He should have known, really. The entire time, he had been aware of the curse that his father had put on him to die if he ever betrayed the Dark Lord. Really, he should have known.
For nearly six months now, Draco had danced around the limitations of the curse, speaking in triple negatives and winks. But none of that mattered when his father caught him anyway.
How he found out, Draco would never know. But if he ever woke up, he would never forget the way that his father looked at him when he had the curse enacted.
And then everything was black and dark. Everything was just sleep and he didn't have to worry any more about the war.
Harry slumped over his textbook. "You know, I've got to say, school was somehow easier when we were constantly on the run from Voldemort."
Ron turned his head toward him, a little incredulous. "Easier? How was school easier when we were constantly fighting for our lives, d'you reckon?"
"I mean, school was just something I didn't have to really worry about cause I had bigger things going on, you know? And now, school is the big thing, so it's a lot more stressful, suddenly. I mean, I don't even have Malfoy as a distraction."
Sitting in the library, he and his friends got silent for a moment. It was strange; although they had by no means ever been friends with Malfoy, what happened was still a great tragedy.
And now, two years later, the war over, it had been revealed what exactly had happened to him. He had been cursed because Lucius found out he had been helping the Order.
Somehow, Harry felt guilty about that. Like Malfoy was just one more person who he should add to his list of people that were dead or irreparably harmed because of him.
Since eighth year had started, Harry hadn't been able to get him out of his head, had started calling him Draco in his thoughts. And maybe now that things had wound down a bit in Harry's life, he had sort of...well, he had time to think about other things. Things that weren't just fighting for his life. And he had sort of realized...
Well, damn, okay, he had realized he may have had feelings for Draco Malfoy!
But he was as good as dead. And there was nothing Harry could do about it except feel guilty.
Or, so he had thought.
One morning, a mysterious letter dropped itself in front of Harry. His friends had all frozen, staring at the purple of the parchment and Harry opened it tentatively and read it:
I know it is strange to be contacting you, but I believe the contents of this letter are only going to be even stranger. I implore you to read to the end.
The recent death of my husband, Lucius Malfoy, has revealed some new information. Particularly, surrounding my son, Draco Malfoy. As you know, my son was cursed by his father into an indefinite sleep for betraying the Dark Lord. Between my husband's death and things that I have discovered in my house arrest at Malfoy Manor, I have reason to believe that you can help my son. I shall discuss nothing further in this letter. I hope it reaches you. If it does, Mr. Potter, please consider stopping by Malfoy Manor and discussing this with me.
Okay, Harry thought. It was strange. He'd give her that.
After a week of talking it over with every friend he trusted to talk about it with, Harry had decided to go. And despite all of Ron's pleadings and insistence, he had decided to go alone.
Narcissa Malfoy opened the door and stepped to the side, allowing him to walk into the Manor.
"Mr. Potter," she greeted. "Please, come this way."
Harry didn't say anything as Narcissa led him into a parlor. The two sat and Harry just looked at her, expectant and waiting.
After sitting awkwardly for a minute, Narcissa sighed and picked up a book from a side table. "I suppose we should get to it, Mr. Potter." She opened the book, looking at the pages instead of at him. "The spell my husband used...It can be broken. I believe you can help, Mr. Potter."
"Why would you think that?"
She still did not look up at him and her voice was even quieter when she spoke. "The curse can be broken...by true love's kiss."
Without another word, she turned the book to him, open on a page.
Leaning forward, Harry took the book from her hands and skimmed the page. He recognized the handwriting immediately as Draco's—and silently scoffed at himself that he knew Draco's handwriting so immediately. A quick read over the page made it clear to Harry exactly why Narcissa had thought that he could be of some help. It was clear a few sentences in that Draco was in love with Harry.
Quickly, Harry flipped through the rest of the diary, which had been sparsely written in enough over the years that Harry had an indication that Draco had had these feelings for Harry for years. And they were all-consuming, not fleeting crushes.
Snapping the book shut and practically tossing it on the table, Harry stood, urgent. "Where is he?"
"Mr. Potter," Narcissa said, calmly.
"Where is he?"
She held out a hand and Harry took a deep breath.
"Mr. Potter, you must prepare yourself for the possibility that it won't work."
Harry ran a frantic hand through his hair. "I can't think about that possibility. Just take me to him."
Silently, Narcissa nodded and Harry followed her through the halls of the Manor until they reached a room with a closed door. She opened it and stood out of his way and Harry walked in to see Draco, lying on his back on a bed, his hands folded on his chest like a body posed for a funeral.
Harry swore he could hear his heart break as he ran forward to Draco's side.
Remembering Narcissa's words and why she had brought him here, he wasted no time in pressing his lips to Draco's, not moving back until long after they had moved against his.
Eventually, with a little laugh, Draco pushed on his shoulder lightly and Harry lifted his head, brushing Draco's hair from his face.
He smiled. "Hi, Draco."