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Trying to breathe

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The unofficial eighth year was suppose to be the chance for the students who had an interrupted seventh year, caused by the war to come back and redo their NEWTS. Harry had come back of course. So had Ron and Hermione and quite a few other of their classmates. They had been helping throughout the summer to restore Hogwarts after the battle had ruined much of the castle and Quidditch pitch. It was tough work but they all wanted to put the war behind them and move on with their lives.
For Harry though it had been more of a distraction. He was consumed with guilt and grief. He was the reason why so many people were dead. Fred, Remus, Tonks, Colin, Lavender. He couldn't stand it. Harry hated himself. Every night when he was in bed, with the other helpers surrounding him sleeping, Harry lay awake replaying all their deaths in his head. It was all his fault. He wished he could've died along with Cedric in the graveyard during the Triwizard Tournament or followed Sirius through the Vale in the Department Of Mysteries.
As the summer drew to an end and the Hogwarts restoration had come to an end 10 days before schedule, Harry found himself panicking. He no longer had his distraction from the thoughts that consumed mind. It's your fault they screamed. Only if you died, none of this would have happened. Savoir of the Wizarding world, yeah right! You're weak. You're better off dead.
Harry wanted to hurt himself.

Those who had helped with the rebuild were survivors. Their families had joined and even those who had not fought came as well. Soon the castle was full of hard workers and determination to restore Hogwarts to its former glory. Quite a few people were angered to see Draco Malfoy, former Death Eater working amongst them. Harsh words were said and even a couple of hexes and punches were thrown. But after Harry Potter stood up and told the masses that, "Draco Malfoy is one of us. He is a survivor. Draco also saved my life. He had an opportunity to turn me over to Voldemort but he didn't. I owe him my life and so do all of you. Let him work in peace. The time for fighting is over." After that the hate was whispered in passing while they worked and through venomous glares. They had finished the restoration a full 10 days before schedule and the people who had been helping with the process had gone home and now the unofficial eighth years were hanging around the grounds waiting for school to start up once again.

Professor McGonagall, now the Headmistress of Hogwarts, thought it would be a nice idea to have all the returning students that were coming back to finish their eighth year share a common room and dormitories in a separate part of the castle. This was so that they could have a place to be free of the younger students and work in peace. The war had been hard on all of them and McGonagall had wanted them to be together. For they had fought the war together and now they held shared experiences and needed the shared strength to get back on their feet. When the dorm had been built and Hogwarts was ready for permanent occupants, the tired eighth years had stood in the middle of their new, unbiased common room in front of the Head Mistress awaiting their room assignments. At first when the returned had learnt they would be sharing, they had been sceptical with sharing the dorm with members of the other houses, especially Slytherin. Nobody wanted to share a room with the former Death Eater and the other two snakes that came back, Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson. Automatically everyone thought that Draco and Blaise would be sharing the now two bedded rooms and Pansy would be bunking with another girl. However when McGonagall called out Harry and Draco's names to share, the students had stirred wondering why the hell, the Golden Boy and the Death Eater had been put together. The two boys looked at each other from across the room and sighed. They were both tired of fighting and even though they had not formally and verbally called a truce, they both knew that it was there. They also both had huge crushes on each other but of course no one knew that. After McGonagall had put the rest of the eighth years together, Ron+Dean, Hermione+Pansy, Neville+Blaise and so on, the now very tired teens had carried their luggage to their rooms.

For Ron and Dean it was wonderful. Both having shared with each other already for their first 6 years at Hogwarts up in Gryffindor Tower, they had no problem. Though it was a whole different story for Hermione and Pansy. After Hermione had said goodnight to Harry and kissing Ron, Hermione walked into her room to find Pansy sitting on the edge of one of the beds, still fully clothed and looking out the small window that they had. When Pansy heard the door close she looked up and half smiled, "Granger."
Hermione returned the small smile and said "You can call me by my first name now, if you want to, I mean. Since we're now sharing living quarters and all."
"Oh," Pansy said, half smile still in place. "Sure okay. Same to you Hermione."
With a quiet chuckle and eyes now on her very interesting shoes, Hermione asked with a fast pace, "Pansy, do you mind if I have the bed you're currently sitting on? I, um like it when I wake up and the sun is on me."
"Yeah, of course," Pansy said back.
"Thanks," Hermione replied.
Hopping up and moving her trunk so it was now on the other bed, Pansy opened it to start unpacking. A slightly awkward silence fell between the two as they folded clothes into their respective draws provided. Hermione coughed and said, "Well Pansy, I'm going to have a quick shower, so um." Hermione coughed again and walked towards the bathroom when Pansy nodded in response. As soon as the door was closed, Hermione let out a shaky breath that she wasn't aware that she was holding and thought to herself how strange this year was going to be.

