Hey everyone - sorry this took so long. I've been completely swamped and have only just finished this.

So without further ado. . .

Here it is


I woke up happy, a dreamy smile lighting my face before I even opened my eyes.

Golden spirals whirled through my body, causing shivers to run tantalizingly up and down my spine.

My arm stretched out searching for warmth, my fingertips feeling for a body I needed to be there.

It met with emptiness.

My eyes flew open and I sat up, my heart thudding painfully. My eyes searched the room frantically, a frown crossing my face.

"Draco?" I stood up, wrapping the sheets around my waist and walked over to the bathroom. I mean, if he'd been in there, he should have heard me, but he really could get wrapped up in his reflection. No luck.

It was empty.

Swallowing the lump in my throat I walked out onto the corridor, searching.

"Draco?" I shouted, panic building in me as there was no reply, "DRACO?"

I ran my fingers through my hair, struggling to breathe.

He wouldn't- he wouldn't just leave without saying goodbye.

Unless of course last night had been his way of saying it.

My breath caught in my throat and I felt a stab of pain.


He had to be here.

He couldn't be gone.

He just couldn't be.

"DRACO!" I called desperately, feeling hysteria bubble up inside my stomach. "DRACO, GODDAMNIT! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?"

My voice echoed through the house, fading away to silence along with my hope.

My arms fell to my side limply.

No. Shit no.

He was gone.

He was really gone.

I sank to the floor numbly, sitting on the steps and leaning my head against the wall next to me.

This couldn't be it.

Seven years of waiting. Hoping. Dreaming. Yearning. Praying.

Seven years of love made useless in one moment.

Last night . . . last night I thought that maybe I'd been right. That it wasn't hopeless to have waited for him; that everybody else was wrong and he did love me too.

Guess I was wrong.


I watched the sink fill with water, in a daze of pain that made me feel drugged. It was hard to do anything- breathing was an effort, and most of the time, moving was out of the question.

I was just pushing down the pain- anesthetizing it the only way I knew how. Denial.

Pretty damn poor anesthetic, but the only thing that took away the edge of the pain. Having him here had been such a bad idea, but one I knew that I could never have ignored. Whether I liked it or not, he'd become a part of me, and there was no way I could change that.

Even with the pain, I wouldn't want to.

An image flashed through my mind of Draco, his blonde hair falling in his eyes as he grinned at me warmly, body encased in a faded tracksuit and so close to me that I could feel the warmth from his body.

A stab of loneliness and longing ripped through my heart.

God, I missed him. He'd been gone just over a day, and I missed him like crazy already.

"Shit!" I yelled as a wave of water crashed to my feet. Frantically I turned the tap, having been too absorbed in thoughts of Draco to notice the rapidly rising level.

"Shit, shit, shit!" I kicked the cupboard with a sudden wave of anger, "Ow!"

Okay, so abusing furniture was not helping, just destroying perfectly useful fixtures.

I rubbed my forehead wearily, trying to wish away the banging headache that was as persistent as Crucio when he was hungry. Misery drained all the energy from my body, and I clambered up the stairs to bed, lying there for what seemed like an age.

Until the light melted away and shadows consumed the room.

I was cold, so very cold. Even under a mound of blankets I was shivering; not only from the cold, but also from my intense emotions.

A broken sob erupted from my mouth as tears silently trickled down my face. I missed him so much. It was like someone had ripped my heart out, and I had to live without it- with just a throbbing absence that consumed my entire soul.

I wrapped my arms around myself, feeling cold both on the inside and out. Images of Draco flickered through my mind, torturing me with his perfection.

Untouchable in every way.

Alone in the darkness with no-one to see my pain, I let myself cry. For the first time since the whole hero business started, I sobbed like a child.

Like the child I'd never been allowed to be.


I moved the food around on my plate sulkily, uncomfortably aware that Sirius' and Remus' eyes were fixed on me.

What should have been a joy-filled meal of celebration had actually become tense and awkward, as Sirius and Remus searched for words that would make me feel better.

I watched them exchange a glance and a sudden rush of guilt overwhelmed me. I was such an idiot- obsessing about something as stupid as this after all they'd been through. I was a terrible godson.

