By Silver Harmony
6 December1996 Hogwarts Grounds
Everything was in chaos.
The collapsed tower of the once grand Hogwarts castle seemed surreal to me as I ran towards it. Even the stern stone walls of the castle could not withstand the tumult. In my haste I had staggered over a black-robed body of a Death Eater or perhaps it was a student.
In the poor light nothing was clear anymore, and my turbulent mind did not seem to help at all.
Grief. Confusion. Hatred. Denial. Disappointment. Anger. And complete Betrayal.
A battered Death Eater clambered in front of me like an odd-legged Acromantula, hoping to take as many of us out before his own demise. With practiced agility, I dodged his spell and cast the killing curse on him.
As he collapsed, I struggled on without a backward glance.
Perhaps I could still help some of my friends with the small amount of energy I have left. Hermione – was she still alive? I dared not to think further.
Tears formed in my eyes, and I harshly blinked them away. Now was not the time.
October 1996 Dumbledore's Office
Ah, yes, right on time. Please take a seat. Sherbert lemon?
You seem to be much better, it's easy to tell. I am aware you are in a new relationship? I believe that sometimes acquiring a close companion can mend us in ways at first thought impossible.
Not to intrude on your private life, but how has he been?
Pretty much the same as he is around everyone else. Quiet. Occasionally moody. But I think he's on the recovery road. He's starting to smile now.
That's very good. I had been quite concerned about him.
As we all are, Professor.
That's true. Reports from my staff indicated that his housemates are rather tense around him. Quite the same for you, I presume?
Nothing I can't handle.
If there are any problems, don't hesitate to visit me. Well, I'm glad that you are there to look after him. Perhaps you would be able to soothe his pain.
Yes, as he does mine.
September 1996, Quidditch Pitch
Harry adjusted the stand, fixed the camera lens once more and squinted through the eyepiece, his glasses pressed to the back of the camera. Staring at the disgruntled person whom the photo was focused on, he stood up and placed his hands on his hips in annoyance.
Look, it's meant to be a picture. You're supposed to smile, he called out to the blond Slytherin, who looked as if he'd rather be playing with the giant squid than being there.
Oh yeah? Draco retorted. Since when was that a rule?
Since forever. Harry bent down again to make sure there wasn't too much sky in the background. Previous pictures he had taken always resulted with an excessive amount of space above the participants' heads, and their lower bodies cut off. He examined it with his left eye, then pressed it shut, shifting his right eye to the small rectangular box.
I don't get it, Draco remarked haughtily. Why are we taking a Muggle photograph? What's the point of a picture if it doesn't move?
I told you already, Draco, Harry replied with a sigh.
Yeah, yeah, I know. But I still fail to see the significance of the whole capturing of one single moment in time' thing. It's lame, not to mention corny.
A grunt came from Harry's direction.
Draco continued, watching a bothered Harry double-check and triple-check to make sure everything was perfect, it's stupid to stand in front of the Quidditch goal posts.
It's to symbolise the importance of Quidditch for both of us! Harry protested, lifting his head from behind the camera.
Still, it's not like you can see the goals or anything. People'd just think we're grinning in front of a three giant sticks.
Oh, stop complaining, will you? Okay, ten seconds till it takes the picture. Harry pushed a button, then quickly left his spot from behind the camera and jogged to Draco's side.
Draco gave the excited Gryffindor an amused smile, shaking his head slightly before wrapping an arm around his waist.
The camera started beeping and the two turned towards the device, a dopey smile on their faces.
One more question, if I may?
Of course, Professor Dumbledore.
You are the closest to him at the moment. His recent nature has indeed sparked rumours. Despite them, however, do you think that he might be considering Dark Arts?
No. I I trust him.
November 1996, Library
Hermione placed her book face down on the table and rubbed her temples. It was hard for her to concentrate today, and she felt a migraine pending, like a bubbling volcano threatening to erupt any moment. A cup of coffee might help to ease her mind and render focus for research in her new Arithmancy assessment. She considered visiting the kitchens later. At the same time, she could probably see how her hats and scarves were distributing.
