Work Header

Bruises to the soul

Chapter Text

Harry woke up when he heard the front door open and the jangling of keys. Then he heard footsteps and sat up on the couch, wrapping the warm plaid around him. He had had a nice nap by the fire and was feeling much better.

“Harry, are you home?” Draco asked.

“I’m here, on the couch!”

Draco arrived and deposited two plastic bags on the table. He sat down next to Harry, grabbed his feet and put them over his own legs.

“Are you okay?”

Harry nodded. He noticed that Draco still seemed wary and worried; his frown hadn’t disappeared. However, he didn’t elaborate and changed the subject. Harry deemed it odd but didn’t say anything either.

“I remembered you liked Chinese food best so I went to that Muggle restaurant around the corner and brought take out. I thought it’d cheer you up to eat something you really like.”

Harry smiled. It was true that he loved Chinese food much more than any other; Draco had been thoughtful and dedicated as always. He wasn’t hungry but when a nice smell finally caught up to him, he had to admit he would love to try a few bites.

“You went to a Muggle restaurant all by yourself for me? Did you even have pounds on you?”

“Theo had some. He even explained how it worked so I’m an expert now.”

Harry chuckled. Right, as if he was going to believe that. Draco didn’t know the difference between Muggle paper and notes. The new so-called Muggle expert levitated plates and glasses from the kitchen and handed one of each to Harry. They started eating on the couch, casually tasting each other’s food and talking about their respective days.

Harry made fun of Draco when he got upset because he never managed to get his food all the way to his mouth with chopsticks. He was about to summon a fork when Harry finally gave in and showed him how to hold them properly, deft fingers moving around Draco’s. They were sitting so close they shared warmth.

They finished eating and resumed their previous position on the couch, Draco kindly massaging Harry’s feet. He knew he needed to tell Draco about his accident at George’s shop but he had something else in mind.

“Come on, let’s go to bed,” Harry suggested.

Draco tightened his grasp on the feet he was massaging, worried: “Are you tired again? Are you in pain?”

Harry blushed: “No.”

Draco seemed puzzled and knitted his brows but then his eyes opened in understanding and he sucked in a breath.


Harry laughed and held a hand to Draco. He took it and together they climbed the stairs to their bedroom. On the way there, Harry couldn’t help but shiver and speed up. As soon as they were in, he closed the door and kissed Draco, hands running through is hair, exploring his back, disappearing under his shirt.

“Someone’s wide awake tonight,” Draco said between frantic kisses, pushing Harry back against the door.

“I had a nap,” Harry explained and raised his arms so that Draco could take his jumper off.

They were kissing again. Draco brought Harry closer and almost carried him while legs wrapped around his waist. They moaned as their crotches brushed, took off their belts and opened their trousers, hands slipping inside their respective underwear.

“Should we do it right here or is the bed better?”

Harry thought about his sore muscles from his fall today and said he wanted the bed.

“Isn’t the bed too mundane for you though?”

Harry pushed Draco back towards their king size bed and they fell on it, laughing. They resumed undressing and soon they were making out naked.

“Want you inside,” Harry gasped into his mouth. “Make love to me.”

That always made Draco lose his mind. Back in Guernsey, after a night spent making love, he had told Harry he loved the fact that he was so willing, so trusting when he invited him in his body.

“Merlin, Harry. How do you want it this time? On your stomach?”

Harry nodded and turned around. They hadn’t tried it this way yet. Draco’s hands roamed all over his back, massaging the knots in his shoulders. Harry exhaled, feeling the soreness in his muscles fade away.

“You’re tense. How about a massage first?”

Harry agreed. Draco summoned some oil he had brought from his previous bedroom; it smelled like sunlight and vanilla. He set to work and in a few minutes, his boyfriend was incoherent, sprawled on the mattress, limbs all loose.

“Does it feel good?”

