Authoress: Aria DC al Fine
Synopsis: Written in conjunction with Harry Potter and the Heart Diamond by Elpin. What if Draco didn't survive? Angst/Romance, SLASH HPDM, Character Death
Disclaimer: Sadly, not mine.
A/N: Inspired by Indian Summer by Abaddon.
A/N2: This can be read without reading Harry Potter and the Heart Diamond, but you're welcome to read it, of course. To make you understand easier, Draco was a horcrux.
Harry flopped down on the bed, exhausted, both from crying and from being angry at Draco for sacrificing himself, and for at Dumbledore, for deceiving him yet again. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but Draco's smiles, Draco's scowls, images of the blonde haunted him.
Harry slung his arm over his eyes before turning to lean on his side, trying to make himself more comfortable. After a few moments of lying wide awake, a brown barn owl flew to his window and tapped its beak to the glass panel. Irritated, but having nothing better to do anyway, Harry got up on his feet, crossed the room and opened the window. The owl landed on his extended arm and hooted, demanding for an owl treat, which was given straight away in fear of waking other occupants of the number 12 Grimmauld Place.
There was only one word on the envelope. Harry. The green-eyed boy didn't need to scan the letter for any hexes because he'd recognise that writing anywhere. It was Draco's.
Harry nearly ripped the letter in the haste of opening the envelope. Two sheets of parchment, folded, old, crisp and yellowing on the edges fell out of the envelope. Harry put the rest on the nightstand and bent down to retrieve the fallen parchments. What did you want to tell me, Draco? Is it your last message to me? Your Goodbyes? Harry thought to himself as he opened the fold. He was surprised to find that the parchments told of a story instead.
A long time ago, in a far, untouched land, lived a boy named Summer. He was so beautiful; his skin kissed by the sun, his hair a wild nest of raven locks, his eyes bright and vivid. His smile lit the day. Wherever the boy walked, the grass was green where his feet touched, flowers blossomed, life flourished. Creatures gathered around his warmth, which he seemed to give unconditionally. Wherever he flew, he brought with him cooling, forgiving breeze. He was a child of the earth, free, naive and loved by many.
He traveled far and wide, but only within the boundary Mother Nature had set him. He had been obedient, oh, he had always been obedient, but deep inside, he yearned, desired to go beyond the edge of time, so one day, when Mother wasn't looking and the creatures were asleep, he crept, silently, to the cliff and jumped to the future.
The boy found himself stranded in bare land, where the weather was harsh, and there was snow covering the frozen ground. The bitter blizzard attacked his naked form as he tried to move forward, and the grass did not grow where his feet touched.
The boy hugged himself in a futile attempt to protect himself from the cold, his teeth chattering, his skin turning blue. Tears were pooling in his bright-coloured eyes, and streaked down his cheek, before freezing immediately. The boy felt miserable.
Suddenly a piece of fur was draped over his shoulder. The cloth warmed his body immediately. Summer looked up, and his breath was taken away.
Behind him stood another boy. He was so beautiful, his skin pale as snow, his hair the colour of bleached hays and looked so, so fine, his eyes the colour of the stormy sky. His features were sharp, and his figure was lithe. He was naked, but he didn't seem to be bothered by the weather at all.
Summer was excited. This was the first time he had ever seen another boy like him – so far, his only companions were the animals in the forest. Summer bounced to the other boy and smiled at him. "Hi!" he greeted and offered his hand, "I'm Summer. What's your name?"
The other boy looked uncertain. He took a few steps towards Summer, and when he walked, the ground frosted where his feet touched. When he made a move to take the offered hand, Summer braced himself for the cold…
Only to find that the boy's body was warm, very much like himself.
"I'm Winter," the boy introduced himself, and blushed when Summer grinned even larger. Summer found that he loved the tinge of pink on Winter's cheeks.
They became fast friends. Winter brought him around. The land was the same all over the place, cold, hard and frozen, the trees stripped of any leaves and the wind unforgiving. There was no sunlight to speak of, and there were very few creatures around, camouflaged on the white grounds, and whenever they saw Winter, they fled, which brought a sad, lonely smile onto the pale boy's lips. When Summer saw it, no matter how much he hated the place, he vowed to himself that he would never leave his new companion.
Time passed. The two boys were always together. They played, shared stories, and went on adventures hand-in-hand. Winter always hugged Summer when the weather became really bad, and Summer always loved it when he was in Winter's arms. Summer knew that he was more than just fond of his friend. That was why, one day, when Summer was talking animatedly about something, and Winter was staring at him reverently before pulling his face close and kissed him, Summer gave everything to the kiss and let the other boy took ownership over him and him over the other boy.
They were in love, and happy. Every day was bliss. They were convinced that there wasn't anything better that this.
