Hermione gave Harry a light kick beneath the table – Harry had once again allowed his eyes to glass over during their late lunch together. Ron shook his head in silent dismay, and murmured to her that he could be daydreaming all he wanted, and that she should just leave him alone. But Hermione continued to watch Harry closely for a long time, finally asking if he wanted to go lie down for awhile, and get some rest. With nary a mumble in consent, Harry stood up and went up to his room.
His gaze was lowered to the ground, dark shadows beneath his eyes – he hadn't been getting much sleep lately, for the nightmares. If Ron was not such a deep sleeper, he would have noticed that Harry often woke up in a sweat in the middle of the night, and – incapable of even thinking of sleep without the fear of falling once again into that same dream – he would spend the remainder of the night curled up on the window-seat, staring out into the darkness. This had been going on for weeks. It definitely took its toll on his frame of mind, forcing him either in a reverie of solemn silence, or an unfocused and irritated mood.
I just wish the whole situation would go away...I'm so tired... Harry fell roughly upon his bed, the blankets carrying a biting chill from the evening's drop in temperature. Exhausted, he kicked off his shoes(which feel with a thud on the hardwood floor) and placed his glasses on the nightstand. He buried his head into the pillow with a sigh.
It wasn't long until he had fallen asleep. The room was quiet and empty, his weariness overwhelmingly strong as he fell deeper and deeper into unconsciousness. He shivered – the cold in the room was sinking into his skin, lowering his body temperature. He awoke only long enough to yank the coverlet messily over himself, and turned over. Vaguely, he heard the sound of footsteps and laughter outside his door. Hours passed. Still he slept on. The room darkened as it got later and later in the day, leaving Harry alone in dimness.
Just as the darkness began closing in completely, the door was pulled open, and Draco Malfoy leapt into the room. He closed the door behind him with a hurried air, his hands shaking as he locked it. He wore a long, dark cloak about himself, the hood covering the blond head until he pushed it down in order to better see the lock. It wasn't until he finally completed his task that he turned to see the sleeping Harry upon the bed. Draco's eyes widened with surprise. Taking slow, measured steps to the bedside, Draco's hands lessened none in their shaking. A firm frown was set upon the boy's face as he stared down at Harry. The latter's face was softened in sleep, the blankets pulled around him haphazardly, his dark hair untidy, long locks that framed his face with contrasted color.
Draco rolled his eyes and sighed. "Great...he just had to be asleep...and all by himself..."
Exasperated with his own temptations, Draco carefully decided to position himself in the small chair a few feet away from the bed, farther from the door than Harry. With a long, studious glance at Harry's sleeping face, he seated himself and mentally prepared for anything. Mostly the worst possible scenario.
"Potter..." he called out in the growing dimness of the room. He swallowed – he was never much good at situations like this... "Potter, wake up. I need to speak with you."
No change. Draco focused on breathing for a long moment, then said, "Harry...please wake up."
Shifting the way he was positioned in his seat, Draco's voice heightened slightly in volume, though it still remained a hoarse whisper. "Harry...Harry!"
The green-eyed boy sat up with a start, looking towards the door as though something threatening stood there watching him. For a long moment, neither moved. Then, Harry turned his head to ensure himself that the room was truly empty. When his eyes found Draco's, his face beheld little except fear. Draco held up his hands in a gesture meant to calm Harry.
"Relax. I won't do anything too stupid. I just need to talk to you. If you want, I can promise to keep my rear firmly planted in this seat." Draco said darkly, looking at his self-induced prison of a chair. Harry watched him in disbelief for a long moment, his emerald eyes looking bright. Draco wondered why he looked different. Oh yeah..he doesn't have his.. Harry, as though hearing Draco's train of thought, reached over to snatch up the glasses and put them on. His eyes were now gleaming with anger.
"How did you get in here, Draco?" he said, not at all pleased to have the boy staring at him so fixedly.
Draco shrugged, unable to maintain eye contact long after Harry's accusing glare. "One can get in anywhere if they're determined. I was able to get a key – even though it wasn't needed, since you didn't lock the door – the hard part was getting past your body guards. Do you realize there's half a dozen people downstairs ready to pounce on anyone who wants near you that looks even the least bit suspicious? Not including your 'gang'."
Harry found himself considering this for a minute – if he was really all that protected, how come he was able to get into so much trouble and mischief? He tossed his head as though that would clear away his distractions.
"What do you want?"
Draco shifted in his seat again. His eyes fell downward, happening to fall on the pair of shoes Harry had kicked off onto the floor. He stared at these a long time, as though something fascinating could lie in the boy's worn-out shoes.
