So, here I am with a long fic as promised :)
Please be warned for angsty flangst in this one. I promise it gets better but...yeah.
What you should know about this fic: So, we've all read the bonding fic trope. Harry and Draco are accidentally bonding and are forced to live together? This is one of those fics. Except, it's a tiny bit different. I wanted to write a fic about what happens after the bond wears off. This is a story of Harry and Draco finding each other again. There are many side characters and lots of flashbacks. Also mentions of divorce throughout the fic.
Anyway, I love you guys so much for being excited about this *hugs* Give it a chance, yes? I really hope it doesn't disappoint
Reviews, as always are immensely appreciated.
It was strange how an entire year of someone's life could be packed away in three boxes. Not for the first time, Harry's eyes drifted over to them. Three boxes. Just three. Stacked neatly in his living room, tucked away in a corner lest someone should stumble over them.
Harry stared intently at them, inexplicably determined to imprint them into his memory. He didn't know why. He just…had to remember them. He had to remember how they looked.
Beige. Unremarkable. Dull.
Boxes that were so entirely unrepresentative of the year they contained inside them, it made him angry — which was ridiculous because after everything Harry had been through, he should've been happy or relieved or literally anything but angry that it was finally over.
Still, Harry stared at the boxes. And he couldn't help but feel that as stressful and tumultuous and insane as the year had been, it deserved better than to be packed away in those boring boxes.
It wasn't right.
It just wasn't and he didn't know why, but…
"I'm all done."
The quiet voice behind him pulled him out of his musings. Harry tried very hard not to think about how this was the last time he'd be hearing that voice. Instead, he turned around to face Draco.
"Are you sure?" he asked. "Got your Portkey ready? All your documents?"
Draco took a deep breath, as if steeling himself for something. But when he spoke, his voice was dispassionate. Almost bored. "Everything's taken care of. I just need to take my stuff and I'll be out of your hair."
As if on cue, their eyes travelled back to the boxes. Harry's fists clenched and he didn't know why. "Well, that's it," he said finally, gesturing at them. "All your stuff is in there."
Draco nodded again, his grey eyes focused on the small pile. "Doesn't look like much, does it?"
No, it didn't. It would be easy to…stick the boxes in a corner and forget about them. Draco would have no trouble with them cluttering up his new home.
That was a good thing.
"You're finally moving to Paris," Harry said, more in an effort to fill the silence than anything. Draco averted his gaze and nodded stiffly in response, turning to fidget with some papers again. Harry's shoulders slumped. Of course, there was no need for conversation now. Still, a small part of him had hoped that they could at least keep in touch. Be friends or…something.
"Here are my keys," Draco broke the silence suddenly, placing them on the table with a soft clink. "Oh, and I owled The Quidditch Enquirer. They'll cancel my subscription next month."
That was a shame. Harry had grown to like The Quidditch Enquirer.
"I'll have Pansy pick up my books sometime next week," Draco went on, apparently on an organizational roll. He did that sometimes. Harry smiled despite himself.
"…and remember, you have to meet Bill Weasley later this week about splitting our accounts and you need to water the plants. And don't forget to…"
"Draco, stop," Harry grinned, finally managing to get a word in. "I got along without your nagging for this long, didn't I? I'll be fine."
"Merlin knows how," Draco muttered, but a smile tugged at his lips anyway. "Take care of yourself, Potter. I've grown passing fond of you."
Not fond enough to stay, apparently. But it was something.
"I will," Harry promised. "Is there anything else?"
"Just one thing," Draco replied softly. His eyes never left Harry as he placed the sheaf of papers on the table. Harry swallowed as he recognized the Ministry's seal on the official documents.
"You'll need to file them," Draco told him.
"I'll do it tomorrow," Harry replied, trying to sound neutral and nonchalant about it. He realised that he was clenching his fists again.
Draco's eyes flickered and he looked like he wanted to say something, but finally he settled for a quick nod. "Don't forget to sign them," he said. "You…haven't done it yet."
Harry nodded stiffly. A small — very small— part of him wanted to lash out, respond with a 'Can't wait to get rid of me, Draco?' but that was ridiculous.
Of course Draco wanted this taken care of. Harry did too.
Really, it's not like they were actually married.
It was just an accident— a stupid, highly inconvenient mistake that they could finally set right and move on with their respective, separate lives.
That was how it should be.
"Tomorrow," Harry promised.
Draco nodded, apparently willing to take his word for it. This was the same man who wouldn't trust Harry with a grocery list. Harry couldn't help but wonder how much things had changed.
It was over. It was finally over.
And of course it was a good thing but Harry felt compelled to say something anyway.
Draco cut him off. He covered the distance between them in two long strides and pressed himself against Harry. Slim, pale arms looped around his neck and Harry responded instinctively, wrapping his own arms around Draco's body.
He was too thin, too pale and much too pointy. All lines and angles…Harry could feel the sharp planes of his body— his hip bones and his chin and his elbows. But it felt right, somehow. And in that moment, with his soon to be ex-husband's slim frame leaning into him, he knew that Draco was afraid too— afraid of moving on with his life and putting all of this behind him, afraid of saying goodbye.
But he had to do this. They had to. It was how things should be and they both knew it. So Harry did what he did best. He pulled Draco closer and pressed a reassuring kiss to his forehead. "You'll be fine," he promised. "It's going to be okay, Draco. I promise."