"So . . . " Sirius and Remus both jumped at the sound of my voice; this being the first time I'd spoken in twenty-five minutes. Not that I actually knew what to say.

"So . . . " I started again. "You guys are shagging, huh?" They jumped again, but for an entirely different reason.

"Um . . . " Remus eyes looked like they were about to pop out of his head. "Yeah. No. Maybe." He looked over to Sirius desperately, questions evident in his eyes.

"Yes," Sirius said firmly, leaning over and taking Remus' hand, "We are," he said, frowning suddenly,"Aren't we?" He looked to Remus for confirmation that he'd done the right thing in telling me.

"I'm not a kid anymore. You don't have to lie to me." Not that they even needed to lie to me when I was a kid.

"So you're all right with this?" Remus checked. "You don't mind?"

"Why would I mind?' Would make me a bit hypocritical." Sadness washed over me as I thought of Draco. "You look good, I smiled, fighting back the tears, "This must be good for you."

"It is," A smile lit Sirius's features causing him to glow, as he looked at Remus, "But Harry . . . "a sudden serious look crossed his face. "You look terrible!"

"Thanks, Padfoot," I said, scowling. "That makes me feel so much better."

"Sorry, but it had to be said."

"No," Remus corrected him firmly, "it didn't. Harry doesn't need you being superficial right now. He needs your love and guidance."

Sirius sighed. "Yeah, but he needs advice on his hair too. I mean- just look at it!"

Sometimes Sirius reminded me too much of Draco for comfort.

"Sirius," I snapped, "I have my hair the way I like it." Despite my words my hand snaked up self-consciously to pat my hair.

Sirius's eyes softened, and he offered me a silent smile.

"How are you, Harry?" Remus asked softly, deftly changing the subject.

"I'm fine." I said tightly, forcing myself to paste a smile on my face.

"Harry, you don't have to pretend-not around us." Sirius said, frowning slightly. "I know how it feels. I mean, when Remus dumped me, I was heartbroken."

I looked at Remus quizzically. "You two have broken up before?" A sudden thought occurred to me. "And I was not dumped! I was just-" I searched for the words, "left without my prior consent."

Sirius blinked. "Yeah . . . so you were dumped?'

I sighed. What was the point of sugarcoating it? It wasn't going to make me feel any better- wasn't as though I had any pride left, anyway. "Yeah . . . so, Remus dumped you?"

"Oh, multiple times," Sirius nodded emphatically, "it was always 'what would everyone say, Sirius? But I'm a werewolf you shouldn't be involved with me,' blah blah blah."

"I think what Sirius is trying to say," Remus interrupted, "is that when some dump- uhh . . . leaves you without your prior consent, it sometimes works out for the best. It's not always the end-just some time for both parties to think about the relationship."

"There wasn't a relationship," I swallowed, "it was just on my part."

Sirius snorted derisively. "When did you get to be so thick, Harry? He was crazy about you-even I could tell that!"

"In the very unlikely occasion that I trust your opinion on that, it doesn't matter. It's over. He's not coming back."

"He told you that then?"

"No," I said through gritted teeth. "I used some of that intelligence you insist I have."

Sirius played with his napkin absentmindedly. "You just shouldn't give up hope, that's all. Maybe there was something he needed to do."

"I've had enough of hoping. I'm bloody sick and tired of letting him walk all over me, and taking it. He left me without saying goodbye after we'd . . . "I trailed off, watching Sirius turn slightly green. There were some things he just didn't need to know. "And how come you're sticking up for him anyway? I thought you hated him. You should be happy about this."

Sirius shrugged slightly. "He said some things that impressed me. Made me reconsider my opinion. Though, obviously, I was right to begin with. Anyone who would treat you this way just isn't worth it."

But he was .

That one thought lingered in my mind and I stared gloomily at the table. "God, I'll bet that you wish you hadn't rung me up to remind me to come here."

"Well, it probably would have been more cheerful here without you- which is something from two people who have been in a Death Eater torture camp for a few years," Sirius smiled slightly, "But you're always welcome here, Harry - suicidal maniac or not. Our home is your home," he paused, looking thoughtful. "Would you like to stay for a while? I don't feel right sending you home by yourself."

