AN: Thanks to everyone who reviewed! Well! It's happened, we're finally here – the last chapter of Only In My Dreams. I won't say anything else, just let you get straight to it. Enjoy!
The (Accidental) Truth Comes Out
Tuesday, December 22nd
There was a definite sense of excitement and anticipation in the air. It was Tuesday night in the last week of term. The general student body was looking forward to Christmas the coming Friday, and also to Saturday morning, when they would go to Hogsmeade Station after breakfast and leave for home.
These feelings were particularly obvious in the Gryffindor common room, where the students were happily relaxing, ignoring whatever homework they might have. Amidst the laughter, yelling and exuberant conversation, Harry and his friends had taken up their regular seats. Harry was versing Ron in a game of Wizard's Chess (which, inevitably, Harry was losing spectacularly), and Seamus and Dean were engaged in a rather heated session on a nearby chair.
Neville wasn't present, being in the library on a 'date', of sorts, with Luna Lovegood (something the others has already ensured he'd been teased about). Hermione, however, was not playing chess nor making out with anyone – she was in the corner, talking to Ginny.
Over the last week or so, Ginny had slowly been hanging out with them a little more and talking to each of them more. In particular, Ginny had been conversing with Hermione regularly. It was a little awkward and stilted, as Hermione knew she would probably never forgive Ginny completely for what she did to Harry, but she knew for the sake of the group she and Ginny needed to get along. So, Hermione had uneasily slipped back into the close friendship that had existed before between the two of them.
She'd helped Ginny with homework when it was needed, and had heard the full extent of Ginny's story in regards to Harry.
Not surprisingly, the first part of this was truly pathetic and inexcusable – Ginny really had not had a truly good reason for what she'd done. An unexpected happening, however, had been hearing what Ginny had to say now she and Harry had been apart for two months.
Even though Ginny really did not deserve sympathy from anyone, Hermione couldn't help but give it. Ginny truly had changed for the better, only unfortunately for her, it was too late. No matter that she'd realised the error of her ways, nor that she had reformed – the simple fact was that Harry was in love with Malfoy.
Of course, she couldn't actually tell Ginny this. Instead, when questioned by Ginny as to what she thought the true reason behind Harry's reluctance to be with her was, Hermione simply repeated what Harry himself had told her – he didn't feel that way about her, and couldn't trust her enough again. Which was the truth…just altered slightly.
The only thing was Ginny didn't seem to be able to get it.
"But I need him." She was saying, absently playing with a strand of her red hair.
Hermione sighed. "No, Ginny, you don't. What you need is someone to care about you. You're only thinking you need him because he's the only one who has ever treated you the way you needed to be treated."
"No!" Ginny insisted. "I do, I really do need him."
Hermione resisted the urge to whack her head against the nearby wall or whack some sense into Ginny. Instead, she questioned again, patiently, "What were your relationships like once you broke up with Harry?"
"Purely physical." Ginny said. "They didn't really care about me, just about what I could do."
"There you go." Hermione said. "Find someone who'll like you for more than physical reasons. There has to be someone else here besides Harry who knows how to treat a girl properly."
Silence. And then…
"But what do I do if there isn't?"
Hermione gave a sigh of frustration, just as Ron glanced over to them from the chessboard.
"Looks like 'Mione's having fun with Ginny." He commented, grinning.
Harry didn't look up, as he was studying the board and calculating his next move. "Yeah." He said absent-mindedly, frowning at the pieces.
"It hasn't been that bad, the last week, has it?" Ron mused.
Having finally located a workable move, Harry triumphantly moved his bishop three spaces across. He leaned back. "No, it hasn't. It's been alright."
"Blimey, I'm glad it's nearly holidays though." Ron said, scanning the board briefly before advancing a knight forward. "Check."
Harry groaned, leaning forward once more. After he'd managed to save his King from near disaster, he leaned back again. "Yeah. It'll be good to see the twins and your parents and everybody again."
"Yeah." Said Ron, barely even looking at the board for more than a few seconds before his castle swooped. "Check and mate, my friend."
"Dammit." Harry said exasperatedly, before sighing and grinning at his friend. 'Good game, Ron."
