The Dark Arts
Cho Chang/Harry Potter Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter Ginny Weasley/Harry Potter
Cho Chang Draco Malfoy Harry Potter
Angst Slash
The Harry Potter at Hogwarts Years
Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire
Published: 01/25/2006
Updated: 01/25/2006
Words: 5,029
Chapters: 1
Hits: 1,369

Clean Like the Sky


Story Summary:
‘You will do anything for us Harry, won’t you?’ says Draco. Love is a tricky charm.

Author's Note:
I would like to thank my lovable beta, Rowana, who has proved herself worthy of a very tasty pink marshmallow. *feeds* Then, it’s very important for you to understand not to take this story to its word, because it is sort of sarcastic fairy-tale that doesn’t make sense if you don’t keep this in your mind. I dedicate this to all Cho haters out there. You have a point, darlings.

1. (3.)

Cho Chang sits over her plate full of food at dinner and sips from her goblet. She isn't hungry. Irritated, she tries to avoid the sound of her friends' chatter and gossip. Ravenclaws are certainly witty, but a little too apt to spread mindless rumours, in Cho's opinion. That's why everybody is doubtful about everything they say. No one ever believes them straight anymore. Even they don't know if the current whispering about their love life is true. Yes, Cho sighs, Ravenclaw is a one big lie.

Cho traces the cover of the book in her lap lovingly, wanting to feel something real and rough against her trembling hands before something happens, something terrible, something she doesn't want to happen. She feels she's walking on the edge of a blade and believing the persuasions of the unknown to step a little aside, just to look down on what could be waiting for her. She's definitely taking risks as she throws careful glances at Harry Potter on the other side of the hall. Harry has undone the upper button of his shirt and he, too, takes a sip from his goblet without much appetite. His eyes are worried. Hermione Granger is chanting something for him to catch, but he doesn't seem to hear her. Forgetting about his Boy-Who-Lived reputation, he pulls his knees to his chest and places his chin on them carefully, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself. His eyes flutter shut for a second, his nose brushes against the black fabric covering his sharp knees, he breathes heavily as though to warm his thighs and Cho wonders of he thinks of her, because he looks like he's making love to someone in his thoughts. Ron Weasley gives Harry a poke on his side and Harry snaps out of his reverie. He looks straight at Cho and smiles apologetically. Cho looks down immediately.

She knows that she has looked for too long and too intensely, and she quivers. Has Harry been threatened, like she has? Does he feel sure about it or is he afraid? What if he doesn't know and will come to Cho as before? She can't let that happen, because she's in love with Harry. Harry has nice hands and pretty lips and Cho wants to feel them roaming all over her body again. But no, she has to protect Harry, like she has to protect herself.

She daydreams about leaving this stupid school with Harry quietly, so that no one would notice, but she knows she can't. And nor can Harry. Within a couple of weeks one of them will be dead and Cho has lost her appetite because she knows she will be the one, or so she fears.

Harry looks so concerned as if he senses it too, death hovering above them both. He can't know, Cho concludes; if he did, he would warn her, get away or go to Dumbledore.

"Cho, you're not listening. Look what I've found!" A girl with curly, blond hair offers Cho a piece of parchment. It will be over soon, it says. Cho looks at it for a while and gives it back to the girl then, smiling.

"Harry Potter dropped it."

Cho excuses herself and leaves the hall.

2. (1.)

For Harry, it started somewhere between mooning over Cho and seeing Ginny Weasley. It was then that he first noticed something was wrong and started getting messages: tiny pieces of parchment with brief letters scribbled on them that he found between his books, in his pockets, once - under his pillow. He kept them all in the upper drawer of his bedside table. Sometimes he thought of them at nights, stroking himself under the covers. The way they were written and how mysteriously he recieved them appealed to him in the most perverted way. He was ashamed of how he got off on it.

First, he had thought they were from Cho, but realised then she probably wouldn't bother. She was too old for him, too grown-up and with too much experience in her eyes. Harry felt like a little boy next to her, even though he wanted to look, never finding out whether or not he wanted to touch. At that time he had been seeing Ginny, who was satisfied with a kiss in a week. Seeing her was lousy. Sometimes Harry forgot she was his girlfriend.

3. (4.)

