An intimate moment between enemies
Disclaimer: I own nothing created by the excellent J. K. Rowling. Both Harry and Draco are, unfortunately, hers, and I'm just messing with their heads. Please review and tell what you think. Sort of anxty, sort of sweet. Definite hints towards H/D. I haven't decided whether to continue, though there might be a parallel from Draco's point of view.
He had always hated Halloween. What reason did he have to like it, after all? It was a day of sadness, not of joy in his life, not to mention the fact that everyone seemed far too inclined to play pranks to 'keep up with the spirit of the occasion, you know?' It made him sick.
He'd slipped out from the feast, claiming homework. Ron looked scandalized, but a quick elbow in the ribs from Hermione, who understood these things, shut him up. She just looked at Harry compassionately, saying that she would be up to the common room in a bit. He didn't tell her that he had no intention of going to the common room.
He walked out of the castle and onto the grounds, shivering as a blast of cold wind caught him. He wrapped his cloak farther around himself and set off at a trot towards the lake. He remembered suddenly that this was where he'd gone to after Sirius'… after Sirius. Why did it call to him like that? He shrugged. It didn't matter. He slowed as he approached, realizing with a start that there was someone else there already. He stopped stock still when he saw the moonlight glinting off ice-blond hair. He approached cautiously, wondering what in hell Malfoy was doing out here, on tonight of all nights. Surely the blond boy had better things to do.
'Like torment you,' a voice in his head said malevolently.
'Shut up,' Harry retorted silently. He could never work up the spirit of anger on Halloween. All of his anger and hatred was reserved for Voldemort. Not even Voldemort's followers were spared room in Harry's heart on the night.
He walked up to the lake, deciding just to ignore Malfoy. It didn't matter if the Slytherin was there; Harry wouldn't bother him if he was left alone. Malfoy didn't look up as Harry sat down a little ways away from him, engrossed in contemplating his knees. Harry himself stared moodily into the lake, wondering about nothing in particular. He couldn't have said how long the two of them sat there, silently ignoring each other, but after a while, he could have sworn that he heard muffled sobs coming from the other boy.
Harry looked over at him in surprise. Sure enough, Malfoy's knees were drawn up to his chest, and he was crying into his lap. Harry wondered what on Earth to do. He hated Malfoy, even tonight, but he couldn't very well leave him to cry there. He ignored his inner voice, which was remarking nastily that Malfoy wouldn't have done anything forhim, and moved closer. Malfoy didn't notice him.
Harry watched him cry for a moment, then noticed that he was shivering. Itwas cold out, and Malfoy wasn't wearing anything but a light set of summer robes. Harry frowned for a fraction of a second, then whipped off his own cloak and carefully put it over Malfoy's shoulders. Malfoy stiffened. He looked up, his eyes red rimmed and still dribbling tears. His face hardened when he saw Harry.
"What do you want, Potter?" he snarled.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked, wondering just what he was getting into. Malfoy wouldn't appreciate his help, after all, and he was a highly competent wizard. Still, he was committed now, and he couldn't back down.
"Nothing that concerns you," Malfoy snapped, looking back down into his lap. He didn't shrug Harry's cloak off, though, and Harry supposed that it was a start.
"Then why aren't you at the feast?"
"For the same reason as you aren't, I imagine," Malfoy said, his voice muffled by his knees once again.
Harry raised his eyebrows. "I doubt it," he said dryly. "Your parents are still alive."
"And this is a good thing why?" Malfoy demanded.
Harry blinked. What was that supposed to mean? "At least you have a family."
Malfoy raised his head again, eyeing Harry with a sarcastic smile. "Potter, what makes you think I have a family?"
"They're not dead, are they?"
Malfoy snorted. "It might be better if they were."
Harry frowned. "This would make so much more sense if you would explain it to me, you know."
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "You need it spelled out, do you?" Harry nodded. "All right. My parents, Potter, are Death Eaters of the highest rank, as I'm sure you know. I am, of course, expected to follow in their footsteps. Unfortunately, I would rather not end up dead. It's a rather fine line to walk, and there are times when it gets hard to handle. Tonight is one of those times."