Harry hummed in agreement. He felt better than he had in years; relaxed, his guard completely down. He forgot about everything and let himself feel rather than think. Draco’s hands wandered lower; Harry gasped and spread his legs almost unconsciously.

Draco put a pillow under Harry’s hips and spread his cheeks. He waited for the feeling of being completely exposed and naked to come but it didn’t, it just seemed right.

“Draco, come on, please.”

Harry raised himself on his elbows, giving Draco a perfect view of his most private body parts. He listened to Harry’s wish without teasing him beforehand and lubed his fingers before breaching him.

“I forgot how good this felt,” Harry muttered.

The truth was, he was getting more and more used to it and there was no pain whatsoever, just a small discomfort perhaps. Harry relished that feeling anyway, the fullness was strange but somehow soothing. He was so relaxed he didn’t even clench or tense like he did the first times.

“It’s only been a few days,” Draco chuckled, concentrated on moving his fingers slowly as to not hurt Harry.

Harry’s breathing was ragged, he was clutching the sheets and rocking back on Draco’s fingers.

“I want…” Harry started, panting, “I want you, please.”

Draco reluctantly pulled out his fingers and lubed himself. He had been captivated by the way Harry writhed on the bed, body glistening with sweat and accepting his fingers.

“You’re so beautiful, so responsive! I want to see if I can make you come with just me inside you.”

Harry was sure he could. He was aware of Draco’s erection tracing the crease of his arse and was certain he could come like this as well. He arched his back, trying to get more.

“You just want this so much,” Draco continued, voice filled with awe.

He slid in, slowly, hands keeping Harry’s cheeks apart. Harry had to see this so he angled his head in an awkward angle and saw Draco’s grey eyes riveted on his stretched entrance, watching his cock disappear into his willing body.

“Oh, ugh,” Harry tried to articulate.

He couldn’t speak, he was reduced to making meaningless noises that resembled whines and to lie there and take it. He loved watching Draco as they made love more than anything and while it was difficult considering their position, he also enjoyed the new angle and how deep Draco could get. On his stomach, Harry was at Draco’s mercy and he loved it.

“You’re taking me so well, Harry, you’re so good” Draco praised as he bottomed out.

Draco’s hands left the cheeks he was holding apart and pinned Harry’s hands over his head, stretching all over him to do so. He kept Harry’s legs spread apart with his own and started thrusting. All the way out, all the way in. The pace was slow but the thrusts were assured and deep; each time Draco hit Harry’s prostate just hard enough to make him see starts.

“Fuck me, come on, fuck me, please, I love it, love you,” Harry muttered, lost in pleasure.

Draco’s hips started moving faster while he showered Harry’s face with kisses, inhaling deeply in his hair, hiding his face in the crook of his neck. The pleasure was so intense for both of them yet they didn’t want to stop yet; they gasped and rocked on the bed endlessly.

Harry tried to warn Draco he was close but he was way beyond speech to do so. He just moaned loudly and let all the sensations wash over his body; Draco pining him down, kissing his neck, fucking him just like he needed it.

“Are you mine, Harry, are you all mine?” Draco asked, breathless.

The idea of belonging to him nearly sent Harry over the edge yet he was incapable of coming without looking at Draco. He turned his head with difficulty again and watched. His stare was always so… shameless. He didn’t need dirty talk or to moan uncontrollably, he just gave Draco a look that said: look, look at what you do to me. He came harder than he imagined was even possible and without laying a hand over his erection.

“Yes, yes, yours,” Harry cried out as he came.

Draco managed to keep thrusting for a few minutes despite Harry’s words and his clenching muscles. He listened to Harry’s pleas, telling him to come inside, to fill him up… And he shuddered and thrusted one last time before emptying himself inside him. His knees gave away and he collapsed on top of Harry, his breathing erratic.

Harry didn’t even mind, he was still trying to come back to Earth himself but he soon realised he was lying in the wet spot. He nudged Draco with his elbow to make him move. Grudgingly, he pulled out and lay on his side of the bed, arms open to welcome Harry.

