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: LIKE GLASS
"What do I think?" Harry breathed, trembling against Draco. "I think…"
His hands moved to Draco's waist, pulling him closer as naturally as if he had done it a hundred times before. He had, but only in his dreams.
"I don't want to think," he breathed against Draco's cheek. "Not now."
Draco didn't reply, but his breath quickened as his fingers slowly slipped between Harry's jeans and t-shirt; cold fingertips hesitantly continuing up along Harry's spine and leaving a trace of flames. Harry closed his eyes and didn't want to know about anything at all except what was happening this moment, the intensity of here and now, of their skin and hands and mouths; the anticipation and certainty of what was going to happen. He parted his lips to Draco's tongue and allowed himself to float down the dark stream of desire.
It wasn't quite morning when Harry woke up; only a sleepy, soft beginning of a dawn. His gaze followed the pointed outline of the two windows and his body was warm and heavy. There was stillness, only stillness, and it was strange to know where he was. He was often confused and scared when he woke up, not sure where he was, fighting a sick feeling that he had done something horrible he couldn't remember, afraid he would find himself chained to the wall in a small, cold cell. But now he was still, still and safe; his heartbeat slow and regular. He knew where he was and with whom.
He slowly turned his head on the pillow, afraid to wake Draco up. But when his eyes found Draco's face, he saw the grey eyes wide open.
Draco didn't say anything, not good morning or hello or I love you. He only smiled. It was a small smile, warm and genuine and perhaps a little insecure, but it told Harry all he needed to know. There was no need to be embarrassed, no need for apologies, no need to be brisk and practical to brush aside the urgency and desperation of last night. For there had been love, too, and it was still there, warm in the cold light of morning. They could stay where they were and not be ashamed.
Harry smoothed the duvet off Draco's shoulder and let his hand slide down the white arm. His own body reacted instantly to the touch of warm skin, and he blushed with embarrassment at being excited so easily. But Draco reached out, pulled Harry to him and held him close to his own body, and it was obvious there was excitement on both parts. Draco exhaled in a long "oh" that made Harry shiver inside. When he ran a hand over Draco's hip and was rewarded with a breathy, anticipatory moan, there was no remaining embarrassment, no obstacles, no boundaries. Harry's mouth moved down Draco's throat and chest, his tongue flicking out to tease a nipple. Draco's fingers slid into Harry's hair and the room filled with soft, heavy breathing.
As Harry's tongue followed the line of fine, soft hair below Draco's navel, he heard Draco whisper something that could have been "I love you". He didn't say it back. He didn't need words to say it.
Lupin was preparing for next day's teaching when Harry burst into his office. The boy looked agitated; eyes wide and hair even messier than usual.
"Knocking on doors is a fine art that you would do well to remember," Lupin said mildly. "And practice a little, too."
Harry had the grace to flush slightly.
"Oh, sorry," he said. "But there's something I need to talk to you about."
Lupin demonstratively finished the sentence he'd been writing, put the quill aside and leant back. "Yes?"
Harry opened his mouth to speak, but didn't seem to know where to begin.
"Can I use your wand?" he said.
The way he swallowed told Lupin he was nervous, and Lupin himself felt a shiver of apprehension and excitement down his spine. He sat up straight, looked hard at Harry's tense face and then wordlessly handed him the wand.
It was strange to see his own wand in someone else's command, but it rested easily between Harry's fingers, and Lupin was getting too interested to worry. Harry turned unceremoniously to the bookshelf, pointed the wand to a book lying on top of it and said:
The book soared obediently into the air, and Harry held it there for a moment. Then he let it sink back onto the shelf, turned around and placed Lupin's wand on the desk with a click of wood against wood. Lupin realised his mouth was half-open and closed it hastily.
"There," Harry said curtly. "That's what I came to show you. I've got my magic back – or at least begun to get it back."
Lupin's head felt empty, or full of winding paths that didn't connect.
"What… when - ?"
"Only last night. I discovered it by… by chance."
Thoughts began to whirl in Lupin's brain. Last night was when he had seen Harry and Draco come walking up from the lake, stopping to kiss, their faces alight with happiness…
"It scares the hell out of me," Harry said simply. "I've wanted it so badly, for so long… and now that it seems to be happening, I'm just scared. What if it's only temporary? What if it goes away again?"
"I – I don't know," Lupin said, shaken, trying to collect his thoughts. "Have you… what kind of spells have you tried?"
"Only really simple ones. Basic ones. Magic for first-years."