Back on the boy side of the dormitories, Neville and Blaise picked their beds in silence. They hadn't spoken a word to each other since possibly when they shared potions classes, which was first year to fifth. Even then they both doubted it was more than 10 words. The air in their room was tense, unpacking in silence and changing into pyjamas was awkward. Both felt like they should say something, but didn't know what.
When they were settled in bed, Blaise picked up his wand to turn off the light, but before he said the spell he looked over at Neville staring at the roof, cleared his throat and said, "Goodnight Longbottom."
Neville, startled at the sudden saying of his name, turned his head to look back over at Blaise and told him goodnight as well.

In the room next them, Harry and Draco also picked their beds in silence. They chose by simply sitting on the nearest one to them when they entered the door together. Neither boy had spoken but they were looking at each other. Grey eyes meeting green. Green eyes meeting grey. It was the first time that they had been alone together since the bathroom in 6th year. Draco studied the raven haired teen in their silence. Harry looked so tired. He had dark bags under his eyes and he looked too thin. He was sort of slouching too which made Draco sit up a bit straighter. A few minutes passed and Harry's gaze dropped to his lap. Draco took this as his cue to speak. He cleared his throat awkwardly and said, "Thank you, by the way Potter. For telling the people to let me work in peace. You didn't have to do that for me you know. I can take the sharp jabs and insults they throw at me."
Harry shook his head and sighed, "Honestly Draco, I did it because I'm so sick of everybody fighting. I'm so tired of everything. Do you honestly think that if you hadn't been cleared of all the charges against you, you wouldn't be here?! You're here to help, you want to rebuild what was broken and get on with life. But no, they have to continue fighting." By this point Harry was breathing heavily.
Draco stared at Harry, "I didn't know you thought that way."
"Yeah well obviously. I wouldn't have stuck up for you otherwise. I'm sick of everything and everyone trying to pin the blame on someone else. You didn't want any part in what Voldemort made you do. But they're to stupid to see it!" Harry exclaimed.
"You're right Potter," Draco said calmly.
After a few beats of silence Harry said "Harry."
"What?" Draco asked, eyebrows raising in confusion.
"Call me Harry. We practically live together now, might as well get use to it."
"Oh yes. I had almost forgotten that the Saviour and a Death Eater have to share the same sleeping space," Draco joked trying to ease the mood.
"Ex Death Eater," said Harry.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Sure okay."
Harry stood and opened his trunk, aware that Draco's gaze was on him. He pulled out his pyjamas and walked into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. He turned the shower on hot and let the steam fill the air. Now since he had access to proper showers after going without for the better part of a year when hunting Horcruxes with Ron and Hermione, Harry now took full advantage of the hot water.
Harry took of his dirty, sweat stained clothing and threw them on the hamper and wiped the mirror free of steam with his hand. He stared at his reflection. Harry didn't recognise the person staring back at him. Disgusted with himself he jumped into the shower, biting back a yelp when the water burned his skin. Harry scrubbed himself raw trying to scrub away his grief and self loathing. He was the reason why so many were dead. When Harry got out of the shower and had gotten dressed he pulled out one of his razors that he used for shaving. His intention wasn't so innocent though. Using his wand to remove one of the blades, Harry pressed the silver metal to the skin upon his wrist. Harry already had ugly scars on his body, what was one more to add to the mix? He pressed hard, wincing as he drew the blade across his slightly tanned skin. I've felt worse pain than this Harry thought as he pressed a little deeper as he made the second cut. Blood oozed and dripped into the white sink as Harry continued to mutate himself. After each cut Harry felt a weight lift off his shoulders, he found that he could breath a little easier as more blood dripped into the sink.
