Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything connected to Harry Potter. I make no money (at all) and I am just writing a little plot with her characters.
Warning: A few kisses and a punch.
AN: Set in seventh year. Ignores HBP. Just a little oneshot to amuse myself with. Came to me in a dream like so many of my plot bunnies do.
"Where is it?! Where is it!?" Harry was frantically searching his book bag, having suddenly stopped on his way to the Great Hall for lunch. Hermione and Ron shared a confused glance and looked at Harry worriedly.
"Harry?" Hermione asked, taking a step towards the hysterical Gryffindor. He didn't even hear her. He abruptly dropped to his knees and started emptying out the contents of his bag, being careful to search through books and parchments. The other two thirds of the Trio shared another glance.
"Shit, damn, bloody hell," Harry exclaimed, sounding more miserable than angry at the end.
"Harry, what on earth's the matter?" Hermione asked, looking very worried for her friend. Harry slumped slightly and stared at his now empty bag. Ron came forward and put a hand on the boy's shoulder, causing him to startle and look up at them as if he didn't recognise them.
"I need to go back to the classroom," he said hurriedly and started packing his bag, just throwing things in. Hermione wanted to comment about this, but since they had never seen Harry so anxious before she remained silent. Neither had they heard the Boy Who Lived swear so much. Harry jumped to his feet and practically ran back towards the History of Magic classroom. Ron and Hermione looked at each other again, silently communicating with one another that it was best to leave Harry alone in his current state. They headed down to breakfast instead.
About halfway through lunch Harry entered the Great Hall, looking dishevelled. He walked over to the Gryffindor table in a near zombie like state. He sat down heavily in his seat across from Ron and Hermione. He didn't move to grab anything to eat.
"Harry, please tell us what's bothering you," Hermione asked pleadingly, now truly worried about her friend. Harry slowly focused on her. Ron and Hermione noticed he had a red tinge to his eyes as if he had been crying and then tried to cover it up.
"Mate, what happened?" Ron asked, his face lined with concern.
"I dropped something and now I can't find it. I wrote it in History of Magic. I must have thought I put it in my bag and now… it's gone." Harry's voice was dull and lifeless.
"What was it?" Hermione asked, wondering what on earth could be so important. Harry looked back and forth between them, as if searching for something.
"I have a diary," he said finally, making the eyebrows of both his friends rise. This was news to them. "I keep it very well hidden in my trunk and sometimes I don't have time to take off all the spells before class, so then I write on normal parchment if I'm bored, or if there's something really important I want to write down… I usually put them inside the diary at the end of the day… and now I lost the one I wrote in History of Magic." There was a long silence. Harry was staring dejectedly at his empty plate.
"Would someone who read it know it was you?" Hermione asked, trying to look on the bright side. Harry snorted.
"Most definitely," he answered.
"Well, what on earth did you write?" Ron suddenly exclaimed, wanting to know what other secrets Harry had kept from them. The pair saw Harry flinch at his outburst and Ron regretted it. Being angry with Harry would help no one. Harry answered him nonetheless; in a quiet voice so only they would hear.
"I… I'm in love with someone who won't be thrilled to hear it." Hermione gasped and Ron gaped.
"But- but you're Harry Potter!" Ron blurted out. Harry rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, that's the point. Look, I don't want to talk about it… I'm going to look for it again." And with that Harry rose and left the Great Hall.
"Who do you think it is?" Ron asked Hermione.
"I have no idea," came the very unusual reply from the smartest girl in Hogwarts.
For the rest of the day and the day after Harry was more depressed than Hermione and Ron had seen him since Sirius. He hardly ate anything for breakfast or lunch. He got a zero in Potions, this time deserved, but didn't glare at Snape at all. He even lost points in Transfiguration for not paying attention. As the Trio made their way to dinner Harry walked very slowly, causing them to be practically the last people to enter the Hall. Ron and Hermione didn't know what to do. Harry wouldn't talk to them about it.