"Thanks." Ron said easily, before changing the subject. "Basically, all that's really left to get through is the Potions project tomorrow. Are you all ready for yours?"
"Pretty much." Said Harry, who felt a vague sensation of nausea every time the subject of the next day came up. It had eventually registered over the weekend that as Draco had tried the practise potion, he would be trying the actual potion, a fact that had kept him awake most nights with anxiety. "What about you?"
"As ready as I'm going to be, I guess." Ron said. "I'm just praying that Zabini doesn't try to screw it up purely to get me in trouble."
"He won't Ron, remember you said yourself that he cares about his grades?"
"Yeah, I suppose." Ron allowed. "I just want to get it out of the way!"
"What potion were you guys doing, again?" Harry asked.
"Modabeo Potion. It changes your mood every minute after you drink it for about an hour." Ron answered.
Harry gave a low whistle. "Wow. Which if you is going to be drinking it?"
"Me." Ron said glumly. "I volunteered to try and head off more fights."
"That was generous of you." Harry couldn't keep the surprise from his voice, something that Ron noticed
"Hey! I can be generous when I want to be, you know." He said, outraged, aiming a blow for Harry's shoulder.
Harry laughed and ducked the hit easily. "Yeah, I know."
Ron pulled out his wand and waved it over the chessboard, and the pieces began to move into their original and correct positions. Harry took the opportunity to look around and see how everyone else was doing. Dean and Seamus were still suitably occupied, while Hermione was obviously still deep in conversation with Ginny.
Harry watched them for a moment, thinking. After Draco had told him on Friday night that he had sent the letter to Hermione alerting her to Ginny's cheating, he had eventually decided that perhaps it would be best to tell Hermione as well. He chose Sunday night as the night to tell her about it. Hermione had been surprised and a little confused.
"But why would he have been so nice to you, Harry?" she'd asked.
He'd shrugged and said, "I have no idea. I'm just glad he was."
Hermione seemed to have let the matter go, which he was relieved about.
But unbeknownst to him, she had taken up a little correspondence of her own after that enlightening conversation.
She'd gone straight up to the Girls' dorm, sat at a desk and penned a letter immediately.
Harry told me it was you who sent me that letter about Ginny cheating. I don't really understand why you chose to be nice to him rather than exploit that potential weakness. I may never know. But I just wanted to thank you for it, nonetheless. You did Harry a great service that day. So, thank you.
She had sent it that night, and to her surprise a reply had arrived the very next morning.
Don't worry about it. I only did what any decent human being would've done (and yes, I can be decent when I want to be). You don't owe me any gratitude.
She had been shocked by the overall pleasant and polite tone of Malfoy's reply. Maybe there really was a method to Harry's madness – if Malfoy acted like this towards Harry, it was no wonder he'd fallen for him. Hermione had concluded that if anything ever happened between the two, she couldn't see a reason to object, especially now Malfoy had proven himself to be a decent person.
Harry didn't know about any of this, of course, and even if he had he probably wouldn't have cared much – he was thinking about the next day and what it would bring. He was sure it would be important – he just didn't know how and to what extent.
Meanwhile in the Slytherin Common Room, the scene was noticeably different. The excitement about the approaching end of term was still present, only muted to an appropriate level. The Snakes were huddled all throughout the room, conducting their conversations in murmurs and hisses, as they were wont to do.
Draco was sitting with Blaise, Nott, Crabbe and Goyle in a huddle of deep green chairs around the silver and green flames in the fireplace.
"So, Potions project ends tomorrow." Blaise noted with a slight drawl.
"Yeah." Nott said. "I'll be glad when it's over."
Crabbe and Goyle gave their obligatory grunts of agreement. All eyes turned now to Draco, in the centre of their semi-circle.
"Don't you agree, Draco?" Blaise said.
The light from the fire reflected off Draco's pale features, giving him the appearance of glowing green and silver simultaneously. He didn't say anything at first, merely watching the flickers of the flames. Eventually, he answered.
"Indeed." He said in a measured voice, not looking up.
Blaise and Nott exchanged looks.
