Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Title: Love Me, Love Me Not
Summary: Four years after Voldemort's defeat, Draco and Harry are forced to meet again. Draco expects to bury his feelings for Harry once and for all, but will he succeed?
Pairings: Draco/Harry; Draco/Bill
Thanks a lot to Jamie, my beta reader! And now, enjoy the story!
Chap. 01 – A Meeting
There it was again; that awful noise of a baby's crying. The red-haired woman holding the baby protectively in her arms could only do enough to soothe the baby while trying to keep the hooded man out of the light green wallpapered bedroom. And the young man standing beside her could only watch as the hooded man blew up the door. The red-head tried to plead for her son's mercy, but it was in vain. The man in front of her knew no such feeling. In his heart there was only hate and the need to destroy.
Harry knew by heart what came next, and it tore his heart apart to have to watch that horrible scene over and over again in his nightmares. He closed his eyes a second before Voldemort shouted the killing curse towards Lily Evans. Lily's dead body fell to the floor, and baby Harry was left alone to deal with what would be the beginning of his cursed life.
Tears fell down Harry's cheek, and he woke up panting and sweating. Again. He should have gotten used to the nightmares, but no matter how many times he had them, he could never get used to seeing his mother's lifeless body. But there was nothing he could do to stop the bad dreams from haunting him.
He threw the blanket away and stood up unsteadily. There was one thing that could numb him for a short – but long enough – period of time. Actually, there were two things, but Hermione was keeping a close watch on him, and going to Knockturn Alley to find an Oblivion potion wasn't that easy anymore. But the first thing was easy to get in any supermarket. Hermione called it a poison. Harry just called it bourbon. It was the thing's bloody name after all.
Lazily, he walked toward the living room, kicking the dirty clothes on his way. He stopped for a moment and looked around his room with a frown. He wondered when the house-elf had last cleaned it. It was a huge mess, even for his standards. He made a face as an unpleasant smell penetrated his nostrils.
"Tilly?" he shouted, his voice sounding weird. He cleared his sore throat but that only made the pain worsen. "Tilly?" he tried again, but the house-elf didn't show up. He frowned again. He buried his fingers in his hair, frustrated, and then he remembered. He had kicked the house-elf out of his house. He just couldn't remember when.
It didn't matter. The bloody creature did nothing but bother him about every little thing he did or didn't do. 'Harry was drinking too much' was her favourite line. And Tilly loved to tell on him. The moment Hermione walked in, Tilly was there telling her just how many times Harry had poured out a drink. That was why Harry had had to fire Tilly. He just couldn't stand anyone – people or creature – telling him what he could and couldn't do with his own damn life.
He shrugged. Tilly was gone. He wouldn't make a drama about it. So his house was a little chaotic. He couldn't care less. After all, he could always hire someone else to clean it up. Someone who wouldn't ask too many questions. He just had to find that person or creature somewhere. He missed the old days when the house-elves were docile little creatures ready to fulfil their master's wishes without a word. Then he shook his head. He was being cruel and unfair. The house-elves deserved all the liberty they had gained after Voldemort's defeat. They deserved that and more. It wasn't Tilly's fault that Harry was drowning himself in self-pity and bitterness.
But he didn't want to get too philosophical that early in the morning. In fact, he didn't want to think at all. He took the bottle of bourbon from the bar and took a sip. The liquid warmed him all over. He drank half the bottle before going back to his room. How he got there was a mystery to him. But he did get there, and he crumbled down on the bed with his eyes closed and his head dizzy. He smiled weakly as the darkness embraced him. Maybe this time he could sleep a dreamless sleep. Maybe this time – as it usually happened when he drank into unconsciousness – he wouldn't see his mother's lifeless body for the thousandth time.
Perhaps this time he would sleep forever.
"So, tell me again why me," asked Draco one more time to see if he had actually gotten right what was asked of him.
All the Weasleys were looking at him intently, and to have so many eyes upon him was very disturbing. Normally, he wouldn't be disturbed quite that easily, but this particular situation was anything but normal. For the tenth time that day, he wondered why he had accepted Hermione's invitation to be in the Weasleys' meeting. He had no business there. He was just an outsider. He just happened to be friends – and partners – with Hermione G. Weasley, now married to Ronald Weasley. This meeting wasn't for him. After all, he couldn't care less about Harry Potter's future. He couldn't care about Potter at all. He was through with that stupid scar-faced rat. For all he cared, Potter could go screw himself.