As he reached the top of his forearm, Harry shut his eyes and let himself feel. This pain was a good pain. I deserve this pain. He could breathe.
He jumped when a loud bang hit the door of the bathroom, Draco was yelling at him to hurry the fuck up because he wanted to also take a shower and go to sleep. Harry sighed, "Sorry Draco. One more minute, just brushing my teeth."
He heard a muffled "Ugh fine bloody gryffindors" through the door as Draco moved away probably grabbing his own pyjamas.
Harry looked down, red coated the sink, his wrist was a mess. Fuck. He scourgified the blood and washed off his wrist. It screamed in protest as the water cleaned out the cuts, some deeper than others. Fuck Harry thought again as he saw how bad it was. The cuts were swollen and angry looking. Casting a quick cleaning charm to prevent infection, a neat little spell he learnt off Hermione when they were "camping," Harry brushed his teeth and hid the blade back with the others. Wincing at the sting of pulling down his long sleeve, he unlocked the door only to meet a mad looking Draco as he opened it.
"Um, sorry" Harry said in attempt to calm the blond.
Draco rolled his eyes, "Honestly Po-Harry, I thought I took long in the bathroom. Next time I'll go first shall I?"
Harry gave a small smile, "Sure Draco if you think that's best."
Huffing, Draco pushed past Harry and locked the bathroom door behind him.
With a heavy sigh, Harry made his way over to his bed. Looking at the bathroom door to make sure that it was in fact shut, he waited to hear Draco turn on the shower. When he heard it turn on, Harry gingerly rolled his sleeve back up and stared at the cuts he just made.
He should probably feel sick, or shocked that he could do something like that to himself. But he felt such relief. He was weightless for the first time after killing Voldemort. Rolling it back down when he heard the shower shut off and Draco climb out, Harry moved to get under his blankets but turned back around when the bathroom door opened and Draco walked out in nothing but a towel wrapped around his waist and go over to his now unpacked trunk. Harry felt his mouth go slightly dry as he looked at Draco's upper body. First of all he never knew that Draco's hair had a curl to it before (which was actually pretty adorable). Second was the fact that he was so beautiful. He was still pale even after spending so much time in the sun. Endless hours of putting the castle back together had left him rather fit (not that he wasn't already). And third, Draco had scars on his chest that were the aftermath the sectumsempra curse Harry has thrown at him.
Harry gasped horrified at what he had done to the Slytherin. Draco looked up from his searching for some lost item to see Harry staring at his scars, he had thought Harry was reacting to the Dark Mark but he soon realised and said, "Oh, I forget that they are their sometimes."
Harry's eyes whipped up to Draco's, "Holy fuck Draco I'm so sorry, I had no idea what that spell would do and I'm so so so sorry." He started to panic as he looked back down at the slightly pink scars.
"Salazar, calm down Harry seriously. It's okay. I don't blame you. I was just about to use the Cruciatus Curse on you and you were just defending yourself. The scars don't bother me anymore," Draco tried to use a reassuring tone, sensing the Gryffindors panic. "Harry, please it's okay. Don't worry about them. I don't... Harry!"
Draco's raised voice snapped Harry out of his haze, "Sorry. I just can't believe you still have those scars. If I had known, I would have let you use the Cruciatus Curse on me instead. Godric knows I deserve it."
"Right" Draco said with a weary voice. "Anyway, like I said don't worry about them. It's fine." Looking the Gryffindor in the eyes he shrugged and smiled. With that, he went back the the bathroom after successfully finding his lost comb.
After the door was closed once again Harry let himself crawl into bed, pull the blankets around his head and deflate. He couldn't believe he left scars on Draco. What was wrong with him?
He ruined everything.

When Draco came back into the room, Harry seemed to be asleep. His blankets were drawn tight around his head and he could hear steady breathing. Sighing, Draco hopped into his own bed and did the same. "Night Harry" he said to himself as he drifted off to sleep.