Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Warnings: Slight slash.

Summary: Harry, a sophmore at a private high school has admired Draco Malfoy from a distance for as long as he can remember. When Draco is inflicted with a terrible disease, how will Harry react?

Author's note: This was a plot bunny that jumped into my head at midnight and would not let me sleep until I wrote it down. So, here it is. Enjoy.


Bittersweet


I can clearly remember the day that he entered my high-school sophomore class. His name was Draco- a not so common name for someone anything but ordinary.

If anything, he was extraordinary; he had the looks of a Greek Adonis (his silvery hair had made more than one girl (even guy) drool, myself included) and the sharpest wits of just about anyone I knew. In all, he was perfect--- or so he seemed to be.

Draco, for all of his drool-worthy-ness and A plus average grades, was surprisingly humble. Too often, people bestowed with such gifts get too prideful and arrogant and nearly every single time, their feelings of superiority grows in their hearts like an all-consuming plague. In the end, it always turned the person into monsters.

Draco, thank God, was never like that. I often found myself wondering just how he could be so… well, thankful. He was literally the perfect example of a knight in shining armor.

When Draco started missing school for unknown reasons, everyone couldn't help but be puzzled. Our dear Draco was late to class, let alone absent from school! When his absences became more numerous, I started to question myself. If he's such a model student, I mused, then why's he missing all this school?

It wasn't until halfway through the school year that I found out why Draco was gone so often

Cancer… the word was like poison in my mind. It burned and rotted away my feelings until I was left in numbness.

Cancer? How could such a bright and lovely person be suffering from such a horrible disease?

"I've got a malignant brain tumor," he told me nonchalantly one day, and I couldn't help but wasn't to cry, even though boys never cried. Perhaps being gay made me more feminine.

"But Draco," I protested, holding back tears that burned and ignoring the constriction in my throat. "You… are you doing to die?" I couldn't help it- the words simply flew out of my mouth. My heart clenched painfully as he chuckled.

"Eventually, yes; but everybody dies," he said.

Try as hard as I might, I could never wrap my mind around the fact that he so easily- and nonchalantly- took the idea that he just might be killed off mercilessly and painfully by such a debilitating disease.

Over time, Draco took a very noticeable turn for the worst. His skin was so pale he looked like a walking corpse, his hair was mostly gone and what hair was left wasn't even noticeable. His eyes, so vivid when he had been healthy, were now dulled and the pain he felt was clearly evident in their depths. Every single move he made seemed to make him weaker.

"I've stopped responding to my chemo," he told me one day and I couldn't hide all the sadness and loneliness that raced through my veins.

"Aren't you afraid?" I questioned, choking back my sobs for a moment.

"Of dying? Yeah," he admitted, trying to shake his head. Even that simple action seemed to exert his strength to the point of exhaustion. "But you know, I think I'm okay with that. I'm so tired," he confessed, looking straight into my eyes, "but I'm happy, too. I've lived such a good life. I have no regrets. Well none really,"

"None really?" I asked, confusion tingeing my tone. "What do you mean?"

"This." I felt his lips on mine gently. His kiss was innocent and chaste, but I could tell he meant it. He grinned at me, a spark of his old self back. "I probably don't have much time left, but I needed to tell you I love you. This body'll be gone soon, but who knows. Maybe in our next life we can have more time together." With a smile and a wave, he left.

The next morning, I got the call I had dreaded the most- the news that Draco had indeed died.

In all truth, my heart ached and I felt like a part of me was missing, like there was a hole that he had left within me. Even through all the pain I felt, I was relieved. Draco no longer had to struggle. At his funeral, as they lowered his casket into the earth, a thought dawned on me. 'More time together'. Yeah, I thought. 'More time together'. Suddenly the pain of him being gone didn't seem so hard to bear.

"Thank you, Draco," I whispered aloud, throwing a bit of dirt on the mahogany that encased his body. "Thank you for teaching me how to live."