can’t help but wonder what Lucius Malfoy would think about this - if he already knows or if he’ll find out the moment he’s back from Azkaban. Harry almost hopes to be there for the moment he’ll find out: the reaction should be priceless.

“Oh, I think I know where Draco is. He’s probably with the horses.”

“And of course you have horses.”

And sure enough, Draco is where Narcissa thought he would be. He’s galloping on a horse, laughing freely in a way Harry has never ever heard him laugh. And he’s not alone.

“Come on, Nott, race you to the pond,” Harry hears him say and has a few second to wonder who the fuck has a fucking pond in their garden, before Draco notices them.

“Mother! Is everything okay?” Draco asks with sudden concern in his voice, dismounting the horse and thanking Theodore Nott with a smile when he steps up and take the horse’s reins. A smile just because Nott did something anyone else would have done. Harry mentally grimaces. I would’ve done it too.

“Yes, my dear, of course,” Narcissa smiles and greets her son with a kiss on his cheek - Harry notices the way Draco immediately takes her in his arm and can’t help but smile. How could anyone not see the doting son? It’s nice and kind of adorable at the same time.

“I thought you were having tea.”

“We were. But while we were talking, dear Harry told me how long it has been since you two last saw each other and how sad he was,” Narcissa completely ignores Harry’s attempt to explain it wasn’t like that, it’s not like he cares about what Malfoy bloody does in his free time - and it takes Harry a few moments to forget the weirdly struck look in Malfoy’s eyes. It’s only there for a few seconds, though, and suddenly Draco is back to his usual self.

“Yes, mother, I can imagine how concerned with my well being dear Harry was. Well, Potter, as you see there’s nothing to worry about. If that would be all, I think I’ll go back to my horse.”

“You don’t bother me, Malfoy,” Harry blurts out the second Malfoy turns away. There’s an awkward silence between them but the look in Draco’s eyes is somehow relieved. “And try not to break your arm, this time.”

“Hilarious, Potter,” Malfoy drawls back without any sneer to his voice. And there it is, a smile, this time just for Harry - and it’s dumb and weird and absolutely foolish but Harry’s heart is beating way faster than it should.

Narcissa is smiling widely as they watch Draco and Nott resume their race - and if Harry’s look lingers a little bit too much on Malfoy, is obviously the horse’s fault. It’s not like he’s used to see something like this.

“He’s a skilled equestrian, you know. Another-”

“Let me guess, perks of a pureblood upbringing?”

“Quite right.”

 

The next time Harry and Narcissa have tea, Draco is right there. It’s the fifth time Harry sees him after the war, after eight years of nothing, and everything is so weird Harry doesn’t even know where to start.

They’re chatting quietly - Narcissa reminiscing about the one time she and Sirius ran away from a family dinner and got into trouble - when Draco appears. Harry knows him well enough to  notice the faint trace of anxiousness in his eyes.

(And no, Harry doesn’t really want to think about how he doesn’t know Draco at all - that the only reason he’s able to understand something like that it’s because of what Hermione would call his tendency to obsess over Malfoy. He doesn’t want to think about this, no, thank you very much.)

Draco kisses his mother’s cheek, like he always does, and nods towards Harry. “Are you in a hurry, my darling?” Narcissa asks, gently brushing a blonde stray lock behind her son’s ear.

“Not really, Mother, I’ve already done everything I had to do today.”

“I’d love to hear you play something, then, if you don’t mind. It’s been so long and I’m sure Harry would love it too.”

“Piano or violin?”

“I'd be happy to hear you play both,” Narcissa smiles again and then turns towards Harry, shooting him a particularly poignant look. “What do you say, Harry dear?”

“Uhm,” they're both looking at him, somehow expectantly, and Harry feels once again like he's a child. He defeated a Dark Lord but he's reduced to this state by the Malfoys, for Merlin's sake. “Piano?”

“Let’s got with the piano, then,” Malfoy nods, making his way to the huge piano waiting in the right corner of the sitting room. He looks like a dream, honestly, and it doesn't have anything to do with Harry's complicated feelings towards Draco Malfoy, men and life in general.

He looks like a dream, like someone straight from a fairytale. And that doesn’t mean anything at all. Harry is just stating the obvious.

Narcissa almost gasps when her son finally starts playing and, to be honest, Harry really gets her. Draco's fingers fly quick and light on the piano and, while Malfoy's obviously not a professional, Harry has never heard anything like that.

There's a reverent silence in the room and neither of them wants to be the one who breaks it.

Draco keeps on playing, switching between more cheerful and more somber pieces, and for the first time in years - in what feels like years but he's pretty sure it's more like his entire existence - Harry feels at peace. He sits there, right next to Narcissa, still dressed in his Auror robes, and he feels nothing but peace.

