Disclaimer: Don't own it. As the title implies, the one one-shot every HP author has to write, when it all gets too much for Harry. Luckily for him, he's got an arch-nemesis who not only looks like an angel, but will play the part of one as well, just without the wings, harp, toga, and the general, comforting goodness that comes with angels. He's got more smirk and sneer. He also smokes.
Dedicated to Sakuya for the missed birthday.
"You've got to come. I think Harry's going to commit suicide!"
The two teachers were up in a flash, racing after Hermione and Ron who led them up the Astronomy Tower where the Boy-Who-Lived was, but he wasn't alone. All four halted just at the doorway, watching as the black-haired boy stared down at the ground and the white-blond watched him.
"Awfully long way down, innit?" the blond drawled, pulling out a pack of cigarettes.
Hermione went forward to barge in, but Dumbledore held her back, a curious expression on his face. He raised his finger to his lips.
"Sod off, Malfoy," said Harry.
Draco shrugged, tapping a stick out of the pack and then pocketing the rest. He held the cigarette between his lips as he pulled out an old, silver lighter in the shape of a dragon and carefully lit the end, shielding the flame from the wind. He then put the lighter away as well, blowing the smoke out of his lips and cocking his head to the side as he studied his nemesis.
"So, what was it that finally pushed you over the edge?" he asked, taking a drag and releasing it. "No pun intended, of course."
"None of your business!" spat Harry.
"Fair enough," said the Slytherin, obviously not bothered by the fact that he was going to watch someone jump in front of him. He took another drag, exhaled, and then spoke again. "It's just that, you know, if you do jump, people won't know why."
"What?" asked Harry.
Draco sighed, shaking his head in hopelessness.
"You didn't write a note, did you? One that explains all of your pathetic reasons for offing yourself."
"They know why," said Harry.
"Alright then," said Draco, giving him a 'go ahead' gesture.
Harry looked back down at the ground so many stories below.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" asked Draco.
"Shut up!" said Harry.
Draco walked to the edge nearest him, keeping far away from Harry.
"A fall like that would kill you," he said, conversationally.
"That's the idea, Malfoy!" said Harry.
"Sorry, sorry!" said Draco, taking a step back, the cigarette in one hand still burning down slowly.
Silence descended again, and Harry slowly pulled one foot up on the ledge, steeling himself.
"May I ask what they are?" asked Draco suddenly.
"Can't I just die in peace?" Harry demanded, whirling around and taking his foot off the ledge.
"Well, the way I see it, you're going to die soon, so can't you be kind and satisfy my curiosity?"
"Satisfy your what?" demanded Harry incredulous.
"Well, the Boy-Who-Lived has never committed suicide in my presence before, and I want to know your reasons. I doubt the Mudblood and the Weasel would tell me after the deed is done, and I couldn't live with that unanswered question."
"Don't call them that!" hissed Harry.
"Does it bother you?" asked Draco, inhaling on the cigarette again. "I don't see why. Not like you actually care enough to stay with them. The way I see it, if you really want to kill yourself to get away from them, you really must hate them."
"I do not hate them!" Harry yelled. "They're my best friends!"
"And yet you're going to kill yourself. Not exactly what I call friendly behavior."
"You don't understand," said Harry, turning back around. "No one understands. Not them, not Dumbledore, no one!"
"Have you ever tried explaining?" asked Draco off-handedly.
Harry paused. "You just - forget it! I don't even know why I'm talking to you!"
"I don't know why either. You're supposed to be jumping because, oh poor Potter, no one understands!" It was said in a mocking, cruel sort of voice.
Harry turned around, his expression dark and twisted.
"Shove off Malfoy! You just don't get it. Everyone dies around me! My parents, Cedric, Sirius, I nearly killed my best friends because they follow me wherever I go and I can't protect them-," he cut off with a sob.
Draco merely smoked, waiting for Harry to continue. He did.
"I can't do it anymore! I'm scared, alright? I'm bloody scared of Voldemort, of fighting him because I know that they're going to die and I can't do anything to stop it." He roughly scrubbed his hand over his face. "It just hurts. It hurts so much knowing that I'm responsible. I see them dead every night in my dreams, and-and I-," he cut off again.
"Seems to me like they can make their own decisions," said Draco calmly. "But it also seems to me you that you already know that. What's the real reason?"
Harry turned back to the ledge, stepping right up close. For a second Draco actually started forward as if to stop him, but Harry spoke again so he stayed his ground.