As soon as they were cuddling and had their breathing under control, Draco kissed Harry’s temple and his right hand drew circles in the small of Harry’s back.

“That was astonishing,” he whispered. “I hope I wasn’t too rough though.”

Harry intertwined their legs and leaned on his elbow to come up to Draco’s face. He put his hand on his cheek and willed himself to sound as genuine as he could.

“Draco, I’ve never felt so good in my life, I swear. I like it when you get a little rough and I wouldn’t mind if, you know, we tried a couple of new things.”

“Oh, really?” Draco smirked. “I’ve always wanted to see you, hands bound with a Slytherin tie. Would you let me do that to you?”

He thought about it for a second and if he hadn’t just come, he would’ve gotten aroused by the mere idea of being tied to the bed with one of Draco’s ties while he had his way with him. Harry put his head on Draco’s chest and covered them with their sheets.

“Yeah, we could do that. I trust you.”

Draco nuzzled his face and put his index under Harry’s chin to make him look up.

“I trust you too,” Draco said, staring at him expectantly.

Harry didn’t want to ruin the afterglow but it was the perfect moment to tell Draco about his accident today at George’s shop but he didn’t know where to start. He decided to simply jump in:

“Draco, there’s something I need to tell you.”

He sighed and let his head drop on his pillow, closing his eyes. “I know… I was waiting for you to tell me. George came by the shop today.”

“What? He told you that I couldn’t cast a simple spell?”

Draco nodded. “He was worried. He said we had to find a way to cure you, really cure you.”

Harry tensed. His mind wandered to St Mungo’s, to Healer Nelson at his bedside, telling him about another solution that wouldn’t require any potion… Harry had said no. It was too dangerous. “And if those unpleasant side effects were to last, you know there’s always the other solution,” Healer Nelson had said.

“There’s nothing you can do, Draco.”

“If you think for one second that I will just let you suffer until your body can’t handle the potions anymore, you’re wrong,” he shot back, hands tensing where they were drawing circles on Harry’s bare skin.

Draco had trouble hiding the tremors in his voice and suddenly he rolled away, disengaging from Harry’s arms. He tried to make him turn back, hand caressing his pale cheek, eyes soft.

“Draco, please, look at me.”

Reluctantly, he did. His eyes were red and he was biting his lip.

“I can’t lose you, Harry. I can’t. You’ve read my diary, you know how much I…” Harry gathered him in his arms. He told him he knew and held him. They stayed there for a long time, listening to the other breathing, hands clasped together. He thought they were going to fall asleep like this when Draco said in a small voice:

“Remember when you told me you thought there was something special between us? That the cold wasn’t so bad when I was with you? I think you were right and I was stupid not to listen.”

Harry’s heart sank and he willed himself to stay calm, keep his breathing regular. He finally believed him and yet Harry couldn’t tell him the truth. How unfair it all seemed. He also knew Draco would be willing to try and save him even if the procedure was extremely dangerous and the odds he might die were high.


“I need to meet your Healer,” he interrupted, “I’ll ask if he can run a few tests to see if there’s anything special about us. I’ll do anything, Harry.”

“I know you would and it means so much to me. But I already asked, there’s nothing they can do except give me the potions. I was just imagining things.”

Draco stared at him dubiously. Harry was sure he knew something was up but thankfully he let it go for the evening and didn’t answer. He kissed Harry goodnight and turned off the lights.

“I think there’s something special about us anyway,” he muttered when he thought Harry was sleeping.

They fell asleep, limbs intertwined, hands clasped as if they didn’t ever want to let go.

The first thing Harry noticed when he woke up was the guilt that was crushing him. He remembered his lie and how terrible he had felt right after the words escaped his mouth.

There’s nothing they can do,” he had said. He had lied straight to Draco’s face. How could he forgive himself for that? What made things even worse was that Draco was only trying to help him.

