- Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter
- Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
- Romance Angst
- The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Order of the Phoenix
Published: 07/13/2015Updated: 07/13/2015Words: 7,448Chapters: 1Hits: 0
- Story Summary:
- HxD Slash - Post OoTP - 7th Year - Only a giant leap of faith can overcome the desolate feeling of being alone. If it is truly possible to forgive and forget, Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy are about to embark on an exciting yet perilous journey, but will they have the strength to fight together after so much time alone? And will it be enough to save them both?
When you feel like you can't go on,
Because all of your hope is gone,
And your life is filled with much confusion,
Until happiness is just an illusion,
And your world around is crumbling down,
Reach out. . .
Chapter One: Detention
If there was one thing Draco Malfoy detested about his Head Boy responsibilities, it was his duty to patrol the halls once a week. He often wondered if the power to deduct house points or hand out detentions was worth the hassle of repeatedly catching two second years fondling one another under the cover of the biggest statues in Hogwarts. What a waste of my talents, he mused, as he proceeded to calm a dramatic situation between a pair of Hufflepuff girls. He thought he heard the mention of a boyfriend amidst the wailing, but relationship gossip was beneath him. Draco let out a soft sigh, knowing he'd been given the worst time to patrol the halls. Evening classes had just finished, meaning hordes of students cluttered the hallways in groups of too many, exchanging Mungo's Snapping cards and whispering whenever the Head Boy passed. He knew, deep down, that he welcomed the distraction, knowing too well where his mind would wonder if he was left alone with his thoughts.
He'd managed to maintain a constant level of concentration today, busying himself longer than most days, and tried not to think of the nibbling anxieties teasing the edges of his mind. He found it difficult to be alone the past few months, and found it worse when he tried to confide in anybody, too proud to show weakness to his old friends. He knew that those closest to him had noticed a change within him since seventh year had started, but not many knew why. Even after he'd been made Head Boy, it did little to lift his mood. His companions, who would once worship the ground he walked on, gave up trying to comfort him and now politely avoided him, knowing there was little point in trying. Draco spent most of his time alone, trapped with his thoughts as if being punished for a crime he'd yet to commit.
Before he began to dwell on his loneliness; he scoured the halls for something, feverishly grasping at any chance to keep his pervading thoughts at bay. Chance came when he noticed the Head Girl walking swiftly along the opposite hallway. In the second of choice between dealing with his darker thoughts, and the thought of reporting today's discrepancies to his female counterpart, he found he'd already begun tailing her before making the conscious decision. He wondered why the girl was in such a hurry, as he had trouble catching up to her whilst maintaining a level of cool. He'd almost reached her, but stopped and wrinkled his noise when he heard the familiar shouting of Weasley behind him. What now? Draco rolled his eyes and stated turning slowly, only to be surprised as the redhead stalked right past him, as if he didn't exist.
"Hermione!" he heard the gangly boy call. Oh. . . He sighed and caught up to Weasley, who was following Granger. He wanted to speak to her now and he wasn't going to let more Gryffindor drama get in the way. Draco matched the pace of his neighbour, waiting for Hermione to turn around.
"Is there something you want, Malfoy?" Draco turned to see Weasley was looking at him whilst walking, squinting his eyes in an attempt, he grinned, to seem intimidating. "Or are you following me for fun?"
"If this is your idea of fun, Weasley, you need to get out more." Draco rolled his eyes at the insufferable boy walking beside him. It amazed him how long Weasley could hold a grudge, regardless of the fact he hadn't actually done or said anything to him or the rest of the Gryffindor lot since the return of you-know-who the previous year. "I'm actually trying to talk to Granger. Head Boy business," he added smugly, "but apparently, she doesn't want to speak to you."
"Get lost, Malfoy."
Suddenly, Hermione stopped dead and turned to face them. Cool and composed, Draco stopped too, but allowed himself a smile as Weasley nearly crashed into her. Smooth, he thought, dryly. When Draco had been made Head Boy, he had guessed who he would be working with and found that he didn't mind. They had been speaking more often having moved into the separate tower with two rooms allocated for Head Boy and Girl at the start of the year. At first, they only exchanged fleeting words, but as time passed, and the near collisions on the landing increased, Draco had grown to respect his partner.
He looked at her now as Weasley collected himself. She had her arms crossed and her lips were pressed into a tight thin line. She had her back straight in an attempt to make her seem taller against the gangly redhead, but Draco could sense he felt small enough already.
