Rating: PG-13 now, but possible R for later chapters (I'll warn you if that happens)
Warnings: Slash (relationship between two males), some bad words and possible unsettling scenes
Summary: Haunted by memories of the war, Harry can't move on with his life. He feels left behind and lacking that one thing his mother saved him with all those years ago … Love. With all his friends already finding love, will Harry allow a mysterious, obscured figure into his life and into his heart? Harry/Draco slash
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.
Forewords: For all those readers of my other stories, I apologise for starting yet another story, but don't worry, this story will be a total of 6 chapters, and they are already ¾ done. I just needed to get this story out of my system before I could possibly update my others. I do hope you like this very different genre. It's only my second attempt at a H/D story, so feel free to give me any pointers. And also, if slash is not your cup of tea, please do not bother continuing to read, because it's not going to go away!
Obscurity of Love
Harry Potter padded silently through the dim, deserted hallways of Hogwarts. Night had fallen long ago, as had curfew, but that did not seem to deter the raven-haired youth who remained deep in thought as he passed snoozing portraits and the occasional snoring knight. He wasn't taking any particular direction or heading towards any specific destination, he just walked, head down and arms tightly held across his chest to stave off the cold seeping from the stonewalls. Normally, his Invisibility Cloak would accompany him, providing him with some warmth and protection, but for once, he was without both, having leant it to Ron and Hermione for the night.
Having watched their sickly sweet relationship go through all the progressive stages, Harry hadn't needed to speculate too long on what they would be using it for. Nor had he wanted to really. Firstly, because they were his closest friends, and secondly, the thought of them being so happy together struck an uneasy chord deep inside him.
It wasn't as though he had a crush on either of them, far from it. They were the closest thing to a brother and sister a bloke could find, and his only real family left. No, the problem definitely wasn't that. It was more to do with the fact that everybody, not only Ron and Hermione, had found their significant other. He had watched from the sidelines during the war as people skirted around each other, as Neville nervously wooed Ginny after a particularly haunting attack at Hogsmeade. He had watched Dean and Seamus catch a quick snog before DA, or even sometimes during it, when Seamus would fake a trip and land squarely on top of a smiling Dean. He had watched as his two closest friends danced around their growing attraction until finally another lengthy letter from Viktor Krum had prompted Ron into planting a decisive and stubborn kiss onto a startled Hermione in the Great Hall.
Harry could still remember that day clearly, when Ron had pulled back, ears bright red and looking equally startled that he had actually done it. "I – I uh – you won't be going to that damn Bulgarian's place again." he had stammered out, eventually regaining his earlier nerve. "I need you here."
The smile that had appeared on Hermione's face had been priceless, before she had replied with a content sigh, "It took you long enough."
Even Hagrid had found someone during the loss and heartache of the war, someone who had matched him in every way; Madame Maxime. Harry smiled fondly, though he couldn't help the bitter sigh that followed.
At the time, Harry had been extremely happy for them all. To be able to find that special someone even through the roughest of times was like a light shining through a sky filled with dark, and unrelenting storm clouds. There weren't many lights shining through that time to begin with. War was a constant presence on all their shoulders, especially those who remained close to him, so how could he dispute them the one thing keeping them happy, keeping them alive?
Sometimes though, Harry couldn't help feeling like those clouds blocking the other lights from shining down, or at the least like a light who was forced back by clouds so thick and so strong that they were impenetrable for him.
They were horrible thoughts, but in those times he felt horrible. Horrible for feeling the undeniable pang of envy whenever he would see any of them kissing in the corridors or whispering endearments into each other's ears during lunch or class. Horrible for feeling selfish, because he wanted the same for himself. More than once, he had caught himself wishing that Neville had been the one in the prophecy and not him. Wondered, even, what it would be like to not worry about whether or not the people he gets close to could be targeted and killed. Wondered what it would feel like to love somebody so much and have that love returned without any complications.
Afterwards he would be aghast at even thinking it, but as much as he tried to deny it, the desire still remained in a hidden part of his mind, dredged up whenever he was forced to remember that he would never had that same luxury that came so easy to them and to so many others. Regardless of how much he wished it inside, he couldn't willingly endanger anyone else's life just because he had feelings for them in a non-platonic manner. There would always be someone in the world who could find out about anything like that and broadcast it to the world, like Rita Skeeter or that damn house elf Kreacher.
And that, Harry thought painfully, that had been one of the reasons for Sirius's death. As Snape had avidly put it, he had worn his heart on his sleeve, and in the end had paid dearly for it.