"Harry..." he said, not realizing how much harder it was to say the boy's name when he was staring at him like that. "I...I can't help it. I wanted to let you know, that I don't want to feel like this. It's just the way I am. I can't explain it, even to myself. Especially not to my father...He expects me to marry some pureblood wench, anyways. How could I tell him...that...that his son feels..like...like this..." he looked up at Harry, and the action caused a hardened look to plant itself on Harry's features.
"I'm a coward and I'm selfish. I was raised to care about little else than honoring the family bloodline. I have no guts, and I have little drive to get any. But I wanted you to know...I wanted you to see..."
"Why?!" Harry demanded, "Why would it matter. I'm not...I'm not like that! I'm in love with..." Harry stopped himself abruptly, and Draco smiled, his lips straining to remain so.
"...With the Weasely girl, I know. And I'm not sure why, exactly. I'm pretty sure it makes no difference to you...and it certainly doesn't help my frame of mind to put this sort of information out there. I just...I guess I thought you deserved to know. To understand my reasons..."
"Reasons for what?" Harry shifted uneasily on the bed, his mind racing with questions as to what Draco intended to do. His head whirled around to look at the doorway. "Did you lock the door...?"
Draco didn't answer his last question, not meeting Harry's eyes. "My reasons for leaving you be as much as possible. It all sounds very 'selfless hero', but I assure you, it's not like that. I'll still feel this way, and I'm pretty sure I can't avoid you completely – you being a world-wide hero and all – but I want you to act as though you have no idea. My dad already has this arranged marriage thing for me anyways – somehow or other, I'll get an heir." At this thought, Draco's face distorted in a disgusted frown.
Harry watched Draco curiously, pondering this strange look into Draco's mind. Tonight he was openly telling his arch-enemy of his plans, his honest feelings on several subjects that seemed to be very large in the direction of his life. Without knowing why he spoke up, Harry murmured, "I keep dreaming...about you."
Draco looked up, hope flickering through his eyes while his mouth still refused to move from the previous frown.
"I don't know why. But I can't stop. It always starts out the same; I'm standing in the forbidden forest, and I think it's that night in our first year, when we had to find the unicorn..."
The blond-headed boy nodded, remembering. They had all been caught wandering the castle after hours.
"It must have been right before you raced off, and I found the...the unicorn. Because you were still there." Draco's frown deepened – he had been terrified of whatever it was that they heard up ahead - "I start walking ahead, and...and you grab me and you..." Harry swallowed, looking down at his lap."You kissed me. For a long time. And I didn't...I didn't..."
"You didn't pull away?" Draco said, trying very hard to keep the smugness out of his voice.
"Yeah." Harry murmured, angry with himself for saying anything at all. "Then something darkens the forest, even more than usual. And we both start running from something that's chasing us."
There was a long period of silence, and Harry looked up to see Draco bearing a very dark and thoughtful expression. "What?"
Surprised, Draco looked up. "Hmm? Um..I was just...I wishing that there was even a chance...for me...I...and..." Draco cut himself off, turning from Harry again. The evening seemed to be a pathetic game of stare-and-look-away.
Harry's eyes watched Draco for a long time, curiosity stronger than his determination to get Draco's business done and finished as soon as possible. "How long?"
Draco looked up at him with a small smile. "First year, I think. That's when it started." Harry was surprised it was that long. Draco released a curt laugh. "I didn't understand it at all. I kept thinking you were pretty. And I wanted to be friends with you."
Harry's eyes widened at hearing Draco saying the words 'I thought you were pretty'. It sounded odd coming from male lips. But what could he do about it? Obviously Draco wanted his turn to tell Harry about his 'feelings'. Something he had never expected would be happening...
That brought Harry's next question, "I turned down your offer for friendship, and we've been at odds ever since. You never treatedme, like...well..."
The blond head bobbed slowly. "Ever been dumped by a girl you really like, Harry?"
He didn't answer that one. Draco released a laugh. "Think about how you felt then. Now add that you have to walk past that girl every day, and everyone just loves her, she's so awesome, so beautiful, so talented. But she rejected you. It makes things very complicated, and difficult to just ignore." Harry decided that made a bit of sense, all things considered. He moved to sit on the edge of the bed, his blanket still rumpled behind him. He tilted his head in Draco's direction.
"Okay, so what made you tell me now, of all times?"
Draco hesitated, his previous smile melted quickly into a frown as he considered what to say.
Okay, so it's turning out a bit longer than expected. Ack, well. Thanks to the band Theatre of Tragedy and their song 'Fragments' and 'Angelique'. Playing them on repeat helped type this up. Hope the shippers like it. I kind of picture it being a bit odd for both of them, because the fangirls are like 'WE LOVE JOO HARRY!' and Draco pipes up with, 'ME TOO!'. And everyone else is like, 'Aaaawkward...'