"Hermione. . ." Draco met suspicious eyes as Weasley paused to glare at him. "Hermione, you didn't let me finish earlier. I promised I wasn't going to bother him, but you've seen what he's like! It was never this bad; at least he was eating before. . ." Seemingly realizing who was standing next to him, he could tell the boy felt that he'd said too much.
"Don't mind me, Weasley. I am not interested in Gryffindor's dramatic tales of. . ."
"Shut up, Malfoy", came the interruption, dripping with disdain. Draco rolled his eyes as he watched him turn back to Hermione with his mouth open like a lost puppy.
Hermione, who hadn't said anything up until now, spoke softly but with very prominent aggravated undertones, "Ronald Weasley," she started. Draco smiled. "I will not discuss what a pompous idiot you are right now." Draco smiled again. "Go back to the common room and we'll talk about it later - after I've had time to think about how I'm going to punish you." Yes, Draco definitely respected his partner. He watched as Weasley looked exasperatedly between them. A silent protest screamed in his eyes as he opened and closed his mouth, lost for words. Draco decided that Weasley's hair and his expression made him look like a confused goldfish, and grinned at the thought. Admitting defeat with a final huff, the goldfish-on-legs turned and stalked off in the opposite direction, muttering under his breath.
Hermione, after making sure Ronald had left, turned her attention to him and her expression softened. "Sorry about that." Her cheeks went a little pink and Draco wondered why. "You said you wanted to speak to me?"
Amidst all the drama seconds ago, Draco had forgotten why he had wanted to speak to Hermione, but it came flooding back to him now. The weight of his thoughts hit him squarely in the chest, momentarily silencing him. His smile dropped and he let his eyes touch the floor, collecting himself. He didn't realize the effect that his emotional burden was beginning to have until Hermione spoke again, softly. "Are you all right?"
". . ."
With eyes still fixated on the floor, he heard a rustle of clothing as Hermione reached forward to touch his shoulder, but Draco found he instinctively twisted his upper body away from her palm. Although the two had been spending more time together, Draco was still Draco, and human contact was something he had disciplined himself to avoid. However, the small, unexpected gesture of comfort was nearly the final crack in the dam of emotion he'd fought so hard to bury. Reluctantly, in fear of breaking in front of a girl who now looked considerably concerned, he moved out of her reach and took a small step back with apology in his eyes. Alone, he thought.
"I found Nott and Prescott in the dungeons earlier. Again." Draco hoped she hadn't paid much thought to the unsubtle change in subject. "They were pretty heated by the time I cooled them down." He smiled, remembering their reactions as he charmed their cloaks to turn ice cold with a tricky spell.
Hermione frowned. "I'm going to speak to Professor Vector about them. I think we both know that Nott has other intentions." She shook her head and chuckled.
There was an awkward silence as Draco remembered that was all he had to tell her. "Well. . . I just thought I'd let you know, considering how many times they've been warned." Draco let an inaudible sigh, as he knew the conversation was over.
"Thanks," she said. He noticed that she tilted her head and stared at him with a worried gaze. "Are you sure you don't want to talk about anything else?"
"No, that's all," he lied. "I'd better finish my rounds, though."
"Just use the bell on my room if you need me." She smiled and walked back the way she came. Ha, so she was avoiding Weasley.
Back on patrol again, he was used to the whispers that followed him. He chuckled at how trivial things seemed to impress the first years. He'd found himself having to calm screaming girls as ghosts glided through them on more than one occasion. It was part of the job description to have rumours follow you throughout the halls, he mused. Draco occupied himself for the remainder of his shift by teasing the thought of goldfish torture. He was heading back to his private room when he heard it. '. . . Escaped from Azkaban. . .' He slowed to hear more. '. . . Lucius Malfoy is his father. . .' The colour drained from his face. '. . . Death Eater. . .'
All the thoughts he had managed to suppress crashed down on him in a second, knocking the breath out of him. He turned his head in the direction of the gossip and attempted to give them his most dangerous and get-out-of-here stare. The first year students got the message and quickly left him standing on his own in the hallway. Breathing fast, the memories of the previous summer haunted his conscious thought. He'd been free from his father's unfaltering loyalties to the Dark Lord since the failed recovery mission at the Department of Mysteries. The last few months still remained a blur to him. For a while, everything at the Manor seemed normal. He lived with his mother peacefully, neither of them wanting to talk about what had happened in the months before. Then, news of Lucius' escape from Azkaban reached them, along with his plans to return home.