The mix of contempt, defiance and fear in Harry's voice made Lupin want to embrace him, but he knew it wouldn't be received well. As a compromise, he rose from his chair, went round the desk and sat on it. Now at least he had made himself approachable, and if Harry did want to be embraced, he had facilitated it. And there was something else that made Lupin want to stand close to the boy, too – something like an energy field around him, an aura; as if it was possible to physically sense his returning magic. Lupin had been tired, but the closeness to Harry seemed to give him new energy. The boy's magic had been powerful before Voldemort's fall – what was there to say it wouldn't be even stronger returning?
"And it works every time?"
"All the spells I've tried have worked… as long as I'm assertive enough. If I whisper, or hesitate, they won't work."
Lupin's head was still spinning. Draco Malfoy… the kiss… could it be that some of Draco's magic had been transferred to Harry? Was it possible – or was it just coincidence that it had happened that very night? And if it wasn't coincidence – what did that mean?
"Harry… can I ask you something very personal?"
The boy coloured and turned his face away. "Yes," he said almost inaudibly. "I've told you about everything else, so why not about this too?"
"What do you mean?"
"You're going to ask about Malfoy, aren't you?"
"Well… yes." Lupin cleared his throat. If this was love, if it truly was, then he had no wish, no desire and no right to walk over new, tender emotions and happiness with heavy feet. But he had to ask – he had to.
"I saw you last night," he said softly. "I saw you coming back from the lake. You and Draco. I saw you kiss."
Harry's face glowed pink in the afternoon light. His head was bowed and his hand smoothed out the fabric of his jeans down his thigh, again and again.
"Remus… I… I'm in love with him."
Lupin didn't reply; didn't know what to reply. How did you ever know you loved someone? How could you tell the difference between love and physical desire? Was it even necessary to define differences?
"Do you think the return of your magic has anything to do with him?"
Harry looked up, met Lupin's eyes and held his gaze steadily. "I'm sure it has," he said. "But not the way you think."
"And what do I think?" Lupin asked gently.
"You think some of his magic has transferred itself to me," said Harry, "through the kiss, or through touch, or through… um… well."
"I did indeed wonder if that could be the case," Lupin conceded, politely ignoring Harry's reference and thereby acknowledging its existence.
"I don't think so," said Harry. "I definitely think it has something to do with him, but not as directly as that. He himself suggested last night that it might be… like an illness. The loss of magic. I was ill, and now I'm getting well."
It wasn't the first time Lupin had wondered what unseen depths of knowledge, emotion and intuition were hidden within Draco Malfoy, waiting to be found. He had come to love and admire the boy, but despite their shared experiences during and after the war, despite all their late night walks and their talks through the night in front of the fire, he still couldn't claim to know Draco very well. He wondered if Harry would ever see, or indeed had already seen, Draco with all his defences down – and if that was the case, what he had seen.
"I will talk to your Healer," was all he said. "You will have to have an extra session with her tomorrow."
Harry nodded. "Yes, I understand that. I just wanted to tell you first. I'll go back to my room. And I… I'd like to be left alone until tomorrow. I've got all my potions, so I don't need anything."
Lupin had no doubts as to why Harry didn't want to be disturbed. He knew he ought to be happy for them – he was happy for them, but their new-found joy underlined his own loneliness in a way that could only be bitter, bitter.
He berated himself for being selfish, dipped the quill into the ink bottle and went back to his work.
When Harry returned to his room he found Draco fast asleep in a golden sunbeam that slanted across the bed, and there was a faint smile on his face even in his sleep. Harry sat down at the bottom of the bed, careful not to wake him, and pulled his knees up under his chin. In less than twenty-four hours, he had had two of the most overwhelming experiences of his life – one directly due to this sleeping young man, one less directly, but yet probably connected to him one way or another.
He watched Draco's peaceful face in wonder while memories of last night played and re-played inside his head. The kisses and caresses, the gasps and moans, the sucking and thrusting and writhing… He had done it so many times before with so many different people, but always in a haze of drugs, depression and pain, never with this real, deep wish to give something back. And never with a partner who gazed at him with eyes wide with love and wonder.
He hadn't known it was possible to feel tenderness this strong, like an ache in his chest and his throat. He had never known what it was like to watch someone sleep like this and feel he wanted to stay here forever.
He hugged his knees to his chest to fight an emotion so strong it threatened to break him, and when Draco woke up a few minutes later, he found Harry rocking back and forth with his arms around his knees, tears streaming down his face. But when he sat upright, instantly worried, Harry smiled at him in a way that made questions or explanations superfluous, and it didn't matter in the least that the kiss tasted of salt.
"Yes," said the Healer and charmed her spoon to stir her tea for her, "yes, that is an entirely plausible theory."
Lupin had just presented her with the news of Harry's returning magic, and with Draco Malfoy's theory.
"The loss of magic could very possibly be an effect of a serious depression. I have seen some similar cases before, but of course much less severe – no one has ever had to go through what Harry went through. It's likely that a trauma like his could have more vast and serious effects than anything we have ever encountered before."
