The Mantra

It was meant to be him.

Such a simple statement, Draco knew, and yet it held a world of truth behind it. He considered it his personal mantra, to be repeated nearly every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month. Hell, of every year.

It was meant to be him.

Draco thought about it when he got up in the morning, whilst he was perfecting his hair, choosing his outfit for the day. He thought about it at breakfast. He thought about it on the way to first period, and all the way through his classes, and then at lunchtime, and the classes following that. He thought about it throughout dinner in the evenings, while he was holding court at the Slytherin table. He thought about it while he finished his homework in the common room, or when he was researching in the library.

He especially thought about it during those odd moments, maybe once or twice a month, when he would go to the dorm, sit carefully at his desk, retrieve his black leather diary from its hiding place in the bottom drawer, and load up his quill with ink. During these times, he would flip open the diary to the next available page, and then he would write.

He had gone through a grand total of three entire two hundred page diaries during his seven years at Hogwarts. That was six hundred pages, countless thousands of words. He always started by trying to be neutral, ignoring the statement that he thought about constantly, reciting the latest mundane happenings and events that had occurred since he had last written. But, inevitably, he would spiral, until his subject matter turned to him.

Harry Potter.

It was a lot less frequently, maybe a bi-annual event at the most, where Draco would fish out his very first black leather diary, given to him by his father the night before his first year at Hogwarts. He would flip the diary to the very first page, which was dated 1st September, 1991, and he would re-read the diary entry his eleven year old self had written, directly after he'd first arrived in the Slytherin dormitories.

Dear Diary,

My name is Draco Malfoy and I am eleven years old, and today is my first day at Hogwarts. I have been sorted into the house of Slytherin, just as Father said I would. The other children my age in my house are okay. Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle ended up in Slytherin as well. Father told me last night they are going to be my friends at Hogwarts, making sure nothing bad happens to me, because I am a Malfoy. They are very ugly and extremely stupid, but I suppose Father means well.

I feel a bit strange at the moment, for reasons I will explain. On the way to Hogwarts, while we were on the train, I heard a rumour that Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, was on the train as well and was going to Hogwarts. Everyone knows the story of Harry Potter, he's famous all around the world, and although I know Father dislikes him, I thought he might be happy if I made friends with Harry Potter, because it would be sure to bring credibility to our name if Harry Potter was a friend of a Malfoy.

I took Crabbe and Goyle with me and sought him out. I found him sitting with a Weasley. I mean really, diary, a Weasley! The very notion was absurd. I introduced myself to Harry Potter, but the stupid red-haired buffoon he was sitting with had the nerve to laugh at my name! Imagine! Laughing when hearing the name of Malfoy! I insulted him, of course, and he deserved every word of it too.

I made my offer to Harry Potter, which I thought was very generous of me. And here's the thing, diary – he rejected me! He turned away my hand! I feel so strange; I hardly know how to explain it. How dare that Harry Potter reject me for a Weasley, of all people! He obviously doesn't realise what he's done. No matter. A Malfoy doesn't ask for second chances. Harry Potter was sorted into Gryffindor during the Welcome Feast. He's obviously a bad apple, hardly worth my time or consideration. After all, it's not like he was in any way Slytherin material. I have quite washed my hands of him, I think. I shall go to bed now.

Signed,

Draco Malfoy

It was the diary entry that detailed his very first encounter with Harry Potter, as he remembered it. That very first day on the train, where he had made an offer of friendship towards the boy and he had been soundly rejected. Potter had gone on to become best friends with Weasley, and even ended up befriending Granger, a mudblood. Logically, that should have been the end of any time Draco would use thinking about the Boy-Who-Lived.

But no. As the weeks and months and years of their magical education had passed, and Draco watched Potter gallivanting around the castle with his two friends, who were inferior to Draco in every way imaginable, Draco had developed his mantra.

It was meant to be him.

He was the one Potter was meant to be friends with. He was the one Potter was meant to ask for help. He was the one Potter was meant to laugh with, make fun of the other students with, spend time with. It was meant to be him.

But it wasn't. Because Potter hated him, hated him with a passion that often sent them rolling around on the floor, beating the living daylights out of each other, until they were dragged apart and given detention.

