Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing(s): Implied future Harry/Draco, but can be interpreted as friendship.
Word Count: 928
Summary: When Luna helps Harry escape the throng of happy survivors, he doesn't take Ron and Hermione with him.
Notes: I think the conversation turns around too quickly. Whaddya think?
Watching the Malfoy family huddle together, uncomfortably pressing away from the people on either side of them, Harry felt vaguely alarmed at his own cowardice. He had done what not just he but almost half of the wizarding population probably thought had been impossible: he had just defeated Voldemort. And yet here he stood, invisible under his coat, unable to walk over and speak to a boy with whom he had never before struggled with words.
Something inside him was saying he should have chosen Hermione and Ron or Ginny but this had been where Harry's feet carried him after Luna aided his escape from the crowd. Ever since he pulled Draco onto his broom, had his arms wind around him so tightly he could hardly breathe, felt the warm pressure of his chest against his back, heard him screaming in his ear, Harry had forgotten about Ginny – Ginny who'd been in the back of his thoughts at almost every moment, replaced by the most unlikely person. And Harry wanted to know why.
Slowly, he took a deep breath and checked no one was watching. He whipped his coat off, deftly hiding it in his robes, and took a hesitant step forward.
This movement attracted the Malfoys' attention and now they were watching him silently as he came towards them.
Incapable of looking at Draco, Harry first addressed Narcissa, "I … er, wanted to thank you," He said, feeling foolish under the woman's scrutinising eyes. "I know – I know you didn't do it for me, but … thank you."
Narcissa Malfoy inclined her head in an almost imperceptible acknowledgement, but she said nothing.
Harry glanced between the two parents, proud and beautiful despite dishevelled clothing, and finally turned his eyes to Draco.
Draco's pointed face was tight and strained. It was a little blotchy and his usually sharp silvery eyes were a dull grey surrounded by red as if he had recently mourned Crabbe's passing properly.
The scars from that ill-fated day the previous year when they had been enemies in earnest were just visible, running from below his chin to some hidden place beneath his collar. Seeing those scars still brought a little throb to Harry's chest, reminding him of a horrible mistake he had made, using a spell he did not know.
Dragging his attention from Draco's neck, he spoke again, voice cracking, "Could I – speak with you?"
The uncertainty and suspicion that flashed across the other teen's face almost made Harry cringe. But he stood with his eyes unwaveringly locked on Draco's however unnerving it was to be the only one speaking.
At length, Draco looked too from Narcissa to Lucius and then stood.
Harry pulled his cloak from his robes and held it so that his arm was covered and transparent. He already knew Draco would have guessed the reason for his floating head in Hogsmeade four years ago but if his parents were surprised by this development, they did not show it.
The blonde stepped forward and let Harry pull the cloak around them. His features were still guarded and they remained so as Harry guided them to an empty classroom a floor up.
When they arrived, Draco moved away immediately and watched Harry without blinking or speaking, waiting for him to gather his wits and break the silence himself.
"Um-" he began cautiously, but Draco now cut him off; "I suppose you are regretting your actions now: saving a follower of the Dark Lord."
"And I suppose you have decided to finish me off yourself," he continued and Harry could tell he was trying – and failing – to prevent his voice shaking.
"No," Harry burst out. "Of course not!"
Draco looked completely bewildered. "I have done nothing but torment you for seven years, Potter, why would you possibly want to let me live?"
Harry remembered the warm feeling he'd tried to suppress, like honey oozing through his veins, when Draco had turned, beaming, to see his second saviour after the Death Eater had been Stunned. He paused, then; "Well, did you want me to die back at Malfoy Manor?"
"Well – I-" Draco cut himself off and sneered, looking more like the Draco Malfoy Harry knew than he had in months. "Maybe."
"You knew it was us, you knew – how could you not have; we probably spent more time fighting than we did studying at Hogwarts!"
Draco looked slightly peeved, saying, "Well, you may have – which would explain your mediocre grades."
But there was no malice behind it and Harry felt himself grin, something that had become a rarity of late.
"You're not even doing NEWTs and you'll still get a better job than me," he added, but his now mutinous expression was ruined by twitching lips and he allowed a small smile.
Harry laughed and, quite suddenly, he knew exactly where he wanted to go from here. He stuck out his hand and, in a bad impression of a snotty voice, said, "You don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort, Malfoy. I can help you there."
Draco let out a half-laugh, recognising the words immediately. He raised his eyebrows and said, with his own imitation of Harry's cool tone in first year, replied, "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks," and, as he spoke, he reached out and grasped Harry's hand.
His hand was warm and soft and, though Harry knew that he wanted so much more than this, he was no longer in some terrible struggle to survive.
There was time.