A/N: This is the first time I've ever posted a H/D fic. I'd love to know what you all think but I just hope you all enjoy it. This is Slash I'll say it again, if you don't like it don't read it, it's not my problem if you do.
I'm dedicating this both to my sister 'Noo Noo' and the lovely people on GnH who's questions keep me busy and inspired this more than just a little.
I can see you now. Then again, barely a day goes by when I can't. When I don't.
I wonder sometimes what you would do if you knew I was looking. If you felt my eyes on you. What you would do if you caught me.
I imagine insults hurled in my direction, cruel taunts to match my own.
They're not meant to hurt you, honestly.
Have you ever suspected that I feel anything other than hate for you? You don't have any reason not to hate me, not to have anger boil your blood at the sight of me.
I know that, but foolishly I still allow myself hope. Hope that one day you will look up, your eyes will meet mine, and an understanding will be reached between us.
It's a dream.
As he walked into the Great Hall, Harry Potter noticed, with some measure of disappointment, that breakfast at Hogwarts had not miraculously turned into a low-key, casual affair. The Hall still reeked of its usual grandeur, despite over three-quarters of the school's students not being present to appreciate it. Harry walked lethargically over to his usual seat at the Gryffindor table. He sat, ignoring the many varieties of food around him, and allowed himself to think.
The Christmas holidays had rolled round again, and for what would be the final time for Harry. With them came a light dusting of snow and a, painfully familiar, feeling that Harry was missing out on something. He knew that the 'something' was the cosy family life enjoyed by so many of his peers, which made Harry annoyed because it was something so selfish that was on his mind. He also believed that the left out feeling was something which, by now, should be a part of his life that he had thoroughly accepted. Christmas in his fifth year had changed that for Harry, but he couldn't even have that anymore. This year, well it was set to be even worse that last year. This year he wouldn't even have Ron or Hermione to keep him company.
Harry didn't blame his friends for returning home. Hermione's parents wanted her home one last time, before their daughter became a fully qualified member of another world. And Mr and Mrs Weasley had asked Ron to return to The Burrow so they could have a nice family Christmas, for the remaining family members at least. Since both Percy and Bill had been killed in the last year, fighting for and against Voldemort respectively, the Weasleys had become more tight-knit than ever. Harry had, of course, received an invite, but it didn't feel right to join a family mourning its losses whilst he was still mourning his own. He was beginning to regret the decision now he was actually alone.
What's done is done, Harry thought to himself. Accepting that, at least partially, he picked up a slice of toast and began buttering it, albeit a half-hearted movement, but a step in the right direction.
I hate being stuck here. From the looks of things at breakfast today, you aren't exactly enjoying yourself either.
You look different without them with you. Weasley and Granger. Why did they leave without you?
If I was in their position, I could never have left you. Not alone, not for anything. But that's the thing, isn't it?
I don't have you.
I'll never have you.
I can never have you.
And I hate that.
The relative comfort and familiarity of Gryffindor Tower did nothing to soothe Harry's temperament at his situation. Usually the roaring fire and one of the comfortable chairs would lighten any bad feeling, if only a little. Today it didn't seem to be working. Even with the reduced number of students, the Tower was still too noisy.
A group of fourth-year girls seemed to be providing the most noise. They were sitting in one corner, giggling over what, to Harry, appeared to be nothing. Their behaviour and nonchalance, over everything, annoyed Harry. He blocked them out of his mind and tried once more to relax. It was after all his holiday and he thought he should be allowed to enjoy it. Another burst of giggling erupted. Harry sighed. It didn't have any effect on the girls. It was doubtful they had even noticed. A group of boys entered through the portrait hole. They were soaked and dripping water everywhere, telltale signs of their participation in one of the, surprisingly numerous, snowball fights present outside Hogwarts' walls.
Harry began to feel intensely claustrophobic at being surrounded by all these people. It was odd as crowds much bigger than this had never affected him before. With an air of anger, he lifted himself from the chair and headed for the dormitory.