The second thing he noticed was that he was alone and all cleaned up, probably thanks to a spell that Draco had kindly cast. He stretched on the bed and saw his own wand laid on the bedside table. He cast a Tempus and was pleased to notice that the spell had worked; it was 8.45 AM. According to the time, he guessed that Draco was probably making breakfast and would come up any minute.

Accio potions,” he tried, refreshed by his successful Tempus.

They flew right in. He had grown accustomed to the taste and swallowed them without blinking. A few minutes later, Harry heard someone climbing the stairs and opening the bedroom door. It was Draco, all dressed and carrying a breakfast tray.

“You made breakfast for me, again?” Harry asked, smiling.

“Well, there are no House Elves here so I didn’t exactly make it, I just went to the bakery next door.”

“You lazy git,” Harry chuckled. “Is it too much to ask to wake up in your arms for once though?”

Draco took off his coat and hanged it. He climbed on the bed, taking off his shoes.

“I thought I’d let you sleep. You looked so peaceful this morning. And you deserve breakfast in bed after last night.”

Harry blushed. He realised he was naked and Draco fully clothed; he felt self-conscious about it now that his mind wasn’t clouded by arousal. Draco had followed his train of thought and picked up his boxer briefs from the floor, handing the item to him.

“I already saw everything there is to see a long time ago, Harry.”

Still, Harry didn’t felt comfortable with his scrawny body in the open light. The last months hadn’t been easy on him at all and he had gotten even thinner than before. He pulled the sheets up to his chin which made Draco shake his head, looking at him with a fondness that was barely hidden.

“I told you last night, I think you’re beautiful. You need to gain some weight, sure, but to me you’re… breathtaking,” Draco told him. “Just seeing you makes me want to stay in bed with you and make love to you again but I’ve got to get going.”

Harry was already thinking about pulling Draco back in his arms, legs spreading to accommodate him when he heard the end of the sentence. He couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“What? Where are you off so early?”

“Theo’s apothecary. We’ve got work to do.”

“Is he hiring you then?”

“Well, it’s not official yet but he hinted at it yesterday before George came.”

Harry pouted. He didn’t want to be alone today and he didn’t quite feel up to working with George either. He didn’t want to burden Draco though, it was his future job they were talking about and he needed to go.

“Okay then. Can I join you for lunch?” Harry asked.

"Sure. Come by the shop and we’ll eat somewhere.”

“We can’t keep eating at the restaurant everyday! I’ll go shopping for groceries.”

Draco nodded. “That gives you something to do this afternoon then. Eat your breakfast!”

Harry shooed him away with a quick kiss and eyed the tray morosely. He ate a little and drank his coffee. His lack of hunger wasn’t caused by the potions this time but by the guilt that was crushing him. He knew he had done the right thing because he wanted to protect Draco more than anything. He just wasn’t sure Draco would see it that way when he found out.

He would find out sooner than later. Harry was sure of it. Last night, he hadn’t managed to convince him and it was just a matter of time before he discovered the truth. Hopefully by that time he’ll have no side effects and feel better.

Come on, you know you will never get better, a nagging voice in his mind reminded him.

Harry shrugged it off and got up. He showered because cleaning spells were useful but not quite thorough. He changed the sheets and tried to look for a washing machine for their dirty clothes. Obviously, the flat had been swarming with House Elves before and the wizards who rented it had no need for Muggle devices. Harry sighed and took off the the dry-cleaner’s.

When he came back, he found that he had nothing else to clean or take care of yet, the House Elves had perfectly taken care of the flat. He wondered what he could do to take his mind off of things and thought about Ron and Hermione.

He missed them a lot. He knew they had to finish their schooling but that soon enough they would see each other again. Ron would learn to accept Draco eventually and they would all have dinner together on the weekends, they could even go on vacations together. Harry liked imagining this future. In the meantime, he decided to write a letter to the both of them, describing his new flat and sending them his love. He avoided talking about his health though, he didn’t want them to worry too much.

