The Next Ten Minutes
by Goddess Blue (goddesbluewriter@netscape.net) (bluefiction.tripod.com)
Slash/Romance/Angst (PG-13)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is owned by J.K. Rowling, WB, and Scholastic Press. The characters are being used here for strictly non-profit entertainment purposes.
Keywords: Harry, Draco, Angst, Slash, Break-up
Author Notes: I've written a lot of Harry/Draco get-together fics. I decided it was time to write a Harry/Draco get-back-together fic. It will explain how they got together in the course of itself. Enjoy.

Summary: 'The whole Great Hall was somber. People still talked, but it was in hushed tones, as if someone had died. Or passed gas.' Slashy, one-shot angst, with ill-timed humor to break up the monotony. Post OotP. Featuring: A Happy Ending. [H/D]

The Next Ten Minutes
By Goddess Blue

Hermione Granger was having an awful day.

Not that her days had been all that great before this one, but they were at least mediocre. There had always been some good mixed in with the bad. Some silver lining on the clouds. Some uplifting moment in the darkness.

And now, now there was some Potter mixed in with the Malfoy.

This in itself was a Bad Thing, for many reasons. Sure, Harry was happy in his newly discovered homosexuality and subsequent hot-n'-steamy relationship with the recently reformed bad boy of Hogwarts, BUT it was doing awful things for the Gryffindor/Slytherin Quiddtich matches. Not that she usually cared one whit or the other about Quidditch, but her own boyfriend did, and the lack of interesting/challenging/slightly-more-than-completely-dull matches was getting to Ron. As the new team captain, Ronald Weasley took his job very seriously (much more seriously than he ever took his Prefect-dom), and the ranting and raving on Harry's mooney-eyed Seeking tactics was getting on ever her nerves.

"You are looking for the snitch, Harry. Remember it? S.N.I.T.C.H. It used to be your friend! It loved you! And now, now it could circle your head and you'd bat it away to stare into Malfoy's eyes!"

Harry's relationship with Malfoy was also doing horrible things to her Potions grade. Snape had just begun to overlook her Gryffindor status and give her grades based on her stunning academic abilities, and then he'd caught Harry and Draco making out in his supply closet, and no one had been able to get anything above a 'Dreadful' in his class. No one was safe, not even a Slytherin.

And things were boring. Hermione had never thought she might actually miss Malfoy's teasing and taunting, but now that he was spending all of his time wide-eyed and huggy with Harry, she was starting to miss the scathing insults and ill-concealed plots against them.

It just wasn't the same without a Malfoy around to torture you.

The days had been getting increasingly more boring, the potions homework had been getting increasingly more difficult, and her boyfriend had been getting increasingly less interested in anything but combative Quidditch strategy.

And today, today was the worst.

She cut off in the middle of her mental tirade at the sound of shouting in the next corridor.

"-can't just stand there and tell me this isn't going to work out! You can't break up with me! I'm a Malfoy! You don't break up with Malfoys!"

The next voice was soothingly low, but Hermione was stuck on the fact that the only person who could possibly be breaking up with a Malfoy was Harry. And why would he be doing that, since he's so happy being with said Malfoy?

"Fine! Fine, be that way! I don't-" there was a choke and then a muffled footstep or two, "No! Don't touch me Potter." And his voice went icy cold, "Just... just don't touch me again."

There were a few more purposeful footsteps and then a muffled thump and a sigh. She poked her head around the corner to see her best friend sitting on the floor, head thrown back against the wall, eyes closed. There was an expression of anguish on his face.

"Harry?" her voice gently broke the silence.

"Not now, 'Mione." It came out gruffly, and he didn't open his eyes.

She hesitated for a moment, but couldn't think of anything to say.

"I'll see you at dinner, then." She murmured, and turned to go back the way she came.

* * *

"What do you mean, he broke up with Malfoy?" Ron was looking at her blankly from his seat in the common room.

"I mean, I came upon them arguing in the hall today, and Harry broke up with him," she replied calmly, not feeling it at all.

"But, and not that I'm complaining, but... why?"

She shook her head and shrugged. "I don't know."

* * *

Well. And once more, well. Neither one of them would look at the other, not even to pass insult. Draco played with his food at the Slytherin table, and the Slytherin's sent nasty looks at the Gryffindors. Harry sighed at his still-empty plate at the Gryffindor table, and the Gryffindors glowered back at the Slytherins.

The whole Great Hall was somber. People still talked, but it was in hushed tones, as if someone had died. Or passed gas.