Draco remembered his father had barely eaten anything after his arrival, before locking himself in his study, planning for the Dark Lord, plans for his heir to become one of them.
Still frozen to the spot, Draco choked as his most painful memory hit him like a kick to the gut.
He pictured the door to his father's study, from which he'd been listening. He could hear the preparations being made for him to take the Dark Lord's mark and become a Death Eater. He remembered clearly as his mother pleaded desperately to let Draco choose his own future. He could hear her quietly sobbing under her breath. Draco knew that neither he nor his mother had wanted Lucius to escape; they were happy on their own. He held his breath as he heard Lucius screaming at his mother, pacing in front of her, casting shadows under the door. He listened as his parents, who were so happy when he was younger, continued to fight over his destiny. He had been particularly nervous since his father had seemingly lost his grip on reality after spending time in Azkaban. There was a quiet moment and Draco, relieved, thought the fighting had stopped. He stood up to give his parents some privacy, but stopped dead when he heard his mother's voice.
"But. . ." Narcissa choked.
Suddenly, the whole world seemed to slow down as Draco's ears burned with the unmistakable noise of the killing curse. A flash of piercing green light burst through the edges of the frame and cut across his face, blinding him. He remembered falling to his knees, hearing only one pair of footsteps, like a heavy drumbeat, moving slowly towards the door before he had passed out.
Draco was clinging to the wall, trying to steady himself. His breathing was erratic and his palms were sweaty. He decided he needed to go somewhere quiet and distract himself. He considered going back to his room, but the idea of being completely alone wasn't a top priority. His face was flushed in frustration from allowing himself to be consumed so completely. He thought he'd be able to cope with his memories of summer now that he was finally back at Hogwarts. He had knots in his stomach and his legs felt like lead by the time he was ready to move. Slowly, he set off for the library and hoped he met nobody else on the way, for their sake.
Harry held the lamp out in front of him, squinting into the shadows cast along the thin, dark corridors. He could feel the trail of his cloak collecting the dust from the floor and cobwebs hanging down from above. The high shelves on each side towered over him and he looked up, but he couldn't see the ceiling through the dark. Despite how eerie the Restricted Section of the library was, he knew nobody would find him here. More importantly, he thought, nobody could bother him. He felt comfortable on his own; he had nobody to worry about but himself - a selfish disregard for his own well-being, he thought. Unlimited access to the Restricted Section was a perk that came with his advanced NEWT level, Defence Against the Dark Arts classes; a perk he often used to escape the barrage of his friend's concerned faces.
The past year had become increasingly unbearable for Harry. The pain and guilt of Sirius' death haunted him every day, and the worry of impending war loomed over him like a dark cloud in winter. The chance to have a family, once again torn from his grasp. He couldn't speak to anybody about Sirius' death, in fear of his emotions overwhelming him. Harry groaned as the expectations of him heightened his anxieties. The burden of the Boy who Lived, he thought, dryly. He continued to pace the long corridors of the Restricted Section, tracing his fingers down the dirty books, filled with dark and dangerous secrets. He wondered if there was anything in the vast array of books that might help him in the coming months - a possible way to give him the strength to be the wizard everybody expects him to be. Leaning against the nearest cabinet, he rubbed his temples in a vain attempt to calm his never-ending headache.
It seemed like a lifetime ago since he'd come face to face with Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic. Shortly after Cornelius Fudge had announced his return, Voldemort vanished. Harry's top lip curled up when he thought about how unnervingly peaceful the last year had been. The calm before the storm, he contemplated. His gut turned over as he anticipated the worst was yet to come. He could feel that Voldemort was planning something, and Harry spent most days terrified of what that might be. He knew the only reason he had made it out of the Ministry alive was due to Dumbledore's timely arrival. Harry had given up wasting time thinking about how unfair his position in the coming war is. Why couldn't he have just died when he was a baby like he was supposed to?
His memory flashed back to the battle in the Department of Mysteries. Spells flying in every direction, wizards and witches packed into The Death Chamber, the piercing light from Bellatrix's wand, and Sirius falling through the veil. . .