There were odd moments, sometimes when Potter had pinned him against a nearby wall, or on the floor, and Potter's face was flushed and he was panting and his brilliantly green eyes were fixed directly on Draco's grey ones, where Draco felt strangely happy. During those moments, Potter wasn't concentrating on anyone else in the entire world, and it felt amazing. It was him. But then they would be separated, and Potter would look away, and Weasley would show up, and it wouldn't be him anymore, like it was meant to be.

They were halfway through their seventh and final year at Hogwarts, and everyone in the entire school loved to hear the latest sagas in the Harry Potter vs Draco Malfoy rivalry that had existed for those seven years. For the other students, Draco's private, constant torture was entertainment, discussed in the Great Hall and in the classrooms and common rooms of the castle.

He was halfway through his current diary. On some of the pages, his mantra would be written nearly a dozen times. He had long since dropped the more standard form of diary writing he'd used as an eleven year old. Instead, he spiralled into fragmented words and sentences and paragraphs which all combined to paint a portrait of Draco Malfoy, and his unshaking, unquenchable belief that it was meant to be him.

Draco knew his father was taking steps to ensure his recruitment into the Dark Lord's forces, which were gaining in power with every day that passed. He knew also that his mother was taking the steps to secure Pansy Parkinson as his intended, that she wanted him to marry the girl after he graduated from school. He knew all of this, and yet, some might find it sad that he didn't particularly care, because that all just didn't seem to matter when compared with the infernal question of why it wasn't him that Potter liked the best.

There had been times where Draco had cracked from the continual strain he put his brain under, and had nearly blasted the dorm room apart in his rage, thinking of a thin face with bright green eyes and a jagged scar on the forehead and how the person behind them never directed their attention to him for long enough. Draco craved it, so much that it would've scared him, had he cared. As he didn't, he allowed himself to crave, never bothering to question why he craved Potter, never once considering it was decidedly not normal to think so much about one person, especially over a period as long as their time at Hogwarts had been.

It was meant to be him, and as far as Draco was concerned, that thought was all that mattered.

HPDM

It was late February. The cold of winter was very slowly ebbing, giving way to the sweet warmth of spring. It was a Thursday, as completely normal a day at Hogwarts as you could imagine, with the student body looking forward as one to the weekend ahead. Dinner had just finished, and the last of the students were wandering out of the Great Hall.

Draco was among them. He always arrived at dinner fashionably late, an ingrained habit born from years of training by Narcissa Malfoy. He took his time with his food, eating in same order, night after night: entrees, then vegetables, then main, and then dessert. He was a creature of habit. While he ate, he oversaw the social order of the Slytherin table, and also thought about how it was meant to be him, because he was extremely skilled at multitasking that way. He liked staying in the Hall until the very last students remained, because he liked the peace and quiet. Crabbe and Goyle, being the mindless idiots that they were, always stayed with him.

As they emerged from the Great Hall, Crabbe turned his rather ugly face to Draco.

"Where to now?" he asked dully.

"Slytherin." Draco replied, not bothering to slow his stride or even look at Crabbe. "Come on."

The pair assumed their positions on either side of him, and together they set off on the path down to the dungeons, where the Slytherin common room was situated.

"Parselmouth," Draco spoke the password, and the door slid open, allowing them entry into the long, narrow, low-ceilinged room.

Draco pointed towards two empty green chairs, which were slightly back from the fire. "You two go sit over there." He told Crabbe and Goyle. "Do whatever you want. I have things to do."

And off they lumbered. They weren't particularly nice to look at, Draco mused as he headed off for the dorm, or intelligent in any way, but they sure were obedient.

Draco entered the seventh-year boys' dormitories and headed straight for his desk. Rather than taking his customary seat at it and begin his monthly process, however, Draco rummaged through the bottom drawer, eventually retrieving his half-filled diary. Taking the diary, as well as a bag filled with parchment, quills, ink and the necessary books, Draco left the dorm and headed back through the common room.

He now directed his steps upwards, heading for the library. There was a lot of research he needed to do for a major Potions assignment, but he also wanted to write in his diary, because he'd gotten into another fight with Potter towards the end of a mutual free period earlier in the day. In the end, he'd decided to do both, at the same time.

