For those that haven't read Some Kind of Feeling, my other story, go read it! This will be kind of pointless unless you do.
Edited: Feb. 5th, 2009
Love Me Back Together.
Chapter One: A Ticket to Recuperation.
= June 1st, Friday. =
The night air was humid and still, an unfavorable atmosphere to sleep in. That is, unless, you had air conditioning. Even though one particular household had whole house air conditioning, a certain young man with a peculiar lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead was not sleeping as soundly as he should have been.
Harry Potter had been tossing and turning all night, a thin layer of sweat over his pale skin and his face scrunched up in pain as he clutched his sheets tightly. A barely audible whimper escaped past his lips, followed by a pained gasp and a sharp jerk of his body to the left as if he were trying to escape from something. He suddenly bolted upright, letting out a short scream, which he quickly muffled with his hand. His breathing was harsh and his heart pounded painfully in his chest, just as it had done for the last two months.
For a moment, he wasn't sure where he was and he almost panicked but he could see the shadow of the tree outside his window and calmed down. After all, there weren't any trees as tall as skyscrapers. He exhaled shakily and slipped his new glasses on--rectangular, slim and black. Nothing at all like the old pair he burned. He climbed out of his bed and quickly but silently headed for the kitchen, eyeing every dark corner of the house with anxiety.
In the kitchen, he looked at the microwave clock and was relieved that he had woken up at 4:30 this time instead of the usual one or two o'clock. He hadn't even taken his sleeping pills that night and he was quite proud of himself. Maybe he could actually get 8 hours of sleep sometime soon. In a slightly better mood, he grabbed a glass and filled it with ice water from the fridge before quickly going back to his room.
He quietly shut the door and turned on his bedside lamp, flooding his tidy room with a dull, sleepy light. He sipped from his glass and set it down on the table before going to his keyboard. Before March, making music and playing the piano had simply been a hobby and a passion. Now, he found that music could do something for him that he hadn't been letting anyone else do. It was a release; an escape. He could sit for hours and play, letting his tremulous emotions out before he did any damage to himself by keeping them in. He almost felt like himself after a good two hours of abusing his poor keyboard. He'd hate to see who he was without it.
He turned it on and slipped his headphones over his head. He skimmed over his messy sheet music, already hearing how it would play in his head. He wiggled his fingers, loosening them up from sleep and placed them over the desired keys. Slowly and gently, he began to play. His eyes closed as he lost himself in the music immediately. It was a hectic melody, desperate and mournful—angry and frustrated. It wasn't something he normally wrote or liked to play but this was what he felt. This was who he was right now.
The tempo escalated and the desperation in the music grew. He was pounding the keys, his fingers moving so fast they could have blurred. His foot pounded the foot pedal and the tempo rose once more. He scaled the keys, once, twice, backwards and ended on a note so deep he felt it in his toes. He let the sound fade before opening his eyes, sighing with renewed exhaustion. Maybe sleep would hold him just a little bit longer tonight, without sending him anymore demons in his dreams.
When Harry finally woke up around noon the next day, he realized just how quiet it was in the house. It was rarely quiet, especially since so many family members kept popping up at odd moments in the day. How odd that it would be so quiet now.
Was anyone even home?
He shivered, fear fluttering in his stomach and before it could turn into panic he squashed it with a few deep breathing exercises his father had forced him to learn. It helped though. The last thing he wanted was to go downstairs blubbering like a baby because no one was home—if no one was home. He shoved his glasses on his face and crawled out of bed with a languid stretch that had him on the tips of his toes. Feeling much more awake, he headed downstairs.
As he neared the kitchen, two familiar voices reached his ears, to his complete relief. Of course they wouldn't really leave him alone. He should have known that by now. "Good morning," He greeted, walking into the kitchen. Jake and Carmen were seated at the table with Eve snuggled up, asleep in Jake's arms.
"Mornin', Harry." He greeted quietly with a soft smile. He looked tired—they both did—but judging by the smiles on their faces, it was a good kind of exhaustion. Harry could understand. Eve was just the cutest thing he'd ever seen. He'd gladly sacrifice what little sleep he got for her sake.