During her thoughts, her gaze wandered around the library, settling on the usual place where Harry and Draco were sitting. They were there now, opposite each other, both engrossed in their books. This behaviour was familiar to her. Ever since they had become friends, they would ritually sit at the same table after homework in the evenings, and quietly read, almost like determined scholars.
This sometimes annoyed Ron, who always had something to complain about Harry's new acquaintance. Why does he spend all his time with that git instead of us?, I don't trust Malfoy. Who knows what he'll do to Harry?, No matter what Harry says, I just don't think he's changed.
But to Hermione, Draco had definitely changed. Just by witnessing one of his warm smiles directed to Harry concreted the fact. He had also succeeded in making Harry happy again, and that mattered to her most. Their friendship conquered each other's loneliness. Both had become more cheerful.
And Harry trusted him. So Hermione should trust him too.
6 December 1996 Hogwarts Grounds
There were so many casualties already. I could see their bodies carelessly littered around on the Hogwarts grounds with random disrespect.
It was all my fault. I placed my entire faith on him. I made everyone else trust him. I loved the bloody traitor.
Now Voldemort had attacked the school, more powerful than ever before. And he was right there by his side.
His betrayal plagued me with a heavy dead weight.
Siding with Voldemort, he will cause the death of thousands of millions. Did he not care? Was the price worth the power of being merely Second-In-Command?
I thought I knew him well enough.
I let out a laughed pitched with slight hysteria.
Well, obviously I didn't know him at all.
I marvelled at his ability to mask all of this from us. We had all been completely fooled by him. Everything we shared was just a façade; his declarations of love completely false. He must have been committed to this long before. The intention already imbedded in his brain with a substance that could not be scraped or dug out by any tool.
November 1996 Astronomy Tower
The two figures were sitting leisurely next to each other. Harry was leaning back on his elbows with his legs stretched before him, his gaze fixed intently on the dark sky. Draco was in a similar position, with one of his legs draped languidly over one of Harry's ankles.
It was easy to see that the two were comfortable with each other. The silence around them was not tense or awkward, but like a soft cloak, encompassing them in the solace of the night. Their intimate proximity amplified the strong bond between them.
Draco swerved his head from the sky to Harry beside him. He watched the breeze ruffle Harry's tousled hair, occasionally revealing the scar on his forehead, the longer strands sweeping over his glasses. Draco had always wondered about Harry's glasses. How much could he see without it? And why did he have to hide behind them? Draco had seem him without the glasses late at night when the two rested together in either the Slytherin or Gryffindor dorms, and often told him how radiant they were. Their intense brightness could possibly outsparkle the stars above them. So why was there such a necessity for the rounded frames, when vision could be so simply corrected by magic?
In his thoughtful examination, Draco reached out and plucked the glasses from Harry's face, surprising him with the unexpected gesture. Through slightly squinted eyes, Harry observed Draco fiddle with the arms, and turning it around in his hands.
"Don't smudge it," he warned.
Draco didn't reply, and instead opened the arms again, to slide it onto his own face. Instantly, his vision turned blurry, and a dizziness began to form at the back of his head. Did he look intelligent behind the frames? Or did he radiate a sense of innocent dorkiness that Harry had? Judging from the chuckle emitted from the moving dark blob beside him, it was most likely to be the latter.
"If you look through it too long, it'll worsen your eyesight too," Harry stated.
"Ah!" Draco cried, and hastily pulled the glasses away.
Harry snorted, and retrieved the item from Draco's outstretched hand. After settling them back to rest on his nose, he shifted even closer to the body next to him and rested his head on Draco's shoulder, returning to see the stars.
A bird flapped past overhead, and there was a short silence between them.
I love you, Draco.
Why? The question echoed in my head like a deafening mantra.
Hello? Okay. Um I'm not sure why I'm actually doing this, but I've been speaking with Dumbledore and he said that this might help I could write it down, but voice recording just seems more direct, I suppose. Hmwhere to start? What do people usually ramble on in their diary entries? Feelings? Yeah, that sounds like a good start as any.