The offer was tempting, and I paused to think. "I'm okay. I don't want to impose on you any longer- I'll be fine." I stood. "I'd better be going. Thanks for dinner."

"If you're sure. And it's not an imposition," Remus said firmly. I smiled sadly, giving them both a brief hug.

"I'm glad you're back."

"I'm glad we're back, too." Sirius murmured with a smirk. "See you around, Harry. I'll give you a call later this week."

With one last smile I turned and walked from the apartment; feeling more alone than ever.


Tiredness made my eyes feel as though they were filled with lead, and it was hard even to blink.

Why couldn't I sleep?

Why didn't I even want to sleep? Only, that one was easy- if I slept, I dreamt, and if I dreamt, then it was about him.

If sleeping wasn't going to last forever, then why bother? It would only make it worse when I woke up and he wasn't there . . . again.

I threw the covers off of the bed with a growl of frustration and moved over to my desk, banging my head against it repeatedly, and only stopping when the dizziness was too much to bear.

What was it I'd said about venting on furniture? Then again, I suppose this time I was venting on my head. Poor head. It's not like it'd done anything wrong.apart from not stopping me from falling for Draco, thus landing me in this entire mess to begin with.

I hit it one more time for good measure.

With a sigh I picked up my quill and began to twist it in my fingers.

Emotions raced through me, and I tried to focus on them- trying to sort through them but unable to pick one from the swirling mass.

I wracked my brain for a way to sort out the mess that my emotions were. Hermione had always said that writing helped her sort out her problems.

I looked at the quill in my hand- worth a try.

And I began to write. Not what I wished could be true but what I really felt and what I really meant. All the things I'd never say to anyone for fear of Draco laughing in my face.

I wrote all the things in my soul.

Draco- I know you had to leave. I know that you still think you have to prove yourself and show that you are somebody.

But if you could see yourself the way that I see you then you'd know that it's all a load of crap.

Because when you walk into a room you're the only thing I can see. You shine brighter than anybody I've ever met. In spite of everything you've done- everything you are and have been, you've always been the only thing I've been fighting for.

You're not just "somebody" to me- you're everybody- the only person I need.

If you were here you'd probably be laughing.

You'd probably say "and I'm supposed to be the overly dramatic one", or I suppose you could always just tell me to get myself together, because it's obscenely pathetic for a so-called hero to be this bothered by his enemy leaving...

But I can't help it.

I can't help it, because you're the only thing that ever makes me feel this way.

And I've been lying to you- and myself.

The night that I came to your base, it was to find you. I came to try and save you. The entire ministry wanted you dead, but I didn't. I can't explain why, but I knew you weren't evil. Only Dumbledore knew that I was coming to the base. and he tried to stop me. I knew I could have died, but I couldn't leave you there. I wanted to give you a second chance- I wanted to save you from yourself.

Because the truth is, I'm in love with you. I always have been.

I know that you don't feel the same way, and I know that I'm stupid to keep hoping you will.

But, God, if you could only feel a tenth of what I feel, then you'd understand why I'm telling you this.

It's always been you-ever since you kissed me seven years ago, there's never been anyone else.

I know who you are, and what you've done.

I know I shouldn't want you.

But I know I love you, and that's what I believe in.

I don't care what happens to me in this life, but I will always love you.

Always yours.


I sealed the envelope, writing his name on the front in curvy writing. I stared at the name, tracing it gently with my thumb. Where are you ,Dray?

My heart lurched as I thought about him, the apartment suddenly seeming colder . . . lonelier.

And in a spur of the moment decision, I turned to my owl.

"Hedwig, take this to Draco."

She hooted softly and spread her wings, gently brushing my cheeks with the tips of her feathers. I sighed, watching her leave and feeling a mixture of hope and dread. At least if he laughed in my face, I'd get to see him one last time. If that was his reaction, he'd come and do it in person- he was just that sort of sadistic person.

Now all there was to do was wait.


"You wanted to see me, sir?" I asked politely, standing in front of Dumbledore's desk, feeling like I was back at school again.

"Ah, yes, Harry- please have a seat."

I perched on one of the overstuffed leather seats, feeling uneasy in Dumbledore's office for the first time.

"How are you, Harry?"