"What are you guys doing here?" He took an empty seat, pushing his glasses up to rub his eye. "Where are mum and dad?"
"Dad had to go to work; that Quirrel guy says he's uncomfortable coming to the house." Harry blushed at this, remembering why exactly that was. "And mum went grocery shopping. She said to make sure your homework was done."
"Shouldn't be too hard," Harry said. He'd missed so much school that it only seemed right to get home-schooled until he was caught up and it only felt right to have his mother as his teacher. He was already caught up with the rest of his year and would be able to take his finals soon. Unfortunately, those would have to be taken at school and he was not looking forward to it.
"Draco stopped by too." Carmen told him.
"He should be at school. . ." Harry frowned.
"He and Narcissa are getting rid of all of Lucius' things. They don't want anything to do with him anymore." Carmen told him, a dark look on her face that mirrored Jake's own look.
"Can't blame them, really." Jake murmured, shifting Eve who was making faces at the darkening mood of her parents. Jake cleared his throat and smiled. "He said to tell you that he was going to stop by later. Is that okay?"
"That's fine." Harry said awkwardly. "I'm going to go shower." He leaned over his brother and gave Eve a peck on the forehead.
"Don't spoil her!" Jake laughed. Harry stuck his tongue out and left.
Sometime later, after a few hours of home schooling, Harry was staring at the TV when he saw Draco walk past the window. He hopped off the couch and answered the door before the blonde could ring the doorbell. Draco stood there, in black jeans and an electric blue t-shirt with a small smile on his face. He looked quite pleased with himself and it put a smile on Harry's face.
"Hey." Harry said, moving aside to let him in. " I take it throwing all of Lucius' things away was refreshing?"
"It was positively delightful." Draco grinned, walking in. "Did you finish all of your homework?" He asked. Harry nodded and shut the door. "Good." There was a small period of silence in which Draco's demeanor went from pleased to nervous and hesitant. Harry was about to ask if he was okay when he spoke up. "I ah, I was wondering . . .you know, if you'd like to go out to dinner with me." Draco asked slowly.
Harry was silent for a moment. He definitely hadn't been expecting that. They hadn't had a date in months, nor had they done anything even remotely boyfriend-like. It was almost like they were just friends but Harry didn't want to be just friends and he knew Draco didn't either. This was his boyfriends' attempt at rebuilding their relationship, which was a lot more than he had been doing. He'd been so busy thinking about himself that he hadn't been thinking enough about Draco. Maybe if he had paid more attention, Draco wouldn't be standing in front of him, looking uncertain as if Harry would say no. He felt like such a bastard.
"Of course," Harry smiled and hoped he looked enthusiastic about it.
Draco smiled, visibly relieved. "Great! There's this great little Chinese restaurant in town, do you want to go there?" He asked.
"Sound's good," Harry said.
Harry stepped out of the shower and grabbed a fluffy towel, wrapping it around his waist. It was about 7:00 in the evening and Draco would be there in 30 minutes or so for their date. Harry found it strange that he was getting nervous. They've had dates before and even made love and here he was, standing in front of the mirror, unsure of himself. He leaned over the sink counter and wiped the fog away from the mirror and stared at himself, taking in his features for the first time in a while. The shadows under his eyes weren't too visible but they were there. He could always use some of his mother's make up to cover that up. He was sure Draco wouldn't want to look at those bags all night. His eyes traveled up to that lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. Several times he had the urge to scratch over it, to make it so that it wasn't even there but then that would mean that there was something seriously wrong with him. He didn't want to admit that to himself.
He always tried to ignore what was written on his back and sometimes, it was easy to do that. He never saw it because of its position and when he did know it was there, it was because of those damn nightmares.
He sighed and headed to his room. After drying off, he dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt with three red stripes that went across the chest. He pulled on his red and white sneakers before running the brush through his unruly hair. Ever since it had been cut, it refused to lay flat no matter what he did, like his father's hair. He'd much rather have his longer, more manageable hair though. Draco liked his long hair and so did he. Hopefully he'd be able to grow it out again.