The lantern Harry had been holding slipped through his fingers. The candle inside went out, but Harry let the darkness consume him. He choked back the tears stinging in his eyes and slid his back down the cabinet to the floor, pulling his knees up toward him. He felt around and found the glass had smashed. He tried to find his wand in his robes to repair it, but he heard a soft footstep across the length of the corridor that distracted him. He snapped his neck towards the noise and stumbled to his feet. He looked up, but was blinded by a bright light, shining directly in his face.
"Who's there?" an unknown voice asked through the darkness.
Harry thought he recognized the sharp edge in the tone, but couldn't match the voice to a name. He slowly moved his hand inside his cloak, reaching for his wand in order to illuminate the stranger.
"Expelliarmus. . ."
The spell was spoken too softly to knock him over, but he heard his wand scatter across the floor and into the darkness. With his eyes still blinded by the light, Harry stood with his back against the tall cabinet, completely defenceless and alone. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he thought any normal person should be frightened. Let them make it this quick, he decided, pain still raw in his throat. He heard his attacker taking slow, deliberate steps towards him. Harry thought he heard a relieved sigh come from behind the light, which was now only a few feet from his face.
"Potter." It wasn't a question. Harry knew immediately who his attacker was.
"Malfoy." Harry relaxed a little and crossed his arms. "You realize it's against the rules to use magic outside of class?" His face fell into a frown.
"Head Boy, Potter. I had to make sure it wasn't an intruder."
He felt Malfoy move closer to him, arching his wand over their heads, illuminating both of them. Harry was shocked when his eyes adjusted to the change of light. He stared at the boy standing only a step away, and was taken aback by the raw emotions smeared across his face. His grey eyes were bloodshot. Had he been crying? Harry couldn't picture it. He'd never been this close to Malfoy alone before, so he'd never noticed how commanding the blonde's gaze was. Harry's breath caught in his mouth when Malfoy stared back at him. He could see the internal battle of sadness in his rival's eyes, and felt strangely compelled to comfort the Slytherin, even though he'd disarmed him seconds earlier. Harry tried to straighten his back to match the height of the boy opposite him, but Malfoy was taller than him, and very much in control.
"Well, what? You can see I'm not an intruder . . . Now, if you wouldn't mind leaving me alone, I was in the middle of reading before you attacked me."
"Reading in the dark?" Malfoy smirked at him, but Harry could see past the forced grin and into his reproachful eyes. Harry didn't dare look away from the boy's face, attempting to pierce the barrier of perfected cool staring back at him. Harry had never noticed how intense Malfoy's presence was. Perhaps it was the darkness that surrounded them, but he could barely think of a reply as his opponent's eyes bore into him.
". . . I dropped my light." Harry blinked, annoyed at how clumsy he sounded.
"Indeed. How do I know if it's really you, Potter?" Harry frowned at the game Malfoy was trying to play. He didn't have the energy to fight with anyone.
"You're a pompous git." Harry smirked as Malfoy's composure faltered a little.
"I don't know why you think that proves your authenticity." He raised an eyebrow. "You could be anybody, posing as Potter, just as jealous as he is of my many positive attributes."
"You keep them well hidden."
"I'd be careful what you say, Potter. . ." he said, twisting his wand, threateningly. "I'm still not convinced you're the real thing. You don't look as scruffy," his eyes moved to his hair, "as usual." His smirk was back. His wand shone down on his own hair, framing his face. "What're you doing in the Restricted Section of the library? Or do the same rules not exist for you?"
"I'm advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts." Harry replied matter-of-factly. He had intended to sound smug, but when he noticed Draco's eyebrows rise up slightly, he was instead offended by the fact that Harry's enrolment in an advanced class had apparently shocked him.
"I see." Malfoy suddenly whipped his wrist in the direction of Harry's wand and proceeded to look for it. Harry's eyes hadn't adjusted and he couldn't see where Malfoy had gone. He could only hear what he assumed was a hand on the stone floor. When he returned, Harry felt his wand being pushed into his hands. Seemingly standing closer to him than a second ago, Harry slipped his wand back into his cloak and met Malfoy's gaze.
Harry looked up and was shocked to see Malfoy's eyes were full of anguish. The distance between them uncomfortably close, the dank library was an intimate setting for a new sensation he couldn't define pervading him. He could easily see the pain in the boy's eyes, for he had seen it so many times in his own reflection. The light grey of his iris, now almost black, shone like an abyss into his soul. Harry thought he looked like he was going to be sick and, again, found himself irrationally concerned for someone he thought was his enemy. They continued to stare at each other, the silence growing in length. He found he didn't feel awkward like he knew he should, and returned the glare with as much intensity as he could muster. He drew his lips into a thin line, concentrating on not blinking, trying his hardest not to break the confusing new connection between himself and the blonde figure. Harry was mesmerized by the sensation of suddenly being so close to someone after having shut himself off to human contact since Sirius' death.
