It was over. All over. They had won, and now it was done with. But what to do now? He could live but for 17 years his existence had led up to the moment the final blow was delivered, for better or worse. So what to do now that this seventh year meant freedom? First things first. Harry flipped open the lighter, warm light illuminating his gaunt features. He moved the flame to the cigarette tip, drawing a breath to light it. Inhaling, he let the arid relief flow over him before expelling the smoke slowly through chapped lips. The night air was warm, cooled only by the insignificant breeze coming from the lake that was lapping around his bare feet. Another inhalation and he could feel his muscles relaxing further. Harry lifted his left hand to scratch the back of his neck, the loose sleeve of his faded blue top fell to his elbow. By the light of the moon and the gentle glow from the castle behind him numerous lines, some older and fading to silver others new and red raw, conjoined into geometrical patterns on the skin covering his wrist and forearm, spanning from his elbow to the joint of his thumb. Footsteps crunched on the rocks behind him, without turning round Harry knew exactly who was upon him. It had been the same every night for five weeks, since the war had ended. He had sat down, got through one cigarette then the now too familiar pale, high cheek boned face would appear by his side.
The first encounters had been spent in companionable silence. Finally he was asked what he was doing then steadily the conversation had built, deeper, personal until Harry began to wonder if he knew everything about the once member of the wizarding aristocracy. There were few secrets Harry himself had and he felt it was perhaps time to reveal another. As the blond sat down next to him on the rock Harry made no attempt to hastily pull down the sleeve, subconsciously wishing the cuts to be noticed. Wish granted.
Silver eyes directed down, widening partially. Harry's lips curled into the tiniest of smiles around the end of his nearly defunct cigarette, something had finally dislodged the steely facade. One final inhale and the cigarette butt was flicked casually into the black water. A hand placed itself gently over a patch of fresh cuts. There came that tingle. Harry's eyes came to rest on the hand, following a path up a black clad arm, tracing the curve of a smooth neck finally connecting with those silver eyes that stared right back with a look that could have been interpreted as mild concern. Unblinking, Harry just continued to look back until the ice eventually cracked.
"Care to explain what the fuck this is about Potter?" It wasn't truly a question, it was an order, delivered with a biting undertone of frost inspite of the heated content.
"Well Draco..." Harry drawled, the war and all the deaths that came with it had left him sarcastic and bitter, almost beyond recognition. The subsequent weeks with the fullest conversation being with said Malfoy had rubbed many of the Slytherin's traits off on him.
"I'd like to tell you why I began, and continue to, slice my arm yet," he paused to place a fresh cigarette in his mouth "I have no idea." He clicked open the lighter for the second time, lighting the cigarette then removing it from between his lips. Smoke curled out into the night air as he continued
"So you can take your pick of reasons, it could be 'cause I'm depressed although I'm pretty sure that's not the case. It could be that I enjoyed the past 17 years worth of near death experiences and now cannot imagine a life without them thus put myself in them regularly. Perhaps I like the pain or maybe the sensation of the blood seeping between my calloused fingers." Harry took a long draw and closed his eyes as he leant back onto his elbows. His arm slipped from Draco's grasp. Sensation lost.
Draco's eyes narrowed as he looked down at the reclining body. Harry's eyes fluttered open, the green still astonishingly vivid inspite of the darkness. The pair locked eyes. Draco's spine shuddered with that sensation which he then preceded to push back into the recesses of his mind. Five weeks spent conversing with one person, and one person only, over the course of any given day can cause one to stifle childish nonsense. Draco and Harry were now more similar than either of them would care to admit.
With Narcissa's death and Lucius's suicide in Azkaban, both found themselves orphans as a result of the same cause. Draco had been discarded by his housemates for refusing to pick a side, more aptly Voldemorts side. He had stayed on the fence throughout the whole ordeal and by so doing was accused of betraying the honour of his family and house. Harry had been shunned by his housemates over his life attitude before, during and after the war and the deaths of Ron, Ginny and Neville, not to mention the insanity Hermione lapsed into at the hands of Voldemorts own cruciatus. How could he be expected to save everybody? With that question Harry inhaled again, closing his eyes against Draco's calculating gaze. He lay down fully, rocks pressing into his back. He felt the blond stir next to him as he stood up, dusting himself off. Particles of rock and moss hung in the air as Draco made his way back across the rocks.
"Watch yourself with those cuts Potter," he hesitated, mind conflicting as to whether the rest of the statement was a good idea, he sighed heavily in resolve "I've grown accustomed to your company, in fact I quite like having you around..."