Draco, upon leaving the two Gryffindors, had rushed down the halls and out onto the snowy grounds. Headless of whether or not he would get detention, he sprinted down to where the Forbidden Forest met the Black Lake. If he could just meet Harry, he was sure everything would resolve itself.
The problem was finding him.
Upon reaching the edges of the water, panting heavily, Draco scanned the scenery for any signs of movement. Sadly, there was none.
"Damn it!" He cursed, a burst of fog coming from his mouth. Where was Harry?
Pushing his hair feverishly away from his brow, he concentrated. Potter wasn't by the lake--did that mean he had gone into the forest itself?
Retracing his steps quickly, Draco followed the edge of the forest looking for footsteps leading in. At last, about a quarter of a kilometer past Hagrid's Hut, Draco found a pair of footprints. Their outline was subtle, as already a good inch of snow had appeared to have fallen since the time the person entered.
Draco gulped. He had not set foot in the Forbidden Forest since that time in second year when he and Potter had been forced to serve their detentions there. In all honesty, he had been scared to enter again.
"Get it together. If Potter can do it, you can do it," He said to himself as he withdrew his wand and set off into the trees.
The light quickly faded and, even with his wand lit, Draco found it hard to see. Harry liked walking here? The underbrush was so thick that even in winter it was difficult to walk in--and the place seemed to be in a constant state of twilight.
It made him nervous.
Yet deeper and deeper the footprints continued into the forest, easier to track now that the snow couldn't fall as thickly with the overhang; so deeper and deeper Draco went.
Draco quickened his pace, not daring to think something bad had happened to Harry.
Yet, just as he pushed this thought from his mind he heard a blood curdling scream. At first, he had mistaken it for a wounded animal, or the call of some mysterious creature in the forest. When it rang again through the dense quiet Draco knew--it was human. And he had the sickening feeling that it was Harry making that sound.
"Oh god, oh god, oh god," He cried, storming through the bushes.
The scream continued. Draco had heard that type of scream before, having watched his father perform the Crustacias curse on his dinner party guests.
What the hell was happening? Why was Harry out so deep in the woods being Crucio-ed--surely this revenge didn't involve getting himself killed?
Or maybe it did?
Despite the cumbersome brush, Draco broke into a sprint.
He was running so fast that it took him a moment to realize he had arrived in a circular clearing in the woods. It was lighter here, the grey sky visible up above, and the snow falling silently all around him.
"Draco?" a rough voice in front of him questioned.
Turning his view he saw for the first time who had been screaming and what for. Harry was face up in the snow, apparently knocked out.
"Greyback--what are you doing here?" Draco questioned fiercely, keeping his wand extended.
"Dark Lord's orders--didn't your father tell you?"
Draco gulped. "No, father did not tell me."
Greyback shrugged again, and cast a rugged grin. "I admit catching Potter wasn't part of the plan, but the Dark Lord will be ecstatic--after what happened last year at the Ministry and all."
The werewolf observed the fallen boy in the middle of the snow, his black cloak surrounding him. He flicked his wand, and Harry let out a gargling sound and a drop of red slid down from his mouth. His eyes were now wide open--unseeing.
"S-Stop!" Draco roared, brandishing his wand and pointing it level with Greyback's chest.
"What's wrong with you, boy? It's Potter!"
"I know it's Potter! And I'm not going to let you hurt him!"
Greyback looked taken aback for a second, and then admitted, "Can't say I'm surprised, you joining up with them. You weren't strong enough to be a servant of the Dark Lord." the werewolf turned his attention from Harry to Draco, now.
Draco gritted his teeth, and spat out furiously, "I won't be his servant! I'm no one's servant!"
He cast a furtive glance to Harry he was rapidly becoming the color of the snow. He had to get rid of Greyback and quick. Think, think...
"Crucio!" he bellowed.
For the third time that day--a piercing scream, more like a howl, filled the silence of the forest. Draco only continued the curse long enough to ensure that Greyback wouldn't attack him immediately.
