AN: I really wanted to write this…so I did :P
The simplest words could have the strongest consequences.
"We can't do this anymore."
Harry gaped, open mouthed, as Draco absently smoothed the edges of his robes, not meeting Harry's eyes.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean us, Harry." Draco snapped, still refusing to meet Harry's eyes as he now stared determinedly at a portrait on the wall. "It's not working."
"It's been working for past few months, in case you've forgotten." Harry said disbelievingly. "What's happened? Draco, what's wrong? You can tell me."
"Nothing is wrong!" Draco said angrily, now looking at the ceiling. "I've just come to my senses, Potter. Maybe you should too."
Harry flinched as though slapped; Draco hadn't called him by his last name the whole time they'd been together, not in private anyway. "Draco…" he said pleadingly, shakily. "Come on, this isn't you, surely you don't…surely you don't mean…"
"On the contrary, Potter, it is me." Draco said icily. Harry felt a warmth gathering behind his eyes as he watched the posture of the Slytherin change, subtly, back into the cold, 'Malfoy' posture of the past. "And I do mean it. We can't. I don't want to anymore. It's over."
Harry experienced a sudden brainwave. It was the first day back after Christmas break, after all. "Was it…is this to do with your father?" he questioned tentatively.
In a flash Draco had risen from the lounge they were sharing, his silvery-grey eyes frosting over as all emotion other than anger left them.
"No," he hissed, "and don't go assuming it is. It's over, Potter."
The warmth behind Harry's eyes turned quickly into tears, which puddled in his eyes and then spilled slowly over his cheeks. He reached out beseechingly to the blonde, desperate. "Draco…" he choked, "I…I love you. Don't do this."
Harry saw, just for a moment, that beautiful face flash with pain and misery before the handsome features schooled themselves into a smoothly inscrutable expression once more.
"Fuck off, Potter," Draco spat, his voice betraying only the tiniest tremor, which Harry picked up nonetheless, and before Harry could say anything else, Draco had ran from the room, slamming the door behind him.
"Maybe it's for the best, mate." Ron said gently, rubbing Harry's shoulder as the brunette's body shook and spasmed. "If the prick was going to dump you like that then he never deserved you in the first place."
"You don't understand," Harry said miserably, "I don't think he meant it. I don't think he wanted to."
Ron threw a helpless look to Hermione which clearly said, 'He's gone off his rocker.' Hermione moved in, taking Ron's place beside Harry's bed.
"What do you mean, Harry?" she asked quietly.
"I mean that I…I think it was because of his father," Harry voiced his theory. "He's been there over winter break, Lucius must have found out somehow."
Ron and Hermione exchanged looks. They had been unsure about the relationship between their best friend and the hated Slytherin since the start, but it was heartrending to see Harry like this.
"Harry," Hermione said slowly, "I'm not saying your theory isn't right, but don't you think…I don't know, that maybe Draco just did it because…"
"…he's a heartless bastard?" Ron finished.
"GET OUT!" Harry was on his feet instantly, eyes ablaze, dark hair sticking up in crazy angles from not being washed or combed in nearly two days. Ron and Hermione scrambled backwards, suddenly very afraid. "You don't know him like I do! Get out! He is NOT a heartless bastard!" he yelled to the sound of the door closing, his friends having taken the hint and gotten out. Body still shaking and shuddering with suppressed anger and misery, he moved to the small window of the tower, resting his forehead on the cool glass.
"He's not a heartless bastard." He repeated in a whisper.
As he gazed miserably out over the moonlit grounds, a figure caught his eye, standing by the side of the lake even though it was freezing cold, there was snow on the ground and it was nearly 10 o' clock at night. Harry only needed to squint at the figure for a few seconds before he recognized the cut of the cloak, and saw the moon shining off the white-blonde hair.
Looking from a window above, it's like a story of love
They had gotten together at the start of the school year, finally discovering that holding furtive sessions in empty classrooms was a lot more rewarding than fighting with one another. For the first few weeks, that was all it had been, until they began to hang around each other after each session, lying on the floor and talking about nothing. Draco had begun to appear in Harry's dreams, and Harry had felt his heart skip a beat whenever the blonde was nearby.
Within a month, it had turned into something much more; breathless murmurings of 'I love you' against classroom walls, hands gently placed on knees during Potions classes, secret smiles across the Hall at mealtimes. They were in love. Ron and Hermione were the only other people who knew.
