Title: "In A Moment"
Pairing: HP/DM
Summary: Inspired by an episode of BTVS.

NOTE: This was the very first Harry Potter slash fic that I ever wrote. It was posted to the group at glassesreflect in 2003 and I just wanted to add it to my collection of stories over here. It's just a simple little story full of romance and angst. Bear in mind that it was my very first foray into the slash universe, so it is a bit rough around the edges.


The greatest thing you'll ever learn...

Draco snuck a peek at Harry out of the corner of his eye as his Quidditch captain droned on and on about tactics and plays. The Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch teams were taking advantage of the good weather after a month of heavy downpour by sharing the pitch for their respective practice session.

Harry, as if sensing Draco's gaze, shifted uncomfortably and adjusted the neck of his robes. Draco smirked and fought the urge to snicker. He knew what Harry was desperately trying to keep hidden. Draco never could keep his hands to himself whenever he saw Harry in his Quidditch uniform. It wasn't his fault the boy was irresistable.

"Draco!"

Draco blinked and looked up.

"You awake there, Malfoy?"

His team mates were staring at him.

"Barely, no thanks to your fucking repetitive speech. Can we actually practice before nightfall?" Draco retorted.

His captain glared at him but broke up the meeting and they mounted their brooms; kicking up into the crisp, morning air. Draco watched his team scatter and begin to practice their various manoeuvres with speed and skill. He knew they were just as glad as he was to be out on a broom again in decent weather, and it showed in the enthusiasm of their flying.

He risked another glance over at the Gryffindors and scanned the speeding players for Harry's raven hair and slim form. It didn't take him long. Harry was flying nonchalantly off to the side, enjoying himself and watching his team with a smile. He immediately looked over and locked eyes with Draco. Without even noticing it, his smile widened and he brought his broom to a stand-still.

Draco raised a brow and made sure Harry saw as he reached forward and stroked his broom handle provocatively.

Harry laughed and had to grip his broom for balance as he unintentionally dropped a few feet. Draco smirked and turned back to his team.

Something gold flitted past his shoulder and he took off after it like a shot. He streaked across the pitch, swerving around his team mates, his eyes locked on the tiny snitch. It changed direction by the goal posts and Draco was ready for it, he reached out and snatched it out of the air with triumph. His team cheered and he turned around to see if Harry had seen his spectacular flying.

He couldn't see the expression on Harry's face from this distance, but he could see him shaking his head in amusement. Draco grinned and released his hold on the snitch, letting it fly away again to be caught later.

A wall of dark clouds suddenly loomed overhead and Draco sighed, waiting for the inevitable feel of raindrops to fall. But something felt different, the temperature dropped suddenly and a strange electrical tension filled the air. That was when he glanced down and saw about twenty Death Eaters in a circle standing on the grass surface of the pitch below, looking up at all the players - no, not at all of them, just one player. Wearing red and gold.

Oh, God. Harry.

Harry had stopped flying and was looking down at the sudden appearance of the black-robed Death Eaters with fear.

Draco tried to fly towards Harry, but his broom wouldn't move. It was frozen. He looked around and saw that the others were discovering this too. He looked back to Harry and saw him slowly descending to the ground, except that it wasn't Harry moving his broom. One of the Death Eaters was pointing a wand up at his lover and forcing the broom to float downwards. He briefly wondered if his father was among the group of Death Eaters. Maybe it was his father's pale hand gripping the wand that was bringing Harry ever closer to them.

Harry's feet touched the earth and he stumbled off of his broom to stand facing the Death Eaters alone. Draco could see the mixture of courage and contempt on Harry's young face, and realized with a jolt of fear that Harry didn't have his wand with him. He had seen him leave it in the changing room when they'd been there together before practice.

He could see Harry's mouth moving, but was too far away to hear anything. One of the Death Eaters reached into his robe and Draco suddenly wondered, in a moment of panic, whether he could jump to the ground from this height and survive. The Death Eater pulled out a small orange object that was glowing dimly in the palm of his hand. He saw Harry shake his head and back away a step. Then more talking. It was killing him not knowing what was going on. He wanted to be with Harry, stand beside him and help him, hold him. He swore at his broom and cursed the snitch for leading him so far away from where Harry had been flying.

