After the pressure becomes too much, Harry escapes leaving his friends and especially Draco to pick up the pieces. Now after six years, a chance meeting brings the pair together again. But can Draco get over his anger and is Harry ready to confront the life he left behind?
DISCLAIMER: All characters, settings, and magical occurrences were all conceived and created in the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling. Nothing except the glorious plot is property of mine. No profits are being made from my writing.
ANOTHER WARNING (in case you missed it above): This story will contain some SLASH as the main pairing will be Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. If this bothers, offends, or just grosses you out, you can save yourself a lot of pain and heartburn and just click the back button. If you are intrigued (as I am by this pairing), stick around. I can only hope not to disappoint.
It's in the silence when your thoughts seem to drown out all reason. To cover up what sanity you might have had originally and crush it into nothing. Harry felt as though he were constantly living his life in such a way. Recent events had seemed to do very little to prove such a theory wrong. Life felt as though it had been sent into a tailspin, slowly spinning out of control.
And there he stood. His eyes locked upon the school another time. For so long it had been his home. Shielding him from the real world and dangers that would've destroyed him otherwise. Lately though, its protection had been broken through in a way not even Voldemort had been able to. Everyone had their price and it seemed those interested were willing to pay it.
With very few exceptions, everyone had sold out and life had just reached a point where it was unbearable. He couldn't do it any longer. He dreaded waking up in the morning more than anything. It wasn't what he wanted from life. It wasn't what anyone wanted.
But the most important thing that he realized was that it was going to be his life. If he stayed at Hogwarts any longer, nothing would change. Oh the professors busied themselves assuring him that things would be taken care of. He would finally have peace but it was one big joke. And bluntly, it was a lie. He was done.
His mind dwelled once more on what he was leaving. That was the hardest part. For through every trial he'd faced lately, there were those few individuals who had stuck close by him. To help see him through. And now he was abandoning them. They wouldn't understand. They'd tell him to stay. He could make it through it. But he wasn't so sure. He hadn't been sure in a while.
His certainty now rested in his leaving. It was a hard decision to make at first. He'd never considered his life anywhere but in London. He thought that the thought might have scared him initially. He'd quickly gotten over that. And now, he gave his last glance back at the school, a sorrowful smile upon his lips, and he started down the path to Hogsmeade to apparate and ultimately escape. Harry Potter was running away.
Perhaps it may be best to go back though. Before the press fiasco, before things changed so very drastically for Harry. When things were rather cut dry, no matter how much denial one would put upon it. From the moment Harry had resurfaced in their world, they raised him up and celebrated him. Then at the first sign of their biggest fears, they put everything they had behind him. They needed him to save them again and they didn't care that all he wanted was to have a normal life. To have friends who weren't there beside him because he was the Boy Who Lived. To be loved. Both prospects were just that. He knew most didn't expect him to survive the second run in. He'd seen the look on their faces when he returned, battered and bruised.
The battle had been fierce. But it wasn't what had changed his life the most. Sure, he'd been freed of his 'responsibilities' but with it, he had the press breathing down his neck, seemingly reporting on nearly everything he did. From Quidditch to Hogsmeade visits. He couldn't as much as buy a birthday present for one of his friends without it leaking into the paper that Harry Potter was wooing his next admirer. And then they'd discovered what was really going on.
Christmas Holidays had fallen upon them. Most of the students were going home as normal, all though that year, it was obviously that the number of those who stayed behind had greatly increased. Though that was to be expected. Casualties had been higher than they had anticipated. Harry was one of the students who stayed behind. It wasn't that he didn't have anywhere else to go. Both the Granger's and the Weasley's had invited him to spend the holiday with them but Harry had politely declined. He wanted to be there that year. The person he'd wanted to spend holidays with was going to stay as well. Though he didn't have anywhere else to go. Harry knew very well that his object of affection would not be well received at either home. He couldn't exactly say he'd blame either family either.
Once he'd bid good bye to each of his friends, one by one as they departed, he'd gone outside. Now most people had kept to the warm confines of their common room but not Harry. He was braving the elements to visit the Quidditch Field. Certainly not to ride in such weather. His intentions were clear as he entered the stands, Slytherin nonetheless, and took one of the empty seats beside Draco Malfoy.
"I still say you're barking mad for meeting out here." Harry shoved his gloved hands deep inside his pockets for some warmth. Each exhale he took shot out of a puff of fog just to demonstrate how cold it really had gotten.