"Draco!" Harry screamed now, so far gone that it seemed that Draco would somehow hear him. When the figure remained still by the side of the lake, he screamed louder, again and again until it felt like his throat was ripping in two.
Can you hear me?
The Slytherins had suspected something, of course. They were too cunning, too observant not to, although none of them were exactly sure what was going on with the Malfoy heir. Several times, Harry and Draco would easily have been caught in the middle of one of their sessions if not for the quick thinking of one Hermione Granger.
They had laughed about it afterwards, of course, because who needed to think about the more troubling issues when you were young and naïve and in love? Even Hermione had cracked a grudging smile on the occasions when she tried to scold Harry for his foolishness and had been met with only giddy, happy proclamations from him.
And Draco had thrown it all away, just like that.
Came back only yesterday
Harry watched as the figure set off around the edge of the lake, head clearly bowed. Harry called out, again, hating to see the blonde walking away from him now just as much as he had the day before when Draco had run from the Room of Requirement, but of course Draco couldn't hear him.
Moving farther away
Harry watched desperately, pressed against the glass, until the cloaked figure was well and truly out of sight. Only then did he turn from the window to collapse back onto his bed, not even feeling the salty tears that dusted his cheeks. His bed felt cold, so cold without Draco there, and he felt just as empty as the bed as well.
Want you near me
What was he meant to do now?
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
Harry curled up, picturing the blonde's face in his head, his heart clenching painfully.
A week later
"Harry?" Hermione was tentative. "Are you sure you're not going to eat the rest of your breakfast?"
Harry was staring blankly at his plate, and seemed to take a long time to come back up to the surface and answer her question.
"No, Hermione." He said finally, setting down his fork. "I'm not really hungry."
Hermione exchanged glances with Ron, who was sitting opposite them. Since Harry and Malfoy had broken up, Harry had become a completely different person to the one he'd been while he and the Slytherin were going out. He didn't say much, he didn't eat much, he didn't sleep much, and he barely, if ever, smiled. Hermione and Ron were worried, to say the least.
"But you didn't eat very much at dinner last night," Hermione wheedled. "I really think you should try and eat some more."
More to appease her than anything, Harry took up his fork and obediently ate a few more bites of his eggs, before setting it back down and looking at her pointedly. "Better, Hermione?" he asked quietly.
Hermione tried to smile as encouragingly as she could. "Much better." She enthused.
Ron checked his watch. "Bloody hell, we better get a move on or we'll be late for Potions," he said, pushing away his own empty plate and getting up from the table.
"You're right, Ron." Hermione said at once, getting to her feet as well. "Come on, Harry." There was something of the over-protective mother in the way she said his name, but Harry didn't comment on it, instead obediently getting up and slinging his bag over his shoulder before following his friends out of the Great Hall.
They arrived in the dungeon corridor outside the Potions classroom to find it already filled with their classmates. Harry stopped dead in the middle of the corridor at the sight of Draco, mocking sneer perfectly intact, situated between Crabbe and Goyle not five metres away.
Hermione, feeling her friend freeze beside her, seized Harry's hand and dragged him past the Slytherins towards the group of Gryffindors beyond, murmuring all the while, "Ignore him, just ignore him Harry, and don't look at him…"
They arrived where Dean, Seamus and the rest were standing, and Hermione and Ron were all set to breathe a sigh of relief at getting past Harry's ex-boyfriend without provocation when the sneering voice of said ex-boyfriend echoed down the corridor.
"What's wrong with Scarhead?" Draco sneered as his goons chuckled. "Looks like he's seen a ghost."
Temper flaring, Hermione whirled around, her brown eyes bright in their fury. "Probably not, but maybe it's just because he saw you, Draco!" she snarled angrily, directing a death glare to the blonde. She hated him, hated him, for doing this to her best friend.
Sometimes when I think of his name
Draco raised a pale eyebrow. "Me? Why on earth would that be, mudblood?"
There was loud laughter from the Slytherins, and enraged gasps of anger from the Gryffindors, but the snarl that emitted from Harry's lips as he drew his wand and stalked straight towards Draco sounded louder than all others.
When it's only a game
"Don't fucking call her that, Malfoy." Harry spat, advancing on the blonde.