Harry suddenly turned towards Draco and looked up, regarding him silently.

Draco froze. His mind went numb as he locked eyes with Harry.

Harry seemed to come to a decision and took a step towards the Death Eater that he had been conversing with.

"Harry!" Draco screamed. "Harry!"

Harry reached out and touched his fingers to the glowing object, vanishing before their eyes. The Death Eaters closed in tighter and disappeared together.

The clouds cleared, the sun returned, the brooms came back to life, and Harry was gone.

Without a second thought, Draco flew to the ground and threw his broom aside as he sprinted off towards the school. He ignored the calls of his team mates and the horror-stricken expressions on the Gryffindors as they stared down at the spot where Harry had last been standing. He headed straight for Snape's office with no other thought in his head except that he had to save Harry - his Harry, and he didn't care who knew anymore. Nothing mattered now except getting him back...

That had been one month ago.

No Death Eaters had been found, there was no sign of Voldemort, and no trace of Harry.

The entire school now knew of Draco and Harry's secret relationship that they had been hiding for the better part of two years. The Slytherins shunned him, with the few exceptions of his true friends, and the rest of the school felt sorry for him. He wallowed in depression and spent every waking moment devising ways to find Harry, he refused to give up hope. He had long talks with Professor Snape and Dumbledore when he needed to vent his frustration or just to talk about Harry with someone.

He knew now that he loved Harry. Why is it you don't realize how much someone truly means to you until they are gone? Maybe it stems from feelings of guilt for not spending as much time with them as you could have, or not saying how much they meant to you when you had the chance. Draco felt swamped with regret and prayed that he would still get the chance to one day tell Harry that he loved him.

Another month goes by...

Then one day two third year Ravenclaws are walking together out on the Quidditch pitch in the early evening hours and see something lying in a heap by the bottom of one of the tall goal posts. As they walk closer, they recognize the shape as being a human body. They glance at eachother before quickly dropping to their knees beside the form. The boy gingerly picks up the corner of the thick, black cloak that is hiding the person's face and lifts it up.

"Bloody hell!" he gasps. "It's Harry Potter!"

His female companion reaches out and places her fingers on Harry's throat to check for a pulse and sighs in relief.

"He's still alive," she says. "We should get the headmaster and Madam Pomfrey right away, though. He looks really bad."

Her friend nods and runs off towards the school to fetch help. She takes out her wand and watches over Harry's body with a fierce sense of protectiveness. No way was she going to let anything happen to the fallen hero now that they had him back.

Draco looked up as Professor Snape banged into the Slytherin common room and scanned the students gathered there. Draco stood slowly from the couch and looked at him with hope in his eyes. The potions master merely nodded and turned on his heel to walk back out into the corridor, Draco hot on his heels.

Draco burst into the infirmary and rushed to where Madam Pomfrey was standing over one of the hospital beds. He looked down and wanted to sob in relief when he saw Harry sleeping peacefully.

"How is he?" he asked as he knelt down by the bed and took up Harry's hand in his.

"Fine." Madam Pomfrey smiled. "With the exception of one broken arm, a dislocated shoulder, and some minor cuts and bruises, he is in perfect health."

Draco held back the tears that threatened to fall and squeezed Harry's hand tightly.

Draco stayed at Harry's bedside as countless visitors came and went. Ron and Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Remus Lupin.

Draco woke up the next morning in the hospital bed next to Harry's. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up.

"Harry!" he exclaimed upon seeing the emerald eyes open and looking out of the window beside his bed. "Harry?"

Harry didn't even turn his head, but continued to stare listlessly out of the window at the grey sky.

Draco got up and walked around to look Harry in the face. The emerald eyes were so dull and lifeless he wanted to turn away at the sight.

"Harry?" he tried again.

Harry blinked and turned towards him. "Draco."

"How are you feeling?" he asked in concern, worry etched in lines on his teenage face.

"Fine," Harry answered tonelessly.

Draco rolled his eyes and pulled up a chair to Harry's bed. "You're not fine, Harry. What's wrong?"

For the first time, Draco saw a flash of something in Harry's eyes. Pain?

"I'm tired," Harry said, the look replaced again by the mask of indifference. He turned away from Draco and closed his eyes.

"No, you're not sleeping now," Draco commanded in concern, grabbing Harry's arm.