"Of course, you've been spending a lot of time on it with Potter." Blaise noted, with the most delicate tone of accusation in his voice. "I guess you'll be sorry at the loss of the chance to torment him."
Silence again from Draco, before he uttered another measured, "Indeed."
"What's with you tonight?" Nott questioned.
Draco looked up now, straight at Nott. He considered for a moment before speaking again in a measured voice. "Nothing. I am just anxious about returning home for these holidays."
The others leaned forward with almost obscene eagerness. "Why?" Blaise pounced.
Draco turned his head slowly to look at Blaise. There was a long silence.
"Well, I'm afraid that's not really your business, Zabini." He said coolly.
Blaise's dark eyebrows went up, and he regarded Draco with curiosity and something akin to hurt.
"Very well." Was all he said, however, and the group resumed their silent contemplations of the fireplace.
After a long and frosty silence, Draco rose from his chair. "I'm going to bed." He said. "Good evening to you all."
The others murmured their goodnights as Draco straightened his robes and swept towards the staircase to the boys dorms. His progress was impeded, however, by Pansy Parkinson.
"Draco, darling." She said, looking up at him with a slight simper.
Draco groaned inwardly, but gave a coldly polite smile. "Pansy." He greeted. He noted that her appearance was a damn slight better than it had been all those weeks ago when she had tried, and failed, to seduce him. For the last fortnight, in fact, she hadn't been decked out like a slut as usual.
Her hair was loose and clean, her make-up reasonably light and her clothing was surprisingly not tight and extremely revealing.
If he were the Draco Malfoy everyone expected him to be, he would find her extremely attractive and be halfway through seducing her already.
But, fortunately, he was not the Draco Malfoy everyone expected him to be – he was in fact gay and in love with Harry Potter - so instead he merely felt relief that she was not such an appalling sight anymore.
"Did you want anything?" he questioned.
"Yes." Pansy said, her voice nearly a purr. "You."
Draco nearly gagged as he reflected that although you could change your appearance as much as you liked, it was a lot more difficult to change your personality.
"Oh?" he drawled, resisting the urge to distract her and then run for it.
"Yes." She continued. "Holidays are only in a few days. I was thinking, maybe I could talk to my parents and see if I could come over to your house after Christmas for a while…"
Draco didn't throw up, but it was a near thing.
"You were, were you?" He said. "Well, I'm not sure if that would be feasible."
"Why not, Draco darling?"
"Because I would rather gouge my own eyes out than allow you into my house." Draco said coldly, sweeping past her and up the staircase before he could even hear her reply.
He entered the dorm, and headed straight for the sanctuary of his bed. After casting the usual protection charms, he flopped back with relief.
Pansy was correct – holidays were soon, and the next day was the day that their Potions project was due. Draco was so filled with anxiety and excitement that he barely had room to feel anything else. He'd had to escape the tense atmosphere downstairs – it was playing hell on his nerves and they were frazzled enough as it was.
Harry was going to be testing the potion. Draco was simultaneously relieved and worried about this. What might Harry say under the influence of Verfortue? What would happen if Draco didn't react the right way?
Draco let his head thud onto his pillow. He would not sleep very much at all that night.
Wednesday, December 23rd
Wednesday morning dawned with freezing snow fluttering across the castle windows. It was the kind of cold that required gloves and scarves indoors, as the draft from outside was vicious.
After breakfast, the Gryffindors trooped outside, applying mufflers and hats as they went on their way to Herbology. Professor Sprout took pity on them and announced they would be not be studying the Ice Flower that day, and instead they would be working with the Fire Bush. There were many relieved sighs at this as the students split into groups of three and huddled around the flames of the bushes.
They didn't do much that lesson. Of course, Professor Sprout intended for them to, but her good intentions got mixed up along the way with everyone else's intentions on staying warm.
After Herbology came Charms, after Charms came lunch, after lunch came Defence Against The Dark Arts, after that came the break, and after that came…
There was an air to how Harry carried himself as they descended the stone steps to the dungeons like he was walking to his own execution.
"It'll be fine, Harry." Hermione murmured, squeezing his hand comfortingly.
