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24 November, 1994

Harry hears Malfoy's footsteps before he sees him.

Harry licks his lips in anticipation as he pushes himself up from the cold floor opposite the classroom door, his eyes locked onto a rapidly-advancing Malfoy. Grey smoulders on green when Malfoy strides over to him, ripping off the POTTER STINKS badge from his Slytherin robes and tossing it to the ground. He rakes both hands through his blond hair — Harry loves it whenever he does that — another pull and turn with Malfoy's hands on his shoulders, and they're kissing; hot fiery kisses framed by growls and nibbles, the sort of kisses that Harry loves...

... the only sort of kisses that Harry knows.

Malfoy moves like no other.

They pull apart after a moment; chests heaving, kiss-swollen lips glistening and eyes shining with life; a fire that only either can ignite in the other. Desire thrums in Harry's veins, and he acts on that, pulling the other boy closer and angling his head so that his lips brush against Malfoy's neck.

He feels, rather than hears, the hitch in Malfoy's breath.

A faded love bite peeks out timidly from the top of Malfoy's collar, and as his tongue lips teeth climb a ladder of day-old love bites up Malfoy's throat, refreshing them along the way, Harry recalls how he had placed them there just last night — the day before the First Task of the Triwizard Tournament.

"I love it when you play rough, Potter. Don't stop..." Malfoy had moaned, and it was only then that Harry drew back.

He stared at his own love bites blooming on Malfoy’s pale skin like crushed roses on snow, wondering what Ron Weasley — stupid, jealous Ron who used to be his best mate — would think if he had seen Harry's tongue down Draco Malfoy's throat.

What they did... it's just a way to let off steam, what with the anger, loneliness and sadness that Harry feels about his fraying friendship with Ron and Hermione, the stress and anxiety about the Tournament and the deluge of schoolwork.

Or so Harry had thought on the night after that damned Goblet spat his name out. Malfoy had turned the corner, seen him and started his usual taunts oh look at Potter, attention-seeking Potter who takes every chance to show off! Wonder how Weasley feels about this, being shunted to the side once again-, his hateful words salting the air.

Harry had had enough.

They'd lunged at each other, fists at the ready, arms flying and swear words snarled under their breaths. Harry got a split lip, while Malfoy got a punch to the gut, and that's when it happened — Malfoy stared at the blood seeping onto his lower lip...

...and kissed him.

His tongue lapped on Harry's lips, and Harry could feel a shiver going through Malfoy's body, his hands digging into the back of Harry's neck. Still, Harry stayed unresponsive, his eyes open and locked onto the sight of Malfoy, Malfoy tilting his head and tangling his fingers into Harry's hair, grey eyes already closed.

When Malfoy deepened the kiss, Harry finally responded, pumping adrenaline galvanising his own lips into action. Malfoy's lips were dry, but his mouth was so warm. Inexplicably, Harry was kissing back, his fists uncurling themselves and his palms pressed flat on Malfoy's back, his eyes fluttering closed as he lost himself in this new sensation.

They sprang apart when they heard faraway voices nearing.

The world spun on its axis when Malfoy grabbed his collar and pushed him up against the wall, his eyes wide with panic and disbelief.

And lust.

Malfoy staggered backwards, clamping a hand across his mouth.

"You're the one who kissed me, you idiot," Harry growled.

Malfoy had floundered, his eyes still latched onto Harry's lips. "How dare you kiss me back, Potter?! How dare you..."

And then he had stormed off, leaving a shell-shocked Harry in his wake. Eventually, Harry came to his senses and fled to Gryffindor Tower to wash his face, hoping that that would erase everything.

But his lips still tingled with the memory of Malfoy's kiss.

That was in October.   

It had started out as something entirely physical, but now, Harry wants more. He wants Malfoy all the damn time; Malfoy, with acres and acres of unblemished pale skin just begging to be explored; full, rosebud-pink lips that could turn up into a sneer or pucker into a kiss, both of which left Harry breathless; his unfathomable grey eyes mercurial in the moonlight — they meet only at night because this... thing between them is something that should never see the light of day.

Harry knows he should stop, but he can't.

He's brought back to the present by a hand on his face.

"You're hurt," Malfoy murmurs, touching his cheek in a surprisingly tender manner.

Harry leans into his touch.

Malfoy continues, his eyes half-lidded, his lips ghosting the side of Harry's face and his words emerging in an unhurried drawl. "How many times do I have to tell you — dragons are dangerous."

Harry knows that he's not talking about the Horntail.

"Not this one," Harry whispers back.

Malfoy's still tracing a fingertip around the wound on his cheek. Harry speaks, trying to alleviate the worry in Malfoy's eyes.

"Ron gave me something for it-"

At the mention of Ron's name, Malfoy yanks his hand back as if Harry’s words had burnt him. Jealousy flashes like quicksilver across his eyes.

"We're friends again," Harry explains. Something in Malfoy's expression closes up at once.

"I hate you so much, Potter! I hate you so damn much!"

Despite the painful twinge in his heart, Harry plays his part well, falling into his lines like clockwork. "I hate you more, Malfoy!"

Malfoy reaches for his shoulders and kisses him hard, the moan resonating between their mouths thrilling Harry down to the tips of his toes.

"This doesn't change anything. You're still Scarhead, and I hate you," Malfoy mumbles against his lips. He lifts his head, and Harry sees nothing but sharp grey eyes, kiss-bruised lips and flushed cheeks.

"You're still a bully, and I hate you too," Harry hisses, but his tone carries no bite and his eyes burn with desire instead of hatred.

Malfoy holds his gaze for a long moment, his eyes contemplative in the weak silvery shimmer of moonlight. He dips his head and Harry feels Malfoy’s eyelashes grazing his jaw and warm puffs of breath on his neck...

...and that's when Malfoy bites.

Harry's cry of pain and pleasure echoes in the night air.

As he surrenders to the onslaught of Malfoy's kisses and nibbles and licks, he wonders whether their lies — lies that weaken with every kiss — are able to convince even themselves.


The tip of Harry's quill scratches through the parchment.

He glares at the small gash torn in the middle of his Potions homework, and then transfers his glare to the sight unfolding two tables away in the Great Hall — a twittering trio of Beauxbatons girls flocking around a laughing Malfoy. One of them runs a hand through his blond hair, and despite the anger and jealousy flooding through Harry, he feels a surge of triumph when Malfoy frowns and brushes her hand away.

Only Harry is allowed to touch Malfoy's hair. Not just touch, but to mess up and tousle and tangle the soft strands around his fingers-

Ron looks up at Harry's huff of frustration. He follows Harry’s attention to Malfoy.

"Don't get yourself so worked up about that, mate. Who cares if Malfoy gets a Beauxbatons girl for the Yule Ball? We'll find someone," Ron declares and edges a shifty look at Hermione, who is entirely absorbed in her own schoolwork.