Harry sits at the Gryffindor table and casts glances at Cho across the hall. She, with her raven hair, hazel eyes and a shy expression of a kitten, looks back. Harry sighs. Does she know? She looks like she does, but she has no idea, really. Harry knows she hopes it's a dream, an illusion, but it's not. He smiles at her a little, meaning to show he's sorry about her. She is still so innocent. Harry never had sex with her. Maybe because she always seemed so nervous that Harry didn't want to rush or because Harry felt he didn't want to. Not just yet, he thought. A little more time... and now it's too late. Harry suspects Cho is not a virgin, but he would have wanted to have sex with her, anyway, though it would be impossible to break that thin beauty like the peel of a grape.

A blood-red grape.

It's not possible like this, however, and Harry smiles at the thought. Maybe he's feeling sorry for himself, maybe not. He doesn't have time or energy to figure it out.

Cho doesn't look at him anymore, and Hermione has given up explaining about books and importance of schoolwork. Harry looks up at the Slytherin table as little as possible. Draco stares back and stands up from his seat. Harry notices he hasn't eaten anything, either. They are both hungry, very hungry. Are you crazy, walking over here?

'Hi,' he says.

'Um...' Harry manages.

Ron and Hermione stare, and so does everyone else up to Ravenclaws in their own table. Draco pushes himself between Harry and Neville, who is so stunned he just squeaks, and sits down, facing Harry. He slants his blond head and smiles. 'What's up?'

Harry suddenly feels his heart grow light and glowing, full of summer and sweets. He takes his glasses off because they're in the way. It's easier to breathe.

'Just wanted to ask you something.'


'Well, if Cho hadn't come in, what would you have...?'

Harry can't make out Draco's expression without his glasses, so he puts them back on. He wonders if Draco is speaking quietly enough, because their side of the Hall has grown silent. Harry touches Draco's knee half under the table. '...done?'

'Yeah.' Draco is blushing, and Harry is happy about that. He leans a bit closer and whispers hungrily, 'I would have asked if you'd wanted to fuck me...'



'Can you?'




Both of them become wordless, Harry's fingertips still pressed to Draco's knee as if by accident. It is sort of embarrassed silence. Harry doesn't want to talk about sex in the Great Hall, and Draco is nervous to kill.

'I have never done it, you know.'

'Oh, sorry...'

Harry's eyes narrow and his jaw locks. 'Do you have some fucking problem with that?' he shouts, jumping up from the table. Draco looks confused, Ron and Hermione startled.

'No, I just...'

'You just what?'

'...thought you wouldn't be glad if I was biting your head off because you're...'



But Harry leaves Draco sitting and walks out of the Hall as steadily as he can under the circumstances.

4. (7.)

Harry stops Malfoy abruptly. 'Wait.'

Malfoy wears a frown. The sun is dazzling and warm and everything is perfect.

'I want to get one thing straight. You might not want to do this.'

'And how exactly are you planning to stop me?' He is so brave, so determined. His hair shines and looks like a halo.

We'll never make it, Harry thinks, but aloud says, 'I probably won't last long.'

Malfoy's expression remains heavenly resolute. 'And still...'

Harry sighs. 'This is not easy, Malfoy.' He touches his scar as if rubbing his forehead out of weariness. 'It won't go away, and I don't know if I can live with it.'

Draco's face reflects neither dreadfulness nor regret. Without a word, he lifts the black sleeve of the Muggle shirt Harry forced him to wear and reveals the red thin scars that criss-cross across his arm, although Harry could never forget that they exist.

Harry shifts uneasily. 'Oh... yeah...'

Draco smiles almost humanly and pushes Harry up the door of the train in front of him. 'Never, even for a second,' Draco threatens, 'forget what I feel, you arrogant git.'

Harry laughs and feels relieved. The sun still shines, the train whistles. Draco looks like an angel.

'You look like an angel.'

'You couldn't have been quiet about that, could you?' Draco wrinkles his nose in disgust. 'I would be much happier without that information you know. Fortunately, I kind of know you, so I'll take your comment as a very badly aimed compliment.'

Harry merely sniggers.

5. (5.)

'Will Cho be here soon?' Draco paces around the room at the top of the Astronomy Tower, wearing a Slytherin scarf against the night's chill. He stares in front of himself, rather annoyed, tapping his wand on his thigh. 'God, I'm freezing. What time is it?'

'Nearly one. Relax... here, come on, I'll warm you up.'

'I don't need someone to rub my toes for me on a night like this. I'm supposed to be the dramatic killer here. Gosh, it's cold.'

