Author: Cassis Luna
Warnings: homosexual themes, talks about violence and murder
Summary: From the prompt: What if one day everyone was brewing Amortentia and Harry walks in. Of course, he doesn't know what they're brewing so the first thing he says is "Why does the room smell like it's drenched in Malfoy's cologne?" and then everyone else, including Draco, just stare at him until Hermione says, "This is Amortentia, Harry, it smells differently to everyone according to what attracts them." Then Harry just goes really red and kind of squeaks because now everyone knows that he's in love with Draco.
Potter was stalking him again.
Draco could feel it on his neck, the drops of perspiration sliding on his skin, leaving a burning trail of shame that made his whole body heat up.
He was on a five-year probation and his magic use under strict observation, for Salazar's sake. Potter should have no business stalking him or staring at him in that goddamn infuriating way, like he's trying to figure you out. The war was over. Potter should just look away, go on with his merry life, snog his girlfriend, and stop trying to be the bloody hero waiting to catch the ex-Death Eater plot to raise the Dark Lord from the dead.
There was no plan.
All Draco planned to do was get his N.E.W.T.s, graduate, and then spend the next five years in reclusion on a mountain in Italy. He didn't plan on ever interacting with any of them ever again after graduation. Especially Potter. Never Potter.
Draco scratched lightly at his arm through his sleeve, where the Dark Mark lay on his skin like a disease. He resisted the urge to scratch it with his nails. Not here. Not with Potter watching, those green eyes thinking they knew everything about him.
His jaw clenched. Professor Slughorn's voice became a monotonous drone in his head, the words going inside one ear, blending together in his head, before going out the other. Everything else blurred away in the periphery of his senses — all he could focus on was the heavy and pressing weight (of his mistakes, of all his wrong choices) on his arm and the gaze of Potter on him.
In another life, he would have welcomed it. Would have relished that Potter was finally, finally paying attention to him. In another life, Draco may have entertained the thought that Potter's gaze meant something different. But the Draco in that life would never have taken the Dark Mark.
His vision blurred. Not here.
With great effort, he stood up from his chair as quietly as he could and left the room.
No one paid him any mind.
Draco hoped Potter didn't pay him any mind.
He was doubled over the sink in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, emptying the contents of his stomach heave after heave. The ugly noises he made echoed off the walls, and if Draco closed his eyes, he could easily transform it into the sounds he had made almost two years ago as he lay on this same bathroom floor, slowly dying on a pool of his own blood, and Potter above him looking like he was scared of Draco dying, like Draco didn't deserve it.
That was why he still returned to this place. It reminded him of that godawful pain of having your chest sliced open, of the gripping and mind-numbing fear that you're about to die and all that you could brag about your life was that it at least took you 16 years before you succumbed to the pressure to be Marked, that you tried your best to keep your mother and father safe but you still made all the wrong choices, and now the only person you've ever wanted to look at you and maybe even save you had just sliced your chest open and had the gall to call your name and beg for you to live.
What a selfish prick.
Draco rinsed his mouth and spat. He closed his eyes and waited for the world to right itself.
He came back to this place over and over again to remember what dying felt like — because he was too scared to actually end it himself.
Draco opened his eyes and locked with green ones reflected on the mirror. He wasn't even surprised. His throat strained and his voice cracked as he spoke. "You should really stop this habit of following other guys into the loo, Potter."
"I don't really want to hear that from a guy regularly using the girls' loo."
That had Draco laughing humorlessly. "Point." He straightened his back from where it was hunched over the sink and procured a white handkerchief from his pocket. He wiped at his lips and leaned back. The world wasn't swaying anymore. Potter's face was as clear as the morning light.
It was always as clear as the morning light.
"And so?" Draco murmured, too tired to even try to raise his voice anymore. "Here to use the girls' loo as well?"