He slammed the door behind him. The girls' giggling was lost behind the heavy wooden door and four empty beds, plus his own, offered him a welcoming sanctuary away from the other Gryffindors. Thoughts were still running through Harry's head, but he was unable to catch a single one, to look at in detail and solve it. He began pacing the room nervously. If Ron could have seen him now, well he would have believed Harry to be mad. Harry wanted to come to the same conclusion. Then at least he wouldn't have to deal with the twin feelings of loss and loneliness which were consuming him so completely now.
Realising he could no more stay in Gryffindor Tower than he could deal with certain aspects of his life, Harry picked up his outdoor cloak and left.
I indulge in my fantasies occasionally. Dreams of you and I, together. I imagine what it would be like to touch you, to run my hand along the sharp edges of your jawbone in a gentle caress.
I want to touch you like a lover. Kiss you as a lover would. I want you as my lover.
I also imagine you responding to my touch, to my kiss. I think of you lying beneath me panting breathlessly.
I think of you touching me too. You would be amazing. Everything about you tells me as much. I don't know why, I suppose they say it's always the quiet ones.
I wouldn't want you to be quiet.
I'd want you to be yourself.
Away from them now, I can think. There's no risk of being interrupted.
And, for a while at least, my impossible dream can be achieved. In my mind.
Without you ever needing to know.
The wind whipped around Harry's body causing him to pull his cloak around him even tighter. The bitter weather, however, was not enough to deter Harry from his search for solitude. He walked onwards, unsure of any real direction. He realised how far he had walked when the towers of the Quidditch pitch came into view. A voice from the back of his mind told him that hiding in the stands would offer him protection, not only from the cold, but also from the other students. His mind made up, he headed over to the nearest stand.
Inside the stand it was still cold, but there was no snow and much less wind. Altogether it made a much more bearable atmosphere. The change failed to produce a sudden moment of clarity over what he should do for the next two-and-a-half weeks though.
Twenty minutes passed and the most prevalent thought in Harry's mind was that he hated Christmas. Not exactly an Earth-shattering revelation really, Harry thought. Why was Harry allowing one stupid thing to bother him? No answer was immediately forthcoming, and Harry was prevented further musings by a cough from the entrance. Harry looked up sharply and upon recognition of the intruder offered a curse word to no one in particular.
"Charming, Potter. Do you greet everyone like that?" said Draco Malfoy. The blond, who was leaning against the doorframe, accompanied each of his words with a healthy does of sarcasm.
"What do you think, Malfoy?" asked Harry, with no small measure of sarcasm within his own voice.
"I was only asking," said Malfoy. Harry didn't think the statement was characteristic of the Slytherin, normally a statement such as his previous would have invoked a violent reaction, perhaps literally. The blond didn't look to be saying anything further though, so Harry closed his eyes and returned to his thoughts. Or tried to. Even with his eyes shut Harry could feel Malfoy's eyes studying him. Without opening his eyes, Harry asked, "What do you actually want?"
No answer came. Harry cracked open one eyelid to enable him to locate the other boy. He was surprised to find him gone, but with the surprise came a healthy dose of relief. And confusion, a little too much confusion for Harry's comfort.
Harry leaned his head against the wooden wall behind him once more. His intention had been to deal with the multitude of things bothering him; but within ten minutes, he had fallen asleep.
I don't know what made me do that before. I shouldn't take such risks. I could see the suspicion written in your eyes.
Could you see the hurt in mine?
Every time we meet, you leave me feeling hurt. I don't think you mean to. I'm not sure you care either way.
Sometimes I wish we could go back to the way things were. When you were a ceaseless annoyance in my mind. When I didn't think of you every hour of the day.
I saw you sleeping, not that I meant to. I just wanted to see you again before I went back to the common room. You looked at peace, happy within yourself. That's been missing lately, I'm glad it's back. I don't think you should be unhappy.
But, I should be the one making you happy.
At least now I have an image of you sleeping to add to my dreams.
Harry awoke with a jump. Only he had no idea why he was jumpy. Putting it down to a forgotten dream, he stood up slowly. Harry had no idea how long it had been since he fell asleep and nothing was immediately obvious from inside his hiding place.