"Well, I guess that might constitute a hello." Draco wasted no time with his sarcasm, though to any on looker, it was obvious it wasn't full of malice. Quite the contrary was that he spoke in joking tones that would've confused most. For Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy conversing civilly was typically an insane idea. But then, many people didn't notice most things. Like how slowly, their bantering was no longer hateful and meant to sting. More, jabbing and joking. Most failed to notice, and they liked it that way.
"So are you not going to tell me why you've drug me out here in the freezing cold like this. There are two very warm common rooms we could've used." Harry grumbled leaning back into the rather uncomfortable seat.
"I just think it's nice out here like this. Quiet and everything covered in snow and ice. Just waiting for it all to melt away to start over. A new beginning." Harry could pick up on what he was getting at. And for that, a smile sat plastered upon his face.
Harry watched him thoughtfully for a moment. "You amaze me sometimes. Do you know that? You can be so snarky one moment, then spout off poetic statements at the drop of a hat."
"That's why you love me so much."
"That's what you're telling yourself." Harry gave a satisfied smirk back at him, one that could rival Draco's own.
"You're asking for it Potter." Just as Harry was about to reply, Draco had grabbed a handful of the fresh snow from the railing, giving him a very cold surprise. Harry sat in shock a moment as Draco stood from the his seat, realizing he might have just initiated war.
"That was a mistake, Malfoy. And you'll be paying for that one." Harry stood slowly, brushing some of the snow off of him, taking a couple steps nearer to the blonde.
"Come on, Harry. Let's just go inside for some hot chocolate. I hear the house elves found a new recipe."
"Oh no. You dared to attack me, we will not leave this field until I have redemption." Draco was taking his steps backwards, not giving much thought to where he was actually going. In a split second though, he turned away from Harry, bounding down the stairs and out of the stands.
Harry followed close on his heels and as Draco slowed when the snow became a little deeper, Harry took his chance, and pulled the blonde down into the snow with him. Draco landed very ungracefully beneath Harry who hadn't stopped laughing since they'd begun falling.
"I'm glad you find this so humorous. We're going to catch cold."
"Well, thank you for that Madam Pompfrey. We'll just have to find some way to warm ourselves up then won't we?" Harry held Draco cold hands in his own, leaning forward capturing his freezing lips for his own. Draco put up no resistance this time, instead, offering his own assistance. That was until the first flash.
The first was followed by another and soon there were so many, it was hard for Harry to even tell what it was. But he knew well enough. It was cameras. Reporters. And that meant only one thing for them. Their secret was no more.
Harry immediately helped Draco up out of the snow, turning away from their general direction, holding him close to shield the both of them. They'd seemed very satisfied with themselves as well for they didn't follow them too far up the path to the school. But the damage had been done.
The very next morning, every major publication it seemed had pictures of the couple. Hogwarts Snow Escapades. Hero's Day Off. Where Harry's Heart Really Lies. Every headline you could think of. Harry was beginning to wonder if there was no other real news to report.
He saw no reason to avoid speaking a word to Draco. Everyone had seen the papers. Everyone knew by this point. In fact, there was that awkward silence when he'd entered the hall and all eyes focused on him when he took his seat beside Draco at the table. He didn't look much better himself that morning. And sadly enough, things got no better.
Things progressed from the original picture. Though they printed it enough. There were others taken. It seemed anytime they ventured outside together, there was a photo the next day. What made things worse was that with all of it coming out like it did, Ron hadn't spoken a word to him since term had started again. He couldn't believe Harry could keep something like that from him. Hermione was desperately trying to keep peace between them. It wasn't going to well. The others in Gryffindor rarely involved themselves in their skirmishes anymore. They'd just sit back and let Ron and Harry have it on. It seemed to happen so often.
Though perhaps what disturbed Harry most of all was that Draco faced no scrutiny amongst his own friends. In fact, they'd been almost friendly to him. He supposed that there might have been words shared with the blonde about it but either way he couldn't argue. It was hard enough dealing with his own friends let alone watching over his shoulder for any Slytherin who might be a little perturbed.
And finally, with all of this weighing heavily on his mind, at dinner one evening, he'd had enough. He wedged himself at the Gryffindor table between Hermione and Ginny as he did most nights. Ron was diagonal from him, directly across from Hermione though his gaze rarely traveled to where Harry sat anyway.
Hermione had really started it. She'd questioned him about where he was going after school. Time was slipping away from them she'd said. It was really an innocent question but Harry's answer had sent Ron into a world of fury.
"Draco and I are going to get a flat near the Ministry for my Auror training." Hermione seemed satisfied enough with his answer though that didn't matter to the redhead.