Harry made a non-committal noise in his throat as they arrived outside the door. The Slytherins were already there, of course (Draco among them) but Harry could not bring himself to meet Draco's eyes. He brushed past them, eyes on the ground, and joined the end of the line of Gryffindors who were awaiting entry into the classroom.
The door swung open, and Snape stood before them, more like an overgrown bat than ever, black eyes glimmering in the torchlight.
"Enter." He sneered, and the students hastened to comply. They took their seats, with Harry sitting in his now regular spot beside Draco at the front.
"Hey." Harry said, flopping onto the stool.
"Hey." Draco answered, shooting him the briefest of smiles before turning to face the front.
Harry felt his heart give a wild little flutter just as Snape closed the classroom door with a bang. He swept to the front of the classroom, eyes glittering around at each of them in turn.
"As you are no doubt aware," he began silkily, "today is the last day of term. What exactly does that mean, do you think?"
There was silence, before Theodore Nott raised his hand.
"It means today's the day our projects were due, sir," he said.
"Exactly." Snape said. "By my reckoning, you all have exactly an hour and a half for all of your research and samples of potion to be presented to me at my desk. If one of these components is missing, you will suffer the consequences." There was cold fury in his voice that told them they really did not want to know what the consequences were.
"Some potions can be tested yourselves, and I will be checking this accordingly – however, for those with potions they are unable to test, such as the Wolfsbane potion, they must only put their sample onto my desk and hope to Merlin it's up to standard."
There was a silence.
At the word there was a flurry of movement – people began to unpack their things, scurry off to get ingredients, organise their cauldrons.
Harry and Draco also wasted no time, with Draco hurriedly gathering both his and Harry's scrolls of information while Harry held his wand below their cauldron, murmuring a quick 'Incendio' to light a fire beneath.
Draco deposited the scrolls neatly onto Snape's desk. "These are mine and H…Potter's, sir." He said.
Snape looked up from his seat at the desk. He eyed them critically. "Two complete scrolls of information. Very well done, Draco."
"Thank you, sir." Draco said, before turning and hurrying back to his desk, where Harry had a nice fire going.
They began work, and all Harry could think as he chopped and sliced and skinned and mixed was he was immensely glad they had practised this, as he was certain that if this was the first time he'd done this he would've screwed it up spectacularly. As it was, he was now managing to keep up step-for-step with Draco's instructions, and it wasn't until their potion hit it's first simmering stage that he was able to take a break and look around.
Behind them were Seamus and Crabbe, who were both working harder than Harry had thought possible for the two of them. Seamus was feverishly stirring their cauldron, from which a light, silvery steam was emanating, while Crabbe was cutting up what appeared to be a dead spider's legs. Shuddering lightly, Harry turned back to his own cauldron.
Draco was timing the simmering period. "3…2…1…" he quickly picked up the ladle and stirred the contents of the cauldron five times counter-clockwise. After a brief inspection, he breathed a sigh of relief.
"It's going fine." He said to Harry, who nodded rather tersely.
They continued their work, with Harry obeying every instruction Draco gave him immediately.An hour and 15 minutes later
Harry absently ran a hand through his hair and looked around. It was roughly 5 minutes or so until the end of class, and it seemed like nearly everyone had just about finished their potions. The classroom was filled with steam and smoke of all the colours of the rainbow, as well as smells ranging from pleasant to putrid.
"3…2…1…" Draco counted down the last seconds of their potion's final simmering stage. "It's done."
Harry leaned over and eyed the liquid within the cauldron with apprehension. It was light blue, exactly like their practise one had been a week ago. He breathed a sigh of relief. It had gone well.
"Time's up." Announced Snape, standing suddenly behind his desk and moving to the front. "Step away from your cauldrons."
Everyone did so.
"Now, put your hands up if you believe you potion can be tested now." Snape said.
Every stood completely still, apparently too afraid to move one way or the other.
"Put your hands up this instant or it will be detentions for a week for all of you." Snape snarled. Reluctantly, students began to raise their hands, Harry and Draco among them.
Snape counted. "Only two pairs cannot. Surprising. Very well, let's see what we've got, starting with Miss Brown and Miss Greengrass…"
Snape moved to the front desk beside Harry and Draco's to watch them test their potion. He began moving up along the row, something that caused both relief and anxiety in Harry – which of course was doubtlessly Snape's aim all along.