Harry sits comfortably in an armchair, buried deep in his woollen cloak. Everything looks pretty to him: the stone floor, Draco's livid face, his own bony hands, the thought of Cho's blood running down his arms, warming him, heating up... And yet... He looks at Draco, who hasn't thought of putting his winter cloak on and is almost white from the frost. His beautiful prince of darkness, boy covered with ice, flower-filled creature in its everlasting dream. Draco's hair, hands, posture - everything made from the winter's dreams, glistening, light and so fatal. Harry rubs his fingers together carefully, as though they might break. He looks at his nails and they look so splintering that he stops touching them. Draco clutches his hand around his wand and pouts.

'Malfoy, please... she's not even supposed to be here yet.'

'I'm still cold,' Draco says.

'But I can't touch you 'cause you have to concentrate?'


Harry shuts his mouth and lets out a heavy breath. The air comes out in white puffs against the black backdrop of the sky. Harry suddenly feels very small and vulnerable. He thinks that Draco could turn his wand at him just as easily and whisper those deadly words if he wanted to. Harry couldn't stop Draco from killing him. It would be easy - Draco has no heart after all. Harry can imagine himself whimpering on this floor and Draco leaning over him. I just felt like doing that, he'd say.

Draco paces slower now, more nervously. Harry looks away and realises he's crying from the inside. He also realises he feels sorry for Cho, terribly sorry, and that he doesn't trust Draco - never has, for that matter. Harry, despite his confessions, will be dead in a second and Cho will live. He wants to do something and not just sit there and await his own destruction. It will be embarrassing to die like this.


What is he going to say? Whatever lies might fall from his lips, Harry will believe them anyway. Love is a tricky, destructive thing. Its tight grasp can throttle or hold you, and its breath can either keep you alive or poison you.


'I think I hear her.'

6. (6.)

Harry knows what he has to do when Cho materialises at the doorframe, he isn't afraid, he smiles when she does, and he thinks about touching Draco's skin. He would have wanted to say goodbye to him, but Draco can't be seen anywhere, and Cho appears cute as ever. Harry can't explain the sudden feeling of foreboding - maybe it has to do with his bad luck - but he's dead sure that something will go wrong. More to that, it will certainly be Draco who will ruin it all. Harry has never trusted him, but earlier, it didn't matter.

Cho leans into Harry's arms and puts her head on his chest, and once again he finds himself wondering how fast she is to get down to business, how quick, how experienced. Harry smiles against himself.

'Harry,' she whispers. 'I need to tell you something. I've been threatened...'

'I know, my sweet, I know.' Harry's voice is like honey, though inside, he's trembling. Outside, he's wearing a mask. He caresses Cho's cheek. She looks disbelieving.

'I knew it! You were threatened too. It's him. Harry, we must ru...' She has turned towards the only door that leads to a staircase, only to find that it has melted away in front of their eyes.

Cho lets out a squeak. 'H-harry! What do we do now? He'll get us. He must already be here.' Her voice takes a famous the Boy-Who-Lived will save me tone. Then she looks Harry in the eyes. 'What's wrong with you?'

Harry merely smiles and strokes Cho's hair.

'We- we'll be dead.'

'Yeah, I know.'

'Harry? Stop that. You creep me out, you know.'

Harry shrugs a little, and Cho decides to give it one more try. 'Draco Malfoy!' she shrieks. Harry seems to snap out of his reverie. 'He- he will kill us!'

'Shut UP!' Harry bellows suddenly. Looking defeated, he bends his head and puts his face in his hands. 'I know, Cho. I've already told you. And it won't help doing anything either. I know that too. Will you just stop fidgeting around?'

'Fidgeting around? Harry.' Cho grasps his arm painfully. 'We'll run for it. Now.' Her big puppy eyes glisten with tears, as she stares up at Harry, holding her breath, hunger for adventure written across her face.

But what she probably doesn't expect is Harry shaking her hand away. There's something inconvincible in his gaze: courage, regret and - because Cho doesn't know better - fear. He straightens his posture with a flourish.

'Cho.' His tone is final, and he looks at her as though he's the older one. 'I don't run. First, I'm a Gryffindor. And second, it won't help anything.'

Cho looks at him from behind her hair, and says a little more bravely than she feels, 'Are you hiding something? I see you must be...'