I love him. There was no doubt about that. I love the way he speaks, the way he moves, the way he stares at me with those piercing eyes. Haha, that was horribly cheesy. I love his laughs, as rarely as they come. It is even possible that I laugh more than he does now, and that's saying something. I don't tell him frequently that I love him though. Probably because I still feel insecure; love wasn't something that I experienced often.
I remember being surprised that day, when he had first came to me. I wasn't sure what to do. Suspicion often took hold of me – did he have a motive behind it all? And why did he come to me, out of everyone else? The professors, his housemates, his friends? Why me, his school enemy, who stood for everything that threatened his existence?
Maybe it was just to hear a voice that wouldn't fuss over him because of his status. And I guess we had a lot in common. Last year's events had all affected us tremendously. We had both lost our father figure, one way or another. And we both preferred silence once in a while.
Sometimes after studying we would read over random books leisurely, whether it is for entertainment, to get knowledge or simply to think, using the action as an excuse. Occasionally, he'd wander off alone. Probably admiring the view of the lake or trudging up the many stairs of the Astronomy Tower to watch the stars twinkle as he did those few occasions I went with him initially. I didn't participate in the stroll afterwards, as I had felt that it was his time. And unlike me, he needed it. While he seemed entranced by the stars, I was more occupied with looking at him.
Despite his distance, he had improved greatly. His glum face became less frequent, replaced by small grins.
And when we started going out, he seemed to smile even more. Just because of that, I found myself being happier too. I felt like, my presence was good for him, and he's definitely good for me.
We needed each other that way.
6 December 1996 Hogwarts Grounds
The tower was so close now. I could see the spells erupting from wands, lighting up the battlefield in brief colour.
I spotted a large rock and hurriedly threw myself behind it. Maybe I'd be able to attack the Death Eaters from here instead of charging into face-to-face combat. I was bound to crumble from exhaustion sometime soon anyway.
Crouching low behind the stone, I glanced over once again to where my friends were fighting. From this distance, it was hard to distinguish them individually, although a moving crown of red hair easily signified that of a Weasley. Which one, I did not know. Intolerable as they are at times, I still hope that they endure this vile conflict.
I aimed at the Death Eater closest to me, who was busy yelling spells at a student. Care and precision were important as I didn't want to hit the wrong person by accident.
Suddenly, the tip of a wand was pressed to the back of my head, its cold, blunt end felt as if it could suck my thoughts right into the holder.
Instinctively, I knew it was him. Shit. I was too careless.
Drop the wand.
After some hesitation, I obeyed. There was no way that I was to die with my back turned to my attacker, in an almost kneeling position. It was not dignified, and I was still much too proud for that.
Gently, I stood up and turned to face him. He stood there in casual stance, his wand steadily trained on me. A binding spell shot out of it before I had time to react with more than a gasp, effectively disabling my arms and feet. He wasn't taking any chances. I fisted by hands beside me as I tried to twist free, but the harsh invisible ropes would not yield.
His mouth twisted into an unnatural malicious grin at my futile efforts, and his eyes held an inhuman glint.
How could he have sunk so low? To turn against his identity, his friends, his family? Against me?
As he stepped towards me, a fierce wind whipped past, tossing messily his already dishevelled black hair.
Draco, my love he drawled mockingly, gripping my face and letting his lips ghost over mine.
I remained unresponsive and glared at him.
His free hand coiled firmly around me and crushed our bodies together, our faces were centimetres apart. I distinctively felt his wand pressing into my stomach.
Fuck you. I managed, the same time I saw his lips move.
The spell he cast was the same colour as his deadly, green eyes.
Notes: Thanks to Kagome-Sama and Birch Tree, who looked over this for me and provided me with your helpful suggestions. Without your effort, my fic would probably be in tatters. So again, Thanks! Also, I need to thank Fearuin, for putting up with my delays, trying to find suggestions, and just for being such a good writer (and friend). You're the best, Fei!
Now, I have to apologise for the confusing structure,
so I was told. I hope at least my message was clear: that the entire story follows Draco ... so any first person narrative is in his POV.
I also hope you liked it! Please leave a review on your way out ^_^
Sorry, that was a personal joke. :) Please take no notice of it.