Harry wants to laugh because Ron's got it the other way around, but there's nothing remotely funny about the situation. He dredges up a watery smile and gives Ron a tight nod.

They wouldn't understand.

No one would understand.

Ron and Hermione understood the enmity; they've got front-row tickets to the punches and insults and kicks that Harry and Malfoy hurl towards each other. But what they don’t understand is that they fight now not to hurt.

They fight because they can't wait another second without touching each other.

The fierier their fights in the school corridors during daytime, the more intense their night-time sessions would be. Although they've traded their punches for kisses and insults for soft whispers murmured against warm skin in the moonlight, this doesn't mean that they've stopped fighting.

Harry loves how Malfoy shows off his love bites as if he's wearing a crown, like how he used to flaunt his busted lips and black eyes. It doesn’t take much to get Harry going, just a subtle flick of Malfoy's fingers tugging his own collar down during classes when no one's watching, and Harry would see the bites mottled a sweet purple and yellow; the only blemishes worth painting on Malfoy's skin.

Particular places in Hogwarts remind Harry of Malfoy as he walked through the school with his friends every day — a handful of classrooms that they used for their rendezvous; a stretch of wall familiar to Harry because Malfoy had pushed him up against it, his face pressed onto the cold stone and glasses digging into his skin while Malfoy's hands skated up and down Harry's back before pushing Harry's hair (he'd grown it out a bit longer this year because he loves how Malfoy cards his fingers through his hair) away from the back of his neck to suck at his skin.

Is it a relationship?

No.

Does Harry care?

Hell no.

They’re each other's dirty little secret... a secret that's begging to be divulged right now because Malfoy is whispering something into the ear of the Beauxbatons girl. Harry knows how his voice can be — the cadence of that sugared-up voice low, intimate and seductive.

His hands clench with the urge to march over to Malfoy's table, throw the girls around him out of the Hall — preferably all the way to Hagrid's hut — and kiss Malfoy right here, right now, just the way Harry knows he likes to be kissed.

Despite the fury bubbling up within him, Harry knows he can't do that, so he does the next best thing: chuck all his books into his bag, mutter a hurried excuse to his friends and stalk out of the Hall. Who cares what Malfoy ends up doing with those girls? He's hardly going out with Malfoy; they're just two boys who hate each other that meet up to talk a little and snog a lot. He doesn't even know what's going on in Malfoy's head half the time.

It means nothing.

"Potter!"

Harry walks even faster. Malfoy must have left the Hall the second he saw Harry leave.

"Potter!"

Malfoy's running now, and Harry feels a rough yank on his arm.

"Go back to your French girls," Harry snarls and tries to shake himself free. Malfoy holds on and drags him into a deserted corridor. He crowds Harry up against the wall, his forearms on either side of Harry’s head, trapping him. His lips pull up into a triumphant smirk and his grey eyes sparkle as they roam all over Harry's thunderous face and coiled-up body, so ready to fight.

"Jealous, are we?" Malfoy mocks.

And then he slides a hand down the arch of Harry's back, pulls him close and kisses him.

Harry kisses back instinctively, even though a part of him wants to shove the other boy away.

Malfoy smiles against Harry's lips and breaks the kiss. 

"No need to be jealous, Potter, I can hardly remember their names. I just wanted your attention. I love it when you watch me with those eyes, love it when I'm so distracting that you can't even finish your homework." He licks up Harry's neck and Harry throws his head back, giving him full access to nibble, lick and suck. "I want your attention on me all the time until you can't think of anything else, anyone else. Only me."

I want you. I want you in every sense of the word. Does that count? Harry thinks dimly. They've been so hyper-aware of each other ever since they were eleven. This push-pull of aggression and lust drives Harry wild — his head's gone all giddy with longing, full of Malfoy's distinctive vanilla scent, the heat of his skin, the texture of soft blond hair caught between Harry's fingers, and his kisses, God, his intoxicating kisses, practically tailor-made for Harry because he knows exactly how Harry likes it. He hears a thump and wonders if that's his heart falling out of his ribcage because it's beating so fast, but no, that's just his arm going limp and dropping his bag, spilling books all over the floor around them.

"You're mine," Harry whispers, his eyes steely.  

Malfoy withdraws at once.

"No. I'm not yours at all."

"You'll fight me every step of the way."

"Yes, I will."

Harry fists a hand in Malfoy's collar, yanking him towards him.

"I love it when we fight," Harry says around a sigh and kisses him hard. Malfoy meets it with an equal amount of ferocity; the sort of kiss that boils and bubbles over the edge, so hot and heavy that it scorches the very air around them.

Malfoy is danger; danger as beautiful and broken as lying motionless in a pool of shattered crystal glass.

And Harry will stay there — waiting, watching, hoping — for as long as Malfoy will have him.


25 December, Christmas

This thing with Potter had started out as an experiment borne out of convenience — just a bit of fun to take the grind out of the daily humdrum of homework and lessons. Draco had an inkling over summer break that he might be more partial to boys than girls, and then Potter had appeared earlier this school year, all gnashing teeth, bunched-up fists and fiery green eyes. Draco couldn’t help himself; he’d been curious and he’d never kissed anyone before and Potter was a boy and he was there and Draco hated him but wanted him all at the same time-

He had just wanted a taste of Potter; wanted to try him out.

Now, Draco can’t stop.

He stretches a hand across his eyes, rubbing his temples. The festivities of the Yule Ball have finally wound down. The rest of the Slytherins are back in the dungeons, yet Draco is out here alone on the wooden bridge on the castle grounds, chin propped in his palm and elbows resting on the beams of the bridge as he quietly watches the world pass by. The full moon beams down at him, throwing glitter on the magnificent snow-capped mountains framed by trees weighed down with the fresh snowfall of the evening. An owl hoots plaintively in the distance. Draco closes his eyes and inhales. The night air is cool and refreshing, calming the turmoil that he’d felt at the Ball.

He wasn’t supposed to feel jealous when he saw Potter dancing with Patil — well it was barely dancing and more of a sort of awkward shuffling, Draco notes in mean-spirited glee. He hates it whenever Potter’s attention isn’t on him, and to see a blushing Potter holding Patil in his arms, his attention focused completely on Patil and their dance steps had made Draco frightfully possessive and jealous. Throughout the night, while he danced with Pansy (making his own dance moves a bit more flamboyant whenever he felt Potter’s eyes on him) he had tried to rationalise this tumbling landslide of conflicting emotions — they didn’t mean anything to each other, they can dance with whomever they wanted to. Yes, they do kiss each other all the time, but it’s just curious experimentation, a part and parcel of growing up. Salazar, they still hated each other-

Draco lets out a thin laugh.

How can you hate someone whom you’ve spent the past two months kissing?