With an ugly grimace, Harry almost jumps out of Cho's embrace. But he doesn't yell at her, which she clearly is expecting. Nor does he show any sign of wanting to share his secrets with her. His hear bowed, eyes obscured by black hair and his lips set into a determined line, he turns slightly to glance out of the window, though judging by Cho's offended expression, she thinks he wants to look anywhere but at her.

'Yes. We might be dead in no time.' He doesn't look at anything in particular now. 'But we deserve it, don't we?' Harry doesn't know when he has stopped lying. Suddenly, he's aware that his words are of much more value than he can give them, and what comes out of his mouth is harsh truth, almost palpable in its bitterness. He draws a shuddering breath, doesn't want to look at Cho, doesn't want to pity her; he thinks it would break him down. He's still a human, after all. He hasn't killed, not intentionally. 'Good night to die anyway,' he says indifferently.

Just then, smirking, as if he's ready to patent it, Draco steps out of thick shadows that are swirling behind Harry's back. Harry feels as they shift, pushing Draco out, admitting him to proceed walking towards Harry.

Cho's eyes widen. 'Harry!' she screams. 'Behind you!'

But Harry doesn't move; he doesn't show that he's heard her yell at all. He just closes his eyes, but before his lids slam shut like cell doors, he catches a glimpse of Cho, managing to tremble and look petrified at the same time. Draco's body radiates heat so close, he must be just behind Harry. A whisper catches Harry's ear with its rustle of wings. He shuts his eyes more tightly as he feels the other boy walk round him, slowly, his quiet steps dissolving into the sound of Cho's pants and barely-heard whimpers that she obviously isn't aware of making. Then all Harry hears is his own breath.

'Your time has come, as clichéd as it is to say so,' drawls Draco's voice from next to Harry. As if in slow motion, his eyes fly open, pupils shrinking, irises shaking, first landing on Draco's wand that is pointed between Cho's eyebrows. 'Have any last words?'

Cho's eyes are huge like two dinner-plates. She mumbles something under her breath.

'I didn't catch that.'

She seems to gather all her courage. 'Don't hurt Harry,' she blurts out.

For a moment there's a pause, and then Draco laughs, the sound of ringing all around them, making way down Harry's spine, vertebra by vertebra. 'Oh Chang,' Draco mocks, his voice thick with malice. 'Don't you worry your pretty little brain. I'd never hurt Potter.'

Cho shudders. 'I... I don't believe you! Promise me, Malfoy...' Only now she starts crying, hot tears obscuring her eyes. 'Promise me,' she sobs, 'that you won't hurt him.'

When Draco moves closer to Cho, Harry can finally observe him without turning his head. It's unbelievable how strong Draco looks compared to how small he actually is. Cho - crying and slouching against the stone wall - looks like an ugly puppet next to him - the eloquent director, who's holding the strings.

'I promise, Chang.' Draco shakes his head. 'Cross my heart. I'll never hurt Potter. I don't want to see him cry.'

This is when Harry finally finds his voice, stuck somewhere halfway down his windpipe. He harrumphs slightly, closes his eyes, opens them again, and raises his chin defensively. 'Don't take this personally, Cho, but I feel worth something with him. I feel almost alive. As if I'm almost afraid of death.' It's funny how he speaks, not knowing what he's saying. As if everything that falls from his lips is craftwork, somebody else's doing... But it must be only confidence. 'Goodbye, Cho,' he whispers.

'I love you, Harry,' she breathes, her voice raspy with tears.

'Cut. It. Out. You make me sick,' Draco snaps, taking yet another step closer to Cho; the tip of his wand is touching Cho's forehead. She tries to recoil, but she's already standing against the wall, her back pressed flat against it. 'Have a nice time in Hell.' He smiles. 'Avada...'

'Wait,' Harry says suddenly. Both Draco and Cho look at him; Cho drowns in tears, Draco frowns in slight puzzlement. 'Don't you want to...? While she's alive.' Harry swallows.

'Potter, are you crazy? Avada Kedavra.'

Just like that, Cho tumbles to the floor, dead. Just like that, Draco is a killer. And just like that, Harry is corrupted.

7. (10.)

'It will haunt me,' he whispers, standing over her dead body, his hands hanging limp and sinful. 'What have I done?'

Draco walks to him and takes his wand. Harry doesn't resist. 'This.' He points at the form that used to be skinny, when now it's... not. Harry didn't kill her with Avada Kedavra as was planned but sliced and mutilated her body, ignoring her screams and pleas, issuing from her blood-red mouth when she still was alive.