I bit my lip. "With all due respect sir, I don't think the state of my well being is what you asked me here to talk about, is it?"

Dumbledore cleared his throat. "No, it's not.we've had reports that Mr. Malfoy is attempting to rebuild Voldemort's forces, with himself at the head." For the first time in the twelve years that I'd known him, Dumbledore looked greatly uncomfortable. "I'm sorry, Harry."

I bit the inside of my cheek, trying to hold back the sorrow.

"I truly am sorry," Dumbledore repeated.

"Why? He got what he wanted." I took a shaky breath inwards, "he's got his chance to shine."

Dumbledore nodded slowly.

"If that is all . . . " I said brusquely, standing and walking towards the door.

As my face drew level with the doorframe, I stopped.

"If anybody tries to stop him, then they'll have me to deal with." my voice was low but so venomous that it filled the whole room.

"Harry . . . "

I turned around, meeting Dumbledore's eyes steadily. "I mean it."

"Harry," Dumbledore's voice, although calm, betrayed his urgency. "I don't think you understand-"

"I don't understand?" A bitter laugh escaped my lips. "I think I do. I never had any parents. They were taken away from me before I even knew them. I didn't have a childhood- my so called family treated me like shit. And then I came here, and I thought everything was going to be fine. But no- I had to grow up more quickly than anyone else here. I had to watch my back every second of every day, because someone was always out to get me. Do you know what that's like? I gave up my dreams, my friends- the only family I felt I had, to save the world. I've never got close enough to anyone for them to love me," I broke off, unable to express the injustice.

Dumbledore looked at the floor. "I know what we asked you to do was unforgivable. It was unfair to expect that of a child."

"Well, I did it. I did it with no complaints." I sighed, my tone becoming gentler, "I've never asked you for anything. Except this."

"Harry, I was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, for your sake, but I think that he's proven his true colours."

"You're wrong," I told him, my voice shaking with anger. "You don't know him. None of you know him- you don't have the right to judge him."

"And do you? What makes you so sure that you know him? You've lived in the same house as him for two months- that doesn't make you an expert on his thoughts and wishes. You don't know him Harry- you wouldn't want to."

"With all respect sir," I said, my voice stressed the last word mockingly, "you're wrong."

"I'm afraid that that's a matter of opinion."

"Maybe. But I know I'm right."


"He's the only thing I've got." My eyes hardened. "And I'm not going to let you take him away from me."

Dumbledore was silent, and I took that as my cue to leave, slamming the door behind me.

What was worrying wasn't that I'd shouted at Dumbledore- I'd done that many times before- but that I meant it.

I knew Draco was a selfish git who had used me, but I still loved him.

If anyone hurt him in any way, they would regret it, if they even lived to do so.

I'm not into murder, I'm really not, but the war taught me that sometimes you have to kill to protect the people and things you care about.

So if it was going to protect Draco, I'd take on the entire bloody world.

I'd wanted to save him from himself-to bring him to the light and to kiss away every one of his wounds and fears.

I'd taken the risk.

And I'd lost.

When I'd walked into the Death Eater base that night I'd been prepared to die.

I'd been prepared to die to find out-to find out what could have been.

I knew he was evil, I did. My brain told me that I was an idiot to be doing this. An idiot to be so acceptant of the possible consequences of my actions.

But every other fibre of my body, my heart, my very soul itself screamed that I was doing the right thing.

I had to know- one way or another I had to know how he felt.

I realised that it was just one stupid night that he probably never gave a second thought but something had changed about my entire being that night.

I'd fallen for him. And no matter how much I tried I couldn't change how I felt. I didn't even think I wanted to.

I'd driven myself mad for five years thinking about him, about the blinding heat that surged through my body everytime he touched me, about the way he could make me feel more alive than anything or anybody else could, just by looking at me. About the feel of his lips on mine-the indescribable ecstasy that his kiss roused in me. I thought about his liquid silver eyes that I could willingly drown in- that took my breath away, because in them I found myself. Time and time again, I replayed the kiss, each time finding something new to obsess about- maybe the silky feel of his moonlight hair or the velvet touch of his milky skin.

And then, finally, I had come to decision that was to change my life.

I had to see him.

My life was his already- even though he didn't know it.