After his futile attempt at brushing his hair, he covered up the bags under his eyes carefully and walked downstairs. "Are you going out with Draco tonight?" His mother asked when he walked into the living room.
"We're going to the Emperor's Palace in town." He told her. She smiled gently, looking a little teary eyed.
"I'm glad; that boy has done wonders for you." She said. Harry blushed, just as the doorbell rang. Lily gave her son a kiss on the forehead and a light hug. "You have fun now and don't stay out too late, okay?" He nodded.
"Bye mom." She waited until the door shut behind him before letting the smile drop from her face. She couldn't help but feel that it was both her fault and her husbands fault for her son's suffering and even for Draco's suffering—because he surely was suffering just as much. Had they not done what they did to Lucius so long ago, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe her baby boy's eyes would still have their sparkle and maybe he wouldn't have to use make up to hide his sleepless nights.
Watching Draco's car drive away from the window, she sighed. All I can do now is pray that it will get better from here.
The Emperor's Palace was a modest restaurant with a red and gold theme. Paintings of traditional Chinese dragons decorated the deep red walls and stocks of bamboo were potted in various positions around the room. It was a friendly little restaurant that was thankfully, not too crowded. The two boys were seated in a small booth away from the window for Harry's sake.
" So . . .How's school going?" Harry asked uncomfortably after relaying their orders to the waitress. The few people who were in the restaurant were glancing at them and a few brave ones were even pointing, recognizing them both from the news. Draco didn't seem to notice or was expertly ignoring them. Harry could only turn red and stare at his reflection in the polished table top.
"It's fine. The teachers are harder on us now that the end of the term exams are coming up." Draco paused. " Everyone's really worried about you."
"Really?" Harry looked up in surprise.
"A lot of people keep asking Hermione and me how you're doing and not just Dean and Seamus. Even Snape is worried about you." He said with a grin.
"You can't be serious." Harry deadpanned. Draco laughed.
"I am! He didn't come out and just say he was worried about you, though. It was more like, " Send Mister Potter my regards on his health and tell him he better have all of his work for me completed." something like that." Harry laughed, much easier than he had in a while. Draco observed this with pride and affection.
"Well, I'd never expect more from that man." Draco nodded in agreement.
" Um . . .there's something else I wanted to tell you." Draco started. "You know I'm 17 now. And I should be in the year above you at least . . . well the school's thinking of moving me up a year since I've shown over achievement in all of my classes, some of which are already advanced." He said, eyeing Harry anxiously. Harry was flattered that he would worry over something like that.
"If you were expecting me to be angry then I'm not." Harry told him truthfully. "I'll be a little sad that we won't have classes together but otherwise it's fine with me." Draco visibly relaxed.
"You are such an understanding person and I love that about you." Harry blushed and rubbed the back of his neck.
Conversation halted for a while after their food arrived. There were only the occasional looks shared between the two and inquiries about how their food was. Then something caught Harry's eye.
"Draco, look." He whispered, nodding towards two Chinese women, one older and another younger. They watched the two women argue about something in their native language. Harry would have ignored them but occasionally the younger one would look over at them and glare furiously, jabbing in their direction with anger. It was a short lived argument though as the older woman said something and made a shooing motion with her hands. The younger pouted sulkily and with one last glare at Harry and Draco, stormed off into the kitchens. The old woman turned towards them and bowed with a kind smile before following the other woman.
"What was that all about?" Draco asked with an odd look.
"I have no idea." He probably didn't want to know anyway.
Harry returned home that night, glad he had decided to go on the date. They hadn't had the opportunity to just talk between themselves for a long time and it felt good to just be with Draco. He was even able to forget about the stares and pointing after a while. Draco gave him so much confidence and his presence was a steady comfort even when Harry couldn't help flinching or shying away from his gentle hands.