Deciding he had to return to the castle in any case, Harry risked a look outside. The sky was painted in shades of pink and purple; dusk had arrived to signal the day's end. Harry cursed himself for staying outside so long, because of his official boy-who-lived status within the castle numerous search parties would probably be out trying to find him. Harry wasn't sure whether to be amused or appalled at the very thought of a search party looking for him. A cold wind swept across the open fields around Hogwarts, and Harry, stood at the Quidditch pitch, decided not to delay his return inside, it could only get colder.
Harry was relieved to find no group of worried looking staff and students as he entered the entrance hall. He didn't fancy explaining that he had only gone missing because he fell asleep anyway. He began the walk back to Gryffindor Tower to rid himself of his outdoor clothes. The common room was almost empty; Harry recognised the telltale signs of dinnertime by the number of people missing and the clock above the fireplace telling him it was such.
Having decided he was hungry and that he couldn't live without food forever, Harry found himself in the Great Hall. He tucked into his food with vigour, because after missing lunch Harry was suddenly very hungry.
What could only be described as a cackle came suddenly from the other side of the hall. From the Slytherin table, actually from the looks of things it was Pansy Parkinson. To Harry it appeared to be due to something Blaise Zabini had said, as the aforementioned boy was also laughing heartily. Harry surveyed the Slytherin table, not many of them had stayed for the holidays, and the few that remained sat in little groups spread around the huge table. Harry's eyes drifted down the table one place from Zabini, to the only remaining member of the seventh-year group, to Draco Malfoy. The blond wasn't laughing, and in fact Harry didn't think he had heard anything that had happened between the pair of his housemates next to him. He was staring idly into nothing. No, Harry realised with surprise, he was staring at Harry.
As though he had read Harry's thought, Draco smirked knowingly, and carried on looking. Harry felt himself blush under the Slytherin's penetrating gaze and ducked his head down in embarrassment. Harry couldn't resist looking up again to see Malfoy's reaction. Fully expecting to be humiliated, Harry was surprised to find Malfoy engaged in conversation with Zabini. Harry felt odd, as though he had imagined all of it.
You're actually quite shy aren't you? I never imagined you knew how to be shy. You are famous after all.
Thinking about it, you never have lapped up the glory placed on you. Contrary to what I've always believed I suppose.
You learn a lot about someone watching them. Did you know that Harry?
Harry. I've never allowed myself to think your name before now. It sounds good in my head, and it sounds even better when said aloud. I know, I just tried, in a whisper mind you, and it sounded magnificent.
I suppose even a simple name has hidden depths.
Just like you.
I want a chance to uncover them all. But will you ever let me?
Harry was feeling the punishment for his impromptu sleep as midnight approached. Sleep didn't want to take him away from his thoughts to a world of dreams. Outside the wind howled which, coupled with the snow, had turned into a forceful blizzard. It certainly didn't improve the possibility of sleep arriving anytime soon for Harry.
Harry shrugged aside the covers to his bed and walked, quietly despite there being no one for him to wake, over to the nearest window. He could see very little against the backdrop of white; the Forbidden Forest stood out, as dark as ever, even in the night, and Hagrid's hut was a small, snow-covered bump not far from the edge, distinguishable due to the lights from inside. The gamekeeper himself chose that make moment to make an appearance. Harry was a little surprised to see him, both awake and outside. The light spilling out of the door was inviting to Harry and he made a split-second decision to pay Hagrid a visit.
Pausing only to dress, Harry headed out of Gryffindor Tower and towards the main entrance. His plan to visit Hagrid was forgotten, before he could even leave the school, when Draco Malfoy appeared from the passage to the dungeons. Harry was immediately suspicious of his purpose, because of both the late hour and previous experience of dealing with the Slytherin. Harry decided to follow.