I bet if I danced with Potter, we’d dance wonderfully, he thinks. Before he can stop himself, an image of Potter and him swirling around the Great Hall rises to mind. Draco will lead, of course, as he’s the better dancer, and Potter will follow and they’ll make such a striking couple-

His mind shudders to a stop at the thought of being a couple with Potter. Before he can delve deeper into this train of thought, he hears footsteps behind him.

He doesn’t even need to turn.

“You dance like shit, Potter.”

Potter laughs in a rather self-deprecating manner. He moves closer to Draco until they’re standing side-by-side. When he brushes his shoulder briefly against Draco’s, Draco shivers.

That’s probably because of the cold.

Potter mirrors Draco’s body language; elbows pressed on the rough wooden barricades of the bridge, fingers clasped together, shoulders loose and relaxed, his grinning face turned towards the moon. Draco edges a glance at the other boy — he’s dressed in a jumper and jeans while Draco’s wearing a black shirt and a pair of perfectly-pressed black trousers.

“I wish I could say the same to you,” Potter murmurs, meeting Draco’s gaze.

Draco stands up straight, sniffing haughtily. “I am the epitome of grace, Potter. I should be; I’ve been taking dancing lessons ever since I was a child.”

“Good for you,” Potter scoffs, unimpressed. “My first attempt at dancing was just a week before the Ball itself, you git. Ron actually had to dance with McGonagall,” — he blanches — “Does… does this mean that Snape taught the Slytherins how to dance?”

Draco bristles. “For your information, Professor Snape is a brilliant dancer. He turns, dips and waltzes like no other.”

Potter takes one look at his scowl and collapses into laughter. “Snape dancing…  I can’t… I really can’t…” Potter manages between gasps of bright, ringing laughter which echoes around them.

Despite himself, Draco smiles. He stiffens when Potter moves behind him to wrap his arms around his waist. He inches up on his toes to nip at Draco’s earlobe.

“I saw your face while I was dancing with Parvati. You always want my attention,” he whispers.

“I do not.” Draco is being contrary for the sake of it, because they both know that Potter’s right. Pleased that Potter was sneaking glances at him even when he was occupied with Patil, Draco relaxes into his touch. Potter takes the hint, pressing himself closer against Draco’s back and squeezing his waist.

“Really?” Potter continues, his voice low and soft against Draco’s neck. “You climbed a tree in the courtyard just to mock me, Malfoy. Did Crabbe and Goyle give you a boost to get your sweet arse up there? 

Draco puffs up indignantly. “I’ll have you know that-“

“Or was it that love note in third year that you folded into a crane and then blew it over to me like an angel? Stellar job at bullying, Malfoy, absolutely stellar.”

“It was not a love note!”

“Or how you shout across the Great Hall half the time during meals just to make me look at you? The Gryffindor and Slytherin tables are literally on opposite sides of the Hall, you know.”

“I have to shout because you’re deaf, Potter!”

“Because you have my attention, Malfoy. All of it, every time. Ever since first year,” Potter murmurs and strides away from Draco. He turns to see a smirking — where the hell did Potter learn to smirk like that? — Potter with his arms spread out, as if offering himself up to Draco.

“You say I can’t dance. You think you can do a better job than McGonagall of teaching me?” Potter asks, his chin jutting out in challenge. “Dance with me then, if you dare to.”

He knows he’s got Draco right where he wants him.

Draco saunters towards him — he notes how Potter’s eyes swivel at once to his hips — and meets Potter’s smirk with a cocky grin of his own. “It’s risky, dancing with me,” he whispers, danger interlacing his words and an eyebrow arched to meet Potter’s challenge head-on.

Potter laughs flippantly and steps closer, hooking his fingers into the belt-loops of Draco’s trousers and jerking him until they’re chest-to-chest. “I like risks,” he says cheekily, his eyes trained on Draco’s lips.

Draco’s breath hitches.

“Fine. We’ll dance, but I’ll lead.”

Potter shrugs a shoulder and gets into position, letting Draco guide his hands to where they should be. Draco walks and talks him through a basic waltz, and it takes a few tries before Potter gets it well enough to be able to dance for a few counts without stepping on Draco’s toes or tripping over his own feet.

“Not bad, Potter,” Draco drawls in encouragement. The frown of concentration on Potter’s face is wiped off to be replaced with a rather shy smile. Bashful green eyes peer out beneath a mop of black hair that’s sticking up in all directions because Potter’s run his hands through his hair so much in frustration.

Draco finds it strangely endearing.

“Ready?”’

Potter nods. They start dancing on the wooden bridge with moonlight twinkling down on them and the floorboards creaking underneath their shoes. Still counting the steps out loud, Draco gently leads them away from the shelter of the bridge and back towards the castle. When they step onto powder-soft snow, he stops counting.

“Alright?” He asks when Potter stumbles.

“Why d’you stop counting?” Potter mutters in an accusatory tone. He’s looking straight down at their feet, in fact, most of the time, Draco’s only seen the crown of Potter’s head because he keeps shooting anxious glances at their feet.

Draco stops dancing.

“I want to look at my partner’s face when I’m dancing, not the top of his head. Don’t see, Potter. Feel.”

“That sounds absurdly advanced. I don’t think I can do that.”

Draco rolls his eyes and promptly pulls Potter into his arms and resumes their positions. He frowns when Potter’s head immediately bows to look at their feet. Sighing, he slides a finger under Potter’s chin and tilts his head up. “Look at me. I’ll guide you.”

Potter wrinkles his nose in confusion. “If I don’t see where I’m going, how can I-“

“Shut it and follow me, you silly git,” Draco orders. Potter huffs in response. They pick up from where they left off, Draco wincing occasionally when Potter treads on his toes, but it doesn’t take long before they’re dancing comfortably, their figures painting graceful arcs on the snow.

“Oh wow, I can’t believe I’m dancing!” Potter pipes up. “And not hurting anyone in the process,” he adds as an afterthought.

“Concentrate,” Draco barks.

“I am! It’s just that… what I’m concentrating on is just so… distracting,” Potter murmurs and licks his lips, his green eyes sharpening as he looks deep into Draco’s eyes. “Really… really distracting.” He lifts a hand from Draco’s shoulder and runs the back of his hand down the side of Draco’s face. Draco tries to control the longing, but he can’t, so he leans in to Potter’s touch, his eyes closing for a brief moment.

It’s so surreal, dancing with Harry Potter, yet here they are, snowflakes swirling joyfully around their feet as they twirl to a song that only they know. The stars wink down at them like bright, cheery lights twined round a Christmas tree. Draco dimly registers that his Warming Charm has faded long ago, but the heat from Potter’s body is more than enough to keep him toasty warm. He’s suffused with an intoxicating sense of power, knowing that every sliver of Potter’s attention is focused on him and only him.

That’s the way Draco always wants it to be.

They’re just two boys slow-dancing together in the snow and moonlight on Christmas night without the weight of their destiny and bloodline on their shoulders. Potter reaches up to brush snow off Draco’s hair, his fingers threading tenderly through blond locks.

