chapter eighteen: letting go
notes: last chapter, shortest chapter. hope you had fun :) thanks for the comments and encouragement! you don't know how much it means to me that you've stuck with the story all the way here.
Draco's wand was in his hand the moment Harry Potter stepped into the Slytherin car and sat down next to him with nary a word to anyone else. It was just Draco's luck his goons were stuffing their faces in the food car when he needed them. "What do you want?" he scowled.
"Ron thinks you're a Death Eater," Potter said without preamble.
Draco withdrew his wand and sat it in his lap, clutched in tight fingers. "What if I am," he said.
Potter gave him a look and shifted closer. He ignored Draco's wand entirely. "Why did you tell us about the Wolfsbane? I won't ask how you know—I know about…you know." His eyes darted warily at the Slytherins staring menacingly at him around the car.
It was Pansy who came to his rescue. "I'm hungry," she said loudly. "Blaise, escort me to the food cart."
"I'm reading," he said from somewhere behind Draco. Draco heard a scuffle, and then "No you're not," from Pansy, and soon the lot of them were leaving. Nott gave Draco a disapproving look as he left, just before Pansy shoved him out the door, followed by Blaise's grumbling figure and the Queen herself. She winked as she left. "You owe me," she mouthed as she closed the door.
The car was empty but for Draco and Potter. There was an odd fluttering in Draco's chest that he couldn't explain. Ignoring Potter's question, Draco asked, "Why are you still here?" He made it plain that he didn't care.
"Ron thinks you're trying to trick us into trusting you."
"I could be."
"You're not though." Potter really was awkward. And his hair was terrible. "Thank you. For telling us, I mean. You didn't have to, and I know it cost you."
Draco stayed silent, thinking. It had cost him. Most of Slytherin wouldn't talk to him again, even though he'd put them in better standing with the surprise fifty points at the End of Year Feast.
"I know you're not a Death Eater," Potter said when the silence became too much. "I don't know if you're going to be, but—"
"I'm not." Draco didn't know why he'd said it. Potter was looking at him again, and it just slipped out. Potter's eyes were green as a curse.
Potter smiled. "Oh," he said. The following silence was no less awkward than the first.
"Was that all?" Draco asked, "because I really must get to the food cart to make sure Pansy's—"
"That wasn't all, actually. I wanted to…" Potter frowned. He seemed nervous.
"I don't have all day, Potter." Draco scooted closer, trying to shove Potter off the seat and out of his way. Potter stayed put. He met Draco's eyes and everything froze but Potter as, in the fastest slow-motion Draco ever experienced, Potter leaned forward and—
Their teeth clacked together. Potter's nose got in the way. Draco couldn't help laughing. Potter shushed him. Their lips were touching, wet and strange and slick. They kissed.
Draco's wand clattered to the floor. It didn't matter anymore.