He slammed his fork down upon the table, drawing silence from everyone around him. Harry abruptly looked up as he felt those eyes plastered upon him.
"Well, isn't that just quaint. Go flaunt your queer lifestyle right in the heart of the city and then come whining back to everyone else about it." Ron's tongue was sharp. It seemed even more so from the old arguments he'd engaged in with Malfoy.
"Ron..." Hermione started in, eyes looking very worried.
"No, Hermione. Perhaps it's time we had this out. Obviously after all these years Ron still doesn't understand a bloody thing about me!"
"I understand a lot of things, Harry. You pretend to be so bashful for the cameras. You just want to live a normal life. Bollucks! This whole thing is bollucks! You bring it on yourself and relish in it. Though you never hear anything about anyone else involved. It's always Harry Bloody Potter." Ron was seething and had stood. Harry had followed suit, facing him, face emotionless.
"You just don't understand how wrong you are! Do you think that I want to be famous for killing someone, Ron? Do you know what that's like?"
"You can stand here and say whatever it is you'd like, but I know you. Or at least I thought I did. You've lied to all of us Harry to protect Malfoy of all people! And when he betrays you as we are all so expecting, I'm not going to be there when you want to crawl back to your friends."
"Don't worry about it, Ron. After now, I don't consider us friends any longer." With that, Ron's face dropped and Harry turned angrily from them, storming out of the Great Hall. There was a thick silence in the air as all eyes soon landed on Draco to see what he'd do.
He said something quietly to Pansy who sat beside him and stood up, with those eyes still upon him. "What the bloody hell!? Find something new to fill your meaningless lives!" He spouted off, anger rising even in him, and left the Great Hall in search of Harry.
Hermione just stared at Ron a moment. Ron, who looked as though he could cry. He was angry with Harry and perhaps all he needed was just to get a good yell out, but Harry. Well, it had sent him over the edge. To ease the silence, Ginny struck up conversation though most people didn't hear her, as they sat in the shock of how Harry and Ron's friendship had just ended.
Draco hadn't searched long before he found Harry. He'd discovered the other boy's habits early on. And it was true, Harry was a creature of habit. He sat at the very bottom step of the Astronomy Tower. Draco wouldn't even count how many times he'd found him there just in the last week. For Harry had already given up sleeping in the Common Room. And though most nights he'd sneak into the Slytherin Common Room (though he probably wouldn't have had to sneak per say), other times he'd climb the enormous stairs and just sit and wait. Draco wasn't sure was he was waiting for.
"Harry..." He started softly, crouching down in front of him. "Don't let Weasley get to you..."
"Oh have no worries, Draco. I don't have another word for that bloody bastard." Harry's voice was bitter and hateful. Draco hadn't even remembered hearing it take such a tone. Even in their previous bantering.
"Love, I'm sure the both of you just needed to have a good yell." Draco would curse himself later for encouraging Harry to make up with the Weasel.
"So you think I should go back for a hug and apology session then?" His voice was dripping with sarcasm and this caused a bit of a scowl from Draco.
"You know, Potter, I know that you're dealing with a lot right now, but so am I and I'm not going to keep doing this if you insist on being an arse to me." He stood now, silver eyes piercing glares fixed upon Harry who didn't look up. Though he visually winced at some of the things Draco was saying to him.
"I'm sorry." He said quietly, reaching out and taking one of the blonde's hands in his own. "I really am." It was enough to wear Draco down though, and he held on loosely to Harry's grip.
"Come on, let's go back to the common room. No one is going to be back for a while." Draco moved to pull Harry up and off in that direction but Harry had other ideas.
"No, walk upstairs with me for a bit, please?" It was basically the first time since Draco had found him that Harry had met his glance and who was he to deny. He gave a faint nod and the pair set about climbing the massive staircase.
Only moments after they stepped out in the night, did Draco already regret it. It had gotten considerably colder than he'd remembered. But to be fair, he hadn't frequented the outside much lately. For good reason too.
Harry released his hand and crossed to the edge, resting his hands atop the stone railing. Draco followed behind him, his arms wrapping around his mid-section, resting his chin upon Harry's shoulder. Draco closed his eyes a moment, feeling utterly content for the first time in a while.
"I love you." It wasn't as though Harry had never spoken those words or even that Draco hadn't repeated them himself, but something about that night made it feel like the first. Draco's eyes had opened by this point and Harry shifted around so they could share a kiss.
"I love you too, Harry." Draco added in between kisses. Neither returned to their rooms that night.
And when Draco awoke the next morning, covered in what appeared to be a conjured blanket, Harry was gone. With nothing left behind as a reminder that he had been there.