He scuffed a socked foot on the rough stones in remembered anger, swallowing heavily. Even now - nearing the end of his seventh and final year - thinking about Sirius brought a white hot anger burning to his throat.
Harry sighed, and increased his pace down yet another darkened hallway. He hadn't wanted to dwell on any of these thoughts when he had begun wandering the hallways, he had wanted to escape from his nightmares and his uneasy thoughts, not add to them.
But, as he stopped by a nearby window and lowered himself onto the windowsill, there was no point in returning back to his dorms yet either. Sleep wouldn't come easy to him, not after the horror of a nightmare he'd just had. Besides, it wasn't as though he could turn his thoughts off like a bloody muggle light switch. Going back to the dorms would simply mean him having to lie back down in that stuffy bed, listening to every one else sleeping peacefully, whilst he experienced the same thoughts he was having now anyway.
He doubted his dorm-mates would worry either; it was a normal occurrence for Harry to be missing from bed, wandering the hallways late at night. They all knew of the nightmares that kept Harry awake. More often than once, they'd been the ones to pull him - screaming at the top of his lungs - from his nightmares.
Killing Voldemort had had its definite drawbacks.
At that uncomfortable thought, Harry noticed the wisps of moonlight beginning to shine down on his legs as he made himself comfortable, and he craned his head up to see the moon flitting out of the light splattering of clouds. He realised that it was over three quarter's full and distantly thought Remus would have been preparing to get ready for the full moon's arrival, were he still alive that is.
He had been killed in the final battle.
As had many others Harry cared not think about at that moment.
He drifted back into his earlier thoughts as his eyes bore into the moon. Eventually, after working harder than even Hermione, the war had ended when Harry had successfully killed Voldemort in their final and mind-blowing confrontation.
For the first time since he had gone to Hogwarts, it had happened near the middle of Harry's seventh year. That year, Voldemort had chosen to forego his usual confrontation with Harry at the end of the school year and had struck just after the Christmas holidays had fallen. Ironically on the last day of the year actually.
After the funerals had been attended to, and the wizarding world rebuilt, Hermione had said it was a new start to the year, and a new start to a whole new life. A good omen for the future, though she'd never admit saying anything as divinistic as that again.
Unfortunately, Harry couldn't feel the same as his housemates. He couldn't forget all that had happened at the drop of a hat. All the people who had fallen, all the people whose lives had been ruined fighting in the war.
Including his. For so many nights after the final confrontation, Harry dreamt about Voldemort's last moments before Harry pierced his heart with the Gryffindor sword … before Harry then sent the Killing Curse to make sure the bastard was really dead.
Even now, two months after the battle, Harry experienced those very same nightmares. He knew he couldn't be self-absorbed and say that he was the only one who had nightmares about the war. It had been hard on everyone. What he was having trouble with, was how it was so easy for all his friends to move on after the war. Half of them already had plans for their lives after graduating from Hogwarts, which was in just a few short months.
Which was what Harry couldn't do. Now that the war was over, Harry was at a polar opposite from everyone else. He was at a complete loss. He'd given up his life for the war. Everything, everything he'd focused on throughout his life at Hogwarts had been about Voldemort and the war and now that all that had finally been concluded, Harry hadn't a clue as to what use he had in the world.
He didn't even think he had a use anymore. For so long, he'd just been thought of as the boy-who-lived, the only hope for the wizarding world to be rid of Voldemort. Nobody had ever bothered asking him if he'd wanted all that attention put onto him, all that weight placed on his shoulders. Nobody had asked him if he thought he was anything special, because if they had, he would have answered with a resounding no.
How could he be, when all he'd heard from the Dursleys was how pathetic he was and how much of a nuisance he would turn out to be? Never once did they say 'you're the one to save the magical world from ruins' or 'you're going to kill the most powerful Dark Lord ever in existence'. It was more 'go get the milk, it's all you're good for,' or 'you'll turn out like your two drunk layabout parents'.
With that sort of confidence instilled in him, how could he be possibly prepared to deal with all this pressure? Especially when each year only added to it, until it became almost unbearable to cope with in his fifth year – when the prophecy was finally revealed to him.
Another sigh escaped him. And now, that was all over. The prophecy had been fulfilled, leaving him to be even more of a hero than he truly felt. Regardless of the prophecy, he hadn't fulfilled his own life's goal, not really. In actual fact, he felt as if he had nothing left, given too much, and unlike his friends, he couldn't continue on with a life he'd never had in the first place.