From the two girls, Snape moved on to Dean and Goyle, whose potion to induce extreme euphoria very comically seemed to work on Goyle, who upon drinking the sunny yellow potion gained a very large and cheerful smile on his normally gormless face, and immediately began spouting phrases such as, "It's such a beautiful day today, isn't it?" and, "I've never felt more gay in my life!". The latter, of course, sent the class into fits of laughter that were eventually quelled with a Look from Snape.
He skipped past Parvati Patil and Millicent Bulstrode as they seemed to have a potion they could not test themselves, and moved to the back row with Ron and Zabini.
As Harry knew, Ron was to test the potion, and he swallowed the reddish coloured liquid with an admirably small amount of apprehension. After his vial was empty, Ron sat there quietly for a moment before a large, happy smile broke onto his face and he began chatting away to Hermione at the next table, seemingly oblivious to the classroom full of people watching him.
"I'm just so happy, 'Mione!"
"Yes, Ron, I know." Said Hermione, albeit embarrassedly as gazes swivelled between Ron and herself.
"…and mood change in 3, 2, 1…" drawled Snape in a bored voice.
Ron's beaming smile lasted for only a split second before it was replaced with a down-turned, quivering bottom lip as his large blue eyes filled with tears. To the shock and amusement of the class, Ron promptly let out a miserable wail that would do a banshee proud as he buried his head into his arms.
All Slytherins present burst out laughing, with some Gryffindors finding it difficult not to join in. Hermione, however, was by his side in an instant.
"Ron? Are you OK?"
"NO!" Ron wailed once more, now sobbing freely against Hermione's shoulder. "I'm just…so…SAD!" He punctuated this with a fresh wave of tears.
"Moving on." Snape said dryly after making a note on his clipboard. "Now, we cannot test your potion, is that correct, Miss Granger? Miss Parkinson?"
"No, sir." Hermione explained, still trying to comfort an inconsolable Ron. "We did the Wolfsbane potion, sir, and as we're not werewolves we can't test it."
"Very well." Snape sneered, "Ensure a sample is on my desk by the end of the period. On to Longbottom and Nott, then."
He moved to Neville's table, who was looking distinctly nervous as Snape glowered at them.
"Polyjuice potion, correct?"
Neville and Nott both nodded.
Snape conjured two clear glass phials from nowhere and handed them to each. "Proceed."
Nott filled each phial with the mud-like liquid that characterised the Polyjuice Potion. Harry winced in recollection as he watched Neville reach up to pull a hair from his head – his experience with that potion had not been entirely pleasant
Nott added his hair to Neville's phial first, which gave a hiss and promptly turned a dark green shade. Neville did likewise to Nott's phial, except the liquid within turned a bright, cheerful orange.
They both drank from the phials underneath the class's curious gaze.
At once, the effects of Polyjuice became evident in both of them as they doubled over, groaning in pain as their skin began to bubble before the class's eyes. It was all over within a minute, with Neville seeming to be sitting where Nott once was and vice versa for Nott.
Snape studied them closely, making notes every now and then. "Surprising." He drawled finally, regarding Neville/Nott with contempt. "You didn't manage to screw it up, Longbottom, but I'm sure it was a near thing. Next."
He moved to the table behind Harry's, where Seamus and Crabbe were awaiting testing.
"Which potion are you testing?" he asked them.
"An advanced invisibility potion, sir." Seamus answered.
"Very well." Snape conjured another phial for them and set it onto the desk. "Proceed."
Seamus picked up the phial and filled it with the potion, which was a silvery colour. He downed it all in one gulp, and then sat licking his lips. The class waited breathlessly until it became clear that Seamus was very slowly beginning to fade away. He was transparent, he was barely visible, he was…gone.
"Hmm." Snape said, clearly disappointed it had worked. "I see. By the way, Mr Finnegan, if you should take it into your head to move around and cause disruption, I will assign you the most complicated essay topic I can think of faster than you can say 'But sir, it's the holidays!'"