They were enemies. They had always been enemies. It was the part placed upon them, and they would follow that invisible script until the end. Potter had never believed in Draco when the blond had decided to join their side. He had never trusted Draco enough to tell him the Order of the Phoenix's plans. He had never given Draco the benefit of the doubt. Draco would forever be a rival in Potter's eyes. And that didn't matter to Draco. Not at all. He ignored the strange pain in his heart and stared at Bill Weasley, who was quietly watching him next to the fireplace.
"You're the only one who can pull Harry out of his misery," said Ron quietly. The fiery red-head sounded very upset as he said that. Draco almost chuckled. He could imagine how hard it was for Ron to say that to him of all people.
He sighed and crossed his arms. He was the only one who could help Potter? What a joke. He made a face and wondered who was being punished there: he, for having to deal with Potter, or Potter for having to put up with him. He hadn't said yes yet. He could say no. But he knew it would be hard having Hermione's pleading look upon him. Who could have thought that he would ever be softened by a mudblood?
"Why?" he asked nonchalantly.
Ron felt like going for his throat. "I don't know why! It was Hermione's idea." Ron looked at his wife. "She also doesn't want to explain her reasons to me." Hermione didn't seem to be bothered by Ron's angry look. "But amazingly, Ginny agrees with her, and so does my mother, Bill and Fred."
Draco met Bill's eyes for a second and quickly looked away. He felt his cheeks getting hot and he cursed Bill in thought. 'Fuck you, Bill! I told you many times not to fuck with me, just fuck me and be quiet! This is my life, you bloody bastard!'
"And that's why you're here and we're having this weird conversation," Ron kept going without noticing Draco's turmoil. "Honestly, I have no idea what you could do to help Harry. He positively hates you!"
"Precisely!" Hermione exclaimed, taking Draco out of his dark thoughts and getting his full attention. "That's why Draco is perfect for this mission."
Draco scowled. "This is a mission?"
"Yes. We're all gathering here today to find a solution for Harry's depression," Ginny said. "We came up with you!"
"Why me, for Merlin's sake?"
"It's because Harry hates you, Draco," Hermione began to explain. "We tried everything with him so far. We tried therapists, potions, friendship and blackmail. We tried to make him see how pathetic he's behaving. We tried to talk to him and be understanding. We also tried to be firmer, but nothing worked. It was then that it hit me: you! You may be the answer. I mean, Harry doesn't like you," at this point Draco wanted to scream for her to stop saying that as he knew more than anyone else how much Harry hated him. But he just let her continue, "If you go there and keep bugging him maybe he'll respond to you. I'm almost sure that he will! After graduation Harry at least listened to us and went out every once in a while, but now he doesn't even care anymore. He doesn't want to get out of his room. He doesn't want to talk to any of us. He's becoming numb. But you might get a response from him."
"A response?" Draco smirked. "He'll curse me with the most painful curses!"
"That would be wonderful!" Ginny said. Draco shot her a deadly look. He wanted to accuse her of being one of Harry's problems, as she had dumped him after graduation, but with so many Weasleys near by to defend her, he decided to stay quiet and listen. "I just meant to say that at least he would be having some kind of a reaction instead of being expressionless like he is now," she tried to amend.
"That's our goal, Draco. That you get him out of his indifference toward life," Hermione finished.
"Look, Draco, we just want you to try it. Just go to his house, pay him some visits and then we will see what happens," Bill said. This time Draco sent him a silent warning, but Bill didn't seem to care.
"Draco, dear," said Mrs. Weasley. The moment she opened her mouth, Draco knew it was a lost battle. Sometimes he could say no to Hermione, but he could never say no to Mrs. Weasley. Not when she was so nice to him even though the Malfoys had always bullied the Weasleys for generations. Mrs. Weasley had welcomed Draco into her house with open arms. She treated him like a son. He couldn't let her down. She went on, "We know we're asking too much of you–"
Damn right they were.
"That isn't true! Draco owes us a lot for everything that he and his family have done to us!" Ron said flustered. Mrs. Weasley shot him a cross look and Ron closed his mouth instantly. Fred and George laughed at their little brother's sulking face.