"I know," Draco whispered. "It's just…"
Draco disentangled himself and Harry let him go. There was nothing more to say.
This was a good thing.
Draco picked up his boxes and gave him a shaky, not quite there smile. "Take care, Harry," he murmured.
Harry nodded, but his eyes remained glued to Draco's back. The quiet click of the door echoed in his ears long after Draco had gone.
Draco was gone.
Harry was a free man again. For some reason, freedom felt…different from how he remembered.
Finally, he heaved a quiet sigh and took a look around his flat. Why did it look so empty? Draco only had three boxes.
Harry's shoulders slumped. He was tired, that was all. He needed sleep.
He would file the divorce papers tomorrow.
One week later…
Harry was tired. He was always tired these days, and it wasn't a general, worked-late-and-crashed-on-the-couch tired. This was an exhaustion that went down to his bones and it was starting to worry him.
A residual effect of the bond, perhaps? That definitely wasn't good.
He hadn't felt this awful since the early days.
If it was the bond acting up again, maybe Draco was feeling it too. Harry considered calling him, or sending an owl. But Draco was in Paris and Harry hadn't heard from him since. He was probably really busy, visiting art galleries and the like. Not sleep deprived and lolling about in bed like Harry. He must be busy— he hadn't called Harry once or even bothered with an owl. Why would he, when he had a whole new life waiting for him?
The thought only exhausted him more.
No, Harry decided firmly. He didn't need to call Draco. He wasn't going to call Draco like some needy, desperate ex.
What Harry needed was a professional. So he stumbled his way over to the fire-place and made a quick, albeit painful Floo call.
Bill showed up an hour later.
Harry was at the table, idly shuffling through some papers and fighting to stay awake when he heard the click of the front door. Then quick, efficient footsteps sounded, making their way over and stopping in front of him. Harry lifted his head and blinked slowly at Bill.
"Well," Bill commented with a grin. "You look like a million galleons."
Harry huffed and slumped down, resting his throbbing head on the table again. "I changed my mind. You can go now."
"Right, coffee it is."
Shuffling footsteps retreated to the kitchen and Harry turned his head to observe Bill rummaging about his kitchen. He moved efficiently, retrieving mugs and boiling water with a careless flick of his wand.
"Where do you keep the coffee?" he asked.
"Top cabinet, far left," Harry replied.
"Found it. Wait, why's it in the spice rack?"
"Because I married a complete nutter," Harry retorted automatically. The next second, he cursed and bit the inside of his cheek.
Why did he have to say that? He hadn't meant to bring Draco up at all. So far, Bill had expertly avoided the subject and Harry saw no reason to change that happy dynamic. Now Bill would make him talk about it and Harry really didn't want to.
What good would it do anyway? Draco wasn't around to launch into another endless argument about how coffee was in fact, a spice.
…which is why we put it on the spice rack. Stop me if I'm going too fast for you, Potter.
Right. Let me see if I've got this. We put the coffee on the spice rack…because I married a complete nutter.
It's called being organized, you barbarian.
It's called being neurotic, you ponce.
Harry snapped out of his reverie, blinking up at Bill. Bill raised an eyebrow and handed him a cup of steaming coffee, taking a seat without another word. Harry accepted it gratefully and took a swig.
Coffee. Coffee fixed everything.
Bill seemed content to sit next to him in silence, looking over the Prophet now and then and sipping his own coffee. Thank Merlin. No questions, no cautious enquiries, no I'm there for you or if you want to talk about it…
"It's not the bond."
And then he had to go ruin it. Harry sighed and put his mug down with a sharp clatter. Bill abandoned the paper and watched him carefully, his blue eyes sharp and assessing. "It doesn't work that way and you know it," Bill went on, taking Harry's silence as an invitation to continue. "If it was the bond, you'd be feeling uneasy and nauseous, spiked heart rate, paranoia—that sort of thing. Exhaustion never figured in your symptoms before."
"There's no other reason for me to be feeling this bloody awful," Harry informed him sullenly. His head was throbbing again and he resisted the urge to massage his temples.
"You're sure about that? No other reason at all?" Bill leaned back, his eyes never wavering. His fingers drummed against the table—a sign that he definitely had more to say on the subject. Harry however, had a headache.
"No," he replied firmly.
"Oh. I see."
There was another tense silence as Harry glowered at the table. Bill went back to reading the Prophet. Harry wasn't sure if he was grateful or irritated. Probably both. Then again, he hadn't called Bill here to make him coffee. Harry sighed…he might as well get this over with too.
"So, Draco and I need to split our vault at Gringotts."
Bill looked up at him. "Yeah?"
"Well, the Ministry insisted we set it up when we were…you know. I figure now that he's out of the picture, so to speak, maybe we could…"
He trailed off and Bill nodded. "I can take care of that, no problem."
"Thanks," Harry mumbled in reply. Good. This was good. Things were finally moving and everything would be back to…
"I'll need a copy of your divorce papers though. Have you filed them with the Ministry yet?"
Harry's hands clenched around his mug and he grimaced. This coffee was bloody awful— just black and bitter and…
"Harry? I asked if…"
"Tomorrow," Harry bit out. "I'll do it tomorrow."
Please don't kill me. I swear there's a happy ending...