Harry couldn't help himself and blinked. By the time his eyes had reopened, Malfoy was already a step away, looking at the floor.
Cold ripped through him at the fresh distance between them. "Are you all right?" Harry asked, his concern and compassion for others feelings bubbling to the top.
Harry immediately regretted asking as the Slytherin turned away, and with a flick of his wrist, repaired the lamp Harry had dropped and lit the candle inside it. Tucking his wand away, and wrapping his cloak around him, Malfoy turned his head and looked in Harry's direction, making sure not to meet his gaze.
"Five points from Gryffindor, Potter. . ." he spat, "for being so clumsy."
And he was gone. Harry could hear the quick steps towards the exit, before the metal groaning of the iron gates, opening and closing, confirmed he was alone again. And he felt alone.
As soon as Draco closed the gate to the Restricted Section, he regretted leaving so abruptly. He couldn't shake the unexplainable need pulling him back to the company of the other boy. He scowled to himself, and began to stride forcefully back to his room, as if breaking through every mental barrier his mind had created. As he got further from the library, his thoughts involuntarily drifted back to the sensations he'd felt there. His throat made a low groan as he imagined that piercing emerald glare was upon him now, unblinking. Draco couldn't understand exactly what had happened, or how one moment could capture him so thoroughly without warning. His head started to ache as an invisible block suffocated his conscience. He needed to get back to his room.
He was grateful he didn't meet Hermione on the landing by their rooms. He was not in the mood to talk to anybody - especially those who would try to comfort him - considering the state of his emotions. He threw himself onto his bed and slammed his face into the linen. Sucking in the aromas, he tried to calm himself. He unfolded his arms and let the silence consume him. Breathing steadily, casting his mind back to what just happened. . .
He'd arrived at the library sooner than he'd expected. Nobody had bothered him on the way there. He instinctively moved to the back of the room, running his fingers along the shelves as he walked. The castle was quiet. It was Friday night, which meant they had no homework. Draco swore under his breath as he remembered: no homework meant no distractions. He picked up a heavy, leather backed book and found a secluded table by a window at the back of the grand room. He ran his fingers over the green stitched writing. Surviving Outdoors: 101 Wizard Musts. Relaxing a little, he opened the heavy cover and began to read. The time dragged slowly as he immersed himself in the thick pages. Distracted by forest nutrition, he nearly missed the faint sound of glass smashing behind him. He looked up and noticed the iron gates to the Restricted Section were slightly ajar.
Nervously, he crept into the darkest area of the library. He had only been in the Restricted Section a couple of times, and never alone. He twisted through the labyrinth of tight shelves until he heard somebody on the floor ahead. Are they crying? He took another step but accidentally scuffed his toe on the floor. The noise was practically deafening, cutting through the atmosphere like a hot knife through butter. "Who's there?" Draco asked, using his best Head Boy voice. He heard the shifting of a body and knew the stranger was standing up. "Lumos. . ." He pointed his wand directly on the mysterious figure's face and allowed himself a relieved sigh. Potter. . . Crying? He watched as the boy's hand slowly reaching inside his cloak for his wand. The opportunity was too perfect. Draco flicked his own wand and whispered "Expelliarmus," careful not to knock the boy over.
After that, the childish insults had started so Draco decided to leave. Retrieving the wand, he pushed it towards the scruffy haired boy, but when their eyes met, his breath had caught in his mouth. He was suddenly very aware of the familiarity in the other boy's expression. Unblinking, he felt the darkness of the room become very heavy. Lost for words, he was caught up in a blazing stare with Harry Potter, emerald eyes boring into him, full of confusion and forming questions of his own. Can he sense it, too? Draco was mesmerized by the intensity of it, trying hard not to blink and break the connection between them. The moment had frozen momentarily, until Potter's eyes began to water before he blinked. Draco, free from the hypnotic glare, stepped back quickly, looking to the floor. He had suddenly felt very alone. . .