"Well, would you look at Potter, defending his friend." Draco simpered, even as Harry pointed his wand directly to the side of Draco's pale throat.
And I need you
"Don't call her that ever again." Harry said dangerously, fire flashing in his bright green eyes.
"Fuck off, Potter." Draco said maliciously, and Harry stumbled momentarily, the words taking him back to that night a month ago, in the Room of Requirement.
Listen to the words that you say
Harry recovered himself enough to lean in, so that his mouth was beside the Slytherin's ear.
"It shouldn't be like this." He murmured, so quietly that those looking on couldn't hear, but from the shudder that shot through the blonde's body Harry knew Draco had heard him. "Don't you remember that we were in love?"
It's getting harder to stay
Harry pulled back, stared briefly into that pair of cold grey eyes he hated to see, and then started to walk away, only to found himself spun back around by a pale hand. The next thing he knew, that same hand had fisted and slammed into his nose.
When I see you
Draco got in a few more good punches to Harry's jaw and stomach, even as the Gryffindors moved to defend Harry and Harry swung his fist, colliding with a sickening thud into that pale nose he remembered kissing a few times on cold days in the previous autumn.
Unfortunately, it was this moment that Snape chose to open the door of the classroom. His cold black eyes glittered as he took in the bruising on both their faces, and the Gryffindors, all with their wands out.
"Fighting, are we, Potter?" he said abruptly.
Draco and Harry both stopped their fight to look around at the Potions Master, whose face held an unpleasant smirk.
"Let me see…twenty points from Gryffindor, I think." He said smoothly.
There were noises of outrage from the Gryffindors, and smug smirks on the faces of the Slytherins. Snape looked closer at Harry and Draco's faces – Harry was bleeding, and Draco's nose appeared to be broken. Snape heaved an irritated sigh.
"To the hospital wing with both of you." He spat disgustedly, and then seemed to think for a moment. "And five more points from Gryffindor for the class time you'll miss, Potter."
"We'll go with Harry, professor!" Hermione blurted, dragging Ron forward with her.
Snape regarded her with a slight sneer. "Very well." He said coolly. "Goyle, you go with Draco."
The groups immediately separated, and Harry and his friends set off for the Hospital Wing, Draco and Goyle not far behind.
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
As they navigated the staircases and corridors of the castle, Harry couldn't help but glance around at his ex-boyfriend. Draco was, of course, just as handsome and beautiful as he always had been, but a cold exterior had frosted the features Harry knew so well. Their eyes met briefly, cold grey and green, and just for that moment Harry's entire world stopped.
Draco scowled slightly and looked away, and Harry was forced to do the same.
"Fighting again?" Madam Pomfrey clicked her tongue disapprovingly, ushering them both over to a pair of beds. She looked around at Ron, Hermione and Goyle, who were still standing near the doorway looking awkward.
"You lot can get going back to class, and tell Professor Snape I'll have them both back down within maybe half an hour or so."
Ron and Hermione exchanged incredulous looks; normally, the healing of a cut forehead and broken nose would only take a few minutes.
"Go on now, out!" Madam Pomfrey admonished, and having no choice, Ron and Hermione left, waving to Harry on their way out, followed by Goyle, looking as gormless as ever. She turned back to her patients, drawing her wand as she did so.
"Er…Madam Pomfrey?" Harry spoke up as she passed her wand over the blood on Harry's face, clearing it away instantly as she went. "Why do we need to be here for twenty minutes if you're just going to heal us?"
"Because, Mr Potter, this is the first time you two have had a serious fight all year," she answered crisply, lighting her wand and pointing it in Harry's eyes. She straightened up and nodded at him. "All clear, Mr Potter. Now stay there whilst I examine Mr Malfoy."
She fixed Draco's nose and siphoned off the blood around it. Harry watched, enjoying despite himself the opportunity to look at the blonde without being sneered at. He missed Draco terribly, and even though Draco was right there on the next bed, he still felt unbelievably far away from the Slytherin.
"All done." Madam Pomfrey declared, tucking her wand away into the red and white robes she wore. She scrutinised them for a moment, and they looked back at her.
"Well boys, I'm waiting." She said calmly.
"Waiting for what, exactly?" Draco drawled.
