[A/N – I am back from camping and still alive. :-) Family and family friends reunion, much fun had by all. And I finished the fourth and final chapter while there! Although now it's kind of depressing that I've got nothing else to write. But I'll overcome that soon. Now to thank my Chapter 3 reviewers. There were a lot of you this time around, good lord. :-p So y'all that don't want to read, well, scroll down a ways.
kazillion – You get a million super-cool points on my completely arbitrary scale for being empathetic. :-) And for once again being the first reviewer. I'm very glad you thought it was perfect as well. I aim to please. And yes, orange juice and baking soda is incredibly helpful should you have the misfortune to stumble across a Malaclaw. Actually, no, I just made that up, not in Fantastic Beasts or anything. But feel free to try. ;-)
Fantasy101 – He gets over the nausea soon enough. :-) And hopefully this is updated soon enough for you.Bluumberry – Yeah, all of the trio's hypotheses were rather girl-oriented. Because, well, it's just not commonplace in the HP universe to get slashy love letters. And Harry was just shocked and overwhelmed at the end of the last chapter. Wouldn't you be too? :-p
RabbidChicken – Oh good, I have the capacity to make someone die. Hooray me. Updated, in any case. :-)
Telerairei – How am I supposed to reply to that? :-p Hehe, though, glad you liked it.
Kate – Harry got over his nausea soon after, don't worry. :-)
Dracula-Loves-Me – Haha, don't worry, Draco gets better in this chapter.
X-mas Gurl – Yay, that's two people that read the author's note. Patient people rock my socks. :-) Here's the ending just for you! (Gah, I can't believe it's really over. But I hope you'll like it.)
musicgirl141 – Summer trig is time-consuming, yes. Don't do it if you haven't already. :-p I'm glad you liked it, and I'm home early and so updating Sunday instead of the promised Monday. Whee. :-)
treana – Hehe, glad you like it, and here's more for you.
GothicAnn87 – Yay you for being right. :-) And I will so check out your stories, hopefully soon. Because you're cool. :-)
zina – Nah, no angst here. Much fluff instead. :-) I'm really glad you like it, and updated it for you.
Abracadabra – Thanks. :-) Hooray, the amazing Abra likes it. Kept it up and updated for you.
Puppy Kicker – First, you have the sickest screenname I've seen on FFN yet. It makes me laugh. :-D (Ooh, that sounds bad of me...) Glad you like it enough to check back, and hope you like this section as well.
TheSecretCharacter – Huh. I was just threatened. For not updating my story soon enough. Is that a…compliment? :-p Updated especially for you. Ahem. Although I might keep my distance from you now. ;-)
IndigoDeath666 – Wow, thank you. Didn't mean to leave you hanging, but you know, life. In any case, here's the last chapter.
So that was time-consuming and well worth it. :-) Since this is the final chapter, I guess I should have an extra-special message for y'all. I really enjoyed writing this story, probably even more than most of you enjoyed reading it. I'll be writing more H/D slash in the future – in fact, I'll be writing a lot in general. Partially due to the awesome encouragement from my readers. Another big THANK YOU to anyone who reviewed any part of Love Letters. You guys rock. :-)
- Awesome Opossum]
Defense was a quiet affair. Ron knew that something was wrong – Harry never had been the sulky type – but when he asked, Harry had remained quiet, instead focusing on the notes in front of him.
It was maddening.
After class was over, Harry had gathered his books and left without saying a word. They had always walked to classes together. Always since their first year. And now Ron as trudging to lunch along.
He had told Hermione about Harry's behavior over lunch. And she, conversely, demanded that he abandon his shepherd's pie and go talk to Harry. Which would be the normal plan of action. But Harry probably wouldn't tell anyway. And it was good shepherd's pie. But because he was an amazing friend (and Hermione had a titanium grip on his wrist), he went.
Hermione knocked gently on the door. "Harry? Are you okay? You're not sick, are you?"
"No, I'm fine, don't worry about me," Harry called.
"May we come in?"
She frowned. "Harry, please."
"You can talk to me just fine from where you are."
Ron nudged Hermione out of the way and opened the door. "Sorry, mate, just need my bag."
"You have your bag with you, and you're absolutely full of shit."
The curtains around Harry's bed were drawn, but Ron threw them open. "Yeah, well, so are you. We know something's wrong and we'd love to help, but if you won't tell us we really can't. I hate it when you're like this, so withdrawn and angsty. It doesn't make me feel sorry for you, it just makes me annoyed, to tell you the truth. So just what is getting you so depressed?"
Harry sighed. "I don't want to talk about it just yet, okay? Later."
Ron's features softened. "You sure you're okay?"
"Yeah. You go have fun without me," Harry said with a weak smile.
Ron returned it. "Alright, Harry. I'll see you later." He happened to glance at Harry's bedspread before leaving. Almost concealed beneath the folds was a stack of parchment, tied in black silk. Of course.
That night, Harry had firmly decided that he would sooner be dead than in detention with Draco. What was left to say after that? So incredibly awkward. However, he had no viable method to kill himself. So, with a feeling of dread gnawing at the pit of his stomach, he left for detention.
"Potter," Snape greeted him with a sneer. "Glad you finally could join us."
Harry glanced at the clock over Snape's shoulder. Ten minutes late. Oops. "Sorry, sir."