The moment the spell stopped, ropes flew out of his wands and wound their way about the large bulky figure. Greyback seemed hardly aware of what was happening, coated in a heavy layer of sweat after having dealt with such a curse. Draco's eyes scanned the clearing quickly, his mind racing.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" Draco muttered, pointing his wand to a nearby rock. It flew through the air and landed with a sickening crack atop Greyback's head. The next moment he collapsed into the snow, unconscious.
Draco wasted no time and quickly sent up a series of green sparks. It was his only hope that Granger and Weasley were watching the forest after being unable to find their friend within the school.
At last, he turned towards Harry and rushed forward, collapsing at his side.
He could not find his voice--instead he reached out and pulled the limp boy onto his lap, cradled him in his arms. There was nothing his level of magic could do--the only thing left was to wait, and hope that someone saw his sign.
Harry's green eyes were glazed and stared unseeingly into the dim forest. Draco looked down into his face, the face of the person that had come to visit him all those nights.
Draco wiped the trickle of blood away from his lip.
"Harry…," He at last whispered, leaning down and placing his head against Harry's chest to listen for a heartbeat. Whatever Greyback had done, it certainly hadn't killed him--there was a faint heartbeat.
Draco rested his head there for a moment, when suddenly the body moved beneath him.
"Harry?" He questioned, finding tears begin to well in his eyes.
His green eyes were still open, yet they were no longer as glazed. Instead they were observing Draco's face, obviously confused. He opened his mouth to speak, but Draco instructed, "No, don't talk. People are coming."
Draco found himself bringing his own hand to Harry's cold cheek.
"Just hold on."
Harry seemed to be sinking back into unconsciousness again, but before this Draco planted a kiss gently on his forehead. And then softly on his lips.
Still, there was no response.
The snow continued to fall about them.
The first thing Harry noticed when he awoke was the sweet smell of lilies. It seemed rather out of season, it being winter and all. Cracking open one eye he peered rather blurrily out and found himself facing the delicate, pure white flowers bearing his mum's name.
"Lilies…" he croaked.
The hospital wing was so quiet, his voice seemed to echo. Too exhausted to contemplate much besides their sweet presence he allowed himself to fall back into pleasant dreams. Little did he notice the presence seated in a chair by the foot of his bed.
When he awoke again it was twilight, and the faint sound of carolers filled the halls. Harry had forgotten the Christmas Holidays started that afternoon. Then again, Harry didn't know what day it was anyways. For all he knew Christmas could have come and gone.
Harry rubbed his eyes and sat up in bed. Reaching out for his glasses which were placed besides the vase he slipped them on. When he peered through glass he noticed for the first time--
"I was wondering when you would wake up." The blonde figure responded from the chair positioned squarely by the bed. Draco closed the book he had be staring at and set it beside him.
Harry didn't know if he felt well enough for this. His insides felt hot and agitated, but he didn't know if that was from the spell or from the presence of Dra--Malfoy.
"What are you doing here?" Harry questioned nervously at length.
Draco observed Potter who was sprouting a faint line of blush about his cheeks. He had never noticed how cute that was before.
"I wanted to make sure you liked your flowers."
Harry looked back at the delicate arching bells of the Lily of the Valley.
"You sent them to me?"
"Well, all's fair--as they say. You sent me the narcissus, after all."
"How did you know?"
Draco knew if he didn't want to botch all this up--had to tell Harry the truth.
"The last night you visited me…my eyesight was healed."
Harry's expression turned stormy.
"You didn't tell me."
"No…I wanted to know who you were."
"Well, now you know." Harry nearly spat out, Happy? But something stopped him.
Draco looked squarely at Potter--who also looked quite attractive when he was angry.
"I do know."
"And I suppose you've told everyone about me?" Harry bit out, agitated even more.
"Yes, that's exactly what I did," Draco snapped, sitting up straight, arms crossed. "I went and told everyone that Harry bloody Potter came and visited me every sodding night in the Hospital Wing because he's a poofter. Exactly. Which is why Rita Skeeter is outside trying to get a picture of us. And Ron isn't speaking to you, and the Slytherin's have come to kill you for trying to turn me from the Dark Side."