Draco reached the library, found a seat at an inconspicuous table, flipped open his diary to the next blank page, dipped his quill in the ink, carefully dated the entry and started off by writing his mantra, before allowing his heart to let the words flow into the small, nondescript black leather book.

Several hours later, Draco jabbed his quill into a full stop with a flourish, having spent the time since he'd finished his diary entry carefully copying out information from numerous heavy, dusty textbooks regarding the properties and uses of the Pullus root and also thinking about Potter. Checking his watch, he realised it was considerably past the time he liked going to bed, and so carelessly shoved his belongings into his bag and hurried out of the library.

It was meant to be him, he thought as he went, and so consumed was he in that thought that he didn't realise he'd left his diary, now more than half-full with writings revolving around that very mantra, on the table in the library.

HPDM

Draco forgot about his diary until the next morning. It was Friday, and Draco began unpacking the bag he'd taken to the library in order to organise the books he'd need for that day. Out came the Potions notes, and several of the books he'd been using, and his parchment, and his ink, and his quill.

No diary.

Draco experienced a mild heart attack as he stood staring into the decidedly empty contents of his school bag. Never, his father had lectured him, ever give anyone an opportunity to be privy to information which they can use against you. It was one of the life lessons that had been drilled into him as a child, and he had followed it meticulously for many years. There wasn't anyone in existence who knew a single thing about any of his weaknesses, because he never let them show.

And now, he'd left his diary, filled with his private thoughts and observations and ponderings about the one weakness he had, in the middle of the school library, where anyone could pick it up and read it.

If his Father could see him now.

No matter, Draco thought, now frantically refilling his bag with his school things, I'll just run to the library before breakfast and retrieve it.

Crabbe and Goyle hadn't even emerged from the showers by the time Draco was dressed, groomed and out the door. He spared a moment to feel vaguely sorry for the pair, who would come into the dorm only to find there was no one to tell them it was okay to head to breakfast, but Draco had more pressing concerns at the moment.

Eventually he arrived at the library, which fortunately was completely deserted. Draco hurried to the table he'd been at the previous night, only to find to his dismay that it was devoid of his diary. He hurried from table to table, frantically checking each one, but always with the same result. No diary.

Desperate now, Draco hurried to the front of the library, where Madam Pince was seated behind her desk, frowning over the morning Daily Prophet. He arrived in front of her, only slightly out of breath. She looked up at him, the suspicious frown still present on her visage.

"Excuse me," Draco said as politely as he could, "I was wondering if you could help me. I accidentally left my…a very important book here last night, and I can't seem to find it. Has anyone handed it in, by any chance?"

Madam Pince scowled at him. "No." she snapped. "No one's handed anything in, and serves you right for treating a book with such disrespect." Muttering something about teenagers and their book-defiling ways, she returned her sour gaze to her newspaper. Draco had no choice but to leave the library and go get some breakfast.

HPDM

The day passed, albeit slowly. Draco was so consumed in thoughts of his missing diary that he completely forgot, for the first time in his nearly seven years at Hogwarts, to think about his mantra. Who really cared, anyway, if it was meant to be him or not, when his diary was probably in the hands of someone else?

Draco's final class of the day was Transfiguration, with the Ravenclaws. He got through it, but when the bell rang and the students were all clamouring to get out the door, McGonagall called him back.

"Yes, Professor?" he asked, pausing in front of her desk.

She looked at him severely over her square shaped spectacles. "I just wanted to remind you that I'm expecting you to be at your detention this evening on time, Malfoy."

Draco blinked, confused, before he realised what she was talking about. His joint detention with Potter, given by McGonagall after their fight the day before. Right.

"Of course, Professor." He said politely. "Eight o' clock. I'll be there."

"See that you are." She said seriously, before waving a wrinkled hand towards the door. "You may hurry on to dinner now."

"Yes, Professor. Thank you, Professor." Draco said, already hurrying out the door, head still consumed with thoughts of his lost diary.

Dinner that night was not what it usually was. Draco barely concerned himself in the affairs of the Slytherins, keeping to himself and saying very little, still fretting over his diary. At one point he had felt someone looking at him, and glancing up had seen Potter gazing at him from his position at the Gryffindor table. Draco scowled at him and looked back down, not even bothering to feel happy that Potter was giving him well-deserved attention, because what did it matter when someone had his private thoughts in their hands?