Draco woke with a pounding headache and little promise for the rest of the day. It did nothing to help that he was staying in a muggle hotel in a rather uncomfortable bed, alone. He so wished for his own room at that moment. Or at least a very strong potion. But instead of spending all day in bed like he'd have liked to, he climbed out of bed to get ready for the day before him.
Despite his awful morning, it was his third trip to the states in the past three months and despite what he might say, he actually enjoyed being there and away from his life in Britain. Something about being in New York City like he was today appealed to him. No one was watching your every move. In fact, for the most part, no one ever paid attention to you whatsoever. For a person who had spent as long as he could remember in the spot light, he enjoyed that every once and a while.
He hopped into the shower in the attached bathroom. If one could even call it that. It was about the size of a small closet. But it served its purpose. He dressed in a muggle pair of jeans and a green sweater. His long blonde hair was left down. In fact, he seemed to have been doing that a lot more lately. He'd been told it was more appealing years and years before but he'd always doubted that. Today, without much work to do, he could've cared less if he was up to Ministry dress code.
Work had been his reason for being there in fact. After Snape had become Minister of Magic, Draco got assigned to be liaison between American and British Ministries. It wasn't the most glamorous or exciting jobs but it gave him a lot of time away from home, which lately he'd been thankful for. There was just too much pain left back in Britain. Too much regret and too much sadness. America and his job had become his escape as of late. He'd even pretty much backed off from all of the clandestine affairs he was accustomed to from the past six years. Though unfortunately so, the drinking hadn't taken much of a decline. But you can't win them all.
Slipping his room key into his pocket, he left the hotel. The ministry was slacking lately with his accommodations. When he got back he'd have to talk to Snape about that. Once he made it down to the lobby, his picked his brain for something to do. With a grumble from his stomach he knew food would have to be first on his agenda.
"Excuse me, I'm looking for a good place to get some breakfast, any suggestions?" He questioned the girl behind the desk. She smiled sweetly back at him, she seemed almost surprised he was even talking to her.
"Well there is a nice little café in Soho. Great pancakes. It's called Lola's. But if you don't want to go all the way there…"
"No, Soho sounds great. Thanks for the suggestions. The food had better be wonderful for the cab fare." He gave a friendly smile in return and made his way out of the hotel. He'd never spent much time in Soho so it'd at least give him a chance to see more of the mammoth city. He flagged down a cab and it was a little bit later that he finally arrived outside of the small little café.
It didn't look like much but he knew that appearances were often deceiving. Especially when food was involved. The Weasley's were an example of such. They might not have had as much as some, but Molly made some of the best casseroles there were around. And all from scratch. He was often lucky to get a bag of popcorn cooked right.
The café didn't look too much better on the inside and he took a seat, away towards the back. A young came over and took his drink order, leaving him with a menu. The lobby girl had suggested pancakes but he wasn't certain if that was what he was craving that day.
He was contemplating what food to order as a very loud, "Malfoy" was called out. Setting the menu down he searched for whom had supplied the voice only to find that they had already found the "Malfoy" they were looking for and it certainly wasn't him. With a second glance, Draco realized who it was. Even though it had been six years there was no mistaking that face.
"Harry." Draco hadn't even remembered standing or how he'd gotten over to the man. In fact, after speaking his name, Draco didn't remember much else as he passed out in a dead faint.
When Draco first opened his eyes, he couldn't be certain where exactly he was. Or why he was there. Until something clicked. Harry. He'd found Harry. Then he'd fainted. So if he'd fainted in that restaurant, where was he now? Suddenly, as his eyes scrambled around the room, he caught sight of the man again, and locked on in shock.
Harry shifted uneasily from foot to foot, deeply resembling a deer caught in headlights. In some ways, he very much felt like that. There he stood theoretically caught between two worlds. On one side, sat the life he'd grown into. Where he wasn't anything but Harry, Malfoy sometimes but that was mostly at work or when someone got annoyed with him. On the other side was a part of his he was trying his damndest to forget. Though that might not be all true. For he had taken Draco's surname, hadn't he? He'd left everything behind but for some reason, he'd made sure to carry that with him.
"Harry. Will you please say something?" Draco certainly hadn't gotten anymore patient. It was good to know that some things didn't change, even if others changed more than he cared for.
"I can't do this right now. I have a job. I have a life here." He went to move away but Draco was persistent. He hadn't waited six years of his life to be brushed off. Because this time he wasn't going to let things go so easily.