Only Potter is allowed to touch his hair.

They’re drawn to each other like an unstoppable magnetic force. It must’ve been written somewhere all over the stars, if not how could this be, because, because-

Potter traces a fingertip along the cupid’s bow of Draco’s lips, his touch so gentle and so intimate that it makes Draco’s heart flip over. He catches Potter’s wrist and kisses each of his fingertips, never breaking eye contact with the other boy. 

“I…” Potter tries. He can’t keep his eyes off Draco’s mouth.

it’s risky, you know-

“Shhh… you tend to spoil things by talking,” Draco murmurs. They’ve stopped dancing at the same time, and they’re both leaning closer, there’s no stopping it now-

dancing with me-

They kiss, but it’s different this time, so wildly different compared to the kisses they’ve grown accustomed to — these are the softest and sweetest kisses that Draco’s ever experienced; kisses that dissolve on his tongue like the faint sparkles of falling snow. Hands sweep up and down waists, curl into chests and graze the back of necks.

“Draco.”

Just one word — Draco’s own name that he hears on a daily basis — but it’s coming from Potter’s mouth. It’s the first time he’s said it and it sounds so dangerous, that single word pushing Draco down this slippery slope and he’s falling and falling and losing control and it feels so divine-

Potter whispers his name again into the kiss, and Draco kisses him even harder. He doesn’t know why; whether he wants Potter to say it again, or he wants to stop him from saying it, because he’s scared, he’s terrified…

…at how much he wants to hear Potter say his name all over again.

“Draco. I want more.”

Draco freezes for a split second and pulls away, his heart flipping right over and dropping like a boulder. Potter looks utterly stricken, as if he’s said something that he’s kept inside for a long time but still wishes he could take it back the minute it’s out. Salazar, Potter looks utterly gorgeous, his lips a lush red from all the kissing, inky scrawls of black hair all over the place and dazed eyes blinking behind smudged glasses.

Draco has never seen him look so vulnerable before.

This is the first time they’ve kissed out in the open; before this, all of their clandestine meetings have been held behind closed doors, their kisses hoarded away like polished jewels gleaming in tinkling music boxes, but something’s changed irrevocably tonight. Fresh night air breezes across Draco’s skin, ruffling his hair and breathing life into their relationship. Their kisses are no longer secret, no longer sheltered and tucked away.

They’ve danced around the line in the sand, toeing it and tempting fate, but tonight, they’ve finally crossed it.  

Those three simple words have changed the entire fabric of their relationship.

Draco backs away one step, two steps from Potter, who reaches out to grab him. His fingers hook around Draco’s wrist, and Draco’s so tempted to fall back into the other boy’s arms and never stop kissing him, but everything has changed.

Draco does the only thing he knows.

He runs.

The stars in the skies above them dim and shatter in sadness.

Ignoring Potter’s cry of his name, he slips away into the night. His heart rattling around in his chest like a trapped bird in a cage, he runs across the grounds, back into Hogwarts and hurtles into the first empty classroom he sees. Draco collapses in the dusty corner and presses the heels of his hands over his eyes.

Something big is going to happen this year, Draco can feel it. He’s heard Father’s furtive whispers to Mother all throughout summer holidays, accompanied with a flash of his Dark Mark which has been steadily solidifying in outline. Along with the fiasco at the Quidditch World Cup…

Draco doesn’t know what’s going to happen, but a traitorous part of him doesn’t want anything to happen to Potter. He remembers how his heart had cramped in worry while he watched Potter’s battle with the Horntail. He slumps against the wall, rubbing his fingers on his lips. Potter’s kisses set him on fire and make him feel more alive than anything else, even Quidditch.

This… thing between them breaks every rule.

He laughs, a bubble of mirthless laughter escaping from his lips.

Potter’s always liked breaking rules.


Draco tries to forget about Potter and his snow-lit Christmas kisses even though he can feel Potter’s heated gaze skewering the back of his neck in classes. He tries to forget about Potter and his forest-green eyes held wide and hopeful when he murmured I want more while he does his homework in the Slytherin dorms; no longer in the Great Hall or in the library because those are places where he risks running into Potter. He tries to forget Potter and the love bites strewn all over his tanned skin, but he can’t, because whenever Draco looks into the mirror, he remembers Potter’s own love bites all over his pale skin like scattershot lipstick marks.

Draco tries to forget all about Potter, but how can he, when some days, Potter’s kisses are the only things worth remembering?

How can he, when everywhere he turns in the Slytherin dorms he sees green, not green for Slytherin…

…but green for Potter. 

He tightens his grip on his broom. Instead of meeting Potter most evenings, he’s gone back to flying, back to the one thing that made him feel alive before he discovered Potter.  

But it’s not working anymore.

Even in the skies, he can’t escape Potter.

Sighing, Draco rubs his face. He shouldn’t have come out to the field tonight; even though it’s one of the warmer evenings, it’s still too cold for flying. He’s just about to descend when an Illuminated Golden Snitch darts across his vision.

“What the-“ Draco rears back, alarmed.

“Still the same, Malfoy? Can’t even catch it when it’s right under your nose?”

Draco spins around so fast that he nearly falls off his broom.

There Potter sits, on his own broom in his Quidditch leathers, an eyebrow raised and a cheeky grin playing on his lips.

“How do you always know where I am?” Draco asks, his pulse racing at the sight of the other boy. That’s something he’s always wondered about ever since their… arrangement, which consisted of Draco waiting in an empty classroom at night and Potter turning up unerringly in said classroom.

Potter merely shrugs, his eyes sparkling with mischief. “Sixth sense.” He tightens the straps on his glove. “Up for a game? It’s been a long time since I’ve played, what with the Tournament and all.”

Draco hesitates. Every second spent in Potter’s company is an accident waiting to happen.

He briefly thinks of his parents.

Potter laughs, his words mocking and his eyes narrowed.

“Scared, Malfoy? Just because I’ve taken on a Horntail and won?”

Draco’s jaw clenches, the familiar fire flaring in his bones chasing away his parents’ disapproval. “You’re on!”

Potter always knows how to push his buttons.

Without waiting for Potter’s response, Draco rockets off towards the other side of the pitch where he last saw a flicker of gold. Satisfied when he hears Potter’s snarl, he smirks and edges forward on his broom.

“You’ll never catch me, Potter!” Draco twists around to shout, but his smirk fades when Potter puts on another burst of speed.

“Yeah? Watch me, Malfoy!” he hollers. 

Adrenaline storms through his blood like a liquid inferno as Draco turns back to the front and hurtles onwards, his body held low and taut on his broom. He feels a nudge on his shoulder and knows that Potter’s caught up.