Harry blinked slowly as his eyes threatened to close. It seemed his body was protesting against the lack of sleep after all. Arms were raised above his head to stretch out the kinks and he then hopped off the windowsill.
As he landed, he thought he heard a brief scuffling noise behind him, but after a few moments of hearing nothing but the pounding of his heart, Harry dismissed it and started off for his dorm.
The next time he heard it though, Harry knew he wasn't mistaken and he stopped mid-stride, wand at the ready as he quickly retreated into the darkest shadows of the hallway. He wondered what or who it could be at this time; he knew for a fact that Filch was busy combing the other side of the castle for Peeves, who had earlier tipped over a cabinet in front of his office door, leaving the school caretaker stuck inside until a Professor had walked by many hours later.
Harry instinctively plunged his free hand into his pocket to grab at something that would prove handy in this rather sticky situation, his trusty old Marauder's map. To his dismay, his hand came out empty and looking at it quizzically, he realised all too late that it had been confiscated by Snape little less than a week ago.
He would have sworn aloud at that moment if the scuffling sound hadn't been heard again, this time louder as though somebody was fast approaching the very hallway he was standing in.
Harry's poor eyesight caught nothing in the darkened hallway, and he squinted desperately with his wand outstretched in front of him. He didn't dare light it though, he didn't want to lead whoever it was straight to him.
Normally, he wouldn't be worried about getting caught out by anybody after curfew. He had been named Head Boy alongside Hermione as the Head Girl, and doing nightly rounds around the castle was a given rule. However, this was a school night, and with all the other duties Harry had been given through the war, Dumbledore had recently shifted that specific duty to the teachers only.
As Harry waited anxiously for whoever it was to appear, not daring to breathe, the sound abruptly stopped just down the corridor. He waited in the shadows for a while longer, but when the noise made no return and Harry could still see nothing, he sought his only chance at an escape, and took off at a hurried jog in the opposite direction; his socked feet making little to no noise as they pounded softly on the stone floor.
A few minutes, four hallways and two staircases later, Harry slumped against a nearby wall and tried to control his heavy breathing long enough to listen for any other noises that might be following him.
Hearing nothing but the rapid beats of his heart, he couldn't stop the relieved exhale that escaped his mouth. No mass loss of points or detentions with Filch or Snape tonight and he didn't even have his Cloak or Map on him. He took this unexpected turn of luck as a sign to return back to his dorm, so after he was adequately rested, he pushed himself off the wall and turned in the direction of the Gryffindor Tower …
… or at least he went to turn in the direction of the Gryffindor Tower.
Suddenly something cool encircled his wrist, stopping him from moving off, and before he knew it, his other wrist was grabbed and he was pushed up against the wall. Harry mentally cursed himself as that something then pinned both wrists up above his head, immobilising him completely. With all his extra training in the war, he still had somehow managed to be caught completely off guard. How stupid was he?
"Wha-" he gasped. His eyes sought desperately for whatever it was that had so masterly captured him.
There was nobody there.
Whoever it was must be underneath an Invisibility Cloak, he guessed instinctively. It had to be a person; the grips the person had around his wrists belonged to two distinct human hands. He was sure of it.
Knowing that it was a person though did nothing to help his situation and now he also realised he'd foolishly lost his wand as he had beenpinned against the wall.
His feet inched around the floor, searching for his fallen wand. Maybe he could pick it up with his toes or something.
That bright idea proved to be utterly fruitless when Harry couldn't even find his wand, and panicking, he struggled against the invisible grip.
In his struggles, something bony, probably an elbow, bumped into his glasses, knocking them askew and making everything blurry. "Let go –" he managed to get out, breathing heavily as his struggles proved in vain. The other person was just too strong. It reminded him of all the times Dudley had managed to catch him back in the 'Harry hunting' days.
But Harry wouldn't give up. He'd never given up before and he'd be damned if he was going to do it now after he was finally free. So trying another tactic that he had learned from Dudley, he kicked out a leg to where he thought the person could be, and success … there was a muffled curse as he struck something hard and warm and he felt the person lose their balance.
Unfortunately, that momentary strike of success only succeeded in making the figure shift closer to Harry, locking Harry's leg in-between two invisible ones so that Harry was completely defenceless.
Strange, his mind thought distantly. If the person was underneath an Invisibility Cloak, it would have come off in the struggle by now.
Andall at once, Harry understood and his eyes widened considerably.
