A/N: The poem belongs to Eric Hansen/AtlQuotl, and can be found here. I adored its succinct simplicity, and it inspired me to write this fic. Enjoy!
Have you ever looked in
the eyes of a dragon
Hermione stared at Draco, waiting for him to say something, to tell her what she needed to hear. But he just looked right back at her, his pale grey eyes betraying nothing, an unearthly light dancing in his even gaze.
She kept silent, holding his gaze, waiting for him to say the words, although she knew they would never be as eloquent as the heartbreakingly sincere emotion shimmering in his eyes, like liquid diamonds of pure grey.
seen their heart,
and known their soul?
Draco raised his chin slightly, regarding Hermione with a forced calmness. She was waiting, waiting for him to say what he felt, but he couldn't. The words rushed through his head faster than he could grasp them, and they slipped through his fingers like intangible streams. His lips parted slightly in a silent word, but no sound emerged.
He couldn't bring himself to tell her, because his pride got in the way, and the admission that his heart had rebelled against his mind was too painful to acknowledge. Not to her. Not even to himself.
Have you ever seen
the stairsteps to heaven
that within them reside,
and show their bright role?
She watched him walk away, his steps echoing his wordless refusal, and the bitterness welled up within her, and she couldn't bear to watch. The sting of his silence diffused through her, and it was an ache like she had never felt in her life, because she had never fallen like this before.
She thought she knew him. Evidently she was wrong.
The tears didn't come, and dry sorrow hurt even more. It hurt because she saw in him something so special, something worthy and untainted, something even he didn't recognise in himself. And she didn't want to let it go.
Do you know their songs,
their ancient harmonies
It was a special Hogwarts occasion, and the students' parents were invited to watch the Quidditch Cup showdown between Gryffindor and Slytherin, battled with a fervour and passion which far exceeded that of mere house pride.
After the match, Draco walked over to where his father grimly stood, waiting for a word. In his hand he held the silver medal, which glinted shamefully in the sunlight.
There was no such thing as second best in the Malfoy household. In a legacy of greatness, first place was the only excusable result.
Defeat was a bitter song, and Draco knew the tune too well.
do you know their past,
and their wisdom hold?
Harry watched Draco as he talked with Lucius Malfoy. He saw the resigned look on Draco's face, which matched the disappointment in his father's expression.
There was no reason why Malfoy wasn't as good, or even better than Harry was. It had remained a mystery to Harry, all this while. Malfoy had a lot more flying experience, and his potential to become an extremely talented Seeker was great. Harry could see it, in the way Malfoy flew, the sharpness and agility in his style.
Draco knew how to win; he just didn't have a reason enough to.
Can you hold the world
in the palm of your hand
His father once told him, Malfoys can have everything they want. If you can ask for the world, you deserve the universe.
But he was too proud to ask, too afraid to be turned down. He wasn't even sure what he wanted, and as he watched Hermione walking away, he knew that his father had been wrong, and the disillusionment hurt almost as much as the loss.
What you wanted may not be good for you, but it didn't mean you wanted it any less.
and with storm-worn wings,
curl and enfold,
Draco took to the skies, his body arched forward in perfect alignment with the handle of his broom as he soared upward, the pure white clouds above marking his limits, testing his strength. It was for this reason he loved to fly, because it was in these rare moments of exhilaration that he finally felt free
This was where he belonged, with unchained freedom tossing his blond hair this way and that, as he raced across the pale blue canvas of the sky, where his troubles couldn't catch up with him.
Flying like this, he felt like he could escape forever.
to heal the world,
to show the way,
Bleed for your honour. Another one of his father's pompous maxims.
Draco felt the moist blood between his fingers, scarlet life spilled for a worthless cause. The graze on his arm stung as he gingerly touched his fingers to it, and more blood flowed forth, another wound to heal, another scar that would fade in flesh but not in memory.
Because that's what scars were, testimonies to your mistakes, ignored reminders not to walk down the same path again.
and be a banner unfurled
to light of day?
He didn't like the darkness.
Draco remembered the one time his father locked him up in the underground cellar when he was five years old, a punishment for trampling the flowers in the garden. He remembered how scared he had been, the bleak night seeming to stretch endlessly into eternity, how he had squeezed his eyes shut for the entire time, somehow finding the blackness shielded within his closed eyelids more comforting than the measureless darkness without.
From that day on, he never went near flowers again.
This is a dragon,
a creature of light,
Draco sat on the edge of the Forbidden Forest, enjoying the scent of danger yet not daring to venture further. The stillness of the dawning day was refreshing, as the palette of the sky began to turn a warming shade of golden crimson. Daylight slaked the horizon, and Draco felt the chill of the night dissipate.
He got to his feet, and walked in the direction of Gryffindor Tower. The students would have gotten up by now, on their way to the Great Hall for breakfast.
He needed to talk to her.
The words filtered through his mind with amazing clarity, but he knew they would choke up the minute they made their way to his lips. Draco drew to a halt in front of the Tower, but didn't enter it. Pride and fear caught his tongue, and he knew he hadn't learned to let go of them yet.
But the words would still be there tomorrow, because the feelings hadn't changed, and somehow he knew that she understood, without him having to say it.
With the merest backward glance, Draco quietly turned and walked away.
No, they are not gone,
just taken to flight.