"Well then I'll wait." Draco had fixed him with a hard stare. Enough to let Harry know he wasn't going to easily get out of this. Unless he wanted to make a run for it. But that seemed even more cowardly than leaving had been. And it wasn't as though he weren't happy to see the blonde. Hadn't he been spending the past six years wishing he could? But he'd also been doubting he would. But more so because well, Draco was laying in his bed. He'd have been able to find him again. It wouldn't do much good at all.
"I have to work my shift out. It's already late enough. I should be back soon if you want to stick around. If you don't, well I guess I'll understand then." Harry was the very picture of unease as he stood there under Draco's scrutiny. He'd originally meant it to get Draco gone but as the words flowed out and he stood there watching the blonde in his bed, he found himself hoping that Draco would remain until he got back.
"I can stick around for a while. You don't mind if I stay here while you're gone?"
Harry shook his head quickly. "No, nothing too interesting around here but you can watch some telly or err… read?"
"I'm sure I'll find something to do." As angry as Draco wanted to be, watching Harry so nervous and adorably clueless seemed to wash it away. And Merlin did he want that anger back. "Harry." He stopped on his way to the door and turned back around. "It's good to see you again." Harry gave a small smile before leaving the apartment.
Draco took a few more moments gathering his thoughts before standing and examining his surroundings a little better. He'd obviously been in the bedroom and he shook his head lightly. The room was an utter mess. Definitely the right person. He left the bedroom and found himself in the living room area, with a kitchen attached as part of the room. It was sparsely decorated though definitely lived in.
There was a desk sitting in a far corner and a couch and television near the center of the room. A small stereo and bookcase near the kitchen and a very small dining table. Though it gave very little evidence to what exactly Harry had been doing since he left. That would require more snooping.
He went first for the desk which was as big a mess as the bedroom. Most of what was piled up was bills and a couple pay stubs. Beneath that mess, he was surprised to find a few copies of the Daily Prophet. There were very old copies, dating just a year or so after Harry had left. Finally after setting them aside and opening the one drawer the desk had, Draco found something much more important.
He instantly pulled the photographs from the depths of the dresser, placing them in order and he began flipping through them. At first it had mostly been pictures of the Trio, sometimes some of the other Gryffindors and a couple of the Weasley's. As he went through more of them, he slowly found the few pictures Harry had taken of himself, and a couple of the two of them together. Draco audibly sighed, running a finger across the two of them in the picture.
Suddenly, he heard keys in the door and he frantically shoved the pictures back into the desk, slamming the drawer which he was certain had been heard by whoever was entering the apartment. He scrambled back for the couch picking up a magazine casually. He didn't notice he held it upside down.
"Hey. They gave me the rest of the evening off." Harry said quietly, setting his things down on the counter in the kitchen and moving into the living area. He noticed Draco with the magazine, even more so because it was upside down but didn't question it. "What are you doing here?"
Draco was surprised by the sudden question but that didn't cause him to falter. "I think the more appropriate question is what are you doing here?" Though after so much time, it was obvious. Harry was there hiding. But from what and why? Draco had known Harry was a lot of things but scared and cowardly were never any of them.
"I live here. I have for a long time."
"Six years. Six long years." Draco added a little bitterly which was enough to cause Harry to keep things going, quickly.
"So why here and why now?" Harry questioned, not daring to meet his eyes.
"I'm in the city on business. And that little diner of yours was a complete accident. The receptionist told me I could get a good meal. But I certainly didn't expect to run into you here. Or well ever again I suppose." There was venom laced throughout that comment and it stung just enough for Harry to know he wasn't going to get off easy.
"What are you doing now?" Light conversation. Harry kept repeating it over and over. Just keep things light.
"I work for the Ministry. Liaison between Britain and the States. It's not the greatest job, a lot of traveling, but the Ministry is close to where I'm staying so it works." He seemed a little annoyed by the random conversation Harry was trying to start. There were much more serious things to be discussed than Draco's job. "This isn't getting us anywhere."
"Yeah, I suppose not." Harry suddenly found his shoes to be very interesting. Draco set the magazine back down and took a deep breath. This was certainly going to be interesting.
"What are you doing here, Harry or should I say James?" He asked for the second time that evening, this time hoping for a more direct answer than before.
"Don't do that right now."
"Well then when is a good time, Harry? Cause frankly, I've waited six years, I think that you owe me that much." Draco was pleased with himself for the anger that had crept over him. It was what he needed. He didn't want himself to sit there all forgiving of Harry and what he'd done. He didn't deserve that. Not after what happened.
"I couldn't be there anymore. Everything had gotten so hard and then everything with Ron. I just needed to get away from it all." Harry had taking to pacing. A hand drug through his tousled hair as he did so.