I was putting my life in his hands-and it was up to him to decide if I lived or died.

But a part of me had always believed that no matter what, he wouldn't kill me. That everything would be okay because I loved him. And how could he not feel this?

And when he hadn't let me die-I'd seen the spark of something in his eyes that had convinced me I was right.

In some ways, I was right-he wasn't evil- he didn't kill me.

But he didn't love me.

Because of course he'd wanted me dead.

And he'd succeeded.

He'd killed me. But it wasn't by a spell, or in a fight or even by assassination.

He'd killed me by leaving.


"Crucio!" I called. "Where are you, you damned cat?"

A can of Whiskers in hand, I stormed through the house. Seems that the bloody cat's food radar had disappeared the only time I wanted to feed him.

I skidded to a halt in the living room, spotting my prey.

Crucio and Rover were asleep, lying next to each other.

Since Draco had left they seemed to have decided to become best friends, leaving me completely alone.

Ironic that they were so close when me and Draco were so very far apart.

Well, at least someone had a bit of company.

I sank to the sofa with a sigh, feeling a pang of loneliness. Trying to block the thoughts of Draco from my head, I tapped the can against the table in an erratic rhythm.

Nowhere to go, nothing to see, nobody to talk to.

And it was all my fault.

I'd pushed away everybody and now I was alone.

It wasn't the first time that this had occurred, but it struck me now more than ever. With Draco gone, there was a huge hole inside my heart and there was no one to even attempt to fill it.

I'd left all my friends for fear that I'd lose them, and ended up losing them more than I could have imagined.

What a stupid idea that had been. It hadn't protected me from pain, just caused more of it.

But Draco had been right; the war was over. and maybe it was time to face my past.


I swallowed, checking the number by the door one last time, hoping that my memories had led me to the right apartment.

Finally gathering the courage to, I knocked gently on the door.

"Coming!" Hermione's voice called,"just give me a second."

The door flung open and Hermione's smiling face appeared, slowly freezing in shock as she saw me standing in the doorway.

"Harry," she said faintly.

"Hi," I said nervously. "Can I come in?"

"Of course," she said finally, shaking herself out of her shock, and holding the door open for me.

I stepped inside cautiously, looking around an apartment which had totally changed since the last time I'd set foot in it.

I shifted my weight awkwardly. "I . . . uh . . . didn't want to use the Floo network, because I wanted to give you the choice of whether to let me in or not."

"I wouldn't have shut you out, Harry," she said seriously. "I never would have."

Well, that certainly made me feel guilty. I looked at my feet, chewing my lip nervously.

"So, how's," Hermione swallowed, "Draco?"

A stab of pain.

"Oh he . . . uh . . . he-he left." I shrugged slightly, trying my hardest to seem nonchalant; like my heart wasn't being torn out of my chest.

"Left?" Surprise crossed her face.

"Yeah." I couldn't say any more than that, for fear that I'd cry.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" she asked, leading the way to the kitchen.

"Oh . . . sure." I followed her, glancing round the apartment.

"So what can I do for you, Harry?" She handed me a cup of freshly brewed tea and sat down at the table.

I took a deep breath and began. "I just wanted to . . . apologise. For the way I treated you and Ron after school. It was stupid of me, and the worst thing that I could have done to you. You didn't deserve that-neither of you did. You'd never been anything but supportive of me, and I threw that back into your face. And I don't know if you can find it in your heart to forgive me, but I really hope you can, because I miss you and Ron so badly." I looked at Hermione hopefully, desperation rising in me.

"Okay," she said simply.


"You're forgiven."

"What?" Confusion entered my tone. It couldn't be that simple.

"Harry, I've had a lot of time to think-about you, about me, about Ron. I was angry for a really long time, but I'm past that now. Ron misses you- miss you-but Ron especially, and I always swore to myself that if you gave us a chance t,o I'd forgive you in a heartbeat. I know why you did it-and, yeah, it was stupid and misguided-but that's you."

I picked up on the thinly veiled insult, but decided to ignore it.

"So we're okay?" The disbelief in my voice was evident.

"Well . . . not completely. But yeah. We are."

A smile split my face, the relief so strong that it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

"Why do I feel that Draco had something to do with this?"