Ron didn't mention Quidditch strategy once, he only looked at his best friend and his best friend's ex-boyfriend and then at his girlfriend who could only shrug again. The three of them ate in silence.

Harry sighed.

Ron and Hermione looked at him, then at each other, then back at their plates.

"Harry," Ron began, but he was cut off as Harry stood. Most of the hall turned to watch him.

"I don't want to talk about it," he murmured.

Malfoy didn't look up from his plate until Harry was gone.

* * *

Things did not get better with the end of the Malfoy/Potter relationship. They got worse.

The next Gryffindor/Slytherin match was a dismal failure. Harry looked anywhere but at Draco Malfoy, and Draco Malfoy looked straight at Harry.

It lasted eight hours.

The Slytherin and Gryffindor teams passed the Quaffle and Bludgers around half-heartedly, and kept looking at their Seekers with worry or exasperation. Ron waited patiently in front of the goal, and only sighed when the snitch flew right past him and no Seekers followed. It was really too much drama for a boy in a healthy relationship to follow, and talking to Harry was like talking to a wall these days.

The game finally came to an end when the snitch, indignant at being ignored, settled on Harry's shoulder. Harry didn't seem to notice the added weight until Draco shifted forward slightly on his broom before remembering he didn't want to be anywhere near Harry. Their eyes met, and Draco looked away. Harry blinked at the fluttering wings in his line of sight, and then grabbed at the snitch, putting an end to the torture.

Ron didn't rant over it at all, in fact, he was icily silent to everyone except Hermione, who had to listen to him whine about depressing best friends and their irritating problems and "Thank Merlin you and I were never dumb enough to break up for no reason, it would be hell on my Quidditch game."

Hermione was slightly insulted by this, but was mollified when Ron began to bleat out random apologies to get her to retract her nails from his arm.

Ron could only rub his tortured skin and murmur, "It's just so unprofessional. I don't think either one of them even tried to concentrate on the game. It's very unlike Harry. Malfoy too, for all that."

If Hermione expected Professor Snape to ease up on his students once his pet Slytherin had been distanced from the goody-goody Gryffindor, she was to be sadly disappointed. It seemed that being dumped by a Gryffindor was twice as embarrassing at going out with one, and Snape wouldn't speak to their class, or teach them anything, for weeks. Instead, they had several tests meant for seventh years.

Hermione was sure she'd passed them all, but one couldn't tell by the grades she'd received.

And Malfoy avoided them. He walked out of rooms when they came in, and when he couldn't leave, he stared straight ahead with a frozen look on his face. He left early from meals, even when he hadn't eaten much, and Hermione was beginning to... miss him.

Which was nothing compared to the devastated looks that came over Harry's face whenever Draco would leave or look away. It almost seemed as if he would give anything to be merely smiled at by the charming blonde, and this made Hermione wonder why he'd even broken up with Malfoy in the first place.

And then, it all came to a head that night, weeks after the break-up. Ron, Hermione and Harry had been settled in their places at the Gryffindor table, Ron and Hermione valiantly trying to have a conversation with a still morose Harry Potter, and then there had been soft steps up the aisle and silence sweeping after them.

Harry looked up into beautiful grey eyes, before Draco looked away and lifted the package in his arms towards Harry.

"Draco?"

The package was shoved in his face. "Potter. You left this."

Draco's voice was cold, and Harry didn't take the package. "Draco..."

"What?"

Draco looked at him again, and waited patiently.

Harry licked his lips, "Can't we..."

The whole school waited, breathing stilled.

"Can't we be friends?"

Lavender gasped and Hermione closed her eyes.

Well. That was the stupidest thing Harry had ever said, and he'd said plenty of stupid things.

"No." His voice was ice and tight, "No, Potter. We cannot be friends."

"It doesn't have to be like this, Draco-"

"No, Potter. It doesn't."

* * *

Neither Lavender or Parvati were speaking to Harry, due to his post-relationship faux paus. He seemed confused about this, and when asked, Ron merely shook his head and murmured something about idiocy being terminal.

Hermione was Fed Up.

She cornered Harry in his dorms that evening, and Ron cooperated by ushering all of the other boys out before-hand.

She had to remember to give him a reward, good boyfriends were hard to find.

Harry was moping, face in his pillow. She might have thought he was sleeping, if his fingers hadn't been moving ever-so-slightly in the folds of his father's invisibility cloak. Brown wrapping paper was shed on the floor, and Hermione understood. Draco had returned Harry's invisibility cloak, and had wrapped it to keep the bloody thing a secret.