He was still guilty about not spending enough time with Draco and resolved to do something about that. Even if he felt like hiding in his room for twenty-four hours, he'd at least force himself to leave for Draco. After all, he was still willing to love him and be with him, despite all that had happened.
Harry crawled into bed that night with an actual smile on his face and the beginnings of a pleasant dream in his head.
Draco half danced, half walked into his house after walking Harry to his door. If Harry was happy then he was too and knowing that he was the one to make Harry happy was the best damn thing ever. Sometimes, Harry had one of those pensieve, neutral expressions that were more fitting for someone three times his age. He understood why, he understood very well the reasons why Harry adopted those looks. He only wished he could do something to change them. He'd do everything within his ability to make Harry smile and laugh like he use to.
"Well aren't you happy." Narcissa said, walking down the stairs in her cream colored night gown and a white silk robe over top of it. Her silky blonde hair was plaited and hung over her shoulder. "I take it your date with Harry went well?"
"It was as good as I could expect it to be, considering." Draco said, dropping his key in the silver bowl on the stand next to the doorway. "He still doesn't like it when anyone touches him." He sighed. "It's . . . hard."
"It's to be expected." Narcissa said softly. "He'll pull through, Draco. He's a very brave boy. Most people would have . . .cracked, for lack of a better word. He's still holding on strong." She walked up to her son and pulled him into a hug, hating the torn look in his eyes. "But no one can go through something like that, holding everything inside of them. They will eventually break." She said dolefully.
"If that happens. . . I'll be there to put back the pieces." He said with quiet resolve.
Harry was nervous, so nervous he dropped anything he picked up and almost put on clothes that wouldn't match, even to a color-blind person. He was going back to school for final exams and he wasn't looking forward to it at all. It was one thing to be surrounded by a crowd of family members. A crowd of teenagers he hardly knew was going to be hell; he could feel it.
After tying up his shoes, he grabbed the few things he'd need—pencils, some money and his keys-- and walked downstairs. His mother was waiting for him, giving him worried looks and biting her lip. He didn't think she was ready for him to go back to school either. Harry bet, if he asked, she'd let him stay home. It was very tempting but his conscious was too averse to taking advantage of her fear and anxiety.
"You'll be okay?" She asked softly, brushing down his hair with her hand. She sighed when it popped back up again and put her hands on his shoulders, getting a good look at him. Harry felt like he was five again, getting ready for primary school with the way she was looking at him. How embarrassing, He thought with a blush.
"Yes, mum." He didn't sound too convincing, even to his own ears.
She hugged him tightly, petting his head, and didn't seem to want to let go anytime soon. "If anything happens or anyone says anything, you can call me and I'll come pick you up. Or ask Draco to drive you home, okay?" He nodded, only slightly annoyed. He wasn't a child.
She pulled away with great reluctance and adjusted his dark green jumper, fixing the hood and brushing off nonexistent lint. Harry almost smiled—she was stalling. "I have to go mum, Draco's waiting." He said. She sniffled and looked like she would cry but nodded and muttered a weak "have a good day". He left the house and walked to where Draco was parked and climbed into the passengers' seat.
"Hey." Draco said.
"Morning," Harry smiled apprehensively. Draco eyed him carefully for a few seconds before driving over to Hermione's house to pick her up. The drive to school was silent, which was surprising but appreciated. Harry was too nervous to try and hold a conversation; it was like he had a million caterpillars crawling laps around his stomach. Before March, it could be said that he was invisible at school. He liked it that way; he didn't want a hundred fair weather friends. He was perfectly content with having a few good people to hang out with and he had that. But he wouldn't have the anonymity anymore. He'd been on the news so often , his presence was bound to be noticed by everyone. It was nauseating to think about.
They arrived at school in what seemed like no time, much to Harry's dismay. Draco parked closer to the entrance than he usually did, which Harry had hoped he wouldn't do. He was rather hoping he could delay actually walking into school--Fat chance of that happening now.
"Are you okay?" Draco asked gently.