What scares him the most is that he enjoyed it. Now it resembles a stack of meat.

'This image won't leave me, ever. Do. You. Get. That?' Harry takes off his glasses, rubs his eyelids with his knuckles and sees brown flowers.

'No,' says Draco sincerely. 'It won't haunt you. You will forget this easily enough. It's only revenge.' It might be aftershock, but his eyes look yellow to Harry. 'Can you taste it?'

'Killing innocent people...'

'She wasn't innocent.' Draco's tone is dry and final. 'Never to you.' Harry is silent. 'You didn't have sex with her, did you?'


'Well? Did you?'

Slowly, Harry puts his glasses back on and looks up at Draco.


Harry shrugs and walks out of the dormitory, down the staircase into the Gryffindor common room.

8. (2.)

Cho quivers in one corner of a deserted classroom, Draco's face hovering above her like a hunting basilisk.

'Why is that you wanted to see me here? What do you want?' Cho demands, trying to straighten her poise.

Draco doesn't sneer. His face is stony. 'I want you to keep your Muggle-loving hands off my property,' he hisses slowly, every word painful on his lips. He's shaking from jealousy and anger, and can only hope that Cho doesn't notice. He can hardly restrain himself from drawing his wand, but that wouldn't do good. He promised himself to keep this clean.

'I've never touched your belongings. I swear.' Cho seems sure of her innocence and of the fact that Draco's boosting the matter in vain.

'Oh, you swear, do you?' For a second his voice is silky; then it swells with spite again. 'Don't try, Chang, I've seen you.'

'What do you mean?'

Draco stares. This girl is so dumb. 'I mean that you're touching my things. Are you aware of the fact that I am the only one who is allowed to touch my things?'

'Of course...'

'In that case I'm telling you to keep your filthy tentacles off smearing, staining...'

'What are you talking about?' Cho doesn't know Draco too well. She has done stupid things and she knows that. Everybody makes mistakes after all. But what she doesn't know is that ignoring Draco is foolish and touching his things is absolutely insane.

'Harry,' Draco bites out. 'You keep your hands off him or...'

'Or what, Malfoy? You'll hex me?' Cho smirks a little. She has retained the feeling in her feet. How confident you become as you feel yourself standing.

'Or I'll kill you, Chang,' Draco snarls from between his teeth. 'You're using him and we know it, don't we? He knows it.'

'He loves me,' Cho says indignantly.

Draco's expression freezes, his eyes flicker, shadows play across his face. He looks like a statue. Cho doesn't know what he feels or why he's threatening her. She is afraid and she tries so hard not to show it. For a moment everything is still - like a scene from a book that someone has left open - and then Draco slips out of the room like a snake.

9. (11.)

Harry's hands are still in blood when he walks out of the castle and down to the shores of the lake, bathing in reflections of lights of students, vigilante. It's dark, and a small chill crawls under his robes, roams across his skin, making him tremble involuntarily. He washes his hands clean again with the black water. A couple of months ago, when he still had been a Wonder Boy, he scarified beautiful thoughts in his mind, utopian dreams about killing being wrong and death following him everywhere.

Now he looks at his hands and realises that they are clean, like the sky, and that he's not troubled by Ginny's death. He's just like a...

'Fucking Malfoy.' Harry smiles despite himself. Draco is hurt, Harry thinks. But I never loved her, I never loved anyone. Should it help if he told Draco what he has become? He stands at the shore and listens (and breathes).

Suddenly there are steps behind him, and Draco's hands turn him around firmly. He touches Harry's wet hands, their fingers entwine slowly, caressing each other's palms; they move as if they have a life of their own.

Harry notices that Draco's mouth stands red against the paleness of his cheeks, blossoming there like a weird lopsided and half-dead flower. Then Harry can't feel his own heartbeat, but it doesn't bother him in the slightest; on the contrary, it feels relieving to get rid of something so vain, so stupid... only Draco matters now. Draco's words matter - everything he's going to say.

Cho is dead. Yes

Ginny is dead. Yes.

Everything is okay now. Yes.

The world thinks wrong...

Their lips meet in a brief contact: quick enough for them to feel it but not long enough for them to close their eyes, or leave them open.

Then Draco slides Harry's glasses slowly down the bridge of his nose and off his face. Harry doesn't ask how he can see without them - he has eternity, after all, and the sky in his hands. They kiss again, longing in the sweet sensation of hotness cracking where they touch.