Malfoy moved almost silently around the school and Harry tried his best to do the same. Although a couple of time he slipped up and made little noises, Malfoy didn't seem to notice. As Harry watched Malfoy's movements he noticed that they seemed very deliberate, yet Harry still had no idea where he was being lead. Unconsciously, for he still hadn't seen Harry, Malfoy lead them up stairs towards the top levels of the school.
It took a moment for Harry to realise where they were when Malfoy stopped outside a door. The Astronomy Tower, Harry thought panicked before beginning to wonder whom, exactly, Malfoy was intending to meet. Then feeling a bit of a voyeur decided he didn't want to know. He turned around with the intention of heading back to Gryffindor Tower for another attempt at sleep.
"Leaving so soon?" asked Malfoy from behind Harry.
Harry jumped slightly at the voice echoing around him. "I… I… I didn't," stammered Harry.
"Put it this way, you're not exactly discreet," said Draco. His voice seemed subtly different and his usual smirk was replaced by an astonishingly similar and amused smile.
"I'm going anyway," said Harry. He also mumbled an apology for good measure, even though it was Malfoy.
"No, stay. I could use your exceedingly articulate company." Malfoy opened the door to the room and gestured for Harry to enter.
Harry snorted in disbelief. "You are joking aren't you?" asked Harry. Malfoy shrugged his shoulders, not exactly the 'yes' Harry had hoped for.
Harry decided, against his better judgement, that Malfoy could do him no real harm and followed his enemy's instructions.
You've never surprised me before as much as you have today. Why did I ask you to join me? It can never lead to anything good, for either of us. There's more chance than ever of you discovering my feelings. The thoughts of you that fill my private musings.
Right now, on this dark and stormy night in a room at Hogwarts. I'm appalled at the thought of it. Whenever I imagined telling you, I at least thought the setting would be better.
I never thought I would tell you. I'm about to find out.
Because if I don't tell you now I never will.
Do I even want you to know? Especially if you think what I believe you will.
Honestly, I don't know. They say these things are better out than in.
Harry took a seat at one end of the sofa inside the room. Malfoy hesitated slightly before taking a seat next to him. The silence in the room began to grate on Harry's nerves. Now who was being 'articulate'? Harry was about to voice his opinion when Malfoy said, "So why where you following me?"
"I wasn't." Malfoy looked at Harry disbelievingly. "I was just wandering."
"I saw you at the entrance hall."
"Well fine, I wanted to see what you were up to." Harry replied truthfully.
"In case I was sending out messages to Death Eaters you mean?"
Harry was about to respond in the negative, although the thought had crossed his mind. Malfoy must have seen the thought in his face. He looked hurt as he said, "I wouldn't be that stupid."
Harry felt bad about his thoughts after Malfoy had spoken. "Sorry. What were you doing then?"
"I had some things think about," said Malfoy, "I didn't think it was a crime."
Harry shook his head as he remembered all the thinking he had been doing recently. "Do you want me to leave then?"
"I told you before I didn't," replied the blond. Harry wanted to say that he hadn't told him so much with words as actions. He also noticed that Draco's hand was fiddling nervously with a small hole in the material of the sofa and decided not to. "You can go if you want though," added the Slytherin as an afterthought.
"Is there any way I can help you with anything?" asked Harry, only a little shocked by how serious his offer was.
"You'd never believe me if I told you." Draco's reply was quiet and every word was delivered in a way covering a meaning hidden to Harry.
"Try me. What did you come here to think about?"
Silence spread over the room. Harry noticed the hole becoming larger as Malfoy fiddled with it more. "Look Malfoy," began Harry before he was interrupted.
"What?" asked Harry.
"Malfoy is my father. Especially when said like that."
Harry just nodded before continuing, "You don't have to tell me, I thought you might like the chance.
Harry watched as Malfoy, no Draco, bit back one remark after the other, each probably more insulting than the last. Finally, Harry had had enough and stood to leave.
His hand was on the doorknob before Draco said, "Wait." Harry didn't turn to face him but stopped making any move to leave. Barely loud enough to be heard, Draco said, "You."
Harry was confused as to the other boy's meaning. He turned slowly to face his unusual choice of companion. "What do you mean by that?"