Snape turned without answering. "You barely got here after Mr. Malfoy. So I feel that an extra half-hour tonight would be fitting." He clapped a hand on Draco's shoulder, who flinched and looked a bit green. "If that will work with both of your busy schedules?"
"Yes, sir," Draco answered, smoothing his hair and standing. "So what are we doing tonight?"
"You'll be scouring the desktops and counters, and when you're finished you will scrub the floors."
Draco groaned. "Sir, I know spells for that if you want."
"Mr. Malfoy, I know a few dozen myself, thank you. I wish you to do it by hand. You know where the supplies are." Snape turned and left, shutting the door behind him.
Harry silently pulled out buckets and sponges while Draco got polish and a scouring solution. Harry pushed a bucket in front of him while avoiding eye contact. Draco poured scouring solution in both buckets and mixed it with water. "So," he said tentatively, "grapefruit allergy? Too bad."
"Yeah. Only found out after we had it for breakfast all summer last year," Harry answered, swirling the solution around.
"I'm sorry." Harry glanced at Draco. He wasn't talking about the grapefruit.
"Don't be." He began scouring the desk opposite Draco.
"Can we talk?" Draco asked bluntly.
"Would you at least listen?"
Draco took a deep breath. "Okay. I'd rather you just forget everything. But that won't happen, I guess?"
"It was a stupid thing to do anyway. I couldn't sleep because of…you. And so I wrote that."
"You were lying awake thinking about me?" Harry asked mildly, not looking up.
"Yeah. Sorry. Even so, I never should have sent it. But…I thought it was fair to let you know."
"Oh." Harry moved onto the next desk. "Then why the half-dozen other letters?"
"I don't know." Draco dipped his sponge into the bucket a bit too harshly, splashing the water over the side. "Maybe I wanted you to find out."
"Well, there you go." He moved onto a third desk, still keeping his eyes down.
"Are you mad?" Draco asked.
"You're not?" He sounded incredulous. "So…?"
"So I don't know how to feel," Harry answered with a shrug.
Draco fell quiet and scrubbed another desk. They finished those and moved to the counters.
"Do you hate me?" Draco asked, looking over his shoulder while he polished the counter.
"No. Just let it go, alright?" Harry spritzed another section with polish and rubbed it down. "It wouldn't work between us."
Draco nearly choked, then composed himself and came up behind Harry. "Nobody else needs to know," he murmured in Harry's ear.
"They would figure it out sooner or later," Harry answered, dropping his sponge and turning to face Draco, so close their bodies touched. "But…it would be fun while it lasted." He looked up into Draco's eyes, silver and unsure and silently pleading, and they both knew. This was exactly what they wanted.
Draco pushed him back against the counter, one arm on either side of him, keeping him there. Not that he had any plans to leave. He slipped his arms around Draco's waist, pulling him closer. Draco ducked his head and gave him a gentle kiss.
His lips were soft, and very very kissable. Harry leaned into the kiss, wanting it, wanting more, wanting him. He ran his fingers through Draco's silky hair, down his neck and torso, exploring every inch gently.
Draco ran his tongue along Harry's lips, and Harry allowed him access, sucking and nibbling. His hands were wrapped tightly around Draco's waist, not ever wanting to let go. Draco's arms were draped around his neck, and he was thinking the same thing. They kissed more fervently, more deeply, and it just felt right.
Draco pulled back gently, his cheeks flushed and eyes starry, but he still managed a smirk. "Well?"
Harry took a deep, shuddering breath. "Well, that was amazing."
"Is it worth the risk of everyone finding out?"
"Yeah," Harry answered, smoothing his hair.
"Oh good." Draco picked his sponge back up and polished his section of counter. But the entire time he was doing it, there was a grin spread across his face. Not a smirk, but an honest smile. Harry, conversely, was still shaking. But he couldn't fight back a smile either.
Snape came back at ten to dismiss them. Harry and Draco cleaned up silently, not daring to say anything that may give them away. But after they left and the potions door swung closed behind them, Draco slipped his hand into Harry's while they walked down the deserted corridor. "So. The Autumn Ball's on Sunday."
Harry looked up at him. "You said you hate balls."
"I do." They rounded a corner. "Sorry, but I'm tired of them. But I completely support the idea of spending the night in your room alone."
"Oh yeah?" Harry asked with a smile. "We'll have to arrange that."
They walked in a comfortable silence down the hallway, hand-in-hand. Draco slowed before a portrait of Salazar Slytherin. "Well, this is the common room," he said, dropping his hand. He gave Harry a second kiss, more chaste this time. "Well, goodnight."
"'Night, Draco," Harry answered. He turned and continued down the hallway, and heard the portrait swing open and closed behind him. Still smiling, he returned to his room.
Harry really wasn't expecting anything in the owl post the next morning, but while he was buttering a bagel, the same tiny black owl fluttered down in front of him.
So. After kissing you last night, I still want to be with you again today. Go figure. This may develop into something long-term. And to hell with what "they" think. I'll see you later tonight. And I'll be looking forward to it.
Ron and Hermione were watching him. "Well?" Ron prompted.
Harry shook his head with a smile. "Don't worry about it." He got up and took his bagel with him. "I'd like to reply to this," he told his friends before he turned and left.
Behind him he heard Ron tell Hermione, "He is absolutely disgustingly in love." And, he silently agreed with a smile, he was.