Draco groaned and buried his face deeper into the pillows on the bed. He tried feverishly to shake the cold feeling that had clung to him after leaving the library. After a long moment, he sighed and unbuttoned his shirt, took off his trousers and slid under the covers. Lying on his back, staring at the ceiling of his four-poster bed, he let his mind wonder back through the night. He couldn't explain the confusing new emotions blossoming in the darkest parts of his mind. He shivered as his room, now too big for just one person, loomed over him on all sides. He shifted through the whirlwind of his thoughts, thinking of anything and everything. Thinking about how his whole world had been stolen from him last summer. He considered what his life had been up to this very moment, and decided that his life was probably never his to begin with. He suddenly realised Harry Potter did not have much control over his own life, either. Perhaps, he mused, the similarities in their bleak futures was something they had in common. He remembered how warm he had felt, knowing that for once in his life, he might not be alone in something. Closing his eyes, Draco Malfoy made a snap decision. The kind of decision on which lives are changed. Tomorrow, he thought, I'm going to get that warmth back. The corners of his mouth pulled up into a smile as Draco drifted off into the most peaceful night sleep he'd had in months.
It was late by the time Harry sunk into his mattress. Kicking off his shoes and sliding out of his clothes, he gently pulled the curtains of his four-poster around him. The solidarity of his own bed shielded him from the disruptive sounds of his roommates. He needed quiet so he could think. What had just happened? He pressed his eyes together, tightly. The darkness, a soothing familiarity in the corners of his conscience, comforted him in ways he couldn't explain. Heat slowly spread through his cheeks as he remembered what he had felt in the stuffy library. His mouth was dry and he felt itchy from the dust from the books. Sitting up, he shook his head in an attempt to dislodge any dust caught in his hair, but also to try and organise the jumble of thoughts in his mind. Lying back down on the bed, Harry tried to push those thoughts from his mind. The heat consuming his cheeks subsided, leaving him feeling unnervingly cold.
Harry's mind wandered back to the blonde haired boy. He knew that he'd been upset about something; it was clear in his eyes. His eyes. His heart began to beat a little faster as he remembered the intensity he'd felt as Malfoy stared at him - how long the connection had seemed to last and how new the sensation was. He'd never felt so compelled to look at someone as he had been in the seconds the two of them shared. His stomach was turning over. But I hate Malfoy, he thought. And he hates me. . . But Harry couldn't shake the feeling that perhaps that was no longer true. Suddenly, it struck him that they hadn't really spoken to each other at all since the mess at the Ministry, let alone had any arguments. However, after the moment they'd shared in the library, new feelings had begun to twist in the depth of their emotions. New questions stirred in Harry's mind, and new possibilities appeared on the horizon. He was fatigued. His whole body started to ache when he lay down; he needed to sleep. He made the decision to find Malfoy in the morning
. . . Grey and green swirled together translucently as he took a step forward. . . The colours blinding him from seeing. . . Something moving ahead. . . A cold crept through him. . . The air was thick around him. . . He felt something touch him. . . A comforting touch. . . Somebody screamed. . . A flash of green. . .
Harry woke up and his eyes sprang open. He rolled over quickly, still in a daze. "Shit!" He rubbed his cheek that he had just smacked against one of the posts of his bed. He sat up carefully; his face throbbed as the events from last night rushed back to him. He was nervous about confronting Malfoy, worried that he hadn't felt the same connection he had. It was Saturday, and still very early. Ron and the rest of his roommates were fast asleep. He had a quick shower, enjoying the sensation of the hot water before he quietly got dressed and headed to the Great Hall.
By the time he arrived, a couple of other students were already seated, spread out in the vast space. Harry kept his head down and walked purposefully to the Gryffindor table. He picked up some toast, trying to busy himself for as long as possible. He lifted the slice, took a bite, and allowed himself a glance across the room.
His heart skipped a beat when he noticed the blonde haired boy was already sitting on the other side of the hall, finishing his breakfast. He's early, Harry thought, pulling his eyebrows together as he realized that he might be the reason. He looked away from him as he poured some juice, not wanting Malfoy to notice him staring. He drank it quickly, leaving his half-eaten slice of toast aside. When the Slytherin left the table, he wanted to be ready. He subtly watched as the boy ate. So slow. . . he moaned. Just when he was about to give up and go back to his dorm, Malfoy began to stir.