"As I said before, you two have not been in here for fighting all of this school year." Madam Pomfrey answered. "If you randomly show up together, sent for fighting, after months of not doing so, it's my job to find out why."
Harry's heart jumped unpleasantly, and he glanced uncertainly at Draco; the blonde, however, had his cold eyes directed at the matron, fury evident in their depths.
"I don't remember that ever being part of your job description, to my knowledge." He hissed coolly. "When my father hears about this…"
Harry was on his feet before he knew what he was doing; anger and frustration and love had flared within him, putting a hot, bitter taste in his mouth. "Would you shut the fuck up about your father!" he shouted into that face he loved so much. "You dump me, you break my heart, you insult me and then you punch me, and you still talk about your fucking father like it all meant nothing to you!"
This is going to take a long time
Harry heard Draco hiss in a breath as they stared at each other. Harry's chest was heaving, his eyes were wild and shining with every emotion he had suppressed all week.
Madam Pomfrey's hands had flown over her mouth, her eyes wide and shining as she stared at them both staring at each other. "Oh my," she breathed. They did not hear her.
"I said it was over, Potter." Draco hissed quietly. "I meant it."
"The fuck you did!" Harry started to retort, but Madam Pomfrey quickly stepped between them.
"I do not know if I have interpreted this correctly," she said, "but still, my patient's…ah…personal lives are not my business. Can I make a suggestion, gentlemen?"
"What?" They turned on her, and she was startled at both the raw emotion flooding Harry's eyes and the icy cold indifference that filled Draco's.
"There is a room in the Hospital Wing which I call the Negotiation Room." She began cautiously. "I believe you two will benefit enormously from spending a bit of time in it."
Draco narrowed his eyes. "The Negotiation Room?" He repeated with a sneer.
"Yes, Mr Malfoy. It is enchanted so that no spell, charm, hex, jinx or curse can be cast within it. You are also unable to resort to the more barbarian styles of resolving conflict."
"Like punching?" Harry said, casting a sidelong glance at Draco.
"Exactly, Mr Potter." She nodded. "I use it sometimes when students have a conflict they are unable to try and settle without resorting to magic or fighting along the way. It has proven itself highly successful through the years."
Harry found himself inexplicably, desperately eager for a chance to talk to Draco alone, and from what Madam Pomfrey had said, the Negotiation Room sounded like the perfect place to house this conversation.
"What's your opinion, Harry?" Madam Pomfrey asked him now.
And I wonder what's mine
"I think it's a great idea." He said loudly, looking pointedly at Draco, who glared at him in response.
"I think it's bloody stupid." Draco sneered, but Madam Pomfrey was already striding off down the other end of the ward, and opening the single door along the far wall. She gestured to them to follow her. Harry walked off at once, Draco following slowly behind, muttering sneered comments the entire way.
The adjoining room appeared to be an entrance way into the Hogwarts matron's chambers: it was a simple room, filled with comfortable looking armchairs and lounges, and cheerfully lit with white, floating candles not unlike the ones in the Great Hall.
Madam Pomfrey pointed towards a door on the left-hand wall. "The Negotiation Room is over there, gentlemen. Generally the room will not let you exit until you have resolved the conflict between you to some degree. As such, I will explain to Professor Snape should you miss class due to your time in there."
"It won't make much difference," Harry remarked, walking to the door she had pointed to, "Snape will take a million House points off me no matter what you say." He glanced to Draco, who was still standing near the entrance to the room, arms folded and eyes narrowed icily. "Are you coming?" he questioned, not meaning for his tone to have come off as uncertain and wavering as it did.
Draco stared at him for a moment, and then scowled and stalked over to Harry, pushing past him with a brush of shoulders that produced a jump in Harry's stomach into the room.
"Good luck." Madam Pomfrey smiled at Harry, who smiled hesitantly back.
"Thanks." He said, muttering as he closed the door behind him, "I'll need it."
The Negotiation Room was outfitted rather similarly to the room they had just exited, with several comfortable looking lounges scattered throughout. Draco, however, had not taken a seat; he remained standing, arms still folded, cold eyes still glaring angrily at Harry.
Harry let out a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding as he looked at the blonde, haughty and cold, every inch the miniature of Lucius Malfoy.
And he hated it.
"I hope you're happy now, Potter,' Draco sneered. "Now we're stuck in this stupid room together."