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but Draco kept going. "And that is exactly why I went and rescued you in the middle of the Forbidden Forest like some bloody Gryffindor from a deranged werewolf in the middle of winter with no cloak and have been sitting here waiting for the past six hours for you to wake up, forgoing lunch and dinner because I was looking for you, then looking over you. Bloody hell," Draco said, throwing his hands up and slumping back against the chair, "I knew Gryffindors were dense, but this dense?"
Harry didn't speak, he just regarded Draco with a cool, level stare.
Draco sighed and scooted his chair forward, resting his elbows on his knees. Harry looked away.
"It…It doesn't matter to me who you are."
Harry said nothing. He was staring intently at the Lily of the Valley beside him, determined not to meet Draco's gaze.
"Listen…I've thought it all out," Draco continued hesitantly, gently, "If you were willing to take a risk on me…then I want to take a risk on you."
"Is that all I am to you? A risk? Some sort of danger?" Harry snapped, not sure who he was feeling now that Draco was admitting that his feelings were reciprocated.
"Well, you certainly wouldn't be welcome news to my family--,"
"Oh, yeah, Lucius would be most pleased."
"My family," Draco continued pointedly, "Whom I have renounced." Draco paused dramatically to let that sink in before continuing, rather conversationally," Well, my father at least. Mother was never into being a Death Eater."
Draco smiled as he continued, trying to lighten the mood. "And you do have a death wish, what with being a Gryffindor and The Golden Boy, to boot. And it would be quite a scandal, me nabbing one of Wizarding World's Most Eligible Bachelors according to a poll in Witch Weekly last month. All of Hogwarts will be in an uproar, to be sure. I'll probably be sent death threats from your crazy fangirls--and boys who think that you should be with them. Ugh." he scoffed. "They should know you deserve the best, which is so obviously me."
"How do I know you aren't lying?" Harry asked suspiciously, quashing the hope that tried to bloom in his chest.
"The rescuing from a mad werewolf in the Forbidden Forest and waiting here doesn't count? Fine, ask Dumbledore."
"You…talked to him?" Draco hated Dumbledore!
"Listen…," Draco began again with a sigh, abandoning trying to make light of things, "Don't you get what I'm trying to tell you?"
"No. No, I don't."
"Well, then I guess I have to show you," Draco said softly.
At that, Draco moved quickly from the chair and onto the bed, sitting beside the invalid. A thought flashed in Draco's mind--about how they were in reverse roles now, but he pushed it away to concentrate on the matter at hand. Draco moved so fast that Harry could not react--and a second later Harry felt warm lips against his own, and warm arms wrapped about his body.
Draco pulled away quickly, almost as though he was teasing Harry, though his arms remained loosely around Harry's waist.
"I'm trying to say that it doesn't matter. Nothing from before matters. I want to be with you now."
Harry looked into Draco's grey eyes for the first time, noticing that up-close they seemed almost blue. Those eyes did not hold any anger, or hate, or loathing. Instead there was just a pure and simple longing reflected in them--a question unanswered.
All the reservations Harry thought he had, he realized he didn't. He's been wanting this for a while, he thought. He had liked Draco for a while, ever since he was just Draco, not Malfoy. Harry had never really thought of what might happen, because he didn't think anything would happen. But now he could think, couldn't he?
"You swear Rita Skeeter isn't waiting outside the door—just when I decide to kiss you again?" Harry questioned, glancing towards the entrance. It would figure that this very decisive moment in relationship would be tarnished by such publicity.
"I promise. Now, how about that kiss?"
Pulling Draco forward, Harry ran his fingers along the edge of his jaw line, deciding he didn't want to think right now. The kiss, when it came, was soft and hesitant and delicate--like this new relationship of theirs.
Yet in the kiss' depth the two knew that they had conquered the darkness of their hearts.
Author's Note: Yes, so this is the end! Or should we say the beginning in their relationship! Me and the co-author came back to this story after a very long break in it mainly for the many of you who read the story and urged us to continue. Trust us when we say we would have washed our hands' of the story had it not been for those who took the time to read and comment. So, with that in mind, for this last chapter we would love to hear from you