A second later, Harry panicked as the blonde was already walking briskly towards the doors to the castle grounds. Just as the doors were closing, Harry was already rushing across the room. Not so fast, Malfoy. Determined, he burst through the entrance but was suddenly knocked on his back as he'd bumped into something motionless. Ouch. A shock of some raw emotion Harry didn't recognise ran through his body as he looked up and realised the object he'd collided with was Malfoy himself. Pushing up, Harry turned crimson, noticing the blonde was now staring at him.
"Will you watch where you're going?" the boy groaned and rubbed his back.
"Yeah, sorry." Harry frowned, realizing he'd just apologized to Malfoy. "I was coming to find you. . ." he said, before he could stop himself. He let his face drop again, aware that he probably looked like a beetroot.
"Well, here I am," the reply came, laced with a tone that suggested he knew why Harry wanted to speak to him. He blushed again.
"Well. . ."
He realized he wasn't prepared for the way the conversation had started, and his thoughts were all jumbled.
"It's about. . . what happened last night." He closed his eyes, too nervous to meet his gaze.
"You mean when you were crying?" Opening his eyes, he saw that Malfoy had a polite but mocking smile on his face.
"I was not crying!" Harry scowled and stared at him.
"What do you call it, then?"
Harry sighed. ". . . It was very dusty. . ."
"Actually, Potter," he said, interrupting him, "I'm a little busy at the moment, but you can talk to me later. In detention."
He stared, open mouthed as Malfoy's smile turned crooked.
"You can't give me detention . . . Hermione said you could only take House points." He crossed his arms, trying to look authoritative.
"I can do whatever I like!" He raised an eyebrow. "Detention, Potter. Tonight. Fourth floor, 10 o'clock. I'll be in an empty Classroom. . . Find it."
Before Harry could argue, the blonde had turned around and stepped back forcefully, knocking him in the chest. Harry shuddered as the same raw emotion rushed through him again. Does he feel it, too? He shook his head and watched as the insufferable git practically jogged down the steps and around the corner of the wall.
Draco was early. He'd been nervous all day and wasn't prepared to let something like common tardiness make him wait another day. He sighed and didn't understand why he felt so excited for the meeting. If anything, the events of last night and this morning had been just the distraction Draco was hoping for. He swore under his breath as one of his father's many lessons came back to him. "People let you down, Draco. Don't rely on anybody." He tried to think about something else, and found what he most enjoyed were the moments when he and Potter had touched. . . Draco couldn't understand exactly what the feeling was, like an electric shock wherever their bodies met in the collision. Draco shivered as he pictured exploring that electricity with the dark haired boy.
Draco smiled as he remembered how ruffled Potter had been during breakfast. His smile turned crooked as the lonely Gryffindor's attempt at being subtle hadn't been successful. Like a true Slytherin, Draco kept him waiting for as long as possible. He waited just outside the door, hoping Potter would run into him, which is exactly what had happened. He sighed as the strange emotion flooded through him again. What're we going to talk about? What if he's told somebody? What if he doesn't show up? Draco's expression faltered at the last thought. He was still confused as to why he was feeling this way, but he couldn't help but suspect that the feeling was somewhat mutual. Draco thought back to the times they'd been together before, close even. There was no electricity in the early days, grappling 100 feet in the air, reaching for the snitch, or during their frequent arguments in the castle halls. No, it had never been the same as in the library. . .
He checked his watch. 10:15. A lump of sadness grew in his throat. He sighed and resigned himself to the fact he'd purely hoped that Potter would show, when he actually knew, deep down, that he wouldn't. He assumed the clumsy idiot probably asked Hermione if she could give detentions, and she would've told him no. Draco scowled, angry with himself for getting so worked up over nothing. Potter doesn't feel it, he thought. Still annoyed, he started to pick up his things and slowly walked towards the door, dragging his feet, as he knew how empty his room would be when he finally got back. He'd only reached the door when he heard a rushed footstep approaching. The footsteps slowed, and Draco thought he heard the rush of thick material on the floor. Sitting back down and composing himself, quickly, he waited for what he hoped was Potter.
The relief washed over him, briefly, before he allowed himself to get excited again. Here was Harry Potter, coming to meet him, at night on his own. He knew he shouldn't be feeling the way he was, but something triggered within them in the library and he wanted to find out what.
He watched as the heavy door opened and closed. Potter was standing there, with a large bag across the room, red in the face. Deep down, Draco suspected he was the reason for it. He beckoned for them to sit down. He wanted to let Harry speak first.
". . . I'm late."