"He wanted me to come and see you. He said that I was being a stupid stubborn arsehole," I admitted.

"I never thought I'd actually agree with anything he said." Hermione said, with a bit more venom than I was hoping for.

"He says a lot that makes sense-reminds me of you a bit, actually."

Hermione frowned. "Hey, I just forgave you-don't start insulting me." Her tone was only partially teasing.

"It wasn't an insult," I said shortly.

"He's a murderer."

I shrugged slightly. "And Ron snores. Who's perfect?"

"That's hardly the same-"

"For fuck's sake, Hermione!" I exclaimed. "Like you've never killed anyone before! It was a war-a fucking war. You kill the people on the other side- that's how it works. You don't sit there and think about the fact that these people have families, that you used to go to school with them-that you used to be friends with them," I broke off, looking down helplessly, "We'd all have gone mad a long time ago if we had."

She stared into her cup of tea silently, contemplating my words.

"I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of. I've killed a lot of people- and fine, they were evil, but they're still dead. Light or dark, they're still people. If you're going to judge him, then judge me as well, judge yourself . . . judge Ron. Judge every fucking person you've ever fucking met."

I snapped my mouth shut, trying to calm down my heavy breathing. Hermione was watching me with a frown. "I never knew," she said finally.

My eyes flickered to her questioningly. "I never knew you were in love with him," she finished.

I laughed softly, derisively. "Is it that obvious?" I was tired of the whole thing.

"It is, now that I think about it." She chewed her lip slightly. "I always just thought that it was a silly infatuation that would go away."

"Maybe it started out that way," I admitted, "but it hasn't been like that for a long time. Every moment of every day he's been all I can see in my mind-all I can think about. I dream about him, you know . . . he's the only thing I want. He's the only thing I ever wanted. Everything I am and everything I've done has been because of him and the way I feel about him. I can't breathe, 'mione. It hurts so much without him. Everything's so . . . so hard without him." I drew in a shaky breath

Hermione looked at me thoughtfully. "Then maybe it's best that he left."

I blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Harry, I mean this in the nicest way, but this is just so wrong. You shouldn't feel like you can't survive without him."

"That's love!" I exclaimed.

"No. No it's not. Love doesn't tear you apart like this. Love doesn't make you feel like you can't live. It's what makes life worth living."

"I love him, 'mione. No matter how you try and paint this, it won't change the truth."

"I know. I know you love him, but it shouldn't be like this. There should be more to your life than him. And until you realise that, you'll never be okay."

My face scrunched into a frown.

"I love Ron; I love him more than anything. But he's not the only thing in my life. If he was, I think we'd both go mad. You can't just invest everything in one person-your world has to revolve around something other than the person you love."

"I don't know how to do that," I whispered.

"Yes you do." Hermione said matter-of factly. "You're doing it right now. Just by being here."

I looked at the table silently, taking in her words.

"Thanks, 'mione," I said finally, smiling at her warmly. I wasn't sure I agreed with her opinion, but I was glad to hear it, nonetheless, "I'd better be off."

"Ron should be back soon. Do you want to wait for him?"

I hesitated, uncertain. "Can you just tell him I dropped by? I don't think I can-" I stopped, unable to put into words how I felt. How afraid I was of seeing my best friend again. Afraid of him rejecting me. Afraid of the guilt I'd feel about abandoning him. Afraid of his forgiveness.

Hermione smiled. "It's all right. I'll tell him."

"Thanks, 'mione," I smiled hesitantly.

"Hey," she reached over and hugged me briefly, "we really are okay now. You know that, right?"

"Yeah," I said, fighting the lump in my throat, "Yeah. I do."


I stared at the ceiling silently. The light of the TV flickered continuously as whatever programme was playing blared. There was no point in watching it-it wasn't real. It wasn't going to take away the pain-hell, it probably wasn't even going to distract me from it. Couldn't really work out why Draco was so addicted to it, actually.

With a loud hoot that made me jump, Hedwig fluttered into the room, clutching a letter in her beak, which she dropped at my feet.

My heart stopped.


Please let it be from him.

I fumbled with the letter, my heart racing and nausea rising in my throat.

Turning it over to the front in what seemed like slow motion, I focused on the writing.

It was my own.

