At Midnight
by Bil!

.PG - HP, DM - Complete
Tomorrow it would be a dream - today it seemed inevitable. Set during OotP; Harry and Draco share a moment of understanding.

A/N: An odd little story. I wrote the first draft instead of trying to sleep (which was what I really wanted to do).

The night was cold and the sky was clear and the stars hung above like flakes of quicksilver, bright and crisp. The world was peaceful, and some of that still serenity sank into his heart, calming the anger that seemed like a constant companion these days. Night-sounds floated to him from the Forbidden Forest, the voices of the strange and the unknown, and he knew that somewhere out there under night's cloak the centaurs were reading his future in the stars. Those pinpricks, so innocent and beautiful, had determined his fate. Tomorrow, Harry would be angry about it and stomp about moodily all day, but tonight was too peaceful for him to care.

He sat at the top of the Astronomy Tower, sitting within one of the large crenellations, one leg bent, toes resting against the stones opposite those his back pressed against, the other dangling freely over the vast drop to the distant ground. A simple misjudgement of balance could send him toppling into the abyss with nothing to save him, but he didn't really care. Tonight, for once, he was at peace.

Up here he was at once a part of the world and not a part of it, hovering between land and sky, floating free from all the harsh, busy worries of the day. Up here he was no longer Harry Potter, chosen saviour of a world that hated him, he was just a shadow with no name and no past and no future - only this moment of breathless, fearless existence.

His ears, sensitised by silence, caught soft footsteps and the rustle of fabric. Really, he wasn't surprised to learn someone else had an invisibility cloak - at least, not this someone. "Hello, Malfoy," he said quietly, not bothered by the intrusion.

The other boy let his cloak fall from his shoulders, his face expressionless. "Potter." The cloak trailed from his pale hands like a waterfall of starlight.

When Harry neither went to leave nor made an objection to his presence, Draco stepped forward and leant against the wall, arms resting on the top of the stone. He stared out into the dark; Harry turned away again, abiding by the unspoken truce. Tomorrow, it would be a dream; here and now it seemed natural that they should both be in this place at this time. Neither spoke for a long time.

"I'm going to be a Death Eater," Draco said finally, more to the stars than Harry.

"I know."

"I'm going to die by your hand."

"I know."

Silence again. Neither moved or looked at the other. The stars wheeled slowly across the sky.

"Our lives were decided even before we were born," Harry said quietly. "Me for Light, you for Dark. We never got to choose. It hardly seems fair, does it?"

"Life isn't fair, Potter," Draco said, but his harshness wasn't directed at Harry.

"No..." Harry mused. He thought about it. "I'd like to find a way to change that."

Draco snorted, but without malice. "If anyone can, it's probably you."

"But not in time for us."

"We're lost, Potter. There was never a time it could have been in time for us."

They said nothing more. But when Harry finally sighed and went to leave, he paused at the top of the stairs and looked back. "I'll regret killing you, Draco."

Even in the dim starlight he could see the other boy's eyes, clear and bright and proud. "I'll regret making you into a killer, Harry."

Harry nodded, wrapping his invisibility cloak around his shoulders, and headed for his bed.