Potter's gaze didn't sway. His eyes stayed fixed on him, firm and determined. Then, his gaze softened and so did the line of his shoulders. "Are you… alright? You're kind of pale."
Draco tried to bite back another humorless chuckle and failed. After coming back from the dead, you'd think Potter learned a thing or two about self-preservation and sympathizing with enemy. "Sod it, Potter. You're done saving the world. You can relax now and focus on your N.E.W.T.s. You need at least an E on Potions and you're horrid at it."
"I've improved," Potter returned good-naturedly. "I've gone the whole year without blowing a cauldron up."
Draco had to close his eyes again as more bile tried to claw their way up his throat. The world must be laughing at him. It let him pine after Potter for 7 years, made it so that Potter will never look at him in the same way, and then had Potter try to engage in small talk with him. It was excruciatingly painful. It was exactly what he deserved.
"Malfoy, do you need –"
Draco turned back to the sink and heaved once again.
"Go away, Potter," he grumbled, before heaving once again. He opened the faucet and rinsed his mouth of the sour taste. When he looked up, Potter was still there.
"I can take you to the Infirmary," Potter murmured softly. It baffled Draco to realize that there was no pity in his eyes. Just that firm determination again that he had to look away from, because it was too bright.
Draco wiped his mouth again with the handkerchief and whipped his wand out for a quick Cleaning Charm. He wasn't sure whether to be amused or irritated that Potter didn't even flinch when he took out his wand. "No need," he rasped out, and put both his handkerchief and wand back in his pockets. "Unlike you, I don't make it a habit to cut class."
He walked past Potter and back to the classroom, as fast as his shaking legs could take him.
When he returned to class, Professor Slughorn was just finishing the demonstration in front. Heads turned at his arrival but Draco paid them no mind. He had to stop in the doorway as the scent of Quidditch, morning dew, and treacle tart filled his nostrils. He inhaled deeply, face flushing at how just the scent made his head lighter.
Behind him, Potter also entered the room. More heads turned.
Draco clearly saw the moment Potter inhaled the potion and the moment his face scrunched up in confusion. "Why does the room smell like somebody sprayed Malfoy's perfume all over it?"
Draco inhaled sharply. All sounds of the other eighth years gasping, Ronald Weasley groaning, and Hermione Granger's nervous explanation of "We're brewing Amortentia, Harry…" were all background noise to him, because all he could focus on was the way Potter's eyes widened and the way his cheeks turned pink and the way he took a step back from Draco and the way Potter was looking at anything but him and that was what Draco wanted, had been wanting ever since coming back here with all the heavy weight of guilt and shame on his shoulders, but not now, not now when he just found out that –
"Uhm, I'm just gonna go to the loo," Potter said weakly.
Draco reached out but it was too late.
Potter was out of the room before he could reach him.
Against Draco's better judgment, his legs moved of their own accord.
"Stop following me, Malfoy."
"Stop walking, damn it –"
Potter stopped walking and turned around abruptly, eyes flashing bright and angry. "What?"
Draco wasn't exactly sure what. Actually, what was supposed to be his question, and it would probably go like what the fuck was that about, Potter?
He swallowed. Now that he had lost the momentum and adrenaline of chasing Potter, dread was starting to pool in his stomach and bile crawl up his throat. He really wasn't exactly sure what.
In front of him, probably fed up at Draco's lengthy silence, Potter took a deep breath and sighed loudly and heavily. "Why did you follow me?"
In the same way that he wouldn't possibly be able to tell Harry about his legs moving on their own, he also couldn't explain to himself why his mouth was suddenly running off without his consent: "I hate treacle tart. It's too sweet. Honestly, Potter, you should cut back on those things. The Daily Prophet needs you to be fit for their next two hundred covers. The smell is even more infuriating. I don't know how you can inhale it without gagging. It's like shoving candy up your nostrils."
Potter was staring at him, mouth slightly agape and eyebrows furrowed in confusion and disbelief. Draco couldn't blame him.