"Away from me?" And as quickly as that anger had surfaced, it all washed away when the feelings of loss came back with a vengeance. It was like he'd left all over again, leaving Draco to deal once more.
"Leaving you that night was the hardest thing I've ever done."
"I find it hard to believe. You didn't even tell me, Harry. I would've left with you. I didn't know if you were ok, if you were alive."
"I know. I just didn't want you to have to give up anything but I couldn't deal with everything any more."
"I did anyway. You were all I had left."
"It didn't sound like you were that bad off if the tabloids are to be believed. 'Ministry Playboy at it Again.'" Harry was already angry for himself for tossing that into conversation but he felt cornered. Back up and he was ready to use whatever excuse he had. Even if it was just a tabloid he'd happened to have seen on a customer a while back on accident. He'd even accidentally taken it home and reviewed it rather briskly before deciding that it was best if he didn't even think about it and he burnt it to pieces.
"You're not turning this on me. You left me and I never thought I'd see you again. I had to compensate."
"With half of Britain?!"
"This isn't about me! James Malfoy? Really clever. I became the last person they wanted to associate you with after you were gone, you know. They blamed me for you leaving. They ran article after article about how I broke your heart. Hell, I began to blame myself. Until they realized that it had been the other way around. That you had broken mine. And then I got angry. Very angry. I knew there were other people that were sad you were gone but I didn't give a damn about them because you'd left me. They all had their lives to go back to, but me. Well I had nothing except an empty flat and a desk job to fall back on when they couldn't find you." Draco had stood by this point. He'd walked aimlessly around the room as he spoke. His voice wasn't as hateful as he'd have liked. Instead, he knew how he must've sounded.
"They tried everything they could think of. They ran every name there was. Black. Evans. Weasley. Hell, they even ran Dursley, Hagrid, and Lupin. I guess it never occurred to me either to search for Malfoy."
"It was a reminder, I guess. Of what I'd lost."
"No Harry, it wasn't what you lost. It was what you left."
They sat in silence for what seemed like forever. Neither trusting themselves to say anything. After a bit, Harry had went into the kitchen and made them both a glass of hot chocolate. Draco had taken the glass silently from him and sat back down on the couch. This prompted Harry to join him.
"You know, they still didn't get it after you left. They even coined a Harry Potter Day. The exact day that you defeated Voldemort." Harry made a face at that thought. Draco gave a bitter laugh.
"What exactly does one do on Harry Potter Day?"
"Well I don't know about anyone else but I get utterly pissed and ponder different hexes to use on you if I ever saw you again."
"And now that I'm here, it seems all of that planning is wasted. It's a shame. I'd worked out some good hexes." He took a sip from his cup thoughtfully before shrugging his shoulders.
"What about Ron and Hermione? How are they?" Harry felt bad not having asked about his best friends during this whole altercation. Or at least they had been once.
"The Weasel was heartbroken after you left. You'd think he was your lover and not me." Draco took a moment to laugh at himself which Harry joined in on. "He works at the Ministry now too, though in a very different department. He's one of the lone Aurors left. Him and Zabini of course."
"Blaise Zabini?" Harry was close to speechless. He'd always assumed Ron would always be malicious to any Slytherin for as long as he lived. Even with Hogwarts placed far behind them.
"That one in the same. Surprised?"
"Well Ron never was one to let old rivalries go."
"You might be surprised." Draco edged around the topic at hand. It hadn't even occurred to him until suddenly that Harry had absolutely no idea what had happened since he'd left. Well with the small exception of the few papers he'd seen and obviously some tabloid. Apparently some things were missing from his update. Draco didn't exactly want to be the one to do the clueing in.
"What do you mean?" That had piqued Harry's curiosity enough.
"Well after he took the job on at the Ministry, there were a couple of other interested parties. Of course there was Zabini, but Pansy Parkinson was the other new recruit. Things had started out much like I'm sure you're picturing right now. Lots of yelling. Lots of cursing. But suddenly, one day I guess, it clicked for the two of them. And well Pansy married Weasley…oh three years ago now. Actually, they have a rather adorable daughter. Looks just like Weasley, unfortunately, but is just like her mother." Draco sounded awfully sweet and reminiscent in his speech.
"And I can see you spending a lot of time with Ron and Pansy's baby." Harry put out the sarcasm as he couldn't find anything else to fill the gap with. Ron and Pansy Parkinson? It just didn't hardly seem right.
"Well she is my Goddaughter." Draco pointed out as a matter of a factly.
