Disclaimer: Ain't mine.

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Harry Potter was dead.

The war was over, witches and wizards everywhere rejoicing in their newfound freedom. The Death Eaters had been rounded up and packed off to prison, the Ministry reformed, and Hogwarts rebuilt.

And Harry Potter was dead.

Judge Hermione Granger soon became Hermione Granger-Weasley, her husband Ron a famous and successful Auror. Luna Lovegood took over the management of the Daily Prophet, and was engaged to herbologist Neville Longbottom. Charms Professor Ginevra Weasley was seen snogging the talented painter Dean Thomas. Winter passed and spring began.

And Harry Potter was dead.

Years went by, and Potter's legend grew as steadily as the Weasley clan. But the stories forgot what made a real hero, forgot what a real legend was. He was made out to be noble, self-sacrificing, wise, and kind. Inhuman.

The stories didn't mention his volcanic temper, his short-sightedness, his guilt and rage and need and hurt. The stories didn't mention his weaknesses, his faults. The stories weren't about a boy who'd thrown a badge at his best friend's head, who had broken laws and rules, who had raged and screamed at the Headmaster, who had used an Unforgivable on his godfather's murderer. The stories didn't speak of the boy who burned with revenge, who died rather than let Voldemort live.

The stories didn't talk about the boy that Draco Malfoy had loved.

The Harry in the stories was no hero, no legend. There was no depth to him, none of the grit and blood and pain that had characterized The Boy Who Lived. He was made out to have lived a charmed life, loved by all, only pausing in his routine to fight Voldemort. He was portrayed as a cheerful, charismatic young man who had selflessly sacrificed himself for the world.

Draco Malfoy knew better. He'd loved the boy, after all.

But Draco could never have loved the legend.

Yet the blond man never tried to correct peoples' views on his dead lover. He didn't grab anyone by the shoulders and scream at them that HARRY POTTER WASN'T PERFECT! He didn't shout that Harry had been a boy, just a boy who did what he needed to do, and therefore more a hero than they could imagine.

And slowly, slowly, even those who had known Harry began to remember not the boy, but the legend. Because, while they'd loved Harry, they'd also believed in the legend. Draco never had. Draco had believed in the boy with green eyes and messy hair, the boy who never cried, the boy who could never hold his temper, the boy who let himself be eaten alive by bitterness and anger.

Draco had never believed in the legend. He'd yelled at Harry, told him that it wasn't his job to save the world, told the boy to just leave Hogwarts and go away with him.

Harry had turned to Draco and whispered, "Not until I've killed him."

But now it was too late. Oh, Harry had killed Voldemort.

And Harry Potter was dead.

When the memory of the real Harry began to fade even from Hermione and Ron, when even those who'd loved Harry more than they'd loved the legend began to forget... When Harry faded even there, Draco continued on, believing in his lost boy. When Draco grew old and bitter and hard, feared and reviled, he remembered the boy with haunted eyes and a hopeful smile.

And in the end, when Draco Malfoy vanished from the earth... Then so did the last remnants of Harry Potter.

And Harry Potter was dead.