He glared menacingly at the stretch of air where Seamus presumably was, before moving on.
"Now…Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy."
They eyed him warily.
"Verfortue, am I correct?"
"Yes, sir." Draco said.
"Do proceed, then." Snape sneered, looking like he was enjoying himself a bit too much.
Harry tried very hard to fight the waves of nervousness that were crashing around in his stomach as he took the phial Snape had conjured for him.
He filled it with their potion and paused for a moment, before glancing to Draco.
There was nothing but encouragement in those silvery eyes as Draco gazed back at him, seemingly unaware the entire class was watching their interaction.
Without a word, Harry downed the potion, not breaking eye contact with Draco.
Draco had been right – it did taste vaguely of vanilla. Upon swallowing the last of the potion, Harry stopped and considered.
At once, an unpleasant bubbling sensation erupted in his stomach, and with it came a feeling of being completely out of control, like anything could happen and Harry would have no way of stopping it…
He could feel the potion telling him to speak up and reveal some truth. He could hear it, in fact, like it was a voice whispering in his ear. He clutched his stomach as the whisper turned to shouts, and the bubbling sensation seemed to increase tenfold until it felt like he was going to explode…
And then, through the Verfortue-induced haze, he saw Draco's eyes, clear and steady on his, filled with concern and worry and…was that…love?
This final thought was the trigger as Harry, barely aware of what he was doing, straightened up and looked directly into Draco's eyes.
"I love you, Draco Malfoy."
His voice was as Draco's had been the Friday before – louder, clearer, deeper than usual. The words seem to hang in the air after they were spoken.
As the bubbling sensation in his stomach receded to a content hum, Harry was barely aware of the gasps and murmurs of shock that were currently sweeping the room. He didn't see Snape's temporarily uncontrolled expression of horror and surprise. Nor could he hear Pansy's shrill voice shrieking about how Draco was hers, or see Zabini's measured look of shock.
All he could see was Draco, right in front of him, mouth agape and eyes shining with an unidentified emotion, and all he could hear was a roaring sound in his ears accompanied by a little voice that was chanting 'I did NOT just say that, I did NOT just say that, I really, truly did NOT just say that…'
"Mr Potter?" Snape said in a choked voice.
'Oh fuck. I really did just say that.' Harry realised.
"I…" Harry didn't honestly know what he was meant to say. No one he knew had ever been in this situation before.
A Gryffindor he might be, but that underlying Slytherin streak of his was telling him one thing – run for it, and preserve what's left of your pride before you say something else completely stupid.
A wise idea, Harry decided, and he promptly threw his stuff into his bag and got to his feet.
"Just where do you think you're going, Mr Potter?" Snape snarled furiously, but before he could say anything else Harry was sprinting out the door as fast as his legs could carry him.
The door slammed shut with a snap, leaving a stunned silence in its wake.
In the back of the room, Ron's mood changed to anger.
"WHY DID HARRY JUST RUN OUT OF THE ROOM!" he roared into the silence. "WHY DID HE JUST SAY THAT TO MALFOY? WHAT THE BLEEDING HELL IS GOING ON!"
Before anyone could move or say anything else, the bell rang.
"Samples and research on my desk." Snape said faintly, his gaze still on the closed door. "Now."
Everyone began packing up and organising samples of their potions, whispering excitedly. Draco moved faster than all of them, filling, sealing and labelling a bottle of Verfortue before anyone had even approached the front desk. He hurriedly vanished the rest of the potion with a quick 'Evanesco!' and crammed his stuff into his bag, and then practically ran to Snape's desk.
Snape, who had sat back down, looked to him and hissed, "Would you mind terribly, Draco, telling me what the hell is going on?"
"No time." Draco said hurriedly, dumping the bottle next to his and Harry's scrolls of parchment. "Have to go."
Without another word, he sprinted from the classroom as well, causing a lot of people to watch his exit with mingled suspicion and curiosity.
Hermione, having tried to convince Ron to stop yelling and failing miserably, had watched all this with a slight smile on her face.
'So Harry finally said it.' She thought. 'Now it's up to Malfoy to make him realise the truth.'