Against Harry's lips, as if he never wants to step back, Draco mumbles, 'It doesn't matter anymore if we keep our eyes closed or not.'

10. (9.)

Ron and Hermione sit in the half-full Gryffindor common room and write essays on human transformations. Ron keeps yawning and forgetting about the parchment in front of him on purpose, although Hermione shoots daggers and tells him exactly what to write to get the top grade. They have overcome the animosity between them since... Harry...

Suddenly the portrait of the Fat Lady swings aside and Harry walks in. He sinks into an armchair and exhales heavily. Hermione gasps at his looks. Earlier, she never noticed what Harry looks like, and now, when she hasn't looked at him for a while and has finally the chance, she finds herself thinking that however Harry looked earlier, it certainly wasn't like this.

Harry never told them much about Tom Riddle, but being very library-bound, Hermione remembered black hair, pale complexion, delicate cheekbones and slightly pointy chin smiling at her up from a newspaper clipping that said Youngest Student To Perform The Imperius Curse - Should We Worry?

'Harry! Where have you been?!' Ron exclaims jumping up from next to his homework. He is nearly in shock. Harry disappeared nearly six months ago and now he appears in the common room as though nothing out of ordinary has happened. And his appearance...

'Quidditch practise.' Harry frowns. 'What are you jumping at?'

'Harry!' Hermione hears herself screaming, woken out of a trance. 'For six months!?'

Harry looks bewildered. He glances at Ron, at Hermione and back at Ron. 'What?'

A pregnant pause follows. His friends look at each other.

A burst of laughter shoots through the air; Harry is roaring with laughter, holding his stomach. 'All right, all right,' Harry gasps. 'I was only joking.'

'Joking?' Hermione snaps. 'How in the name of Merlin can you joke on a moment like this? We thought you were dead...'

Harry doesn't answer her question - he smiles mysteriously and rises from the armchair, stretching him arms up over his head. 'I think I will go see Ginny,' he says, before disappearing up the staircase.

'Do you...?' Ron asks.

'I don't,' Hermione says.

Everything seems okay for a while, but then it's all terribly wrong, because Draco steps through the portrait hole, although he's not supposed to know the password. As if in slow motion, but mutely, Hermione observes as Draco and Ron start to fight. She sees that it's getting darker, just a little.

When Ginny's scream pierces her ears, she feels her eardrums shatter.

'I wonder what he's doing to her,' says Draco and winks.

11. (8.)

Sunlight is streaming through a window, making a puzzle of light on the surface of Draco's untouched morning coffee. The night before, his scars started hurting again. They have also turned from white into red. A jolt of pain runs through his left arm when he inspects one, running eloquently from the wrist to the elbow.

Otherwise everything flows. They are as if above the ground, streaming forwards or backwards - doesn't matter, because time doesn't. It's all about gazing upwards until Draco opens his mouth and makes a proposition. They haven't spoken for the last ten hours. That morning Harry only kicked Draco's shin for a good morning.

And the sun shines.

Draco raises his hand as if to cup Harry's cheek inside his palm, but lowers it after a second. Harry has never said that he hates romantic touching, but to Draco, it's pretty evident.

'I was wondering,' Draco says. The coffee is a routine that has transformed into something more close to a ritual, as they stare into their full cups, but never take a sip. Harry sits playing with a spoon and smiling. Draco thinks that he looks like a 15-year-old again. 'Could we address each other by our first names?'

Before Draco utters the last word, Harry's expression is tense, and he looks up. Draco knows he's made a mistake and blames morning drowsiness. Harry caresses the smooth surface of the spoon and gets up from his chair.

He walks to the bedroom, closes the door and remains there for fifty hours.

Draco doesn't disturb him; he puts his face in his hands and waits.

When Harry opens the door, it's raining and cold outside. Neither of them says a word. Draco makes Harry a dinner and Harry eats.

Afterwards, Draco asks Harry to put his arms around him and squeeze. Harry does just that.

Everything seems to flow higher, which is unbelievable; they haven't tumbled down. As they settle on a couch, Draco nestled against Harry's chest, lying between his legs, rain never ceases. Draco has to raise his chin just a little, just an inch, for his mouth to brush against the nape of Harry's neck.

'Let's get back to Hogwarts tomorrow,' he whispers. 'I think Ginny is still alive.' He's so gloating, saying her first name, so perverse.

Harry can only nod.

Before they leave that night, Draco promises to never leave him.