"Oi, Potter!" Harry tensed immediately and froze just inside the Hall. Ron and Hermione turned and glared at Draco Malfoy, who strolled inside without his usual bodyguards, a decidedly smug look on his face. Harry slowly turned as well, his eyes held apprehension.
"What do you want, Malfoy?" Ron barked, his wand already in his hand.
"I just want to talk to Potter, Weasel," Malfoy said cheerfully, turning his full attention to Harry. He looked down at the slightly shorter boy. Ron and Hermione flanked Harry, ready with their wands just in case. The Hall had grown quiet to hear the imminent confrontation.
"What do you want?" Harry said, his voice hitching when Malfoy pulled out a piece of parchment. Malfoy smirked wickedly when he saw fear in the emerald eyes.
"I found your little love-note. I would have felt touched had it been from anyone other than you!" The Hall went completely silent, waiting for Harry to deny it, but no denial came. Ron and Hermione were gaping at their friend. Harry closed his eyes and waited for Malfoy to continue. Malfoy did so quite willingly. "I have been reading all about your little obsession with me. Quite disgusting! I thought you were fucked up before, Potter, but this is too much!" He cleared his throat loudly and held up the paper, beginning to read so all could hear.
"'I hate how he always has something witty, though hurtful, to say to me and my friends, yet I can't stop thinking about him, dreaming about him. It's like he's somehow gotten into my head!' Really Potter, how revolting, like I would ever want to be in there!" He sent Harry a nasty look before continuing. "'I wish he would just shut up and kiss me.' Ugh! I don't think I can read anymore. I might throw up!" but that didn't stop him for reading more. "'I don't know what to do anymore. I should probably be in St. Mungo's for being in love with Draco Malfoy, but he did fight for the Light in the end… maybe there's a possibility for me?'" Malfoy leaned in closer, his face only inches away. The complete silence ensured that everybody heard him regardless. "I want you to know, Potter, that I find you utterly pathetic. I would never want you. You are a skinny, short little half-blood with nothing that would interest me. Your only use is for target practice." Malfoy righted himself and smirked nastily, looking down his nose at Harry. The Gryffindor waited only a few more seconds before brushing past Malfoy and running out of the Hall.
At first a few Slytherins snickered as Malfoy turned his now triumphant smirk towards his house, but soon complete silence rained. Malfoy's look turned a little uncertain. At the staff table Dumbledore looked, for probably the first time in his life, utterly shocked. Snape for some reason was glowering towards his favourite student. Everybody else just gaped. Everybody could relate to a secret crush, and many had imagined what it would be like to have their secret told in front of the whole school. What Malfoy had done, however, surpassed even the wildest imagination. To do something so horribly callous was simply beyond them, especially considering Malfoy had gone against his father in the end and worked for the Light during the war. Ron and Hermione were slowly coming out of their daze, but before they could react the doors to the Hall burst open again and Draco Malfoy rushed in.
The blond Slytherin immediately strode forward to the other blond Slytherin, who had paled dramatically when the other Malfoy had entered. The new arrival pointed his wand right between the eyes of the other Malfoy.
"Did you really think you'd be able to keep me tied up, Zabini?" the latest Malfoy sneered. "I had planned to hex you into oblivion, but considering our location…" Malfoy trailed off and glanced up at the staff table. "I think the Headmaster will find a suitable punishment. You have stolen polyjuice potion from Snape's private stores, not to mention the assault upon my person and whatever you've done to Harry." Malfoy lowered his wand and turned to towards the staff table. "I shall be quite willing to make an official statement confirming that." Then he turned to Hermione and Ron, both staring at him with something akin to awe. "Do you know where Harry might be?" He asked politely. It took a while before Hermione found her voice.
"He sometimes goes to the Owlery to think," she managed.
"Thank you," Malfoy answered with a slight bow. He turned towards the door, but then seemed to change his mind. "Oh, and one other thing." With that he punched Zabini right in the face so hard the boy fell backwards on his arse. Malfoy looked smug as he turned away, then he ran from the room.