Even after being dumped, he knew what was important to Harry.

Little instances like these throughout their all-too-brief relationship had forced Hermione and Ron into believing that Draco Malfoy was not only capable of being in love, he was also quite obviously in it with Harry Potter. No, Malfoy was not just in it for the sex, as they had surmised in the beginning.

Hermione sighed. And Harry was in love too, or so she'd thought, and then he'd pulled this brilliant stunt and broken up with Malfoy.

For no reason.

She picked up a nearby book and let it slam to the floor.

Harry twisted around and sat up, startled out of his mope. They stared at each other for a moment, and then Harry turned back into his pillow and Hermione sat on the edge of his bed.

"Now. Why don't you just tell me why you broke up with him, so that we can get this fixed and everyone can be happy, hmm?"

There was a muffled noise.

"Yes."

"Mmpfh."

"Yes."

He lifted his head slightly, but he didn't look up, "No. I don't want to discuss it-"

"Wrong answer."

"Hermione-"

"Harold. James. Potter. You are moping. You are a wreck. He is moping. He is a wreck. My boyfriend is moping," at this point, Harry smiled slightly, "and I want everyone happy and moony again, so that I can get on with my life. The N.E.W.T.s are next year, you know!"

There was a further silence, and then an amused sigh. "All right."

That was easy.

"You know how happy he was when he told Narcissa and she was happy for him?"

"Yes, Harry, we all knew." It was true. The excessively happy couple had done everything but throw an actual party to celebrate Draco's mother's acceptance of the relationship. Draco had been so relieved, but Harry had been more relieved. He honestly hadn't been sure Draco would have stayed with him if Narcissa hadn't approved.

"Well... I got a letter from her."

Uh oh.

"'Mr. Potter. I love my son very much, and want only for him to be happy. This is why I have accepted your relationship with him. I would never upset him by telling him how I really feel. In short, Mr. Potter, I do not approve of you. I do not approve of your intentions towards my son, and if you do not end this atrocity soon, I will tell him so myself. Sincerely yours, Narcissa Malfoy.'" Harry read it off from memory. He'd probably read it over and over.

"Oh." Hermione breathed, "Oh, Harry. Why didn't you say something?"

"I can't tell him! I can't make him choose between his mother and me!"

"It's his choice to make, Harry."

"But what if he chooses her? What if he doesn't choose her?" The second question had been more ragged than the first.

"Oh, Harry. He obviously loves you very much. He wouldn't leave you-"

"I know that. I mean, I think I know that. I... it doesn't matter. If he picks me, he'll have lost his mother, too."

Oh.

One of the biggest arguments they'd had, when they were still showing the early signs of falling in love and were busy trying to come to terms with it, was over the blame both Draco and Harry placed directly on Harry's shoulders for Draco's father's life term in Azkaban. It was true, Lucius had gotten himself put into the place, but neither boy would ever forget that it wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for Harry. Draco had a long, hard time coming to terms with the conflicting emotions, and eventually realized that his father had to take most, if not all, the blame, and Harry could have done nothing to stop it from happening.

Harry, however, took a little longer. Once he'd been told, quite loudly, how hurt Draco was by the arrest, his guilt knew no bounds. An empathy had formed in his heart for the slender blond, and Harry had once worried aloud to Hermione that maybe Draco felt for Harry the way Harry did towards the man who'd taken his parents away.

Hermione had been horrified.

Harry had finally confessed this fear to Draco during their first stages of friendship, and Draco had later admitted to Hermione that he too had been horrified. In fact, he'd been so horrified that he'd kissed Harry to prove he wasn't that upset with him over it.

And thus had begun the most God awful sugary romance Hogwarts had ever seen. Complete with blushes, awkward stumbling, and inane valentines.

No wonder Harry had freaked and broken up with him. He felt guilty enough over separating Draco with his father, he couldn't separate him from his mother as well.

"Harry. I have an idea."

Harry, who was busy moping, once again, paused and looked up at her. Hermione with a plan was a good thing. A Very Good Thing.

"Yes, oh Goddess of my love life?"

She smirked, and then shoved him playfully, pleased he was hopeful enough to give up moping. "I think you should write her back."

He froze.

She nodded.

He shook his head.

She sighed. "Are you a man, or not?"

He blinked. "All signs point to yes."

"Are you a Gryffindor, or not?"

"If I'm not, I shouldn't be in their dorms."

"Are you brave, or not?" She grinned at him.

"Er... I'm not that brave."

"Excuse me? Did I just hear Harry Potter, the boy who has faced an Evil-Dark-Lord-ish psycho five times, is not brave?"