"Don't touch me!" Harry screamed, sitting up and backing all the way up to the headboard.

Draco released his arm in shock. "Tell me what's wrong."

Madam Pomfrey came running in and glared at Draco. "What are you doing to him?" she demanded.

"Nothing, I just touched his arm."

She leaned over Harry and felt his forehead carefully as he continued to stare in wild-eyed panic at Draco.

"Well, I think you can go now, Harry," she said. "The headmaster wants to see you."

Harry nodded and stood up, watching Draco warily as if he was about to pounce on him. Madam Pomfrey handed him some clean clothes and closed off the bed with white curtains.

"I think perhaps you'd better leave, Mr Malfoy," she suggested. "I don't want you aggravating Harry until we find out what's wrong."

Draco nodded resignedly and walked away, glancing at the white curtains hiding Harry from view as he left.

Two weeks later...

Draco sat staring at Harry from across the Great Hall over his breakfast. It had been two weeks since they had found Harry and he had been forbidden to even go near him by Dumbledore. He had pleaded with the headmaster, but had been told sadly that it had been Harry's request. Even Dumbledore didn't know why.

Harry had told the story of his capture and the whereabouts of the remaining Death Eaters to the headmaster, including the fact that he had finally defeated Voldemort. Yet Harry remained impassive and depressed.

Draco watched in frustration as Harry attended classes and acted like a robot going through the motions of living day by day. It hurt him not to know why he was being pushed away from the one he loved. He wanted to comfort Harry and help him, but he couldn't even get close enough to make eye contact. Harry's friends made sure of that.

Draco found out that his father had been among the many Death Eaters killed by a group of Aurors that had ambushed their hide-out, thanks to Harry's information. He didn't care. He had long since known that his father would end up dead and spared the man that made his life a living hell little thought as he went on with his life. He only wished Harry would stop acting like the living dead and explain to him why he now hated him.

One month later...

A note from Harry.

Draco,

Meet me in the Astronomy Tower at eleven o'clock.

Harry

Draco felt his heart skip a beat and counted the minutes until their meeting later that night.

Eleven o'clock that night...

Draco carefully pushed open the Tower door and peeked inside, scared that Harry hadn't shown up or that it was just some cruel joke that someone had pulled on him. But no, there was Harry; laying on his side on the window seat and gazing up at the dark sky. He sat up and turned towards Draco as the Slytherin entered and shut the door quietly behind him.

Draco stood uncertainly by the door, unsure of what to do, unsure of what Harry wanted to talk to him about. He thought it better to keep his distance until Harry made the first move.

Harry smiled for the first time since he had returned and opened his arms to Draco.

Draco let out a sob and ran to Harry, wrapping his arms around him and holding him tight. Harry shook in his arms and tears coursed down his cheeks to fall into the silver-blond hair. Draco just kept rocking him back and forth, finally letting his own tears of pain and frustration wash down his cheeks.

Harry took a shuddering breath and pulled back to look him in the face.

"I love you, Draco."

Draco closed his eyes for a second and relished the sound of the words coming from Harry's lips.

"I love you, too, Harry."

He leaned forward and captured Harry's lips in a gentle kiss. He didn't want to ask about the past weeks, about why Harry had acted the way he had. He didn't care anymore. He only knew that his Harry had returned and he wasn't going to let him go again. Ever.

Harry returned the kiss with fervour and poured his heart and soul into the moment. Reassuring Draco of his love and in a way apologizing for the past.

Draco pulled away and gently wiped the tears from Harry's soft skin with a smile. Harry looked deeply into Draco's soft grey eyes. Draco thought he saw a flash of fear in the swirling emerald.

"Make love to me, Draco," Harry pleaded in a whisper.

"Are you sure?" Draco asked, thinking of the fear that he had seen in Harry's eyes. They had never gone that far before.

"Yes." Harry nodded resolutely.

Draco thought that it was the perfect time and place. He had never felt so in-tune with Harry before, nor so in love.

Draco nodded and pulled him closer as they kissed. Draco removed Harry's clothes one by one and tenderly kissed each part of newly exposed skin. His hands exploring the soft flesh in wonderment as Harry helped him out of his own clothes.