"Fine." Harry squeaked out. He was as pale as death. Draco looked skeptical, as did Hermione, but they let it go for now. They climbed out of the car and walked towards the school, Draco on Harry's right and Hermione on the left. Harry kept his head low as they stepped into the noisy hall. He didn't want to see the looks.
Draco and Hermione glared at anyone whose stare lingered longer than two seconds. Their ferocity was rewarded with less stares and less whispers, at least until they were out of earshot. Their wrath had become legendary during Harry's absence and their friendship even more so.
"How rude," Hermione bristled eventually, unable to hold it back anymore. There were still those individuals who couldn't find it within themselves to have some shred of empathy and were happily whispering and pointing.
"Uncouth morons," Draco sneered, glaring with a coldness most of Hogwarts Highschool hadn't seen and wished they hadn't seen. Draco itched to put a protective arm around Harry but he knew it would only make things worse.
Harry, red from embarrassment, was tense and stubbornly refusing to look up. If it weren't for Hermione and Draco, he'd have walked into several people and a trashcan. They managed to keep him from running into anything all the way to their homeroom, thankfully. He received more stares in the classroom and to his utter surprise, a few people asked how he was. Even after Draco told him how some people seemed genuinely concerned, it was still hard to believe. But he looked up and could see it. He could see the sympathy and the concern. These people were exuding more friendliness than he had ever witnessed in his life!
"I'm fine. . .thanks," He finally managed to say. One of the girls who asked, a bubbly blonde named Hanna Abbot, smiled brightly at his answer. Harry blinked, bemused, as they took their regular seats in the back of the room.
After the bell rang, Miss Trelawney fluttered in and smiled dreamily.
"Good morning, students!" She cooed. Her eyes fell on Harry and her eyes lit up. "It's good to see you back Mr. Potter!" She nearly squealed. Harry blushed ferociously when practically the entire class turned to look at him.
"Thanks." He said quietly, sinking in his seat. She smiled sweetly before explaining about how the exams were going to be taken. They'd go to their classes and either study for the tests that were tomorrow or take the tests themselves. The tests that would be taken today were, English, History, Math's, and Art. Tomorrow would be, Foreign Languages, any other elective course that the student had chosen and Sciences.
It would be a very busy day.
By the time lunch came around, the students were overcome with relief. The teachers hadn't even tried to make the exams easy. Harry silently thanked his mother for being such a great teacher. He might have failed all of his exams otherwise.
"How are you holding up?" Draco asked at lunch. Harry shrugged and poked at his sandwich disinterestedly.
"Besides everyone always staring at me and constantly patting me on the back, I'm doing okay." He could deal with minor touches from his father and brother and hugs from his mother, even a squeeze of the hand from Draco when he was feeling particularly confident but pats on the back had him jumping constantly. Especially when some of them came too close to the other scar. "Everyone probably thinks I've gone mental." He murmured with a dismal frown.
"Well . . ." Hermione said, not really knowing how to respond to that.
"I don't think you're mental." Ron said, sitting next to Hermione, across from Harry. "And neither does Hermione or Draco, right?"
"Of course not!" Hermione exclaimed, over Draco's own affirmation of Harry's sanity.
Harry gave them a grateful smile before taking a bite out of his sandwich.
Hermione turned to Ron. "How were your exams?"
He shot her a guilty look." Uh . . .I don't think I did to well on the History one."
Hermione looked scandalized, "We studied for that one for hours, Ron. I can't believe you! Didn't you tell me you studied on your own too? How could you possibly not pass?"
"History is so boring! You know I always fall asleep in that class. It's bloody difficult to stay awake when old Binns is droning on and on and on and on and--"
"I think we get the idea." Draco stated dryly.
"That's still no excuse Ronald." Hermione said primly. "Mr. Binns may be boring but you don't see me falling asleep."
"That's because you actually enjoy learning about stuff you'll never need in your life." Ron muttered.
"You can learn a wealth of information from the past, Ronald. That's the problem with so many people in today's society. They're all so quick to forget history and then no one learns from past mistakes--"
"Whatever, Hermione." Ron said, bored with the topic. Hermione sputtered angrily while Ron inhaled his food with a satisfied glint in his eyes.
