Draco walked slowly up the stairs from the Slytherin dorms.
It was early morning, few had yet to raise themselves out of bed on a Saturday,
and those who had knew better to bother him.
Even his usual henchmen, Crabbe and Goyle, were leaving him alone lately. Of this fact, he was very much pleased. He no longer needed them, and they were often quite a nuisance. It was true, as a child, he ordered them to follow his every move. Draco knew he had the attitude, the personality, to push him ahead of all those that hardly qualified to be called his peers, but he was also very much aware he did not have the build for it. Not that he would trade his slim, graceful, sexy figure for anything now. At fifteen, he was old enough to have developed some muscle beneath his fair skin, and he no longer required the brutes to aid him.
But the reason Crabbe and Goyle avoided him so was that Draco, lately, had become very moody. And this for Draco Malfoy was a new thing. It was different from how he used to be, sarcastic and quick to anger. He didn't get angry very often anymore. He did, however, spend a great deal of time staring off in space while in deep thought. He'd stopped being such a pain in the ass, and no longer responded when insults were thrown at him. A thoughtful look would pass over his features, and he'd nod, turn, and walk away, remaining completely silent for the rest of the day.
Throughout the school of Hogwarts, the unanimous opinion was that the old Draco was better.
Except for one.
Draco was alone again, he seemed to be alone a lot lately, but when he really thought about it, he'd been alone for a very long time. He was out by the lake, staring down into the murky deep of the water. He wondered how far down it went. He wondered if you could swim to the bottom. He wondered if you would die on your way back up. He wondered if he should give it a try and find out.
Breakfast would be started soon. He tended to skip meals, he didn't eat much anymore. But for some reason today, he walked back to the castle, taking a seat in the dead center of the table where he could look at everybody. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the lighter that was inside, folding it in his hand.
He didn't eat; he didn't even put one spot of food on his plate. His eyes were roaming the hall, taking in all the pathetic people, living their pathetic lives, for pathetic reasons, and the same thought that plagued his mind, waking and sleeping, for the past few months. What was the point?
His eyes strayed to the Gryffindor table, where they couldn't help but land on the one and only Harry Potter. Harry and grown up too. He was sixteen now, and Draco cursed his own late birthday in December. Having a thicker build then Draco, his muscles were much more apparent, especially since on this particular Saturday he'd opted for a form fitting black tee shirt rather then his normal school robes. His hair was dark, his skin was dark from tan, and his entire persona had darkened, seeing too much too early and surviving it. The only brightness about his appearance was his eyes.
Draco actually found it ironic. For while Harry looked dark, and in a sense, was darkened from his experiences, he was still light. He was still the perfect friend, always fighting for love and what was right. Where as Draco, who felt he was supposed to be the sinister one, had light hair, and light skin. The single dark thing about him being his deep gray eyes. And Draco was as dark inside as Harry was light, and he knew it, but didn't care.
He twirled the cigarette lighter between his fingers.
Harry might have felt Draco's eyes, because he looked up. The two stared at each other for a moment, and being the spectacles of their respective houses, people stared to notice. But the two just kept their eyes locked, until suddenly a slightly insane grin crept across Draco's face. He chuckled deep in his throat, and people wondered what on earth he found funny.
"You know don't you," he said in conversational tones, which meant there was no way for Harry to actually hear him across the room, but Draco was really talking to himself anyway. "You have one don't you. Why don't I? What, besides everything, do you have that I don't?"
The people sitting around him were starting to avert their eyes. It was the Slytherin way. They obviously weren't getting their unspoken leader back, and as he seemed to have completely lost his mind, none of them wanted anything to do with him.
Draco broke the staring contest with Potter, pulling his hand out from under the table. He flicked the lighter on, the bright orange little flame dancing as he held the gas on. Carefully, he tipped the lighter so the flame licked the metal that surrounded the tip. He waited a moment, letting the silver grow black with heat, before letting the gas go and pressing the now burning hot lighter tip to his forearm. It made his body jump, it made his heart speed, it made him gasp, and he paid most attention to the pain.
The people around him didn't even notice the action. But one across the hall hadn't stopped watching.
Draco slipped the lighter back in his pocket, and stood. As he exited the hall, not even watching where he was going because his feet had long since learned the way, he examined the bright pink mark on his arm. He pressed a tentative finger against it, and his arm jerked back involuntarily. He smiled softly. This was comforting.
He didn't notice that he'd ended up back out by the lake. He was taken with the mark on his hand. He'd press at it whenever his mind started to run in circles, the pain jerking him away from unanswerable questions to a place where he could just focus on pain. It was a momentary relief he treasured.
It was his name. And the way it had been spoken, with concern, interlaced with other emotions, made something inside him lift up. He didn't move, hoping that if the speaker thought he hadn't heard him then, who ever it was, would-
"Draco?" came a soft whisper. And he felt it, something inside lift. And now he knew, that there was only one person it could be.
"Yes?" he answered, his voice was horse and cracked, and he was shocked it had come from his throat. There was a hand on his back and Harry sad down on the rock beside him, sitting the other way so they were facing each other without turning.
"Draco," he whispered again. And the said teenager felt tears come to his eyes and spill. His own name, spoken just a little different, spoken with care and concern. It was so simple.
"What's the point Harry!" he shouted, tears falling freely. He was so overwhelmed by emotions that it was hard to tell where the pain ended and the new found relief was starting. "I know that you know. Tell me what the point is."
"Love," Harry answered, his bright eyes meeting Draco's dark. "And you've lost yourself because you've never had any. It makes it worth it. It gives it meaning."
"You have it, and I don't." The single, spoiled, child mind frame. Jealousy at it's purest. The need to have what another had.
"Do you want it?" Harry asked.
"Where would I get it?" Draco spat, anger mingling in the mess of emotion he'd become, tears streaking his pale face with a light pink as his skin was irritated by the salt.
"I'll give it to you."
"I couldn't take that from you," he stated. As if it was fact. Not that he wouldn't do it, that he couldn't do it. His eyes were wide, dark, and honest.
"You could if you wanted to." Draco was silent. Harry's eyes burned, and as he leaned closer, Draco felt as if his insides were burning. Burning like the pink mark on the soft side of his wrist. Burning into the dark as their faces were a breath apart.
"Let me give it to you. I'll give all you need. Let me give your life meaning. You don't have your own so I'll give you mine. Don't you want it Draco?"
"Yes," he whispered. He did. Harry had it and he wanted it. And Harry would give it to him. All he had to do was get a little closer to the fire. Lean in towards the burn. So many times he'd pressed the burning metal to his arm. It was the same thing. It would distract his mind and push the questions away.
His lips met Harry's and it seared, hot, raw, burning. Love.
The lighter slipped from his hand to tumble into the lake.