Harry burst into the Entrance Hall, eyes wild, which made the students heading for the Great Hall and dinner look over to him curiously. Ignoring them all, he ploughed through the crowd and up the Grand Staircase, whirling to the left and along the corridor.
About 20 seconds after Harry had disappeared from sight, Draco Malfoy burst into the Entrance Hall as well, looking around before setting off up the Grand Staircase, pausing only when he reached the top.
"Has anyone…" he panted to a nearby group of stunned looking Ravenclaws, "…seen…Harry Potter?"
"Yes, he went that way, through that shortcut behind the tapestry." Replied one of the Ravenclaws, pointing to the left along the corridor.
Draco gave his thanks as he pelted down the corridor, under the tapestry and out of sight.
Harry arrived on the second floor from the shortcut, aware that now the initial burst of adrenaline had worn off he would need to stop running soon. Spotting a nearby door to the right, he turned into it and inspected the room beyond. An empty, unused classroom. Perfect.
He collapsed onto the ground, breaths coming in pants as he regained his normal breathing pattern.
He was never, ever, ever leaving this room. There was no one in here who had heard his truth. Most importantly, Draco wasn't here to express his disgust now he knew the truth about Harry.
'Freak, pouf, faggot…' taunted a voice in Harry's head as he adapted a foetal position, rocking gently.
In the corridor outside, Draco burst through the tapestry and paused, considering. Harry wouldn't still be running, surely. He would've found somewhere to stop and rest.
Draco scanned the nearby doors and paintings, before spotting a door that was ajar. 'Bingo.' He thought, moving forward and opening the door all the way.
He spotted Harry on the floor, and his heart beat faster. He approached him slowly, carefully, trying not to startle the dark-haired boy who was currently curled up and rocking.
He sat down beside Harry, who had stilled upon sensing another presence in the room.
"Harry?" he questioned gently.
Harry kept his eyes shut, rubbing his stomach as the bubbling sensation began to rise once more, apparently deciding it was time he told some truth again.
"Harry…" said Draco again, reaching over and brushing a hand through Harry's soft, dark hair.
"Don't touch me!" Harry yelped, rolling away from the touch until he was flat on his back beside Draco.
Draco rolled his eyes in exasperation, before noticing how Harry was rubbing his stomach.
"Are you alright?" he asked hesitantly.
Harry didn't answer as the Verfortue engulfed his senses once more, and he turned his head to look at Draco.
Draco barely had time to feel stunned at the brilliant glow of Harry's green eyes before Harry was speaking in that same deep, clear, loud voice.
"I love you, Draco Malfoy."
It was the same statement as before, but it didn't have any less of an effect on him. Draco felt a chill shoot through him from head to toe as he decided right then that he really, really liked it when Harry said those words.
Harry shivered as the sensations subsided again, and a horrified expression came over his features.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry, please don't hate me, I don't really mean it…" he stammered.
"Shhh." Draco murmured, placing a finger over Harry's lips to silence him. "You bloody well better have meant it." He whispered affectionately.
Harry's eyes widened comically as Draco straightened up and looked Harry dead in the eye. Imitating the loud, clear, deep voice associated with the Verfortue potion, he smiled at Harry.
"I love you, Harry Potter."
If it was possible, Harry's eyes went even wider. "W-what? What did you just say?" he choked.
"I love you." Draco said simply. "And I've been wanting to hear you say it back for so long."
"What are you talking…" Harry began, but he was silenced as Draco leaned down and kissed him.
Harry hesitated for only a brief second before he kissed back, his brain silently questioning what the hell was going on but his body unwilling to examine it too closely.
Draco sighed in contentment, his hands sliding behind Harry's head to run through the soft, dark strands. He never felt more comfortable than when he was kissing Harry. Of course, he'd only done so twice, but come this new revelation he was hoping to be doing it a lot more.
Finally, Harry's brain caught up with the rest of him and Harry pushed Draco away, firmly.
He looked up into Draco's eyes and was taken back to see Draco was panting, cheeks flushed, eyes glowing and hair lightly tousled.
Harry shifted uncomfortably as he felt a twinge that had nothing to do with the potion.
"What's the matter?" Draco asked.