They’re now flying together shoulder-to-shoulder in a sky full of stars, and Draco feels more alive than he’s ever been. It’s completely different — flying alone versus flying with Potter — to feel Potter’s intense beam of focus on him and only on him, the way it has always been, the way it will always be, the way it should be-

Draco lets out a giddy laugh that gets swallowed up by the wind whistling in his ears. He doesn’t know where the Snitch has flown to, and truth be told, he doesn’t really care. As long as he’s together with Potter, challenging him and fighting him and touching him and kissing him, he doesn’t really care much about anything else.

A clap of thunder, paired with a streak of lightning flashing on the horizon, startles Draco. It all happens so fast: Draco yelps and swerves sharply to the left, losing his balance and slipping away from his broom. He feels an arm grabbing him by the edges of his uniform, slowing his descent, before he falls to the ground with Potter tumbling a short distance away from him.

It’s lucky that they were flying fast but not high. Besides, Draco’s experienced worse falls during Quidditch matches.

Potter shakes his head, gets up and hurries over to Draco at once. “Are you alright?” He asks, his voice rather panicky.

Draco wiggles his toes and his fingers, flexes both arms, stretches his calves out and hauls himself up to a sitting position.

“Yeah. Nothing’s broken. I’m fine.” Draco squints around the pitch. “The Snitch…”

Potter crouches down beside him and when another flash of lightning illuminates the longing scrawled all over his face, Draco has to look away; no, not because he’s disgusted at the expression, but because he doesn’t want Potter to see the same longing on his own face.

Potter slowly tugs his gloves free and flexes his fingers, keeping his eyes on Draco’s the entire time. When he speaks, his tone is deceptively light-hearted, but Draco notes the tremor in his words.

"I came out here tonight not to catch the Snitch. I'm here because I want to catch you."

Draco’s first reaction is to scoff what kind of pick-up line is that, Potter?! Did you get that from Witch Weekly?-, but his retort wilts on his lips when Potter tucks a finger under his chin, a brilliant sort of intensity glimmering in his eyes that tells Draco what he’s about to do-

“We have to stop this,” Draco tries in a shaky voice. He’s hanging onto his voice of reason like how a drowning man would hang onto a life-line, but Potter’s the very personification of the churning waves that are pulling him under – wild, messy, out of control and dangerous-

Potter pauses, but his mouth is so tantalisingly close, and Draco can feel his traitorous body reacting to Potter’s proximity even though alarms are clanging at the back of his head; his hands reaching over to keep Potter close, his half-lidded eyes are trained entirely on Potter’s lips, his own breathing has sped up, mirroring Potter’s breaths.

“D’you want me to stop?” Potter murmurs, and when his tongue darts out to lick his lips, Draco knows he’s playing a losing game.

“No.”

That single word comes out barely as a breath.

And when Potter finally leans in to press their lips together, Draco closes his eyes and shudders. It’s as perfect as he remembers; just like those kisses shared on a backdrop of sugar-swept snow and soft sparkling moonlight on Christmas night.

That night, the world had stopped breathing just to watch them dance. 

Draco’s preserved that scene in the snow-globe of his heart.

They kiss — slowly, softly, luxuriously — in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, Draco’s fingers curling against Potter’s chest and Potter sighing into Draco’s mouth. Every nerve ending in Draco’s body sags in relief when the kiss deepens, as if they’ve been watching and waiting for Potter to breathe life into him.

Draco’s finally got his fix.

They don’t even notice the rain when it starts. It’s only when pinpricks of rain land on Potter’s glasses that they reluctantly pull apart. Draco gently tugs his glasses off and simply stares into his eyes. They look brighter, more vulnerable without his glasses, and Draco will never forget this sight — of Potter half-sprawled in his lap, his endearingly crooked smile, the shy way that he ducks his head when Draco stares just a bit too intently.

“I couldn’t stay away from you. Trust me, I’ve tried,” Potter mumbles, rubbing the back of his neck where his hair is getting increasingly wet. “You’ve tried too, haven’t you? You’ve been avoiding me.”

Draco blinks rain out of his eyes.

“Yet here we are,” Draco says. Rain is steadily soaking through his clothes, sticking them to his skin, just like how Potter’s stuck on him-

“Here we are,” Potter repeats, his gaze catching onto a single raindrop trickling down the side of Draco’s face.

He leans over to lick it.

When they gasp and fall into each other, kissing all over again in the pouring rain with Draco looping his arms — one hand still clutching onto Potter’s glasses — around Potter’s neck and Potter wrapping his own arms around Draco’s waist, the only thing that Draco cares about is the sweetness of rain on Potter’s lips.

There’s no use running from Potter anymore.

Because Potter will find him anywhere.


24 February, 1995

Draco has his Transfiguration homework in front of him, but he keeps reading the same sentence over and over again. His brain is dazed and working as slow as molasses, and he’s not sure whether it’s caused by a combination of Madam Pomfrey’s medication or the fact that he’s the person that Potter “will sorely miss.”  

When Draco had said at the beginning of the school year that he was excited about the Triwizard Tournament, he was saying it purely from the role of spectator, not as participant.

But that hadn’t stopped him from being pulled up from the depths of the Great Lake by Harry Potter that morning. They had broken through the surface of the water, Draco cocooned in the safety of Potter’s arms.

“Are you alright?” Potter asked, his eyes wide and mouth downturned in abject worry as he smoothed Draco’s hair back. “Merlin, I don’t know what Dumbledore was thinking, putting all of you here in the Lake. Malfoy, Malfoy, can you hear me?!” 

His chest heaving, Draco gasped in fresh gulps of air. It took a while for his world to click back into place; he felt the immense weight of his school robes hanging wet and heavy on his trembling frame, he tasted the murky tang of lake water on his lips, and most importantly, Potter’s presence close to him, holding him and fussing over him, the warmth of his body cutting right through the cold and warming Draco all the way down to the marrow of his bones.

And most distressingly, he heard a hush descend over the audience, before breaking out into excited chatters Malfoy?! The one that Potter will sorely miss?!-

The entire school was watching.

Draco squeezed Potter’s hand under the water before snarling and shoving him away hard. Summoning whatever remaining stores of energy he had left, Draco paddled back to the jetty with Potter close behind. The minute he reached land, Pansy threw a fluffy towel over his shivering body while Vince and Greg — hulking, dark and scowling — stood like sentinels over their friends.

Potter bit his lip and hovered right in the middle; between the Slytherins and the other champions. Eventually, he turned away from Draco and hurried towards the other hostages. Draco blinked the water out from his eyes and saw Granger, flanked by Potter and Krum. Delacour was comforting a young French girl, while Diggory had his arms around Chang. With growing interest, Draco watched as Weasley stalked towards Potter and snarled at him with a red face and angry gestures, one of which included flinging a hand towards Draco’s direction.

When Potter retaliated by shouting back at Weasley, Draco smiled with satisfaction…

…a smile that had frozen and fallen off when he caught sight of Dumbledore’s twinkling, all-knowing gaze directed at him.

“Hey.”

The sight of Potter peeking through the curtains surrounding his infirmary bed jostles Draco out of his reverie.