"Not long ago, I would've been really happy about being in this situation, Draco," Harry said, "but now, no, I'm not very happy at all."
Draco raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
"Do you want to know why?" Harry asked quietly, taking a step closer to the Slytherin; Draco's cold eyes flickered just for a moment, but he remained motionless.
Can't take no more
"You fucking broke my heart a week ago, Draco Malfoy, that's why!" Harry yelled suddenly.
Just for a moment, Harry saw the Draco that he knew, that he loved, flick across the blonde's face, only to disappear again.
"Don't be so melodramatic, Potter," he sneered dismissively, although he sounded slightly uncomfortable. "It was only ever sex, nothing more."
"Liar." Harry whispered harshly, edging closer again. "You're just as in love with me as I am with you."
Draco laughed, meaning to be scornful, but Harry knew he was faltering. "I was never in love with you."
"Yes, you were." Harry murmured, still moving closer to the Slytherin; their eyes were fixed on each other, and Draco seemed frozen to the spot. "You told me so, many times. Do you remember the first time?" he questioned quietly, his eyes softening at the memory. "We were in the Charms classroom, I think, and it just slipped out, and you couldn't believe you'd said it. I can still picture the look on your face, and I can remember what I felt then, and all the times afterwards."
Draco had closed his eyes rather than look at Harry, whose green eyes were rapidly filling with tears.
"You went home for the break, and Lucius found out. I get it, Draco, I do." Harry said, his voice rising in his desperation. "You're scared of him, you don't want to disobey him and go against the Dark Lord. I can understand that. But there are ways of protecting you, there are ways of going about this that don't mean the sacrifice of your happiness." Draco was trembling now, and Harry took a final step so that they were mere centimetres away.
Wonder if you'll understand
"Because you're not happy, Draco, I know you're not. I see it in your eyes." He murmured sadly. "There's nothing in them anymore, and it scares me a little."
Draco whispered something inaudible, shaking his head from side to side as though trying to shake off an annoying fly buzzing around his head, but Harry knew he was listening.
"You're not going to be happy if you keep on." Harry said, his voice slightly shaky. "I know I'm certainly never going to be happy if this keeps going. I need you, Draco. I love you."
It's just the touch of your hand
Instinctively he reached out and stroked his fingers over Draco's pale ones, hanging limply by his sides. Almost instantly, Draco jerked his hand away and opened his eyes, looking at Harry, the silvery-grey orbs wild.
"You don't understand," he whispered desperately, "I was raised to believe that love is a weakness, the ultimate weakness, and he was so furious with me when he found out I'd allowed that weakness within myself, and he's right, love is a weakness, because all it would ever do is end up getting one of us hurt, Harry…"
Harry grabbed the front of Draco's robes and forcefully pulled the blonde to him so that their lips met; he kissed Draco furiously, passionately, allowing every emotion he'd ever felt for the Slytherin to well up inside him and overflow into the kiss. He pulled the blonde with him and manoeuvred him until his back was against the locked door, Harry pressing against him desperately.
Behind a closed door
Harry broke the kiss to breathe into Draco's ear, "Love is never a weakness, Draco. Never. It's the strongest and most powerful thing in the world, and wherever it exists, the true weaknesses of doubt, and fear, and hatred, cannot touch it."
Draco shivered as Harry slowly ran a hand through his silky hair, over his pale features, traced his lips with a single fingertip, those bright green eyes looking at him seriously.
"I love you." Harry said quietly, reaching for his hand and gently squeezing it. "I've never felt like this about anyone before, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let your father ruin it for me."
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
The look in Harry's eyes, combined with his words, finally melted the steely façade Draco had erected around himself since his return to the school.
"I love you too," Draco whispered back, shakily, his words causing Harry to lean forward and capture his lips again. Draco melted against the door, allowing all thought of his expectations and his duties and his father to escape his mind in the all-consuming love of Harry, not knowing that they would end up spending a grand total of two and a half hours in the Negotiation Room, thus missing their morning classes, or that Lucius's anger upon discovering his son's betrayal would far exceed anything he'd ever expressed before.
After all, it was Harry.
AN: Lyrics in the story are from 'Only You' by Yaz. Simple idea, simple plot, simple ending, but sweet all the same, I think. Liked it? Review and let me know. Thanks for reading!