For the first time in years there isn't any kind of trouble on his mind. There isn't danger, there isn't war, there isn't constant vigilance. For the first time in years he doesn't feel like the Chosen One, he doesn't feel like Auror of the Month, he doesn't feel like the sole purpose in his life is to fight - against someone, to protect someone, to survive.

There isn't anything but the sound of the music, the faint smile on Draco's lips and the way Narcissa is holding Harry's hand.

“That was- amazing, Malfoy. Amazing, really.”

“… Thank you,” Malfoy looks almost taken back by the compliment - and Harry doesn't really get why. It most definitely isn't the first time someone compliments him.

“Draco also has a lovely voice, Harry,” Narcissa whispers right next to him and his mind doesn't even have to focus on her to complete this last sentence. One of the perks of a pureblood upbringing, obviously.

And it’s crazy, really, everything that’s happening is just plain crazy. Is there anything Draco doesn’t know how to do? And, more importantly, why did Harry dreamt about Draco singing just the night before? What the fuck is his brain trying to tell him?

“When he was younger he used to sing for us. He absolutely adored to perform for us. Singing, dancing and-”

“Mother, what are you doing?” Draco screeches, almost panicking, eyes wide with a look Harry can't help but find hilarious. “What are you talking about? Why are you talking about this?”

“I'm merely praising my darling son, obviously. You always love to be praised.”

Narcissa flashes her usual scaring smile and Draco groans in a way that makes Harry snicker loudly. She might very well be his favorite person at the moment. Anyone capable of disrupting Malfoy’s perfect appearance would be, honestly.

“You’re a complete menace. I shouldn’t leave you alone with anyone. And you- don't humor her, Potter!”

“She’s my gracious host, I’m morally obliged to humor her. Also it’s really funny to see you like this,” Harry solemnly nods while Draco groans with utter desperation and slumps against the piano. “Also I’d really like to hear you sing.”

“... You would?”

“Splendid! It’s been simply too much, my darling, and since dear Harry would also love to hear you sing I think we should-” Narcissa doesn’t even bother to pretend this isn’t exactly what she had in mind - and she surely doesn’t bother to stop talking, not even when Draco tries to talk over her.

“Mother!”

“-wait until your father gets back and then organize something! Oh, I can just picture how happy he’ll be, positively glowing! It’s exactly what he needs after-”

There’s a sudden silence, when both Narcissa and Draco turn to face Harry. Harry, who has just felt his face go paler.

It’s not like this is the first time he thinks about Lucius Malfoy since the end of the war. Harry testified on Draco and Narcissa’s behalf but testified against Lucius Malfoy as well. Trying to save his own family in the end wasn’t enough to forget everything he did in the past and Harry hadn’t felt sorry for a minute.

It’s not the first time he thinks about Lucius Malfoy and his stay in Azkaban - he had been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and, honestly? For the first time in years Harry actually thought that was a fair decision. Eight years in the worst prison he could think of, eight years to pay for everything he did and helped Voldemort do. Harry had been quite satisfied with that sentence.

It’s not the first time he thinks about Lucius Malfoy, but this is the first time he thinks about Lucius Malfoy as Draco’s father. As Narcissa’s husband. It’s the first time since these meetings started that his mind actually connects the two things. Lucius Malfoy and his family.

Narcissa’s hopeful smile when she talks about Lucius’ return. Draco’s soft look while his mother keeps talking. They’re the family of a man who caused pain and suffering to Harry’s whole family, to Harry’s friends. His parents, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Fred, the whole Weasley family. And Harry’s right there with Lucius Malfoy’s family, cozying up to them.

And whatever is going on with Draco? Feeling so comfortable around Narcissa was bad enough, but the way he’s starting to feel around Draco Malfoy is just plain awful. It doesn’t matter how different Malfoy is able to look, it doesn’t matter how good he is at pretending he’s this whole new person. Harry has known him for seven years and knows exactly the kind of person he is. There’s no way he’s actually changed. People don’t change. Draco Malfoy can’t change.

What would everybody think about this? What would his family think about this? Would they hate him? Would they think he’s disrespecting them? This isn’t what he’s expected to do. This is more than just being gracious to the losing side. This isn’t what he’s expected to do, this isn’t what the world wants him to do, this isn’t what he should do, this isn’t what he’s supposed to do.

It’s so hard to reconcile everything that is going on in his mind. So hard that his mind just gives up in the process.

“... I’m sorry, I- I have to go. I have to go.”

“Harry-”

“I’m sorry, I can’t do this anymore.”

Harry catches a glimpse of Draco’s eyes and the things he sees behind them haunt him for the following months.