Draco made his way quickly to the tower. He came to a stop at the door and felt his heart break. Harry was sitting on the floor, his arms hugging his knees to his chest, his face hidden and obscured by his hair. He was sobbing hard, his whole body shaking. Hedwig sat on the glassless window by his side, hooting sympathetically and softly.
"Harry." Draco's one word caused a violent reaction. Harry jumped up and drew his wand. Before Draco could draw another breath Harry was in a defensive stance, his wand pointed straight at Draco.
"What do you want?" Harry asked, his voice and body trembling. Draco held up his hands to show he meant no harm. Hedwig's feathers were bristling.
"Harry, it wasn't me. Zabini used polyjuice potion when I refused to use the diary entry against you. It was my entire fault really. I should have realised he was jealous and been more alert." Harry looked at him blankly, uncomprehending. "Harry, please believe me. Come with me to the Great Hall and see for yourself." Harry didn't move and Draco sighed. Just then Ron and Hermione appeared beside him, panting from the running they had obviously done.
"Harry, it's true," Hermione breathed, from the run or from simple shock was hard to tell. Ron nodded dazedly beside her. Harry eyed them both, but slowly lowered his wand.
"What are you talking about?" he asked, focusing on his friends.
"It was Zabini. Malfoy here showed up just after you left," Ron answered, giving Draco an odd look. Harry still looked very uncertain. Draco decided to be bold and took a step forward. He really didn't want to say things in front of Ron and Hermione, but knew Harry would believe him better if they were there.
"Harry, please come and see for yourself. Zabini found the parchment and brought it to me. He was sprouting all kinds of ideas for payback, for what I'm not sure. I was too busy reading what you'd wrote." At this Harry blushed and looked down. Draco plunged ahead. "I guess that's why he understood how I felt about you. It's very hard to keep your face blank when you're reading about how the one you're in love with loves you back." Harry's head snapped up and he stared at Draco, his expression still guarded, but more hopeful now. "And when I refused to use it against you he stole the parchment and used polyjuice potion to impersonate me."
"You don't think I'm… pathetic then?" Harry asked, looking afraid of the answer. Draco very much wanted to go back and kill Zabini, but he instead looked Harry in the eye, trying to convey his sincerity.
"No, I don't. I'm in love with you, have been for quite some time. Please, let's go somewhere we can talk. Ron and Hermione can come too of course, if that makes you feel more comfortable. We can stop by the Great Hall and see Zabini." Harry took a step forward and then looked to his right at Hedwig.
"What do you think?" he asked the bird. The only one surprised was Draco, who didn't know how much Harry liked to talk to his owl. The Slytherin watched with raised eyebrows as Harry held up his arm just as Hedwig took off, as if he knew she was going to do it. The owl landed on his forearm and looked at Draco with her head cocked to the side. He held his breath as he waited for the bird's verdict, as it was obvious Harry valued her opinion. In the end she hooted in a way Draco hoped was approving and then stroked Harry's cheek with her head. Harry chuckled softly and watched her fly up to the rafters. He looked back at Draco and nodded.
The foursome made their way back and met with McGonagall, who escorted them all to the Headmaster's office where their presence was needed. Inside they found Dumbledore, Snape and Zabini, who still looked like Malfoy.
"Harry, please come in," Dumbledore said kindly when Harry hesitated. The boy was obviously afraid the Headmaster disapproved of his feelings. He came in with Ron and Hermione by his side, doing their best to be supportive. Draco glared at Zabini. Snape was doing the same.
"So, it's true," Harry said as he studied Zabini.
"Yes, I am afraid Mr. Zabini broken several rules. Stealing potions from Severus here is enough for expulsion, but if Mr. Malfoy wishes to press charges for the attack there will be a Ministry hearing also." Everybody looked to Draco, who turned his glare away from Zabini and focused soft eyes on Harry.
"If you think he's been punished enough then I won't press charges," he said. Harry blinked at him and then eyed Zabini for a moment.
"I suppose expulsion is bad enough," he said. Everybody nodded, except Zabini who remained silent.