Harry stared back and forth between his friends, feeling as if he were the odd man out. Even Draco was watching the two with vague disinterest, as if their bickering wasn't anything new. Harry stared at the sandwich in his hand with a tense frown. It actually hurt seeing them so close, arguing with each other like he used to do with Hermione. Had they really drifted apart like this? He rarely saw her anymore, though she often called. There was no question that they were still best friends but somehow, it felt like he was being replaced by Ron. It was a heart wrenching feeling that robbed him of what little appetite he had. He sighed inaudibly and set his half eaten sandwich down and stood with his tray.
Harry was already half way across the cafeteria before Draco could swallow enough food to ask him where he was going. He frowned though, when instead of coming back after dumping his tray, he left the cafeteria. Hermione and Ron didn't even notice. Draco sneered at them and followed after Harry.
Harry ran a hand through his hair as he walked down the hall. He really hated this feeling; it seemed so stupid. Hermione had been his best friend for years. He knew her like he knew himself and she definitely wasn't the type of person to forget about other people if she could help it. She wouldn't ditch him for Ron.
But why do I feel like she already has?
"Harry?" He jumped and whirled around with fright. Draco stood a couple feet away, looking hesitant to approach him and apologetic. "Sorry if I scared you," He said softly.
Harry relaxed and tried to smile. "It's okay."
"Why'd you leave?" Harry hesitated but decided to tell him.
"I've been gone for a little over two months. A lot can happen in two months, you know? I. . .I feel like I've missed so much." He admitted sadly. "Hermione and I, we use to talk about everything and hang out whether we were studying or bored but we haven't been like that lately." He laughed humorlessly. "It's pretty sad when your former enemy talks to your best friend more than you do. I'm glad they're getting along but. . .I don't want to be forgotten."
The look on Harry's face was so pathetic, so lost and scared that it utterly broke Draco's heart. Harry needed comfort, he needed a hug and Draco wanted to give that to him more than anything right now. The blonde took a chance and walked closer to Harry and pulled him into a gentle hug that was loose enough for Harry to break out of if he wanted to. Harry went stiff in his embrace and looked at him with wide eyes but he didn't move away for once.
God, he hadn't been this close to Harry in a while and being able to look into his verdant eyes from such intimate distance was setting him on fire. It was war just trying to keep himself from tightening his hold or worse—kissing him.
"Harry, Hermione hasn't and will never replace you for Weasley. She loves you like a brother; you know that. She knows you need some distance and she's trying to give it to you. She's been tutoring Weasley these past couple of months instead of crowding you. I'm sure that when you're ready, all four of us will go back to having the time of our lives. It will be just like it used to be, with a new addition." Draco tried to sound as reassuring as possible and Harry was appreciative of his efforts. Even so, he gently pushed away from his boyfriend and refused to meet his concerned blue gaze.
"Draco, it will never be the way it was before." He whispered and walked away. Draco watched him leave, speechless and more than a little unnerved.
By the end of the school day, Harry was mentally exhausted. The tests weren't hard and therefore, not the problem. It was just being around so many people who suddenly realized he existed and the thought of the current distance between him and Hermione.
"Well that wasn't a very bad day." Hermione sighed, climbing into the car. "Was it, Harry?" She asked.
Harry shut the passenger side door and buckled himself in." Sure." He replied. It was said with such indifference that Hermione visible recoiled, confused and shocked. She looked at Draco who mouthed 'later'.
The ride was spent in silence, which was rapidly becoming common when with Harry. It was yet another thing about his boyfriend that was causing him to worry. Harry use to talk a fair amount and if he wasn't talking, he hummed. This kind of tense silence wasn't a good indication of Harry getting better. Hell, Harry wasn't getting better in the first place. He was stationary, not getting any worse but not getting better and Draco didn't know how he could help. What if Harry suddenly fell into depression and started hurting himself? He furiously squashed such a ridiculous thought and tried to forget about it—tried, being the keyword.