Draco hadn’t lied. He was going to Theo’s shop. He just wouldn’t stay there to work.

He knocked on the apothecary’s door, feeling anxious and impatient. Theo appeared a few minutes later and invited Draco in. He sighed and put a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“Are you up for this?” he asked.

“Do we have a choice? Thanks again for coming with me, it means a lot.”

Theo nodded and headed to the staircase at the back of the shop. They arrived in his flat, took a handful of Floo powder and disappeared into the flames.

The first thing Draco noticed when he stepped out was the distinctive smell of disinfectant that he associated with illness and hospitals. He hadn’t come to St Mungo’s in years and he dreaded the place already, dreaded the pitiful moans and screams and tears of the families huddled together in front of a loved one’s room.

“Did you get the name of the Healer?” Theo asked as he stepped out of the fireplace.

“Yeah, I looked for Harry’s discharge papers this morning while he was asleep. It’s Healer Nelson.”

Theo whistled. “Going through your boyfriend’s stuff now?”

“Theo, you and I both know this is a life or death matter.”

Draco just didn’t want to admit that it had indeed felt wrong when he had searched through Harry’s letters. He hadn’t read any, concentrating mainly on those which came from the hospital and had done the deed as quickly as possible, only searching for a Healer’s name.

“I know, I was just teasing. Come on, let’s ask a nurse where his office is.”

After a few minutes talking to a kind nurse whose badge tag indicated “Amy”, they followed her directions, arrived in front of the Healer’s office and knocked. A deep voice told them to come in. Healer Nelson raised his head from the parchments he was scribbling on and frowned.

“What can I do for you, gentlemen?” he asked.

“I’m Draco Malfoy and this is my friend Theodore Nott. We’re here because of Harry Potter.”

The Healer, suddenly alert and worried, invited them to sit down and closed the door with a flick of his wand, casting a Silencing spell around them as well.

“We can never be too sure,” he explained. “Harry Potter doesn’t need the Daily Prophet on his back, he’s got enough on his plate already.”

Draco huffed; it was the least that could be said.

“And who might you be?” he asked. “I’m only allowed to speak to his next of kin.”

“He doesn’t have relatives,” Draco said, gritting his teeth. “We are all he has and you know perfectly well who I am to him, he told you about me and what we were doing when his heart stopped!”

Draco was about to threaten him so Theo stepped in:

“Healer Nelson, we’re just worried about Harry. It seems his potions are making him quite ill and he’s having trouble with his magic.”

Healer Nelson nodded sadly.

“Ah, this was what we all feared. We told him he’d adjust to his potions because we didn’t want to scare him off, we needed to give him hope you see… That’s the most important factor in recovery. But if his magic is affected now…”

“What? You’re saying that you lied to him?” Draco asked, raising his voice.

Healer Nelson shook his head with such vigor Draco thought his obvious wig was going to fall on the floor.

“No, not at all! We just knew that he needed to be optimistic in order for the treatment to work.”

“But it doesn’t work so you must’ve missed something when you made the potions. Draco and I are both excellent at making potions, we can figure something out if we all work together.”

Healer Nelson sighed again and crossed his hands over his desk.

“What I am about to tell you is strictly confidential and will probably sound extremely dangerous,” he warned, almost whispering despite the Silencing charms in place.

“It doesn’t matter,” Draco shrugged.

Healer Nelson nodded and started explaining what exactly had happened to Harry:

“Before you two start working on a project that goes way beyond your abilities and that is doomed from the beginning, I think you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with.”

Draco knew he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear.

“What happened to Harry isn’t simply the consequence of the Killing Curse. It’s also related to You-Know-Who’s soul being torn apart from his own. What we’ve all deduced (my renewed colleagues and I) is that, during the tearing, Harry’s soul was severely damaged. The cold that’s slowly killing him is a symptom of insufficiency; it’s my understanding that Harry has been living most of his life with a piece of another soul inside him so he needs something else to fill the void it left behind.”

