Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: 22 drabbles, 100 words each; entry for Live Journal community dracoharry100 's weekly challenge "Amazement". A quick piece written to celebrate the canonization of Dumbledore/Grindelwald, based loosely on the first three stanzas of the hymn "Amazing Grace" and JKR's comments.
Amazing grace, how
sweet the sound,
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that
taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Thro' many dangers,
toils and snares,
I have already come;
Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
- John Newton, 1772
Draco pulled his cloak closer as he treaded on the snow sprinkled lane.
The small village was already visible amidst the snowflakes fluttering in the wind. He could discern the monument that marked its center, casting a lonesome shadow on the quaint steeple of a church.
He didn't know why he Apparated here. Godric's Hollow was the home for heros, which he was anything but.
He also had no home to speak of. The Manor had been eerily silent since the war ended, his parents being detained indefinitely for questioning.
He could be anywhere, really, and would still be lost.
The Christmas lights strung around the monument blinked on as night fell, their feeble colors only accentuating the vivid glow from the mosaic stained glass of the church.
On its steps Draco stood, his attention drawn to the sound drifting into his ears through the howling winds.
It was so faint that he wondered if it was real. Could it be something magical that had flown inside him, plucking his heartstrings? There could be no other explanation for the familiarity in that voice, fragmented, sweet yet distant, reverberating with his heartbeat.
He pushed open the door quietly and walked inside.
The mahogany door shut with a bang, echoed by the sound of paper flapping as a pile of sheet music fluttered its descent.
"Potter," Draco exclaimed under his breath.
Harry just stared.
Heedless of the commotion he had just made, the old lady sitting by the piano smiled warmly to the unexpected visitor; she then gestured him towards the pew and spelled him a fresh cup of tea.
Meanwhile, Harry busied himself picking up the papers. Draco could see his hands trembling, just like his own.
The old lady asked a question. Harry's eyes flickered towards Draco, and he nodded.
Draco had listened to Harry many times before; he'd heard him talking, laughing, and most of the time, yelling and spitting angry words into his ears.
He had never heard him sing.
He wasn't fantastic; his pitch wasn't perfect and his diction not always clear. Yet his baritone voice spoke of the bittersweetness of their youth, the innocence of childhood marred by the threat of war. It whispered the hidden pains, the difficult choices they must face far too early in their lives.
Through the white steam from the cup in his hand, Draco saw Harry for the first time.
Draco blinked; since when did he lose himself in memories? He'd promised himself to never do that again.
Harry stood before him, face flushed and fingers intertwined with embarrassment. "I lead the choir on Sunday."
The pointed face tilted. Grey eyes were scrutinizing him.
Harry swallowed hard to subdue any hostility that threatened to surface. "You're welcomed to join us."
A corner of Draco's mouth lifted. "You really have a saving people thing, do you."
He stood. As footsteps retreated towards the door, so did a fading whisper.
"I'm a sinner, Potter. You of all people should know that."
No, it couldn't be it.
A blizzard was raging, the snow twirling in the dark sky like a dance of dementors around desperate souls. No sounds could possibly defeat the angry bellowing of the winds.
Yet he knew. He knew someone was calling him.
Someone destined to humiliate him. Someone he could never resist.
He sighed and yielded. Eyes closed, he waited for his fears to morph into reality.
Indeed, Potter soon materialized, panting, his spectacles frosted white.
He was wearing nothing but jeans and a threadbare T-shirt.
"Are you mental?" Draco spat and dragged Harry into the nearby pub.
The pub was unsurprisingly desolate.
Harry actually had the nerve to chuckle, "Ron had said the same thing about me."
Draco ignored him and ordered a glass of firewhisky and a cup of honeyed tea. Despite this being the only business transaction that would likely occur for the night, the bartender did not seem pleased at all to be interrupted from the Quidditch match he was listening to.
Without a word, Draco set both drinks in front of Harry. He was turning towards the door again when Harry spoke to him softly,
"You know, Malfoy. I'm no better than you."
Draco spun violently; his eyes narrowed to a slit.
"So says our Savior Potter."
Harry shrugged nonchalantly, his eyes nonetheless intent on the blond. "Trust me," he then pulled out a stool, "and let me buy you a drink. This place rarely gets visitors."
Draco knew it was a lie; flocks of wizards had been frequenting Godric's Hollow, eager to see the land that cultivated heros.
"Besides, you're dying to know why I'm here." Mischief glinted behind the spectacles as hands lifted the sweet tea for a sip.
Rebuttal froze at Draco's lips.
He was too tired to fight.
The evening ended, and Draco still had no idea why Harry was there.
They had mostly sat in silence, Harry enjoying his drinks as he threw amused glances at Draco, who'd glared back while sipping butterbeer.
If it had been a consolation, Harry had been equally curious about his presence.
He'd divulged nothing. He had no answer.
In the flare of the Floo powder, Draco thought he heard a sigh. A barely audible breath, filled with longing, usually reserved for life's most precious.
He adjusted to the sight of a deserted manor.
Precious, rather undeserving for a wretch like himself.
Since then, Draco would find himself in the backmost pew every Friday.
After a month, a fresh cup of tea would await his arrival.
Two weeks later, a stack of parchment appeared under the saucer.
The first time he'd been given the sheet music, there was a line of untidy handwriting at the corner.
I'd thought you can understand this. I can't. I can only read the lyrics.
A wild arrow pointed downward from i this /i to a set of quotation marks, in which scrawled WEASLEY IS OUR KING.
Draco looked up. Harry was beaming at him.
He returned a smile.
They'd never agreed to it, but a drink in the pub had also become customary.