"I'll call you later, okay, Harry?" Hermione said as they pulled in front of her house.
"Okay; bye Hermione." He said quietly.
The bushy-haired girl sighed and climbed out of the car. "See you tomorrow, Draco." She frowned at Harry's distracted visage before shutting the door and walking away.
"Harry?" Draco said, pulling into his driveway.
"Yes?" Harry said absentmindedly. He looked as if he were thinking hard about something.
"Remember those photos from Christmas?"
Harry blinked and looked at him. "Yeah, I forgot about those."
"So did I but I finally had them developed and a couple of other photos. I was hoping you'd like to see them."
Harry brightened. "Of course!"
"Good, I'll go get them, wait for me on your porch?" Harry nodded. While Draco went to get the pictures, Harry got the mail. He shuffled through them, ignoring anything that looked like bills, and stopped at an envelope with his and Draco's name on it. There was no return address. He sat on the porch step and frowned at it but before he could open it, Draco jogged over. He had a rather large photo album with Family and Friends printed in curling letters on the front.
"Are there a lot of pictures?" Harry asked, setting the mail aside.
"Like you wouldn't believe; half this album is full of Christmas pictures." Draco sat next to him and opened the album between them. The first picture was of them under the mistletoe kissing, Harry blushing a bright red color and Draco looking distinctly satisfied.
"Hey! That was that day when your father came over." Harry blushed. "Who took that?"
"Your Godfather took it. I had to have a copy." He turned the page. The next was at the Christmas Party. There were plenty of pictures of the family. There were some of Regulus looking grumpy, standing next to a grinning Sirius who had his arm slung around his shoulder. A few pictures were of family members alone. Sirius pulled a goofy pose and Remus smiled shyly at the camera. James made a funny face in a few of them and Lily was looking radiant as always.
There was a photo of his parents together; Lily sat on James' lap with a glass of wine. A modest blush spread across her cheeks and a wide grin split James' face. One of the photos had Felix with both of his sons. There was one of Harry being lifted off the ground by Rich; the horrified yet gleeful look on Harry's face was priceless.
"I was hoping you hadn't caught that." Harry mumbled as Draco snickered. He turned the page again. There was a photo of Remus with oven mitts on, pulling a baking sheet full of fresh, chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. The one below it was of oven mitt-Remus trying to fend a ravenous Sirius off of his cookies. Then the one on the next page was of Remus throwing one of the oven mitts at Sirius with deadly accuracy, if Draco remembered correctly.
"He's like the perfect housewife." Harry laughed. The picture under it was of Rose with her game face on, schooling Lily on what to do with the Turkey. Harry's mother looked like she was about to bite her mothers' head off any moment. "When did you get that picture?" Harry asked.
"I don't really remember; probably after I got back from using the loo." He said. He turned the page again. This one was a picture of a drunken Romulus, hanging off of Harry, looking as if he were belting out a song. Harry was once again blushing in this picture, looking adorably uncomfortable.
"I was so embarrassed." Harry admitted, laughing. On the next page was a picture of James, Sirius and Remus, laughing together on the couch with Lily leaning over the back of the couch behind James. Her face was alit with laughter as she looked at someone not in the picture.
All of the pictures were beautiful; they were all so natural and the interactions between family members were absolutely precious like the photo of Tonks trying to pull one of her children off of Hermione's earring and the one of Draco and Harry, sneaking a kiss upstairs when Hermione had taken the camera from Draco. He'd forgotten what it felt like to be as carefree as they had been in the photos. They were moments he would cherish for a long time and he vowed to never forget the warmth of that day ever again.
They continued to look through the album and comment on the pictures for almost an hour when they finally came to the last pictures. There was a photo of him, Hermione and Draco in his Fathers study. He was sitting on Draco's lap whose arms were around his waist. Hermione was next to them, smiling contentedly and looking at her two best friends who were laughing about something.
"Who took that picture?" Harry wondered.