“How are you?” Potter asks, stepping in fully and closing the curtains around them. “I came right over when I knew you were here.” His gaze flickers between Draco’s bed and the adjacent chair. Eventually, he wipes his palms on his pyjama bottoms — Draco’s eyebrows raise at Potter’s bright-red Golden Snitch pyjamas — and sits on the chair.

Once again, Draco has no idea how Potter’s found him; he had developed flu symptoms right after dinner, and Pansy had taken it upon herself to chivvy him oh you better let Pomfrey take a look at you, Draco, who knows what you’ve been exposed to in that lake!- to the infirmary. Only his friends know that he’s spending the night here.

Draco puts his parchment and quill away.

“It’s just a cold. I’m feeling better after Pomfrey’s medication. I should be back for lessons tomorrow.”

Potter smiles, relieved. “That’s good to know. I was worried.”

Draco fiddles with a corner of his blanket.

“People are talking about us,” he mumbles. “Care to explain why I’m the one you’ll sorely miss instead of Weasley?”

“I’ve been thinking about that too.” Potter shifts his chair forward and rests his elbows on the edge of Draco’s bed. “Just think, Malfoy. If you suddenly vanished from my life, wouldn’t I… miss you?” His face goes pink. “You were the first person of my age that I spoke to when I first entered the wizarding world. You were my first enemy. You fight me, annoy me, challenge me every day, and now, you’re my… er…” He makes a vague gesture between them.

“I’m not your… anything!” Draco squeaks, the colour of his cheeks matching Potter’s red-hot blush.

The thought that he’s someone Potter will sorely miss thrills and chills Draco at the same time.

Both boys look furiously at their laps for a moment, waiting for their respective blushes to go away.

“Perhaps I could accept that explanation, but I can’t mean more to you than Weasley. He’s your…” Draco swallows down the jealousy that rises whenever they mention Weasley. “He’s your best mate.”

“Yeah, he is. But this year hasn’t been good for our friendship — what with the First Task and the Yule Ball and the thing with Hermione.” Potter sighs. “He’s mad at me again, wondering why he’s not the one that was at the bottom of the Lake today.”

Draco scowls and crosses his arms. “If he wants to be in the Lake so badly, I could always get Vince and Greg to chuck him in there tomorrow night.” Upon seeing the glare Potter sends his way, Draco unfolds his arms and raises his hands in surrender. “Alright, alright. I won’t ask them to do that.” He lowers his voice. “You should go back and talk to him.”

Potter looks beautifully conflicted. “I should, yeah?”

Draco’s jealousy, coiled up within him like a snake in repose, rears up and hisses the second Potter hauls out himself out of his chair.

Instead of leaving, Potter blunders into Draco’s bed, which creaks at the additional weight. Draco yelps at the unexpected action and scoots back to make space for him.

“You’re here. Sick because of me. I should be with you instead. Taking care of you.” With that, Potter places his glasses and his wand next to Draco’s own wand and homework on the bedside table. He wraps the covers snugly around them and faces Draco with unblinking eyes. “I want to stay the night. With you. If you’d let me.” He adds the last few words as an afterthought.

Draco’s heart clatters at twice the speed at the thought of Potter in bed with him.

“You smell of toothpaste, and you’re in your pyjamas. Bit presumptuous of you, assuming that I’ll let you stay the night,” Draco manages, concentrating on keeping his voice steady.

Potter chuckles. “But I’m already here in your bed. You gonna kick me out now?” He flashes Draco a cheeky grin and a wink. “Especially if I do this…” He promptly threads his fingers through Draco’s hair and rubs his scalp in soothing, circular motions, exactly like how Mother used to do when he was sick.

Draco can’t help it — he leans into Potter and purrs like a kitten.

“Mmmm… it is your fault that I’m here. I do have a very delicate constitution,” Draco says around a sigh of pleasure and nuzzles into Potter’s chest. He knows he’s acting like putty in Potter’s hands, but he loves being at the centre of Potter’s attention, and it’s even sweeter being pampered by Potter.

They fall into a quiet, comfortable lull; Potter rubbing Draco’s head and grinning to himself while Draco curls up into a happy little ball and lets Potter spoil him.

“You always have to be the hero, don’t you, Potter?” Draco breaks the silence and looks up at Potter, who stops rubbing his head. Draco frowns, places Potter’s hand back on his head and only continues speaking when Potter resumes his stroking. “I heard what happened in the lake. You got to me first, but you had to make sure all the hostages were free before you came up with me.”

Potter shrugs easily. “Anyone would have done the same.”

No, they wouldn’t. It’s just you. Brave, noble, silly Potter, Draco wants to say. I’m nothing like you. What in Salazar’s name are you doing with me then?

Instead, Draco asks, “Are you worried about the third task?”

Potter shrugs again. “I just finished the second one today. I think I deserve a bit of a break before I start worrying about the third one, eh? I’ll just be bloody glad when this entire thing is over.”

They lapse into a contented silence. Recently, they’ve spent more and more time talking or staying silent rather than kissing, and Draco can’t say that he minds this change very much.

Potter suddenly stops rubbing Draco’s head and fixes him with a very serious expression.

“So I’m the first boy you’ve kissed?”

Draco splutters, his face flaming.

“What kind of question is that?!”

“Just curious,” Potter says, quirking an eyebrow playfully. “Who knows what you Slytherins get up in your dungeons. There’s lots of stories going about, you know.”

“And you believe those stories?! Even though you clearly know that you were my… my…” Draco can barely get the words out; he’s so mortified that he has to spell it out so blatantly.

“You’re the first boy I’ve kissed, if you were wondering,” Potter says and flashes an insolent grin at Draco, who sniffs.

“There’s no need to wonder about something that one is perfectly confident about.” Draco frowns when he suddenly thinks of something. “Although… I heard some time back that you had a thing for Chang.”

“Yeah, I did. Then I got distracted along the way. Very, very distracted.” Potter’s sentence finishes in a whisper as he skitters a fingertip along each dip and rise of Draco’s cheekbones, illuminated by moonlight. “Distracted by a pointy, ferrety git who’s both annoying and completely gorgeous at the same time. And did I mention that he kisses like a rock star?”

“Why, why, Potter. Your sweet-talking is improving, although I don’t really care for the half-hidden insults.”

Potter’s lips curve up into a smirk. “Learnt from the best.” He tucks Draco into his arms. “Sleep. You need the rest.”

Draco shakes his head. “Later.”

He can sleep any damn time he wants, but Potter’s here and the only thing he wants to do is kiss Potter silly and senseless.

So he does just that.

There’s no use fighting it anymore, Draco thinks when Potter presses a hand to the small of his back and returns his kisses with designer lips wrapped in teenage dreams. The blankets bunch around their thighs as they twist and turn.

The world could fall apart any moment and they wouldn’t even notice.