But of course, after reaching the zenith, the only way one could go was downwards. Happiness never last forever.
Winter was the first to notice that Summer was turning pale, like himself. Summer shrugged it off, saying it was just the weather – he hadn't seen sunlight for months. But then Summer started becoming tired easily. His condition deteriorated rapidly, and before long, he couldn't leave the bed. Winter panicked. He knelt on the ground and prayed for the Gods to save his beloved.
It was when Summer was a breath away from death, Mother Nature found them. She scolded her son for traveling to the future, and when Winter asked her for a cure, there was melancholy in her eyes as she answered her son's lover.
"I can make a deal to forego Spring, but…
You have to die."
When she offered him a poison, he consumed it without a moment of hesitancy.
Then their situation was reversed.
As Summer started to recover, the weather changed. Plants started growing. Creatures started to gather around him. The sky cleared. The wind turned merciful.
On the other hand, Winter fell truly sick. As the weather became warmer, his countenance became impossibly paler. All colours were lost from his skin, which was so thin Summer could see the blood coursing through his veins. He became very scrawny; skin stretched over jutted bones, there was barely any flesh left. Summer tried to feed him but Winter could barely keep anything down. When Summer cried, his lover reached out to erase the tears off his face, and when he had gotten Summer's attention, he smiled weakly. "It's okay, love."
Summer's heart broke. He ran to his Mother to ask for cure, but she shook her head. He screamed, cried, begged, but she stood adamant. They fought until she couldn't take it anymore and accidentally said that it was Winter's decision to die. There was no other way than to spill the whole beans, so she did, and afterwards, she held her shocked son and said, "It was necessary."
The page was ripped and Harry had no way of knowing whether the story ended there or not. When he checked the envelope again, a piece of parchment fell. Harry recognised it as Draco's parchment, one of the two enchanted parchments they had used to communicate to each other since last year. The other one was still with Harry, although like Sirius's mirrors, he had no use for them now, since the one he wanted to communicate with using the parchments was dead. He was about to put it on his nightstand when he flipped the parchment and identified Draco's elegant, hurried handwriting.
I died so you can live
The parchment fell to the floor. Fresh tears began to flow from his eyes and he wailed, screamed his heart out at the unfairness of it all. He thought he was done crying, but he wasn't. Stupid, idiotic, heroic, he thought in his head as he heaved his chest and fought to breathe.
The sound of his grief brought Ron and Hermione into the room. The witch went to envelope the green-eyed man in her arms and tried to soothe him, while Ron put a supporting hand on his friend's shoulder. As Harry continued to weep, the redhead noticed the parchments on the floor and picked them up.
The Boy Who Defeated Voldemort cried himself to sleep. Hermione was tucking him into bed and covering his trembling form with a blanket when Ron gave her the parchments and let her read them.
"It's the Parable of Summer and Winter," Ron remarked, when tears staring falling out of his girlfriend's eyes.
"Oh, my God…" she gasped.
Ron took her the parchments from her shaking hands and placed them on the nightstand, before holding her hand still and leading her out of the room.
"It's a famous Wizarding Fairytale. The morale of the story is that sometimes, sacrifices needed to be made for a greater good," Ron continued to explain as he entered the study. He was scanning the shelves when Hermione was done wiping her tears and asked, "What are you doing?"
"The Parable Malfoy sent to Harry wasn't finished. You and Harry weren't raised in wizarding custom, so he was wagering that Harry wouldn't realise it," he said as he found what he was looking for and pulled an old, thick book with black hardcover out of the shelves. He scanned it quickly before stopping at a page and handed the tome to his girlfriend again.
Ron was right. After that paragraph, there were something more.
When Winter died, he brought with him Summer's will to life.
Now, when Summer walked, the grass was brown where his feet touched, and the dead grass was crushed by his feet, the dust blowing up behind him. Wherever he flew, he brought with him hot, dry, malicious wind. To prevent her son from killing all plants and animals, Mother Nature unwillingly root his feet to the ground. He was no longer free, no longer naïve, no longer loved by many, but he found that he didn't care at all. His eyes dulled, his hair limp, his skin pale, like his deceased beloved's skin. There was no more rain and the whole place became arid. When it was time for Autumn to be birthed, there was nothing left.
The world was destroyed.
When Hermione looked up at Ron, her eyes were bright with unshed tears again. "It is for the best."
Ron nodded. "Before this, I've always doubted that the ferret loves him. Now, I'm ashamed of myself."
The book was closed, and returned to the shelves, which was locked with the strongest locking charm. "We're going to be there for Harry. We're going to make sure this doesn't happen to him." Hermione said with determination.
"Of course, love. Of course."
A/N3: The text in … are taken from Indian Summer