"I hadn't noticed," he lied, "but if you want, I could extend your punishment." He tried to give his most sinister smile, and hoped that Potter had seen it through the dark. He looked around his chosen room, pleased that it was small enough to be illuminated by one candle. He hoped that the other boy noticed the lighting was similar to that of the Library.
"What?" He looked up and noticed quizzical eyes upon him.
"What's up?" Harry quizzed. Draco was confused at the sudden change in atmosphere.
"What do you mean?"
"Well. . . You're frowning at me. . . And I thought. . . Well. . . With asking me to meet you, I don't know, I didn't think it was just for us to argue again?" He watched as Harry looked down, obviously embarrassed about the honest words tumbling out of his mouth. He looked away as a lump caught in his throat, surprised as well as touched that the boy in front of him was seemingly hoping to forget what had happened in the past. Draco searched inside himself and knew that he was, too.
"Never mind, I was thinking of something else. Anyway, I'm surprised you came. . ." Draco decided to try and be as honest as Harry was, ". . . You know that I can't give detentions, right?"
Harry, who was still looking down, blushed slightly, "I checked with Hermione." Draco's stomach did a flip. His world was changing too quickly to understand. The last time his world changed so suddenly, it was his mother. . . Draco quickly pushed that thought away. He focussed on the question at hand. Only a few days ago, he had thought they were rivals, but here was Harry Potter, willingly coming to meet him at night, blushing so freely in front of him. The thought made him curious.
"And she let you come alone, at this time?"
Harry sighed and Draco resisted the urge to move closer to him. "I haven't told anybody. . . that I'm here."
"Oh." He blinked. "Why?"
"I don't know. . ." He looked like he was in pain. "When you. . . When we were in the library. . . I thought that maybe, you know. . . You wanted to talk about what happened. I was awake for ages when you left . . . I got back to my room and I could just feel. . ." He stopped abruptly. Draco was desperate for him to finish the sentence.
"I was just worried that you hated me, again, and. . . I can't explain it, but I feel like I don't want you to hate me anymore? Things seem different now. . . Better, I guess? And the. . ." He stopped. Draco had been leaning forward and nearly fell on his face when Harry didn't finish his sentence. He watched as he played with his fingers, too ashamed to look at him. Draco felt a pang of hurt in his chest.
"Harry. . ." The word slipped out before he could stop himself, and Harry snapped his head up to look at him, obviously shocked that Draco had used his first name. He walked over to him and sat on the next desk. He dropped his head sideways into his arms and spoke softly, "I think things are different now . . ." He sighed and turned his head towards the floor.
He felt a hand rest on his shoulder and the intensity swelled beyond his comprehension. Draco's breath caught in his throat at the physical touch. Draco was too incensed to hear the concern in Harry's voice. "Are you all right?"
Anger, regret and sadness swept over him like a tsunami. The memory of his mother's funeral hit him square in the chest. Guests he barely knew asking if he was "all right", only invited in the first place because of the Malfoy's unsavoury connections. Nobody really cared that Narcissa was dead, murdered by her own husband. His father. He stood up, rigid. The anger he'd felt for Lucius consumed him and he knocked the stool he was sitting on over. Staring down at Harry's confused and worried expression, the enormity of the situation came crashing down on him. How could he have been so stupid as to think they could be. . . What, friends? He had given up on personal relationships the moment he was blinded by that fateful flash of green. He welled up but was determined not to cry.
"I can't do this!" The anger was building inside him. "What did you think this was?! What are we even doing here? This is ridiculous! But. . . Everything was going fine. . . Why did you ruin it?!"
Draco swallowed as he realized he was closing the door on whatever new sensation he'd been feeling and self-pity collected in his throat. His vision started to blur as he turned away from the dark haired boy.
"I. . . Malf. . . Draco! What's going on?!"
He was already at the door before Harry had protested. "Stay away from me, Potter; we can't do this!"
He spun on his heel and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind him. He heard the boy curse through the wood. Harry. . . Rushing down the corridor, he hoped that the other boy hadn't followed him. Draco found a dark corner and sat down, pulling his legs up to his body. As the tears began to roll down his face, he pictured Harry back in the room, his piercing green eyes full of questions, and the pain he had seen in them when he'd lost control. Draco hoped that he hadn't hurt him. He hoped that Harry would understand why he left. Another tear rolled down his face, and he hoped that he was strong enough to stay away from him.