Work Header

I Know Places

Work Text:

For my love, Draco,

I really miss you right now. I love my friends, but right now I am very annoyed at them. Why do we need to be kept apart the night before our wedding? (It's not even like we haven't done, you know, it. Um. I feel uncomfortable writing that down.) But they haven't taken my owl so I can still write to you. I feel quite clever now! I've been reminiscing about the time we accidentally came out to the public just after the beginning of our relationship. There are tears streaming down my face right now, but they're happy, I promise. I can almost see you rolling your eyes at me and saying "emotional Gryffindork" with that smirk that gets me all melty inside and... well, um. Anyway. I love you, Draco. I'm never going to tire of saying that.

I wonder sometimes how you never realised until I pointed it out just how tactile you are. There is always a comforting hand on my back, or you are rubbing your thumb over my knuckles. But we agreed when we first began to date that we were keeping us being together private, that nobody else needed to know. You kept your hands to yourself when we went out, just like we were simply two mates hanging out together, and I pretended that I didn't want to hold your hand and sometimes I had to restrain myself from grabbing it. I don't know if you have ever had to do the same. (I'll ask you tomorrow.) Even after five years I have still not worked out how I actually managed to not touch you at all in public back then, it was torture. Funnily enough, you, with the iron-clad self-control of a Malfoy, were the one who slipped. You put your arm around my waist as you laughed at a joke I told (I don't remember it now and objectively speaking it was probably awful...), right in the middle of Diagon Alley and you didn't remove it immediately. I remember I could almost see the thoughts running through people's minds as they passed us, the smiles for me turned to wary side glances and for you only scowls and sidelong glances at your left arm swinging by your side, though I know there was nothing to see. There was no approval nor acceptance to be found back then. Thank Merlin that's changed.

I know that you have paid your dues many times over for being on the losing side of the war - you spent a year in Azkaban with no visitors and nothing but the cold comfort of your memories and even now you wake up screaming on some nights as you see Dumbledore fall with the flash of green light that has been imprinted forever on our eyelids - but I was the only one who thought so at the time. I'm sure you remember that my friends, though they adore you now, had not entirely forgiven you for your actions as a schoolboy at that point, they still thought that you didn't deserve me and that you would never be good enough for me. I am eternally happy that that is no longer the case, and all the credit goes to you rather than me and my poor attempts at explaining anything in an articulate way. You are definitely right that I say 'er' way too much! I obviously should have written them letters like this, I am doing a much better job at writing than talking.

I remember someone hissing "Scum!" at you as they walked past, and you dropped your arm from my waist, probably in shock. They shouted something vile again and you tensed up, ready for a fight. Even now I still feel as fearful thinking about that as I was when it happened, I know only too well how that confrontation would have ended if it happened. If you had pulled your wand, then you would have been before the Wizengamot on some trumped-up charge and in Azkaban before I could say 'Expelliarmus'. The public may have been fickle in the way they treated me, but you were, it seemed back then, unworthy of forgiveness. I remember dreading that one day their hatred of you would tear us from each other. I wanted to run far, far away and take you with me, away from the condemning eyes and the people who refused to understand us, but at first I never found the courage, and then I didn't need to. In a weird way I'm glad I didn't now.

Somebody who saw us that day must have owled the Daily Prophet, because the reporters found us pretty quickly. They were clamouring to take pictures of us together and shouting questions whilst smoke flashes went off from the cameras. Then it got worse, because Rita Skeeter showed up. Do you remember how strongly she was against us? (Before Hermione threatened her, of course.) I still remember what she said to me that day. "Well, well, well, what have we here, hmm? Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, canoodling with a Death Eater. My readers will be dying to know how that happened, of course. Tell me, do you think your parents would be happy about your new Slytherin lover?" How should I know what my parents would think, Dray? They're not here. But I hope they'd be happy that I found someone as wonderful as you. It still makes me really sad sometimes, Draco, that my relationships are apparently everyone's business, that my lack of privacy is somehow okay because I defeated Voldemort when I was a baby. It's not! I thought back then that after Skeeter found out about us, we were finished. Because what new relationship survives the disapproval of everybody who hears of it? There were Howlers every day. I wouldn't have blamed you for leaving me then, to find someone less complicated who would not appear in the gossip rags every time they stepped out of the house. In that first year after Skeeter's article I cried a lot and you raged a lot. Sometimes you cried too, and that was worse, because you always told me Malfoys didn't cry, and every one of your sparkling tears felt like another black mark on our relationship.

But the miracle was, we did survive. For all that we despaired internally, and however fragile our love felt on the bad days, we stood up to the lies and scandals that were fabricated about us, we ignored every accusation levelled against you, and when it seemed too hard to go on, we had some pretty places to hide from the world for a while. And tomorrow, I finally get to stand with you at that altar, to take your hand and prove to everybody that we are bulletproof.

Always yours,

P.S. Some of the bits of this letter sound like really good material for my vows tomorrow, I might use some of it. Try and look surprised and emotional please, Dray? And yes, that does mean I was lying about having written them yesterday... You can 'punish' me later *wink wink*