"What the hell is going on?" Harry asked, pleadingly.
Draco chuckled. "You mean you don't know?"
He sighed in mock annoyance. "Alright, Harry, I'll explain it, but only because it's you." He paused, allowing himself to enjoy the sight of a just-been-kissed Harry. "I've been in love with you for quite a while now, and I thought I'd never have a chance to be with you because we were meant to hate each other."
Harry was quiet, listening.
"But then, back in October, you proposed a truce with me. I was happy because that meant maybe we wouldn't have to always be at each other's throats."
Harry nodded, before something occurred to him. "Hang on, does that mean when I asked you why your heart never seemed to be in our fights and why you clutched my hand after we shook hands, the real reason was…"
"Not that I don't hate you anymore, no." Draco confirmed. "It was because I was in love with you."
"…oh." Things began to slowly make more sense to Harry.
"Anyway," Draco continued, "Even after the truce it seemed like nothing would ever happen between us, and I was miserable. Then, that night, you saw Zabini's attempts to seduce me."
Harry's eyes narrowed in remembrance.
"I realised you'd seen what happened and I set out after you to comfort you, although I didn't know how I would do that at the time. I found you, and, well, you know what happened."
Harry flushed, remembering the kiss and what he'd said afterwards.
"I went up to the Astronomy Tower, because, well…"
Harry suddenly realised exactly why Draco must've been up there and he gave a cry.
"I didn't mean for that to happen!" he insisted. "I didn't realise I hurt you that much…"
"I know, Harry, I know." Draco said patiently. "Anyway, I saw Weaselette, sent the note to Granger who then told you what was going on. And then you broke up with her, and then she started those rumours, and then we got our Potions assignment…"
He took a breath, and continued. "And over the period of time we've been working together I've been doing my best to make sure you saw my good side, and didn't have a reason to hate me anymore. And I guess it worked, because now…"
"…I love you." Harry finished in a whisper, staring at Draco with wide eyes.
"Exactly." Draco nodded.
"But…I've barely even known the real you for that long! How could I fall in love with you?"
"You can't question your heart." Draco said simply. "It wants what it wants. And evidently, yours wants me."
A slow, bashful grin began to creep onto Harry's face. "And…yours wants me as well?"
Draco smiled at him. "Yep. No one else."
A blush appeared on Harry's cheeks, and he ducked his head. "I wouldn't mind that, I guess." He murmured, barely concealing a grin.
"Good." Draco murmured back, and he leaned over Harry and captured his lips once more in another deep kiss.
They lay like that for a while, Harry still on his back, Draco leaning over him and kissing him with all he had. In the outside world the Gryffindors may have been completely freaking out and the Slytherins may have been trying to adjust to this new development, but for the moment it was just the two of them.
Until Draco broke off the kiss for air, and breathed deep, gazing at Harry below him, who gazed back.
"You know," he murmured, "I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and realise none of this happened."
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Because I used to have dreams where this happened and I'd always wake up completely devastated it wasn't real. I was with you, but only in my dreams."
Harry smiled, playing absently with Draco's hair before kissing him lightly.
"Not anymore." He said simply.
That was all Draco needed, and as they kissed again, Draco realised that this moment, this place and this boy, was perfection.
Only in his dreams?
He had everything he needed, right here in reality.
AN: Well, there you have it people. The final chapter of Only In My Dreams.
First of all, I'd like to thank anyone who has ever read OIMD, even if they only read the first sentence and thought 'stuff this, I'm not reading this shit.' THANK YOU! Especially I'd like to thank anyone who's ever reviewed along the way, you've all made it so, so worth every second of frustration I've had with this story.
I'd like to thank Sarah for putting up with news of every chapter (or lack thereof) and for inspiring me to write my own multi-chap story in the first place.
I started writing this way back in November 2005 as a method of coping with a situation that was extremely painful for me. Thankfully, that situation is now long gone. I kept writing the story though, because I enjoyed it.
(Edit as of February 1st, 2007: The story has been edited all the way through, and is now officially considered finished!)
So, whoever you are, THANK YOU for reading, and please consider leaving a review for what has been the bane and joy of my existence for the last 15 or so months.