"And now that he is emerging from his depression, his magic is returning? And it will grow stronger as his own strength grows?"
"That would be my guess," said the Healer. "But you do realise it is only a guess, although based on certain experience?"
"Yes," Lupin said. "Yes, of course. We are all guessing. Harry's case is unique – as it has always been."
"I'd like to get a new wand," said Harry almost defiantly to the Healer a few weeks later.
It was mid-November but very cold for the season, and a few early snowflakes already whirled in the air.
"Your magic seems to grow stronger every day," the Healer conceded. "If you feel ready to get your own wand again, I would recommend you to do so."
Harry shifted position slightly on the chair. Muscles ached in weird places, and he had some difficulty sitting properly. A smile crossed his face when he thought about the reason for his discomfort, and a vivid picture of a pointed face, usually so pale but now flushed pink with pleasure and physical exertion, flashed through his brain.
"I'll go to Ollivanders next week," he told the Healer.
Mr Ollivander was not indifferent to the two young men's excitement and eagerness – on the contrary. It was contagious. He forgot his age and climbed stepladders rather faster than his old legs permitted, lined up several boxes on the counter and smiled excitedly at the two young men.
"I think this might suit you, Mr Potter," he said and handed Harry a long, elegant wand of light wood.
Harry swished it, and the vase of freshly cut flowers at the far end of the counter immediately exploded.
"Oh, sorry," he said and grinned guiltily, remembering the first time he'd been in the shop. All kinds of unexpected and rather frightening things had happened then, and perhaps this visit wouldn't be much different. Only he himself was different.
"No matter," smiled Mr Ollivander, remembering, too. "How about this one?"
A shorter, sturdier wand, but no less elegant – dark, polished wood with a powerful look to it. Harry waved it. A humming noise moved around the room, and objects rattled against each other, but nothing else happened.
"It's obvious that I have some kind of magic, even if it's a completely random and disorganised one that mostly creates havoc," said Harry. Draco knew it wasn't entirely a joke.
Mr Ollivander gave Harry a shrewd look and said: "Hmmm." He turned to look at the row of boxes, then back at Harry again, gave Draco a quick glance and then looked back at the boxes on the counter. "Hmmmm!" He extended a hand to one of the boxes and hesitated for a second, then opened the lid and took out a wand. There was an odd little smile on his face as he handed Harry the wand.
Puzzled, Draco opened his mouth and was about to say "But that looks…" when Harry took the wand and swished it.
The shop went quiet and dark for a moment, causing them all to gasp and exclaim, before lighting up again with a warm, golden light. A soft breeze was playing around the room, bouncing against the walls, stroking their faces, warm and fragrant… reminiscent of southern shores, ocean, exotic spices… a warm, sweet light disturbed by a dark undercurrent… and a noise like a rush of wind.
Mr Ollivander's smile was splitting his face.
"There you are, Mr Potter! There you are! This is just the wand for you. How interesting!" He was gibbering with excitement, but Draco felt weak and had to lean against the counter. Harry, dazed and confused, was still waving the wand about, uttering a string of simple, meaningless little spells and watching in incredulous and childish delight when they proved to work.
"Harry…" Draco's voice didn't sound like his own at all.
"Yes…?" Harry said, only half paying attention, watching the wand emit a shower of blue stars that danced slowly to the floor like iridescent snowflakes.
"I was right!" Mr Ollivander was triumphant. "Black walnut, unicorn hair, eleven and a half inches. Fits like a dragonhide glove!"
"Do you realise that that wand…" Draco was annoyed by the lack of attention, and laughed. "Harry, are you listening?"
At last, Harry moved his eyes away from the wand, ignoring the excited Mr Ollivander who would have jumped up and down on the other side of the counter if his age hadn't denied him the pleasure. "Yes…?"
"That wand," Draco said, "is the twin of mine."
"What…?" said Harry, shaken awake from his haze of delight. "It's… what?"
Draco had to quench an impulse to run out of the shop, rush out of Diagon Alley, run for his life. He identified it as his old, tired habit of hiding his emotions at any cost, desperately avoiding situations where he might have to reveal them.
Harry Potter did not have that problem. He dropped his new wand on the counter, pulled Draco to him and kissed him.
Draco wasn't in the habit of wishing people an unpleasant fate, especially not people who had been kind and helpful, but at that moment, he really wished Mr Ollivander to hell.
Harry didn't seem to mind Mr Ollivanders presence, or even notice it any more. He held Draco's face in his cupped hands and kissed his forehead, his eyes, his nose, his chin, his mouth…
And Mr Ollivander, who wasn't known for being discreet, wasn't hypocritical or insincere, either. He watched the two young men with genuine benevolence and decided to close his shop for the day.