Draco loitered in the Slytherin common room until it was time for his detention, at which point he made his way up the staircases and through the corridors until he arrived on the fifth floor, where the Transfiguration classroom was located.

He knocked on the door, and upon hearing McGonagall bid him entrance, stepped into the classroom. Potter was already there, leaning against one of the desks in the first row, while McGonagall was likewise seated at her desk. Draco scowled at Potter as he walked over to join them, but the boy merely gazed thoughtfully at him, as though he were an interesting window display.

Unnerved, Draco nonetheless turned to face McGonagall, who was looking at them seriously.

"As punishment for your fight yesterday," she began, "you will be writing lines for me. There" she gestured to two desks in the second row, with a gap in between them, which both held parchment, ink and quills, "you will find the equipment you need. I will be down the corridor in my office, marking papers. If I hear so much as a peep from this room, so help me, I will take the matter to the Headmaster."

Standing up, she began gathering her things into her bag. "You will both be writing 'I will not start unnecessary fights.' I will be an hour, perhaps an hour and a half. You are both in your seventh year now, and I expect you to display the maturity that should come with it. Am I making myself clear?"

"Yes, Professor." Draco and Potter answered in unison, and she nodded briskly. "Good." She headed for the door. "I will see you both in about an hour's time." She left the classroom, shutting the door behind her.

Without even looking at Potter, Draco walked over to one of the desks, sat down, selected a quill, inked it, and then began to write.

Potter followed suit, and for a quarter of an hour the only sound in the classroom was the scratching of their quills. However, Draco was gradually getting more and more irritated, because he could feel Potter's gaze continually shifting towards him, sometimes for minutes at a time.

Eventually, Draco couldn't take it anymore, and he set his quill down with a sigh of resignation and turned to look at Potter, who was still gazing at him.

"Potter," he drawled, "is there any particular reason why you keep staring at me?"

Potter blinked his big green eyes. "Yes, actually." He said matter-of-factly.

It was Draco's turn to blink. "There is?"

"Yes." Potter leant over slightly in his seat, rummaging through his bag. "I was in the library last night, doing research for that Potions assignment." He explained. "But when I went to sit at my favourite table, I found this sitting there." He withdrew his hand from his bag, and Draco saw he was holding a small book, bound in black leather.

Potter held it up, and Draco leapt to his feet, pointing with his mouth gaping open at the book.

"My diary!" he exclaimed in shock.

"Your diary." Potter confirmed. "I told myself I shouldn't even open it, but once I realised whose diary it was and started reading it, I couldn't stop."

He opened up Draco's diary and began to flick through, as though perusing a vaguely interesting magazine. To Draco's horror, he paused and began to read out an excerpt.

"2nd September, 1996. It was the first day of classes today. Goyle managed to hit me in the face with a cushion after his ill-cast Summoning Charm, much to everyone's amusement. Especially Potter's."

Potter glanced up at this, observing Draco's mortified expression with a faintly amused smile. He returned to his reading: "I saw him laughing at me with Weasley. I hate it when that happens, when they laugh at me like they think they're better than me. They're not. I hate seeing Potter with Weasley, because it was meant to be me!"

"Now," Potter looked up at Draco again, "I found it interesting that that final sentence pops up on nearly every page in this book. 'It was meant to be me.' Sometimes the wording changes, sometimes it's written three times in a row, like here." Potter held up the book to show Draco.

Draco covered his face with his hands. He'd slipped up, and now he was paying the price for it. "I suppose you showed it to your little Gryffindor friends?" he asked miserably, his voice coming out muffled through his hands.

"No."

Draco moved his hands away from his face to stare at Potter incredulously. "No? Why the hell wouldn't you?"

"Because," Harry glanced down at the open book and chose a line, "'Inferior, tactless, classless, good for nothing idiot of a Gryffindor' I might be, but I'm not stupid."

Draco could only stare dumbly at the boy. What on earth was he talking about?