"As I was saying, dear," Mrs. Weasley said in a sweet tone of voice, turning to Draco again. "We know we're asking too much of you and we know that your history with Harry isn't what we can call friendly, but perhaps you're exactly what Harry needs right now."
Draco avoided looking at Fred, but he didn't have the same luck with avoiding Bill's eyes. Draco didn't know which look was worse; Fred's mischievous one or Bill's matured one. He knew what both brothers were thinking. He blamed himself for sleeping with them in the first place. Fred, his former lover, and Bill, the present one, knew too much about him. Draco had never really said anything to Fred, and he had spilled just a little about his misfortunes in life and love to Bill, but both Weasleys had Draco figured out even before he had figured himself out. They knew what lay deep inside his heart.
"And let's not forget the most important thing," Mr. Weasley pointed out worriedly. "We're afraid of what Harry might do to himself. We're afraid he might hurt himself…"
Draco moved uncomfortably at that. Surely the situation wasn't that bad yet, was it? The Golden Boy of Gryffindor, the Hero of the wizarding world, couldn't be thinking about killing himself, could he? Draco couldn't even imagine a world without Harry Potter. Potter's presence annoyed him, but it was there. What would happen if Potter wasn't there anymore?
"I can't believe he would do such a thing," Draco muttered.
"Well, I also don't want to believe in that, Malfoy, but…" Ron sighed. "I've known Harry for a long time, and I never saw him like this. He's been drinking a lot. I think… he's getting some strong stuff in Knockturn Alley. He's destroying himself."
"Harry Potter using drugs?" Draco sneered. "Now that's something I don't believe at all! He's such a goody-goody!"
"He's different, Draco," George said seriously. Draco couldn't remember a time where George had been serious about something.
"Yeah, mate. That Harry Potter you used to know is long gone," Fred finished. "George and I sent him some new designed stuff from our shop and he didn't even care. Those instantaneous parties were a bloody good idea and he never even bother to tell us how brilliant it was!"
"He's getting smarter, then," Draco mocked. Fred discretely showed him the finger. "Potter was so dull before. He was always so perfect. Maybe now he's more interesting," he smirked, but his trademark smirk didn't reach his eyes. It had been so long since he had last seen or heard of Potter. He had tried to forget his enemy for many reasons and the main one being that Potter messed up too much with his emotions.
He had tried to deny it – so many times he had lost count – but it had always been there deep inside of him, and it had grew bigger as they had to work side by side for the Order. Harry Potter infuriated him but also turned him on more than anyone Draco had ever known.
But Draco had made a pact with himself. After Lord Voldemort's defeat and Lucius' imprisonment, he had sworn to forget about that madness that drew him to Potter and he had started a new life. He had a good life now, with good and true friends, and a good fuck every now and then. Bill was still his favourite fuck buddy. What was Bill thinking by asking Draco to help Potter?
Draco didn't want to see Potter again. He knew that if he went to Potter, his whole life would change. Even if it didn't change anything, he knew he would be extremely upset. But he couldn't bear the thought of Potter killing himself.
He took a deep breath, not sure if he was making the right choice, but before he could think about his actions, the words were already out, "I'll do it. I'll bother him so much he will kill me. But I want something in return."
The Weasleys looked at him puzzled. Hermione frowned. Draco sneered. She should have known better. He was a Malfoy after all, and Malfoys always asked for something in return.
"I want his soul."
Draco almost laughed at Ron's stunned expression. He smiled and licked his lips.
"Nah, I'm just kidding," he said. The Weasleys breathed soundly in relief. "I just want free tickets for the whole Quidditch season. I'm sure Ron can help me with that!"
Ron, who was the captain of the Chuddley Cannons, scowled at Draco. "I don't think I can get tickets for the whole season."
"You'll try," Hermione said sweetly. Ron could never argue when she used that tone with him. "We have a deal then!" she said, shaking Draco's hand.
While the Weasleys talked, Draco's mind drifted away to Harry. He felt Bill's eyes upon him, but he didn't look up. He couldn't. Bill knew too much. Bill knew this that mission would cost Draco a lot. It wouldn't cost Harry's soul. It would cost Draco's.
A/N: Please, review! I promise the next chapter will be up soon! This time is true!