So was the cup of honeyed tea. Sweet smell lingered in the air as they struggled through small talks, discussing inconsequential topics such as Quidditch.
It had little to do with history; their past, in retrospect, had more similarities than differences. It was the unease Draco felt as his eyes registered the subdued green behind the spectacles, and the frustration Harry suffered as his ears seek the eloquent drawls that wouldn't come.
The evenings always ended with Draco Flooing, and the sigh in his wake.
Draco unlocked the study where his piano had been stored.
Rays of sun filtered through the window, lighting the specks of dust that danced on the once spotless surface.
On the keys rested a piece of velvet, just the way he had left it the night before Voldemort had moved into the manor. He laid it aside. His heart was pounding as his fingers brushed the white lacquered strips.
Finally, he retrieved the slightly wrinkled parchment. The room was soon filled with harmonious praises for the power he both feared and revered.
Amidst the music, Draco had found peace.
Randomly stringed tones greeted Draco one summer evening.
Harry was sitting on the bench, idly striking the keys of the piano with one finger.
"Lorraine… can't come anymore," he muttered. The keystrokes became heavier before he looked up. "I thought you could play for me."
"Potter, there's got to be someone else…" Draco began.
Harry shook his head. "I don't want to ask them."
Draco lifted his eyebrows.
"I…I'm not a worthy believer."
"Then I don't know who is." Words tumbled out of Draco's lips before he could stop himself.
The response was the sigh that Draco knew so well.
All eyes were on Draco as he walked down the aisle, sheet music piled like a bouquet of wild flowers in his hands. Sharp flashes in a sea of murmurs. About Malfoys. Death Eaters. Voldemort.
Potter slowed his footsteps. Draco nudged closer to the body now adjacent to him.
He then sensed fingers sliding gently down his spine; they feathered across his waist and soon Draco could feel a warm hand holding his own. It guided him up the steps of the altar.
When the music began, the world was just him, Harry, and the sweet sound of glorifying melodies.
"Do you believe?" Draco asked as he admired the mosaic stained glass, its colors warm and inviting against the last rays of sunset. The monk on the pane smiled down at him before returning to examine his peapods.
Harry was sitting beside him. "I don't know if I can," he responded lightly.
Draco turned to his companion. "You're always here."
Harry learned forward, resting his chin on the pew before them. "I know." His eyes lifted to study the golden cross that adorned the chamber.
They hardened as a hand reached out for Draco's.
"I want to show you something."
The trail led from the back of the church to a cemetery. Harry's grasp on Draco's hand tightened as they wound their way around the headstones, each row more weathered than the last.
Upon reaching the destination, Draco could do nothing but stare at the engraved words. When he finally relieved himself from shock, he turned to find Harry looking at him, the corners of his mouth lifted to a sad smile.
His fingers caressed the names of his parents before brushing against the marble, cold and pale like the stones that built the manor.
Instead of returning to the church, Harry brought Draco further down the road, towards the darkening horizon still flaming with the evening sun.
They stopped in front of another tomb, small and barren. Draco recognized the surname.
"Her brother taught me the power of Love." Harry looked afar, gazing at the monument that listed the victims of the First War. "He convinced me that Love conquers all. It did."
He finally turned towards Draco, his features sharpened by the orange glow in the sky.
"But he wasn't a worthy believer either. His way of love was denounced as a sin."
Harry was trembling as he advanced towards Draco.
"Tell me." The voice strained, its usual smoothness choked to a hoarse croak. "If Love held the most power, then who could judge it? Who could say it is or isn't good enough -"
"Potter -" Draco started, but could not resist the fire in the eyes bearing upon him.
Or the mouth that proceeded to smolder against his.
Harry pulled away before Draco could respond. He wiped his fingers against his lips, his chest heaving violently. Then, without saying a word, he ran towards the gate and disappeared into the square.
Draco was relieved to find Harry the following Friday.
Green eyes gleamed apologetically. They closed as Draco approached, only to flicker open at the warmth of an embrace.
Draco led him towards the altar, under the cross that lit their faces to a glistening gold.
"I don't have an answer," Draco whispered, smiling as his fingers ran through the raven locks. "Malfoys are somewhat misguided on the concept of power."
Harry chuckled softly.
"But," Draco tilted the brunet's chin so their eyes met, "we've been bestowed with more grace than we'd ever deserved."
He pressed his lips against Harry's forehead.
The kiss was chaste.
They remained in the same position for what seemed an eternity, in a silence that recognized neither space nor time.
From the corner of his eye, Draco thought he saw the monk on the glass looking at them, a smile on his lips before resuming to tend the garden.
He thought of the past. The terror, pain and misery that knew not the difference between Light and Dark, that forged a bond between them, and ultimately, brought them to this moment.
It was like the end of a long, dangerous journey.
His heart had returned home.
The kiss was also their last.
Harry became increasingly quiet, his singing subsided to a drone as if the life of his voice had slipped away.
He waited for Draco in the pew one Friday, clutching a hymn book so tightly that his knuckles were white.
"I don't want to repent anymore," were the spoken words as the book fell on Draco's lap.
The brunet then sighed and left.
Between the pages that printed the song, the one that had drawn Draco into the church that winter evening, was an envelope.
Draco turned it over. It was a wedding invitation.
Draco never saw Harry again.
His face graced the cover of Daily Prophet occasionally, but he never returned to the church or anywhere else in Godric's Hollow.
Draco, meanwhile, returned to his pew every Friday.
He knew he was a sinner. He knew he was unworthy.
Yet it was here he'd found the Amazing Grace. A Love received in his most desperate hours, from the least expected place, from the least expected person.
He was a Malfoy, Draco thought, smiling as he gazed at the cross, he could afford to be misguided.
He bowed his head.