The pain struck me, so severe that I could almost hear my own heart breaking.

He hadn't got it.

Or at least, if he had, then he hadn't even bothered to open it.

I didn't know which was worst; that he had disappeared off the face of the planet, or that he didn't give enough of a shit about me to open one lousy letter.

One letter in which I'd poured out my heart and soul.

Somehow I'd rather he laughed in my face. This was the ultimate rejection.

I closed my eyes, digging my nails into my palm. I didn't know it was possible to hurt this much. Everything I'd felt so far was nothing compared to this; it was searing and freezing at the same time. All-consuming, devouring my heart and soul and branding them with his name over and over again.

The hair rose on the back of my neck as I felt eyes watching me, and I opened an eye to see Crucio sitting at my feet.

I sighed; the last thing I needed was some cocky, violent cat winding me up at the moment.

Although he hadn't been very violent recently- he just wandered around, looking as lost as I felt.

Crucio looked at me, confusion evident in his eyes. He peered into the kitchen, turning again to me to meow, questioningly. He'd been like this since Draco left-constantly searching for him.

"He's gone," I told him. He meowed, his head turning again to look around the room.

"For God's sake!" I hit the door, pain resonating through my arm.

"He's gone, and he's not coming back, all right?" A glass fell off of the table as I banged into it, and I heard it shatter on the floor. Shatter into a thousand pieces beyond repair.

That seemed familiar.

"He's not bloody coming back. Will you just understand that, you stupid cat?" Crucio watched me, unmoved by my display.

"He's gone."

The pain hit me. Really hit me. So hard I couldn't breathe.

The anger flooded out of me and I became limp, dropping to the floor.

"He's gone," I choked. A tear dripped silently to the floor.

I felt something soft touch my hand and jerked my head upwards, meeting Crucio's orange eyes. They were full of sympathy, and I wondered once again just how much this cat actually understood. It was certainly the only time he'd ever been nice to me.

"I don't know what to do," I whispered, curling my knees up towards me. Crucio meowed again, but this time it was softer . . . even kind. He rubbed his head against my arm and of its own volition, my hand began to scratch behind his ears.

Why couldn't life just be easy? I was sure that no-one else's life was this difficult-it shouldn't be. My life was just one shitty situation after another. Even fighting Voldemort was easier than this. Maybe I should resurrect him-that would probably distract me from the pain more than the TV.

Crucio cocked his head to one side as if listening, and then ran out of the room, flicking his tail at my face.

Great, I wasn't even interesting enough to keep a cat with me.

The doorbell rang, cutting through the silence with a sharpness that made me jump.

I wiped my tears away hastily. "Go away," I shouted hoarsely.

It rang again and I sighed, irritated that this person wouldn't take the very blatant statement literally.

"Look, whoever you are, I don't want to talk to you, so just bugger off!"

Undeterred, the doorbell rang again.

Gritting my teeth, I leapt up, storming through the corridor.

'What the hell do you want?" I snapped, flinging the door open, "Can't you just-'

My voice died in my throat as I met the silvery eyes of Draco Malfoy.


His mouth was open slightly, a thousand emotions racing through his eyes. I watched him silently, betraying none of my own feelings. He looked terrible- a comment that barely escaped leaving my mouth.

I breathed deeply through my nose, tilting my head to the side so that my hair fell messily in front of my eyes in a way I knew looked irresistible and charming.

"What are you doing here?" he whispered.

I shrugged slightly. "I missed the cat." My tone was diffident and cool.

He was looking at me in stunned amazement, unable to speak. "Can I come in?" I asked quietly, taking pity on the look in his eyes, and deciding not to torment him any longer.

He held the door open wordlessly, closing it silently as I moved past him. Confusion played on his face. "You said-"

"I lied."

"They told me-"

"I know."

"I thought you were-"

"I was," I said simply.

He shook his head slightly, pain evident in his eyes. "I don't understand."

I fought to keep my nerve- courage had never been one of my strong points.

"Then let me explain it to you."

Before he could reply, I stepped forward and slowly kissed him. Time stopped around us, and the rest of the world ceased to matter. There was nothing except his lips on mine and the torturous ecstasy that raced through my body.

I pulled away, breathing raggedly, "Do you understand now?"