"Your mum. She gave it to me one day along with . . ." He pointed to the one below it. "This one," It was a picture of them, curled up on the couch together that one night that seemed so long ago; the light of the TV reflected off of their peaceful, sleeping faces.
"She is so sneaky." Harry gasped and blushed.
"I don't think you should be blushing just yet." Draco said, turning red. He turned to the last page where the last picture was held. The photo was taken from the foot of Harry's bed. It was of them, in the aftermath of their first night together. Harry's head was resting on Draco's bare chest with an arm draped across the boy's stomach. Draco had his hand clasped with Harry's and the other was tangled in Harry's tousled hair. Both of them had tranquil looks on their faces, the morning sun streaming across their features. It set Draco's hair ablaze with hues of gold and white.
Harry turned a new shade of red that bled down to his neck when he realized what Draco had implied. His mother had taken that picture. They were naked and still sticky and she had—"Oh my God," He said, horrified. "I can't believe she saw us—and took a picture!" He squeaked.
"That was my exact thought when she confronted me later. She didn't have a problem with it though. She just, uh, reminded us to use protection and to go to the doctors for check ups, which we did in November." He conveniently left out the part where she threatened him with castration should he do anything untoward to her baby boy.
"Well that's good to know but it's still a bit embarrassing." Harry said.
"Tell me about it," He groaned.
"We were lucky that it wasn't my father, though."
"That. . .wouldn't have gone over so well," He admitted with a chuckle.
Harry closed the album after one last look of longing at the photo and looked up at Draco. "Thank you."
"For showing me these, for cheering me up," He said. "For just . . . being here for me and being patient. I know I've been rather difficult and jumpy."
"It's normal to be that way after what you've been through." Draco said quietly. A look of sorrow passed over Harry's face. "And I will always be there with you through this all because no matter what I still love you. I'll never stop."
Hearing Draco say that was overwhelming; it almost brought him to tears but instead of crying he whispered back, "I love you too." They started to lose themselves in each other's eyes, hypnotized by how close they were—it had been a long time. Harry's heart sped up when Draco started to inch closer, blatantly staring at his lips. Harry wanted to kiss him just as badly as Draco wanted to. He missed the intimacy, the texture, the warmth--
I own you
Harry jerked away from Draco, his breath hitched in his throat and his eyes wide. He turned away from the blonde and clenched his eyes shut, trying to calm down his painfully beating heart.
"Harry?" Draco said, cautiously. He put a hand on Harry's shoulder. The other boy jumped but didn't make a move to remove the hand. "Are you alright?"
"Y--yes." He replied unconvincingly.
". . .Flashback?" Draco pressed.
" . . .Yes." He turned back to Draco, still looking frightfully pale and shaking. "I'm sorry." He said with a disappointed sigh. He couldn't even kiss his own boyfriend. How sad was that?
"Don't be sorry; I understand." Harry smiled gratefully.
"Oh, I just remembered something." Harry said, eager to change the topic. He grabbed the envelope from the mail pile next to him and showed it to Draco. "I got this in the mail today."
"Oh?" Draco said, looking at it curiously. "It's addressed to both of us? That's odd."
"I know. Should we open it?"
"Well I doubt it's going to scream at us or anything." He took the letter from Harry and tore it open. He looked inside and was instantly confused at what he saw.
"What is it?" Harry asked. Draco didn't answer. Instead he turned the envelope over and two tickets and a strip of paper fell onto his lap. "What's that?" Harry asked again. Draco looked up at him with surprised after quickly reading the strip of paper.
"Read this," He handed the paper and the tickets to Harry who was insanely curious by now. He read the note aloud.
"Take, you need more than us." Harry looked at the tickets and his eyes widened. He looked at Draco and then back at the tickets, speechless.
They had just received two tickets to the Fijian Islands.
Re-Authored Note: Yes, I'm editing LMBT! I'm hoping that by doing this I'll get back into the swing of things. Plus, I think my writing has gotten a little bit better over the years and I was cringing whenever I re-read this. So if you're new to the story, tell me how it is. If you're an old reader and you're reading this again—I love you!