“Is that even possible?” Theo asked.

Draco held his breath.

“Yes, it’s possible. It’s dangerous and experimental but possible.”

“How?” Draco asked in a whisper.

“Well, we’d need to bind his soul to another one…”

Draco closed his eyes. He had not been expecting this. He had thought about expensive treatments and new complex spells or even new experimental potions to replace Harry’s current ones.

“You mean, with my soul?”

Healer Nelson moved about on his chair nervously.

“It is indeed the safest bet. It seems Harry’s soul has already chosen yours a long time ago. He told me you were the only one able to provide warmth for him.”

Harry had been right all along. He couldn’t wait to tell him. He didn’t even care that Harry was probably going to say “I told you so” or rub it in for months. Draco actually liked being wrong for once. From now on, he swore to always have more faith in Harry.

“And do you know how to do that?” Theo asked.

“Myself, no,” Healer Nelson chuckled. “But some wizards do.”

Draco should’ve felt relief at the idea of having a long term solution to save Harry, the weight on his chest should’ve left him instantly but it was somehow still clinging to him. Something just didn’t add up.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “Why didn’t you tell Harry about this solution instead of poisoning him with potions that don’t even work?”

“But I did tell him. Over and over during his stay but his answer never changed, he always refused. It’s a very complicated spell, Mr Malfoy, and it has never been used before. One mistake and it could suck your entire soul out or kill you both. Harry didn’t want to put your life at risk.”

Hurt filled Draco. He couldn’t believe this. Harry wouldn’t keep something like this from him.

“Harry knew?” Draco asked, legs shaking slightly.

Why didn’t he tell me? Did he think I would say no?

“Yes, Harry knew.”

Draco stumbled out of St Mungo’s, desperately searching for fresh air. Theo was by his side, looking as shaken as him.

“I can’t believe him,” Draco said. “I can’t believe he lied about something so important.”

“He just wanted to protect you.”

Draco glared at him so Theo held up his hands in defense:

“I’m not taking his side! I’m just saying. Of course not telling you is stupid and besides, that Healer seems quite incompetent. He’s not trained to deal with such rare illnesses and much less deal with soul issues.”

People were coming in and out of St Mungo’s, walking around them and staring. Draco was still the son of a notorious Death Eater after all.

“Come on, we can’t talk about this here. Let’s go to George’s shop, he should hear about this too,” Draco suggested.

They Apparated to the shop where George was still working on his new products designs. He opened the door for them and invited them in the minute he saw their worn out faces. Grateful, they sat down and filled him with what they had learned.

“Wow, this is serious business,” George said as they finished.

Even after telling him the story, repeating Healer Nelson’s words, it still didn’t seem real to Draco.

“Yeah, it is,” Theo nodded. “Fortunately for us, my family was always keen on soul magic. We’ve got loads of books about it at our Manor but it’s been seized by the Ministry…”

George brushed it off.

“Dad and Percy can take care of that, we need access to those books. Have you already read anything that could be useful?”

Theo thought about it for a while.

“Well, it’s been years so I don’t really remember. I think my father was always interested in a ritual that would help transfer souls in order to get more powerful but he never managed to do it.”

“So,” Draco recapitulated, “if we can find a way to safely transfer a part of my soul into Harry’s so that I can keep mine undamaged and avoid dying, then Harry will be cured?”

Theo nodded. “Apparently yes. Although I don’t quite trust Healer Nelson, what he said made a lot of sense.”

“But Draco,” George interrupted, “giving a part of your soul is not something to be taken lightly… For one, it’s extremely dangerous and well, we don’t know what will happen if you do that. No one’s ever done it before.”

Draco smiled sadly. He already knew his answer, had known ever since Healer Nelson suggested it.

“George, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Harry. If it doesn’t work, then at least we’ll have tried. I owe him that. And why would I want to live in a world that has no Harry in it?”