Whatever Potter wanted, he took; worming into Draco’s bed tonight just like how he had sneaked through the nooks and crannies of Draco’s defences and slipped into his heart. 

And the knowledge that Potter wants him drives Draco wild.

Draco had waited for this feverish passion to fade like hot breaths on cool frosted glass, like pencil marks scratched onto parchment. It can’t last — this sensation of floating on this cloud buoyed up by this perpetual high that is Potter.

Draco waits for that snow-globe in his heart to crash and burn.

And eventually, it does.


25 June, 1995

After last night, he can't look at Draco Malfoy the same way again.

“Did you know?” Harry looks at Draco dead in the eye, his voice eerily calm even though his fists are clenched and his body’s shaking with rage and disbelief.

Draco gulps and squeezes his eyes shut. His face is pale and drawn, shining with a sickly sheen of sweat under the moonlight.

Harry thinks he doesn’t look so gorgeous anymore.

“Did you know?!” Harry shouts, his words lashing out as sudden and as sharp as a bolt out of the blue. Draco flinches as if Harry had physically struck him. “Did you know that this was gonna happen?! No one believes that Voldemort is back. But you do, don’t you?” He takes a menacing step forward, the wooden boards of the bridge creaking ominously under his feet.

This is the same place where they had danced, but that scene felt like an eternity ago.

Draco retreats, his eyes darting left and right for an escape route as Harry advances, his face twisted in fury.

“You believe me, because you know he’s back. You know he’s back because your father was there in the graveyard. Your father watched and laughed as Voldemort tried to kill me, a sixteen-year-old boy! I almost died, Draco! Would you have even cared if I had died?!”  

“Of course I… how dare you… how dare you-“

“Your father just stood there and watched as I ran for my life with Cedric’s… Cedric’s body and I… I watched him die! Oh my God, I watched him die,” Harry’s voice is nothing but a mere croak. He turns away from Draco and squeezes the sides of the bridge so hard that his hands tremble and his knuckles turn white.

Harry continues to mumble unintelligibly to himself. He tries to close his eyes, blocking out the horrible scenes crawling around in his mind, but he can’t, because they’re burnt into his very eyes — that jet of green light had happened so fast; Harry didn’t even have time to finish his scream and then Cedric was dead, dead on the ground with his eyes open — Cedric, who was just brimming with life moments before…

Harry, take my body back will you-

He can still remember how he had fisted Cedric’s shirt — stained with dirt and blood — in his hands; the hard and heavy thump of his lifeless body on the ground and the taste of his own tears in his mouth, tears that fell right on Cedric’s chest — a chest that no longer housed a beating heart; Amos Diggory’s howls of sorrow renting the air like the echoes of a gun-shot-  

take my body back to my father-

Voldemort had stood, triumphant and gleeful, in the centre of his circle of Death Eaters. When he’d yanked off Lucius Malfoy’s mask, Harry’s heart had seized up. He’d thought it was Draco-

“You’re his son,” Harry whispers, so lost in the thistles of his thoughts that he starts when he feels Draco’s quivering hand rest on his forearm in a show of comfort. He turns to face the blond head beside him, and when Draco’s features begin to blur into Lucius Malfoy’s face and back again, as the shifting sands of memory and reality start to mix, Harry swallows a sob and shoves Draco away so hard that he stumbles back and falls on the floor.

“You’re his son!” Harry shrieks so loud that his words reverberate around them in the cold night sky and all around the mountains surrounding them. He hangs his head. “How could I… how could we…”

He remembers Draco’s sneering face during the riot at the Quidditch World Cup. He had watched with unconcealed glee as Death Eaters — Lucius Malfoy amongst them — tortured Muggles and Muggle-borns-

No, that’s not it, Harry’s heart pipes up. That was when Draco had been Malfoy and not Draco — soft, warm Draco that had melted under Harry’s touch like snow throughout the school year, his glorious kisses an addictive slide of sticky glitter and sugar vanilla on Harry’s lips. No, it was Draco who Harry met during Hogsmeade weekends; that guilty thrill whenever he lied to Ron and Hermione and sneaked out of Hogwarts under his Invisibility Cloak; that surge of happiness and fulfilment when he met Draco at their usual corner where they talked and ate Honeydukes chocolates and poked fun of each other while they held hands and kissed under the stars.

Draco’s like a drug that Harry still can’t get enough. He’s so high on Draco, tip-toeing on a tight-rope suspended between the moon and stars. He doesn’t want to get off, no, even though he knows that one day, he’ll fall down crashing to either side; the side of the sweetest oblivion or harsh, glaring reality.  

And as Harry stares into the torn paper grey of Draco’s eyes, the tight-rope high up in the sky finally, finally snaps.

The both of them are part of something bigger than them, nothing but mere pawns playing on opposing sides of a chessboard.

Harry’s anger drains out; instead, he’s filled with a blank, empty horror when he visualises the Dark Mark — the exact replica of Snape’s own Mark that he had flashed in the hospital wing — marring the perfect, pale skin on Draco’s left forearm.

“Don’t… become one of them. Please, Draco…” Harry begs. “Promise me that no matter what happens, you won’t take it and become one of them.”

A glimmer of hope blossoms in Harry when a visible jolt ripples through Draco, who slowly looks up at him-

“He’s my father,” Draco eventually croaks, his eyes vacant and his hair wild.

Harry closes his eyes and tries to catch all the stars falling out of his broken heart.

And when he turns and runs away from the bridge, leaving Draco in a heap on the ground holding the pieces of Harry’s shattered heart, Harry wonders if this is what heartbreak in honeymoons feels like.


Late June, 1995

Harry looks different in daylight.

The sun filtering through the windows of the Hogwarts Express sets his fierce green eyes alight and accentuates the harsh line of his clenched jaw, throwing his features into sharp relief.

Vince and Greg stand up at once, cracking their knuckles.

Harry lifts his chin at them and remains on the threshold of the compartment, his body propping the door open. He shifts his attention to Draco.

“Can I talk you? Alone?”

Draco’s resigned himself to seeing and kissing Harry only in his wildest dreams, but yet here he is, standing right in front of him, close enough to touch.

Despite his thudding heart, Draco schools his features into one of casual nonchalance.

Vince and Greg look at Draco. At his command, they both sit down, eyeing the scene warily.

“Of course, whatever the Golden Boy wants, the Golden Boy gets,” Draco says with a sneer that he doesn’t mean. As he follows Harry down the corridor of the train, his head buzzes with what Harry wants with him.

They haven’t met ever since that night on the bridge. Draco had spent the past few days re-visiting that night over and over in his mind, trying to catch their kisses with his bare hands; kisses that evaporated like rainbows between his fingers. He wondered how things would have ended if he had promised unconditionally not to take the Mark under any circumstances, using each imaginary happy ending as a balm to soothe the pain of his wounded heart, but it hadn’t mattered in the end — what’s done was done.

