Thank you to ALL my reviewers and to ALL my readers!
Disclaimer: see previous chapter.
Thank you to Merlin, GoldenSunnyGrl, and Malombra for being such great BETA'S.
Draco could only stand there, frozen in shock, as Harry watched him. He had wanted to see Harry again, just not this soon, and not this way. Harry looked like Draco remembered. His hair was a bit longer and he looked a little more filled out, but still the same man as before. With a sharp shuddering breath, the world began again, and Draco wavered where he stood. As he stepped back to get his bearings, Harry reached out with a steadying hand.
The second contact was made both men froze. Harry could hear Draco's harsh breathing and Draco was sure he could hear the frantic beating of Harry's heart. Something in Draco reached out for Harry, only to be met with the resistance he had felt for the last two years every time he unconsciously tried to reach his magic.
As the feeling shivered through him, Draco's eyes fell closed. He tried to swallow the huge lump in his throat.
With a whimper he stepped back from Harry, forcing the other man to release him. "No." Draco whispered as he turned from Harry. He missed the sad look that crossed Harry's face when Draco turned from him.
Taking a deep breath Harry said in the same controlled voice as before, "you don't get that option this time."
With a steadying breath Draco opened his eyes to stare at Harry for a few seconds. He nodded his head as he let his face fall into his old mask. He couldn't afford to let Harry see how much this was affecting him. "Shall we?" He said as he motioned to the still waiting cab.
Harry moved out of the way so that Draco could enter first. He remained silent as Draco gave an address to the cabbie. They sat silently as the cabbie drove them to the address that Draco had given him. When the cab stopped, Harry got out and waited, again silent, as Draco paid the fee and then as he followed Draco up to his apartment.
Draco opened his door and was glad that his obsessive compulsive disorder hadn't left him last weekend and his apartment was immaculate. He waved Harry to sit on the couch and went to the small bar he had set up in a corner of his living room. He instinctively made a drink for Harry, remembering exactly how he liked his martini. Dry, ice, no olive.
After sipping the drinks in silence for a few moments, Harry finally put his drink down and looked to Draco. Draco was saddened to see the mask that Harry had on his face. He had always been able to read Harry before.
"Go ahead." Draco said as he lowered his eyes. He didn't think he wanted to see accusation in his eyes. It was hard enough that he knew he was to blame, he didn't want to see it reflected in his lovers eyes.
"I'm sorry." Harry said quietly.
Draco looked up at him in shock. Harry wasn't suppose to say he was sorry! He was suppose to yell at him, accuse him, hate him, but not say he was sorry!
"Sorry? What have you to be sorry for, Mr. Potter?" Draco tried to kept himself aloof but the shaking in his voice made it hard.
"Mr. Potter? Not, Harry?"
"I am not sure that I have the right to call you that." Draco said with a small shrug of his shoulders.
"You never lost the right, Draco." Harry whispered.
Draco closed his eyes and took a shuddering breath. "What do you have to be sorry for…Harry?"
"I have everything to be sorry for Draco. My stubbornness and cowardness did this to us." Draco's breath shuddered as he tried to draw it in. he could practically feel the pain in Harry's voice.
"You're not a coward." Draco said softly.
"No? Only a coward lets another kill for him. Only a coward runs from a fight he had been fighting practically his whole life. Only a coward hurts the one that he loves. Only a coward is what I am." Harry's voice was shaking by the time he was done. Tears were falling that he paid no attention to. "Only a coward lets the man he loves walk away without a fight."
Draco looked on helplessly as Harry talked. This was the same hurtful things he had been thinking the night he had fled. Except he had been the coward then.
"Then I am a coward as well." Draco whispered.
Harry looked at him in surprise, "no Draco, no!"
"I am a coward for running, Harry." Draco finally looked up into Harry's eyes.
"I hurt you." Harry protested.
"True," Draco agreed, "but I hurt you as well when I refused to listen. You were forced from the only home you had ever known because I was a fool."
Harry slid from the couch to kneel in front of Draco. "I was in a coma for 4 months after you sent the powers back to me. I was weak already and my body couldn't handle the transition. It took two months after I woke up before I could stand without falling. I have been searching for you ever since." He took Draco's hands in his and leaned down to give them a kiss. "Please Fire, don't make me loose you again."
Draco sighed and leaned his head down to Harry's. He rested his forehead against the others and said with a sad smile. "I am not the same as I was, Harry."
"Neither am I. But I am willing to learn about the new you if you will let me." Harry whispered as he nuzzled his nose against Draco's.
Draco wanted so desperately to say yes. But he was still scared, scared that Harry wouldn't want him when he found out that he was a Squib. "I don't have any magic, Harry." Draco whispered. He waited for Harry to pull away from him and was surprised when he didn't.
"I know." Harry whispered back.
Draco didn't know what to say, or do, at this point. All his revelations while he had been in that cell, were nothing compared to the actuality of Harry being here, in front of him, on his knees, begging for Draco to let him back into his life.
"Ice…" Draco breathed onto Harry's lips as he finally moved the last few inches so that they could touch.
"Oh, thank God." Harry whimpered as Draco lightly kissed his lips. He wanted to drag him from the couch and show him just how much he had missed him but didn't want to scare him away. Harry didn't care how long it took for Draco to trust him again but he was never going to leave him.
"I missed you so much." Draco breathed as Harry lightly kissed his jaw.
"You don't know how much I missed you, Love. I love you." Harry whispered much more as he bathed Draco's face in light kisses.
Draco listened as Harry whispered that he was never going to leave him again. Draco kissed him softly on the lips and hoped that one day soon, they could be back to the happiness that they had been in before this started. What had happened was in the past and as they both knew from experience, the past made them who they were today. Draco knew he had already forgiven Harry. Harry knew he was right where he was always meant to be. It just might take a while for the other to realize what was already known.
True Love was like that. They each knew it would not be easy. They had many more things to talk about and cry over. They were doing it together and that was what mattered.
As Harry knelt before Draco and promised to never leave him again and Draco accepted that with a kiss, a bond that they had long thought gone, was given its first hope that it could be whole once again.
Tears, happy and sad, could cleanse just about anything away. With whispered words of promise and those same tears, the healing of two hearts started.
Thank you all that read and reviwed. This is the last chapter. I do hope that each of you that read this story took from it what I meant to get across: love can survive through the greatest of obstacles, if you let it.
For all of you that asked, FFN deleted my story 'I Understand'. The reason given was not one I understood as it made no sense. I do not know if I will repost the story here. I lost almost 1300 reviews, 52 chapters, and three years of my life when they did this.
I got no warning that this was going to happen. I had no chance to fix whatever it was that they considered wrong about the story. Now, I don't know what their criteria is when they delete a story, but I am going to assume it's not a lot.
I am sorry for all of you that were waiting for the last few chapters of that story, honestly, I haven't even felt like finishing it. I had to force myself to get this chapter done and to you so it may not be as good as the previous chapters. I apologize for that.