"But why did you come here?" Harry pressed.
"Because I thought I would be alone," Malfoy snapped. "Obviously I was mistaken. Are you going to do anything other than ask stupid questions?"
Harry didn't answer, and after a moment, Malfoy added softly, "You're luckier than you realize."
Harry blinked. "What do you mean?" he demanded.
"You have people who care about you," Malfoy said simply. "Far too many of us don't."
"You're wrong," Harry blurted out. "You have people who care."
Malfoy raised a disbelieving eyebrow. "And just who are you talking about?" he asked.
Harry took a deep breath, wondering just what had come over him. "I do," he said quietly.
Malfoy snorted. "Excuse me?" he asked.
"I care," Harry said again. "And so do others."
"Why should you care?" Malfoy demanded. "I haven't done anything to warrant such an… emotional response from you."
"You told me the truth," Harry pointed out. "There aren't many people who are willing to do that these days."
"You asked," Malfoy pointed out.
"You could have refused."
"Would you have accepted that?"
"Then why are we even having this conversation?"
Harry didn't answer. He was learning that this was a good way to get Malfoy to say more. Sure enough, "Besides, you listened."
Harry had a sudden flash of insight into Malfoy's life. His parents were Death Eaters, which meant that they weren't home often. Even before that, they'd almost certainly been gone often. At school, he was hated by most people, and feared by the rest. Harry realized with a start just how lonely Malfoy must be.
"I'll always listen, if you have something to say."
Malfoy snorted his disbelief.
"I will," Harry insisted. "We're more alike than you realize."
Malfoy raised an eyebrow. "And just how are we alike?" he wanted to know.
"Neither of us live with people who accept us for who we are," Harry said, ticking off reasons on his fingers as he went. "Half the people in this school only know our names because we're famous –or infamous, in your case. Neither of us like opening ourselves up to people, and both of us hate Care of Magical Creatures."
Malfoy's eyebrows shot sky high. "You don't like Care of Magical Creatures?" he demanded. "You'd never know, the way you all go on about it."
Harry rolled his eyes. "You think I like the class? I do it for Hagrid, of course."
"Of course," Malfoy agreed dryly. "You could never guess, you know."
"I do my best," Harry agreed. There was another beat of silence.
"Whodo you live with, anyway?" Malfoy asked suddenly, an openly curious expression on his usually guarded face.
Harry made a face. "My aunt and uncle," he said. "And my cousin. Muggles all of them."
Malfoy grimaced. "Let me guess… they're afraid of you, aren't they?"
"Idiots," Malfoy said.
"Theyshould be afraid of me," Harry objected. "I hate them enough that, if not for the fact that I'm likely to be expelled for the tiniest drop of magic anywhere in the vicinity of the house, I'd probably end up doing unspeakable things to them all."
"That bad, are they?"
There was yet another silence. Harry glanced up at the castle, amazed at how much time had passed. There were lights in Gryffindor Tower, a sure sign that the feast was over. Malfoy, seeing the direction of his gaze, stood. Even after sitting in the same position for over an hour, his movements were graceful and sure of themselves. He nodded to Harry, then hesitated. Suddenly making up his mind, the blond boy crossed the distance between them and gave him a swift kiss full on the lips. Before Harry had a chance to react, Malfoy was striding off across the grounds, Harry's cloak billowing out behind him as he walked. Harry pressed his hand slowly to his lips, marveling at the softness of Malfoy's lips on his. He suddenly realized that he was shivering. Shaking his head at his own folly, he made his own way up to the castle. As he approached the entrance, he found his cloak, neatly folded and placed out of the way. He picked it up, unwilling to shake it out just yet. Almost without realizing what he was doing, his gaze moved over across the grounds. A single figure was standing a little ways away, just hidden enough to conceal his identity. Harry didn't care. He knew two things as he looked at Malfoy, still standing out in the cold air. He knew that Malfoy would stay out there for most of the night, and he knew that he himself would see Malfoy again soon.
Smiling slightly, he pulled open the door and walked out of the cold air and into the warmth of the castle.