Draco will not throw away his family pride and honour simply for Harry.

And so, he tried to collect his feelings and stow them away, cover up what he had shared with Harry with Incendios on love letters and Glamours on love bites, but how could he? How could he forget everything when every single time he turned his neck he felt the soreness of Harry’s secret lingering bites stinging, marking his skin?

How could he forget dancing in the rain of Harry’s snow-lit kisses?

They enter an empty compartment. Hooded grey eyes track Harry’s movements, and widen when he crosses the distance between them with two long strides, folds Draco up in his arms and presses their lips together in a brief, close-mouthed kiss.

Draco doesn’t even have time to react when Harry pulls away and throws himself on the seat.

“I couldn’t leave it like this between us over summer break. It’ll kill me,” Harry mumbles, not meeting Draco’s astonished eyes.

Draco lowers himself shakily into the seat opposite the other boy. “I can’t promise you what you want.”

Harry’s eyebrows are still knitted into a frown when he speaks. “I know. I’ve been thinking. If it were me, I…” He trails off and looks out of the window, sighing deeply. The dappled sunlight sifting through passing trees throws ephemeral shadows on Harry’s features. He skewers Draco with a heated gaze, his lip curling in derision. “I can’t erase your entire upbringing and family values, but you aren’t your father, no matter how much you look like, and no matter how sometimes, you want to be like him.”

Draco’s breath catches in his throat when something in Harry’s face softens. “You’re not like him. You’re nothing like your father.”

Draco closes his eyes, unsure about where this is going. “What do you want, Harry?”

A long silence passes.

“I can’t forget you.”

Draco opens his eyes, his heart stumbling like an out-of-sync ballerina.

Harry fiddles with the hem of his jumper while he talks.

“Merlin knows I’ve tried to. So many people in Hogwarts, and it just had to be you, Draco. It’s always been you.” Harry lets out a truncated laugh before his tone hardens. “He’s back, and he’s coming after me. And I’m going to fight him. It will always be me against him. Me against your father. But you’re not your father.”

Harry’s eyes are shining with self-righteousness fervour; eyes that remind Draco so much of fresh green grass and of blooming summer warmth. Draco thinks that Harry is utterly foolish, declaring so firmly and so confidently that he wants to fight the Dark Lord.

Yet Harry is brave, noble, and entirely worthy of the Gryffindor-gold thrumming in his blood.

Draco is nothing like Harry Potter.

“What I know now is that I can’t leave you. I can’t forget what we’ve become,” Harry continues. Draco feels that familiar blazing rush at the sincerity of Harry’s words and the way he’s looking at him — that intensity and focus directed solely towards Draco which makes his head spin and his blood pound.

“Can you… Will you…” Harry wipes his hands on his jeans. “Can you remember that you will always have a choice?”

Draco is suddenly reminded of Dumbledore’s speech during Cedric Diggory’s memorial feast. When he had lifted hesitant eyes to Dumbledore, the old man was looking straight at him, as if he was speaking directly to Draco.

if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy-

His father is practically the Dark Lord’s right-hand man. Would he be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps one day to serve the Dark Lord? When will he have to make his choice?

remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave-

“No matter what Voldemort wants you to do in the future, can you remember that you’ll always have a choice? Can you do this for me? Talk to me if you need to, just…” Harry’s shoulders slump, and the sorrow in his whisper makes Draco’s heart ache. “Please don’t make me fight you too.”

Draco thinks back to their first year and Harry’s rejection of his friendship. He’s found himself thinking about that with increasing frequency nowadays. Sometimes he’ll imagine using a Time-Turner to return to that exact moment. Would he have made things turn out differently? Would Harry have accepted his hand if he had lessened the harshness of his insults towards Weasley?

the day we met was like a hit and run-

How would it feel like, starting Hogwarts with Harry as a friend?

And what about now? Draco wonders as he gazes at Harry’s upturned palms and the hope shimmering in Harry’s request.

Would the Draco of the future want to turn back time to return to this exact moment?

He has a choice right now. It’d be so easy to leave the compartment and never look back, knowing that by doing that, he will be permanently ending everything between them. With the advent of the new school year, they’ll be back at each other’s throats, the events of this year left as mere memories of heartbreak that will tug sadly at the trapdoor of their minds forever more.

Draco has many reasons to walk away.

But he has so many more reasons to stay.

“Yes. I can promise you that,” Draco whispers.

Harry’s body sags with relief, and he goes to Draco at once. “We’ll worry about that when the time comes. But for now…” Harry cradles his face in his hands and envelops him in a soft kiss that reminds Draco of snowflake flurries and moonlight glitter. Only Harry can give him this intense attention and attraction that he craves with every fibre of his being. He trails the blue veins under Draco’s skin as they kiss, and when he’s touching him like that, Draco can’t think much about anything else at all.

Harry swallows Draco’s hiss of surprise and pain when Harry sinks his fingernails into his left forearm — right where the Dark Mark would be if Draco had one.

Harry stares at his own marks — crescent-shaped indents — faint on Draco’s flesh.

“I’m bloody scared, Draco,” he whispers, panic speckling all over his words. “I’m so damn scared. If only you’d seen him…” He’s cut off by Draco’s hush. Draco cranes his neck to press a kiss on the lightning-shaped scar on Harry’s forehead; that legendary scar that had started it all-

Eyes closed, Harry and Draco rest their foreheads together, clinging to each other for a comfort that only either can give to the other.

They’re just boys — a pair of sixteen-year-old boys scared and uncertain about the respective roles they’re supposed to play.

Draco pulls Harry into another kiss; a slow, simmering kiss brimming with promise and hope.

It’s the kiss when there’s nothing left to say.

When they break apart, they’re breathing in shallow, furious synchronisation.

“Can I write to you over the holidays?” Harry pipes up rather shyly.

Draco thinks of the extent he’ll have to go to in order to hide Harry’s letters from his parents; the lies he’ll have to tell and the absolute mayhem that would unfold if his parents, especially his father, ever found out.

Would Harry’s kisses ever stand a chance?

But he also thinks of the warm glow in his heart that he’ll feel when he gets Harry’s letters. Would he get to know more about Harry’s past? If Draco’s careful enough, maybe he could even sneak out of the Manor and find a way to meet Harry-

“Yes. I would like that very much,” Draco answers eventually, interlacing their fingers together.

“I’ll find you, Draco, just like how I did this year. Wherever you go, whatever happens. I’ll find you and keep you safe,” Harry promises, clasping Draco’s hands tightly in his own.

“I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself, you idiot,” Draco mumbles into Harry’s chest, but there’s no denying the happiness taking flight in him.

Harry throws his head back and laughs, his laughter rumbling joyfully in his chest.

They have no way of predicting the future, no way of knowing what horrors lay lurking in wait for them.

All they know is that they have each other.

I’ll find you anywhere-

And for now, that is more than enough.

and kiss you everywhere-