Afterwards the four students left the office and Draco asked for somewhere they could talk. Hermione suggested the Room of Requirement and they all agreed. Once inside a comfortable room reminiscent of the Gryffindor common room, Draco sat down next to Harry on one couch while Ron and Hermione took the one opposite.
"Harry, are you sure you want us here?" Hermione asked softly, her eyes on Draco. Harry nodded jerkily and looked down at his hands in his lap. Draco wanted to clean Harry up a bit, but knew that Harry wouldn't want anyone to draw attention to his current state. He looked dishevelled with red-rimmed eyes and his hair even wilder than usual.
"Harry, I-" Draco started. He very slowly reached forward and put his hand over Harry's. The boy tensed, but after a moments hesitation he turned his palm up and grasped the other boy's hand. "I am so sorry about Zabini. I should have been on my guard, but I was too caught up with the fact that you liked me. Frankly I thought it was some trick." Harry glanced up sharply, but quickly looked away again. "I have had feelings for you since fourth year," Draco continued, ignoring the shocked expressions of Ron and Hermione he could see out of the corner of his eye. He knew Harry didn't want to be alone with him yet. "It was only because of my feelings for you I was able to stand against my father. But once everything was over I just… well, I never thought I had a chance with you so I just continued to act like I always had. Believe me I know I was a complete prat before. I had been spoon-fed Lucius' lies all my life. But I like to think I grew up and became a better person, because of you." A tense silence settled over them. Harry was breathing a little more heavily than normal. He finally looked up at Ron and Hermione.
"What do you guys think?" he asked. The pair exchanged a glance and Draco found himself holding his breath again. These were the people whose opinion mattered most to Harry.
"I reckon Malfoy did do the right thing in the end, but he also behaved really shitty towards us, even this year," Ron said, giving a slight glare to Malfoy.
"And I offer you my sincere apologises as well," Draco said rather regally, causing the pair to blink.
"Well…" Ron shifted uncomfortably. "He also punched Zabini for you." Harry's head whipped around and he stared at Draco in disbelief. A smile tugged at the corner of Draco's mouth.
"He deserved it. He deserved much more actually, but I was in the middle of the Great Hall, and if I was expelled you couldn't give me a chance." Harry blushed and looked away. Draco suppressed the urge to sigh in frustration. Curse Zabini to the deepest pits of hell! Although, Harry would probably have a hard time trusting him without the incident as well.
"I wish… I wish I'd never lost that stupid parchment," Harry said miserably. Draco frowned. Harry looked up at him and then Draco was lost in the green depths. "I could have done without the entire school knowing, but I suppose this will have to do." Draco saw a small smile on Harry's face and he couldn't help but lean in and kiss those perfect lips. He forgot everything around him once he felt Harry's lips against his own. Harry didn't pull away and they stayed like that for forever and a second. It was pure bliss, chaste and sweet. When they pulled apart Harry was blushing adorably and Draco smiled at him. A cleared throat caused both of them to jump slightly.
"We'll just be going," Hermione said, barely containing her smirk. She and Ron rose and walked to the door.
"You're ok with this? We're still friends?" Harry asked, looking at them worriedly and almost pleadingly. The pair shared another one of those knowing glances and then smiled at Harry reassuringly.
"We'll be just fine, Harry. You go be happy," Ron said, taking Hermione's hand and disappearing out the door. Harry stared after them for a long while before looking back at Draco.
"I'm so sorry about that git Zabini, Harry," Draco said again, unable to stop himself. "But I can't really be sorry he found your note." Harry smiled and Draco smiled back.
"Apology accepted," Harry whispered, a smile of his face that was making Draco leaning forwards again. "I would have loved to see you punch him, though. My hero."
"I'm sure I can punch him again for you if you like," Draco said playfully, causing Harry to chuckle softy just before their lips met again once more in perfect bliss. They quickly learned that breathing through your nose made the blissful connection last even longer, and it was indeed a very long time before they separated.