"What are you talking about?"
Draco swallowed the bile down. It was easy when your body was deciding for you. He usually didn't have to think about fight or flight – it was always usually flight before he was conscious of it. Even now, his legs ached with the strain of keeping still. It wanted to turn back, go to the Dungeons, hide in the darkness under his comforter and away from Potter's stare.
Draco grit his teeth and kept his feet right where they were. "The room –" he ground out, blood rushing in his ears. "The room smelled like treacle tart."
Potter didn't blink. He kept staring.
Draco's tongue felt heavy in his mouth.
Harry's eyes widened, and it was so imperceptible that anyone else who hadn't spent the last seven years watching him – hoping – would be unable to notice.
"And morning dew."
After that, Draco's jaw snapped shut and his lips pressed tightly together as if they couldn't believe they had let such words spill from them.
And it was then that Potter was moving, and Draco took an involuntary step back, but it didn't matter because Potter had reached out and was holding his wrist, grip firm and heavy, even as Draco was trying to pull away, because it was starting to sink in, he was starting to realize once again that Potter was the Savior of the Wizarding World and he was a former Death Eater in probation and –
"This is a bad idea, Potter," he muttered, heart beating wild in panic, and then Potter was in his space, their faces a few inches from one another and Potter's gaze was still bright green and unwavering.
"No, you don't," Potter breathed out. "Say it properly. There are tons of other students in this school that might like treacle tart as much as I do or attends Quidditch practice every morning, and I'd really rather you not be talking about them."
Draco's breath held. His head felt light. That was the confession he had thought would never, ever come for him. All of Potter's gazes in the past months made sense now, and it was terrifying, because Draco could recall each and every one of them, the intensity of his attention, and the shame that Draco would feel afterwards because he thought that he was being watched for a different reason.
"I'm a Death Eater," he hissed out because that was important, and Potter shouldn't be forgetting that in the heat of the moment, in this stupid hormonal moment –
"And I murdered Tom Riddle," was Potter's reply.
Draco's eyes snapped up to meet his. They looked at him straight on and they were serious and Draco guessed that the words that were just said, the words that currently hung heavily between them were important, too.
"We've got a lot to sort out," Potter said. "But first, let's start with this. Do you want to go out with me?"
Draco almost laughed. It was a horrible question. It wasn't a simple will you go out with me, but something that asked for much more, something that Draco was scared to give. It was asking what he wanted and what he wanted was a lot of things, a lot of things that he wasn't supposed to want. And Potter was asking this without even showing his own cards, and it was unfair how he was asking Draco to bare his soul without having bared his, but –
But this was it, wasn't it? This was the test.
After that war, he had stopped going after the things that he wanted, thinking that he didn't deserve them after all that he did. He had stopped demanding, he had stopped asking, he had stopped thinking that he could get them because the last time he wanted something – his family safe, he just wanted that – it ended up badly.
And he didn't want to get Marked, he didn't want to be a Death Eater, he just wanted…
He wanted a lot of things. He didn't get any of them.
But now Potter was asking and –
"Yes," Draco breathed out and a second didn't even last before Potter pulled his wrist and yanked him close, arms enveloping him tightly, and it hurt a bit, but Potter's face was shoved in his neck and his breath was warm. Potter's shoulders were shaking with relieved chuckles, and rose and sank when Potter took one deep, shuddery breath. And then Potter's lips were moving against his skin.
"Malfoy, your perfume is horrid. Can I kiss you?"
And Draco thought it didn't matter what he deserved now, not when he finally had Potter in his arms, and he had always been a selfish brat.
He hooked a finger inside Potter's collar at the back of his neck, pulled him back, and pressed their lips together.
They were standing in the middle of the hallway, and anyone could see them, but Potter's tongue slipped between his lips, and he forgot all thoughts about the rest of the world.
All he could think about was that Potter tasted like treacle tart too and it really was too sweet.