Harry had always been under Draco’s skin, as an idol he worshipped when he was a child, an enemy, a friend and most importantly as a lover. All his life, Draco had thought of him constantly, endlessly, evidently. George, visibly moved, just nodded. He knew what living in a world without his half was like and the last thing he wanted was for Draco to endure the same.

Draco checked his watch. It was lunch time.

“I need to go. Harry’s waiting for me, I told him we’d have lunch together. I’ll tell him about our plan, no more lies between us. You should go ahead and try to get inside Theo’s Manor.”

They agreed and Draco hurriedly came out of the shop. He arrived in front of Theo’s apothecary early. Harry wasn’t there yet so he leaned on the wall, breathed in and out slowly and waited.

Leaning against the shop’s door, Draco stared at him as he walked up the street. He was the same as this morning and yet he wasn’t. Something had changed. He looked tired and older, perhaps a little angry.

Harry gave him is best smile, he wanted to make him feel better if he had had a shitty morning at work. But Draco stayed impassive, his face emotionless. He thought he would be able to handle staying calm and not being mad at Harry but he just couldn’t. He stormed inside the apothecary. He couldn’t even look at him with his innocent and worried green eyes, jumper ridiculously too big for him.

Harry felt a dull pain inside his chest, it was different than anything he had ever felt before. He could easily guess it was the guilt coming back stronger than before.

“What are you doing?” he asked, running after Draco until he arrived in the storehouse filled with brand new potions on shiny shelves. “Why aren’t you saying anything? Draco? Why are you running away?”

He knows, a voice inside Harry whispered.

“How could you?” Draco exploded. “All this time! You knew something could be done. You watched me worry and you let me hope that you were getting better when you obviously knew that it would never happen…”

Harry flinched. Deep down, he has always known that. He just couldn’t admit it to himself.

“I couldn’t tell you! You would’ve wanted to have the procedure done and that’s out of the question! Did Healer Nelson tell you how dangerous it was? Did he tell you it’s never been done before? I will not let you put your life at risk for me when the chances of success are so low.”

“So you’re willing to sacrifice your life, just like that? Without even trying?”

Harry’s eyes were starting to become red but he willed himself not to cry in front of him, to stay strong. Yet a rogue tear escaped, followed by others. He didn’t want to fight with Draco, he didn’t want to see how much he had been wrong to have such important secrets and what it would cost him this time.

“We’ve already tried the potions!”

“Look how great they turned out to work! Harry, it should have been my choice to help you or not. It should have at least been ours. I gave you all my trust. You owed me that, don’t you think?”

“I just wanted to protect you,” Harry mumbled.

“That’s not how a relationship works. You can’t keep things from me because you think it’s for my own good. And besides, if you told me, we could’ve started searching for a way to make the procedure safer earlier.”

“What? There’s a way to make it safer?” Harry asked, incredulous.

He felt stupid now. He could’ve avoided all this unnecessary pain and hopelessness while taking the potions if he had just told Draco the truth.

“There might be, yes. Theo, George and I will be looking into it.”

“You three are working together?”

Draco nodded. Harry thought about them and how his passing would affect them. He had been so selfish and stubborn, trying to carry his burden alone when so many were willing to help. All he had managed to do was hurt Draco and lose his trust.

“I just wanted to keep you safe,” Harry said weakly. “I’m so sorry. I love you and I would never hurt you intentionally.”

“I know,” Draco admitted with a sigh.

Harry tentatively came closer and took both his hands, warming them. Draco extracted one from his grip and wiped the silent tears scattered all over Harry’s cheeks.

“Would you really give me a piece of your soul?” Harry asked, sniffing miserably.

“In the blink of an eye.”

Harry fell into his arms and held him. He never wanted to let go.

“Okay,” he whispered. “We can try the procedure if you can promise me you’ve found the safest possible option.”

Draco smiled against his ear. Harry felt hope making its way into his chest and he knew it was dangerous but he couldn’t help it, he had faith in Draco, Theo, George and all his friends and nothing was going to change that.