They stood together in front of the large window, their naked bodies bathed in moonlight as they melted together in each other's embrace. Draco lowered Harry to the floor and pulled back slightly to look at him. He rested his cheek in his hand and gazed down at Harry's flushed face. He knew the love shining in Harry's eyes was reflected in his own, and he let himself be wrapped in Harry's arms and legs as their bodies became one.

Tears pooled in Harry's eyes as he gazed up at Draco.

"Are you alright?" Draco asked breathlessly, stilling his thrusting hips.

"Yes," Harry whispered softly. "Don't stop. Please."

Draco placed a kiss on Harry's forehead as Harry tightened his legs around Draco's hips.

Harry wanted the moment to last forever, but knew it wasn't possible. He kept his eyes open so he could watch Draco's pleasure, the pleasure he was giving the one he loved.

Draco's world exploded as he came deep inside his lover. Harry moaned as they rode out the wave of bliss together, fingers intertwined together in sweaty hands. Backs arching and muscles straining to prolong the moment for as long as possible.

Draco collapsed on Harry's chest, panting and feeling utterly complete. Harry wrapped his arms around Draco's damp back and kissed his hair. He could feel the heavy weight of sleep pressing on him and he fought to stave it off, just a little longer.

Draco rolled over next to Harry and breathed deeply. Harry turned to look at him, memorizing every detail of Draco's face.

"I love you," Harry said quietly. "No matter what happens, know that I'll always love you."

Draco opened his arms and brought Harry to rest in his embrace. Harry snuggled into his arms and laid his head on Draco's chest.

"I love you, Harry," Draco answered softly. "Always."

Harry knew that he couldn't fight it off any longer and he closed his eyes with a sigh. He was ready now and he didn't regret anything. Draco kissed Harry's temple and wrapped them up in the warmth of their cloaks before closing his own eyes and drifting off. As he fell asleep, it crossed his exhausted mind that it sounded as if Harry had been saying goodbye. He tightened his hold on his love and fell asleep, reassured by the rise and fall of Harry's steady breathing.

Morning breaks...

Draco woke the next morning and slowly blinked his eyes open. He sighed in relief when felt Harry still in his arms. It wasn't a dream. His hand came up to caress Harry's cheek and he noticed in alarm how cold it felt.

Draco sat up quickly and tucked the cloaks in tighter around Harry's body. Harry had a small smile on his face and his skin looked like porcelain. He wasn't breathing.

Draco shook him frantically. "Harry? Harry, wake up!"

Harry lay unmoving.

Tears coursed down Draco's cheeks as he screamed...

Three months later...

Draco threw his graduation certificate on his bed and grabbed his cloak. Ignoring his friends, he walked out past the milling students and proud parents, pushed open the Entrance doors and walked off towards the lake. He strolled silently around the perimeter, his arms hugging himself tightly as his thoughts drifted back to his meeting with Dumbledore the day Harry had died.

The headmaster had regarded him with sad eyes and a heavy heart. He had told him that Harry had come to him the day before and explained what had happened to him while he had been captured. In his dying moments, Voldemort had cursed Harry with something called the 'Angel Curse'. If Harry experienced a moment of complete happiness and love, he would die.

Draco had run away from the kind headmaster. He returned to the Astronomy Tower and sat on the floor, touching the place where Harry had been completely happy and had felt loved. He lay down on the spot and never wanted to get up again.

At first he blamed himself, but Snape and Dumbledore helped him come to see that it had been Harry's decision. Harry had said that he couldn't go on living without Draco. Harry knew that if he had told him the truth, then they both would've spent a lifetime feeling empty, missing a vital piece of themselves.

Harry had told Dumbledore that it would be worth it to experience love once and die then live a lifetime without it.

Draco slowly resumed his life, vowing to never love anyone else. He could never love anyone like he loved Harry, but he swore that he would still live a fulfilling life. His prayers had been answered when he had been given the chance to tell Harry that he loved him one last time, and he wanted to repay that gift by living his life to the fullest. He knew he was lucky to have experienced love at all, especially a love as true and as pure as theirs' had been. A love worth sacrificing everything for.

Draco smiled and stared out at the still waters of the lake in the fading light of dusk.

"I love you, Harry," he whispered. "Always."

Draco turned and headed back to the school, ready to move on, and to see what the world had to offer him.


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be
loved in return.