A/N: One-shot angsty/fluffy slash ficlet that stands alone quite nicely, but it's more depressing when paired with All Too Much. I never put up slash warnings, so I may as well now: homophobes, beware. Press the back button now. Not lemon at all, mind you, but it's implied, as always. Well, enjoy. It makes me want to cry. Read and review, dammit!

Free, or Something Like It

It's so clear tonight. And yet we're trapped inside.

If I hate Voldemort for one reason, it's because of him that Harry and I have to sneak around.

"What are you thinking about, Draco?" He's emerged from my bathroom. "You look troubled."

I put on a blank expression. "Nothing. What's the situation on the front?"

He sighs. "I don't want to talk about that here, Draco. I come here to get away from all that." He sits beside me on the couch, leans into me. His messy hair is in my face so I tweak it absentmindedly as he starts to speak.

"I want this to be over," he murmurs. "I hate this war, I hate it. I just want to be alone.--with you, of course." I smile widely and flick that one unruly piece of hair that keeps him looking vaguely messy all the time.

"I wish it could be like that, too," I say. I bite my lip. "You know Anna Douglas?" I try to say offhand.

"Douglas. Oh yeah, she was in the year below us. Slytherin, right?"

I swallow. "Yeah, that's her."

There is never tense silence between him and I, not any more, not since we fell in love. There used to be, but as we joke sometimes, we used it all up back in the beginning. But out time together and our love--well, like now, we can just sit and enjoy the silence and each other's touch.

"Why do you ask? Is she a Death Eater?" His voice is cautious; we're nearing reality with this subject, and that's exactly what we're trying to avoid.

"Yes." I take a deep breath. "Lucius is trying to fix me up with her." My voice wavers.

Of course Lucius doesn't know. As a consequence of that, I have to deal with him fixing me up with possible wives (AKA Malfoy-breeders). I suppose it's better than the alternative of being dead.

Sometimes I think the Manor is worse than hell.

Harry sighs slowly. "Do what you have to," he says. "I'd rather share you than see you dead."

"You know," I say. "I wonder what would happen if I just went down there and killed Lucius?"

"What about your mum?" he says.

"What about her?" I say. "She's in the East Wing. She wouldn't know until next Tuesday."

Harry sits up and looks me in the face. "We'd be free," he says thoughtfully. "Free, or something like it."

The very wretched, hopeless dream of that word upon his lips, true--a smile crosses my face. A laugh follows and he laughs with me. Suddenly he kisses me and I'm laughing even then, and without realizing it I say the word that echoes in my mind against his lips.


What I wouldn't give to be free, or something like it.