"Yeah, I can see that. Ron would never agree to you being his daughter's Godfather." Harry had to stifle a laugh. Draco was really getting him good.
"And why exactly?"
"Because he hated you, and I'm sure he still does. That's just the kind of person he is." Harry didn't worry about hiding his laughter that time. It did nothing but make Draco more angry.
"As crazy as it may sound, I'm the Godfather. In fact, just to make things even more crazy, I haven't hated Weasley since we graduated. And he told me he was sorry you were gone." Draco bite out, standing back up from the couch, letting the silence meet them again.
"And what about Hermione?" Harry asked later when the silence became too thick again. Draco set the cup he'd held idly on the counter in the kitchen.
"I'm not totally certain you're ready to hear this." Draco had begun pacing. Harry in turn got worried.
"Hermione surprised several people when she decided to get engaged. Actually, I was one of them. I'd been going to see her for ages but I never suspected anything exactly serious." Draco found himself rambling. He was nervous. Even though he hadn't seen Harry in ages, he was certain he wasn't going to be happy about the bit of information he had to pass along.
"Going to see her?"
"I guess you'd call her my psychologist of sorts. She keeps me sane and I in turn give her tips on her love life. It works for the both of us."
"And what about this love life would I not be happy about?" Harry wasn't reading him thus far.
"A couple of years ago, I'd gone to this party. And I asked Hermione to come with me, sort as my date for the evening. Not for appearances just for my sanity I guess. Social functions haven't really been on my priority list lately." He paused a moment as he tried to recall that evening. He'd gotten pissed out of his mind but that wasn't a rare occurrence. But what he saw that night, certainly was.
"I'd had a few drinks I guess when I went to find Hermione. I hadn't seen her since we'd gotten there and honestly I was ready to go. Though it turned out, she wasn't. Or at least that's how it looked."
"How what looked?"
"She was snogging. With Snape." Draco sat down the couch preparing for the shock to end and Harry to become coherent again. Though there was more of a surprise. Harry leaned forward and he laughed. Long and hard, with Draco just watching on in shock. "Did you hear me correctly?"
"It's just what a bunch we are. All three of us spent years, solemnly swearing to hate all Slytherins and look at is. All three of us are hopelessly in love with one of them now." He didn't appear to have heard his words as he spoke them but Draco did. And he was a bit shocked.
"Are you being serious? You still feel like that after all this time?" Draco asked almost shyly. He'd had it in his head all these years that Harry left and went to forget about all of them. Himself included, well actually, especially himself.
Harry had stopped laughing now. "Yeah. I still love you, so much." Harry averted his eyes quickly, praying that Draco would just take it like that and go on. He'd had quite enough arguing for the evening. He wanted to be past that, even if Draco hated him now. Then, he got another surprise.
Draco's hand jolted his head up and he pressed his lips hungrily against Harry's. He'd only been waiting six years and inside his body was screaming he wouldn't wait any longer. And soon, the wait was over.
At some point that night, they'd taken their tryst to the bedroom. Neither could pinpoint exactly when and it didn't matter. For once in a long time, they were both just content. Draco had curled up, his head nestled underneath Harry's chin, an arm strung across his chest. Harry had lazily draped an arm across Draco's back, letting his eyes close momentarily.
"Hmmm…?" He didn't bother to open his eyes, it was a good thing. He'd have seen the apprehension on Draco's face as he spoke.
"What does this mean now? Do you expect me just to go back to London and pretend I never saw you while I was here? Go back to the way things have been?" Harry hadn't honestly thought about it. He'd never intended to be found. Now that he had, what would that mean for him. If Draco told anyone, they'd want to see him as well. And soon word would get out and people would know. He'd have no choice but to go back if that route was taken. But what else could he do? His heart was telling him that he'd lost Draco once and he wasn't sure he could take doing it again.
With Harry's lack of an answer, Draco sat up, pulling himself away from him. "Maybe this was a mistake." He spoke with an icy tone. To him, it seemed that Harry had given his answer by not saying anything at all. He still didn't want him. "I'll be sure to be discreet, though there are a few people I'll need to tell." He swung his feet over the side of the bed, as a lump formed in his throat. And then, Harry grabbed his hand.
"Draco, wait." The blonde turned around, fixing a blank stare on him. "I hadn't been prepared for this. And now that you're here, it doesn't make it any easier." Harry took a deep breath. He had to make up his mind right then or it was going to be made for him. "I love you so much, I do but if I go back now, it's going to be much worse than it ever was. It would be like that for you."
