As the dark mark burnt off his flesh and soul, Draco Malfoy felt free - perhaps for the first time in his life. Perhaps since he was fourteen, and Voldemort had first returned from the dead. As he rose from where he had knelt, he heard wailing, an ululation to bring the Merga wraiths down upon us all. As he caught sight of a redhead and a bushy-haired brunette kneeling, he corrected himself. Not wraiths - valkyries. There lay Harry Potter - it could be none else, after all. And who but the valkyries would be there to usher him into Odin's hall?

Malfoy felt the gap. If he had died, no valkyrie would claim him, clasp him towards her bosom. He owed the dead a debt greater than he could ever repay. He strode away, his mind consumed in thoughts bright and bold. For, really, what could he do about the dead?

The next day, it came to him, as he read the paper, nestled in his bedroom at Malfoy Manor. He could do naught for the dead - not even mourn, truly. For who could expect him to mourn the former bane of his existence? His rival? But, he thought, as he swirled his tea, there were still the living to be thought of...

The papers chronicled Granger and Weasley's grief in detail, over the next few months. But it was Malfoy who pulled the strings, drawing the grieving duo into duties they could not turn down.


A year later, there was a memorial service... Granger and Weasley both got up to speak, to talk of what Potter believed in, what he cared about. Behind a pyrimidal tomb, Draco took careful notes - needing no paper, he wrote them in his mind. And as he stood, he nodded. He could manage what Potter had not.

It did not take long for Draco to learn about his old rival, to truly, for perhaps the first time, understand how lonely a child Potter had been - and how forgiving. With a Slytherin's subtle sense of humor, Draco Malfoy found ways to ensure that the Dursleys would continue to go along just as they had been, with Vernon hoping for a promotion, and Dudley growing ever fatter - and of course, Petunia's rosebushes failing without Potter there to care for them.


It had been ten long years since that day, and now it was the witching hour. Draco Malfoy stood before Potter's grave, as he had done every year. And he talked, told stories - now Headmaster of Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy had plenty of stories of mischief and magic - the sparkle in children's eyes, as slowly the scars of war healed before his eyes. At precisely midnight, Draco Malfoy turned and apparated away.

He never heard the matching crack of Apparition, when, a minute later, a darkhaired man in Muggle clothing who had listened quietly and patiently left for places unseen.

[a/n: well, that's that. A bit different of a response to a "what if harry wanted to forget about wizarding britain entirely". To those excessively troubled with things outside the scope of the story: yes, he did tell Granger and Weasley. They're friends, and he trusts them to keep the secret. As to Malfoy? Potter's rather of the opinion that Draco's done quite well for himself, and that bothering him with the idea that Potter's still alive would be counterproductive, to say the least

Postscript: If you like this, leave a review. If you hate it, leave a (probably different) review. Reviews help me get better, and they're the only thanks I get].