Harry's mouth was opening and closing at a rate of about seven times a second. "I-I-"

I nodded in satisfaction and pulled away. "I think you do."

"No!" Harry exclaimed, anger flickering in his eyes. "I don't!"

Ah. Here it came.

"You just bloody left me! You never even said goodbye! You knew how I felt- and you just took advantage of that. Do you know what I've been through because of you? Jesus, Draco! You really are the most evil bastard I've ever met. All my life I've been thinking about you, and you know what? I don't know if it was worth it. Can you really expect that one night to make up for all the shit that loving you brought? Can you? Because somehow I-" I leant forward and silenced him with a kiss, tangling my fingers in his hair, so he couldn't pull away. I kissed him until all the tension and anger drained out of his body. I kissed him until my heart pounded, and there was nothing left to say.

Harry took a shaky breath in, closing his eyes and sighing. "You can't just- "

"I know."

"Will you stop doing that!" he shouted. "Will you just let me finish a sentence?"

"Sorry," my voice was level and serious.

He ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. "Where have you been?" he exclaimed.

"Gathering the Death Eater forces to attack every muggle-born in the world, and wipe them off of the face of the planet," I replied calmly.

His face fell- that had not been what he'd wanted me to say. "Why?"

"Well, I don't really have any skills other than being a Dark Lord in training." I forced a smile, ignoring the throbbing in my heart.

"No- not why did you do it- why are you back?" His voice cracked softly, and for the first time I fully noticed the bags under his eyes, the pallor of his skin, and the pain in his eyes. Not in a purely aesthetic way to determine how he looked, but really seeing the pain that I'd caused him.

I took a step closer, feeling warmth flood through me. "It wasn't the same. It all just seemed so pointless and monotonous. I was just standing there thinking, 'what the hell am I doing?' - I didn't want to be there- I wanted to be here...with you. And when I realised that, I just gave up. Because you can't live without your heart - and you have mine."

His face blank, he stared at me silently. His eyes; usually so vibrant and easy to read were defensive, secretive . . . giving me no hint as to how he was feeling.

Although I think it's pretty safe to say that I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life.

"Say something," I urged nervously, beginning to feel very sick. I'd just poured out all of my bloody heart to him, and all he was doing was looking at me in a blank way that didn't give me any clues as to what he was thinking.

"You're the only person I know who could work the word monotonous into an emotional reunion," he said tearfully, a wobbly smile spreading across his face. Relief spread through my body.

"Shit," I whispered, collapsing against the table, "don't do things like that."

"Sorry," he stepped towards me and gently ran his fingertips down my cheek. "I missed you."

I swallowed hard, trying to keep tears from spilling from my eyes. "I missed you, too."

He grinned, interlacing our fingers, and pulling me closer. "Good."

My pessimism and stubbornness reared within me, and I pulled away slightly, frowning.

"I won't change. I'm not just going to become a good guy," I said stubbornly. "Not for you, not for anybody."

"You don't have to," he promised, "You're perfect the way you are."

I laughed through the tears streaming down my face. "Weasley is going to kill you."

"It's worth the risk," he grinned.

I closed my eyes, soaking in the warmth and love that I could feel radiating off of him.

"Harry," I murmured.


I wanted to tell him how I felt- to somehow explain that what I felt for him was a salvation to my cold heart. I wanted to tell him that I trusted him more than anything and anybody, and that he'd saved me from myself. That he'd brought me back to life from a world of darkness and despair.

"I love you."

And I'd spoken the three words that I'd never even imagined uttering before.

"Really?" he whispered.

Although a thousand cutting replies hovered in my head, a slow smile spread across my face.

"Really. You're what makes me shine."

Joy bubbled up inside me, and happiness shone from his face. Slowly, he leaned forward and brushed his lips against mine.

I sighed happily- contentedly- and wrapped my arms around his neck loosely, leaning against his chest. And I knew that somehow everything would work out okay. And though it may be traditional to say "the end", I've never been one for tradition.

Because that wasn't the end . . . that was the beginning.

So there we have it

Hope everyone liked it - feel free to review whether you did or didn't.

Anyone who's reading In The End - I am working on it . . . just very slowly.

For now - bye-bye!!