"I'm a screw-up. I can't do anything to stop Voldemort. It was never me triumphing over him, it was always some dumb luck that intervened and saved me and I know I'm not good enough. There must be the real Boy-Who-Lived out there, but I'm not him. I don't even feel anymore. I look at all the newspapers and pictures of suffering, and I just don't care! I feel numb. I'm turning into him."
"Into Voldemort?" asked Draco, surprising them all by saying the name. "Ouch!" That was because his cigarette had burned too low and was now at his fingers.
Harry looked back at him, then turned all the way around when Draco made no move to put out the cigarette, letting the embers burn his fingers.
"You're supposed to put it out when it gets like that," Harry told the other boy.
Draco was staring in fascination at how the skin on his fingers was blackening and slowly turning red and blistering angrily, biting his lip to stop from yelling at the pain.
"Malfoy, put it out!" said Harry.
"Why?" asked Draco. A bit of red slipped down his hand. Harry darted forward, knocking the cigarette from his hand and stomping it out.
"You idiot!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing?"
"Proving a point," said Draco. "You do care. Too much in fact, I mean, saving your arch nemesis from burnt fingers? It's almost pathetic how much you care. I would say that you are in no danger of turning into a scaly, half-dead maniac."
Harry didn't look convinced so Draco continued.
"You're expecting too much from yourself. You're not going to feel like doing shit most of the time, and who can feel for people when every single article in the news depicts another murder. It's overwhelming, it's desensitizing. No one gives a crap when they can't do anything to help, and when you can't do anything about it, well, it frankly doesn't matter. However, when you can do something, then it counts. You stopped me from burning my fingers because you do care, and you could physically help. You're just human, that's all."
"But I can do something about it all," said Harry. "I could kill Voldemort and this all would be over!"
"Kill Voldemort?" asked Draco. "You can't do that. You're committing suicide, remember?"
Harry hesitated, glancing towards the edge.
"It really is a shame though, if you do," said Draco. "I might even be slightly remorseful. I won't be able to beat you in the Quidditch game in two weeks. I've been looking forward to that day for a long time."
Harry was silent for a moment. "It would make the pain go away," he said quietly.
"I daresay it would," said Draco honestly.
"I would stop feeling guilty. My parents-,"
"You're parents gave enough shit about you to die for you," said Draco. "Be proud of that fact. I doubt many parents would actually do that for their children. Feel special."
"I'm not feeling special because they're dead!" said Harry indignantly.
"Feel special because they died for you," said Draco. "I wish I could say the same."
Harry looked at him curiously. "Your father-,"
"My father?" asked Draco with a bitter laugh. "Can you honestly see Lucius Malfoy sacrificing his life for his only son? I doubt he would give his best dress robes to save my life."
"You always spoke the world of him," said Harry.
"Yeah, well I'm smarter now," said Draco. "Parents aren't always as great as you think they are, they don't always love you as much as they say, sometimes they just don't even care about you. You're special, Potter. You can never doubt their love."
Harry was silent for a moment, before speaking quietly. "I'd never thought of it that way before," he admitted. "But, I still wish I had known them."
"Understandable," said Draco.
"And I still feel guilty for Cedric, and Sirius."
"If you didn't, you would be Voldemort."
Harry paused at that as well.
"I take it I'll see you on the Quidditch Pitch for the game then?" asked Draco, pulling out another cigarette.
Harry thought for a moment, then nodded. "Yeah. Yeah you will, Malfoy."
"Good," said Draco, lighting up again. "Now go in, I need solitude and a smoke to get me undepressed from the uplifting conversation we just had."
Harry started to go in, but then he stopped. "You aren't going to jump, are you?" he asked.
"Would you stop me if I was?" asked Draco.
"Yes," said Harry. "I would."
Draco's lips quirked up at that. "Good to know, Potter. Now get your beauty sleep. Merlin knows you need it."
"Goodnight," said Harry.
Draco gave him a half-hearted wave in return and Harry walked to the door, then stopped again.
"What, Potter?" growled Draco.
"Nothing, just…thanks, Draco," said Harry.
"Go inside before I hex you," said the Slytherin.
Harry smiled and went in, drawing up short when he saw the four looking at him in concern.
"You alright, Harry?" asked Hermione tremulously.
"Yeah," said Harry, breaking into a smile. "I think I am."
He turned back to see the blond Slytherin exhaling a stream of smoke as he stared up at the night sky. And the next day in Transfigurations, the Golden Trio didn't comment on the two bandaged fingers of Draco Malfoy, and McGonagall awarded him twenty points for a rather simple spell. She took them back two minutes later when the blond hexed a classmate. Harry just shook his head and smiled.