Draco shook his head lightly, "Are you really that clueless?" Harry felt his face turn into a frown. Draco stood and moved towards him. Harry let go of the doorknob that he had been unconsciously holding. "Do you really have no idea?"
"You're not making much sense now," said Harry. Draco shrugged. "Go on then. What don't I know now?" The spite behind his words was only thinly hidden. Once more Draco's face appeared to toy with the idea of displaying emotion. "Draco?"
The name had sounded strange to Harry as it came from his mouth. However, it seemed to open Draco up. "You saw me watching you today, right?" Harry nodded. "Did you know that I'd followed you before? To the Quidditch pitch?"
"No," replied Harry. He was annoyed that Malfoy thought he had the right to follow him around. Anyone would think he was stalking him. Or that he liked him. Harry then realised that the latter scenario was that which the blond was trying to convey. Harry then did the most mature thing he could manage, stared at Draco in disbelief.
"I'll take it from that that you get what I mean shall I?" asked Draco. Harry still didn't trust himself to speak, his rival of six and a half years had admitted to having feelings for him. "Good," said Draco simply, before making to leave himself.
Harry was closer to the door though, and he positioned himself in front of it to effectively stop the Slytherin from leaving. Harry found his voice once more. "Good? Is that all you can say?"
"I'm not going to beg if that's what you mean," said Draco. Harry wanted to ask if Draco really believed that was what he thought, but the Slytherin continued, "And I'm not going to jump you in the night either."
"At the latter suggestion Harry laughed aloud. "I'd like to see you try." Draco raised an eyebrow. Harry then blushed as he realised what he had said.
"Well I'm sure I could rise to the challenge," said Draco. Harry ignored the innuendo and noticed the sarcasm in Draco's voice, something Harry believed meant Draco was joking. In truth, Harry had no idea what he would do if Draco was being serious. "Can I go now?" asked Draco.
"Depends," replied Harry, "Do you want to?"
"Depends," mimicked Draco, "On you."
"What do you mean?" You either want to go or you want to stay," said Harry.
"You followed me remember?"
"You mean it depends on whether or not I leave?" asked Harry. Draco was confusing him more and more by the minute.
"Almost. It's more how much of a fool I've made of myself tonight. So far though your reaction, while being far from welcoming of the news, hasn't been one of a madman." Harry wanted to ask why Draco would think he was acting like a madman, but Draco spoke first, "I think I really should leave now."
"Well I don't," replied Harry instinctively. Harry didn't want to let him leave before he had had time to consider every possible option.
"If you don't move within the next five seconds I am going to kiss you," said Draco simply, "One."
At 'two' Harry wanted to say he needed more time.
At 'three' Harry decided one little kiss couldn't hurt that much.
At 'four' he imagined Ron and Hermione's faces at finding out he had kissed Draco Malfoy.
Before Malfoy could even reach five Harry had decided to take the plunge and kissed Draco first.
Draco's mouth felt odd beneath his own, but Harry put that down to a lack of experience on his part. Harry felt Draco's mouth open in what he believed to be surprise. It wasn't, Draco's tongue was probing at the entrance of Harry's own mouth, wanting to be allowed to delve deeper. Harry opened his mouth willingly in response and began to kiss Draco as hungrily as he was kissing him. Harry moved his hand up Draco's neck to enable him to run his fingers through the other's fine, blond hair. Harry felt Draco do the same in response, he hadn't known something so simple could have such an effect though. It sent shivers down Harry's spine.
The kissing continued in a no less passionate manner until the lack of oxygen forced both boys to separate. Draco looked at Harry in surprise. Harry, however, was the first to speak, "You still want to leave?"
Draco just responded with another kiss.
Of course I didn't want to leave. I already promised you I wouldn't, not that you'd know that.
I might tell you when you wake up.
More than likely, I'll take you in my arms once more and show it to you in a way better than words.
Like you showed me tonight that certain differences can be overcome.
I want to kiss you again.
I never thought you would let me.
I'm glad you did though.
It shows impossible things can happen.