"She's not Voldemort, Hermione! She's Draco's mother! It's much worse!"

"Listen, do you want him back, or not?"

"Back."

"Do you want her approval?"

"Yes."

"Then you'll have to ask, plead, or beg her for it. For Draco's sake."

There was silence in the darkening tower for a moment. "I'll write her tonight."

"Thank Merlin."

* * *

Breakfast the next morning was a strained affair. Draco did not attend, and Hermione assumed he was still moping about the 'friends' comment from Harry the night before. Harry himself was moping about not receiving an answer back from Narcissa Malfoy with the Owl Post that morning, and wondering in hushed whisper to Hermione and Ron whether, even if Draco's mother accepted him, Draco would ever forgive him. He was ripping apart his seventh piece of toast, none of which had made it to his mouth, when Draco swept into the Hall. Bypassing the Slytherin table, he rounded the aisle and came to a stop right behind Harry. In his hand was a creased and rumpled sheet of parchment.

The Hall fell silent (because all teenagers love drama and it was about to be provided), so no one had any trouble hearing Draco's shaky voice when he began to read from behind Harry. Harry's head shot up from his plate at the sound of him.

"'Dear Mrs. Malfoy,'" Draco began, and Hermione's eyes widened in tandem with Harry's. "'I am sorry to hear you do not approve of my feelings for your son, but this does not stop them. I am irrevocably in love with Draco Malfoy. This will always be true. I have, as per your request, ended things with him. It kills me to hurt him-'" Draco's voice cracked, but he cleared his throat and went on, and Hermione watched as Harry's eyes fell closed in a wince. "'It kills me to hurt him, but it would hurt him much more to lose your love, and I will not do that to him. I have already lost him a father, and I will not lose him a mother as well.'"

Several of the student's around them gasped, and Ginny began to search her bag for a hanky. Lavender and Parvati instantly forgave Harry for all past transgressions. Sweeping declarations of undying love tend to wipe the slate clean.

"'I will always love Draco, and I hope that if you cannot accept me you will one day accept someone else who loves him like I do. Please, don't make him choose. I want for him to be happy, even if it isn't with me. Perhaps I don't love him enough, or I would have held on with all I had. In any event, I'm uncertain that I could survive even the next ten minutes if it weren't for the hope that he will, in time, be happier this way. Please, reconsider. Sincerely, Harry Potter.'"

Hermione was tearing up herself, and just barely noticed that the kleenex Ginny Weasley was handing her had already been used. Her nose wrinkled up in disgust and she threw Ginny A Look.

"Potter." The silence stretched on, and Harry threw a leg over the bench and stood to face Draco, a guilty look on his face. "You brainless idiot." It was said affectionately, softly, in a rush, and then Harry was shoved back into the table. He was soon sitting on his breakfast, but it was okay because Draco was leaning into him, and their mouths were attached. Draco's fingers shoved their way through Harry's unkempt locks, and Harry's hand slid back into the butter.

Ginny sniffed. Lavender and Parvati sighed. They were joined by girls all around the hall. Subsequently, the boys around that same hall were rolling their eyes, shivering in disgust, or sighing like their female counterparts.

Colin Creevey might have sniffled.

Draco pulled back from the kiss, and Harry had to blink a few times before the blush came in full force.

"Draco, we're in the middle of the Great Hall!"

Draco smirked. "Mother says she's glad to see you have a backbone after all, and she's pleased that you hold me in high regard."

Harry choked. "High regard?"

"She was being polite. I can't believe you did this for me."

"Broke up with you?"

"Oh, that. Yeah. No, wrote my mother." Draco paused for a moment, and then tilted his head. "As for breaking up with me, do you have something to say?"

"Sorry?"

Draco narrowed his eyes.

"Oh. Oh, yeah! Yes. Draco, will you go out with me again?" Harry looked like a hopeful puppy dog.

"I don't know..." Draco seemed to be waiting for something.

"Please?" A note of panic had crept into Harry's voice. "Please? Draco?"

"What do I get for it? You put me through a lot of crap, you know."

"Anything. I'll do anything."

There was a momentary pause, and then Draco smirked evilly.

Oh, good on you, Draco, Hermione was intensely pleased.

Draco's left hand balled into a fist and was embedded in Harry's stomach before anyone could blink. Harry was choking and coughing as Draco dusted off his hands.

"Okay. See you at ten, darling?"

A soft groan was his only answer.

"Oh, and I love you too, you silly sod."

The End
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