"This is several months worth of diary entries, all revolving about how much you hate it when I ignore you, and how much you love it when we fight, because you have my full attention. Diary entries about how much you believe it was meant to be you who got my attention all those years ago, and kept it for as long." Potter got to his feet as well now, setting the diary carefully down on his desk, and turning that infernal thoughtful gaze on him.

"I would never show my friends something like this." He said quietly. "Especially when it's the physical manifestation of everything I've been hoping, for years now."

"Huh?" Potter had lost him quite some time ago.

Potter, still with that thoughtful expression in his emerald eyes, suddenly stepped forward, bringing his hands up to cup Draco's refined cheeks, and kissed him.

Draco's eyes widened in shock, and even as his brain began to blissfully fog over at the sensation of those soft, slightly chapped lips on his, Draco reached out and pushed the Gryffindor away, wiping his mouth with the back of one hand.

Before he could speak a word, however, Potter got there first.

"It wasn't just meant to be you," he said quietly. "It is you, and it has been since the first time I met you. You've been desperate for my attention all these years, Draco, but you never realised that you already had it, every day, even when you weren't around. If I hadn't seen your diary," and he gestured to the little black leather book, lying innocently on the desk beside them, "I would never have guessed you felt the same way."

"But you…I don't like you…" Draco said desperately, trying to make Potter understand, because he'd gotten it all terribly wrong. To his chagrin, however, Potter just laughed at his words.

"Sure about that?" he asked. "If you spend nearly seven years thinking about one person, wanting their attention and only really feeling happy when you've got it, then I'd say yeah, you probably do like me. So much that it's kind of sad, really."

Draco could only gape soundlessly.

Potter sighed, running his hands through his messy, raven coloured hair. "You piss me off so much sometimes, you know that?" he said. "Because you laugh at me, you sneer at me, you provoke me, you get into fights with me…" he laughed, half to himself. "Then I realised you only pissed me off so much because I wished you would do the opposite. And now I know you only did that because you liked me."

He looked at Draco, who was gradually becoming more and more alarmed. It made sense. It did. But the idea that he could like Potter in that way was just mind-boggling.

Rather than wait for Draco's response, Harry moved forward and kissed him again. And now, with Potter's lips moving against his like that, and the feel of Potter's hands snaking around his waist in a manner that was most definitely possessive, Draco felt that same thrill of happiness he'd experienced over the years whenever Potter had paid him attention, only infinitely stronger.

Potter pulled away, slowly, and Draco made an involuntary noise mourning the loss. Potter regarded him carefully, as though unsure of what to make of him.

"It's always been you, Draco." He said softly. "It always will be, I swear." He reached out and ran a tanned finger along Draco's pale jaw.

Draco's skin burned under the touch, like nothing he'd ever experienced before. He could feel his body reacting to Potter, and could feel his logic slipping. It felt so right when Potter touched him…like they'd been doing it for years, which when you thought about it, they should've been anyway, because it was meant to happen.

"Harry…" Draco said softly, hesitantly, but Potter silenced him with another kiss, and this time Draco couldn't for the life of him imagine why he would possibly want to let go of the Gryffindor.

HPDM

Several months later

Dear Diary,

This will probably be my last entry, if not forever then at least for a long time. Harry would laugh at me if he knew I was writing this, but seventh year ends next week, and I thought I should write some kind of conclusive remarks to this thing.

The last time I was wrote was the day Harry found this book when I left it in the library. I'm so glad he did, because otherwise I never would have realised the truth, the truth being that I was halfway in love with him but didn't even realise it, because I was too caught up with thinking about how he rejected me all those years ago. I feel so stupid, remembering how I used to always have that one thought running through my head. 'It was meant to be me.'

That doesn't matter to me anymore. School ends next week, and then we'll see how we go. I don't particularly care how furious my parents will be with me when they find out what I've done, because I have Harry.

I'm the centre of his entire universe now, and rightfully so. I am a Malfoy, after all, and I've been waiting seven years for it. It was meant to be me, and now it is. I think it's about time I enjoyed some attention from him, don't you?

Signed,

Draco Malfoy

AN: No, this isn't an update to my Veela fic…it is, however, a oneshot that popped into my head and demanded very commandingly that I write it. Like a good little girl, I obeyed, and voila!

So yeah, please review to let me know what you thought!

bleedingxheart