It wasn't a person underneath an Invisibility Cloak, because Harry knew all too well how hard it was to reach out for something when underneath the material. No … it had to be somebody under a Disillusionment charm, something he had yet to learn in Charms, but knew well about nonetheless. He still hadn't forgotten Mad-Eye Moody casting it on him back before he started his fifth year.
As he somehow managed to nudge his glasses back up his nose, his eyes slowly focused enough to see that there was a faint outline of a body in front of him. As this person was disillusioned it was too faint to see any details of the body, but as Harry had known where to look and was so close to this other figure, he could tell that there was indeed somebody there, somebody sufficient taller than him. He could also tell from the build that it was possibly a boy at least as old as him, but he had suspected it had been a boy even before that anyway. He doubted a girl – excluding Millicent Bulstrode – would be strong enough to keep him within their grips.
"What the hell do you want?" Harry demanded harshly, glaring murderously.
The last thing that Harry had been expecting was for the invisible person to suddenly lean forward and cover their invisible lips onto his.
It was surprisingly gentle; quite opposed to the steel grip the person still had on his wrists and leg. Harry found himself unmoving, too shocked at the feel of soft lips caressing his to react properly.
How ironic was it that this unseen person was doing the one thing that had been on his mind that night and many others before that? The tender feeling of another intimate with him, kissing him like one lover would to another; it was what Harry had hoped for every time he had seen his friends together, off in their own little worlds.
It also erased Cho's disastrous kiss from Harry's definition of what a kiss should be like.
Harry almost lost himself in the artful kiss and when the figure shifted yet again, he couldn't contain a shocked gasp as a firm body moulded perfectly against his. Harry now knew for sure it was another boy, from certain parts of a familiar anatomy being pressed against him. Almost unwittingly, his own body began to react, the fact it being to a boy currently irrelevant to Harry. Love was love, and as Harry had discovered over the years, it didn't matter whether or not they were of the same or different gender. Seamus and Dean hadn't cared, and neither had Sirius or Remus.
That, if nothing else was what managed to jolt Harry back to the reality of the situation. The fact of the matter was he didn't know who this person was or what he wanted with Harry. He could be just out to get revenge or to play a heartless joke.
Harry managed to jerk his head away at that painful thought. How could anybody even think about cheapening something so precious as this? This boy must know he was desperate for anything. "No," he rasped. He couldn't let it happen and he renewed his struggles. "Stop."
Immediately and quite unexpectedly, the pressure on his wrists lessened and the warmth from the other body was lost as he moved away without complaint. Harry heard the same albeit softer scuffling noise as the other person walked away from the scene, and without the support of the disillusioned boy, he fell onto the ground with a choked breath.
He couldn't help the hysterical laugh bubbling out of him when his hand found his wand just a mere metres away. He picked it up, and when his breath began to come in short, raspy gasps, he almost began to hyperventilate.
Breathe Harry, he said, forcing himself to take a deep breath. Don't break down now.
That seemed to calm him somewhat, but it still took him a while to get his breathing back under control.
It took even longer for the mortifying arousal.
Eventually though, Harry had no choice but to shakily get to his feet and walk back to the Tower. The closer he got, the more his mind kept on telling him that that was not a normal occurrence. That he should tell somebody about the invisible attack.
But something made Harry hold back from running straight to Dumbledore and doing just that. He didn't know what or why, but he found that he didn't want to. He wanted to keep something just for himself … to himself. Besides, nothing had really happened in the end, and it would be stupid to describe his invisible attacker.
He could hear Snape's voice now, dripping with disdain, "Really, Potter. You expect us to disillusion the occupants of the entire school and force them to kiss you just so you can find out which mindless fan of yours is besotted with you now?"
No. He didn't want that. He could take care of himself. If that disillusioned boy decided to attack him again, he'd be ready for it.
Nonetheless, he was shaking violently by the time he reached the Fat Lady, and even she stopped mid-way into her 'being out past curfew' tirade to ask for his well-being.
"I'm fine." He snapped the password, wrapping both arms protectively around himself. He was too tired to exchange pleasantries with her. He just wanted to go to sleep and forget this whole dastardly night had never happened, because now that he knew the feeling of being kissed like that, he longed for it to happen again. Even if the giver of that kiss was really some kind of invisible monster.
The Fat Lady tutted, but allowed him to enter the Tower.
How Harry managed to climb upstairs and change back into his pyjama's, he didn't know, but he soon found himself falling comfortably into his bed.
And drifting off into a blissful and dreamless sleep, the likes of which he hadn't experienced for quite some time.
A/N: So what do you all think? Should I continue posting? The next one's already done but I'm touching it up a bit so it will take another few days to get out.