"I'll have you know it's been like that anyway. Being known as the only lover of Harry Potter comes with a lot of publicity." He replied blandly, pulling his hand out of his grip and searching out some form of clothing to cover himself. All he could find were plaid green pajama pants of Harry's. Not giving much concern, he slipped them on. He worked at tying a knot in the draw string as Harry went on.
"I never wanted that."
"Well what the bloody hell do you want, Harry? Cause honestly, it's getting very hard to figure it out." Draco sneered finished the knot. Despite it, his pants hung a little loose on his waist, dipping around his pelvic bone slightly.
"Stay with me." He said simply and Draco gave him an incredulous look. "Just stay with me here. We can start over."
"Unfortunately, Harry, I can't just start over." Draco gave him a sad parting glance before leaving him alone in the bedroom. And soon after the apartment.
Draco got back into his hotel room close to day break that next day. He's been scheduled to return home that evening. Though it required more work than it was worth. He had to go to the required Port Key checkpoint and go through all that. It really wasn't worth it and he wished he could've just apparated. The Americans did things much differently.
It didn't help that he had so much with Harry weighing heavily on his mind. Part of him was planning more hexes for the other man and the other half for himself. He'd had him. And it could've stayed that way. But he was prepared to give up his life. Harry couldn't keep running. Draco wished he would realize that.
As dusk hit the city, Draco went about shoving the remainder of his things in his trunk and shrinking it down to fit in a pocket. It was hard enough getting to the Port Key without looking suspicious. Let alone with a huge trunk to carry. He gave a last look around the hotel room and sighed. If he was never in this bloody city again it'd be too soon.
The walk to his destination was quiet and he mostly kept to himself. He hadn't been happy the first time to learn he had to go down into the Subway station to use it. Of all the bloody places. He had to go into the disease infested portions just to get home. You were supposed to wait until a train began to go by and there was a telephone you'd grab. Draco muttered the incantation quickly and a moment later, he was standing inside the Ministry of Magic's transportation area. He registered with the witch down there that he was back in the country though she didn't seem to care either way.
In fact, as he walked slowly back to his flat, most of the wizards he knew seemed to have something else on their minds. He'd gotten used to the whisperings about him over the years but this was getting ridiculous.
He finally made it back to his flat though this was after screaming at the woman downstairs for gawking and giggling. There really wasn't anything funny at all. Though he knew he'd have to apologize later. He was just stressed. That was it. He'd just keep repeating it over and over when someone asked.
He entered his flat, taking his coat off and tossing it over a chair in the kitchen. He scanned the pile of mail that was waiting to be looked at later but was surprised to the see the lack of a certain presence. A certain owl. Harry's owl.
After he'd left Hogwarts in a flurry, he'd left Hedwig behind. Somehow she'd ended up staying with Draco rather than searching Harry out. After a few months, it was obvious she wouldn't be making that trip. She normally was home all afternoon unless he needed something delivered. She had become more of a pet recently though. Draco had just been very fond of the bird and preferred the company.
"Hedwig?" He muttered to the seemingly empty room. There was no reply but suddenly as he entered his living room, he spotted her, perched on the arm of his leather sofa. "You silly bird, get off of there." He moved to shoe her from the exterior when he suddenly realized why she was on the couch. "Harry!?"
The sleeping form jolted a little too quickly, looking around nervously before realizing who'd found him. "Draco. You're home."
"Yes and so are you. What are you doing here?"
"I didn't think you really would've kept this flat. I was surprised to find out otherwise though." He said fondly.
"I saw no reason to sell it. Why are you here?" He repeated himself, keeping his eyes guarded on him.
"You made me realized a few things last night."
"Oh? It's about time."
"Mostly that I couldn't keep hiding forever. I had to live my life. But most importantly that I couldn't do that unless I was with you." Harry had swung his feet over onto the ground and watched Draco, nervously chewing on his bottom lip.
"It's taken you six years, Harry. I've waited six years." He paused which caused Harry to believe that this all had been for naught. "And it's about bloody time." The blonde flung himself on Harry again, holding on awfully tight as they got aquainted again. So tight so that he couldn't slip away again. They'd already lost so much time, he'd be damned if they lost anymore.
A/N: The idea just popped into my head while I was working on the end of Unexpected Endeavors. This obviously is a one shot though I'm toying with the idea of maybe adding a little bit more in this world. Perhaps Hermione and Ron and that mess. I dunno, but you know what would help me make up my mind? You're advice and reviews. So tell me, do you want to read more oris this one-shot just enough? Granted it's a long one-shot but you catch my drift. Anywho, I'll love you forever if you take the time to review :-D